The Living Roof by NAU is a living environment boiled down to its most essential elements: Arefuge to recover, plan excursions into the city, or simply stare into the stars. Offering you the essence of the city, it condenses all the functions of daily life into a compact and self- sustaining capsule, intended for urban rooftops, but ready to be airlifted into the savanna at short notice. The minimal interior allows for concentrated thought and recuperation, while the highly efficient enclosure helps resolve one of the paradoxes of modern life: the contemporary citizen seeks mobility, but also wants to tread softly on the environment. For just this sort of traveler, NAU has designed the Living Roof, the first short-term housing unit to produce more energy than it consumes. Read the rest of this entry »
The five interlocking rings of the Olympic symbol serves as the foundation for the 25,000 square meter (250,000 square foot) building design by Holm Architecture Office. By re-arranging the rings and varying the scale, the HAO design creates a museum consisting of two rings above ground with three sunken courtyards.
The two main rings serve as counterparts in the story of the life of Juan Antonio Samaranch. The first ring invites visitors in through a public courtyard, lifting them onto a circular ramp. This ring will house exhibits that speak to the legacy of Juan Antonio Samaranch’s work with the Olympic Committee and the impact it has had on China and the world. The second ring encloses a garden and focuses on the life and work of Juan Antonio Samaranch, serving as a memorial to his achievements.
Together the two rings create a continuous loop taking the visitor through both the exhibition and memorial areas. The building design incorporates green technologies, from the installation of energy-producing solar cells on the building’s roof to climate control through geothermal heating and cooling. Read the rest of this entry »
The EDP Foundation Cultural Centre in Lisbon is a project about water, light, reflections and people – a building that captures the essence of the unique riverside site and the extraordinary southern light of Lisbon.
The site is of strategic importance. Acting as the gateway to the culturally rich area of Ajuda / Belém, the building will be a magnet, drawing people from the heart of the city to the panoramic views along the Tagus estuary. The currently neglected riverfront area will be activated, and the cultural centre will become one of Lisbon’s leading destinations.
This project is also about democracy. It is a building for the people – for the people of Lisbon, for cultural visitors and for tourists. It is a building for culture and leisure that defies the boundaries between public space and building. A simple and organic gesture creates a topographic form that blends into landscape making a fluid and natural relationship between inside and outside – people move over as well as through the building.
The building creates an attractive landscape, stepping down into the river Tagus. At high tide the steps are covered with water creating a constantly changing space that converses with the tide and the reflections from the water. The reflections play with the overhanging façade to give unexpected lighting effects both inside and out, capturing and magnifying the unique light qualities of this south facing site. An area of welcome shade is naturally created by the cantilevered structure. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite unique identities, geographic spread and differing economies, cities all over the world are being challenged by the same mega trends. With more than 60% of the world population predicted to live in cities by 2030 we are asked to develop sustainable strategies for the future. There is no doubt that the density of cities will increase and therefor the cities fabric will grow vertically. But with reaching a certain height, towers are facing problems:
Height is isolating: towers are monuments elevating the cities population form its urban grid. At the height of towers, ones experience becomes isolated from the public and urban conditions.
Height is dangerous: exiting a highrise in case of an emergency (natural or manmade catastrophes for instance) is facing serious difficulties.
Height is insufficient: when it comes to getting down by elevator 50+ floors for an hour-long lunchbreak and going the same way back later on, towers get inefficient with a certain height.
The proposal designed by Prechteck seeks for a way to add a new horizontal layer to Manhattan. An elevated link between towers, separated from traffic and noise, filled with public functions, bicycle lanes and walkways. The groundarea covered by towers will be given back to the public by integrating its roofs to the grid of linking walkways, elevated gardens and public facilities and, as a unique aspect, it introduces public life into the skyline of Manhattan. NY-BILLBOARD is an accentuation of this new layer on a strategic important site. Read the rest of this entry »
Leah Nichols has designed a “gateway” tower for Abu Dhabi that attempts to both embody and aggravate the idea that architecture is a site for the projection of political power and commercial gain. Taking a cue from the omnipresence of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s image, – which is scattered throughout the region on large-scale, American-style billboards – the project embraces the typology of the billboard in order to meet the programmatic needs of a gateway to Saadiyat Island. The proposal considers how a building is perceived by drivers on the highway and attempts to successfully engage viewers through the articulation of a two-sided surface that communicates the single image of Sheikh Khalifa – acting as a site marker similar to U.S. state welcome signage. Made up of 1400 protruding apertures, the building’s exterior skin translates depth onto a second internal skin read from the opposite side or direction of the highway. These double skins, along with a glazing wall encased in structural framing, make up the layers of this seemingly superflat form. The collective layers create an interiorized spatial condition, while the exterior provides visible states of change from multiple directions throughout the day. Therefore, the image typically applied to architecture becomes embedded in the architecture itself. Read the rest of this entry »
At 1,500 rooms, this hotel will be the largest hotel in Beijing. It is located near the Beijing International Airport in the 5th Ring, and will be used to host international conferences. The building is 303 meters long and is intended to become a major landmark, visible to landing aircraft.
