Sunday, December 28, 2008

Factor Architecture build a thatched house for the 21st century

Factor Architecture build .
In an open spot in the woods outside of Beekbergen a unique villa has been built. Not visible from the public highway, a conical concrete sculpture with a curved thatched roof rises up between the trees. The design was created in close collaboration with the clients, Mr Anton Schouten and Ms Hannie Kempink.
Factor Architecture build
The interior is visible through the various open places cut into the cone. The basement holds the garage, the spare bedrooms and the bathrooms. Above this, on the next level, are the kitchen and the master bedroom. The main floor is accessible via the dining room, where the living room and entrance hall are situated. Finally, the house features a fantastic swimming pool, housed under a glass roof which can be opened.

Factor Architecture build

Factor Architecture build


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Taubman Museum of Art

Photo: Timothy Hursley

Located on a prominent corner of Roanoke’s downtown, the Taubman Museum of Art creates a gateway to the city for visitors arriving from US I581. As Roanoke’s most contemporary structure, the building is also intended as a metaphorical gateway to the future as Roanoke evolves from an industrial and manufacturing economy to a technology – driven economy.

Photo: Timothy Hursley

The building’s forms and materials evoke the drama of the surrounding mountainous landscape of the Shenandoah Valley – the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Mountains – and the industrial era building culture of the early 20th century railroad boom when Roanoke came to prominence as a switchpoint city.

Photo: Timothy Hursley

The finish on the undulating, stainless steel roof forms reflects the rich variety of color found in the sky and the seasonal landscape. Inspired by mountain streams, translucent glass surfaces emerge from the building’s mass to create canopies of softly diffused light over the public spaces and gallery level. As it rises to support the stainless steel roof, a layered pattern of angular exterior walls is surfaced in shingled patinated zinc to give an earthen and aged quality to the facade.

Photo: Timothy Hursley

Photo: Timothy Hursley

Photo: Timothy Hursley

The building occupies three levels with all functions organized around a central atrium space. The glass atrium allows the lobby to be filled with natural light during the day.
At night, the translucent glass roof surfaces are illuminated, allowing the volume to glow like a beacon and draw visitors and the community to the museum’s activities.

Photo: Timothy Hursley

“Hokie” stone, native to western Virginia, is used in the lobby, store and theatre foyer, adding a familiar, natural texture and color to the interior. The variations of the forms and textures emphasize the striations, clefts and eroded rock surfaces found in the region’s famous caverns, cliffs and river gorges.
Public spaces, including lobby, café, store, auditorium, theater, and education areas, are located on the ground level, along with support areas associated with the loading dock and art receiving.
Permanent collection galleries, temporary exhibition galleries, and art storage are located on the second level.
Illuminated glass treads lead the visitor up the grand staircase to the gallery level. At the landing, a luminous ceiling of cascading, back lit, translucent polycarbonate panels leads the visitor through the central gallery hall to the permanent collection galleries. In the contemporary and American galleries, where it is conducive to the viewing of art, the luminous ceiling extends into the space to diffuse the daylight from clerestory windows and skylights overhead.

Photo: Timothy Hursley

Photo: © Randall Stout Architects, Inc.

Photo: Timothy Hursley

Photo: Timothy Hursley

Photo: Timothy Hursley

The third, and uppermost, floor holds the boardroom, director’s suite, and staff offices. The third floor administration level receives a significant amount of natural light as the undulating roof forms allow multiple opportunities to provide clerestory windows for the office spaces.

Photo: Timothy Hursley

The building contains advanced technology for distance learning to serve the entire region of western Virginia. All gallery and education spaces are wired to link to broadband networks across the state to enhance K-12 and higher education and provide greater access to the visual arts.
The building also features many sustainable design components including day lighting, radiant heating and cooling, thermal conserving envelope, and computerized building management systems.
“After decades of collecting and presenting important art to the public, we now have a building whose design is commensurate with our program. The Taubman Museum of Art will serve as a catalyst for dialogue and creativity, a place for community interaction, a home for artists and craftspeople of the area, and, above all, a platform for lifelong learning.”
Georganne Bingham, Executive director of the Taubman Museum of Art

Drawing courtesy Randall Stout Architects, Inc.
Site Plan

Sketch courtesy Randall Stout Architects, Inc.

