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.
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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%.
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 HilversumMedia 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.
Australia loomed large in the news this week following the announcement for the continent's tallest tower in Melbourne. The competition, which was won by a joint bid from UNStudio and Cox Architecture, boasted designs from some of the world's best-known firms including MVRDV, OMA, MAD, and BIG.
A prominent shortlist including BIG, OMA, and UNStudio have revealed their visions for Melbourne’s landmark Southbank Precinct overhaul. The $2 billion project will be the largest single-phase project in the history of Victoria, Australia, intended as “a state-of-the-art, mixed-use environment” to be “centered around innovation in architecture and design.”
The six shortlisted schemes include twisting towers, interlocking blocks, and stacked neighborhoods, all focusing on the 6,000-square-meter BMW Southbank site. The designs were revealed at a public symposium on July 27th featuring speakers from the shortlisted firms.
After two years in Berlin, the World Architecture Festival will move their 2018 edition to Amsterdam for three days of talks, design presentations, and award ceremonies featuring cutting-edge contemporary works and some of the most prominent figures in architecture today.
The Berlin AA Visiting School, an arm of Architectural Association School of Architecture, is still accepting registrations for their cutting edge lecture- and seminar series from the 6th till the 17th of August 2018. Participants will learn to adapt their design perspectives from anthropocentric to human-animal co-perspective, design and construct “The Insectarium”, and actively participate in Berlin’s political, ecological, and planning scene through talks and interactive sessions with an amazing roster of speakers ranging from legendary Raoul Bunschoten, Francois Roche, UNStudio, ARUP, Emanuele Coccia and Ricardo de Ostos!
The immersive multisensory experience will enhance the practical applications of helping wildlife
Having previously assembled sets of images featuring the offices of architecture firms in Dubai, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, the Nordic countries, and Barcelona, architectural photographer Marc Goodwin continues the series with an exploration of 17 large and small offices in the Netherlands. Occupying buildings formerly used as offices, banks and old factories, the interior and exterior images capture a glimpse of the lives of these designers and their daily architectural surroundings.
The project will include two major changes to UCD’s Belfield campus, located about 5 km from Dublin’s city center: a major update to the campus’ entry precinct along Stillorgan Road, as well as a new 8,000 square meter Centre for Creative Design, which will house UCD’s design studios.