Archive for November 6th, 2010

November 6, 2010

Recognizing Chicago architecture’s high points: A complete listing of the 2010 Design Excellence Awards

2010 DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARDS, sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects




Awards are given in four categories for 2010: Distinguished Building, Interior Architecture, Divine Detail and Unbuilt Design Award



Aqua Tower – Chicago – Studio Gang Architects (left)

Chicago Main Branch Riverwalk – Chicago – Ross Barney Architects

DuSable Harbor Building – Chicago – David Woodhouse Architects LLC

Field Chapel – Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany – Students of the College of Architecture, IIT

House of Sweden – Washington, DC – Wingardh Arkitektkontor, design architects; VOA Associates Incorporated, architects of record;

Old Orchard Woods – Skokie, Ill. – David C. Hovey, FAIA


235 Van Buren – Chicago – Perkins+Will

Coffou Cottage – Michigan City, Ind. – Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch LLC

Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center – Chicago – Studio Gang Architects

Warren E. Burger Federal Building and US Courthouse Renovation – St. Paul, Minn. – Teng




Chapel of Saint Ignatius Loyola – Chicago – John Ronan Architects (left)

Hennepin House – Hennepin, Ill. – UrbanLab

Herman Miller Los Angeles Showroom – Los Angeles, Cali. – tvsdesign

Hyde Park Bank Investment Real Estate Loan Processing Center – Chicago – Florian Architects

Panduit World Headquarters – Tinley Park, Ill. – Gensler


Camelview Village – Scottsdale, Ariz. – David C. Hovey, FAIA

College of DuPage, Technology Education Center – Glen Ellyn, Ill. – DeStefano Partners / Avi                    Lothan Studio

Columbia College Chicago – Chicago – Gensler

L20 Restaurant – Chicago – Dirk Denison Architects

Metropolis Investment Holdings Inc. – Chicago – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Terzo Piano Restaurant – Chicago – Dirk Denison Architects

Tribeca Loft – New York, N.Y.  – Gary Lee Partners


Confidential Trading Firm – Location withheld – Gensler

Gould & Ratner LLP – Chicago – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Poplar Creek Public Library – Streamwood, Ill. – Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects, Ltd.



Serta International Center – Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Epstein | Metter Studio

The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago – Chicago – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (left)


Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – New York, N.Y. – Perkins+Will

MORE Display Case – Chicago – David Woodhouse Architects LLC

Pritzker Hyatt Stair – Chicago – Dirk Denison Architects


201 Bishopsgate and the Broadgate Tower – London, UK – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Chervon International Trading Company – Nanjing, China – Perkins+Will

Transparent House II – Gulf Breeze, Fla. – Krueck + Sexton Architects



Culver House Development – designed for Chicago – Dirk Denison Architects


Hyatt Regency Lower Wacker Exhibition Hall, Riverfront Renovation and Wacker Plaza Master Plan – designed for Chicago – Gensler

Matrix Gateway Complex – designed for Dubai, UAE – Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture


Lake Bluff Tower – designed for Milwaukee, Wis. – Epstein | Metter Studio

Streets & Sanitation Facility/39th and Iron – designed for Chicago – Teng & Associates

November 6, 2010

Crit> Sperone Westwater Gallery

Thomas de Monchaux takes a ride in Norman Foster’s new Bowery museum, and finds it a movable feast for the senses


Any veteran of a certain kind of gallery opening knows the real show is in the elevator: crowded connoisseurs, mutually observant in their haute-bohemian finest, bringing the polish and shimmer of the night via the beat-up old freight elevator of any given former factory, to the pleasant prospect of wine and each other’s continued company. Plus some art. Norman Foster’s recent design for the Sperone Westwater gallery, freshly relocated to the Bowery a block up from SANAA’s celebrated New Museum, knows this. The treat of this smallish building is the biggish elevator, somewhat ambitiously labeled the “moving gallery,” which occupies the shaft of space right behind the translucent glass facade. The ascent and descent of its red undercarriage, poised on chromium hydraulics and, at 12 feet by 20 feet, extending almost to the narrow site’s full 25-foot width, amusingly changes the proportions of the entry lobby below, theoretically extending the potential for spatial effect and curatorial juxtaposition in the galleries above.

