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Diagonal Tower / SOM

© SOM / Crystal CG
© SOM / Crystal CG

SOM’s new 64-storey Diagonal Tower to be located in the developing commercial and mixed-use Yongsan International Business District in the heart of Seoul, South Korea, exudes a modern take on structural expressionism.  The tower progressively addresses the critical issues associated with skyscraper design in an iconic and refined manner. From structural and energy efficiency to reduced construction costs that the tower must meet, SOM have strove to integrate these aspects holistically into the overall aesthetics. More details after the break.

© SOM / Crystal CG © SOM / Crystal CG © SOM © SOM

Fire Update and Interior Tour of Le Corbusier's Unité d' Habitation in Marseille

© Guillermo Hevia García
© Guillermo Hevia García

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.

© Guillermo Hevia García © Guillermo Hevia García © Guillermo Hevia García © Guillermo Hevia García

Rio Carnival 2012 kicks off in Oscar Niemeyer's newly renovated Sambadrome

Aerial Image of Carnival
Aerial Image of Carnival

Brightly colored confetti and sequined samba queens covered the newly renovated Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, marking the beginning of the 2012 world-famous annual Carnival. Designed by Brazil’s legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Sambadrome was originally constructed during the first government of Leonel Brizola (1983 – 1987) in an effort to provide Rio with an urban facility that would serve as the permanent location of the traditional spectacle of the samba school’s parade. Inaugurated in 1984, the Sambadrome is also known as the Catwalk Professor Darcy Ribeiro out of respect to the man who moved the parade to its current site. Continue for more.

Detail of Arc © The Globe Apotheosis © André Mendonça Construction © UOL Courtesy of Oscar Niemeyer

Wimmer Medien Business Center and Urban Development / Atelier Thomas Pucher

The proposal for the Wimmer Medien Business Center and Urban Development in Linz, Austria by Atelier Thomas Pucher recently won the third prize in the international invited competition. Their main concept is the creation of a 33,600 m2 gross floor area central public space that recovers the mystical feeling of the Italian piazzas, offering flexibility to host the most variety of events and activities, like ice-skating, Christmas market or outdoors cinema. This piazza is also a central point for the social life of the building, providing outdoors spaces for the offices, significant synergies for the commercial area and a feeling of the life of the city to the apartments. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Video: Taltal Public Library

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.

UK Monument Preston Bus Station at Risk

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is calling for international attention to the 1969 Preston Bus Station. Once the world’s largest bus station, the brutalist monument is scheduled for demolition as part of the city center’s redevelopment plan. The building is one of thirty UK “at risk” sites featured by WMF.

CTBUH11 Competition Proposal / Ajmona Hoxha, Elis Vathi, Klodiana Millona

The project proposal for the first CTBUH international student design competition by Ajmona Hoxha, Elis Vathi, Klodiana Millona aims to redefine the gap created between the two extreme social classes of India as the widening income gap between the rich and the poor over the years has raised fears of a social backlash. Since it is highly noticed that the difference between the rich and the poor is displayed not only in the social life but at a major grade on the physical environment, there is a need for redirecting social organization by creating a new environment. Displacement of the concentrated power of the narrow rich circles to wider masses would be achieved by strong physical means. More images and project description after the break.

International Competition Winner of Government Building in Sejong City / Tomoon Architects & Engineers

main view rendering
main view rendering

The 3-1 Zone of Government Building in Sejong City is a symbolic gate of the central administration town. The Urban Gate, where nature and citizen are together, and the Urban Plaza, which anybody can freely use, are planned for here. It is designed as a comfortable and cozy resting place shaped after nature. It will be used for various events including festivals and various culture and art activities. In terms of urban scale, the linear shape of existing master plan had been maintained.

House in Beauvallon / Raphaëlle Segond Architecte

© Philippe Ruault
© Philippe Ruault

Architect : Raphaëlle Segond Architecte Location: Domaine de Beauvallon, Township of Grimaud, France Project Team: Jonhattan Inzerillo, Project Manager Concrete & masonry : Paul Ciotta & Fils, maçons Windows crafters : Maria Aluminium Electrician : Nicolas Espitalier électricité Project Area: 250 sqm Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Philippe Ruault

© Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault

Falsified Concrete Testing on Major New York Projects

© Wikipedia / XB-70
© Wikipedia / XB-70

Back in 2008, a rash of falsified concrete testing reports on major projects in New York including the Yankee Stadium and the Second Avenue subway station had construction executives scrambling to find replacements. American Standard Testing and Consulting Laboratories were selected as the replacement company. However, the owner and five other employees have currently been arraigned on charges stemming from exactly the same things they were hired to rectify.

Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall / Min | Day

© Min | Day
© Min | Day

  The Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall is a proposal by architecture office Min | Day to alter the face of an existing retaining wall in Lincoln, Nebraska and enliven the adjoining land. Min | Day describes the Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall as a new horizon in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although an 18 foot by 1000 foot retaining wall, the structural base of the project, already exists, the area is unimpressive and underused. Min | Day’s additions to the structure and to the space would transform the floodwall and its surroundings into a fresh new urban space for the city and the neighborhood.

Recycling+Building Materials

© Paula Bailey - http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntiep/
© Paula Bailey - http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntiep/

In today’s world “going green” has become a top priority in our society, and sustainable buildings and design are at the forefront of this green revolution. While many designers are focusing on passive and active energy systems, the reuse of recycled materials is beginning to stand out as an innovative, highly effective, and artistic expression of sustainable design. Reusing materials from existing on site and nearby site elements such as trees, structures, and paving is becoming a trend in the built environment, however more unorthodox materials such as soda cans and tires are being discovered as recyclable building materials. Materials and projects featured after the break.

Library Of The Present: Communal Information In Physical Space

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The Internet is now the library of the past. Where the public library has historically served as the primary source of information gathering and dissemination, we now look to this new virtual, infinitely large library that can be accessed anywhere at any time as the Library of the present. As a result, the primary roles of today’s physical libraries have shifted. Libraries of the past focused primarily on individualized information consumption. Communal aspects of interaction and information dissemination now represent the core mission of the library when information is more easily accessible. The silent grand beaux-arts reading rooms of New York or Boston have of the past been transformed into flexible communal “living rooms” in Seattle.

Integrated Project Delivery Methodology

Integrated Project Delivery © Tim Winstanley
Integrated Project Delivery © Tim Winstanley

Integrated project delivery is designed for collaboration from the commencement of a project. The uniting of owner, architect, and contractor on a level playing field is conducive to quality delivery. This triad branches out even further when subcontractors and consultants are brought into the equation. The fundamentals of this process ensure maximum efficiency and successful project delivery from all parties involved.  More details and a case study of  Caltrans District 7 HQ after the break.