Friday, February 27, 2009

Do the twist....

Nikken Sekkai's stunning building sets the standard for educational architecture

Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers located in busy Main Street of Nagoya city in front of Nagoya Station. The towers are designed for three schools that represent the school of fashion design, computer programming and medical support. The concept of the towers are derived from the enthusiasm of students from three schools, twining and rising up to the sky then departing to the real world. Three buildings of class rooms around the spiral core are called “Wings”. The towers' wing-like shape, narrow at the top, changes the rotation axis as they rise and create an organic curve. Spiral Towers appears to change shape slightly when viewed from different angles, giving an elegant yet dynamic impression. The strong inner truss tube is visible through gaps between the three wings, highlighting the bold design and structure while demonstrating the overall consistency.

The towers are highlighted with many ecological features, such as a double-glassed air flow window system and a natural air ventilation system. The central core of the building is a highly rigid cylindrical structure. Like the central pillar in a house, this structure securely protects the building against twisting and earthquakes. This cylindrical structure is called an inner truss tube and comprises concrete-filled, steel tubular columns, with braces deployed around the core. The towers are integrated with mass damper systems, expanding columns and AMD for restraining seismic vibration. The latest structural engineering provides the highest safety even in the case of the more severe earthquakes.


Steven Holl Architects Wins Master Plan in “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” Competition

Steven Holl Architects have been selected as the winning firm for the design of the master plan of the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” competition
Bird’s eye view of the winning “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” master plan proposal by Steven Holl Architects

Close up of the Public Promenade

This competition was for an office tower complex around the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange Headquarters located in Shenzhen’s Futian commercial business district. It was organized by the Shenzhen Planning Bureau to create a unified urban plan, around the Headquarters, for the new office towers of Shenzhen Media Group, China Construction Bank, China Insurance Group, and Southern & Bosera Funds.
Model photo of the master plan proposal

A six-member jury chaired by Arata Isozaki selected the winners of the competition. Other participants, including Morphosis, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Atelier FCJZ, Hans Hollein, and MVRDV, won for their individual tower designs.
Rendering of the Social Bracket

Rendering of am office interior

Rendering of Tower B Entrance

Steven Holl Architects’ design for the master plan is based on the concept of tropical skyscrapers as Shade Machines with a Social Bracket connecting the towers and the street level with a horizontal structure containing public programs and a rooftop water garden.
Watercolor by Steven Holl The Social Bracket gathers the public programs from all four towers, combining them as one continuous element that links the four sites with the city streets and pedestrian traffic. Supporting programs for the towers, such as cafeterias and gyms, are combined in the Social Bracket and enhanced with cultural programs such as art galleries, auditoriums, and a cinema. The Social Bracket’s sculpted form allows it to negotiate between environmental restrictions and the requirements of the public programs. It features a continuous roof garden park that collects storm water and recycles all the greywater from the four skyscrapers.
Watercolor by Steven Holl

Roof garden ponds and plantings utilize the combined storm water and greywater after passage through a central ultraviolet filter system. A public route connects the subway into the Social Bracket, linking directly to all four towers. Connecting across the Stock Exchange Plaza, the new elevated bracket acts as an urban interface between the business-centric district to the south and the residential area to the north.
Diagram: 4 + 1 = 2

Steven Holl Architects’ design for the four towers as Shade Machine utilizes circular building footprints to maximize the interior space and open views while minimizing the exterior envelope. The optimized office floors are connected via double-height and triple-height social spaces on alternating sides of the towers.
Diagram: Winter / Garden Infrastructure

Automatic solar tracking screens made of perforated PV cells make one full rotation per day around the circumference of each building, collecting enough PV energy to cool the towers completely. Always oriented towards the sun, the moving shades harvest solar energy and block solar heat gain, their louvered sections tilting to horizontal orientation at noon to gather maximum sunlight.
Diagram: Social Bracket

The one-meter deep louvers block high-angle solar gain and bounce diffused natural light onto the ceilings deep into the floor plate. The screens’ full rotation per day allows the towers to act as an urban clock with synchronized rotation in time even on cloudy days.


Diagram: “Social Program Isolated in Towers” vs. “Collected Social Programs Create Urban Interface”

Images & Diagrams: Steven Holl Architects; Watercolors: Steven Holl

Source: Bustler


Thursday, February 26, 2009

American Dream of a Customized Home

Inspired by the permeability and spatial qualities of Modernist houses and the great American dream of a customized home, Herzog & de Meuron has replaced the usual extrusion of standardized skyscraper floor plates with a staggered progression of structural slabs turning slightly off axis by degrees as they ascend, creating constant variety among the apartment floor plans.

