Historic Luxembourg building is metamorphosed into an eco-friendly powerhouse

October 3, 2018 by  
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Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures has placed first in POST Luxembourg’s international design competition with its chrysalis-inspired vision for transforming the telecommunication company’s historic headquarters building into a carbon-neutral city landmark. Dubbed the Metamorphosis of the Hotel des Postes, the winning design includes nearly 120,000 square feet of mixed-use space comprising housing, co-working, retail, a brewery, restaurant and a permaculture rooftop garden. Although the design calls for a significant revamp of the structure’s energy systems, the architects will also take care to preserve the building’s historic architectural elements that date back to the turn of the 20th century. Designed by the government architect Sosthène Weis in the early 1900s, the historic building is mainly built of stone and reinforced concrete but has also been remodeled over the years with several extensions. Vincent Callebaut Architectures will begin its “metamorphosis” of the property by removing three of the extensions and then carefully inserting new changes, which include transforming the interior courtyard into a covered atrium. Central to the redesign is the addition of a chrysalis-inspired, multi-story volume in an oblong shape as well as a photovoltaic cell-studded glass “solar dome.” “[Our goal is to] reveal the intrinsic heritage qualities of the building and highlight them with contemporary architecture that assumes its era,” the architects explained. “Between history and modernity, between heritage and innovation, this metamorphosis presents a project reinforcing the patrimonial identity of the place by transforming the historic building into a showcase of contemporary, ecological architecture. Low-Tech and high-tech are therefore in tune to serve this exceptional project.” Related: Five bridges topped with urban farms could revitalize war-torn Mosul Designed to meet carbon-neutral status, the project aims to consume less than 30 kWh of energy per square meter annually and meet near net-zero energy targets. The building will not only be powered with renewable energies such as solar, wind and biomass, but it will also be renovated to follow passive design principles and updated with an airtight building envelope, double-glazed windows and highly efficient insulation. Metamorphosis of the Hotel des Postes is currently seeking approval from the local government. + Vincent Callebaut Architectures Images via Vincent Callebaut Architectures

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Historic Zhuhai sugar factory to be reborn as a low-carbon cultural hub

June 4, 2018 by  
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A new adaptive reuse project is looking to save a sweet piece of history in China. International design firm Woods Bagot  unveiled plans to revitalize the disused Hongqi Zhen Sugar Factory in Zhuhai’s Jinwan District, turning it into a spectacular new cultural park. Designed to include a sugar industry museum and a chocolate factory (among other facilities), the mixed-use development will aim to offset its carbon footprint with solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and geothermal heating and cooling systems. Located in the Pearl River Delta in south China’s Guangdong province, Zhuhai is one of China’s premier tourist destinations and has even been nicknamed the Chinese Riviera. The revitalization project will tap into the existing tourist infrastructure and offer a wide suite of attractions on a 78,877-square-meter plot. A large park will occupy the heart of the project and will be ringed by landscape features including a floral garden walk, a sculpture garden, a farming experience, and scenic waterscapes and wetlands transformed from former industrial waterbodies. The development is divided into different thematic zones that range from the bustling retail street to the tranquil wedding lake and wetland boardwalk. “It is a privilege to create a place where a whole community can capture and celebrate their proud industrial history,” said Charlie Chen, Studio Leader at Woods Bagot. “At the heart of our strategy is a desire to inspire and engage the diverse people that will enjoy the site – from locals and former factory workers to tourists, families and children alike. The result will be a showcase of old and new, and provide Zhuhai with a rich cultural landmark for generations to come.” In addition to diverse retail and restaurant offerings, the firm plans to add a boutique hotel , wedding venue, and start-up offices. Related: MVRDV will transform the Tirana Pyramid, a former communist monument, into an education center One of the firm’s major design goals is to repurpose as many of the existing sugar factory buildings as possible. New buildings will be designed to match the industrial aesthetic and will only rise two to three stories in height in order to differentiate themselves from taller historic architecture. Murals and other artistic installations will commemorate the site’s history. + Woods Bagot Images via Woods Bagot

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Curvaceous algae-covered towers proposed for Hangzhou

