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Adaptive Formations / Design Studio 4of7

12:15 - 4 August, 2009

Design Studio 4of7 in conjunction with the University of Belgrade’s Graduate Program has spent a year exploring alternatives for the Port of Belgrade, a 110 hectare site on the river Danube bank in Southeast Europe. The port belongs to the central zone of the city and currently, the former industrial riverfront has attracted developers, city authorities, architects and planners to design its future potential. Over the last two academic terms, the Graduate Program has had the opportunity to work with the actual redevelopment of the site and exchange ideas with Daniel Libeskind Studio and Gehl Architects who are both working on the master plan.

More about the design after the break.

Spain Pavillion for Shanghai 2010 Expo

13:00 - 3 August, 2009

The Spain Pavilion will have a steel structure and a wicker cover. Spanish handcrafters will weave out different patterns by using different colors of wicker, said Benedetta Tagliabue, designer of the pavilion. The wicker will be covered by a special material that is water-proof. It will also keep the pavilion at a comfortable temperature, said Tagliabue.

Also, the pavilion of course is very strong, she said. The designers have considered the possibility of bad weather during the Expo period such as typhoons or the summer Plum Rain season, said Tagliabue. The Spanish government is going to invest 1.8 million euros (US$2.6 million) in the pavilion, said Javier Conde de Saro, Spain’s commissioner general for World Expo Shanghai.

The pavilion, with a total floor area of 8,500 square meters, will have both open squares for cultural performances and an indoor area for exhibitions and cafeterias.

Seen at Archtracker. More images after the break.

Luxembourg Pavillion for Shanghai Expo 2010

13:00 - 31 July, 2009

The idea “forest and fortress” comes from the literal meaning of the Chinese term for Luxembourg. The pavilion, built from steel, wood and glass, will be an open fortress around with greenery. The 15-meter-high main structure will resemble an ancient castle with large openings surrounded by medieval towers,

“All the materials are recyclable,” said the architect of the pavilion, Francois Valentiny. Also, the outside walls will be translucent, on which Chinese characters will be shown. The exhibition area of the pavilion is about 1,300 square meters. The downstairs hall will stage a satellite video show displaying live scenes from the country. “Visitors will be able to talk with Luxembourg people through satellite. And we will bring live programs of Luxembourg events here,” said Jeannot Krecke, the country’s Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade.

Seen at Archtracker. More images after the break.

Creative Arts Center / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

12:31 - 31 July, 2009

Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s Creative Arts Center for the Brown University campus is slated for completion in 2010. The new 36,000 square foot center will include a 200 seat recital hall, 35mm screening facility, recording studio, multimedia lab, gallery space and large multi-purpose production studios.

More about the Arts Center and more images after the break.

reVision Dallas / Entangled Bank

14:43 - 30 July, 2009

The Re: Vision Dallas competition named three winners, two of which we previously featured on AD (DB + P and Atelier Data + Moov). The third winner is Little, a studio based in North Carolina, with their Entangled Bank proposal. “Entangled Bank combines heavy duty technological prowess with artistic integration of systems. The building is designed as a holistic, integrated design…The Entangled Bank entry materials was incredibly impressive… Each unit type was designed, completed with suggested sale price and amount of energy consumption. A wide array of green collar job programs were provided that work with the design of the building to engage residents and educate visitors. All of the jurors were struck by the thorough and joyous submission of Entangled Bank,” explained juror Eric Corey Freed.

More about the project (including a great video) after the break.

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Canada Pavillion for Shanghai Expo 2010

13:07 - 29 July, 2009

The 6,000-square-meter Canada Pavilion, among the biggest at the site, will feature an exhibition themed “The Living City: Inclusive, Sustainable, Creative.” It is expected to welcome up to 5.5 million people or 30,000 visitors per day during the six-month Expo period.

The pavilion will be anchored by an open public place and surrounded by three large structures. The square will be a performing area, where visitors can watch the performances of Cirque du Soleil before checking out the pavilion, said Gregson.

