Our chinese reader Sharwe shared with us some actual photographs of the construction process of this 70,000 sqm Opera House designed by Zaha Hadid in Guangzhou, China. With this building, which includes 1,800 seats in the Grand theatre, entrance lobby & lounge, Multifunction hall, other auxiliary facilities & support premises, Zaha is trying to confirm this city as one of Asia’s cultural centres.
More images after the break.
In June, we featured Steven Holl’s latest Horizontal Skyscraper which hovers above a landscaped park in Shenzhen, China. Matthias Wolff, an ArchDaily reader and also a contributor to our Flickr roundups, shared some of his photographs of Holl’s building with us. Wolff, aka d.teil, shot these images at the complex’s opening this past December, when some of the complex’s components – such as the hotel – were still under construction. Since the grounds are open to the public, the project will truly affect a large scope of people, both natives and visitors of the area. Wolff’s photos provide a clear understanding of the building’s varying materiality, as well as its situation within the designed terrain. What do you think of Holl’s project?
Check out more photos after the break.
There are few things that are more annoying than sitting in bummer to bummer traffic. Yet, as cities are expanding at rapid rates, our infrastructure simply cannot support the number of people, and so congestion becomes an every day obstacle we have to face. As Bettina Wassener reported for the New York Times, for one China-based company, Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment, the vicious cycle of a growing population which leads to more vehicles – and hence, more traffic – needed to be addressed. And, along came their super functional, extra-wide (20 ft) and extra-tall ‘Straddling Bus’. The vehicle runs along fixed tracks and its main compartment is elevated to leave the street clear for cars driving underneath. Plus, the vehicle is partially powered by the sun via panels on the roof and at bus stops.
More about the Straddling Bus after the break.
Architect Adrian Lo shared with us his proposal for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Boundary Crossing Facilities Competition. See more images and architect’s description after the break.
This clubhouse designed by PAL Design concentrates on a contemporary approach for its ‘Spa-theme’ presentation for the target young group. It speaks to a sense of playful invention and a quirky imagination. It mixes up contemporary suites of privacy, utter luxury, modernism and a sense of being in a universe theme park. Different interestingly material elements are incorporated with sharp and brilliant colours such as yellow, orange, blue and green to create extraordinary visions. There is a very peculiar view from one zone to another. Curve lines expand spatial boundaries look endless. Wavy feature walls and contrasting carpets lend a dramatic and trendiness to the whole.
About a year ago, we shared one of our favorite Plasma Studio designs with you – an International Horticultural Fair Complex. The project is a large master plan that blends architecture, landscape and circulation into one system using a network of organic paths. Four major buildings and a range of smaller interventions are scattered within the landscape. The studio has shared recent construction photos with us, and more renderings, that we’ll share more with you after the break.
Plasma Studio’s newest project in China, a bold angular set of towers, speaks to the firm’s geometric obsession. The project was recently awarded first prize in an invited competition in Datong, Shanxi province. The mix-use complex, measuring of 70,000 m2, will include a hotel in one tower and offices in the other. Running along a highly trafficked street, the towers create a strong presence along the streetscape and are pulled away just enough from the site’s edge to provide places for pedestrians and greenery.
More about the awarded project after the break.
Recently awarded first prize, Woods Bagot’s vision for the Shijiazhuang International Exhibition and Convention Center will be manifested in a sleek faceted glass tower that rises from smaller geometric exhibition halls. The master plan is designed to uplift the city’s coastal area, which is currently underdeveloped, by attracting tourists and locals to the entire complex for different programmatic activities.
More images and more about the master plan after the break.
Previously, we have covered the Ordos 100 project quite extensively, giving you an inside look at the Inner Mongolia development. Back when Cai Jiang proposed the initiative to build one hundred 1000sqm villas designed by 100 up-and-coming architects in a mere 100 days, most questioned if the project was a hoax while others felt the development’s free-for-all attitude would not yield a unifying strong result. Yet, even with these concerns, the 100 firms responded to Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Wei Wei’s invitation to design the villas and transform a barren land. However, this development took quite an unexpected twist.
Read more about the project after the break.
