Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

February 17, 2017 by  
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Beijing is one step closer to completing the world’s tallest atrium. The 190-meter-tall atrium is part of the Leeza Soho, a 46-story mixed-use tower currently under construction that recently reached level 20. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the striking light-filled building integrated with energy-efficient systems and engineered to meet LEED Gold standards. Shaped like a slim barrel, the 172,800-square-meter Leeza Soho is set within the Lize Financial District and will be well connected with the city thanks to its position above a subway interchange station and proximity to the city’s bus routes. Zaha Hadid Architects used the subway lines that run beneath the site as the basis for a diagonal axis that splits the tower into two halves connected via the central atrium . The architects write: “As the tower rises, the diagonal axis through the site defined by the subway tunnel is re-aligned by ‘twisting’ the atrium through 45 degrees to orientate the atrium’s higher floors with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of west Beijing’s primary avenues.” Related: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza focuses on environmental sustainability The twist in the atrium allows natural light to penetrate into the center of all the floors and allows for a diversity of views into the city from all directions. To maximize energy efficiency, the glass curtainwall system is constructed with double-insulated low-e glazing units. High-tech insulation, self-shading and use of an advanced 3D BIM energy management system with real-time monitoring will help create a comfortable indoor environment year-round. The tower will target LEED Gold certification and also includes heat-recovery from exhaust air, high-efficiency pumps and fans, chillers and boilers, low-flow rate fixtures, gray water flushing, high-efficient air purifiers, and low VOC materials. Leeza Soho will reach its full height of 207 meters in September this year. The tower is slated for completion in late 2018. + Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

Is U.S. car ownership on the decline?

February 17, 2017 by  
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Peak oil might be less of a problem now that America has reached peak car. According to research by Michigan’s Sustainable Worldwide Transportation , both the ownership of light-duty vehicles such as cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, plus the corresponding distance driven, began to wane in 2006. The reasons aren’t clear. “Friends and foes of car-centric planning have been fervently debating whether the post-2006 driving decline was a recession-driven trough or a reflection of the fact that younger Americans, with their Uber -hailing aversion to car ownership, were truly driving the automobile age to an early grave,” wrote Andrew Small in Citylab , a blog from the Atlantic , on Tuesday. There are hints —but just barely—of a rebound. Vehicle-ownership rates per person and per household rose by 1.4 percent from 2012 to 2015. Similarly, the distance driven per person and per household increased by 2.1 percent between 2013 and 2015. Related: Limits to growth prediction of imminent societal collapse As Smalls points out, all eyes are now on President Donald Trump. “The new administration’s pledge to roll back environmental and safety regulations might conceivably (eventually) make new car ownership cheaper and lure some Millennials back behind the wheel. (Especially if federal support for mass transit drops off the face of the earth.),” Smalls said. “On the other hand, the president’s proposed 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico would do the opposite.” TL;DR: We’re going to have to wait a few years to see how things shake out. Photo by Benjamin Child Via Citylab

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Construction commences on Polands tallest tower designed by Foster + Partners

January 12, 2017 by  
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Construction has begun on Varso Tower, a skyscraper designed by Foster + Partners that will be the tallest tower in Poland once complete. International real estate developer HB Reavis is leading the construction of the flagship development, which will comprise three buildings, the tallest of which will top out at 54 stories. Located in Warsaw, Varso will employ energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies and will be the first project of its scale in Poland to achieve BREEAM Outstanding certification. Foster + Partners designed the 310-meter-tall Varso Tower to include large and flexible modern office spaces, as well as a two-story restaurant and an observation deck that will be one of Europe’s highest at 230 meters. The building will also include shops, restaurants, and cafes on the ground levels that will connect to vibrant covered internal streets open to the public year-round. Hermanowicz Rewski Architects designed the two smaller office buildings that flank the Varso Tower, which will feature green roof -topped terraces. Related: Foster + Partners breaks ground on major transit-oriented project in downtown San Francisco The 140,000-square-meter Varso development is being constructed next to Warsaw’s Central Railway Station and is expected to spur new life and development into the centrally located brownfield area. “We believe that Varso Tower will have a unique place on Warsaw’s skyline, but most importantly it will establish a new destination capable of revitalising this urban quarter, right in the heart of the city. The building contains high-quality and flexible office space, but it also makes an important contribution to the city with its glazed public courtyard at ground level and the spectacular viewing platforms with restaurants at the top. These public galleries offer panoramic views of the city to everyone. We are really looking forward to construction,” said Grant Brooker, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, leading the design team in London. The development is scheduled for completion in 2020. + Foster + Partners

