Archive for 03/12/13

A design proposal for an algae retrofitting of the marina city towers in chicago, illinois, USA. Utilizing the natural CO2 absorbing capabilities of the live material, the project explores ways of urban decarbonization by integrating loops of bioreactors on to the 20th-century towers. The project is a closed loop system that focuses on three different levels of carbon reduction: direct carbon sequestration from the air, absorption by vegetal photosynthesis, and additional establishments of natural energy harvesting. staring from the top, two carbon scrubbing plants driven by wind power turbines will capture CO2 from the air, filtering it before releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. the algae bioreactors will produce enough energy for the building's operational needs.

In November 2012 architecture students at the institute for computational design (ICD) and the institute of building structures and structural design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart have completed a research pavilion that is robotically fabricated from carbon and glass fibre composites. Assembly of the hut was developed by a six-axis robot coupled with an external sevenths axis. as part of the process the materials were saturated with resin, run through a bath of the synthetic polymer directly prior to their placement by the robot. after the completion of the filament winding process and subsequent tempering of the fibre-resin blend, the temporary steel frame could be disassembled and removed. The automatically fabricated, but locally differentiated structure resulted in an extremely thin shell of just 4mm thickness.The research focused on the material and morphological principles of arthropods’ exoskeletons as a source of exploration for a new composite construction paradigm in architecture. Source

Hartland Abbey lies across a narrow river valley in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Augustinian monks chose this idyllic site to found their monastery in 1157 AD. The last abbey in the country to be dissolved in 1539, it was given by Henry VIII to the Sergeant of his Wine Cellar, William Abbott, who’s descendent Sir Hugh Stucley and his family live here today. Hartland Abbey was extensively remodelled in the 18th & 19th centuries with fascinating architecture, linenfold panelling and murals; it consists of Medieval, Queen Anne, Georgian, Regency and Victorian architecture and decoration including a complete example of the century of gothic reviva. For More Details

Kusus architekten’s BBI-Info Tower at the Capital Airport in Berlin is designed to be a recognizable element for the airport that will “serve the whole region and far beyond the boundaries of the construction site beyond.”   Rising 31 meters, the tower is a welcoming sight for visitors approaching by land or passengers on plane.  Pro-grammatically, the building is a observation tower that provides views of the “growing” new airport complex which is currently being developed.  By ascending to the top, the visitor is then roughly at the level of the surrounding construction cranes and gains new insight into the construction activities. Inside, a massive reinforced concrete elevator core carries the weight of the entire structure, allowing the exterior envelope to portray a feeling of delicacy and lightness.   Steel spiral stairs cantilever off the core with intermediate landings that provide areas of rest during ascent and descent, as well as views of the site through the semi-transparent envelope. Upon reaching the top, there are two observation decks, an encased platform and an open deck. source

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a baroque French château located in Maincy, near Melun, 55 km southeast of Paris in the Seine-et-Marne département of France. It was built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle Île, Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV.

The château was an influential work of architecture in mid-17th century Europe. At Vaux-le-Vicomte, the architect Louis Le Vau, the landscape architect André le Nôtre, and the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together on a large-scale project for the first time.

Their collaboration marked the beginning of the "Louis XIV style" combining architecture, interior design and landscape design. The garden's pronounced visual axis is an example of this style.To secure the necessary grounds for the elaborate plans for Vaux-le-Vicomte's garden and castle, Fouquet purchased and demolished three villages. wiki

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I.The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect has ably synthesized the ideas of his master Sinan, aiming for overwhelming size, majesty and splendour. It has one main dome, six minarets, and other eight secondary domes.  Wikipedia

The Swallow's Nest  is a decorative castle near Yalta on the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine. It was built between 1911 and 1912 in Gaspra, on top of 40-metre high Aurora Cliff, to a Neo-Gothic design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood. The castle overlooks the Cape of Ai-Todor of the Black Sea and is located near the remnants of the Roman castrum of Charax. Swallow's Nest is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Crimea, becoming the symbol of Crimea's southern coastline. The building is compact in size, measuring only 20 m long by 10 m wide. Its original design envisioned a foyer, guest room, stairway to the tower, and two bedrooms on two different levels within the tower. The interior of the guest room is decorated with wooden panels; the walls of the rest of the rooms are stuccoed and painted. An observation deck rings the building, providing a view of the sea, and Yalta's distant shoreline.

Every two years in August, an enormous "flower carpet" is set up in the Grand Place for a few days. A million colourful begonias are set up in patterns, and the display covers a full 24 by 77 metres, for area total of 1,800 square metres. The first flower carpet was made in 1971, and due to its popularity, the tradition continued, with the flower carpet attracting a large number of tourists. The Flower Carpet, made of vibrantly colored flowers, is located in the square outside the Grand Palace. It is a massive display of begonias arranged meticulously to resemble the design of an ornate carpet. The carpet is on display during the third week of August during even numbered years. The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city's Town Hall, and the Bread house. The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels. It measures 68 by 110 metres, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 km  northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the centre of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 m . Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The major settlement, Vaitape, is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. Produce of the island is mostly limited to what can be obtained from the sea and the plentiful coconut trees, which were historically of economic importance for copra.

