Archive for January 20th, 2011

January 20, 2011


Milan, Italy

Render © Zaha Hadid Architects
Park, three office towers and retail buildings, 4 different sites for residential development, educational & social facilities and a museum.

CityLife Consortium – Milan

190 meter office tower of 43 storeys, totalling 65000 m² connected to a 3-storey retail galleria of 25000 m². Housing complex of 6 buildings ranging from 3 to14 stores totaling nearly 45000 m² and 300 units.

The high-rise as a building typology has traditionally been treated as a static, fixed strategy; the tower is reduced to a technocratic, engineering ‘solution’ governed by specific economic factors. Architects, in this role, have been left with the spire, exterior shell or, perhaps more significantly, the lobby interior. For the Fiera Milano, Zaha Hadid Architects have investigated the urban location of the tower as a portal, or gate into the Fiera along Viale Scarampo and Via Bartolomeo. Derivations of the passagio from the site into this gate gives shape to a certain torsion or vortex, and it is this movement, this dynamism that we are investigating.

Moving from the ground datum of the Piazza Porta Fiera, the retail base of the tower slowly rises and twists, in provision of a pedestrian ramp, to a bifurcation along its length servicing a galleria/promenade. This line of torsion continues to the tower that releases its horizontal energy into a vertical, spiraling vector from the base to its crown that finally aligns with the snaking forms of the housing across the river. Congruent with this movement, the structure of the tower is conceived as a stack of equivalent, economically efficient floor slabs that incrementally twist about a vertical axis. This incremental twisting is algorithmically controlled so that each floor does not have the same angle, but has a fractional, relational angle to the floors above and below, further developing the dynamism of the tower. All lateral forces are absorbed into a conventional central core, while a radial display of columns support vertical load. The external skin of the tower is a system of sun-deflecting louvers flanked by a double layer of glazing, Furthermore, the surface of the glazing has a series of ventilating registers that draw outside air through the cavity of the exterior system, thus providing a highly energy-efficient environment for the offices behind. Finally, the views and panoramas provided along the height of this office tower will also move dynamically, sweeping from the Piazza Firenze to the Piazza Giovanni Amendola, while the exterior silhouette clearly demarcates an entry gate into a new, vital Fiera Milano.

The residential area has been designed with meandering lines across the park, one of buildings that transform the park into a series of intimate semi-public gardens for the use of the residents.


Render © Zaha Hadid Architects

Render © Zaha Hadid Architects

Render © Zaha Hadid Architects

Render © Zaha Hadid Architects

Render © Zaha Hadid Architects


Model Photography © Zaha Hadid Architects

Model Photography © Zaha Hadid Architects



Video © Courtesy of CityLife Consortium

DESIGN: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
TOWER DESIGN TEAM: Andrea Balducci Castè, Mario Mattia, Giuseppe Morando, Annarita Papeschi, Matteo Pierotti, Peter McCarthy, Line Rahbek, Arianna Russo, Carlos, Sebastian Martinez
RESIDENTIAL DESIGN TEAM: Vincenzo Barilari, Cristina Capanna,
Giacomo Sanna, Arianna Francioni, Fabio Ceci, Giuseppe Vultaggio, Serena Pietrantonj, Mario Mattia, Massimiliano Piccinini, Samuele Sordi,
Alessandra Belia
COMPETITION TEAM: Simon Kim, Yael Brosilovski, Adriano De Gioannis, Graham Modlen, Karim Muallem, Daniel Li, Yang Jingwen, Tiago Correia, Ana Cajiao, Daniel Baerlecken, Judith Reitz

STRUCTURAL: Adams Kara Taylor, Redesco, Cap Engineering
MSC/M&E: Max Fordham Partnership, Manens, MilanoProgetti
LIFT: Roger Preston
FIRE: Silvestre Mistretta
TRANSPORT: Systematica, Sudio Corda, Alpina

January 20, 2011


Jun 8th, 2007


Patrik Schumacher is a partner at Zaha Hadid Architects. A respected writer, teacher and theorist, Schumacher is also the key architect at the office beside Hadid herself. He sets the design direction for many of the projects and is often credited alongside Hadid as the co-architect.

Schumacher gave us an exclusive interview last week in which he talked about how new architectural ideas are generated, how the office has developed over the two decades he has worked there, and where he thinks Zaha Hadid Architects fit into the canon of architectural history.

How long have you been working with Zaha?

Eighteen years. Or nineteen, I don’t know.

Woody Yao said that when he joined thirteen years ago, there were only five people or so in the studio.