This structural arrangement of floor plates create an irregular flurry of cantilevered terraces up and down the building, making plays of light and shadow that give the tower a shimmering, animated appearance on the skyline.

The building contains five key zones ascending from street to sky: lobby, townhouse residences, amenities, tower residences, and penthouses. Appearing to rest upon Anish Kapoor’s sculpture, a massive, reflective stainless steel piece, the building base will have the appearance of a stack of cantilevering volumes with varying degrees of transparency and opacity.

The lobby zone contains a dramatic double - height lobby with an entrance on Leonard Street adjacent to a verdant exterior vertical garden to the west. Above the 18-foot-high lobby are several floors of townhouse residences, that relate very directly to the immediate scale and panorama of the neighborhood, and two full floors of amenities spaces custom-designed to the last detail by Herzog& de Meuron.

Photo © Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, 2008

Photo © Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, 2008
Screening Room
These spaces include a 75-foot infinity edge pool, one of Manhattan’s largest, surrounded by a black terrazzo deck inlaid with spherical glass aggregate. An adjoining outdoor sundeck cantilevers 20 feet over the block to provide extraordinary Tribeca views and a sense of connection to the district.

The building’s residences are located above with balconies and terraces arranged in varied schemes that provide uninterrupted views of the city. The dramatic nine-story crown containing its apex penthouses, will appear on the Manhattan skyline as a chimerical geometric sculpture of stacked, glimmering glass volumes. Soaring window walls open onto panoramas of the city and sky.

“We approached the design process from the inside out, from the homes themselves. But we also considered the outside in terms of the Tribeca neighborhood. Here you have the small townhouses, the old manufacturing buildings, and the high-rise buildings, but also a lot of little corners and surprising things between. The different scales characterize the neighborhood and we wanted to establish a dialogue among them. For us, creating a building is a research process. We call it a journey.”
Herzog & de Meuron

The 57-story residential building is located at the intersection of Church Street and Leonard Street in the Tribeca Historic District of downtown Manhattan.


A very Chinese experiment

Coping with growth - MAD commission 11 young architects to design Huaxi city centre. In 2008, MAD organized and invited 11 young international architects to carry out an urban experiment: to design the Huaxi city centre of Guiyang, in South Western China during a three day workshop. The architects invited by MAD were: Atelier Manferdini (USA), BIG (Denmark), Dieguez Fridman (Argentina), EMERGENT/Tom Wiscombe (USA), HouLiang Architecture (China), JDS (Denmark/Belgium) , MAD (China), Mass Studies (Korea), Rojkind Arquitectos (Mexico), Serie (UK/India), Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan). The masterplan was developed by Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute, Studio 6, together with MAD.

In the past 15 years, around 10 billion sqm of built space has been created in the urban areas of China. In 20 years time, another 200 to 400 new cities will be built. Until now, the results of this overwhelming urbanization have been defined by high-density, high-speed and low-quality duplication: the urban space is meaningless, crowded and soulless.

MAD asked the questions: Are we going to continue copying the skyline of Western cities created over a hundred years of industrial civilisation? ; Will Manhattan and Chicago continue to be our model city, even after 15 years of urban construction in China?; Is there an alternative future for our cities that lies in the current social condition, where new technologies leave the machine age behind, and where the city increasingly invades the natural space? - Based on an Eastern understanding of nature, this joint urban experiment aimed to explore whether we can use new technologies and global ideas to reconnect the natural and man-made world.

Each architect provided a unique design for a single part of the masterplan, based on their own understanding and interpretation of the local natural and cultural elements. The result is a series of organic individual buildings, growing from the natural environment, and working together to produce a compound of diverse urban activities.

A MAD spokesman says: "China has become the global laboratory for urbanization, where the logical endpoint of current architectural trends can be seen, and the effects of leaving private developers to create cities can be most keenly felt.

This urban experiment is not intended as an idealized urban reality, but as an attempt to push these trends to their purest forms, with all of the benefits and problems that this brings. MAD is aware of, and actively encouraging, the failings and successes of this project."



A modern day Noah's Ark...

Wetland solution realised in mixed-use design.
The municipality of Almere has awarded the development of a hypermarket with houses in the district West Noorderplassen to Vomar (supermarkets) . The municipality had written out a tender for the design of this project, which was won by KOW.