May 11, 2018 by  
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Paris-based studio XTU Architects recently unveiled designs for a futuristic high-rise in Hangzhou that blends sustainable technologies into an organic, sculptural design. Cloaked in a “bio facade” of micro algae -covered panels, the curvaceous towers can produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Dubbed French Dream Towers, the mixed-use complex would also incorporate rainwater harvesting, a greenhouse, and an aquaponics system. Currently under review, French Dream Towers comprises four buildings clustered around a central water body. The towers feature sloped facades that give the project its organic shape and help facilitate rainwater collection . The mixed-use complex includes a French Tech Hub with offices and co-working spaces; an Art Center comprising galleries, artist residences, and market space; a hotel with wellness facilities; and a luxury restaurant with French fusion cuisine and a bar. Related: Incredible Algae Dome absorbs sun and CO2 to produce superfood and oxygen “The culture of micro-algae on the building facade is a process developed by XTU for several years,” said the architects of their patent-pending micro-algae panels. “It allows the symbiosis: the bio facade uses the thermal building to regulate the culture temperature of algae and at the same time these facades allow a much better insulation of buildings.” + XTU Architects Via Dezeen Images via XTU Architects

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Henning Larsen to revitalize Brussels region with rooftop farming and co-housing

April 6, 2018 by  
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A post-industrial region in Brussels will find a new lease on life thanks to the vision of Henning Larsen Architects . The Dutch architecture firm, in collaboration with Architects A2RC , recently won a design competition to redevelop Brussels’ Key West development with a strong focus on livability. The masterplan will introduce new housing, community facilities, and stronger ties to the waterfront and urban farming. As part of a plan to redevelop its old industrial areas, the Government of Brussels launched the Canal Plan, the biggest urban development project in the Brussels region. The Key West development, headed by Henning Larsen Architects and Architects A2RC, aims to bring greater socio-economic cohesion to a challenged region, particularly Anderlecht, a municipality with a rough reputation. The masterplan will inject new life along the canal and add 46,000 square meters of housing in addition to 17,000 square meters of community spaces including public spaces, sports facilities, and urban farming initiatives. “We were inspired by the Government of Brussels’ ambitions to tap into the spirit of the old industrial area by introducing ‘second generation industries’ ? local production facilities such as e.g. microbreweries, a cookie factory, coffee roasting facilities. As architects involved in urban planning one of our most distinguished tasks is to create the physical framework for an area like Key West to regain economic growth and community cohesion,” says Partner at Henning Larsen, Jacob Kurek. Related: Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt In addition to an inviting mixed-use streetscape, Key West will enjoy a stronger relationship to the canals through new waterfront infrastructure that will use biotopes to improve water quality and rainwater collection to handle impervious runoff. Residences will be stacked atop first-floor retail and restaurants and will include co-housing options that offer large 8 to 9 bedroom apartments for shared living. Rooftop urban farms will be made visible from the street and the locally grown produce is tied into a scheme for a farmers market to be located in the south-facing town square. The Key West development is slated for completion by 2022. + Henning Larsen Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen to revitalize Brussels region with rooftop farming and co-housing

Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs BREEAM-seeking brewery renovation in Riga

March 23, 2018 by  
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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has beaten the likes of Henning Larsen and Zaha Hadid Architects in a competition to design Kimmel Quarter, a major urban revitalization project in Riga, Latvia . Located in the capital’s Central District, the project will be centered on the redevelopment of Brewery Kimmel, a 19th century beer brewery rich in history. The adaptive reuse scheme will preserve the site’s historical roots while adding new mixed-use programming that follow sustainable design principles. The 11,500-square-meter Kimmel Quarter will become Riga’s new destination for working, shopping, and recreation. The abandoned industrial buildings that occupy nearly an entire city block will be restored and transformed into a 30,000-square-meter office building, a hotel, a public gym, a child care center, a cafe, a spa, a food court, and a convenience store. Inviting courtyards and plazas will tie the various spaces together. “We wanted to create a new composition of building volumes as pragmatic and straight forward as the old industrial complex with a dynamic façade that pushes back and forth and up and down,” said Rasmus Kierkegaard, Associate Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. “The resulting architecture is distinctly modern, but in a rewarding dialogue with the old restored buildings. We have designed a new Kimmel Quarter in which history and the future are bound by timeless architecture.” Related: Lookout Loop bird observatory in Latvia doubles as a temporary shelter Sensitive adaptive reuse, passive solar orientation, and use of recycled materials and rainwater are part of the design’s focus on sustainability. Kimmel Quarter will follow BREEAM standards and is expected to serve as one of Riga’s model project for meeting the European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package goals. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Japanese builder unveils plans for worlds tallest timber skyscraper in Tokyo