The overall budget for the Canadian pavilion will be 45 million Canadian dollars (US$43.57 million), she added. Canada has also given environmental protection consideration into the pavilion. Part of the pavilion’s exterior walls will be covered by a special kind of greenery and rainwater will be collected by a drainage system for use inside the pavilion.

Cirque du Soleil created the concept design for the Pavillion and will also create public performances, organize cultural programs and develop strategic corporate alliances for the pavillion.

Seen at archtracker. More images after the break.

Polyclinic / 3LHD Architects

12:33 - 24 July, 2009

Our friends from 3LHD shared their awarded competition proposal for a private medical center for Firule in Split, Croatia. The Polyclinic is situated close to the sea and its fresh air, near an existing hospital complex.

More about the clinic after the break.

Competition for the controversial Heathrow third runway masterplan

13:00 - 20 July, 2009

BAA is looking to appoint a team to produce a ‘comprehensive masterplan to examine the potential expansion of Heathrow Airport’ – including a third runway and a new sixth terminal.

Alternative for 53 West 53rd Street / Axis Mundi

12:52 - 20 July, 2009
Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel

With the countless number of ridiculously tall skyscrapers planned for around the world, it is remarkable the controversy an 82-story skyscraper for Midtown Manhattan can create. Three years ago, MoMa completed an $858 million expansion, yet the museum is still in need of additional room to house its growing collections. The Modern sold their Midtown lot to Hines, an international real estate developer, for$125 million. Hines, in turn, asked Pritzker Prize Laureate French architect Jean Nouvel to design two possible solutions for the site. “A decade ago anyone who was about to invest hundreds of millions on a building would inevitably have chosen the more conservative of the two. But times have changed. Architecture is a form of marketing now, and Hines made the bolder choice,” reported Nicolai Ouroussoff for The New York Times.

“Bolder” is certainly fitting to describe Nouvel’s Torre de Verre which is planned for 53 West 53rd Street. The 1,250 foot tower will offer approximately 40,000 sq feet of new gallery space for the MoMa, in addition to 150 residential apartments and 100 hotels rooms. The tower’s unique silhouette will dominate the Midtown block, rising higher than the iconic Chrysler Building. Its irregular structural pattern has been called “out of scale” on numerous occasions by opponents of the project. Some complain that the tower will “violate the area’s integrity” noting that its height will obscure views and light. Shadow studies show that the building may plunge apartments in the area and the ice-skating rink at Central Park into darkness.

The aesthetic is definitely foreign to Midtown and, yet, while most are quick to reject change, the tower will sit in an area surrounded by  highly revolutionary buildings. Its new neighbors include Philip Johnson’s “Lipstick Building” at Third Avenue; Hugh Stubbins’ Citicorp Building at Lexington Avenue, Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building and SOM’s Lever House at Park Avenue.  At some point in time, each of those buildings exemplified a change in style, and yet now, they are staples in the area’s heritage.

© Axis Mundi 2009
© Axis Mundi 2009

With controversy still surrounding Nouvel’s design as it moves through the city’s review process (ULURP), John Beckmann and his firm, Axis Mundi decided to do something about it. A few short days ago, Axis Mundi unveiled a conceptual alternative design for 53 West 53rd Street. The alternative features a 600 foot, 50 story mixed use building that ”rethinks the tall buildings that have become synonymous with New York City’s identity.” Beckmann explained, ”Historically, the skyscraper was a unitary, homogeneous form that reflected the generic, flexible office space it contained…The Vertical Neighborhood is more organic and more flexible–an assemblage of disparate architectural languages. It reflects an emerging reality for tall buildings as collections of domestic elements: dwellings, neighborhoods, streets.”

More images and more about Axis Mundi’s alternative after the break.

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East Wing for Cleveland Musuem of Art / RVA

12:03 - 19 July, 2009

Critically acclaimed international practice Rafael Vinoly Architects recently announced their addition to the Cleveland Musuem of Art (CMA) in Ohio. The museum is currently undergoing a multi-phase renovation and expansion project. RVA’s 139,200 sq foot East Wing addition, which unites the historic 1916 Beaux-Arts building and the 1971 Marcel Breuer addition, is the first of three planned wings.