Except it doesn’t, really. The impact of the elevator’s watchful operator, along with the sporadic frequency of its open-door pauses at any particular gallery, tend to mute the sense of visual continuity presumably intended by the similar white-box finishes within both gallery and elevator. The fact that the elevator doesn’t descend to the ground floor, and instead must be reached by an effortful switchback navigation back (to fire stairs or another smaller elevator) and forth (across the piano nobile above), likewise dulls that perennial Manhattan dream of delirious mechanized ascent from sidewalk to skyline. (The inaugural installation by artist Guillermo Kuitca, of wall-hung mattresses painted with maps, recalls the padded-room effect of a quilt-lined freight elevator without quite transcending it.) At Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Boston Institute for Contemporary Art, or Renzo Piano’s Los Angeles County Museum of Art, similarly vast elevators do more.


Everything else, as with almost all of Foster’s remarkable global output of airports, skyscrapers, museums, and other modern monuments, is pretty much perfect. The cladding of the elevator shaft, visible from the lobby, is a unitized panel system of dove-gray steel that would make Louis Kahn weep with joy. Clever skylights and careful sightlines to glass doors at the building’s rear borrow sky from an adjacent park, drawing daylight deep into the interior and recalling similar ingenious sectional effects in the cast-iron factories and warehouses of New York’s nearby Soho neighborhood (where, if memory serves, art was also once displayed). The gallery spaces, while never quite letting you forget the cramped dimensions of the 25-foot-by-100-foot lot, are usefully varied in proportion, with walls from 13 feet to 27 feet in height. They feature a moderately swoopy atrium-and-mezzanine arrangement, with a glass balustrade that reflects further daylight deep into the interior and lightens the hearts of those who like their modernism a little shiny. Above the galleries, office space is efficiently stacked and set back up to the building’s eight-story height, along with a deftly dense arrangement of the required secondary elevator, dual fire stairs, and mechanical systems.

The superfine tolerances and alignments of reveals, expansion gaps, and the usual ephemera of detectors and switches should serve to chastise those who, for whatever reason, have come to believe that in New York the age of such miracles has passed. Every appearance of the typical Foster detail of electric sockets mounted flush to drywall, obviating the usual rectangular surround, is a miniscule masterpiece.


Yet one missed opportunity of the building is suggested where those tolerances don’t quite line up, at the edges of the brushed-steel doors of the gallery/elevator. Here, the hopeful observer can catch slivers of daylight, transmitted through the glazed facade across the irregular gap between door and floor. Barring the appearance of some as-yet-unfathomed system of glassy shaft doors, it’s lamentable that the intriguing potential for further and varied day-lighting effects, as the moving gallery aligns with and departs each floor, appears to remain unrealized—suggesting both the pleasures and the perils, as in much of Foster’s masterfully controlled work, of leaving nothing to chance.


Apart from Midtown’s zippy Hearst Tower (compromised somewhat by its stubby height and borrowed base), and any echo of a brilliantly acute proposal for Ground Zero (still the readers’ choice of The New York Post!), the greatest city in the world remains lamentably unadorned by the work of the planet’s greatest large-scale architecture firm. Foster + Partners’ long-planned renovations of the New York Public Library and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall may someday alleviate our provincial vernacular of wan historicist pastiche and trivially grandiose formalism. Foster’s output consistently demonstrates that there need be no compromise between systems of technical optimization and spaces of ardent proportion, light, and detail that reward our intelligence and lift our spirits. New York needs this combination of mechanical candor and moving rooms. But perhaps, next time, not in quite so literal a combination.

Thomas De Monchaux

November 6, 2010

Latest proposal for I.M. Pei complex heads to Landmarks Commission with designs for controversial fourth tower

Pei Scale for NYU’s Silver Towers Site?


New York University applied to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on October 7 for permission to add a 38-story building to the Silver Towers complex completed by I.M. Pei in 1966, a landmarked site on their Greenwich Village campus. Half hotel, half university housing, the tower would be part of NYU’s plan to add 6 million square feet of capacity by 2031. If approved, it would be the tallest building in the Village.

Grimshaw Architects designed the new fourth tower and are also working in collaboration with Toshiko Mori and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates on NYU’s much-debated expansion plan. The current proposal is an alternative to NYU’s original plan of building on a corner plot where a Morton Williams supermarket stands. The team reconsidered after concluding that completing the pinwheel composition begun by the existing three towers would preserve views, and the Pei planning aesthetic, better than the Morton Williams location. John Beckman, NYU’s vice president for public affairs, said, “The towers are oriented in a way that none of the buildings are in the way of the windows of the other.”


