The design for a new central library in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia was recently revealed by architects Fowler Bauld & Mitchell and schmidt hammer lassen architects after many months of working with the community.

The firms’ modern design was based largely on the needs expressed by community members in charettes and workshops. These ideas included recommendations for how light enters the building, allotments for green gathering spaces, and how seating and working spaces should be arranged.

The Halifax Central Library will be prominently located downtown, surrounded by historic neighborhoods, the Dalhousie School of Architecture and Spring Garden Road, the busiest commercial street east of Montreal. Its design speaks to its surroundings, with the modern, geometric massing standing in conversation with the Dalhousie campus’ classic forms.

The building will serve as the flagship library for the city’s 14 branches, and will, say the architects, be “an iconic reflection of the diversity of the community and modern life within the municipality as a whole.” Read the rest of this entry »

In hopes of securing the UEFA (European Union of Football Associations) EURO 2016 bid for Bursa, Turkey, the Turkey Football Federation commissioned German stadium design firm stadiumconcept to design a sparkling new stadium with a capacity of 33,000.

Unfortunately for everyone involved in the project, France was chosen to host the UEFA EURO 2016. But the stadium still stands as a possible new icon for this ancient, Islamic city.

Stadiumconcept, in cooperation with the structural engineer firm schlaich bergermann and partners, designed for Bursa the Hexagon Park Stadium, which, in addition to seating tens of thousands of crazed fans, would feature cafes, eateries, concerts and social events. Located minutes from Bursa’s downtown and situated in a cultural center of the city, the stadium sought to serve as a new icon for the city. Read the rest of this entry »

In an attempt to climb the ranks from technical college to the Ivys, Lüneburg University (outside of Hamburg, Germany) has hired its part-time professor, famed American architect Daniel Libeskind, to design a new main building for its campus.

Despite grumblings from state officials about the $76 million price tag, and claims from student representatives that the design is impractical, school officials are sure that building something spectacular on campus will catapult the college’s reputation. As such, university administration announced in early January that it had secured funding for the project and was moving forward with its construction.

For its exterior, Libeskind, who has designed such major buildings as Berlin’s Jewish Museum, and has been involved in the new design for New York’s World Trade Center, has envisioned a silver grouping of stark, jagged geometry, with the roofline jutting sharply in unexpected areas. The structure will, at its tallest, be 124 feet, and will be able to accommodate 1,200 people. Officials hope construction will be complete by Easter 2014.

Initial design plans show a partial green roof and an atrium at the building’s top level. The sharp angles of the exterior carry inside, with oddly angular walls serving as a decorative element. Read the rest of this entry »

While romantic sparks may certainly fly while huddled for warmth in Shane Neufeld and Kevin Kunstadt’s “Kissing Booth,” the wooden warming hut isn’t named for just that. Instead, it refers to the way the different parts of the hut twist up from the ground to meet, and seemingly, kiss.

The architects, of the firm Rogers Marvel Architects, designed the Kissing Booth for the frozen Assiniboine River in Winnipeg, the largest city in Manitoba, Canada.  The hut is designed with a roof and walls, but open entry ways, allowing skaters to breeze through the structure at high speeds.

One of the walls, however, features a bench, and behind it, a glassed-in bay window, allowing for relaxation inside the hut as well.

Planks of naturally stained wood fan up from the ground and up into the air, and meet at one small corner: a corner, the architects say, that is a “moment of charged contact” in the structure. The spaced spiraling of the wood beams allows for the play of light and shadow, an activation with the motion of the skaters, and skillfully, but not overwhelmingly, provides shelter. It seems to be in motion, mid-spiral, imagery that speaks to the skaters who utilize it; from its western side, however, the serene window bench also is defining, giving the simple structure an earthy and comfortable presence in the middle of the Assiniboine River. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most perfectly symmetrical times in our lifetime – 1-11-11 at 11:11 a.m. – was celebrated in St. Petersburg, Florida with the opening of a museum dedicated to surrealist artist Salvador Dali.

The museum is not new, but an expansion of the original site, which first opened in 1982. Now boasting 68,000 square feet, there is ample room for the museum’s 2,140-piece collection, which includes oils, watercolors, sketches and sculptures.

The museum was designed by Yann Weymouth, the director of design for the firm HOK in Florida. The 75-foot building is quite the work of art in itself; its exterior is comprised of 1,062 unique, triangular glass panels that form bubble domes to reflect the blue sky, and wrap around a traditional rectangular core. This design serves to reflect the flowing, larger-than-life images of Dali’s work, with the glass “Enigma,” as the designer calls it, serving the building’s life force. Its ethereal shape and texture contrasts sharply with the rough concrete core of the building, but this part was also integral to the design, as it protects the priceless works of art from hurricanes or other extreme incidents. This geometrical mass, with 18-inch thick reinforced concrete walls and a 12-inch thick roof, is referred to by the architect as the “Treasure Box.” The project cost $29.8 million.

“The flowing, free-form use of geodesic triangulation is a recent innovation enabled by modern computer analysis and digitally controlled fabrication that allows each component to be unique,” Weymouth was recently quoted by e-architect as saying. “No glass panel, structural node or strut is precisely the same. This permitted us to create a family of shapes that, while structurally robust, more closely resembles the flow of liquids in nature.” Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles’ famed Walt Disney Concert Hall will soon have a neighbor whose architecture hopes to stand up to architect Frank Gehry’s bold concert hall design.