More about the expansion after the break.

Istanbul Kayabasi Housing Design Competition / Honorable Mention for Aboutblank

12:59 - 18 July, 2009

Turkey based Aboutblank Architects have been awarded an honorable mention for their housing project for the Istanbul Kayabasi Housing Design Competition. The young firm focuses on urban design approaches, while working on a multidisciplinary level.

More about the housing project after the break.

Urban Oasis / X-Architects

11:57 - 17 July, 2009

Dubai based X-Architects recently unveiled the Urban Oasis, their latest sustainable master plan for Al Ain. The 12-hectare urban development was conceived as a “micro-specific, compact, and passive sustainable urban oasis.” Inspired by the existing natural environment and the traditional dense urban fabric of Islamic cities, the master plan develops an “environmental synergy between landscape and urbanity.” More about the master plan after the break.

Chaoyangmen SOHO / Zaha Hadid Architects

14:23 - 16 July, 2009

Bert from Moving Cities (a blog focused on contemporary architecture in China) just told us about a new project by Zaha Hadid in Beijing: Chaoyangmen Soho.

The announcement was made by Pan Shiyi, a real estate mogul chairman of SOHO China. Pan has been working on huge developments, such as the Commune by the Great Wall and several commercial projects in central Beijing.

What’s interesting on SOHO’s developments, is that they invite renowned architects to participate, under heavy budgets restrictions in order to delivery quality projects for the “stylish middle class”.  They also have a great corporative culture as you can see on their website.

But back to this project, Bert points us out to a recent interview with Pan Shiyi:

Q: Which development project is your favourite? A: Chaoyangmen SOHO. It is our latest development. I asked British architect Zaha Hadid to design a creative project, and she did. The project is unique, like the Beijing bird´s nest .

Read more about this project at Pan Shiyi’s blog. More images after the break.

Bibliosphere / Greeen! Architects

21:00 - 15 July, 2009

Greeen! Architects shared their competition proposal for a new library and office building for the University Duisburg-Essen, in Germany. The young architectural practice specifically focuses on ecological and sustainable design approaches. For their proposal, a large ecological complex intends to “create a place where city and university are woven together.”

More about the proposal after the break.

Plantagon's Vertical Farm

11:42 - 14 July, 2009

We have shared architects’ different approaches to addressing the pressing food issue, from the highly conceptual designs to the more classical ideas.  It seems that more competitions and clients require architects to implement gardens for harvesting food, or create an available food solution to accompany the structure. Statistics estimate that more than 80% of the population will live in cities by 2050 and the oil transportation needed to ship food from rural areas will only become more expensive.  Soon, adding alternative farming methods won’t be an option; it will be a necessity if food for cities is to remain cost-efficient.

Plantagon, a Swedish-American company, has recently created their take on the vertical farm idea: a geodesic dome containing an urban Plantagon® greenhouse. The farm “will dramatically change the way we produce organic and functional food. It allows us to produce ecological with clean air and water inside urban environments, even major cities, cutting costs and environmental damage by eliminating transportation and deliver directly to consumers,” explained Plantagon.

More about the dome after the break.

Saegeling Medizintechnik Office / Gerd Priebe Architects

20:56 - 7 July, 2009

Gerd Priebe, a German based architecture firm, has completed a new curved office building to expand Saegeling Medizintechnik’s medical equipment complex in Heidenau, Germany. The new building is “organically formed….and sets a striking architectural highlight directly adjacent to the existing company headquarters,” explained the architects.

More about the new office building after the break.

Benetton Competition / Scheurwater + Hoven

12:00 - 7 July, 2009

In addition to the Benetton competition providing participants with the possibility to redefine the influence of retail in an urban landscape, the competition also provided participants with the choice to design “Building A” or “Building B”. While we shared some of the winning proposals for Building A (Grzegorz Witold Woronowicz and Giuseppe Iodice), we now share Maarten Scheurwater and Oliver van den Hoven‘s proposal for Building B, which placed second in the competition.

More about the winning proposal after the break.