Trying to pay homage, not replicate the original buildings, Grimshaw’s tower will be made of the same precast concrete, in a slightly lighter hue, finished with high performance glazing. Its footprint is composed of four quarters, whose heights alternate between 375 and 355 feet, staggered to echo the placement of the four towers on the site. They also mimic the distinctive vertical pattern of the original towers, in which sheer concrete walls and a deep punched-window facade alternated in vertical stripes around each building. “We pushed pieces of the facade in, so they had more depth like the punched facades of Pei, and left some parts of the facade flush with the structure,” said Mark Husser, Grimshaw’s lead architect on the project.

The new tower would also update the flat tops and bottoms and monotonous proportions of the pre-existing towers, features that hark back to midcentury Brutalism. “The Pei towers have a fairly relentless articulation of the windows, that basically continues in the same proportions all the way up the building, and the building truncates at the ground and the sky,” Husser said. The articulated rooftop of the new tower would be paired with a bottom floor set back about four feet from the outer building envelope in a stepped pattern. Grimshaw also updated Pei’s identically repeating rows of windows by designing the new tower in stacked modules that get taller as the building rises, lightening the building’s form.

Not everyone is happy. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), the organization responsible for securing a landmark designation for the Silver Towers site in 2008, is organizing against NYU’s proposal on the grounds of its height and its effect on Pei’s composition. “This arrangement of three towers in a pinwheel fashion, with one side left open around a central space, was a motif you see throughout his works,” Berman said. “It was not an accident or an incomplete design awaiting a fourth element.” He also warned that allowing development on a landmarked site could set the stage for development of open space in other modernist landmarks.

According to Berman, NYU’s argument that building a tower is preferable to the Morton Williams alternative is a false dichotomy. Why not consider alternate neighborhoods, he asks, noting that community boards in the financial district have openly invited the kind of development NYU is proposing. “The fact that building on the supermarket site would also be bad doesn’t make building on the landmark site any less terrible,” Berman said. The GVSHP is organizing a rally at the site on Sunday, November 7, the day before the plan is put to a vote by Manhattan Community Board 2’s Landmarks Committee.

Julia Galef

November 6, 2010

Arup’s key man lights out for new territories

Balmond's Tokyo installation.


Call it the 40-year itch. At age 67 and after four decades building a global reputation for and at the UK-based engineering firm Arup, Cecil Balmond has announced plans to set up a studio of his own “to make more things.”

Reached by phone as he crisscrossed London in a taxicab, Balmond was happy to discuss his options. After successful art installations in Chicago last year and in Tokyo this year, Balmond said that he felt encouraged to do more installation work exploring “seriality as it relates to forms, ratios, and ideas,” perhaps expanding it to the scale of modular housing.

With more exhibition offers in the pipeline, he has been approached as well about product-design opportunities by a large European manufacturer, who came to him after seeing the 2006 bridge with kaleidoscopic panels that he designed in Coimbra, Portugal. Of this he would only say “it’s under wraps.”

Rather than restless, Balmond seems simply eager for the widest range of design work possible, as if working on the Seattle Library and CCTV with Rem Koolhaas and the Imperial War Museum with Daniel Libeskind, among other celebrated buildings, did not offer variety enough. “I’d like to design letterhead,” he exclaimed.

Asked if he had modeled his own career—which has included teaching, writing (his manifesto Informal is now in its fifth printing), and collaborating—after some distinguished figure in engineering history, he said, “No, I don’t follow anyone. There’s a whole collection of wisdom one has gained and absorbed. I get what I can, and move on.” Informal 2 is coming out next spring.

Balmond has garnered co-authorship from architects (Koolhaas at CCTV; Alvaro Siza at the 2005 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion) and artists (Anish Kapoor on the sculpture Temenos and a tower for London’s 2012 Olympics), a feat perhaps unprecedented in contemporary architecture. “I didn’t have to fight for it,” he said. “It just happened as part of the flow.” But he doesn’t see the roles of architect and engineer melding, suggesting it’s a matter of “scale and ambition.” On routine projects, each practitioner naturally and necessarily remains distinct, with one bringing “scientific rigor” and the other an awareness of “program and past references.”