When I joined it was also five – it only increased from five to six in the first five years! Since 2000, it’s grown a lot.

So when, and how, did the office go from being a tiny studio to a major architectural practice?

It could have happened earlier – there was some bad luck with some large projects. Cardiff [Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales: Hadid won the design competition in 1994 but the project was subsequently cancelled] and Düsseldorf [Düsseldorf Art and Media Centre, 1992/93] before that. And then the nineties were very slow. We had these two moments of bad luck.

We went through a series of smaller projects and a series of competitions, where we pushed very far. So we had a series of losing competition entries that were quite extreme, but now five years later we are starting to win competitions with similar designs. One of the breakthrough moments was winning the Rome [the MAXXI Museum of Twenty-First Century Art] competition in 98 and winning Cincinnati [Contemporary Arts Center, below – photo Hélène Binet] around the same time, or in 99; and Wolfsburg [the Phaeno centre]. These three came within a space of 12 months.


But still these were just competitions, which were very stop and go. Then somehow the Mind Zone [at the Millennium Dome, which opened in 2000] – which was a very small project – was a kind of significant commission in terms of income. At the time we were maybe 30 or 40 people and then there was a steady increase.

How has the office developed both in the way you approach projects, and in architectural terms?

I think it’s been an evolution. There’s were lot of continuities deep into the eighties; the application of curvilinearity; dymanic form; the learning from natural systems and natural morphologies. It just has got upgraded and radicalised through the introduction of digital tools. It became more intricate, more complex, more continuous and also on an ever-larger scale.

And now we are looking at absolutely massive, intricate, three-dimensional field projects like the two Dubai projects: we won the two major competitions that were launched last year. One of them is in full swing with perhaps 30 people working on it – the Dancing Towers (below) plus all the retail on the ground – and the Dubai Opera House [which Hadid won last year; images have not yet been released] is on hold.


The Dancing Towers is 600,000 square metres: the extension onto the ground, the DFM next to it, the cultural centre; these kinds of projects are the apotheosis of what we have been developing. Or the Opera House: multiple parts, the whole island. And we’re doing the performing arts centre in Abu Dhabi (below).


What are your thoughts on what is happening in Abu Dhabi and Dubai?

They don’t have much yet. They are building city-scale populations and they need to be entertained. It’s really just last year that they woke up to the European avant garde; before that they were importing corporate America. And a retro-grade corporate America, so the projects that are now finishing are 15 years behind architectural developments. It’s tragic, but suddenly they’ve jumped into the contemporary.

Zaha is from the Middle East; but in a globalised world is the place you’re from of any relevance?

Not real relevance. More relevance of marketing and promotion. It is on perhaps on the communication level – Zaha speaks the language and is able to get on well. But not in terms of the work or deeper cultural currents. The opera house for instance is a contemporary opera house; that’s what they want. The same with the opera house we’re doing in China [at Guangzhou, below], which is on site and going quite well, but it’s an international opera house, with standards that are global.


What is your role in the office?

I’m initiating the projects; developing the ideas, meeting the clients, trying to generate viable intuitions. Which is not just about form – it’s about gauging how complex, ambitious, important and so on and what kind of idea could fly.

Talk me through a real project you’ve been involved in. How do you start?

For instance BMW [BMW Central Building, Leipzig]: actually, like most of our projects, it starts with a competition. An RFQ [request for qualification] competition where you enter a shortlist, so we need to put together our track record, team and so on. It’s the boring part but we are virtually getting on every shortlist, so it’s a great starting point. We have to then compete and in this case it was a very tough line-up and a very tough programme with two phases. What we did was we set up a whole room and a whole group – nearly half the group I was teaching at the AA [Architectural Association School], the DRL [Design Research Lab], we brought this whole team in… [below: BMW Central Building; photo Werner Huthmacher]


So you hired the whole class then?

The whole class, more or less! And we went quite far in making it tangible in the competition stage; it was three-dimensionally modelled scheme which bears significant similarities to the final built form. And it was compelling so we went through to the next stage. Then we went out to the site, which was amazing, because it’s a huge plain that was flattened out. [below: BMW Central Building; photo Werner Huthmacher]


So you designed it before you went to the site?