Brad Pitt's Make It Right presents duplex homes for NOLA

07:00 - 7 July, 2009

Brad Pitt´s Make It Right Foundation has been working with a group of international architects to redevelop the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, after hurricane Katrina. The name of the foundation addresses the desire of Pitt, architecture enthusiast, to design these houses the best way and not just as a temporary solution, in a process that also included working not only with these renowned firms, but also very close with the community, with a focus on sustainable development.

The designs are referential, and each client (as the houses aren´t “free”, yet they use existing finance ways and low interest loans) can pick a design, which is then adjusted by local firm John C. Williams Architects to suite the client´s needs.

A first phase included single family homes, designed by practices such as Kieran Timberlake, Shigeru Ban, Morphosis, MVRDV and Trahan Architects. As of now 8 houses have been built, and more than 10 houses are already on construction or in the permit process.

Make It Right has recently unveiled a second phase with 14 duplex homes to accommodate up to 2 families, which include a site-specific sustainable strategy and flexible plans for future family growth. But also, the practices were required to meet integration with the street and the use of landscaping as a design and energy element.

The result?  The 14 duplex homes after the break:

Compromises for the Guggenheim

12:05 - 5 July, 2009

It seems fitting that since the Guggenheim is currently featuring the works of its designer, Frank Lloyd Wright, we should feature some of the process work of the iconic museum. Well known for its white curving form, it is important to note that the current rendition of the museum is vastly different from Wright’s original ideas. The struggle between the architect and the client (in this case Solomon R. Guggenheim, a wealthy mining entrepreneur) to see eye-to-eye is not something new, however it is interesting to consider whether the renowned museum would still have its status if it were as Wright had originally envisioned: a polygonal structure, partly in blue or perhaps a red-marble structure with long-slim pottery red bricks.

More about the Guggenheim after the break.

Polish Pavilion / WWA Architects

00:19 - 2 July, 2009

WWA Architects have created a conceptual design for Shanghai Expo 2010. With the exhibition housing pavilions from countries all over the world, each pavilion must provide a strong aesthetic message to attract visitors and then provide insight to the country. WWA’s pavilion creates a distinct stylistic motif taken from the folk-art paper cut-out to create a “memorable cultural ideogram”. The intention was for “the structure décor to draw on and make reference to tradition, but ultimately to be that tradition’s contemporary reinterpretation, a creative extension into the present day by way of inspiration rather than replication,” explained the architects.

More images and more about the pavilion after the break.

Musée Hergé / Christian de Portzamparc

12:00 - 1 July, 2009

After two years of construction, the Musée Hergé designed by Christian de Portzamparc is complete. Situated in a forest and connected by a footbridge to Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, the museum is dedicated to Belgian artist and Tintin author Hergé. The museum highlights Hergé’s life and works through cultural facilities, permanent and temporary exhibition areas, and a video projection room.

Images and more about the museum after the break.

Building collapse in Shanghai

13:49 - 30 June, 2009

Typical cases of structure damage show portions of or whole buildings collapsing, but this is the first time that I see a building perfectly toppled.

The 13-story building is part of the Lotus Riverside complex in suburban Shanghai. The cause of this epic structural fail is under investigation, but first sources claim that an error on construction and unstable soil conditions are the probable causes.

More images after the break.


12:36 - 29 June, 2009

HOK‘s Los Angeles office, with Parsons Brinckerhoff, was just announced the winner for the ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center) in Anaheim, California. This new transit center, featuring a high-speed rail network, will update Anaheim’s public transportation system and ignite further development in the city. “We’re getting the critical infrastructure in place where you can actually envision a day in the future where you can reliably get around without a car,” added Todd Osborne, vice-president at HOK.

More about the ARTIC transit center after the break.

Casa en Culebra / RSVP Architects

21:00 - 26 June, 2009

Located between Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, the Island of Culebra is a popular vacation area thanks to its beautiful beaches and perfect weather. RSVP Architects have designed a simple vacation home which can provide for a variety of activities while occupied by its summer users.

More about the home and more images after the break.

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