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Skyscrapers: The Latest Architecture and News

Jumeirah Gardens / SOM & Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

UPDATE: We wrongly credited the whole project to AS+GG, but they were only comissioned to design the three main towers, on a master plan designed by SOM Chicago.

It seems no one told Dubai about the financial crisis, as new projects keep being unveiled. This time, our green friends over Inhabitat tipped us on a mega development, owned by Maraas Holding: The Jumeirah Gardens. The master plan for this project was designed by SOM Chicago, and consists of a mixed-use development that incorporates low, medium, and high-density zones for business, residences, retail, leisure, and recreation – a city within a city, with an estimated cost of US$95 billion.

The three main towers were comissioned to Chicago based architects AS+GG (Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill), The most impressive one -and the third tallest tower in the UAE- is 1 Dubai, pictured above. The tri-partite skyscraper will be 3218 ft (981m) tall, and the towers will be connected by a series of glass suspension sky-bridges. This bridges are so big, they even grow palms on them as you can see on the further renderings. At the base of the buildings, grand arched entrances allow boats to travel underneath the building and into a central atrium space. The mixed-use development includes a hotel, residential, commercial retail and entertainment space totaling 800,000-900,000 square meters.

Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower in Dubai / L-A-V-A

LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) unveiled the design of the Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower in Dubai, the first project of a series of branded towers, a new concept by PNYG:COMPANY, a company focused on branding. I´ve heard about branded towers such at the Porsche Towers by OMA, but it´s the first time i hear about a building branded after a Formula 1 champion.

LAVA is a practice formed a year ago by associate architects of the Mercedes Benz Museum and the Watercube, who decided to start their new practice focused on new technologies and innovation.

According to the architects, the design of the 59 storey luxury tower is abstracted from the geometric laws of snowflakes and Formula 1 aerodynamics, in order to obtain an effficient/minimal structure, maximum views and optimal light and air distribution.

Something that took my attention were the first levels of the tower. Since the tower wides on the base, which emerges from the water, the lower level has been reinterpreted as a series of wharf apartments, terraced similar to a cruise ship deck.

56 Leonard Street, New York / Herzog & de Meuron

Yesterday, I was visiting the Skyscraper Museum in New York, and I saw an incredible aerial photo that shows the evolution of downtown Manhattan during the last century, from the water reclamation to the black towers to the new skyline without the twin towers. Undoubtedly, this city changes its shape very often.

And as of now, new residential buildings are bringing new forms to this skyline. First, we have OMA on the 23rd street with its structural facade and cantilevered volume, and now the 56 Leonard Street building by Herzog & de Meuron, which entered the construction phase.

This 57-story residential in the Tribeca area will house 145 residences, each one with its own unique floor plan and private outdoor space. This typology makes the building look like a stack of houses, away from the traditional skyscraper form. I wonder how the concrete structure works on this building, which was done by consultant firm WSP Cantor Seinuk (who also worked on the Freedom Tower).

Burj Dubai, tallest building in the world almost finished

Some love this building, and some hate it. I´m impressed.

The Burj Dubai (set to be the tallest tower in the world, while the tallest structure as of now), is almost finished. Located in Dubai, it´s the centerpise of a mixed-use development that will include 30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 3 ha of parks, 19 residential towers, a man and a 12ha artificial lake.

I decided to Google about the Burj Dubai a little, and i found an interesting interview at Wired with SOM´s structural engineer Bill Baker, telling the story behind the design, the structure and construction. The foundations were overengineered just in case the client wanted to rise the height of the building during construction… which he did!. Now the final height won´t be disclosed until the construction is finished.

For now, enjoy this pictures the air on an helicopter by David Hobcote, seen at Gizmodo:

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.