Yes, quite often you don’t have the time or resource. We’re quite used to doing that. I don’t remember, maybe we sent one of the project architects out. Obviously once we get the project and meet with the client… it was a really viable scheme, it went through unadultered. Very robust principles and intuitions. So we then build a team, usually with people from that country leading. I was every week during the early period flying to [BMW headquarters in] Munich to develop the project. But as soon as the handover I then concentrate on new incoming projects. [below: BMW Central Building; photo Werner Huthmacher]


So this was a few years ago and now we don’t get to that stage… with hands on. It’s more initiate the concept, send the team, initial meetings and then just monitoring and steering at moments of crisis.

What are the main drivers of the design for a project like BMW? Response to programme or site; formal ideas you might already have; a quest for new forms?

It depends. In this case it was a very serious production facility [below, photo by Werner Huthmacher]; a central building that really has to tick with the overall production machinery, although it was engineering, administration, communications and circulation. So it’s always a kind of fusion of understanding programme and interpreting it with a very strong, robust formalism that carries the programme.


There is of course a lot of internal repertoire; we have project families. Arrays of lines, bundles of lines, or projects that are more volume-based; carving volumes; there’s a very large internal repertoire. So when we approach a new site and a new programme we have in the back of our minds this catalogue of options.

But then there’s also new formal research going on: Zaha sketching away without a project in mind, just to find new stimulating patterns. It’s a search for strangeness really, a lot of the time; continuously to build the repertoire or the formal universe. So that is also on the table as a series of options to select from. Then it’s really finding – if the repertoire is very large, then you look at the programme with the alertness of which diagram or spatial system could carry that. And you find the match.

Then we home in relatively quickly. Sometimes we explore two or three with parallel teams; but it comes to a point of clarity relatively fast, sometimes within a week or two. Then the rest of if is bringing it to perfection; honing; there’s an enormous amount of energy invested in the beauty and elegance, and absorbing the programme without compromising that.

So you’re simultaneously searching for strangeness and beauty. Do you push the strangeness first and then bring it back to beauty after?

It could sometimes be something odd and strange and ugly; it’s curious. Of course the aesthetic values one operates with are also shifting to a certain extent. That’s part of what the avant garde does: it allows us to re-evaluate our values; to re-adapt them to conditions – social conditions, programmatic conditions, urban conditions. So there is this fluidity but there are also a strong underlying, nearly universal principles, which I would term a sense of order and coherence, which are what I call “articulated complexityâ€?. You’re not used to seeing buildings like this, but the building you are creating is nearly nature-like: people accept these compositions, these spaces as elegant and beautiful, even though they haven’t seen architecture like this before.

Where do the formal ideas come from? Is there a source, or are they purely abstract, from the mind? Does Zaha sit and sketch leaves, for example?

No she doesn’t. They’re from the mind; and also we teach in various places and there is systematic research set up where we look at source domains for analogical transference like landscape formations, mountain ranges, dune-scapes, river beds; all on multiple scales. And then to draw out, try to model these on the computer, graphicsall abstract them. That is important and interesting. You find new sensations, new textures, patterns and so on. When you have a group of 15, 20 students you get a lot of material.

We did one [research project] with biological systems, organisms, from the microscopic to the macroscopic. So we have these kinds of inputs; then it stays in the repertoire. There’s also mathematics – new mathematics – topological patterns and also what is having a impact is new modelling tools and more recently parametric modelling, parametric fields and scripted fields, you get a new sensibility with respect to orders of iteration. It fits quite well but it still feels quite continuous with the earliest works. Looking through these new tools theres’s a kind of intricacy of overall arrangement with a very high degree of coherence. There’s a lot of internal laws of correlation; everything relates to everything else. It’s a continuous change but it all fits together. It’s not like a garbage heap. It’s not random or arbitrary.

And these new tools bring this to a new level on a new scale, and they give a certain… the trajectories push in a certain direction. That’s why we were able to enter the domain of urbanism under the heading of “parametric urbanism�. We’re creating whole fields of buildings and territories. We created an urban geometry of street patterns and a kind of morphology, urban morphology that is highly differentiated.

And we are quite strategic, going from primitive block types to slab types to towers to smaller particles, the whole range, its continuously connected and related and we can absorb context into it, like the Singapore project [the Science Hub masterplan, 2001], which is an open field with many different city patterns stopping, and we let all of them come into the territory and build up a seamless texture with these tools.

But if you go back to the earlier paintings, techniques of perspective distortions, fissure perspectives, which give this kind of overall force field, and hold-and-grab, organising urban fragments into something continuous like a flock of birds or a school of fish that was already there but obviously less flexible. There was a painting that was worked on for three to six months by five to ten people, which created one version; and now with the computer we can make a set up and within a week create 25 versions.

