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OMA unveils design for their first residential tower in NY

This morning, while walking down Union Square i noticed the new tall and slim tower at One Madison Park, currently under construction. The developer of this tower, Slazer Enterprises, is also working on an adjacent project with OMA, which resulted on their first residential tower in New York, which was unveiled yesterday.

Located at at 23 East 22nd St, the 335 ft (107 m) tall mid-rise tower -which you can see on the second plane behind One Madison Park at the rendering- features an innovative design when it comes to towers, an evolution of the OMA studies on new high rise designs. The building cantilevers 30 feet over its neighbor, a form that “provides a number of unexpected moments that appear at each step – balconies at the upper part of the building and floor windows at the lower part — providing a variety of unit types and features throughout the building”, in words of Rem Koolhaas.

This project is led by Rem and Shohei Shigematsu, a partner at OMA currently in charge of OMA NY. When we visited their office back in March to interview Shohei (an interview i recommend you to watch), we saw a lot of experimentation around new forms for towers, such at the Jersey City project and the Bicentennial Tower. I bet OMA will surprise us in the future with more innovative tall building designs.

AirXY: From Inmaterial to Rematerial / M-A-D

The 11th Venice Biennaleis just around the corner, starting on Sept 14th with a preview on Sept 11th-13th. I´m eager to see the pavillions and installations on the Biennale, specially because the title for this version is “Out There: Architecture Beyond Building” on which Aaron Betsky, the curator, says ” “will point the way towards an architecture liberated from buildings to engage the central issues of our society; instead of the tombs of architecture, which is to say buildings, it will present site specific installations, visions and experiments that help us figure out, make sense of and feel at home in our modern world”.

One of this installations is “AirXY: From Inmaterial to Rematerial” by M-A-D, an interdisciplinary design firm with primary expertise in branding and visual communications. From their authors: he airXY screen is folded to seem as if it had burst out of the wall behind. as visitors approach they notice what appears to be a giant checkerboard with a vertical line scanning from left to right. suggesting the surface of an interface, a desktop and a machine simultaneously, on further observation, the visitors see that the composition is, in fact, charting the passing of time along an XY axis divided into 24×60 units. in addition to the vertical line and rectangular XY units, tiny green abstract icons are floating across the screen, looking like runes, contemporary urban signs or the graphic language of circuit diagrams”.

More pictures after the jump.

KP Alazraki Corporate Building / AD11

Boh Visitor Center / ZLG Design

Of the things i really love about maintaining this blog is that it gathers architects from all around the world. In this case, the people from ZLG Design in Malaysia sent us their project for the BOH Visitor Center through our contact form – same as many other offices we will publish in the next days. Everyone is invited!

This great building -my personal favorite in the last month- is located in Malaysia, overlooking an amazing landscape. I think that its tectonic work really frames the natural surrounding.

Architect: ZLG Design Team: Huat Lim, Susanne Zeidler, Jimmy Wong, Mary Verhaeghe, Hong Chieh Location: Sungai Palas, Cameron Highland, Boh Visitor Centre, Malaysia Locale description: Tea plantations and factory Site area: 12,168.32 sqm Built area: 1,233.8 sqm Building start: November 2005 BUilding completion: July 2006 Budget: USD$498,652.29

Inside Herzog & de Meuron Bird's Nest

We´ve seen tons of pictures of both the exterior and the inner court of Herzog & de Meuron’s bird nest in Beijing during the Olympics. But what we haven’t seen is the intermediate space inside the nest fibers, a space which looked amazing on the early renderings.

But thanks to Edgar Gonzalez, we can see the colorful inners of the Bird’s Nest through Manuel Ocaña‘s Flickr.

Pictures after the break.

GreenPix Documentary

¿Remember GreenPix, the 2,200 sqm LED media wall powered by solar panels we featured some months ago? Alexandra Lerman published a documentary about the GreenPix on which Simon Giostra, founder of Simone Giostra & Partners. Giostra explains the challenge to design and build this gigantic media wall, with the help of engineering experts ARUP.

Burj Dubai, tallest building in the world almost finished

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.

For now, enjoy this pictures the air on an helicopter by David Hobcote, seen at Gizmodo:

AD Interviews: C-Lab / Jeffrey Inaba and Benedict Clouette

While in New York a few months ago, we interviewed several architects with a set of standard and specific questions, gathering different opinions on current state of practice in contemporary society.

Volume #16: Engineering Society

A few weeks ago we received the latest issue of Volume Magazine, a joint effort between Archis, AMO and the C-LAB. Continuing with their tradition of thematic issues with suggestive names, number 16 is called Engineering Society.

It relates somehow to Volume #14 (Unsolicited Architecture), on which the editorial analyzes the lost of relevance of modern architects because of their failure to adapt to a market driven society, urging them (us) to answer current society questions from the field of architecture.

