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The new Florida Polytechnic University – whose 170 acre campus and iconic central building were designed by architect Santiago Calatrava – will formally mark its opening on August 16 with a ceremony at the campus in Lakeland, Florida. The university is Florida’s 12th and newest member of the State University System and will welcome its first students later this month.

The main building – the Innovation, Science, and Technology Building – has been finished on schedule and under the $60 million budget. Located on the north side of the central lake it is designed around, the exterior of the 200,000 sq. ft. building is made up of aluminum, aluminum cladding, concrete and glass. The interior is made of concrete flooring and columns, plaster, steel and glass. It will function as the primary campus facility – housing classrooms, laboratories, offices, meeting spaces and even an amphitheater for larger events. On the second floor, offices and meeting rooms are arranged around the “Commons” – a large meeting space under the vaulted skylight.

The building has a pergola of lightweight aluminum trellis wrapping its exterior. The pergola not only adds character, but reduces the solar load on the building by 30%. It also has an operable roof, made of two sets of 46 aluminum louvers, which use the power of hydraulic pistons to move in relationship to the sun, and which can be fitted with solar panels. The operable roof helps to shade the skylight of the Commons from direct sunlight and to maximize daylight to the space.

Visible from the adjacent Interstate 4, the futuristic building has become a well-known feature in the local area and has already appeared in an ad campaign for a major automobile manufacturer, who used it as a backdrop for its commercial.

When designing the campus’ master plan, Calatrava made the most of the unique topography of the central Florida area. The campus lake offers dramatic views and serves as the primary storm water retention facility and as a storage vessel for site irrigation. The campus is connected by a series of pedestrian causeways and walkways, as well as a road circling the lake buffered by trees and greenery.

Santiago Calatrava said, “I am honored to have been involved in this project dedicated to the study of science, technology, engineering and math – a set of subjects so crucial to our society and our economy. I am proud of what we have all achieved and I hope the young people that study here will be inspired to be creative and to meet their potential.” Calatrava added, “Working with the visionary university leadership and amongst the enthusiastic Lakeland community has been a privilege and I wish everyone associated with this project the best of luck in coming years.”

Randy K. Avent, President of Florida Polytechnic University, said, “We’re extremely excited to be launching our new university this month. Santiago Calatrava has produced an inspiring learning facility, and we can’t wait to welcome our inaugural class for this first academic year. This is an institution and campus that all of us in Lakeland and across the state of Florida can be proud of.” Read the rest of this entry »

Initiated by the foundation Symboles, the project is situated at the intersection of two main axes in central Tunis. The project includes the redesign of the Square of 14 Janvier and its surroundings as well as the construction of the World Social Center (WSC) Tower.

This project reflects the political will to express the ideological and social changes brought about by the Tunisian revolution that took place between December and January 2011. Supported by competent political authorities, the project was managed within the foundation Symboles by the innovation adviser of Tunisian President Monsef Marzouki and monitored by his cultural adviser.

As an unprecedented project in the Arab world, the complex proposes a new vision for public space in the heart of the Tunisian capital by creating different types of civic space that are associated with multiple democratic practices. For example: the People’s Agora at the center of the Square of 14 Janvier, renamed as the « Square of the People »; the Promenade of the People, with fountains dedicated to the martyrs of the revolution; the Garden of Liberty and the Garden of Delights; and the WSC tower which is houses spaces dedicated to social, economic, and artistic innovation.

The project’s design process reflects and embodies the hopes and possibilities brought about by the revolution as well as their social, economic, cultural, artistic, architectural, and urban implications.

The studies were carried out by the Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co) with the local architectural firm Studio 3, and the engineering firm MB&Co. The project began in May 2012 and was abandoned in the spring of 2013 due to the political and economic degradation of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

For some time now there has been a plan to design a museum of oil in Italy . The site of Vallezza , starting from the first drilling in 1905 , has established itself as a strategic center for the extraction of hydrocarbons in Italy; it has played a very important role during the two world wars of the first half of 900; his unique yellow oil , with natural characteristics similar to those of an already refined product, was pumped directly from the reservoir to the tanks of vehicles. The story of hydrocarbons, although still short in the context of human history, today is one of the events that have most influenced and changed our way of life and the planet itself. From the seventies to today, the extraction of hydrocarbons has not undergone substantial technological evolution; activity is concentrated in research and oil processing in consumer products and especially energy. I guess, in the composite and sometimes crumbling reality of Vallezza , a story that can go beyond the simple narrative of the time of the hydrocarbons and their exploitation : a kind of purification and redemption; I do not intend to represent, in this place, a present that is visible to all, but a now -too-distant past that belongs to history, and a growing story for the future; from here the idea of conversion, re-appropriation by the nature of a land transformed by humans and a future full integration between man, technology and nature.

