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“Architecture Happens Because We Believe in a Better Future”: An Interview with Jürgen Mayer H.

09:30 - 23 October, 2018
Museum Garage Miami / Jürgen Mayer. Image © Miguel Guzman
Museum Garage Miami / Jürgen Mayer. Image © Miguel Guzman

Architect Jürgen Mayer H. founded his firm J.MAYER.H in Berlin in 1996. He studied both in Germany (Stuttgart University) and in the US (Cooper Union and Princeton). Back in 2010, Mayer H. told me that while his solid professional education in Germany equipped him with the know-how about the technical and practical aspects of architecture, he still lacked a clear vision about how to develop his own thought and an architectural language.

Years of questioning and experimenting eventually led to the development of his own distinctive voice. Mayer H.’s buildings have brought unique identities to many places around the globe, particularly through his use of data protection patterns that triggered the creation of architecture unlike anything seen before. On my recent visit to his studio in West Berlin we discussed the architect’s identity. When I confronted Mayer H. about what he thinks about his signature style at the times when it is no longer celebrated by the media he said, “This started as my voice and by now it is the contribution of an entire team. There is no intention or strategy, just our own capacity to work with the medium of architecture.”

Court of Justice / Jürgen Mayer. Image © Filip Dujardin Metropol Parasol / Jürgen Mayer. Image © Nikkol Rot for Holcim Rest Stops Gori / Jürgen Mayer . Image © Jesko Malkolm Johnsson-Zahn Sarpi Border Checkpoint / Jürgen Mayer. Image © Jesko Malkolm Johnsson-Zahn + 38

Tonkin Liu Create Innovative Medical Device using their Signature Shell Lace Structure

09:00 - 16 October, 2018
Tonkin Liu Create Innovative Medical Device using their Signature Shell Lace Structure, Courtesy of Tonkin Liu
Courtesy of Tonkin Liu

Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin of London-based Tonkin Liu have developed an innovative medical device for use in patients’ windpipes. The prototype stent is based on the firm’s signature Shell Lace Structure, a “single-surface structural technology designed and developed through a decade of research for architectural and engineering applications.”

The 3D-printed prototype is 500 times smaller than those used by the firm for their architectural applications and was developed in collaboration with Arup and the Natural History Museum.

Courtesy of Tonkin Liu Courtesy of Tonkin Liu Courtesy of Tonkin Liu Courtesy of Tonkin Liu + 10

Designs by Grimshaw and Arup Revealed for the UK's High Speed Rail Stations

11:00 - 9 October, 2018
Designs by Grimshaw and Arup Revealed for the UK's High Speed Rail Stations, © Arup via HS2
© Arup via HS2

New images have been published of Grimshaw and Arup-designed stations for the UK’s ”High Speed 2” railway system. Connecting London to the British Midlands, the mega-infrastructure project will be the UK’s second high-speed rail system, with HS1 already connecting London and the South East to the Channel Tunnel.

The Grimshaw and WSP-designed Curzon Street station in Birmingham will be the first brand new intercity station to be built in Britain since the 1800s, while Interchange Station, designed by Arup, will serve as a gateway station to the West Midlands and Birmingham Airport.

© Grimshaw via HS2 © Grimshaw via HS2 © Grimshaw via HS2 © Arup via HS2 + 6

The Engineering Behind San Francisco's Safest Building

09:30 - 28 July, 2018
The Engineering Behind San Francisco's Safest Building, For 181 Fremont, Arup’s radical move was to do away with plans for a tuned mass damper or a sloshing damper on the skyscraper’s roof—common features in tall towers in the U.S. for reducing the natural sway of buildings. Neither damper style goes very far in protecting a building against seismic force, says Ibbi Almufti of Arup. Image Courtesy of Kevin Chu/KCJP
For 181 Fremont, Arup’s radical move was to do away with plans for a tuned mass damper or a sloshing damper on the skyscraper’s roof—common features in tall towers in the U.S. for reducing the natural sway of buildings. Neither damper style goes very far in protecting a building against seismic force, says Ibbi Almufti of Arup. Image Courtesy of Kevin Chu/KCJP

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Skyscraper's Innovative Structure is Changing the Game for Earthquake Design".