The Vomar hypermarket of approximately 1,500 sq m and several other shops will be built on top of a parking garage. Above the hypermarket 45 apartments will be realised around a green patio. Noorderplassen West is a typical Dutch wetland and for this reason the hypermarket can also be reached by boat.

Under the name Urban Valley, a unique urban area in the Flevopolder has been created. This Urban Valley shows that antagonisms in one design can become forged together to unexpected gain, where the so called Almere Principles are effectively realised: intimate living with a grand view. By lifting the hypermarket, the shops are opened up and the water side is easily accessible for everyone.

The Urban Valley, the new shopping and living area of Noorderplassen West, lies in the middle of beautiful nature landscapes. Living in Urban Valley offers the best of two worlds: peaceful nature within the direct immediacy of urban freedoms.

Construction is expected to start in 2010.

source: WorldArchitectureNews


Not your Standard fare

André Balazs’s Standard hotel opens in NYC. Does New York City need another luxury hotel? It would appear so to Andre Balazs, the boutique hotelier, who brought his Standard brand to the city this year. The erection of the eye-popping glass slab structure occurs in the trendy Meatpacking district and rises from stilts 18 stories above the High Line, a disused elevated rail line that is today one of the city’s hippest parks. Designed by Todd Schliemann of the New York-based Polshek Partnership, the hotel opened in January. It houses 317 guest rooms, several restaurants and bars, and a gym.

The building is decidedly modern, if not instantly iconic, with a mix of styles peppering its interior. Its slab on stilts design recalls the pioneering works of le Corbusier and other notable international style buildings, like the locally based Lever House and United Nations. The interiors,designed by Hollywood set designer Shawn Hausmann and New York based Roman and Williams, "get more modern the higher you go up”, said Balazs in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine.
The hotel lobby, which sits under the High Line, is early 20th century design, while the guest rooms in the tower above are designed with mid-century works in mind. On the top floor is a double height glass enclosed space that houses a supper club and lounge. Its design pays homage to Warren Platner, a protégé of Saarinen’s, who designed the Windows of the World restaurant in the World Trade Center.

If your shopping for a hotel in the city, aside from its fetching design and proximity to all the Meatpacking District has to offer, the best reason to bed down at The Standard is the stunning, unobsturcted views it offers of the city’s most cherished sites: the Empire State Building, the Hudson River, and in the distance, the Statue of Liberty.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

10 Architect’s Chair aution at Wright

chairs 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright

The auction of contemporary chairs designed by 10 world famous architects are held in Wright. The limited edition works were created in the colorful hues and varied finishes of Formica projects, achieving bold designs with innovative material and expressive form.

FORM: Contemporary Architects at Play was a collaborative exhibition and project initiated by the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and realized with materials and fabrication costs donated by the Formica Corporation. The project represents a coming together of patronage, industry and artistry in truly cutting-edge designs.

zaha-hadid-cirrus-seat 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright zaha-hadid-cirrus-seat2 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Zaha Hadid
Cirrus seat + Estimate: $250,000–300,000

thom-mayne-untitled-desk 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Thom Mayne
Untitled desk + Estimate: $70,000–90,000

eisenman-chair-2 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright eisenman-chair 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Peter Eisenman
Chair #1 + Estimate:$18, 000–22,000

buzz-yudell 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Buzz Yudell
Sunergy chair + Estimate: $30,000–40,000

massimo-vignelli 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Massimo Vignelli
CuboSeat chairs, set of three + Estimate: $30,000–40,000

jaime-velez-dancing-line-chaise-3 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Jaime Velez with Jennifer Kolstad
Dancing Line chaise + Estimate: $18,000–22,000
This design won first place in the furnishings category of the Chicago Chapter ASID Design Excellence Awards for 2008 and a silver medal in the Spark Design & Architecture 2008 awards.

bernard-tschumi-typogram-bench 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Bernard Tschumi
Typogram bench + Estimate: $35,000–40,000

laurinda-spear-trelleaf-bench 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Laurinda Spear
Trelleaf bench + Estimate: $35,000–40,000

bill-pedersen-transformica-seat 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Bill Pedersen
TransFormica seat + Estimate: $35,000–40,000

michael-graves-j-chair 10 Architects Chair aution at Wright
Michael Graves
J Chair + Estimate: $18,000–22,000


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