Model photo courtesy Randall Stout Architects, Inc.

Rendering courtesy Randall Stout Architects, Inc.

Drawing courtesy Randall Stout Architects, Inc.
Ground Floor Plan

Drawing courtesy Randall Stout Architects, Inc.
Second Floor Plan

Drawing photo courtesy Randall Stout Architects, Inc.
Third Floor Plan

Total area: 81,000 square feet
Completed: 2008


Friday, December 26, 2008

Bicentenary Towers celebrate 200 years of Mexican independence

The 10th International Arquine competition to design two towers to celebrate Mexico’s bicentenary, has been won by Gregorio Vasquez and Manuel Wedeles with their designs for Tezozomoc and Xochimilco. The two mixed-use towers - intended to be completed for the bicentenary celebrations in 2010 – will be set in two strategic areas of Mexico City; the Azcapotzalco Technology Park and the Xochimilco Ecology Park. Each tower will be 83 stories, with around 100,000 metres of floor space, and will include offices, residential apartments, a hotel, and retail areas, separated from one another by a sky garden and connected with vertical voids.

The Serpiente Emplumada Tower (Tezozomoc) is shaped by two ellipses, which intercept each other at their core. These ellipses extrude and twist separately, one slightly and the other dramatically, generating moments where the two shapes intersect and complement one another. The outer shell of Tezozomoc creates an interior vertical void where air can circulate and be cleaned up by various layers of air filters. The Piramide del Sol Tower (Xochimilco) extends geometrically from a square at its base, and is shaped by four extruding squares twisted on their vertical axis, to a rectangular tower at the top, the axis of which marks the direction of the sun. As with Tezozomoc, these twisting volumes generate vertical voids that are used as air ducts where air can be filtered and cleaned, and recycled back into the atmosphere.

Vasquez and Wedeles Architects not only designed the towers to reflect the technological and ecological aims of the competition – with the buildings acting as air filters for their respective parks - but also to represent the history of Mexico itself, with Tezozomoc referencing the ancient Mayan civilisation and Xochimilco representing the Aztecs.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Stanford University Medical Center

Stanford University Medical Center unveils plans for renewal and modernization

Stanford Hospital & Clinics' renewal process was brought about to address state-mandated seismic safety laws, a critical shortage of beds, increasing patient needs, undersized facilities, and the space requirements of new medical technologies and advances in medical care.

Rafael Viñoly Architects are the architects appointed to design the new hospital: a healing environment that will care for the whole person, addressing emotional, social and physical needs following Stanford’s clinical excellence. President and CEO of Stanford Hospital & Clinics Martha Marsh remarked: “Rafael Viñoly has brought creativity and innovation to translating our vision, as well as future flexibility to assure that these exciting facilities will keep pace with rapid advances in medicine and technology.”

The new plans propose a net increase of approximately 441,500 sq ft on the current site. The new facilities will add 104 beds for a total of 361 patient beds on site; new diagnostic and treatment rooms; nursing and support services; clinics and administrative offices.

The new building will benefit from light-filled corridors with views to the foothills and beyond. The design includes a central courtyard and roof gardens that will re-establish the tradition of the Stanford campus by integrating the landscape within the new building, aiming to create an uplifting atmosphere. A sloped courtyard with a prominent water feature organizes public circulation on the lower levels and brings natural light into the centre of each floor. Accessible roof gardens surround a unique public floor that contains family and staff amenities.

During the unveiling ceremony architect Rafael Viñoly said: “We are challenging outdated conventions in hospital design to establish a new architectural identity for Stanford Hospital that will allow it to continue to provide outstanding care for its community as well as innovate and develop treatments that will benefit communities the world over.”

Stanford University Medical Center has submitted a formal application to the City of Palo Alto for the Renewal Project. The City of Palo Alto is conducting the required Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process, which includes multiple opportunities for public comment. Phased construction is scheduled to begin in 2010. The existing hospital will remain operational through construction and the original 1959 and 1973 portions will be demolished after the opening of the new facilities.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Penang Global City Center

Asymptote Architecture
Penang Global City Center
Penang, Malaysia

Sited on Penang Hill the Penang Global City Center (PGCC) is a key component of the 256 acre development site that was formally the Penang Turf Club.