The building is organized around three volumetric rings fused together by surfaces draped from the top and bottom. The rings create atriums which are enclosed by ETFE domes, housing a 10,000 m2 interior rainforest as well as the conference center and hotel amenities. Rooms, radiating out along each ring, are oriented both outwards and inwards, creating views out to the city as well as down into the rainforest. The droop of the rings towards the perimeter of the building also allows views outward from the interiors of the rings. Structural bays are flexible and can be broken down into standard, business suite, and presidential types. A sky restaurant is located at the highest level of the building, with views out to the city in all directions.
The enclosure of the building is a double skin system where the outer layer is a weather break and the inner layer is the weatherproof enclosure. This creates a thermal buffer zone as well as the freedom to design a freeform pattern of apertures unrelated to the relentless horizontality of the hotel floor plates. The outer skin is supported by a lightweight cable-net structure which is stabilized by large tension rings affixed at the top and perimeter of the building. Read the rest of this entry »
The dramatic effect of The Pod Exhibition Pavilion betrays the simple forms that it is composed of. A series of ovals stacked horizontally and offset which create a dynamic undulation through the greenscape is a centerpiece for a large urban development in Petaling Jaya, west of Kuala Lumpur.
Studio Nicoletti Associat used the water drop as inspiration for the mixed use office and showroom. The building is divided by a pinched middle and offset sections. The “Pod” is tubular steel wrapped in a white aluminum skin which dramatically changes color under differing lighting conditions. A reflecting pool surrounding the front of the building returns the light and provides connection to the design germ. The pavilion is to be a central iconic design inspiration for the surrounding project, providing aesthetic context for the entire large development.
The interior is amply day lit with bands of glass between elliptical sections while the offset portion containing offices have more conventional site glazing. Space is visually stretched by the stepped ceiling which provides graduated light through the volume. The surrounding greenscape, pool, and high albedo skin should effectively cool the building. Read the rest of this entry »
SOFTlab produced a hanging installation for the entrance to School Nite, an exhibition of site-specific installations, performances, and discussions. The installation was curated by Nuit Blanche New York as part of Flash:Light 2011 along with the Festival of Ideas for the New City sponsored by the New Museum.
The installation was in the entrance of St. Patrick’s Catholic School at the corner of Prince and Mott Streets in NYC. The form was generated through a gravity driven process and then prepped for production. The surface contains more than 1400 battery powered LEDs. The piece was designed to light up the entrance for the night time event. The main formal expressions of the installation are the hanging pieces that flicker and blow in the wind, with the intention of slowing down traffic through experience and effect rather than typical barriers. Visitors are meant to co-mingle and interact with the piece, not unlike a clown fish and the sea anemone. Read the rest of this entry »
Tham & Videgård Arkitekter is an award winning architectural firm based in Stockholm, Sweden, and directed by co-founders and chief architects Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård. Their Tree hotel is located in the far north of Sweden, near the small village of Harads, close to the Arctic Circle.
A lightweight aluminium structure is hung around a tree trunk and sheltered by the treetops. The 4×4×4 meters glass-cladded box reflects the surroundings and the sky, creating a camouflaged refuge. The interior is all made of plywood and the windows give a 360 degree view of the surroundings. The construction also alludes to how man relates to nature, how we use high tech materials and products when exploring remote places in harsh climates (Gore-tex, Kevlar, composite materials, light weight tents etc.). Read the rest of this entry »
The EQUIP Xavier Claramunt is a multidisciplinary architectural practice founded in Barcelona in 1990. The firm develops proposals which range from cutlery to complex architectural structures, priding itself on working without preconceptions or preformed notions and ideas.
The Sphere building is a hundred stories high tower, with the total area of 1.660.900 square meters. Two spheres, one inside the other, constitute a complete habitable structure, offering programmatically different content. The inner sphere houses a mixed program of offices, green public spaces and cultural facilities. The outer sphere is designed to accommodate housing units, providing views to both inside and the outside environment. Positioned in the space between two structures, large public spaces are shielded from the environmental influences and constantly changing atmospheric conditions. Large ruptures in its body allow natural light to reach the centrally positioned facilities, avoiding the impression of a hermetic, artificial megastructure. Read the rest of this entry »