“The Broad,” the new museum of the Broad Art Foundation, will be located on Los Angeles’ Grand Street across from the concert hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The design, by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a white, modern honeycomb façade that is lit from the top, with the top floor gallery having a glass roof.

Nearly 2,000 pieces will be housed in the three-story, 120,000 square foot building. A third of that space alone, nearly an acre, will be devoted to column-free gallery space. Other public space will include a shop, bookstore, espresso café and lobby on the first floor, as well as an adjoining multi-media space.

The Broad will also offer ample archive, study and storage space so that the building can function holistically as an art institution, for both the public and scholars.

The architect, Elizabeth Diller, and funders Eli and Edythe Broad have referred to the building’s design as “the veil and the vault,” because of the dual nature of the use of the interior spaces. Because the museum’s archival work is so important, the building’s design ensures that the private research space, r “vault,” is visible instead of hidden away: located in the center of the building, the vault’s carved underside helps characterize the lobby, and its roof serves as an exhibition floor. Additionally, A winding stairway takes visitors from the lobby to exhibition space through the vault, offering behind-the-scenes peeks into the museum’s lending and collections operations. Read the rest of this entry »

If you’re bored with reality, check into the “Fluid Dream Art Hotel” for a night or two.

The new hotel, designed by dEEP Architects for a Beijing, China location just north of the iconic Beijing National Stadium, or “Bird Nest,” is being constructed as part of the city’s post-Olympic commercial growth strategy. The structure will have an intertwining metal exterior that will relate to the nearby stadium, and an interior whose flowing and surreal designs bring artist Salvador Dali’s imagery from canvas to real life.

The Fluid Dream Art Hotel will have 10,000 square meters of space, with an additional 1,500 square meters of outdoor courtyard areas. The individual rooms will be extremely secluded, adding to the mysterious air of the hotel; these units will be known as “egg villas,” again playing into the stadium’s nest theme, and will feature private outdoor spaces attached to the rooms.

The common interior spaces will be designed with Dali in mind, with walls, textures and furniture choices all relating to the movement of the human body, to art sculpture and painting, to light patterns, and to the concept of fluidity.

The architects have sought to contrast textures and shapes to create a structure of multi-dimensionality, but in a manner that still leaves visitors with the sense of softness, and warmth. This artful nest is still in its design phase; ground has yet to be broken on the project. Read the rest of this entry »

Iluma, a new entertainment and retail complex in the Bugis Street district of Singapore by WOHA Architects, will soon glitz up the city with a bold exterior design, and a variety of entertainment options indoors.

The exterior of Iluma is dynamic, with different floors featuring different façade shapes: some angularly form rectangles, and others curve into waves. These different shapes serve different purposes: the geometrically sound floors house such services as parking, cinemas and performance spaces, while the curved levels accommodate small retailers and entertainment services along “meandering paths.”

The contrast of the different levels is further accentuated by the exterior’s coloring, with “hot colors” bringing the rectangular areas to life, and gray and white schemes calming the curved areas. Though contrasting, both forms solidly place the building within its urban context: the bright angular zones speak to the city’s colorful block public housing, and the curved floors reference the intricately decorated local shop buildings.

Inside, a 40 meter-tall atrium serves as the interior focal point, and all roads lead here. The atrium is divided into two levels, with retail services downstairs, and entertainment options upstairs. Above, a lush, open-air rooftop terrace, complete with theater, event space and a café, creates an urban tropical oasis. Read the rest of this entry »

Budapest architecture firm Építész Stúdió has designed a “Village in the Air” to compete in this year’s A101 Bock City Competition in Moscow.

Though the apartment complex, a series of connected buildings, is raised on stilts, the complex as a whole has been designed horizontally, with the idea of a spread-out village as the largest and best way to group people residentially. The architects capped the height for the buildings within the village at four stories. Some buildings will have only two or three stories, but with four, the buildings will match the height of the surrounding trees, bringing the built environment in line with nature.

Further greening the complex is the fact that the buildings are elevated off the ground, meaning the whole surface of the village can act as a park. Green roofs symbolically connect the building tops with the ground underneath in addition to providing environmental benefits.

Well-defined courtyards and atriums help break the large-scale village into smaller pockets of neighbors, making the complex as a whole more personal. There will be 150 apartment units in the complex, which will have a total floor space of 15,000 square meters. Read the rest of this entry »

A massive, mixed-use office and retail complex that will span two city blocks in Düsseldorf, Germany is currently being designed by New York architecture firm Studio Daniel Libeskind.

The “Kö-Bogen” building will be six stories tall and a total of 432,300 square feet. Located in Düsseldorf’s downtown, the building will serve consumers with flagship retail stores on the first three floors, and further fuel the economy with office space on floors four through six.

Kö-Bogen‘s façade has spaces of straight geometry, and others of flowing curves. The curves wrap around the building’s courtyards; though these open spaces let light flow into the building’s office space, from the street the building will appear to have one continuous, green roofline.

Its living roof and proximity to Hofgarten, Düsseldorf’s main park, aren’t the building’s only green features. The façade has literal cuts that allow foliage from the interior courtyards to peek through to the street.

Traffic will be eliminated from the area surrounding the Kö-Bogen building, bringing a new sort of pedestrian experience to Düsseldorf. The building’s span, extending from the Schadowplatz plaza to the park, will bring an upscale and green pedestrian route through the city’s downtown. Read the rest of this entry »