Special thanks to our reader, Vivian Bratone, for sharing some insight to Steven Holl’s newest museum project with us. Situated in Pearl Spring near Nanjing, China, the museum is only a part of the Chinese International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) complex. The CIPEA project is a complete collaboration of architects from across the world, from Italy to Japan, and Mexico to Croatia. Upon completion, the complex will include more than a dozen buildings that will house exhibits for arts and culture.
More about Holl’s project, including a set of Bratone’s images, after the break.
The first phase of the Qingdao Water City development at Aoshan Bay, designed by the Los Angeles office of NBBJ, will include a new exposition center of 1,940,000 sf. As the ocean sits to one side of the site, and a wetland on the other, a strong emphasis has been placed on how the exposition is shaped by its interaction and proximity to the water.
More images and more about the exhibition hall after the break.
Here’s another great time lapse video from Seppe, this time walking us through the German Pavilion in Shanghai designed by Schmidhuber + Kaindl GmbH (more Shanghai coverage here). Entitled Balancity, the pavilion is designed by Lennart Wiechell and at 6,000 m2, it is the country’s largest structure at any exposition. The building’s geometric mass was conceived as a three dimensional sculpture and the form wraps certain spaces which showcase different aspects of Germany. As you can see in the video, the pavilion includes a central energy source, a factory-like section, an opera and cultural section, and even a park. The areas show Germany’s technological progressions and products meant to help solve urbanization problems, and visitors slowly glide past certain installations on moving walkways. Unlike other countries’ pavilions that seem to work off of one cohesive theme, the German pavilion seems much more “busy” – it is a conglomeration of many different ideas and products with lots to see at each turning corner. What do you think of Balancity?
As we reported earlier last week, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s newest Apple store (and China’s first!) opened on July 10. For the past five years, photographer Roy Zipstein has been documenting the stores, traveling to America, Europe, Asia and even Australia to highlight the artistry of the sleek structures. Similar to how it takes a certain kind of architect to manifest Apple’s aesthetic and technological philosophy in built-form, it takes a certain kind of photographer to capture that essence on film. Zipstein commented via Bernstein&Andriulli, “The Apple Stores are so beautifully designed, inside and out. It’s been very interesting to witness the design process evolve over the last few years, through the use of different materials such as glass, stainless steel and stone, and the evolving interpretation of the interior space. Having the architects present at some of these shoots and being able to exchange thoughts with them has been an added bonus for me.”
We’re excited to share Zipstein’s latest photographs from Shanghai! And, be sure to see our previous set of images thanks to Flicker user Lesh51.
Back in 2003, young Dutch architect Rem D. Koolhaas (nephew of “the” Rem Koolhaas) teamed with seventh generation shoemaker Galahad Clark to launch United Nude, a stylish shoe brand rooted in conceptual design, elegance and innovation. Since then, the brand has been quite successful, selling in over 35 countries, and recently, Koolhaas opened a flagship store in Shanghai. Similar to New York’s Fifth Avenue, or Paris’ Champs-Élysées, the store is situated in Shanghai’s prestigious retail strip and the flashy design draws all the attention to the shoes.
More about the store design after the break.
Recent Harvard graduate, Nicolas Fayad, was awarded the Boston Society of Architects’ James Templeton Kelley Prize, an honor recognizing the most successful graduating project. Fayad’s “Brittle”, a School of Arts, is an exploration of responsive and adaptive form. Fayad’s programmatic elements have been organized and molded in response to the changing typography of Chongqing, China – making the design quite flexible as it can easily adapt to any change of land within the city.
More about the awarded design after the break.
Similar to their identifiable products, the Apple stores require a sleek, almost instantly recognizable, aesthetic. As keepers of the latest technology, the buildings’ minimalist interiors boast a calm and sophisticated demeanor, complimenting, yet not overshadowing, their prized possessions. It may come as a surprise that the leading architects behind the stores are Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), a firm that had never designed a retail store before Apple and whose principal, Peter Bohlin, winner of the AIA Gold Medal, ironically doesn’t use email.
Bohlin has awed us in the past, especially with Apple’s second Manhattan retail store located on Fifth Avenue. Turning a tough retail space into a successful masterpiece, the store’s iconic cube, a 32-foot glass structure, marks the store’s entrance and beckons customers down to the retail level which is illuminated with natural light. And now, BCJ has just unveiled their latest Apple store, and the first of its kind in China which seeks to emulate similar design decisions as the Fifth Avenue project.