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RMJM: The Latest Architecture and News

Abu Dhabi Architecture City Guide: 50 Years of City Making

Capital city of the United Arab Emirates, the city of Abu Dhabi is located on an island in the Persian Gulf, connected to the mainland by a short bridge. Home to the local and federal government offices, as well as to the President of the UAE, Abu Dhabi was formerly an undeveloped town with only local significance that transformed into a large metropolis, at a record speed of development and urbanization.

Japanese architect Katsuhiko Takahashi created the master plan of the city in 1967, with a target population of 40,000. Encouraged in the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, tall skyscrapers symbolize nowadays its iconic architecture, as well as new developments of Al Maryah Island, and the Sheikh Zayed mosque initiated and constructed under the administration of the late President Sheikh Zayed, a pivotal figure in the development of the contemporary UAE.

RMJM Creates a 180 Meters Tower for the Xiangjiang Gate in Hunan, China

The Hengyang authorities selected RMJM Shanghai to design the Xiangjiang Gate in the province of Hunan in China. Winner of the design competition, the proposal of the architectural bureau integrates “the history and culture of the place with the new master plan for the new city”.

Skyscrapers of 2018: Soaring Beyond the Archetypal Crystal Tower

Skyscrapers of 2018: Soaring Beyond the Archetypal Crystal Tower - Image 12 of 4
© Viktor Sukharukov

Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.

While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work: 

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Europe's Tallest Skyscraper Approaches Completion in St Petersburg

The Lakhta Center, a 400,000-square-meter complex which includes Europe's tallest skyscraper, is approaching completion in St Petersburg. Designed by RMJM (authoring team led by Tony Kettle), the complex provides a new landmark in the northwest of the city—an area on the coastline of the Gulf of Finland which has seen significant development in recent years with the completion of the St Petersburg Stadium, a passenger seaport, and a number of park spaces including the Park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg.

The centerpiece of the development, the 462-meter-tall Lakhta Center Tower, is not only the tallest building in Europe, but also the first supertall skyscraper in St Petersburg, the world's second-tallest twisting skyscraper after the Shanghai Tower, and the world's northernmost skyscraper.

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Shanghai Tower Wins 2015 Emporis Skyscraper Award

Gensler's Shanghai Tower has won the 2015 Emporis Skyscraper Award. Selected from over 300 buildings of over 100 meters in height completed in 2015, the Emporis jury was impressed by the Shanghai Tower's "elegant spiraling cylindrical shape," and the "extraordinary energy efficiency" provided, in part, by the building's double-skin facade.

Currently the world's second tallest building at 632 meters, the Shanghai Tower becomes the second Chinese building to win the Emporis award, after Zaha Hadid Architects' Wangjing SOHO took the prize last year. In addition to Gensler's first-place project, Emporis also recognized 9 runners-up including Rafael Viñoly Architects' 432 Park Avenue, Arquitectonica's Icon Bay in Miami, and the Evolution Tower in Moscow by Kettle Collective and RMJM Edinburgh. Read on to see all ten awarded projects.

International Firm RMJM Celebrates 60 Years

The British firm RMJM, founded in 1956 by Robert Matthew and Stirrat Johnson-Marshall with its first offices in London and Edinburgh, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The international firm has grown considerably in six decades and now boasts offices and design studios in numerous cities – including New York, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Shanghai, Karachi, Dubai, Pretoria, Nairobi, and many more – on five continents.

The firm's early success in the United Kingdom led to international commissions in the Middle East and North Africa, with RMJM anticipating the impending globalism of the architecture profession, its actions allowing it to become "one of the largest and most geographically diverse architecture firms in the world." Read on for a small selection of RMJM's most notable designs, with one example taken from each decade of the firm's illustrious past.

