Founded in 1972, Morphosis is an interdisciplinary practice involved in rigorous design and research that yields innovative, iconic buildings and urban environments. With founder Thom Mayne serving as design director, the firm today consists of a group of more than 50 professionals, who remain committed to the practice of architecture as a collaborative enterprise. With projects worldwide, the firm’s work ranges in scale from residential, institutional, and civic buildings to large urban planning projects. Named after the Greek term, morphosis, meaning to form or be in formation, Morphosis is a dynamic and evolving practice that responds to the shifting and advancing social, cultural, political and technological conditions of modern life. Over the past 30 years, Morphosis has received 25 Progressive Architecture awards, over 100 American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, and numerous other honors.
Morphosis has released details of their competition-winning masterplan for Unicorn Island in Chengdu, China. One of four entrants to be successful, including the OMA scheme we covered yesterday, Morphosis were recognized for their “walkable park city interweaving business resources, green infrastructure, and lifestyle” to offer the optimum conditions for both large and small companies to thrive in the Chinese development zone.
As the Chinese economy transitions from a production-based system to one driven by services, the Unicorn island masterplan is an initiative commissioned by the Chengdu government to offer state-of-the-art resources and networks for both start-up firms and so-called “Unicorn” companies, those with a value of over one billion US dollars.
With construction nearing completion ahead of its September opening date, the first building at the new Cornell Tech campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island has been dubbed “one of the most environmentally-friendly buildings in the world” by the university, as they revealed their aspirations for the building to reach Net Zero and LEED Platinum status.
Designed by Morphosis, The Bloomberg Center (named for Emma and Georgina Bloomberg, daughters of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg) will employ a range of strategies including solar power; geothermal ground source heat pumps; a dynamic energy-efficient facade which balances transparency and opaqueness to maximize building insulation; and an array of smart building technologies that monitor lighting and plug load use, among other metrics.
Four top architects – Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and Peter Zumthor – have been tapped to contribute designs for the new “House of Architects” at the 7132 Hotel in ValsSwitzerland. The latest addition to the hotel, The House of Architects features a lobby and entrance also designed by Morphosis Architects, and 7 room designs centered around a single material.
Morphosis Architects has revealed their designs for a new headquarters for manufacturing corporation The Kolon Group to be located in in emerging Magok district of Seoul, South Korea. Part of a revitalization effort fostered by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to turn the area into a new “industrial ecosystem,” the four-acre project will sit adjacent to Magok’s central park, becoming the district’s first major completed building.
The project aims to extend and reinvigorate the campus core along McCaul Street in downtown Toronto and will include approximately 55,000 square feet of new construction, in addition to the renovation of 95,000 square feet of existing campus space.
Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne has completed a three-semester–long study of Houston’s future, given its current sprawling urban conditions and rapid growth. The project, conducted alongside 21 University of Houston students and faculty members Matt Johnson, Peter Zweig, and Jason Logan, focused on ways of addressing the problems that arise from Houston’s historical lack of zoning in conjunction with the largely unregulated growth of industry and capitalism. These approaches include reinventing the current energy infrastructure, changing real estate and density, and leveraging the lack of zoning to generate new ideas.
Hainan Airlines Group has announced an international competition between 10 top architecture firms to design the master plan and central buildings of the South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, an island located in Haikou Bay, on the island of Hainan, China. Featuring teams from China, Europe and the United States, the competition calls for the creation of an 250 hectare eco-tourism hub, which will contain housing, hotels, tourist attractions and a port with capacity for two large cruise ships.
SCI-Arc’s “Close-up” exhibition is currently on display at the SCI-Arc gallery, featuring architectural details designed with the use of digital technology by top architects in the field. The exhibit, curated by Hernan Diaz Alonso and David Ruy, seeks to explore the impact of new computational tools not only on large-scale building analysis, but also on the “traditions of tectonic expression” associated with architectural detail.
“Out of the many critical shifts that the discipline has gone through in the last 25 years with the explosion of new technologies and digital means of production, the notion of the construction detail has been largely overlooked,” Diaz Alonso said. “This show attempts to shed light on the subject of tectonic details by employing a fluid and dynamic movement of zooming in and zooming out in the totality of the design.”
But what truly sets this video apart is how it highlights the many murals spread throughout the city. Often utilizing otherwise blank facades facing parking lots and alleys, these murals are nonetheless an integral part of LA’s urban fabric, as illustrated in this video. Sadly though, as Wood notes on the video description, there were many more murals that vanished before he was able to get them on video.
Four teams have been chosen to move on to the second stage of the Pershing Square Renew competition. Aiming to transform downtown Los Angeles' oldest park, the finalists will now refine their schematic proposals in preparation of a second review in March 2016. The winning scheme will potentially be the five-acre park's sixth iteration, replacing Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and landscape architect Laurie Olincurrent design that first opened in 1994.
The four teams and their preliminary ideas, include:
Mophosis Architects have just released their design for the Casablanca Finance City tower in Morocco. The building's iconic crown, coupled with the way the building interacts with ground-level public space, creates an "inverted double-crown" that will serve as social symbol and meeting place. Following the model set in Paris' La Defense district, the project will anchor a new business district (Casablanca Finance City) and embody "Morocco’s vision for the future and setting precedents in building performance, scale, and style for a city that does not yet exist." Slated for completion in 2017, the 226,042 sq. ft building broke ground in December of 2014.
Read on to learn more about Morphosis' brise-soleil-wrapped tower.