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NL Architects Propose Striking Chain of Amethyst-Inspired Hotels

Cultures around the world attribute magical properties to the amethyst gem. The lustrous purple quartz is said to bring good fortune, heal illness, and calm the mind. It makes sense, then, that NL Architects have modeled their latest hotel chain proposal after an amethyst geode. Designed based on the original hotel layouts of John Portman, this visually striking tower series aims to serve as a symbol of hospitality and well-being for visitors around the world.

VIDEO: I LIKE Orange

Fast Company Names Top 10 Most Innovative Practices in Architecture

Fast Company has announced who they believe to be the most innovative practices in architecture for 2014. Topping this list is New York’s SHoP Architects who has gone from “boutique to big commissions in only a few years.” See who made the list after the break and let us know who you believe is the world’s most innovative firms in the comment section below. 

VIDEO: I LIKE Black

ArchDaily has teamed up with Portugal's Canal 180 to bring you their series I LIKE. Check out episode 1, I LIKE Black. The video features RCR Arquitectes' Teatro la Lira, Kumiko Inui's Shin-Yatsushiro Monument, and NL Architects' Wos 8

I LIKE is an original series on architecture and spatial intervention, developed in a collaboration between Canal 180 and LIKEarchitects atelier. Diogo Aguiar and Teresa Otto have created a chromatic experiment and spatial exercise--organized by color--that reveals some of the most amazing architectural interventions in the world. 

Next week ArchDaily will premier the second installment of I LIKE. Stay tuned!

BIG, Kengo Kuma Among Four Visions Unveiled for ARTA Cultural Center in Arnhem

Four international teams have unveiled their shortlisted proposals in the final leg of a highly anticipated competition to design a new “cultural hotspot” on the edge of the Rhine. ArtA, the “catchy” new name of what was previously known as “The Arts Cluster,” is part of a larger redevelopment project for the City of Arnhem which aims to reconnect the southern district of Rijnboog with its waterfront and establish a new home for the Focus Film Theatre and Museum Arnhem. 

A sneak peak of the shortlisted proposals, after the break...

Impressive Shortlist to Compete for "The Arts Cluster" of Arnhem

UPDATE: OMA has reportedly withdrawn from the competition. 

The city of Arnhem, the Netherlands, has revealed an impressive shortlist of five firms who will compete to design a new cultural building for the city, The Arts Cluster, which will combine the Museum Arnhem and Focus Filmtheater Arnhem. 

The five firms selected from 44 entries are: Architecture Studio HH with SO-IL (United States); ABT with the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG, Denmark) with Allard ArchitectureKengo Kuma & Associates(Japan); NL Architects; and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

Gate House / NL Architects

© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch

Architects: NL Architects Location: Arnhem, The Netherlands Project Architects: Guus Peters and Bart Schoonderbeek (Schipper Bosch) Design Team: Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Kamiel Klaasse Team Members: Lorena Valero Miñano, Inés Quinteiro Antolín, Jaewoo Chon Project Year: 2011 Photographs: Jeroen Musch

© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch
© Jeroen Musch

Bicycle Club / NL Architects

Courtesy of NL Architects
Courtesy of NL Architects

Amsterdam-based NL Architects have been asked to design a Bicycle Club for a large resort in Hainan, China. They have proposed a glass enclosed pavilion capped with a rooftop cycling arena that embodies curves reminiscent of the traditional and functional pagoda. Visitors can rent a bike and join the fun in the open-air velodrome or simply visit the club’s cafe and be entertained while sitting on the large staircases found in the middle of the oval structure. Continue after the break for more images.

Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects

Hallway House / NL Architects

Courtesy of NL Architects
Courtesy of NL Architects

Hallway House, a radical residential project designed by NL Architects, has been conceived within the framework of a ‘match making’ program set up by the Dutch Architecture institute (NAi), together with Housing Corporation VANKE. As a Sino-Dutch collaboration in social housing, NL Architects has created a new concept for high-quality affordable housing on a site in Huilongguan, Beijing. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Sanya Block 5 / NL Architects

Courtesy of NL Architects
Courtesy of NL Architects

As part of a resort development, the first prize proposal for Sanya Block 5 by NL Architects consists of 8 blocks of 6 stories on top of a ground floor with restaurants, bars and retail. Located in the Hainan Province and the southernmost city in China, Sanya is well known for its tropical climate and popular tourist destination. More images and architects’ description after the break.

'Housing With a Mission' Project at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale on Architecture and Urbanism

1000 dwellings for the 'Ant Tribe'
1000 dwellings for the 'Ant Tribe'

The project ‘housing with a mission’, featured at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale on architecture and urbanism, is designed as a co-production by five Chinese and five Dutch architectural offices and aims at building 1000 dwellings for the ‘Ant Tribe’ in Beijing. This is the Chinese name for the generation of millions of young graduates who live in cramped conditions in the outskirts of cities and work in low-paid jobs. The Chinese offices include Standard Architecture, Urbanus, O-Office, Node and CAFA. The Dutch firms include aronsgelauff, Next, KCAP, NL architects and Barcode. More images and project description after the break.

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.

Multi Mill / NL Architects

© NL Architects
© NL Architects

NL Architects’ winning cultural stage proposal will activate the Port of Amsterdam as its unique configuration is suited for a variety of activities.   Situated on the Haparandada near the IJ River, the flexible and movable base will accommodate different forms of art such as film, fashion, sculpture, dance, etc.  “The versatility of the assignment is the ultimate challenge for Architecture: how can one single spatial given host all these functionalities in a credible way?” explained the architects. More about the winning proposal after the break.

In Progress: Blok K / NL Architects

NL ArchitectsBlok K is part of a master plan for 500 dwellings in Amsterdam.  The site’s triangular shape sits between the historic center and the recently redeveloped harbor area.   The block measures 31 x 28 meters and is about 2.5 stories tall.   According to the guidelines established in the master plan, it was obligatory to build the first two stories in alignment and the third story had to contain 50% roof terrace.  The volume’s form is “redistributed” in an effort to push it as far away as possible from the adjacent volumes.  The roof’s strong diagonal stands as a bold contrast to the orthogonal grid. More about the block and more images after the break.

SOZAWE / NL Architects

NL Architects have designed a stepped volume for the office of SOZAWE (Welfare Department and Work Agency) in the city of Groningen.   The design includes an open marketplace which supports the architects’ intentions of creating an “open,  inviting and sustainable place.”  This public square allows interaction between the department and its customers, and the terracing condition of the building creates cross relations between floors.  Each of the nine office floors open to an individual terrace, allowing workers to enjoy fresh air and take in the view of the city.

More images after the break.

The Silo Competition proposal by NL Architects

Amsterdam City Council recently held ‘The Silo Competition’ which involved the adaptive and reuse design for two former sewage treatment silos in the city’s Zeeburg district.

For the competition NL Architects proposed silos dedicated to climbing, sports and culture. In their design the existing structures were extended to the maximum height to benefit from the views.

The cultural silo consists of two theaters with dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces, spaces for workshops, exhibition spaces, music studios and a space for hair design. A bridge connects the silos at the height of the original roof level and office spaces will be positioned on top. The top level will be dedicated to a restaurant with 360 views and a roof terrace.

Seen at designboom. More images after the break.

Taipei Performing Arts Center proposal by NL Architects

This is the design proposed by NL Architects for the Taipei Performing Arts Center. The structure contains three theaters, including a 1500-seat Grand Theater, and two 800-seat theaters. Although critics praised the aesthetics, they noted two critical issues: acoustics would be disastrous and the lack of sun for several of the cubes. The competition was finally won by OMA.

You can also see Abalos proposal here. More images after the break.