As for his legacy at Arup, Balmond spoke of his role in expanding the firm’s European presence and in pioneering a relationship with the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, now an influential rite of summer in London. Though Arup employees number thousands in over 30 countries, Balmond’s studio will remain small and concentrated, a maximum of 14 to 16 people with different skills; he already has a philosopher from Oxford on board. “Now that I am free from corporate duties, I can concentrate on my agenda,” he said. “It’s a very good place to be.”

Julie V. Iovine


November 6, 2010

International Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier + Partners

International Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (5) © Klaus Frahm

New York architects Richard Meier & Partners announced the opening of the new corporate headquarters for Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG), the world’s largest green coffee service group located in ’s . The site of the new building is a part of a redevelopment initiative of the post-industrial port into a business, commercial and cultural center. Overlooking the Sandtorpark, harbor basins and the traditional skyline of , the 12-story glass tower, now called Coffee Plaza, and its two adjacent office buildings, act as an anchor for the renovated harbor.

The new location for the 55-year-old company is attributed to a desire to participate in the rejuvenation of the historic  and the reinvention of NKG into a modern company that can be represented by an “architecturally outstanding, transparent and modern” building by a respected firm, Richard Meier &Partners. and the developers of NKG had a stringent set of requirements with which to comply. Strict municipal zoning and sustainability challenged the architects and the client in their attempts to develop both a modern, sleek design and a green, sustainable building.  New mechanical systems and facades were designed to reduce energy consumption while maintaining natural ventilation and daylight accessibility in the working environment.  The south and west elevations are deisgned with vertical rotating louvres that minimize heat gain and provide shade for the users.  The close collaboration between  and NKG helped maintain the high standard that the architect and client strived to achieve.The elliptical 8,000-sq-meter tower is a trademark  design that includes a white and transparent glass facade, a light-filled atrium and office space.  The tower is mixed use with eleven of the twelve floors housing offices.  The additional penthouse, labeled the “sculptural roofscape” will provide additional conference rooms.  The ground level houses an elegant restaurant.  Parking and technical spaces are housed in the additional three subterranean levels.  The adjacent office buildings are each 5,000 square meters and are comprised of six floors, a roof terrace, underground parking and ground floor retail space.  The building also includes a collection of large-scale sculptures and paintings, including the largest bronze coffee bean.

International Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (1) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (2) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (3) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (4) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (6) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (7) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (8) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (9) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (10) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (11) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (12) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (13) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (14) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (15) plan 01International Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (13) © Klaus FrahmInternational Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (16) plan 02International Coffee Plaza / Richard Meier & Partners (17) section 01

Total floor area: 27,100 square meters

Completed: 2010

Clients: Neumann Gruppe GmbHDS, Bauconcept GmbH
Architect: Richard Meier & Partners
Design Team: Richard Meier, Bernhard Karpf
Project Architect: Ringo Offermann
Project team:
Christian Tschoeke
Eva Held
Gabriel McKinney
Gil Even-Tsur
Hyungsok Moon
Anne Strüwing
Jonathan Bell
Matt Krajewski
Quang Truong
Kevin Lee
Reja Bakh
Warren Kim
Associate Architect: Architekten Ingenieure PSP
Structural Engineer: Weber · Poll Ingenieurbüro
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: DS-Plan

Model photo: Jack Pottle/ESTO


Drawing courtesy Richard Meier & Partners, LLP
Site Plan

Drawing courtesy Richard Meier & Partners, LLP
Typical Floor Plan


November 6, 2010

8 House / BIG

8H_Image by Dragor Luftfoto_01 © Dragor Luftfoto

Celebrating its third project with the same development team in the maturing neighborhood of Orestad, the construction of the 61,000 sqm 8 House has come to an end, allowing people to bike all the way from the street up to its 10th level penthouses alongside terraced gardens where the first residents have already moved in.  Follow the break and you can find images of 8 House at night, interiors, gardens, and diagrams along with a more detailed project description and quotes from the architects.

You can also check our previous feature on the construction of this amazing project.