But the fundamental idea was in this early work. Now we can speak about it, articulate it and describe it in a theoretical language that at the time wasn’t there.

Do you see yourself as working within any particular genre? People always talk about Zaha’s references, particularly the Constructivists and early Modernists; but are you Modernists? Are you Deconstructivists? Is there a label that describes what you do?

Well I don’t know. I wouldn’t say [any of] that. To a certain extent it is an extension, an expansion, of certain aspects of Modernism. It just depends whether you want to emphasise continuities or to emphasise contrasts. There’s a lot of contrasts between classical Modernism and what we’re doing now. Classical Modernism was quite happy to give as much repetition to the system – pure repetition, isotropic repetition. There’s a contrast with that [in our work].

But where I would say there’s a continuity is “radical openness�, which came through the infusion, the infiltration of abstract art: blank canvas, the pure invention of structure. That architecture is about space. Those very abstractions are an unbelievable liberation: it’s not about palaces and churches and hospitals; building types that are complete entities with programme, propriety, look, tectonics all the way to proportion. This was thrown out by early modernists; people like Malevich, the Constructivists, Lissitzky and so on; De Stijl. They opened up this kind of freedom of creation. They went quite far at the time, introducing curves, abstract Noam Gabo structures, the space lying in the hanging mobiles.

In [our] case it’s an extension of this dimension of Modernism; not the one that is interested in rationalising, standarising, pre-fabricating and so on. But I think there is still something new to the current work which is this kind of super-fluidity and intricacy. And this already went quite far; even if you compare a space of two or three years ago, you will see the line of progression. We truly follow our intuitions and visions to the extreme with the Abu Dhabi [Performing Arts Centre – below] project, because Tom Krens [director of Guggenheim Museums Worldwide and the advisor to the client] was pushing us to do something new, something radical. We feel we don’t have to tone down, we can go full on.


These projects outshine… it’s a bit like seeing a seris of car models from the seventies onwards. You can see that the latest generation follows similar tendencies and pushes them further: the way the headlights are; all the subtleties of convex, concave… it’s not the composition of Platonic elements next to each other; there’s always inflexion.

You can drive that quite far. The tools are ever more developed; our models are ever more virtuoso. So I think there is… in a sense it’s been an amazing trajectory where you see last year’s projects are definitely last year’s projects. In a way I would say that for the whole of Zaha’s work over 20 years there’s quite a continuity. In the early 90s, mid 90s there’s a slight break and re-gearing, where a lot of the sharp angles and intersections are given up for smoother transitions and things that are more intricate.

But since then, since the mid 90s, we know what we want, and it’s just taking that through all the details: the surfaces, the way things are tessellated, the structure, functions, materials. There are these research cycles, cycles of innovation. It’s really a new tradition.

You mentioned before about being part of the avant garde. Do you feel the need to always stay ahead? Do you monitor what other architects are doing, and adjust what you do when ideas you have pioneered enter the mainstream?

There’s a little bit of that. Of course we’re watching closely and there’s a lot of things going on, and sometimes it’s humbling because we’re not the only ones. There are powerful firms doing strong things. You can feel there’s a lot of influence from this office onto others; sometimes we are smiling because we see visualisations of things that are even more outrageous than what we are doing, but we also know that it cannot be done; if they attempt it it will be very crude and tacky. So we don’t have to worry too much.

But some things do get a little bit sated. For instance twisted towers. In particular because we haven’t found a really good reason why… the twist does certain works perhaps: mediating the interface of the shaft with the ground like we’re doing in Milan [a twisting office tower on the site of the old Fiera showground]. There was an argument for this. I think it makes sense; we have this whole discourse of interfacing towers with the ground plane, rather than severing them with a podium. And this links back to navigation to the tower, so we have a thesis and topic. And then if a certain means in this… is abused elsewhere, you don’t want to take it on. You shelve it from you own repertoire. Which is a shame, but it’s been overused.

So you have to watch out. What you do in the context of stylistic currents you have to be aware of this. But I’m always the one who wants to analyse why – why I don’t like that any more.

I would say there is still a big difference between what is going on in architecture and fashion. We have a kind of solid 15 years of a single research programme, which I tend to not call it parametricism in retrospect. The whole history of the DRL, the Design Research Lab that I’ve been teaching since 96; I recently reflected back how continuous and coherent this is. The latest projects are just a kind of fulfilment of the promise of the earlier work.

You can look back at the Modernist period of the 1920s – that’s also a decade, which established Modernism, from the first intuitions to a full blown… but our paradigm I think will go on. I mean, you never know, I feel now this could go on for the rest of our careers, staying within the research programme of parametric design.