February 15, 2018 by  
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Japanese builder and developer Sumitomo Forestry has unveiled designs for the world’s tallest timber skyscraper in the heart of Tokyo. Designed by Nikken Sekkei , the 1,148-foot-tall wooden tower will form part of the W350 Project, a mixed-use environmentally friendly development that the firms aim to complete in 2041 to mark Sumitomo’s 350th anniversary. The company says these steel-and-timber structures will help “transform the city into a forest.” Early renderings of the W350 project show the timber buildings covered in greenery and filled with natural light as part of Sumitomo’s message of promoting a healthier living environment. The buildings will be built to withstand earthquakes and be constructed with a 9:1 ratio of wood to steel. The development’s skyscraper centerpiece will house a hotel, offices, retail and residences. When complete, it will not only be the tallest timber tower in the world but also the tallest building in Japan. Related: Magnificent timber skyscraper will sequester carbon and add greenery to Bordeaux W350 is estimated to need over 6.5 million cubic feet of wood and cost approximately 600 billion yen. While the building framework will be made of a hybrid timber-steel structure, the interior will feature exposed wood in an attempt to bring people closer to nature. The company hopes that the project will popularize timber architecture and help jumpstart a revitalization of the forestry industry in rural areas and interest in reforestation . + Sumitomo Forestry + Nikken Sekkei Via Telegraph Images via Sumitomo Forestry

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David Chipperfield Architects reveal designs for Hamburgs tallest tower

February 12, 2018 by  
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Hot on the heels of Herzog & de Meuron’s recently completed Elbphilharmonie , David Chipperfield Architects has revealed designs for the German city’s next big architecture project: Elbtower. Towering above the skyline at 230 meters (755 feet), the sculptural mixed-use building will be the tallest building in the city and serve as a counterpoint to Elbphilharmonie to the west. David Chipperfield Architects’ designs for Elbtower won an international design competition that sought a building that was modern yet also captured the historic and unique character of the riverfront location. Its sculptural form features a long multi-level podium that then curves upwards to form a 230-meter-tall tower with tapered edges. The podium will comprise a bar, hotel, restaurant, retail, and exhibition areas. The building will also enjoy easy access to the train and underground station as well as a bicycle bridge. Related: Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie Plaza is the highest public square in northern Germany “We are delighted to have won the competition for the Elbtower project together with SIGNA and are happy to be invited to work in Hamburg again, especially on such an important site,” said David Chipperfield. “As architects we are increasingly aware that the city depends on the quality of projects from the private sector to create a strong civic dimension that engages with the complexities of the city. We look forward to positively embracing this responsibility with the Elbtower project.” The Elbtower will be sheathed in a specially designed glass facade equipped with lighting technology—designed by by Studio Other Spaces in collaboration with Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann—that will transform the building into a “kinetic sculpture” at night. + David Chipperfield Architects Via ArchDaily Images via David Chipperfield Architects

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Steven Holl Architects unveils funky Parachute Hybrids residences for Moscow

February 9, 2018 by  
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Steven Holl Architects and Art-group Kamen have unveiled designs for a playful and unusual-looking mixed-use development set to rise in Moscow’s Tushino district. Punctuated by giant circles and topped with green roofs, these asymmetrical glass buildings won an international design competition, beating out proposals from the likes of Fuksas Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects. The project draws from the site’s history as a former paratrooper airfield and proposes a new building typology that the architects call “Parachute Hybrids.” Located along the bank of the Moscow River, the new mixed-use center will comprise housing, social spaces, a kindergarten and an elementary school. A large public garden and playground space occupies the heart of the project—a reference to the site’s former use as a historic paratrooper airfield—with optimal access to natural light . “The new building type we have proposed here, inspired by the site’s history, is unique to this place,” said Steven Holl. His firm describes the “Parachute Hybrids” typology as one that “combines residential bar and slab structures with supplemental programming suspended in sections above, like parachutes frozen in the sky.” Related: Renzo Piano to convert a Moscow power station into a solar-powered arts center Sustainability is also a central component of the design. In addition to green roofs , the buildings will incorporate solar pergolas, rainwater recycling, geothermal heating and cooling, as well as optimize daylighting. Apartments will feature operable glass that opens up to balconies. + Steven Holl Architects + Art-group Kamen Images by Steven Holl Architects and Art-group Kamen