The House of Justice serves as a two storey civic centre for the people of Mestia, a village with a strong cultural heritage. Its concrete structure frames the spectacular landscape of the Caucasian Mountains. The building is part of an ensemble of new public buildings around the main central public plaza. Project started in 2011 for Ministry of Justice of Georgia and Completed in 2012. Total Floor Space 350m. The iron bars of the glazed façade of this iconic spectacle-like form should act as a reminder of what might occur if one breaks the law. A fun concrete structure set amidst an idyllic landscape. The House of Justice will be the first public service institution in Georgia with completely new concept of service delivery by the Ministry of Justice. This is a new strategy of consumer-oriented state services arranged in conformity with business logic and combined into one concept. The House of Justice will deliver various types of services based on the so-called "one-desk-service" principle. Consumers will have an opportunity to receive here services delivered by the Civil Registry Agency, National Agency of Public Registry, National Archive, National Bureau of Enforcement, Notary Chamber, Legislative Herald and Training Center of Justice. Source

Dancing Dragons is a pair of landmark supertall mixed-use towers for the new Yongsan International Business District in Seoul, Korea. The buildings, which include residential, “officetel” and retail elements, consist of slender, sharply angled mini-towers cantilevered around a central core.  The design aesthetic is highly contemporary yet informed by aspects of traditional Korean culture.

The mini-towers feature a dramatic series of diagonal massing cuts that create living spaces that float beyond the structure. This recalls the eaves of traditional Korean pagodasa design theme echoed both in the geometry of the building skin and the jutting canopies at the towers’ base. The theme is extended in the building skin, which suggests the scales of fish and Korean mythical creatures such as dragons, which seem to dance around the corehence the project’s name.

Towers 1 and 2 about 450 meters and 390 meters tall, respectively share an architectural language and, therefore, a close family resemblance, but are not identical. In the taller structure, the 88 level Tower 1, the massing cuts at the top and bottom of the mini-towers are V-shaped. In the 77-level Tower 2, the cuts move diagonally in a single unbroken line; they are also arranged in a radial pattern around the core that is perceptible as viewers move around the tower. Source

The capital of the south central chinese province of hunan is in the midst of incredible population growth and rapid urban development. at the center of a stimulus worth 130 billion USD is the idyllic meixihu lake, now primed for an ambitious set of cultural projects. zaha hadid's winning design for the 'changsha meixihu international culture and art center' broke ground in october after distinguishing itself as a composition of serpentine curves forming a complex that contains a contemporary art museum, a multi-purpose hall, a hotel, and various ancillary facilities. The central plaza emphasizes the pedestrian urban experience by helping to create incidental meeting areas and generating cultural capital in form of a sculpture garden and expansive exhibition space. views of the lake are framed by the museum's three-petal form, unfurling around a central atrium. Outward views are afforded by ribbons of glazing and balconies that serve the dual purpose of admitting daylight into the galleries. the multipurpose hall is a pointedly variable space, with public access to retail areas and restaurants nestled in a sunken courtyard. the focal point of the plan comes by way of the grand theater, slated to be the largest performance venue in the city with an 1800 seat capacity. Source

Australian National University campus John Curtin School of Medical Research building, by Lyons Architecture. The building features are addition to research laboratories, 200 seat lecture hall and plenty amounts of exterior spaces. The outer design of the building is clad in steel and smoothly rendered and fabricated panels seems like molecules on coded DNA strands. These panels gradually reveal the inner-workings of the school as the viewer approaches the entrance. While inside, the flexibly designed laboratories accommodate small and large groups, allowing research to be undertaken in a variety of manners. office areas for independent analysis and support staff are located next to the labs, delivering an integrated and highly efficient workplace. Source

Spello is an ancient town and township of Italy, in the province of Perugia in east central Umbria, on the lower southern flank of Mt. Subasio. It is 6 km NNW of Foligno and 10 km SSE of Assisi. The old walled town lies on a regularly NW-SE sloping ridge that eventually meets the plain. From the top of the ridge, Spello commands a good view of the Umbrian plain towards Perugia; at the bottom of the ridge, the town spills out of its walls into a small modern section served by the rail line from Rome to Florence via Perugia. Populated in ancient times by the Umbri, it became a Roman colony in the 1st century BC. Under the reign of Constantine the Great it was called Flavia Constans, as attested by a document preserved in the local Communal PalaceThe densely-inhabited town, built of stone, is of decidedly medieval aspect, and is enclosed in a circuit of medieval walls on Roman foundations, including three Roman Late Antique gates Porta Consolare, Porta di Venere and the "Arch of Augustus" and traces of three more, remains of an amphitheater, as well several medieval gates. Spello boasts about two dozen small churches, most of them medieval. Spello residential streets are glow with flowers in springs.

