Architect Jacques Rougerie -an expert when it comes to space and underwater structures- has designed the soon-to-be first underwater museum. It will be located off the coast of Egypt, near the new Library of Alexandria, where Cleopatra once had a palace on an island in one of the largest human-made bays in the world back in the day, submerged by earthquakes in the 4th century.
The ruins were discovered years ago, and include several sphinxes, statues, roman and greek shipwrecks and pieces believed to be from the Pharos of Alexandria lighthouse (one of the seven ancient wonders of the world).
This ruins haven’t been moved, since it would be a tremendous effort that could damage the ruins in the process. Also, it follows the 2001 UNESCO convention for the preservation of underwater heritage.
With that in mind, the museum is designed as both inland and submarine. The building will have four tall structures shaped like the sails of fellucas, the traditional sailboats used in the Nile. From the inland building, underwater fiberglass tunnels will take visitors to structures where they can view antiquities still lying on the seabed.
eVolo Architecture was created by a group of international architects in New York as a forum of discussion of new ideas. One of their strategies have been architectural competitions, held since 2005.
For the last 3 years (2006-2008) the competition has been inviting architects around the world to explore the future of skyscrapers. The 2009 Skyscaper Competition looks to continue exploring new ideas and concepts for vertical density. And to really give you the freedom to explore this kind of project, there´s no restriction on site, height and shape. But always being technically feasible, enviromentally responsible, aware of its urban context and define new programmes for a vertical structure.
With that freedom, contestants can focus on on pushing the concept of skyscrapers beyond the concept we are used to.
The competition is opened to students, architects, engineers and designers. Registration deadline is on January 12, and submission deadline on January 19, 2009.
LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) unveiled the design of the Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower in Dubai, the first project of a series of branded towers, a new concept by PNYG:COMPANY, a company focused on branding. I´ve heard about branded towers such at the Porsche Towers by OMA, but it´s the first time i hear about a building branded after a Formula 1 champion.
LAVA is a practice formed a year ago by associate architects of the Mercedes Benz Museum and the Watercube, who decided to start their new practice focused on new technologies and innovation.
According to the architects, the design of the 59 storey luxury tower is abstracted from the geometric laws of snowflakes and Formula 1 aerodynamics, in order to obtain an effficient/minimal structure, maximum views and optimal light and air distribution.
Something that took my attention were the first levels of the tower. Since the tower wides on the base, which emerges from the water, the lower level has been reinterpreted as a series of wharf apartments, terraced similar to a cruise ship deck.
Fernando Herrera shared with us some very interesting photos of the California Academy of Science (previously posted with the official photos). First, a series of pictures from the opening day on which you can see the building with people on it, and get a better idea on the scale and how it works. He even caught Renzo Piano admiring his own work!
Also, he sent us a series of pictures of the green roof during construction, on which you can see more details such as the irrigation system and the skylights.
Enjoy the gallery! I also recommend checking out Fernando´s Flickr page, he has photographed an interesting selection of contemporary buildings in the US and Europe.
Sketchup is, by far, the easiest tool for modeling. Google acquired this software in order to crowd-source the 3D modeling of the earth, since anyone can use it to model their house, school or favourite building. But being simple and fast doesn’t mean it lacks on features.
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.
In my opinion Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG, is one of the best architects when it comes to give shape to the interests of an “unspoken” client on public buildings,either representing the values of a country or a culture. All with exceptional syntax and presentation skills.
And BIG‘s latest project (in collaboration with Arup and 2+1), the Danish Pavilion for the Shanghai 2010 Expo, does it again, by taking the best of living in Copenhagen and placing it on China for visitors to experience.
Basically, the pavilion is a big loop on which visitors ride around on one of the 1,500 bikes available at the entrance, a chance to experience the Danish urban way. At the center of the pavilion there’s a big pool with fresh water from Copenhagen’s harbor, on which visitors can even swim.
Yesterday, I was visiting the Skyscraper Museum in New York, and I saw an incredible aerial photo that shows the evolution of downtown Manhattan during the last century, from the water reclamation to the black towers to the new skyline without the twin towers. Undoubtedly, this city changes its shape very often.
And as of now, new residential buildings are bringing new forms to this skyline. First, we have OMA on the 23rd street with its structural facade and cantilevered volume, and now the 56 Leonard Street building by Herzog & de Meuron, which entered the construction phase.
This 57-story residential in the Tribeca area will house 145 residences, each one with its own unique floor plan and private outdoor space. This typology makes the building look like a stack of houses, away from the traditional skyscraper form. I wonder how the concrete structure works on this building, which was done by consultant firm WSP Cantor Seinuk (who also worked on the Freedom Tower).
This is funny: While browsing architecture offices websites in look for new works to publish in ArchDaily for our beloved readers, I found this project. I bookmarked it to contact the architects the next day, and when I woke up I had an email from Kristin Jarmund Architects offering us this project for publishing.
Well, enough of this, lets go to the project description.
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.
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”.
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
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.
¿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.
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.
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“.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.