On this issue, Arjen Oosterman starts with -yet another- incredible editorial, Planning Paradise, that analyzes how architects tried to impose their utopias in the past, without a direct relation with the end user of these projects. But now, we can certainly tell that society can´t no longer be made, and it´s actually being driven and shaped by the users as a consequence of democracy, and free market economy and politics. And this opens a new opportunity for architects, to be the ones that present new futures to this users, an opportunity lost long time ago in “our consumer society of commodity logic“.

OMA´s CCTV facade completed

It’s not a rendering but an actual photo of the completed facade of the CCTV Building by OMA in Beijing. The visible face of this iconic building was finished just in time for the olympics, after 6 years of hard work between OMA, ARUP and chinese partners ECADI.

Dellis Cay: Starchitects in the Turks & Caicos archipielago

Super star architects arrive to the Caribbean, specifically to Dellis Cay, a 560-acre island at the Turks & Caicos archipielago. The project, set to be completed by 2010, will feature works by Shigeru Ban, David Chipperfield, Carl Ettensperger, Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Piero Lissoni, and Chad Oppenheim. In addition to the 124 villas and 154 residences, the island will have a 30,000 sq ft Spa operated by the Mandarin Oriental, a five star luxury hotel, a signature restaurant and numerous casual dining experiences.

Below you can see further images of the individual projects, done by d-box. There aren´t too many images available, but you can certainly notice the hand of each architect on this projects, specially the Zaha and Chipperfield ones.

From this project, two houses took my attention. First, a house by Chad Oppenheim, pictured above. I really like the public area of this house, which reminds me of contemporary brazilian houses: A unique concrete volume covering the open public space and an enclosed area for the bedrooms. You can really feel outside while being covered by the structure, which has a big span with no elements that block the views.

California approves the first statewide green building code

Once again Inhabitat tipped us on green news, and a very important one when it comes to buildings: the state of California unanimously approved a statewide green building code. The code will enter in full effect in 2010, to give industry and enforcement agencies the time to prepare for the new building standards.

New sustainable building for London by Sheppard Robson

The green guys at Inhabitat told us about a new iconic building in London by Sheppard Robson. Its glass skin will reflect sunlight in a rainbow of colors creating a crystal like effect that varies through the day. But don´t be fooled about its energy perfomance, because it has an excellent BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) rating, the British environmental standard for buildings.

The glass facade creates a buffer to control the temperature, and the air trapped between the skin and the building is collected for energy.

This “tube” building is 18 stories tall and has a central atrium that brings natural light to the offices as you can see on the further images. On its 345,000 square feet, it will include a 10,000 sq.ft. roof terrace to enjoy the view from the top.

At street level it will to the existing setting through extensive landscaping that will connect to Westminster Park Plaza and other nearby pedestrian areas.

I really like the structure. Personally, i´d like it to be made out of prefab concrete pieces, but now that i see its BREEAM rating i figure out it has to be done with a more eco friendly material (steel). But it´s impressive anyway. More pictures below, thanks Mike!

Mobile Performance Venue / Various Architects

Various Architects is a collaborative design office based in Norway, and they shared with us a very innovative project: a Mobile Performance Venue. Designed to host the performance “ID – Identity of the soul” (touring worldwide in 2009), the client requested a unique and iconic structure. Also, this venue needs to be mobile, so volume/weight were key on this design developed as a flexible ellipse structured with aluminium frames and an inflatable hexagonal skin.

Once built, it will be the world´s largest mobile performance venue, fitting on 30 standard containers for shipping.

Can´t wait till 2009 to see it? Be sure to check the test inflation of a full scale mock-up, a preview of how it will look like when finished. Below, project description, plans and renderings. Thanks to Jim Dodson from VA for sending this in.

An Architect´s Office

Expo Zaragoza 2008, architecture showcase

World Fairs have set miletones in architecture. The Crystal Palace (London 1851), the Eiffel Tower (Paris 1889) and the amazing buildings of the recent Expo Hannover 2000 are some examples.

This year, the Expo Zaragoza in Spain (June 14th – Sept 14th) features an astonishing pavillion/bridge by Zaha Hadid, and buildings by spanish architects Nieto y Sobejano, Francisco Mangado and Basilio Tobías. Below, pictures sent by spanish photographer Pedro Pegenaute.

iPhone replacement for the bubble level

The iPhone can be a very useful tool for an architect, as it allows you to check drawings and even do sketches on site. But today i found this new application for the iPhone OS v2.0: A-Level, an electronic version of the good ol’ bubble level. I have to recognize that it’s a clever use of the iPhone’s accelerometer. You can get it at the iTunes App Store for 99 cents. To download follow this link (it will open iTunes).