The design is centered on the idea of creating a new and powerful image for the city of Penang and the new initiatives associated with the development of the Northern Corridor of Malaysia.

The complex includes two iconic, sixty-story towers housing luxury residential units and five-star hotels, the Penang Performing Arts Center (PenPAC), a high-end retail and entertainment complex, an observatory, a world-class convention center and a vast public arena in the form of a plinth that serves as an entrance to the PGCC and connects it to the city beyond.
The design of the iconic towers in particular draws inspiration from not only the lushness and drama of the surrounding mountains and seascapes, but also from the rich and diverse cultural heritage that makes up the Malaysian nation and Penang in particular.

The forms of the two towers are comprised of both horizontal and vertical elements. Sculpted horizontal components move across the plinth, rise up and transform into articulated vertical structures.

The vast, cascading plinth, which functions as a public plaza with multiple gathering spaces, are venues for the performing arts center, convention center and various facilities for residential, office and urban life.Set against the backdrop of the nature reserve of Penang Hill, the twisting, glass facades of the towers “perform” various surface effects - reflecting, refracting and distorting views of Penang, the surrounding landscape and the seascape beyond.

The design incorporates the latest in sustainable design and engineering technologies.

Construction start for Phase 1 is scheduled for late 2008.

Total Area: 1.000.000 square meters
Retail Complex: 400,000 square meters
Convention Center: 100,000 square meters
Performing Arts Center (PenPAC): 75,000 square meters
Condominiums: 70,000 square meters
Hotel and Service Apartments: 50,000 square meters
Offices: 25,000 square meters
Observatory: 1,500 square meters
Parking: 190,000 square meters

Developer: Abad Naluri, a subsidiary of Equine Capital
Architects: Asymptote Architecture
Master Plan: Atelier Seraji


University Luigi Bocconi by Grafton Architects


A university faculty building in Milan by Irish practice Grafton Architects has been named World Building of the Year at the inaugural World Architecture Festival, held in Barcelona last week.


Luigi Bocconi University was praised as a “magical subterranean realm” by judges including Robert Stern, Richard Burdett and Cecil Balmond.


Here’s a statement from the World Architecture Festival, followed by some text about the building from Grafton Architects:

Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, named World Building of the Year

Judges praise the “magical subterranean realm” created by Irish practice Grafton Architects


The new faculty building at Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects, has become the first World Building of the Year at the inaugural World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF Awards) 2008, at the Centre Convencions International in Barcelona.


The judges praised the architects who, though not from Milan, succeeded in distilling the essence of the city into a confident, contemporary form.


The building includes offices for 1,000 professors, 5 conference halls, lecture theatres, courtyards and concourses, all accessible to the public, with offices for teaching staff suspended above.


The WAF Awards are biggest architectural awards programme in the world, designed to celebrate the work, concerns and aspirations of the international architectural community.


Luigi Bocconi was selected by a super-jury chaired by Robert Stern, Dean of Yale School of Architecture, which included Cecil Balmond, Deputy Chairman of Ove Arup & Partners, Richard Burdett, Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism at the London School of Economics, and Suha Ozkan of the XXI Architecture Centre, Ankara.


They selected the project from a total of 17 finalists, whittled down from a shortlist of 224 projects that were presented during World Architecture Festival between the 22nd and 24th October.


Speaking at the WAF Awards Paul Finch, WAF programme director and editor of Architectural Review, said: “Our congratulations go to Grafton Architects. The super-jury had an interesting debate, which could have continued for several days. The winning building has a heavy relationship with the landscape of Milan and has the capacity to make a profound difference to the lives of its users. Grafton Architects have opened up the past of the city with a 21st century attitude.”

Judge Cecil Balmond, Arup, admired “the 3D design which took architecture, construction and design, using it to create an urban weave. Its effortless structural solution suspends offices over a subterranean concourse.”

Directors of Grafton Architects, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara commented: “We are delighted to have won this accolade for what is the biggest project we have ever undertaken. We were trying to make the University a miniature city where public realm connects with the rest of the city and the campus provides a window to Milan. Being in the city for 6 years we have grown to love this project, which has changed our lives. A wonderful client, place and ambition all contribute to good architecture, and we had all three.”