You just compared what you are doing to the work of the early Modernists; what is Zaha Hadid Architects giving to architecture? If people look back in future, what would you hope architectural historians would say you have achieved?

It’s a good question. I sometimes look back at 5,000 years of architecture and try to see what… from found spaces like caves, to the first moments of architecture – the introduction of geometry, in Egypt, in Greece. And it crystallises. Then you go on to Rome. In Greece and Egypt they established a single geometric significant piece: a collonade, a certain crystal. And in Rome you have a typology that develops into multiple organs of a complex system, and they introduced one more technique, which is vaulting. And then there is not much else until the renaissance, until Baroque; curvilinearity.

Actually the baroque is interesting because it brings continuity between pieces. The renaissance was pushing platonic bodies into a proportioned ensemble, but each of them was an autonomous piece with its own symmetry. The baroque for the first time breaks the symmetry of the original piece and they become radicals, so you build up a kind of global complexity. So they become larger complexes that are drawn together and unified.

This is interesting but then there’s not much going on really until Modernism. Eclecticism and Historicism are just kind of trying to cope with the new complexities in an unconvincing, uncompelling way, an artificial way. To kind of… you suddenly have the Modernist period, which works on the notion of space. Composition comes into its own; before it was just about redesigning a given type – a palace, a villa. Even if you use it for other things, it’s a certain organism. You are not bringing things together; you are not trying out random arrangements.

So composition is something very late; and we still do that. Looking back on history shows you that the game of what it is to design changes radically. Before it was just reproducing a type; then suddenly you can compose, which is quite outside the previous thinking. And we have these kind of breaks in the 20th century. For instance It’s very important this idea that you’re not only composing elements in an arrangement to make a composition.

There are two things: one is the interpenetration of the elements; you compose a site, then you compose it again in this layered way. You build up intricacies. This is radical, this is unheard of. It’s a major thing. Zaha was involved at the beginning. This is something that you could say is a strong and new paradigm in the late 20th century.

But also this idea of going from composition, which involves a number of parts, to a field, which is made up of particles, none of which has a name or a number or an identity. It’s only the field effects and qualities that matter; the particles are just fragments of a global mass. This is a totally different attitude, a different way of handling things; it’s not about composition, because we don’t care about any of [the individual elements]. It’s just a drift; the distribution, the directionality, the intensities you have; there’s a looseness. And so that’s something we’ve been involved in pushing.

Also the lawfulness of a composition, where you just make sure that the line, the hand, has a law and a trajectory, but it doesn’t give you a shape; it doesn’t have a front and back. It’s a new ontology of what you consider to be an environment. And then you realise it’s nature-like. These are major breakthroughs. This notion of field – like our Rome museum – it not something you have an image of. It’s not something you hold onto like an object but something you immerse yourself into and you follow certain laws of proliferation. You’re drawn through it.

These are major contributions that you can then bring to urbanism. So you can now give an order to an urban area that isn’t like the kind like the gods’ top view with a clear boundary and three parts, but a field logic.

This is a fundamentally new type of thinking I think which pertains to urbanism and large buildings. It has a lot to do with the late 20th century, where cities totally grow out of that comprehensible thing, where you can grasp and know whether you’re in front, in the middle or behind. So these new sensibilities have a lot to do with new social processes and the way life operates on the planet.

I was going to ask – does what you are doing relate to what is happening in society, to developments in other disciplines?

Absolutely. Well not so much other disciplines; although there is inspiration, these are coincidences perhaps. But there’s a profundity, a historical profundity about this, I would argue. There’s something about the way we handled the contemporary art museum in Rome, the way it sits in an urban fabric, the way it complements existing structures, the way it has no signature face but only a signature character; these are to do with an urban life process that has multiple intersecting audiences, which has social territories intersecting and bleeding into each other… I think there is a profound relationship to the social era and the way it operates.

Is that deliberate, or accidental?

It becomes deliberate once you’ve understood and reflected upon it. But initially it doesn’t have to be; for instance, people like Coop Himmelb[l]au; they are working from their guts, but they are faced with sensibilities. Historic centres are being reinhabited because people are drawn to them; why are they drawn to them? Because there is more need for communicating. Because there is a new era where everything is in flux. It’s no longer everybody in their place getting on with their life career. There’s no longer the repetition of Fordism.

