Follow along during the twelfth edition of the World Architecture Festival through ArchDaily's Live Stream. As the world’s biggest architectural awards program, WAF brings together more than 2,000 architects and designers to Amsterdam for three days of conference programs, awards, and exhibition events from December 4-6. Tune in to our Facebook live streams for a selection of lectures.
Un Studio: The Latest Architecture and News
For most of the history of architecture, interesting facades were achieved through materiality or ornamentation. From the elaborately painted friezes of the Parthenon to the glass exteriors of modern skyscrapers, architecture was primarily static, only ‘changing’ as the environment would change and affect the material of the façade in differing ways, be it rain, light, rust, etc.
UNStudio has won the competition to design the new Business School for the Creative Industries at UCA Epsom in the UK. Selected from shortlisted teams including Wilkinson Eyre, Haworth Tompkins, Hall McKnight and Tate Harmer, the project is modeled on the concept of ‘Salons’ as theaters of conversation and exchange. The business school is designed to encourage interaction and collaboration throughout the campus and to blur the hierarchical boundary between faculty and students.
Before social media took over, buildings were published on magazines, edited and refined according to their architects’ preferences. Nowadays, magazines are left on the sidelines for a much more influential platform, one that is not totally controlled by the architects. Digital communication has changed the way people view and interact with architecture, providing architects with new insights on how to design their structures.
PLANE—SITE, a global production agency involved in the world of urban, cultural, and social spaces, have put together a short video that examines the impact of social media on architecture firms. Building Images provides insights from OMA/AMO and UNStudio, two firms with different approaches to social media, who explain how social platforms have helped them see their projects in unprecedented ways.
A Close Look at UNStudio’s Dynamic Lines Shaping a New District in Hangzhou in a Video by #donotsettle
10 Years in the Making
When Raffles City was completed in the second half of 2017, it undoubtedly marked an important moment for UNStudio. This large-scale project (almost 400 000 sqm) formed the first presence of UNStudio in the ‘Middle Kingdom’. And they entered the large market with a bang. The 2 towers rise to 250 meters in height, gently weave, twist and turn to form a dynamic ensemble while incorporating a large-scale mall at its base. The project is located in Hangzhou, a city about 150 km from China’s financial center Shanghai. While Hangzhou isn’t that well known outside China, the city is one of the most prosperous on the mainland. Nowadays perhaps more famous by being the home of technology juggernaut Alibaba than the more idyllic west lake, Hangzhou is rapidly developing with new areas, districts and financial centers. Raffles City is a key point in one of those new districts. Located along the river, Qianjiang New Area is aiming high. Skyscraper after skyscraper rising out of the ground, the one bolder than the other. But no doubt that UNStudio’s dynamic lines shape the new face of Hangzhou.
Dutch design practice UNStudio has created a new urban vision to create the world's smartest neighborhood in the Netherlands. Located in Helmond’s Brandevoort District, the project was imagined as a flexible grid that will be developed per users’ demand. Dubbed the Brainport Smart District, the project explores social cohesion and safety, health, data, new transport technologies and independent energy systems. The BSD is designed to be a living lab that embraces experimentation and ‘learning by doing’.
The increasing use of air conditioning is causing many cities to hit record energy consumption levels during brutally hot summer months. In populous countries like India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico, large urban centers function like ovens: buildings absorb heat that is re-released back into the environment, further increasing the local temperature. More heat outside means more air conditioning inside, which not only raises energy consumption, but also increases the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
With this vicious cycle in mind, a paint was created to protect buildings and urban structures from excessive solar radiation, diminishing the effect of the urban heat island. The innovation came from the partnership of UNStudio, a Dutch architectural firm, and Monopol Color, a Swiss paint specialist. The dark-colored materials that are used to construct the buildings in our cities are one of the main causes of heat accumulation in urban areas. While darker materials absorb up to 95% of the sun’s rays and release them straight back into the atmosphere, this value can be reduced to 25% with a normal white surface. Now, with ‘The Coolest White’, it is possible to reduce absorption and emission to 12%.
Emporis has announced the results of its annual Emporis Skyscraper Award, recognizing the best new supertall buildings completed in the previous year. This year, the top prize was given to the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Baum Architects. The tapered tower, South Korea’s tallest, also houses the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, for architects who can handle the 1820-foot (555-meter) drop.
UNStudio has broken ground on their TBC Forum in Tbilisi, Georgia, exploring a “new open, flexible and interactive approach to financial institutions.” Departing from the traditional closed, introverted typology of historic banking structures, the TBC Forum is founded on the design principles of flexibility, and transparency.
Situated in the natural surroundings of the Lisi Lake resort, the TBC Forum is strategically placed to form a contemporary yet respectful interpretation of the historic highland stone-and-mortar village of Shatili.
UNStudio has released images of their proposed Lyric Theatre complex in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong. Intended as a “celebration of the world of theater,” the mixed-use scheme will house three theaters, rehearsal room, and dining, retail, and entertainment functions.
Designed to be open, inclusive, and welcoming, the compact scheme is comprised of a series of stacked transparent elements making the arts accessible to the general public. Open displays draw visitors inside from a series of reactivated plazas surrounding the scheme, supported by “an additional programme for the public to enjoy that is independent of performance timetable.”
Dutch architectural practice UNStudio have created a new urban vision for the City of the Future, a Central Innovation District (CID) test site in The Hague. Dubbed the "Socio-Technical City", the design covers a 1 square km area in the center of the city. The proposal aims to transform the site into a green, self-sufficient district of housing, offices, urban mobility and public spaces over the existing train track infrastructure.
UNStudio has shared a prototype vision for a hyperloop transfer hub, intended to ultimately connect cities such as Amsterdam and Frankfurt in less than an hour. The project, done in collaboration with Hardt Hyperloop, was announced at a summit in Utrecht dedicated to exploring future transit in Europe.
UNStudio was selected by the Hilversum Municipality and Media Park Enterprise to develop an urban vision which could offer a roadmap for the transformation of Hilversum’s Media Park into a vibrant and leading destination for future media content creation. The urban vision was born out of the need to adapt to new technologies and shifting consumer demands and includes potential programmatic, spatial and infrastructural development models that will fully prepare the Hilversum Media Park for the future.
Rem Koolhaas, Dutch architect and founder of the Rotterdam-based firm OMA, has been announced as the closing keynote speaker at the World Architecture Festival. The event will take place in Amsterdam at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre on from 28-30 November.