Scheduled to be the tallest tower in China and the second tallest building in the world by 2015, Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 660-meter-high Ping’an International Finance Center has received a major unexpected set back. Following an industrywide inspection conducted last week, Shenzhen government officials have discovered a low-quality sea sand has been used by developers to create substandard concrete for KPF’s supertall skyscraper and at least 15 other buildings under construction.
Although sea sand lures contractors by costing significantly less than standard river sand, it contains a deadly mixture of salt and chloride that corrodes steel in concrete and threatens the structural integrity of a building over time.
According to Bloomberg, Shenzhen’s Housing and Construction Bureau found 31 companies violated industry rules and ordered eight of them to suspend business for one year in the city for using substandard sea sand to make concrete.
The future of design requires thinking innovatively about the way current construction techniques function so we may expand upon their capabilities. Sustainability has evolved far beyond being a trend and has become an indelible part of this design process. Sustainable solutions have always pushed against the status quo of design and now the Structural Technology Group of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech (UPC) has developed a concrete that sustains and encourages the growth of a multitude of biological organisms on its surface.
We have seen renditions of the vertical garden and vegetated facades, but what sets the biological concrete apart from these other systems is that it is an integral part of the structure. According to an article in Science Daily, the system is composed of three layers on top of the structural elements that together provide ecological, thermal and aesthetic advantages for the building.
More after the break.
The Headquarters Krogmann in Lohne-Kroge, Germany, by Despang Architekten investigates the numerous characteristics and fundamental opportunities inherent within wood and exhibits a modern approach to the craftsmanship of traditional German vernacular. Designed as a new corporate center of operations for the woodworking company Krogmann, this new office would need to succeed not only in handcrafting a new image for them, but also serve as a catalyst for future growth while showcasing their ability as ‘makers’ in the field of construction. Having worked as the builders for several projects for Despang Architekten, their choice to retain them as the design architects for their own project was a natural extension of an already solid relationship built upon the dedication to quality and progressiveness. As an extension of this article, we also had the opportunity to speak with Principal and University of Hawaii Associate Professor Martin Despang about the process involved in the making of this project.
More details and our Q&A with Martin after the break.
In an article originally published on Plataforma Arquitectura, Guillermo Hevia Garcia describes his experience when visiting the Unité d’ Habitation in Marseille, France, also known as Cité Radieuse. On February 9th, the building was overcome by a large fire that was said to have been started due to a heating problem. The blaze took hundreds of firefighters nearly a day and a half to put it out. Eight residential units and four hotel rooms were destroyed, and approximately 35 other units were severely damaged by smoke or action relief. Most residents have returned home to the Unité d’ Habitation, Le Corbusier‘s thesis on domestic life, as they continue to live the communal life that the renowned architect dreamt up.
Read on for more after the break.
Architects: Ensamble Studio
Location: Mexico D.F, Mexico
Architect in Charge: Antón García- Abril
Associate Architect: Elena Pérez
Construction manager architect: Alba Cortés
Project Team: Débora Mesa, Joaquín Gallegos, Alba Beroiz, Jaime Alcayde, Cristina Moya, Juan Ruiz Antón, Tomaso Boano, Federico Letizia
Developer: SGAE – GRUPO CARSO
Project Management: INPROS
Construction Company: GRUPO PC
Structural Engineering: COLINAS DE BUEN
Project Area: 11,500 sqm
Photographs: Roland Halbe, Ensamble Studio
Architects: Eugenio Simonetti + Renato Stewart
Location: Santiago, Chile
Design Team: Juan Santa Maria, Danilo Magni, Alvaro Romero
LEED certification (Silver): Energy ARQ
Lightning: Oriana Ponzini
Structure: Eduardo Spoerer
Client: Inmobiliaria Almahue S.A.
Year: Costanera Lyon 1, 2009-2011 (Completed), Costanera Lyon 2, 2011-2013 (Under construction)
Area: 42,000 sqm
Photographs: Nico Saieh, Guy Wenborne, Ana Maria Pincheira
Take a tour through the newly built Taltal Public Library, designed by Santiago based firm Murua-Valenzuela. The small town project is located opposite of the main square and close to the Alhambra Theater, which was also recently refurbished by the architects. Responding to a narrow site of 7 by 40 meters while being situated between mediators, the architects conducted a series of indoor spaces in order to “avoid the domestic condition.” The spaces of varying heights house the library activities and end with a reading room that is connected to an interior courtyard. Construction has been completed and the Taltal Public Library is already in use.
The author of the project stated, “We are delighted to see the library being used by the community. We hope that in future the building will become a meeting place.”
The video was completed by Nicolas Rupcich.
Architects: Benjamín Murúa, Rodrigo Valenzuela
Location: Taltal, Chile – Region of Antofagasta
Development: Ximena Vallejos, Miguel Mallea
Project Year: 2008
This short film by Pablo Casals-Aguirre captures the formal perfection and daily life within Louis Kahn’s architectural masterpiece, the Salk Institute. Kahn was commissioned in 1959 to design the inspiring facility for scientific research. The iconic facility became a designated San Diego Historical Landmark in 1991 and continues to attract daily admirers from all corners of the earth.
Review detailed information, images and drawings at AD Classics: Salk Institute / Louis Kahn.
Architects: OLGGA Architects / Alice Vaillant, Guillaume Grenu, Nicolas Le Meur
Location: Grande Synthe, France
Client: City of Grande Synthe
Engineering: Sogeti ingénierie
Acoustic: Abe acoustique
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 2,433 sqm
Photographs: Julien Lanoo
Upon its Grand Opening September 4, 2011, the Stadium du Littoral, constructed in Grande Synthe, is the first facility north of Paris integrating five athletic disciplines under one roof. Designed by OLGGA Architectes, this athletic complex includes stadium seating for 617, two club houses, locker rooms, a community recreation room and administrative offices.