So they come together, they have to inhabit now… you cannot solve that, you cannot live that if somebody wants to clean everything up. Then you go outside, you go back to the suburbs. But there you run out of resources. Because the real stage of civilisation is the inner cities. It becomes a collage, a violent juxtaposition. You take that on, you see beauty where vitality is. And then you change the sensibilities. And this is an intuitive process. You recognise that you want to be in a place like this, you like the freshness and the rawness. And with Himmelb[l]au you have these violent compositions, these infestations, these viral metaphors and so on. It seems perhaps initially wilful but there is some underlying truth or profundity. That’s the way I see it. That goes for a lot of what we are doing now.

And that’s my criticism of a minimalist sensibility; although it has a role in certain smaller domains, but this will to simplify and reduce the complexity of an institution to some kind of pristine simplicity is fallacy. It shows in the sense that there is a kind of misplaced sensibility that will hinder your participation in the dynamics of contemporary life. And in particular if this goes from a small environment where it is perfectly viable, to a kind of minimalist urbanism, then it becomes a kind of nightmare. You can see that the larger the project, the more maladapted the approach.


January 20, 2011

Systems of Multiplicities | Rocker-Lange

Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities prototypesSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities Courtesy of Rocker-LangeSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities matrix render 01Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities matrix render 02Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities plan matrixSerial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities iso 01Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities iso 02Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities elevation 01Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities elevation 02Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities elevation 03Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities elevation 04Serial Architecture - Systems of Multiplicities elevation 05Rocker-Lange architects shared with us the release of their research project, Serial Architecture – Systems of Multiplicities, which was also part of the exhibit “Quotidian Architectures” in the  Pavillion at the Venice Biennale 2010. The project, accompanied by a 400+ book, rethinks quotidian architecture in , a city with an average density of over 6,300 people per square kilometer. More images and architect’s description after the break.

As one of the most compact cities in the world,  is a diverse and complex place where topographical constraints and unique historical circumstances have created extreme urban forms for the basic needs of city life.  housing is predominantly based on the typology of the tower. While this configuration allows for many different interpretations, the common approach to this design task is based on repetitive, reductive and profit driven ideas.Serial Architecture – Systems of Multiplicities investigates the potential for innovating the organization of ’s tower typology. The project interrogates the design, building and living circumstances in  investigating possible alternative design techniques that can result in a series of tower configurations that vary and possibly produce unique living conditions.With the introduction of digital media and digital manufacturing processes, the conception of modularized architecture constructed out of nearly identical industrially mass-produced components has been challenged. Today, with the use of the computer and various open software packages, architecture can instead be realized as varying prototypes of a series. Within each series a variety of design versions can be realized. Each of these design versions is unique and yet also part of the series. Rather than having a fixed form, this approach offers the ability to develop models that describe a flexible space that is based on a set of relationships of discrete elements. Hence, the designer is able to constantly redefine and alter the model, capable of producing many possible versions based on varying input data.The project is in-formed through several interrelated parameters that generate infinite tower-versions within the a priori defined framework of operation. 125 Tower Versions were generated by one and the same algorithm. Five matrixes, each consisting of 25 towers were generated displaying different tower-families. Each has 60 floors, versions of one and another, as much as of the basis floor plan that was developed in reference to ’s existing Tower Typology. While the principles of the highly space and material efficient plans were maintained, a lid semi-public zone between elevator-core and apartments was introduced. The size of the apartments varies, and so does the size of the semi-public zone, which – depending on its size – may take on different programs. The flexing of the tower footprint allows the model to adapt to changing social and programmatic as much as to changing environmental and urban requirements.

While the project suggests a model for the use of contemporary digital design techniques in architecture it is at the same time a critical commentary on the excess of the same.

Design and Concept: Christian J. Lange, Ingeborg M. Rocker
Core Team: Hiroshi Jacobs, Matthew Waxman
Team: Mo Lee, Lesley McTague, Wes Thomas, Ho Kan Wong
Additional Support: Ricardo Solar
Photos:  Architects, Anita Kan, Photo Kan, Cambridge MA, USA

January 20, 2011

Central St. Giles Court | Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects

Central St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW ph. Maurits van der StaayCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © Hufton & Crow, Courtesy L&G and MECCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © Hufton & Crow, Courtesy L&G and MECCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW ph. Maurits van der StaayCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW ph. Maurits van der StaayCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW ph. Maurits van der StaayCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW ph. Maurits van der StaayCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW ph. Maurits van der StaayCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © Michel DenanceCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © Michel DenanceCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © Michel DenanceCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBWCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBWCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBWCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBWCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBWCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBWCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW ph. Joost MoolhuijzenCentral St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects © RPBW

The proposed concept for the site was to transform a single-use office building into a genuinely mixed use development incorporating office, retail, restaurant and residential use; seeking to create a new destination integrated within the local area.

