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Featured: The Latest Architecture and News

National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan / BIG

BIG was recently awarded with the first prize on an open international design competition for Kazakhstan’s new National Library in Astana.

The new building has an area of  33.000 sqm, arranged as a continuous circulation on a Möbius Strip, as the result of 2 interlocking structures: the perfect circle and the public spiral. The sections (see below) clearly show how the horizontal program shifts to a vertical configuration,  combining vertical hierarchy, horizontal connectivity and diagonal view lines. The skin, which changes from wall to roof as the strip develops. It sounds a bit complicated, but the sections and diagrams explain this pretty well, and you can get the idea on how the spaces and diagonal views relate on the renderings. In short words, a clear lineal organization (ideal for an archive, library) is mixed with an infinite loop.

“What is a library but an efficient archive of books… and a path for the public to reach them” (Thomas Christoffersen, Project Leader)

This shape also looks forward to become a symbol for the nation: “the circle, the rotunda, the arch and the yurt are merged into the form of a Moebius strip. The clarity of the circle, the courtyard of the rotunda, the gateway of the arch and the soft silhouette of the yurt are combined to create a new national monument appearing local and universal, contemporary and timeless, unique and archetypal at the same time” (Bjarke Ingels).

But once again, BIG diagram´s are way better to explain this than my words. See the diagrams, sections and renderings after the break:

AD Interviews: Kieran Timberlake

Stewart Middle School, Sidwell Friends School © Halkin Photography LLC
Stewart Middle School, Sidwell Friends School © Halkin Photography LLC

Interview conducted, condensed + edited by Sarah Wesseler

What do research and development mean in today’s design field? To learn more about architectural R&D, I turned to KieranTimberlake, a Philadelphia-based firm that has earned wide acclaim for its innovative work in arenas such as prefabrication and sustainable design. Partner Stephen Kieran and research director Billie Faircloth spoke with me about the history and practice of the firm’s in-house research team.

South Africa World Cup 2010: Soccer City Stadium

© Boogertman Urban Edge and Partners in partnership with Populous
© Boogertman Urban Edge and Partners in partnership with Populous

The 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa is less than one year away. Being perhaps the most important international competition in sports in the world, we would like to start featuring some of the stadiums that will host this magnificient competition.

Soccer City Stadium is located in Johannesburg and it was originally built in 1987. Among other important events, it hosted the first massive speech from Nelson Mandela after his liberation in 1990. However, it was completely renewed for the upcoming World Cup, becoming the stadium where the starting and the final game will be played.

Designed by Boogertman Urban Edge and Partners in partnership with Populous, it will allow for 94,000 spectators to enjoy the best soccer in the world. The design of the stadium was selected from a series of concept designs ranging from acknowledgement of Johannesburg’s disappearing mine dumps; the kgotla (defined by the tree) of the African city state; the African map as a horizontal representation, which included the roof as a desert plane supported on tropical trees set within the mineral wealth of Southern Africa; to a representation of the protea, South Africa’s national flower.

The calabash, or African pot, was selected as being the most recognizable object to represent what would automatically be associated with the African continent and not any other. The calabash, or ‘melting pot of African cultures’, sits on a raised podium, on top of which is located a ‘pit of fire’. Thus the pot sits in a depression, which is the ‘pit of fire’, as if it were being naturally fired.

More images after the break.

Four Towers in One Competition / Morphosis

Morphosis just shared with us their proposal for the Four Towers in One Competition. The competition (which Steven Holl Architects ultimately won) asked participants to design an office tower complex for the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange Headquarters in the Futian commercial business district. The area was in need of a unified urban plan that would include the Headquarters for the new office towers of Shenzhen Media Group, China Construction Bank, China Insurance Group, and Southern & Bosera Funds. For Morphosis’ proposal, rather than creating various disconnected vertical skyscrapers, the project aims to create one “cohesive, interwoven district.” By conceiving the sites as 3-dimensional envelopes rather than flat 2-dimensional footprints, the buildings can be interwoven to “facilitate a network of interlocking forms reminiscent of the venerated Chinese puzzle.”