Update: Okhta Center / RMJM

Update: Okhta Center / RMJM - Featured Image
Via Okhta Center

As we reported back in 2009, RMJM‘s proposed Okhta Center was the subject of heated debate as residents of St Peterburg’s wanted nothing to do with the tower which was regarded as a “symbol of political ego.” Yet, as Record shared, the tower is set to move ahead after receiving a construction permit from Glavgosekspertiza, the body in charge of issuing building permits. Towering 403 meters into the skyline, the building will become the highest in Europe and as we’ve seen with Nouvel’s proposal for 53rd Street, Pelli Clarke Pelli’s 15 Penn Plaza and Frank Gehry’s Beekman Tower, adding a big change to the skyline sparks big controversy. In St. Petersburg, approximately 3,000 people gathered to protest the project which is being developed by gas giant Gazprom and is backed by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin. In addition to strong public opposition, BD reported that Russian authorities were reviewing RMJM’s design following a report from Unesco’s World Heritage Committee, which has repeatedly threatened to strip the city of its World Heritage Site status if the tower as originally planned is built. The tower still needs a construction permit from City Hall, which, as Record reported, has backed the project from the start.

More images after the break.

Revolutionary Development for Turkey / RMJM

Revolutionary Development for Turkey / RMJM  - Image 10 of 4

Internationally recognized practice RMJM Architects have recently announced their groundbreaking $1 billon mixed-use complex for the Atasehir district, the growing residential and business area of Istanbul, Turkey. RMJM’s complex will allow the new business center to flourish by serving 20,000 people and providing for a variety of their needs. The project will be revolutionary for Turkey as it will become the country’s first LEED-certified mixed-use development upon its 2011 completion date.

More images and more about the complex after the break.

RMJM designs luxury iconic hotel in Turkish capital

RMJM designs luxury iconic hotel in Turkish capital - Image 1 of 4

International architectural company RMJM has designed, on behalf of developer Őzkar Construction Co., a new luxury hotel that will help “green” the Sogutozu district of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.

Located on a 14,000 square-meter site, the luxurious 24-story J. W. Marriott Hotel devotes the first four floors to spacious ballrooms, meeting facilities, restaurants and shops in a sky-lit galleria, with guest rooms starting on the fifth floor. The plan also includes an underground parking garage.

The hotel, which will be completed on October 2010, will bring innovative sustainable design to Ankara and will include a unique design of vertical stone fins that will act as solar shading devices on the east and west facades. The glass curtain wall uses environmentally friendly materials such as high-performing, low-e coating and tinting that contributes to the reduced solar heat gain. Plentiful bamboo trees and vegetation will be included in the landscape to offer additional shading at the site.

More images after the break.

RMJM designs luxury resort on Vietnam

RMJM designs luxury resort on Vietnam - Featured Image

The resort includes a range of luxury residences and a five-star resort hotel, the 200-room Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa. It is designed to resemble a traditional Vietnamese townscape, with the various buildings arranged in clusters, taking particular inspiration from the historic town of Hue, located just six miles away.

Construction has just started on the beach resort and the planned luxury residences have now been opened for sale. As well as the hotel and spa, the village resort includes 174 luxury condominiums and 27 oceanfront pool villas, covering 50 acres of land stretching along a half-mile of China Beach. The master planning has been designed by RMJM so that each villa and condominium offers maximum views of the scenic Marble Mountain and the South China Sea.

More images after the break.

RMJM design Vista Center, LEED Platinum Office Building

RMJM design Vista Center, LEED Platinum Office Building - Image 2 of 4

Daniel R. Brenna Jr. of Capital Real Estate Group and architects RMJM unveiled the design for Vista Center, a new LEED Platinum office tower in Trenton, which will be the city’s largest commercial development in decades.

Vista Center is a 25-story, 700,000-square-foot Class A office building planned directly adjacent to the Trenton Transit Center, the second busiest train station on New Jersey’s Northeast Corridor, which runs from Boston to Washington. The transit-oriented development will include 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail, a parking garage for more than 1,140 cars and two public art components – a plaza with a signature sculpture and lobby with a video art installation.

The project is targeting a LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council – the highest sustainability rating offered – which would make it the first Platinum office tower located directly at a Northeast Corridor Hub.

Images after the break.