Architect: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
Collaboration: Hopfner PartnersMOE & Brodsgaard, KLAR
Partner-In-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Ole Elkjaer-Larsen, Henrick Poulsen
Project Manager: Finn Norkjaer, Henrik Lund
Project Team: Dennis Rasmussen, Rune Hansen, Agustin Perez Torres, Annette Jensen, Carolien Schippers, Caroline Vogelius Wiener, Claus Tversted, David Duffus, Hans Larsen, Jan Magasanik, Anders Nissen, Christian Alvarez Gomez, Hjalti Gestsson, Johan Cool, James Duggan Schrader, Jakob Lange, Kirstine Ragnhild, Jakob Monefeldt, Jeppe Marling Kiib, Joost Van Nes, Kasia Brzusnian, Kasper Broendum Larsen, Louise Heboell, Maria Sole Bravo, Ole Nannberg, Pablo Labra, Pernille Uglvig Jessen, Peter Rieff, Peter Voigt Albertsen, Peter Larsson, Rasmus Kragh Bjerregaard, Richard Howis, Soeren Lambertsen, Eduardo Perez, Ondrej Tichy, Sara Sosio, Karsten Hammer Hansen, Christer Nesvik, Soeren Peter Kristensen, Lacin Karaoz, Marcello Cova, Luis Felipe González Delgado, Janghee Yoo, SunMing Lee
Client: St. Frederikslund Holding
Project Area: 61,000 sqm, 476 residences
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Dragor Luft, Jens Lindhe, Ty Stange

The bowtie-shaped 61,000 sqm mixed-use building of three different types of residential housing and 10,000 sqm of retail and offices comprises ’s largest private development ever undertaken. Commissioned by St. Frederikslund and Per Hopfner in 2006, the 8 House sits on the outer edge of the city as the southern most outpost of Orestad. Rather than a traditional block, the 8 House stacks all ingredients of a lively urban neighborhood into horizontal layers of typologies connected by a continuous promenade and cycling path up to the 10th floor creating a three-dimensional urban neighborhood where suburban life merges with the energy of a city, where business and housing co-exist.“We have now completed three remarkable buildings in Orestad, the VM Houses, The Mountain and finally the 8 House – which is the sole result of a good and constructive collaboration with talented young architects who had a good understanding for the economical aspects,” Per Hopfner, Hopfner Partners.

The 8 House creates two intimate interior courtyards, separated by the centre of the cross which houses 500 sqm of communal facilities available for all residents. At the very same spot, the building is penetrated by a 9 meter wide passage that allows people to easily move from the park area on its western edge to the water filled canals to the east. Instead of dividing the different functions of the building – for both habitation and trade – into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally.

“The apartments are placed at the top while the commercial program unfolds at the base of the building. As a result, the different horizontal layers have achieved a quality of their own: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the office leases merge with life on the street. This is emphasized by the shape of 8 House which is literally hoisted up in the Northeast corner and pushed down at the Southwest corner, allowing light and air to enter the southern courtyard,” Thomas Christoffersen, Partner in Charge, 8 House, .

A continuous public path stretches from street level to the penthouses and allows people to bike all the way from the ground floor to the top, moving alongside townhouses with gardens, winding through an urban perimeter block. Two sloping green roofs totaling 1,700 sqm are strategically placed to reduce the urban heat island effect as well as providing the visual identity to the project and tying it back to the adjacent farmlands towards the south.

“8 House is a three-dimensional neighborhood rather than an architectural object. An alley of 150 rowhouses stretches through the entire block and twists all the way from street level to the top and down again. Where social life, the spontaneous encounter and neighbor interaction traditionally is restricted to the ground level, the 8 House allows it to expand all the way to the top,” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, .

The 8 House uses size to its advantage by creating immense differences in height thereby creating a unique sense of community with small gardens and pathways that remind you of the intimacy of an Italian hill town. With spectacular views towards the  Canal and Kalvebod Faelled’s protected open spaces, 8 House provides residences to people in all of life’s stages through its 476 housing units, including apartments of varied sizes, penthouses and townhouses as well as office spaces to the city’s business and trade in one single building.

“8 House is our second realized example of architectural alchemy – the idea that by mixing traditional ingredients, retail, row- houses and apartments in untraditional ways – you create added value if not gold. The mix allows the individual activities to find their way to the most ideal location within the common framework – the retail facing street, the offices towards northern light and the residences with sun and views to the open spaces. 8 House is a perimeter block that morphs into a knot, twisting and turning to maximize the life quality of its many inhabitants,” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner,

November 6, 2010

Tour des Arts / Forma 6 Architects

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Architecture photographer Patrick Miara shared with us the Tower of Arts in the city of Les Herbiers,  designed by Forma 6 Architects with an outer skin made of  and creating some great color changes during the day.

