The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed One Vanderbilt Avenue broke ground today, beginning construction on what will stand as the second tallest tower in New York City upon completion. Located adjacent to Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street, the tower will be integrated into the its neighbor through a series of underground connections and $220 million in improvements to Grand Central’s infrastructure.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released some of the facts and figures behind the projects appearing in their recent book, 100 of the World’s Tallest Buildings. The construction of tall buildings requires collaboration between many different companies and firms and the efforts of hundreds of people, but a few select firms have been responsible for more of the design and engineering achievements than any other.
Continue reading to see the 18 design architects that have contributed multiple buildings to the top 100 list.
Humanity has become obsessed with breaking its limits, creating new records only to break them again and again. In fact, our cities’ skylines have always been defined by those in power during every period in history. At one point churches left their mark, followed by public institutions and in the last few decades, it's commercial skyscrapers that continue to stretch taller and taller.
But when it comes to defining which buildings are the tallest it can get complicated. Do antennas and other gadgets on top of the building count as extra meters? What happens if the last floor is uninhabitable? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed their own system for classifying tall buildings, measuring from the “level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment.” Using this system more than 3,400 buildings have been categorized as over 150 meters tall.
We take a look at world’s 25 tallest buildings, according to the CTBUH, after the break.
A global survey conducted by BD has deemed Foster + Partners to be world’s “most admired architect" for the ninth consecutive year. The London-based practice, led by Norman Foster, is the 16th largest practice in the world. Foster + Partners’ ranking was undeniable, as the survey revealed a significant seven percent lead over runner-up contender, Herzog & de Meuron.
“To be voted most admired practice by our peers is a great honor,” said Norman Foster. “It is a huge tribute to our talented and hard-working teams with their myriad skills and disciplines, both in our many studios around the world and our base in London, all working towards the common goal of bringing innovative design solutions to create a better built environment.”
See who else topped the list as the world’s “most admired,” after the break.
Paul Katz, president and managing principal of Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), has died at the age of 57. The “mastermind” behind some of the world’s tallest mixed-use buildings, such as the Shanghai World Financial Center and International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, Katz was praised by colleagues for his attention to detail and ability to foresee a building’s impact on the larger urban scale. “For Paul, it was the entire assemblage, not triumphant individual pieces, that gave the project its urban value,” said KPF design director James von Klemperer, who will succeed Katz as president.
The Pinnacle, the 63-storey tower that would have been the tallest in the City of London's central cluster, has finally been abandoned, according to Gwyn Richards, the City’s new head of design. Originally granted planning permission in 2006, the "helter-skelter" design by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF) was put on hold in 2011 due to financial issues. Now a replacement scheme is in the works which could be revealed in a matter of weeks.
More on the Pinnacle, and its replacement, after the break
After months of planning and preliminary design, it is expected that architecture firm KPF will be given permission to proceed with their New Bondway project in Vauxhall, London. This residential complex is sited in the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area, in close proximity to the new US embassy. The property was previously to be the site for the Octave Tower designed by Make architects, until the proposal was rejected by the Secretary of State.
Construction is well underway for KPF's Lotte World Tower in Seoul, however the mysterious appearance of sinkholes in the surrounding area - as reported by CNN - has brought on a slew of safety concerns. Authorities have been unable to determine the cause of the sinkholes which have appeared in a number of locations around Seoul's Songpa District, although they have ruled out sewerage as a possibility. To learn more about the bizarre phenomenon putting the 123-story tower under scrutiny, click here.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates' International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong as the winner of its first ever Performance Award. The new award recognizes the project with the lowest measured environmental impact on the urban realm, as measured using actual data from the completed construction.
The CTBUH explains the need for the prize, saying: "Most awards programs focus on design intent, as opposed to actual performance – often well-intentioned projects are not revisited, and thus not held accountable." KPF's 484-metre tall office tower won the prize based largely on its policy of collecting and sharing performance data.