The most remarkable thing about 181 Fremont—San Francisco’s third-tallest tower, designed by Heller Manus Architects—is not the penthouse’s asking price ($42 million). Rather, it’s an innovative yet unglamorous structural detail: a viscous damper system that far exceeds California Code earthquake-performance objectives for buildings of 181 Fremont’s class, allowing immediate reoccupation after a seismic event.

Contemporary Concert Halls Have Become Multi-Functional Catalysts for Urban Change

10:30 - 3 December, 2017
Contemporary Concert Halls Have Become Multi-Functional Catalysts for Urban Change, Left and bottom-right: Harpa Concert Hall, image Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects; top-right: Philharmonie de Paris, image © Danica O Kus
Left and bottom-right: Harpa Concert Hall, image Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects; top-right: Philharmonie de Paris, image © Danica O Kus

In their video series for the November 2017 World Architecture Festival, PLANE—SITE delves into contemporary concert hall design. The five films highlight major themes in today’s musical architecture through an interactive, multimedia panel. Using Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Wroclaw’s National Forum of Music, and the Philharmonie de Paris as examples, the videos show how contemporary concert halls are more technological and multi-functional than ever before, demonstrating how architecture redefines the modern-day musical performance experience.

The series acted as a starting point for a conversation between the WAF audience and panelists, moderated by PLANE—SITE’s Andres Ramirez. Panelists included Michel Cova of dUCKS scéno, Tateo Nakajima of Arup, and Jacob Kurek of Henning Larsen.

First Images of What is Set to Become the Largest Botanic Garden in the World Revealed

08:00 - 21 November, 2017
First Images of What is Set to Become the Largest Botanic Garden in the World Revealed, Exterior view of Northern Habitat Biome. Image via ©Arup/Grimshaw
Exterior view of Northern Habitat Biome. Image via ©Arup/Grimshaw

Bold, innovative and set to become the largest botanic garden in the world, images of Oman’s future light-filled oasis in the desert have been revealed. A collaboration between Arup, Grimshaw, and Haley Sharpe Design delivers the architecture, engineering, landscaping, and interpretive design in a scheme of over 420 hectares for the Oman Botanic Garden.

UNStudio Designs Dubai Supertall with One of the World's Tallest Ceramic Facades

05:00 - 1 November, 2017
UNStudio Designs Dubai Supertall with One of the World's Tallest Ceramic Facades, © Methanoia / Plompmozes
© Methanoia / Plompmozes

UNStudio, working in collaboration with Werner Sobek, have unveiled their designs for the Wasl Tower, a 300-meter tall skyscraper in Dubai. Centrally located along the main thoroughfare that connects the Emirates north to south, the Wasl Tower sits directly opposite the Burj Khalifa and, once completed, will feature one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades. Inspired by the movement of the city, the 300-meter supertall building takes on a "contrapposto" form, responding to the Sheikh Zayed Road along which it is sited.

Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements

08:00 - 29 September, 2017
Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements, © Davidfotografie
© Davidfotografie

Arup's’ research into alternative production techniques and materials has focused on the potential of 3D printing metal in the construction sector. Complex and individually designed steel structural elements can be efficiently produced “resulting in endless possibilities in mass customisation, weight reduction, product integration and more.”

Working with the Anglo-Dutch company 3Dealise, their 3D-printed sand molds are used in the traditional casting process to create sophisticated, unique structural steel nodes as a certified material. Sand printing offers a quick technique that can reuse the materials and allows costs to be kept low.

Smart Everyday Nighttime Design Aims to Use Light as a Means to Build Better Communities

06:00 - 28 September, 2017

Working out of a UNESCO world heritage site in Cartagena, Colombia, Smart Everyday Nighttime Design is a research project that aims to use light as a means to build better communities. The project, spearheaded by Arup’s Lighting team with urban-lighting leader Leni Schwendinger, seeks to address nighttime activation of Getsemaní’s streets and public spaces in a bid to improve safety, stimulate the night time economy and engage with the local communities and events.