November 6, 2010

Open Air Exhibition Grounds of the Estonian Road Museum / Salto AB

Open Air Exhibition Grounds of the Estonian Road Museum / Salto AB © Andrés Tartoproject concept project concept

Architects: Salto AB
Location: Varbuse, 
Client: Estonian Road Museum
Project team: Maarja Kask, Karli Luik, Ralf Lõoke, Pelle-Sten Viiburg
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Andrés Tarto. Karli Luik

November 6, 2010

Can Cube / Archi Union Architects Inc

Can Cube’s facade is a system of aluminium carbonated drink cans which are enclosed in an aluminium frame. The façade saves the energy wasted during recycling processes by reusing the cans in their current form, without the need for recycling or further processes. For more about this sustainable mixed-use design, photographs and drawings, following the break.

Location: Shanghai, 
Project Area: 1,000 sqm
Project Year: 2009-2010
Photographs: Sheng Zhonghai

Can Cube / Archi Union Architects Inc  Sheng ZhonghaiCan Cube / Archi Union Architects Inc  Sheng ZhonghaiCan Cube / Archi Union Architects Inc  Sheng Zhonghai

Archi Union’s sustainable mixed-use Can Cube design is an innovative residential and office building, located in Shanghai. By utilizing several ecological and renewable systems the building is highly efficient and sustainable. The entrance level and below ground level are both occupied by office space, while levels two and three are recreational and private living quarters. At the entrance is a gradually recessed garden, leading to the basement level. A bridge connects the foot of the garden to the first floor level.Enclosing them in an aluminium frame keeps the structure light and easily adjustable by its occupants. Window-sash type sections within the façade provide the user with full control of sunlight/daylight in all seasons. The façade works alongside underground heating and cooling devices, rainwater filtration and solar energy systems, which all provide more efficiency and minimize the wastage of energy.floor plans floor planscan wall detail can wall detailfloor plans floor planssite plan site planaxon axonsection sectionaxon axon

November 6, 2010

Bella Sky / 3XN

Courtesy of 

Scheduled to open in May 2011, Bella Sky is just six months away from its anticipated debut in, Denmark. The spectacular hotel was designed by architects 3XN and dons a unique design that will certainly make it stand out in the  skyline. Read on for more images and information after the break.

Courtesy of 

has developed a design that allows for an unconventional approach to hotel design.   The design restrictions of its vicinity to the airport limited the height to 75 meters, or 23 stories. Instead, two towers were developed to accomodate the client’s needs.  A 15 degree incline is incorporated into the two towers, allowing the designers to create a variation of 200 rooms, providing a unique and diverse hotel experience for the users. The two towers lean away from one another to provide each room with an unobstructed view of the city. The incline creates a 20 meter slope difference between the ground floor and the top floor, which required construction workers to undergo special training to abseil down the building and mount the façade.

Courtesy of 

Operating as much more than a hotel, the building accommodates 814 rooms, 32 conference rooms, 3 restaurants, lounge, a sky bar and an 850 m2 wellness centre. The hotel will provide with a much needed extension to the Bella Centre Conference facilities and allow the city to accommodate and host international events in the future.

Courtesy of 

The significance of Bella Sky has been recognized by the Danish Minister for Economic and Business Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen and  City Mayor, Frank Jensen for its contribution to the Ørestad region and  as a whole.

Client:  Congress Center/ Bella Center A/S
Award: 1. prize in invited competition 2006
Completion: 2011
Size: 42,000 m2
Rooms: 814
Budget: Each tower €37m
Project Team: Kim Herforth Nielsen, Bo Boje Larsen, Jan Ammundsen, Marie Hesseldahl Larsen, Maiken Schmidt Nielsen, Børge Motland, Svend Roald Jensen, Jørgen Søndermark, Bodil Nordstrøm, Anne Strandgaard, Jesper Brink Malmkjær, Martin Rejnholt Frederiksen, Stine de Bang, Kasper Hertz, Martin Jonsbak Nielsen, Mads Leth Jensen, Robin Vind Christiansen, Jakob Ohm Laursen, Thomas Bang Jespersen, Søren Nersting, Esther Bernhard Clemmensen, Anja Pedersen, Jens Martin Højrup, Turid Ohlsson, Anders Bak, Helle Westergaard, Noel Wibrand, Ida Linea Danielsson
Engineer: Ramboll