World Architecture Festival, organised by Emap is one of the most significant dates in the global architectural calendar. It is the biggest architectural event in the world, which looks beyond borders to celebrate the finest work from the world’s greatest architects.

Universita Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy
A Piece of City

We saw this brief as an opportunity for the Luigi Bocconi University to make a space at the scale of the city. To this end we have built at the scale of the site,80m x160m. Inside, our building is thought of as a large market hall or place of exchange. The Building’s hall acts as a filter between the city and the university.

A Window to Milan

The northern edge of the site fronts onto the artery of Viale Bligny, with the clatter of trams, the rush of busses, general traffic, people passing. It addresses the throbbing urban life of Milan, weaves into the mesh of the city. This frontage becomes the architectural opportunity to have a ‘window’ to Milan, a memorable image to confirm the important cultural contribution that the Bocconi University plays in the life of this city. For this reason, the public space of the aula magna occupies this frontage, asserting a symbolic presence and a register of the prestigious status of the University.

Social Lebensraum

The building is set back from the Viale Bligny & Via Roentgen edges to make a public space 18m x 90m inspired by the space forward of Hospital Maggiore.This new deep ‘finger’ of space reaches out to the city and beckons the visitor into the heart of the interior. This public space continues into the building, bringing with it it’s stone surface, the floor of the city.

Moving Skyward

In order to make this grand place of exchange we thought about the research offices as beams of space, suspended to form a grand canopy which filters light to all levels. The offices form an inhabited roofscape. This floating canopy allows the space of the city to overlap with the life of the university. Allows internal and external public spaces to merge.

The beehive world of the research is physically separate but always visually connected to the life of the lower levels


The underground accommodation is treated as an erupting landscape which offers support to the inhabited light filters above. Spatially this underground world is solid, dense and carved. We tried to establish a continuity between the ‘landscape’ of the city and the ‘made landscape’ of this undercroft.


The external wall to the sunken Aula Magna reaches the full height of the building with the upper level offices inhabiting it’s roofscape /attic. The full bulk and scale of this great room ‘the embedded boulder’ sits directly on the street edge and is the anchor for the totality of the building.


Taipei Performing Arts Center by Emergent

Taipei Performing Arts Center

The Taipei Performing Arts Center consists of three theatres which are connected each other with a concourse to offers a hybrid experience. The architect described the concourse as a bridging element which acts as circulation for the theaters but also as a commercial zone which includes lively urban activities such as shopping, restaurants, bars, and other public amenities.


The Concourse contains the shops arranged in a looping, multi-level arrangement. Restaurants, bars, cafes, and forms of entertainment will be complimented by cultural activities such as art galleries, bookstores, and the theater library. The Concourse is therefore not a mall, but a cultural space, an urban extension of the institution of ¡theater¢.

Taipei Performing Arts Center

Taipei Performing Arts Center


Ellis Williams Architects Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead, UK

© Edmund Sumner

The recently inaugurated Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art was a disused flour silo sited on the south bank of the river Tyne in Gateshead.
In 1994, Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council invited architects to submit ideas for the conversion of the Baltic Flour Mills into a Contemporary art gallery. The objective was to provide a national and international Centre for Contemporary visual arts.
The assessors were unanimous in their recommendation of the winning design by Ellis Williams Architects who, they believed, had the ability and fertility of imagination to transform this major structure and its surrounds into a cultural centre unique to the North of England.

Sketch courtesy Dominic Williams

“The main aim is to allow contemporary art to happen in whatever form it takes. Often ‘art’ installations take on, or pervert, the nature of the space they occupy. The original function of the building was to collect, contain and distribute flour through the unseen workings of the silos. In many ways these activities would be unchanged, with the building now refocused to a new use. Works will come, be created, and travel on from the place, the function less secret though still housed between its sheer walls. Components such as the gallery floors, café and library, will be inserted between these two walls to create a new living body within the building”
Dominic Williams
In conversation with Jack Barfoot, 1995

© Edmund Sumner

The design can be described conceptually as the hollowing out of the internal existing concrete silo structure, and the opening of the east and west walls, leaving two parallel monolithic brick walls to the North and South.