More images and further project description after the break.

Chaoyangmen SOHO / Zaha Hadid Architects

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.

Glass Balcony at Sears Tower

Our friends from Design Crave shared with us these amazing photos of the recently opened public glass balconies for public viewing. The 1.5″ thick glass floor (which resists up to 5 tons) offers amazing views over Chicago, from 1,353 feet in the air.

As you can see on a picture after the break, the balcony cantilevers from the main structure.

More images after the break.

Soe Ker Tie House / TYIN Tegnestue

Architects: TYIN Tegnestue Location: Noh Bo, Tak, Thailand Project team: Pasi Aalto, Andreas Grøntvedt Gjertsen, Yashar Hanstad, Magnus Henriksen, Line Ramstad, Erlend Bauck Sole Client: Ole Jørgen Edna Program: 6 sleeping units Budget: 68.000 NOK (Approx. 10.000 USD) Project year: November 2008 – February 2009 Photographs: Pasi Aalto

Soe Ker Tie House / TYIN Tegnestue Soe Ker Tie House / TYIN Tegnestue Soe Ker Tie House / TYIN Tegnestue Soe Ker Tie House / TYIN Tegnestue + 25

TYIN tegnestue is a non-profit organization working humanitarian through architecture. TYIN is run by five architect students from NTNU and the projects are financed by more than 60 Norwegian companies, as well as private contributions.

Through the course of the last year TYIN has worked with planning and constructing small scale projects in Thailand. We aim to build strategic projects that can improve the lives for people in difficult situations. Through extensive collaboration with locals, and mutual learning, we hope that our projects can have an impact beyond the physical structures.

YAMoPo 2009: Yet Another Most Popular Architecture Sites Ranking

It’s been a year and a couple of months since we first started ArchDaily.

With the one mission of “broadcasting architecture worldwide” we have already published 1,200 architecture related posts and our readers have engaged with more than 12,000 comments in architecture related discussions.

Architecture is the most frequent word we use. We are architects and we love architecture. With this in mind, we have again decided to search and rank the best sites devoted to architecture only. This is not an easy job and of course it can be considered a subjective topic (as it is with every ranking). In order to reduce subjective observations, this year we have decided to consider only a recognized third party ranking system: alexa.com.

Based in our extensive architecture and Internet experience complemented with previous feedback from our readers, we came out with a list of 20 English written sites devoted to architecture only and ranked them according to alexa.com. Alexa ranks with a number 1 the most popular website in the world, which is now google.com.

The New York High Line officially open

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Photos Iwan Baan

In May 2003, James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro competed against 720 teams from 36 countries to win the infrastructure conversion project of the New York City High Line. More than half a decade later, the High Line’s transition to a public park is almost complete. On June 8th, architects, elected officials, and advocates watched as Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ceremonial red ribbon, officially announcing the opening of the first of three sections. The new park offers an alluring break from the chaotic city streets as users have an opportunity to experience an elevated space with uninterrupted views of the Hudson River and the city skyline.

More info about the park, including an incredible set of photos by architecture photographer Iwan Baan and a video by Brooklyn Foundry after the break.

UPDATE: We corrected some credits of this project. You can see the full list here.

Jönköping-Västra Kajen / Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter

Our friends from Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter sent us their latest project, a first prize in an invited housing competition in Sweden.

You can see some more images and drawings after the break.

Moodwall / Studio Klink and Urban Alliance

Media architecture collective Urban Alliance has recently finished the Moodwall: a 24 meter long interactive light installation in Amsterdam.