This documentary, produced by PLANE—SITE, presents the project’s findings and explains the research process and the resulting prototype. The team had two main ambitions:

Getsemani -a UNESCO world-heritage district in Cartagena (Colombia): Citizen portrait. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE Architect students from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano demonstrate sketch lantern on site. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE The universal lanterns were fabricated byiGuzzini, technical project partner,and then localized by theneighborhoodcommunity. This one has been designed by a workshop attendee to feature the Mariamulata bird, an important symbol of Caribbean identity. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE The workshop participants created localized lantern "sketches" with everyday colors of Cartagena. Image © Dr. Don Slater, Configuring Light Program, LSE + 11

93-Foot-Tall “Tower of Voices” to Commemorate 9/11 Victims with Wind Chime Soundscape

12:15 - 11 September, 2017
93-Foot-Tall “Tower of Voices” to Commemorate 9/11 Victims with Wind Chime Soundscape, Courtesy of Arup
Courtesy of Arup

Sixteen years after the tragic events of 9/11, the final major element of the Flight 93 National Memorial has been revealed.

Located in rural in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the memorial commemorates the 40 passengers who sacrificed their own lives to wrest control away from the hijackers of United Flight 93, preventing the plane from hitting its intended target of the United States Capitol Building.

In 2009, Paul Murdoch Architects, in collaboration with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Arup Engineering, was selected to design the national memorial at the crash site. Employing a reverent masterplan that traced the airplane’s final movements, the architects designed a series of reflective elements as a solemn reminder of the day’s events. All of these elements have since been completed, with the exception of the plan’s most sensory landmark, the 93-foot-tall “Tower of Voices.”

Construction Begins on Project to Transform Railway Hangar into a Mixed-Use Library in The Netherlands

16:35 - 22 May, 2017
Construction Begins on Project to Transform Railway Hangar into a Mixed-Use Library in The Netherlands, © 3d studio Prins & Civic architects
© 3d studio Prins & Civic architects

Construction has begun on the LocHal, a new mixed-use complex in Tillburg, The Netherlands. Designed by CIVIC Architects (a submember of The Cloud Collective) in collobaration with Braaksma & Roos architecten, Arup and Inside Outside, the project will be located in a former Dutch Railways hangar and maintenance facility, serving as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the city’s 75 hectare railway district. Opening up the area to the public, LocHal will offer visitors a large public hall and plaza, work spaces, conference areas, galleries, a library, a music hall and restaurant.

© 3d studio Prins & Civic architects © 3d studio Prins & Civic architects © 3d studio Prins & Civic architects © 3d studio Prins & Civic architects + 14

Doggerel Writing Contest: Undercelebrated Ideas for Cities

18:00 - 20 April, 2017
Doggerel Writing Contest: Undercelebrated Ideas for Cities

Doggerel, the online magazine of Arup in the Americas, is pleased to announce its 2017 Writing Contest! The topic: Describe an undercelebrated idea with great potential to shape better cities. Participation is open to design professionals, journalists, students, and anyone with an interest in the built environment. The grand prize winner will be awarded US$1,000, with up to two runners-up winning US$250 each. Winning submissions will also be published on Doggerel.

Arup Designs Prototype Building Based on Circular Economy Principles

06:00 - 30 March, 2017
Arup Designs Prototype Building Based on Circular Economy Principles, © Simon Kennedy
© Simon Kennedy

In a prototype developed for the 2016 London Design Festival, Arup Associates designed The Circular Building, one of the first buildings in the UK built to satisfy Circular Economy principles, in which “all components need to be implemented and utilized to their full potential and to the duration of their life cycle, while creating a comfortable and aesthetic environment for the user.”

In order to achieve these goals, designers and engineers worked together to refine the application of prefabricated construction techniques, producing details that utilize finely tuned engineering rather than mechanical fixings. Through this methodology, the team was able to create a low-waste, self-supporting, and demountable structurally integrated panel (SIPs) wall system (which used cladding provided by Accoya) with reusable clamp connections between the wall and recycled steel frame elements, as well as sustainably sourced, heat treated timber for the cladding and decking.