The architects chose to situate the buildings around a new courtyard in the center of the site, which is connected by a publicly accessible route and ground floor public uses to the surrounding streets and spaces.

The key elements of the scheme were to introduce activity into the area, provide a mix of uses particularly retail, restaurants and housing introducing daytime and night time surveillance, and creating a properly managed and controlled environment which is reflected in the urban design approach to the layout of retail units, spaces and pedestrian routes.

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Fletcher Priest Architects

Design team: J.Moolhuijzen, M.van der Staay (partner and associate in charge), N.Mecattaf (associate) with L.Battaglia, S.Becchi, A.Belvedere, G.Carravieri, E.Chen, D.Colas, P.Colonna, W.Matthews, G.Mezzanotte, S.Mikou, Ph.Molter, Y.Pagès, M.Pare, L.Piazza, M.Reale, J.Rousseau, S.Singer Bayrle, R.Stampton and M.Aloisini, R.Biavati, M.Pierce, L.Voiland; O.Auber, C.Colson, Y.Kyrkos (models)
Structure: Ove Arup & Partners
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon
Pre-Construction Advice: Bovis Lend Lease
Facades: Emmer Pfenninger & Partners
Lighting: P.Castiglioni / G.Bianchi
Fit-out for Affordable Residential: PRP
Landscaping: Charles Funke Associates
Client: Legal & General with Mitsubishi Estate Corporation Stanhope PLC
Project Year: 2002-2010
Drawings and Photographs: Courtesy of RPBW, Courtesy of L&G and MEC, Michel Denance, Hufton & Crow, Joost Moolhuijzen, Maurits van der Staay

Located in Camden, the project is part of a complex urban patchwork of medieval streets, modern buildings and traditional urban blocks. This environment had a dramatic impact on the design of the project.

The scheme is composed of complex volumes, which are characterically chiselled fragmented and reduced in scale to match the surrounding buildings. These chiselled volumes mad St-G an impressive architectural sculpture characterized by a combination of shimmering facets.



January 20, 2011

Giant Group Campus | Morphosis

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Morphosis Architects is currently completing a massive project in : The Headquarters and offices for Giant Group, including residence for the chairman & all Giant Group employees, hotel, training center and clubhouse, with a total of 258,300 sqf (23,996 sqm).

Thom Mayne’s architecture has pushed building techniques in order to take his organics form to reality, and I think that the best way to understand his projects is not through renders or even drawings, but by watching the structure and the construction progress.

The Giant Campus project is a compact village that accommodates diverse functions in a flexible framework of forms that move in and out of a folded landscape plane. Situated amid existing canals and a new man made lake, the undulating office building interacts with an augmented ground plane, joining architecture to landscape and environment to site. The East Campus office building contains three zones: open, non-hierarchical office space; private offices, and executive suites, which cantilever dramatically over the lake. Additional program is integrated into the lifted landscape, including a library, an auditorium, an exhibition space, and a café on the east campus. On the West Campus, additional program space-submerged below an expansive, undulating green roof- includes a pool, a multi-purpose sports court, and additional relaxation and fitness spaces for employees. The landform culminates to the west at a company guest hotel where glass-floored private bedroom suites project over a wildlife pond.

Several plazas, carved from the landscape, provide outdoor break and recreational spaces for employees. At the south edge of the campus, a pedestrian plaza steps down to the water’s edge in a continuous outdoor walkway that provides pedestrian access to the lake. The main circulation spine, an enclosed walkway located outboard of the office building, bridges over the street connecting the east and west campuses.

A range of features on the project maximize both energy efficiency and occupant comfort. The West Campus’s landscaped green roof provides thermal mass that limits the heat gain and reduces cooling expenditures. The façade’s double skin and insulated glass curtain wall minimize solar heat gain and improve overall efficiency. The central circulation spine, along with the recreational amenities and plazas provide opportunities for chance encounters and places for employees to gather without the confines of cubicles or unnecessary divisions. The narrow profile of the office building combined with a system of skylights ensure that employees have continuous access to natural daylight.