Al Rostamini Headquarters / MAD

Architects: MAD Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates Director in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun Site Area: 4,392 sqm Constructed Area: 50,000 sqm Program: Office Headquarters Client: Al Rostamini Group Ltd Images: MAD

New Tamayo Museum / Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG

Architects: Rojkind Arquitectos + BIG Location: Mexico City, Mexico Client: Patronato Tamayo Constructed Area: 3,500 sqm BIG Architects Partners in Charge: Bjarke Ingels & Andreas Klok Pedersen Project Team: Pauline Lavie, Maxime Enrico, Pål Arnulf Trodahl Rojkind Arquitectos Partner in Charge: Michel Rojkind Project Team: Agustín Pereyra, Monica Orozco, Ma. Fernanda Gómez, Tere Levy, Isaac Smeke, Juan José Barrios, Roberto Gil Will, Beatriz Díaz, Joe Tarr Structural Engineer: Romo y asociados Landscape Design: Entorno taller de paisaje Graphic Design: Ernesto Moncada Images: Glessner Group – Germán Glessner

New Tamayo Museum / Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG New Tamayo Museum / Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG New Tamayo Museum / Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG New Tamayo Museum / Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG + 26

Sports Park Stozice / SADAR + VUGA, with KSS + MYSI + OFIS

Architects: Sadar Vuga Arhitekti (lead architect); KSS, London (consultant in sports architecture); MYSI, Tel Aviv (shopping centre concept); OFIS arhitekti, Ljubljana (architect shopping centre) Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia Landscape Architects: AKKA, Ljubljana Construction Engineering: Gradis; Atelier One, London Mechanical Engineering: Lenassi; Jelen & Zaveršnik Electrical Engineering: Elprojekt; UTRIS Fire Engineering: EKOsystem Client: Ljubljana City Municipality, Grep Project year: 2007 Site Area: 182,000 sqm Constructed Area: 460,720 sqm Photographs: Sadar Vuga

Villa Panorama / Sponge Architects

Dutch practice, Sponge Architects sent us their latest residencial project: Villa Panorama, where you can “enjoy the country life in a home where your dream landscape reveals itself before your own eyes”, as they say.

See some more images and drawings after the break.

AIA Convention 2009

The AIA Convention 2009 starts this Thursday (Apr 30th)! It´s going to be 3 days of workshops, seminars, tours… and a good opportunity to meet and connect with other architects. And ArchDaily will be there, covering the highlights of the event. So if you are attending, please let us know in the comments!

This years theme “The Power of Diversity: Practice in a Complex World” addresses new forms of practicing the profession we are facing now in the global crisis/world.

There are several continuing education seminars aimed to keep you up to date with the latest green standards, how to start and grow your own practice, how to manage your team, and several more topics covering economy and emerging practices. Check full list here. If you can´t attend, you can follow the Virtual Convention.

There´s also a big expo area, with 5 pavilions showcasing the latest architectural products.

The list of speakers include:

Højblokka_PULS / MAPT + DARK

Architect: MAPT + DARK Architects Location: Oslo, Norway Program: Highrise with Shopping, Wellness and Office Facilities Project year: 2009 Images: MAPT

Højblokka_PULS / MAPT + DARK Højblokka_PULS / MAPT + DARK Højblokka_PULS / MAPT + DARK Højblokka_PULS / MAPT + DARK + 13

Punta Umbria Pavillion / MRDP Arquitectos

In late 2008 the City of Punta Umbria, located on the coast of Huelva, Spain, organized a Competition for a Congress, Exhibition and Fairs building. MRDP Arquitectos sent us the winning entry.

The results:

1st Prize: FARO; MRDP Arquitectos | María Romero y Daniel Pérez 2nd Prize: CÓNCAVO-CONVEXO; Joaquín Aramburu y Asociados 3rd Prize: BI.VALVO; JOSÉ ÁLVAREZ CHECA

Punta Umbria Pavillion / MRDP Arquitectos Punta Umbria Pavillion / MRDP Arquitectos Punta Umbria Pavillion / MRDP Arquitectos Punta Umbria Pavillion / MRDP Arquitectos + 18