Winning Proposal to Define Jurong Lake District as Singapore’s Newest Business Hub

15:00 - 11 February, 2017
Winning Proposal to Define Jurong Lake District as Singapore’s Newest Business Hub, © KCAP, SAA, Arup, S333, Lekker
© KCAP, SAA, Arup, S333, Lekker

The Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has selected KCAP Architects&Planners as the primary consultant to develop Singapore’s Jurong Lake District, leading a varied design team that includes SAA Architects, Arup, S333, and Lekker.

Submitting a dense, commercial mixed-use concept masterplan centered around a new high-speed rail (HSR) terminal in Singapore, the team’s intention was to facilitate the Jurong Lake District’s progress as a ‘district of the future’, as well as creating the country’s second Central Business District. Waterways and a variety of landscaped green spaces were also key components of the proposal, giving the area a striking identity.

© KCAP, SAA, Arup, S333, Lekker © KCAP, SAA, Arup, S333, Lekker © KCAP, SAA, Arup, S333, Lekker © KCAP, SAA, Arup, S333, Lekker + 5

Considering the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow

04:00 - 19 January, 2017
Considering the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow, Courtesy of Aerial Futures
Courtesy of Aerial Futures

Aerial Futures, Grounded Visions: Shaping the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow was a two-day symposium held in October 2016 as part of the European Cultural Center's collateral event at the 2016 Venice Biennale. It encouraged discussion about the future of air travel from the perspectives of architecture, design, technology, culture and user experience. The event featured presentations and discussions by the likes of airport architect Curtis Fentress, Nelly Ben Yahoun, Donald Albrecht, Director of the Museum of the City of New York; Anna Gasco, post-doctoral researcher at the ETH-Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore; Jonathan Ledgard, co-founder of the Droneport Project; and Ashok Raiji, Principal at Arup New York.

Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures Courtesy of Aerial Futures + 4

AL_A Creates Stackable Soccer Pitches for Unused Urban Lots

14:00 - 3 December, 2016
AL_A Creates Stackable Soccer Pitches for Unused Urban Lots , © AL_A
© AL_A

Architectural firm AL_A has unveiled its design for Pitch/Pitch, a series of 5-a-side soccer pitches designed for unused or temporarily vacant lots across London, as well as in other cities internationally.

Created as a response to shortage of sport space in inner cities, the project is meant to be fast and easy to construct, “meaning it could be set up for a fortnight to coincide with a World Cup tournament, or last for a year, bringing use to vacant sites that might otherwise lie dormant.”

After working with Arup, the practice developed a modular system that utilizes a lightweight carbon-fiber structure, a material generally associated with the aerospace industry, but that is emerging architecturally at larger scales.

RB Systems Proposes Cutting-Edge Hyperloop Station

08:00 - 15 November, 2016
RB Systems Proposes Cutting-Edge Hyperloop Station, © RB Systems
© RB Systems

Earlier this year, Hyperloop One announced a list of design partners that included Aecom, Arup, and Bjarke Ingels Group. Now, RB Systems—which was a finalist in the SpaceX Hyperloop One Pod Competition—has released a speculative design vision for a Hyperloop station and passenger pod. The spatial and programmatic concepts are largely experimental, as there are no precedents for this futuristic building typology.

© RB Systems © RB Systems © RB Systems © RB Systems + 32

How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation

09:30 - 1 November, 2016
How New Video-Game-Inspired Tools Are Redefining Post Occupancy Evaluation, A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup
A real-time synthetic environments screen grab of the reception area at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in St Helens, UK. Image Courtesy of Arup

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "A Video Game Is Overtaking Post-Occupancy Evaluation in Architecture."

Evaluating the user performance of a particular building design is obviously a good way for clients and architects to gauge whether their design was successful—or could have been better.

There’s even an entire academic discipline called post-occupancy evaluation (POE) devoted to this concept, and Arup is tapping into it with a network of 22 industry partners using the Building Use Studies (BUS) methodology. Too few designers tap into POE, but with gamified simulations done before projects are built, that could change.