Project by Enrico Galeazzi. Read the rest of this entry »

Fab Housing For Rome

By: admin | August - 7 - 2014

Fab-Housing is the Master’s degree project presented by Eugenio Aglietti, Luca Beltrame and Jessica Tiberi for the final thesis of IN/ARCH Post-graduate Master Course ‘Expert Designer in Emerging Technologies’.

The proposal concerns the requalification of Caserma Ruffo area in Rome and aims to give a different interpretation of Social Housing, adding a connotation related with work and productivity.

The main buildings redevelopment is arranged as new facades consisting in walkways and honeycomb-like productive residences. The system of new hexagonal cells, co-working spaces and buildings’ new loft, contribute to create a productive community in which each habitant can provide a specific service. In this way Fab Housing community is able to cover several functions like small shops, laboratories, professional activities, gyms, offices, small art galleries and craft shops.

Every cell is composed by a steel structure, self-bearing insulation panels, wood and resin panels, while the hexagonal grid structure allows to join multiple modules creating different configurations. The resulting facade combines honeycomb cells with semi-public open terraces facing the inner courtyard, in which the current parade ground has been turned into a new urban park, including spaces for temporary markets and public events, urban gardens and skate park. Read the rest of this entry »

Man’s obsession with grandeur and indulgent creations has led to iconic absurdity. We are the generation that will suffer at the hands of the creators of a wasteful era. These icons must and therefore shall fall.

The globally conscious society; calculating and reacting to these fluctuations will become part of an imperative process that will enable a reaction for designers of space. A new and expressive type of architecture is needed as well as the cities that reflect the needs and demands of them, solutions that consider the global and local dilemmas is imperative to humanities progression. “La cattedrale” designed by James Goldsby is a socially responsible building that aims to deliver a message to the users of the space through religious architecture influencers. A message that every action has a reaction. The building is able to adapt to interaction, the structure is able to adjust and move using simple but intelligent joint systems that have the ability to alter atmospheres and by extension the sensation of spaces which effect the user(s). Every element of the building has been designed to allow transformation, replacement and reinterpretation by designing a system that the average man can construct and maintain to remove dependence on other systems which enables each individual and gives them the responsibility to affect their own environment, hold ownership over it and encourage an ideology of socially and mutually responsible living. Read the rest of this entry »

The pavilion bar designed by Margot Krasojevic is part of Paris’ flood control infrastructure. An enclosed circular glass bar rests over a bell mouth spillway which allows water to enter from it’s entire perimeter, directing the water throoughout the design, into the spillway.

The circular bar is zoned to direct water through it’s ramps and into the spillway situated under a moveable glass clad floor. The industrial function of the bar is combined with an ethereal monocoque shell that houses the light and reflective nature of the pavilion bar’s interior, etched glass gives an effervescent feel with the lattice spillway filtering water as it is channelled through the underground network of submerged canals, upstream to the impounded lakes and nearby reservoirs.

A lightweight composite fibre monocoque canopy covers the pavilion formed as a whirlpool to channel rainwater around it’s surface and into the spillway beneath it. Paris’ intircate and detailed manhole covers were the inspiration for the design. Read the rest of this entry »

The proposal “Sonic Scape” – The House of Hungarian Music, by Aaron Neubert Architects, is conceived as a tribute to the esteemed figures within the influential musical history of Hungary. In the spirit of composers Bela Bartok and Zola Kodaly, HHM will serve as an open, accessible, and flexible venue bringing the vast contemporary and historical traditions to the people, as well as welcoming emerging musical experimentation. The HHM will create a space of immersion in music, yet open to the urban landscape of Budapest and in particular that of the City Park. This proposal therefore serves not only as an experiential and interactive symbol for music, but also as an iconic incubator open to the citizens of Budapest and welcoming various influences. The building’s relationship to the site is developed to encourage park activities to flow through the HHM and conversely music activities, to spill into the park.