Read on after the break for more on the award
As part of their annual research for the World Architecture Top 100, Building Design (BD) has compiled a list of which architects are most admired by their colleagues from across the globe. Last year's results were somewhat predictable, with Foster + Partners leading and Renzo Piano's Building Workshop and Herzog + de Meuron close behind. According to BD, "this year saw a trend towards more commercial names."
This year's "most admired" list includes:
Southwark planners have recommended an ambitious proposal by international practice Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) and engineer Adams Kara Taylor (AKT II) to add 11 floors to an existing 30-story tower in London. The “incredibly complicated” feat, which would be the world’s first of its kind, would extend Richard Seifert’s 1972 King’s Reach Tower on the South Bank by 44 meters, more than a third its original height.
With a strong passion for successfully integrating tall buildings into their surrounding communities, William Pedersen, FAIA, FAAR has played a significant role as founding design partner in transforming Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) into an international powerhouse, whose diverse portfolio is executed by over 600 staff members in six global offices.
In honor of his undeniable success, the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced Pedersen as recipient of the 2013 AIANY Medal of Honor during a ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City Wednesday.
More information and an interview with William Pedersen after the break...
Construction of the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea designed by high-rise architectural firm KPF is well underway. Won via an international design competition, this new tower will rise up to a pinnacle height of 555 meters. Organized around a mixed-use program including retail, office, hotel and an observation deck at the peak, the tower pulls inspiration from historical Korean arts of ceramics, porcelain, and calligraphy. More details after the break.
Soon to be Shenzhen’s tallest tower at 660 meters, the Ping An Finance Center by KPF will anchor the city’s new Central Business District. Positioned at the southwest corner of the intersection of Yi Tian Road and Fu Hua Road in the Futian District, the tower will connect with neighboring properties in addition to Shenzhen Line 1 Gou Wu Gong Yuan metro station. More details after the break.
The new Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport was just approved by the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi. Within master plan, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the terminal is conceived as a gateway to the city. The design creates large, unimpeded internal zones that will enhance the passenger experience, and can accommodate long‐term adaptability to industry demands. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The 2011 MIPIM Asia Awards recently announced that Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) garnered five awards out of the 29 awarded, the largest number of awards won by a single architectural firm. Recognized for the Inernational Commerce Centre in HongKong, Wheelock Square in Shanghai, the Abu Dhabi International Midfield Complex, the Xintiandi Hotels, and Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Centre, KPF will receive their prizes at the prestigious Awards Gala Dinner on November 16.
KPF was one of the first US architecture firms to start working in China, and has had a strong presence there for over 20 years, including growing offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong. These five awards serve as an affirmation of KPF’s unmatched experience and leadership in the region.
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Beijing. Beijing has a range of architectural styles, but the three most prevalent are the traditional imperial style (the Forbidden City), the “Sino-Sov” style (boxy structures built between the 1950s and 70s), and lastly the explosion of a modern corporate style that is punctuated with Starchitect buildings like OMA’s CCTV TV Station HQ. We put together a list of 12 modern/contemporary buildings that we feel provides a good starting point. It is far from complete. There are dozens of other great buildings that are not our list, and we are looking to add to the list in the near future. Please add your favorites in the comment section below so we can add them on the second go around. Again thank you to all our readers who sent in their suggestions and photographs. The city guides would not be possible without your help.
This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to Portland, Oregon. As one of the greenest cities in the world, it is a leader in sustainable architecture. Even though Portland is only the 29th most populous city in the U.S., it has the second highest number of LEED-accredited buildings. Only Chicago, a city more than four times the size of Portland, has more green buildings. Beyond its contemporary and green architecture it has a good variety of historic buildings that are worth visiting. We have put together a list of 12 contempory buildings to visit, but since we limited it to 12, it is far from complete. We would like you, our readers, to suggest other “must not miss” in the comment section after the break.
Architecture City Guide: Portland list and corresponding map after the break!