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Renzo Piano: The Latest Architecture and News

The Shard: London's Tallest Tower / Renzo Piano

We just featured an article about London’s construction frenzy, which includes over half a dozen skyscrapers for the city. This new era will completely alter the city’s skyline as tall buildings will be sprouting everywhere to house new office, commercial, and residential activities. Of these new structures, Renzo Piano’s 310 meter high mix-used tower, The Shard (be sure to check out our coverage of the tower), will not only become London’s tallest tower, but also the tallest building in all of Western Europe. Of all of London’s new developments, we are excited to see this dynamic tower’s impact on the city and its relationship with London’s context and future neighboring skyscrapers.

We have new images to share from Renzo Piano Building Workshop and more video clips of the construction progress after the break.

Satellite Whitney Museum / Renzo Piano

In his article about Renzo Piano’s revised vision for the Whitney, Nicolai Ouroussoff explains that the neighborhood’s criticism and the museum board’s indecisiveness have continually provided stumbling blocks for the museum during its attempts to expand. Upon agreeing to realize Piano’s design for a satellite museum in the Meatpacking district, hope were high that finally, after 25 years, the museum would complete its much needed expansion.

Yet, it seems that Piano is in the midst of a new struggle resulting from the global economic downturn. While construction costs have dropped, allowing the cost of the project to slide under $200 million (persuading the board to commit to breaking ground), the museum is still struggling to contain costs and begin building before prices rise.

Volcano Buono / RPBW

Resting on the outskirts of Naples, Renzo Piano latest Volcano Buono is a mixed use center that aims to become integrated into the landscape, rather than just occupying it. The central piazza of the Volcano includes a 150 meter-wide space that holds an outdoor theater and market, while a series of concentric rings form the center’s commercial areas. Piano explained that the Volcano is “a contemporary take on a Greek marketplace, a void as a place for events, meetings, dialogue and the gathering of people”.

More about the Volcano and more images after the break.

The Shard / Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano‘s latest project, the Shard, has recently moved to the construction phase. The 1,016 ft high skyscraper will be the tallest building in Western Europe and will provide amazing views of London. The mixed use tower, complete with offices, apartments, a hotel and spa, retail areas, restaurants and a 15-storey public viewing gallery, will sit adjacent to London Bridge station as part of a new development called London Bridge Quarter. Replacing the 1970′s Southwark Tower on Bridge Street, the Shard is a welcomed addition to the London skyline, and its central location near major transportation nodes will play a key role in allowing London to expand.

More about the tower after the break.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center by Renzo Piano

The design for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center at the Faliron Delta area in Athens, Greece. The building is being designed by -in my opinion- the master of sustainable architecture: Renzo Piano.

The SNFCC is not an ordinary building, as it will house a very important program: the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera.

This 187,800 sqm project – a private-public endeavor – will have a cost of € $450m, financed entirely by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and once completed in 2015 it will be turned over the Greek State.

There´s only a few images available at the moment, but from the model and sections we can see how the building integrates into the slope of the park, and it´s connected to the sea through a canal parallel to the existing explanade. On this, Piano says: “The Cultural Center’s proximity to water, and the natural warm breezes and light of Athens were particularly inspiring during the design process.  It was immediately clear that we must take advantage of all these elements to ultimately design a zero emissions building that expresses movement and energy”.

The roof consists in a series of interconnected photovoltaic cell panels which will cover the structure’s needs, taking advantage of the pure “green” solar and wind energy, in a similar way to the California Academy of Science.

We´ll keep you posted on the future development of this project. More images -courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop- after the break.