Specifically, the project explores two primary experiential objectives, a Measured Landscape and an Occupied Instrument. The first objective being the development of an architecture that acts as a tool to measure, survey, record, and ultimately engage the surrounding landscape – following the trajectory of Bartok and Kodaly’s field endeavors. The second objective is the creation of an immersive architectural experience – inspired by Mierswa & Kluska’s photographs of the interior of musical instruments. These two interests manifest themselves in HHM’s formal appearance, physical relationship to the landscape, and within the interior of the building. With the intention of creating an icon that can uniquely serve the diverse objectives and influences found within the Hungarian musical tradition and the project’s mission, as well as respond to the complexity of the City Park site, the HHM presents varied and evolving facades. References such as vernacular and civic architecture, traditional Hungarian musical instruments, contemporary acoustical geometries, sheet music, a grand piano, and an accordion are all evoked within the building.

The architectural fundamental principle the design attacks is linearity , which describes the dominating directional dynamic . This dynamic can be expressed both by individual and multiple lines of force , this has particular relevance to architecture both in terms of its making and resultant form. Perceiving lines of force originating from elements such as the bridge. As the architecture moves in the linear horizontal fashion it starts to grow and bend in reaction to the geometry from the bridge which has “ segmental ” arches. The curves from the volumes and the strands echo that geometry from the arches and braid themselves in a loose way to create an excessive and exuberant appearance which represent a lively energy and excitement as they reach for the nature which awaits for them in the other side of the bridge.

Symmetry will be kept visible in plan and elevations but the volumes will alternate their positions through out the bridge. Instead of being repelled by the large building set aside the bridge, the new design will embrace the building and provide connection and alternate pathways. A ground condition will become part of the volumes which circulate in a horizontal fashion with arc shaped strands that merge into and out from the bridge. The orthogonal manner of the existing building is to be broken with curvilinear surfaces that will create interior/exterior conditions when the volumes intertwine with each other. Program will be accommodated judging on the noise level of the two major perpendicular crossings which are the street and the canal. One which is close to nature and the other which resembles rush and mobility. The architecture will not only mimic the standards of the architecture of the bridge but will also respond to the conditions imposed by the context and topography.

The space will force itself to the user and pedestrian by becoming part of the pathways and being forced to interact with. The continuous deformations of the topology will acquire a constant logic and rule which will be repeated with the arc-like strands that the surfaces adopt to establish a visual logic of repetition and unity which is pleasing to the eye and brings a functional space to inhabit.

Design: Jean-Pierre Villafañe at the Savannah College of Art and Design Read the rest of this entry »

A multi-disciplinary sports complex & camel track located at the centre of the old creek district of Dubai designed by Thomas Hopkins at Bartlett School of Architecture

The design accommodates types of racetracks and sports facilities, tailored for the population demographics. These playing fields and tracks are amalgamated and fused into a programmatic proposition readdressing the conventional organisation of sports facilities. The notion of thresholds between the internal and external is explored through a series of precision analogue/digital models which help explain the spatial dialogue happening between the two realms. Solar gain and complex geometry are holistic themes within this project, helping to create interstitial spaces, interconnecting different playing fields and race tracks whilst also providing shelter from the extreme climatic conditions of Dubai.

Novel geometries are used to enhance and optimise the organisation of space and comfort within it, questioning the boundaries between external and internal. The varying patternisation within the canopies, inspired by the composition of ancient Mashrabiyas, is optimised according to solar gain within specific time periods to achieve environmental thermal comfort through the use of non-deterministic and performance-based design. The typo-morphologies subsequently produced, optimised with novel geometries, help to create a new composition of space leading to a more homogenous integration of the building within its landscape. This subsequently opens up the possibilities for new and different designs, questioning the way we understand our built environment.

“pina” is a part of the series of exploration by Taeg Nishimoto of fabric’s behavior in lighting, with three variations (#1 – #3.) The shade uses the fabric 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The fabric is hardened to structure itself while it is configured to make specific creases for light and shadow effects as the lamp shade. Fabric is cut into square and dipped into fabric hardener, then hung in a framed structure from four corners of the fabric. This hung fabric is pulled upwards from certain points by thread with spherical weight placed in between the pulled points so the fabric will create specific creases as well as stretch itself. This crease effect follows the way how the fabric behaves itself in relationship to the pulled points and different amount of weights. The hung fabric is left to dry until it is completely hardened. The resulting creased fabric is then placed upside down to create a lamp shade with the initial four corners of the fabric functioning as legs of the shade. When the light is not turned on, the object presents itself as a certain organic object. When it’s lit from below, the lamp shade creates light and shadow effects not only within the fabric creases but also on the adjoining wall. Read the rest of this entry »