Alison Brooks Architects present new buildings for Liverpool

Alison Brooks Architects (ABA, previously featured in AD with their award winning Herringbone Houses) designed three buildings for Tribeca, a new development in Liverpool, UK. This three buildings are located on the corner of Great George Street and St James Street.

This buildings will provide 93 apartments and commercial space at street level. The design follows the Liverpool’s gothic architectural tradition, blending with the existing Wedding Shop. I like this new approach to tall buildings, away from the  glazed and lightweight looking contemporary towers.

The stone-clad facades stretch up toward the sky, gradually becoming lighter and more glazed as they increase in height. Within the windows are vertical strips of coloured glass, totally relating to old cathedrals.

By the way, “Tribeca” is a development by Urban Splash that will create over 700 homes. Four practices were invited to design the buildings: Alison Brooks Architects (London, UK), Shedkm (Liverpool, UK), Riches Hawley Mikhail (London, UK) and Querkraft (Vienna, Austria). The site for the project is formed by three triangles, so Urban Splash put the phrase “Triangles Beneath the Cathedral”, then Tribeca. It echoes from the Tribeca area in Manhattan, which consists on a series of triangular sites beneath Canal Street.

More pictures below.

Zaha Hadid´s project rejected due to heat

I just read on Design Boom that Zaha Hadid´s extension proposal for the Middle East Centre in St Antony´s College in Oxford has been denied approval by the the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE). The comission wrote in their report “it appears unfortunate to position the archive and reading room behind the large south facing window; we wonder whether full sunlight and overheating could potentially compromise the usability of this space”.

Too bad for Zaha, but thank god the CABE took a closer look at the project before its occupants had to go trough the heat. I wonder how many built projects that we occupy every day should have been revised by a comission that take this in count.

More pictures of the denied project below.

Wallpaper* Architects Directory 2008

Every year Wallpaper* Magazine brings us a list of new architects from around the world. This year, they list -according to them- the world’s 50 hottest young architects practices.

I gotta recognize that they beat us with this selection, so far we only have buildings from 2 of the architects on this list: Murúa Valenzuela – Countryside House and works from BGP (Mexico), which will be published on ArchDaily shortly. We are contacting the rest of this practices to bring you their work, so stay tuned.

In the meanwhile, here´s the full list of this -so called- 50 hottest young architecture practices.

Tinker Hatfield: Pompidou Centre and Nike Air Max

Tinker Hatfield is an architect who started working at Nike designing showrooms, and ended up being VP of design. He was behind the design of the now classic Air Max shoes. On this short interview he tells how the Pompidou Centre by Renzo Piano influencied his shoe design, in terms of exposed systems and color.

Oslo Central Station / Space Group

Norwegian architects Space Group won the competition for Oslo´s new Central Station. The project consists on demolishing a big part of the existing station, to build a 4 stories tall structure that will unify the station. It will include 2 floors for offices hanging over the station. Also, an adjacent U-shaped building will be occupied by the biggest conference hotel in Norway.

Currently, the Central Station receive 150,000 travellers every day, number expected to double in the next few years, rendering the current structure obsolete. Space Group´s project will be able to grow in stages. Construction will start on 2013, during 5 to 10 years. Quite a lot, but since the project will be done in stages it will be able to be in use during all the time.

Below, more renders by Luxigon sent to us by Space Group.

V-Houses / Heinz Legler

Megan from Been Seen sent us V-Houses, an amazing jungle retreat near the fishing village of Yelapa in tropical Mexico. This rustic-modern aesthetic hotel was designed by Heinz Legler, who used to own a film set construction company and Veronique Lievre, previously a set decorator, from Paris. They started this project as their personal hideaway, but it ended up construction an hotel in a 5 acre area, with infinity pool, spa, restaurants, yoga hut and 8 guest rooms.

This year they expanded their hotel with V-Houses, 5 units with 3 units for hotel staff, 2 for guests, a kitchen and a shared bathroom. This three tower-houses have a particular structure, raising from a small concrete foundation as you can see on the construction pictures. The V Houses are made out of steel, plywood and red corrugated iron roofs.

You can check the great views by yourelf, and don’t mind about the windows. Trust me you won’t be needing them on this tropical paradise. More pictures below.

Public Farm 1 at PS1 finished in stop motion / Work AC

Public Farm 1, Work AC‘s installation for the PS1 opened on June 16th. The above video shows the construction process that took a month to be finished (May 15th to June 18th).

You can check the list of the DJs and artists that will playing at the PS1 this summer on the 10th version of the Warm Up Sessions (including LCD Soundsystem and Au Revoir Simone) here.

I still remember when i saw the cardboard tubes on their office, and now they are part of this innovative green canopy. Below, pictures sent by photographer Elizabeth Felicella of the completed structure. She has more pictures available for editorials.

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