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Shimmering bamboo-shaped skyscraper to rise in Taipei

January 25, 2018 by  
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Move over Taipei 101—a new green-glass skyscraper will soon transform the city skyline. Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners (ACPV) unveiled designs for the Taipei Sky Tower, a 280-meter-tall building that, like Taiwan’s tallest tower , draws design inspiration from bamboo shoots. The luxury mixed-use development will house two Hyatt-branded luxury hotels—Park Hyatt Taipei and Andaz Taipei. Commissioned by Riant Capital Limited, ACPV’s Taipei Sky Tower design was selected from a shortlist of seven international firms. Billed as “Taiwan’s first large-scale lifestyle-driven development,” the sleek 54-story tower will be set in Xinyi, the city’s financial district flush with new modern construction projects, including the carbon-absorbing Agora Garden . In addition to Taipei Sky Tower’s two hotels, the mixed-use building will also feature a luxury retail podium. Related: Vincent Callebaut’s twisting carbon-absorbing skyscraper nears completion in Taipei Taipei Sky Tower will feature curved edges, a segmented facade, and an angled roofline to mimic a bamboo shoot with notched sections. The design also draws inspiration from the pleats of Greek columns. “ACPV aims to create an ultra-modern 280 -meter tall skyscraper by blending some of the oldest elements from the East and West in modern harmony,” reads a press release. ACPV will lead the design for Park Hyatt Taipei, while the design for Andaz will be given over to Neri&Hu . The project is slated for completion in 2020. + Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners Via Dezeen Images via Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners

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Shimmering bamboo-shaped skyscraper to rise in Taipei

German slang wraps around MVRDV-designed building for Munich

November 23, 2017 by  
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German architecture takes a playful turn in WERK12, a mixed-use building designed by MVRDV that’s just broke ground in Munich . Located in a post-industrial site in the emerging Werksviertel neighborhood, WERK12 draws inspiration from its industrial heritage and modern graffiti culture. To set the mood for the stylish spaces within, MVRDV teamed up with artists Engelmann and Engl to wrap the building in 5-meter-tall German slang lettering that light up at night. Located near Munich’s East Station, the 9,600-square-meter WERK12 was commissioned by OTEC GmbH & Co. KG as part of a 40-hectare urban regeneration masterplan that will create approximately 1,200 new homes and up to 7,000 new jobs. The mixed-use building will comprise loft-style offices, restaurants, sports facilities, a skyline swimming pool, and restaurants for nightlife and gastronomy. The façade’s use of giant German words, found in various youth and subculture groups, as public signage is a nod to the graffiti culture and extensive use of signage found around the area. “WERK12 is totally unique and entirely new for Munich and is a strong contrast to the historic centre just ten minutes away”, says Jacob van Rijs, MVRDV co-founder. “It is a flexible and completely user adaptable building with spaces that can transform over time with bold and expressive texts on the façade are visible from a distance. This transparent building becomes a new focal point on the new Plaza that will form the heart of the Werksviertel.” Related: China’s new futuristic library is unlike any we’ve seen before The five-floor building will be optimized for natural daylight and feature tall ceilings and airy, open spaces flexible enough for multiple uses. The high ceilings, all over 5 meter in height, allows for split levels to break up the space and add visual interest. MVRDV pushed the elevator shaft and fire escape stairs to the outside of the building to create the deep and flexible interiors, while turning the outdoor stairways into a focal point punctuated by 3.25-meter-wide terraces . WERK12 is slated for completion in February 2019. + MVRDV

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