Qatar’s Katara Hospitality had entered an agreement with the Gambian government to develop a $200m resort near the capital city of Banjul.The resort will cover an area of 18 hectares located in Bijilo Forest Park on the Western African coast and will be a joint venture between the Gambian government and the Doha-based hospitality firm. Earlier this year, Sheikh Nawaf said Katara will open six new hotels before 2016, including its flagship Lusail Marina Hotel in the Qatari capital Doha, and was aiming to double its portfolio. They are looking at 220 countries, They will spreading rapidly in the near future. The company will open three new hotels in 2013: the Royal Savoy Lausanne; the Gallia Hotel Milan; The Peninsula Hotel Paris, as well as a second Parisian location with a five-star hotel. In 2014, it will open the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, Tazi Palace in Tangier, Morroco currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment and a new-build project, the Comoros Beach Resort located in the Union of Comoros. Source

The Montjuïc Communications Tower, popularly known as Torre Calatrava, is a telecommunication tower in the Montjuïc neighborhood of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, construction on the tower began in 1989 and was completed in 1992. The white tower was built for Telefónica to transmit television coverage of the 1992 Summer Olympics Games in Barcelona. The 136 m tower is located in the Olympic park, and represents an athlete holding the Olympic Flame.The base is covered with trencadís, Gaudí's mosaic technique created from broken tile shards.Because of the tower's orientation, it works also as a giant sundial, which uses the Europa square to indicate the hour. wiki

The Tenerife Opera House rises out of the Atlantic Ocean like a gigantic white wave. Situated in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the building designed by the world renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and opened in September 2003.The Tenerife Opera House is the home to the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra and is also used as a venue for performance arts including theatre, dance and Spanish Operettas (Zarzuela). Standing on an area of over 5.7 acres, the Opera House is sits aside the ocean with its magnificent overhanging wing. This wing was made from 17 pieces that were shipped from Seville, the largest of which weighed in at over 60 tons. Once in place, the wing was filled with white concrete that was made locally, in total over 2000 tons of concrete was used in the construction of the building. Source

Sydney's urban area is in a coastal basin, which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north and the Royal National Park to the south. It lies on a submergent coastline, where the ocean level has risen to flood deep river valleys (ria) carved in the Hawkesbury sandstone. Port Jackson, better known as Sydney Harbour, is one such ria. Spring days are great for exploring Sydney's attractions, bushwalking, cycling, and the outdoors. Streets are full of blossom  in November like  Jacracanda Street. Sydney is known as the Harbour City. It is the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world's most beautiful and liveable cities. Brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine, design, it is set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. Recent immigration trends have led to the cities reputation as one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in Australia and the world. 

The Palm Islands are an artificial archipelago in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Major commercial and residential infrastructures will be constructed by Nakheel Properties, a property developer in The UAE. The Belgian and Dutch dredging and marine contractors, Jan De Nul and Van Oord, some of the world's specialists in land reclamation, were hired to complete construction. The islands are the Palm Jumeirah, the Palm Jebel Ali and the Palm Deira. Each settlement will be in the shape of a palm tree, topped with a crescent. The settlements will have a large number of residential, leisure and entertainment centers. The Palm Islands are located off the coast of The UAE in the Persian Gulf and will add 520 kilometers of beaches to the city of Dubai. The first two islands will comprise of approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand. The Palm Deira will be composed of approximately one billion cubic meters of rock and sand. All materials will be quarried in The UAE. Among the three islands, there will be over 100 luxury hotels, exclusive residential beach side villas and apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities and health spas.

Well renowned studio Zaha Hadid  is doing this project in Italy in the small town of Jesolo, will finish constraction in 2014 . Dubbed the Jesolo Magica, the structure is meant both as a eye catcher for anyone visiting but also as a major gateway into town. It features a 5 star hotel, two story retail complex, offices, a congress hall, a gym, a nightclub and a restaurant that boasts amazing views of the nearby gardens. With fluid shapes that take your breath away, that’s certainly Zaha Hadid’s signature. The Hotel, as the last petal close the perspective perception opposite the street and, its shape offers the panoramic view trough the Venice Lagoon.The retail and congress centre, Jesolo Magica, dialogs with the precious territorial environment, thanks to its sinuosity and long entrances allows natural light and natural environment go dip through the petals-buildings, which became observation point towards the Lagoon. Source

Suspended 10 metres up a giant redwood tree, New Zealand’s world-first Yellow Treehouse Restaurant. Diners wanting to check out the latest in haute cuisine have been quick to reserve tables in the ‘billion-star restaurant’ - an architectural whimsy resembling a cocoon wrapped around the tree trunk - with spectacular views from its forest perch just north of Auckland. The restaurant offers a banquet-style lunch and dinner daily for groups of four to six diners.Diners are advised to bring warm clothes as "it can get a bit chilly up there".Since construction began, the project has attracted huge interest, with visitors including school classes and architecture students. Online viewers following progress on the website blog have made enquiries and booking requests from all over the world.

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