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Norman Foster: The Latest Architecture and News

Foster and Partners 5-star Hotel in the UK gets approval

image © Foster + Partners
image © Foster + Partners

One of the latest projects by Foster and Partners, a 5-star hotel and conference center near the Heathrow airport in the UK, just got the city Mayor´s approval.

The project, developed by Riva Properties, has 60,000sqm aprox distributed among 13 stories. Some of these are sunken, resulting on an exterior height of only 25m.

The rooms are contained within six pavilions above the ground, linked by bridges and wrapped in a unifying glass envelope, which not only acts as a barrier to aircraft noise but also to flood the public spaces with daylight, contributing to a highly efficient energy strategy.

The entrance lobby has a floating glass deck with views down to the sunken restaurant level, shallow pool and waterfall. This restaurant floor is accessed via a timber walkway and incorporates a business centre, as well as a variety of venues to eat and drink. The double-height conference facilities, which have their own reception to allow separate access from street-level, encircle a top-lit atrium that brings natural light deep into the building and down to the lower levels.

More images after the break.

Finalists for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Foster + Partners and URS
Foster + Partners and URS

The Smithsonian Institute has announced the finalists for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. The museum will be located at the end of the Washington Mall, being the latest addition to this location. The design concepts will be on show at the castle building until April 6. The, a jury will select a winner. The museum will open in 2015, at a cost of 500 million dollars.

Finalists are: Foster + Partners and URS Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with Klingstubbins The Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates and Davis Brody Bond Devrouax & Purnell and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Moody Nolan in association with Antoine Predock Architects Moshe Safdie and Associates in association with Sulton Campbell Britt & Associates

Seen at designboom. More images after the break.

Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas by Foster and Partners gets cut (and not due to the crisis)

And we just saw the news that the project got “cut”, but in a literal way. It wasn´t because of the economical crisis, but actually due to construction flaws: 15 floors of wrongly installed rebar. This forced the developer to cut down the height -removing the condos portion of the building- resulting on a 28 stories tall building, instead of 49 as planned.

Winner announced for the Tour La Signal at La Defense, Paris: Ateliers Jean Nouvel

The La Defense is a 160 ha business district in the west of Paris, currently under a renewal plan to strengthen its place among the great international business districts. The plan is managed by the EPAD (The Public Establishment for Installation of La Défense), an organization formed by local authorities, government and neighbors focused on developing the La Defense for the best interests of its 20.000 residents and 150.000 inhabitants in floating population.

The renewal includes several high rise sustainable towers. One of this towers, the Tour Signal, entered an international closed competition for teams of architects/investors/developers, on which EPAD didn’t impose a site. The candidates were thus able to choose their sites either from among the entrances to the business district (South Gate and West Gate), either from sites subject to demolition operations. The Tour Signal will thus endow the business district with a new landmark in 2013.

The finalists for this project were Jacques Ferrier Architectures, Foster + Partners Ltd, Studio Libeskind Architect, Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Wilmotte et Associes SA.

And a few days ago, the winner was announced: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, project shown on the video above.

More pictures of the Jean Nouvel proposal, and the rest of the candidates/finalists after the jump.

Willis Headquarters at Lime Street / Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners just informed us that the new Willis headquarters at Lime Street in London is complete. As usual, the firm lead by Sir Norman Foster developed a urban piece that integrates with the city at street level and features environmental strategies to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint.

This two buildings are developed as a series of overlapping curved shells while its section is arranged in three steps. The roof terraces overlooking the plaza on the lower two steps are directly accessible from the office spaces. Both buildings have a central core to provide open floor plates and maximum flexibility in use.

The entire development is visually unified by its highly reflective façade. The pressed form of the panels and their mica finish give them depth and texture. A dynamic effect is established through the interplay of solid and glazed panels arranged in a saw-tooth pattern, the fins also increase insulation while reducing glare and solar gain.

Together with the highly efficient services equipment and systems in the building, the façade design is integral to the energy strategy, which is rated BREEAM Excellent. What surprised me is the parking capacity: 42 Cars, 88 motorcycles, 264 bicycles

According to Sir Norman Foster this building has come out of a very different design process, yet continues the practice’s commitment to developing humane, flexible and dynamic workplaces that are both informed by, and woven into, the urban fabric. Foster has some very interesting approaches when it comes to sustainable design and urban spaces. I recommend checking his presentation at DLD we posted last week.