These walls are supported by concrete fins, part of the original silo structure, thereby suspending the four new floors and a new glazed roof top restaurant providing spectacular views of the surrounding cityscape. These new levels are accessed from lifts rising through metal fins in a void which echo the original silo structure.
The vertical nature of the building, and the arrangement of the gallery floors, gives the building a high level of flexibility in the opening and closing of spaces; paramount for the highly unpredictable nature of contemporary art.

© Edmund Sumner

Above level four the viewing box projects over the west facade of the building. This encloses two levels with a visitors platform providing views over the River Tyne to the city beyond. An information point could be located in the viewing gallery from which the visitor can descend in the lifts allowing views out to the city and glimpses into the gallery spaces.

© Edmund Sumner

The riverside building connects the gallery building to the new square at the west end by means of information points and a glass link. This building includes a café over the entrance route with a riverside terrace, a brasserie off the Baltic square and a bookshop.

Sketch courtesy Dominic Williams

The main public entrance is marked by light crosses embedded in the ground and leads the visitor from the new Baltic square, and through the riverside building to the first gallery at ground level opposite the lift stacks.
Artworks and other deliveries enter under the fabric wing shade at the east end of the building. Accommodated in the building is a loading bay with adjacent crate storage areas. The arts lift, the size of a small house, will allow for very large pieces of work to be transported around the building.

© Edmund Sumner

The gallery building is surmounted by a lightweight steel and glass structure. Conceptually the structure is seen to ‘float’ between the two monolithic brick and corten steel walls and at night internal lighting would make the activity fully visible to the surrounding areas.

© Edmund Sumner

The towers are dedicated to vertical movement for fire escape stairs and workers access between gallery levels. The existing towers were empty facades and the new design completes them by reforming missing sides in corten steel.

“What impresses most is not the scale and ambition of the building - we have seen this before at Tate Modern - but the views out to the city from every floor, the wonderful quality of light, the subtle play of architectural space, and the sheer, almost bloody-minded battleship quality of this machine built for making art in. The old brick exterior of the building is purely a dress over the new structure inside. What were massive concrete silos are now light-washed, timber-floored galleries as generous as any in the world. “
Jonathan Glancey
The Guardian

© Edmund Sumner

© Edmund Sumner

© Edmund Sumner

The gallery spaces on all four levels, including ground, can accommodate a variety of exhibition layouts with a flexible lighting grid and partition system. The flexibility of these spaces and the ease of movement within the building allow the total transformation of the galleries by artists and curators.
A flexible structural grid with the possibility of removing certain floor plates also exists.

© Edmund Sumner

The main external palette of materials ranges from light weight natural aluminum panels which are used to clad new parts, while in contrast, heavy weight corten steel panels are use to reform missing parts of the existing brickwork structure and also lead the visitor through the riverside building. Internally and apart from slate, which paves the ground floors and external areas, arctic fur is used to create all the main floors. Gallery spaces walls and ceilings are left a neutral white, whilst aluminum is bought back into some of the public areas.

Sketch courtesy Dominic Williams

Drawing courtesy Ellis Williams Architects

Drawing courtesy Ellis Williams Architects

Orientation and information areas are located at each main public level connecting the main gallery spaces from which the visitor can move around the building either by stair or lift. These areas allow light to filter down the lifts void aided by the large glass facade on the west end of the building.
Entry to the gallery spaces is from these orientation areas. The vertical circulation gives easy access to galleries, with the ability to provide one or two way movement around the main spaces.

Drawing courtesy Ellis Williams Architects

Drawing courtesy Ellis Williams Architects

The four new concrete floors based on the original silo grid have been designed to take 6 tonne point loadings.

Net internal floor area of gallery building: 8537 square meters
Net internal floor area of riverside building: 1442 square meters

Total arts programme space: 3290 square meters
Total public space: 2500 square meters

Architects: Ellis Williams Architects
Core team:
John Adden
Iain Fairbairn
Jason Geen
Keith Jupp
Dominic Williams

Structural Engineers: Atelier One
Environmental Engineers: Atelier Ten
Quantity Surveyors: Boydens and Co
Acostics: AAD
Lighting: Arup Lighting
Access Management: Burdess Access Management
Fire Management: Warrington Fire Research
Corten surface treatment: Mark Quinlan
Aluminium and Anodising Advice: AASC - David Parsons


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