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Spectacular Congress Hall curves upwards like a sail to bridge a Russian river

January 2, 2017 by  
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Government meeting halls don’t often inspire awe and wonder—but the Russian city of Chelyabinsk’s planned Congress Hall will be an exception. Russian architecture firm PIARENA recently revealed their competition-winning designs for the Congress Hall of the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summits. The sculptural building will span the Miass River like a bridge and curve upwards like a sail on two ends, rising to heights of 61 and 150 meters. The new Congress Hall will primarily cater to the BRICS and SCO events, however, its placement across two riverbanks also opens the site up to public use opportunities along the bridge . The bridge, located at one of the river’s narrowest points and arched to allow small boats to pass under, divides the complex into two sail-like parts to create a dramatic urban landmark. Both curved structures are clad in glass and topped with observation decks . Related: Spectacular Lucky Knot bridge in China twists and turns like a Möbius Strip The larger, 150-meter-tall swooping structure will house the congress hall, mixed-use concert hall, hotel, office complex, conference hall , and VIP offices. The 61-meter-tall structure opposite contains the recreational area and exhibition hall. The landscape design, including the plantings, paving, and street furniture, will be based on a parametric grid pattern of parallelograms. + PIARENA Via ArchDaily Images via PIARENA

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Spectacular Congress Hall curves upwards like a sail to bridge a Russian river

Tiny ‘prison-like’ apartment in Beijing reborn as a light-filled family home

January 2, 2017 by  
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OEU-ChaO Architects have worked absolute magic on this tiny 300-square-foot home in Bejing. What was once an incredibly dark and dingy space has been transformed into a welcoming family home that uses an outer courtyard and sloped wooden ceiling to bring optimal natural light and character to the small space. Located on the second ring road of Beijing City’s Xirongxian Hutong, the tiny structure is squeezed in-between five other homes, virtually hidden from the narrow street out front. Taking into account the restrictive spatial limits of the space, the renovation strategy focused on opening up the area to provide natural light and air circulation as well as a comfortable living space. To do so, the architects chose to incorporate a series of independent, easy-to-install units into the original space. Related: Playful renovation in Barcelona squeezes more out of a tiny home The first unit was installed as a hallway that leads to a well-lit courtyard at the back of the home. This outdoor space is strategically blended into the home’s interior living space through two long tables that run the length of the window on both the outside and the inside. The large window not only adds airiness to the interior, but serves as the heart of the home by allowing the family to enjoy a nice sitting area in good or bad weather. The second unit is what gives the home its cabin-like character: a sloped wooden gallery roof . The high wooden beams add personality and a distinct openness to the compact living area and small bedroom space located on the first floor. The high ceilings were also useful to install the children’s room, which sits on the second level and is accessible by ladder. + OEU-ChaO Architects Via Archdaily Images via Zhi Cheng

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Tiny ‘prison-like’ apartment in Beijing reborn as a light-filled family home

C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

November 28, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9NBzc3LaMc Located in Antwerp’s Nieuw Zuid area on the river Schelde, the residential tower breaks from traditional design with its community-oriented structure that encourages social interactions beyond just chance encounters in the lift or lobby. The building will contain a variety of housing types to encourage diversity that range from small, shared flats suitable for students to larger family homes and live-work studios . The 15,000-square-meter tower block will include 154 homes as well as a mix of shops, offices, and communal facilities. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects renovate a derelict fire station into Antwerp’s new BREEAM-rated port headquarters The compact volume will be wrapped in a light-grid that defines the vertical mini-communities to give “a sense of intimate neighborliness across the stories, with the opportunity for both privacy and social interaction, as is known from traditional horizontal neighborhoods,” write the architects. Greenery will be woven into the terraces, winter gardens, and rooftop terraces to create a cooling microclimate . Shared facilities include a bicycle workshop, laundry room, community room, and a roof landscape on the fifth floor. The building is expected to achieve passive-house standard. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

