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 Columbus; Indiana that is. We have already made the trip to Columbus, Ohio. This lesser known Columbus only has a population of 44,000 people, but for what it lacks in size it makes up in architecture. Columbus, perhaps, has more notable modern architecture buildings per capita than any city in the United States. In fact, it was much harder narrowing the list down to 12 projects than finding enough for the city guide. With the buildings not on the list, it will be impossible to please everyone. Notably our list doesn’t even include Romaldo Giurgola’s Columbus East High School, Cesar Pelli’s Commons Centre and Mall, and SOM’s Republic Newspaper Building. Take a look at the 12 on our list and add your favorites in the comment section below.
The Architecture City Guide: Columbus list and corresponding map after the break.
The Beijing Central Business District (CBD) plan by SOM can now add 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design to its list. The ongoing 4,200,000 sqm project is the winning design from the international design competition expanding the Beijing CBD
The plan calls for the establishment of three new districts anchored by signature parks and green boulevards. New modes of public transportation are proposed, including express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station. A new streetcar system is proposed to conveniently link all areas of the CBD, and every street would be bicycle friendly. To establish a pedestrian-friendly scale for development, the plan calls for a network of small, walkable blocks.
Last week, as the NY Times reported, the interior of 510 Fifth Avenue received landmark protection by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The building, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill back in the 1950s, served as a branch of the former Manufacturers Trust Bank (later the Chase Bank Building) and is situated on a dense Manhattan block near the New York Public Library, Cook+Fox’s recent One Bryant Park, and the park itself.
More about the landmarked interior after the break.
The commission for a Green Tech City in Hanoi, Vietnam was recently awarded to Skidmore Owings & Merrill. SOM’s preliminary master plan focuses on reducing demand for non-renewable resources while integrating local traditions and utilizing the existing green urban character of Hanoi. At the heart of this new green district is a riverfront park. A series of landscaped green spaces, formed from existing agricultural water channels, would connect into this linear riverfront park creating a well connected network of public parks.
More information on this news after the break.
We are headed to the windy city of Chicago for this weeks Architecture City Guide series. Jam packed with architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, here are our 12 recommendations if you are visiting Chicago. Head to the comment section and share your recommendations for additional buildings to include on our list!
Welcome to the Architecture City Guide series. Here at ArchDaily we thought this series could especially be put to use during the upcoming holiday season. Many will be traveling to see family, having family visit, or taking a New Year’s vacation to a new city. Here is a small City Guide list, starting with Washington D.C.
We want to hear from you, share with us your City Guide list for buildings in Washington D.C. More cities to come, so be sure to check back.
Follow the break for our Washington D.C. list and a corresponding map!
I have visited SOM before, to interview Craig Hartman at the San Francisco office, but Chicago was were it all started back in 1936 with Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings, and John O. Merrill who joined in 1939.
This time I interviewed Philip Enquist (FAIA), the partner in charge of urban design and planning. Philip has been involved in development and redevelopment initiatives for college campuses, existing city neighborhoods, new cities, rural districts, downtown commercial centers, port areas and even in a master-plan for the entire nation of Bahrain.
It was amazing to hear from him on different processes that have been shaping the most important cities in the world, such as Beijing’s Central Business District or the master plan for the Millenium Park. But I was also surprised about a project we presented to you earlier, the vision for the Great Lakes area, a project that shows a lot of responsibility as an architect and an example that we still have a very important role in our society.
After the break, the usual questions a bonus with what’s a good city, and some photos of the office.
One World Trade Center has reached a construction milestone by rising 260 ft above street level. Upon its completion in 2013, it will become the tallest office building in the United States reaching 104 stories.
The San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has received a 2010 “Good Design is Good Business” China Award for the new U.S. Embassy Complex in Beijing, China. Architectural Record and McGraw-Hill Construction recognized 17 projects with their third bi-annual program. The awards celebrate projects that demonstrate the power of design in the advancement of business and civic objectives.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which opened for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, received its award in the Best Public Project category. Working with the U.S. Department of State, SOM responded to the building’s diplomatic role by creating a space that is welcoming, secure, and respectful of local traditions. As a sovereign U.S. presence on Chinese soil, the Embassy reflects American cultural, social and political values while paying respect to the host country’s ancient and extraordinarily vibrant culture.
More images and information after the break.
With its final height kept as a secret until the last minute, we witnessed the incredible opening of the tallest building in the world.
The iconic building is located in the north of the Han River, which crosses the city, and will dominate the skyline becoming a important icon for Seoul… which is what you will expect if you commission a tower this tall.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, an active college in the City University of New York, currently occupies a former Public School building, Haaren Hall, on 10th Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. With ownership of the entire Manhattan block, the college has ambitions to grow over two phases into the full Zoning capacity of the block. The charge of this project is to occupy the entire site with an integrated campus while providing a base for future growth.
The Chicago and Shanghai offices of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) won the international design competition to expand the Beijing Central Business District (CBD). This project was also awarded an AIA Honor Award.
Basically, their plan proposes the creation of 3 new districts anchored by parks and green boulevards as you can see on the renderings. But the an important aspects of this project is on the small scale, a network of walkable blocks to offer pedestrian (and bike) friendly scale for development. Because sustainable doesn´t have to mean just “green”, but also to offer an environment on which people can actually establish social relations on a neighborhood scale.
The plan also proposes an express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station. A new streetcar system is proposed to conveniently link all areas of the CBD.
Sometimes, a good transportation system and focusing on the pedestrian scale sound obvious, but they are the foundations to establish neighborhoods that can bring life to parts of the city 24/7, instead of business districts that die at night with dormitory cities with a lack of services.
More images after the break.
Mark Magazine is by far one of my favourite architecture magazines. Their motto “Another architecture” tells us what we´ll find inside: fresh architecture – the main reason we love this magazine so much.
This bimonthly magazine is structured in 5 sections: Noticeboard (a collage of new projects), Cross Section (short articles on new buildings and architectural subjects), Viewpoint (interviews with architects on the rise), Long Section (in depth articles on buildings) and Service Area (new building materials).
On the August/September issue (October one on the mail, more about that soon) we find an amazing house by spanish studio Ensamble, shown on a collage with embossed textures, something that has become a signature on Mark Magazine covers.
Some love this building, and some hate it. I´m impressed.
The Burj Dubai (set to be the tallest tower in the world, while the tallest structure as of now), is almost finished. Located in Dubai, it´s the centerpise of a mixed-use development that will include 30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 3 ha of parks, 19 residential towers, a man and a 12ha artificial lake.
I decided to Google about the Burj Dubai a little, and i found an interesting interview at Wired with SOM´s structural engineer Bill Baker, telling the story behind the design, the structure and construction. The foundations were overengineered just in case the client wanted to rise the height of the building during construction… which he did!. Now the final height won´t be disclosed until the construction is finished.