Aedas sleek office tower and green space will bring a "missing humanism to Shanghai

November 10, 2016 by  
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The 45,000-square-meter Gemdale Changshou Road development is nicknamed “Cloud on Terrace” after its rounded and reflective tower set on a terraced retail podium. The landscaped terraces soften the building’s appearance and break down the development to a human scale. The terraces step up to form a tower with rounded edges and an angular orientation—a contrast to the surrounding boxy skyscrapers . The terraced building is a visual bridge between the low-rise, residential developments to the south and Changshou Road in the north. Related: Aedas unveils mountainous mixed-use building that looks like a stack of books The building is mostly glazed and will be installed with high-performance, low-e , and low-iron glass to save on energy. The landscaped terraces help provide a cooling microclimate , purify the air, and reduce solar heat gain. Horizontal solar shades extrude from the tower’s glass curtain wall to further reduce solar gain. The building is slated for completion by 2019. + Andrew Bromberg Aedas Via ArchDaily Images via Aedas and AsymmetricA

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Foster + Partners China Resources University opens in Shenzhen

November 1, 2016 by  
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Set atop a hill, the new China Resources University overlooks views towards the South China Sea and accommodates hundreds of students. The campus comprises a management training institute, residential buildings, five teaching building, an invention center, auditoria, library, and gym. The campus is connected to a larger mixed-use development , also designed by Foster + Partners, that includes a hotel, clubhouse, retail, and other residences. Related: Foster + Partners breaks ground on Ferring Pharamceuticals’ headquarters in Copenhagen “The idea was to create a cascading complex of buildings and spaces – a series of teaching and living spaces, terraces and informal streets that encourage interaction and a sense of wellbeing,” said Chris Bubb, architect partner at Foster + Partners. The campus is made primarily from locally fired brick as a nod to Shenzhen’s history of brick masonry buildings. Coarse stones hand-pressed against the bricks before the firing process give the bricks their rough texture, which were then baked at varying temperatures to create different colors to match the different tones of earth in the surrounding area. + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners , by Neil Young

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Foster + Partners China Resources University opens in Shenzhen

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects design a sustainable new benchmark for Stavanger

September 21, 2016 by  
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Located near Stavanger Central Station and adjacent to the future “Tivoliparken” city park, the 18,170-square-meter tower occupies a highly visible site, and is thus designed to interweave with the urban fabric. The building is accessible on three sides and its main entrance, which faces the future green park, will invite passersby into publicly accessible space with a mixed-use program including a cafe, restaurant, canteen, lobby, flexible performance spaces, multifunctional exhibitions, and events space across two levels. The tower will also house a church, currently located on the site, on floors 3 to 5; however, the majority of the 26-story building will be used for office space. The top two floors will be open to the public and offer spectacular panoramic views as well as conference facilities, restaurants, bars, and public space. Related: Undulating Green-Roofed Hotel Opens in Norway The sleek modern building blends contemporary elements with “a clear Scandinavian architectural reference.” Vertical aluminum and glass panels clad the exterior and pour natural light into the over 1,000 workspaces. “The building design is optimized to the highest degree of user-friendliness and energy efficiency ,” write the architects. “Green terraces at different heights and orientations bring a distinct recognizable character to this new high-rise in Stavanger, which will be one of the highest in Norway.” + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok

September 1, 2016 by  
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Ole Scheeren designed the tower while working at Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and completed the project with his own studio Büro Ole Scheeren. Located in the Central Business District in Bangkok , the new tower might not stay the tallest building in Thailand – the Rama IX Super Tower slated for completion in 2019 is expected to be almost twice as high as MahaNakhon. The solid facade of the tower is broken up by a pixelated effect meant to reveal parts of the inner life of the building. The carved volume forms green areas and balconies that offer great views of Bangkok. In addition to various residential and commercial spaces, the tower includes a large public space with public gardens and a transportation hub. + Büro Ole Scheeren Via Archdaily

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