Project Manager:
Tim Christ
Paul Gonzales

Project Architect:
Hann-Shiuh Chen
Mario Cipresso
Ted Kane

Project Designer:
Leonore Daum

Project Team: Patrick Dunn-Baker
Andrew Batay-Csorba
Marty Doscher
Graham Ferrier
Chris Herring
Debbie Lin
Kristina Loock
Yichen Lu
Scott Severson
Mohamed Sharif
Suzanne Tanascaux
Chris Warren

Project Assistant:
Adam Bressler
Soohyun Chang
Guiomar Contreras
Laura Foxman
Joe Justus
Michelle Siu Lee
Hugo Martinez
Mark McPhie
Kyle Coburn
Brock Hinze
Sunnie Lau
Greg Neudorf
Christin To
Jose Vargas
Dana Viquez
Mike Patterson
Nutthawut Piriyaprakob
Aleksander Tamm-Seitz

Structural Engineer: Bao Ye, MAA Engineers, Thornton Tomasetti Group, Inc.
Design Institute: Moh and Associates Inc
Electrical Engineer: IBE Consulting Engineers, MAA Engineers
Mechanical Engineer: IBE Consulting Engineers, MAA Engineers
Interior Design: Morphosis
Landscape Designer: SWA Group
General Contractor:  Construction Third Engineering Bureau
Local Architect: SURV

January 20, 2011

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art | Morphosis Architects

Cooper-Union-4112 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-2-1655 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-2-1498 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-2-1645 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-2-1877 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-2-2335 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-2-2401 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-2-2690 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-4184 © Iwan BaanCooper-Union-4848 © Iwan Baandiagram - site plan and axon rendered-1-l location diagram

Architecture: Morphosis Architects
Thom Mayne, Principal / Design Director
Silvia Kuhle, Project Manager
Pavel Getov, Project Architect
Jean Oei, Job Captain/ Project Designer
Chandler Ahrens / Lead Designer
Project Designers: Natalia Traverso Caruana, Go-Woon Seo
Project Team: Irena Bedenikovic, Salvador Hidalgo, Debbie Lin, Kristina Loock,
IT Co-ordinator: Marty Doscher
Project Assistants: Ben Damron, Graham Ferrier
Model Team: Reinhard Schmoelzer with Patrick Dunn-Baker, Charles Austin, Sean Anderson, Domenique Cheng, Soohyun Cheng, Eui Yeob Jeong, Amy Kwok, Shannon Loew, Brock Hinze, Hugo Martinez, Greg Neudorf
Associated Architect: Gruzen Samton
Owner’s Representative: Jonathan Rose Companies
General Contractor: FJ Sciame
Client: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Program: Academic and laboratory building with exhibition gallery, auditorium, lounge and multi-purpose space, and retail space
Constructed Area: 16,258 sqm
Design Year: 2004-2006
Construction Year: 2006-2009
Photographs: Iwan Baan

41 Cooper Square, the new academic building for The Cooper Union, aspires to manifest the character, culture and vibrancy of both the 150 year-old institution and of the city in which it was founded. The institution remains committed to Peter Cooper’s radically optimistic intention to provide an education “as free as water and air” and has subsequently grown to become a renowned intellectual and cultural center for the City of . 41 Cooper Square aspires to reflect the institution’s stated goal to create an iconic building – one that reflects its values and aspirations as a center for advanced and innovative education in Art, Architecture and Engineering.

Internally, the building is conceived as a vehicle to foster collaboration and cross-disciplinary dialogue among the college’s three schools, previously housed in separate buildings. A vertical piazza—the central space for informal social, intellectual and creative exchange—forms the heart of the new academic building. An undulating lattice envelopes a 20-foot wide grand stair which ascends four stories from the ground level through the sky-lit central atrium, which itself reaches to the full height of the building. This vertical piazza is the social heart of the building, providing a place for impromptu and planned meetings, student gatherings, lectures, and for the intellectual debate that defines the academic environment.

From the double-high entry lobby, the grand stair ascends four stories to terminate in a glazed double-high student lounge overlooking the city. On the fifth through ninth floors, sky lobbies and meeting places—including a student lounge, seminar rooms, lockers, and seating areas overlooking the cityscape—are organized around the central atrium. Sky bridges span the atrium to create connections between these informal spaces. Further reinforcement of the strategy to create a vibrant intellectual space is provided by the “skip-stop” circulation strategy which allows for both increased physical activity and for more impromptu meeting opportunities. The primary skip-stop elevators, which make stops at the first, fifth and eighth floors, encourage occupants to use the grand stairs and sky bridges. Secondary elevators stop at each floor, both for ADA compliance and for the practical tasks of moving materials, artworks, and equipment.

In the spirit of the institution’s dedication to free, open and accessible education, the building itself is symbolically open to the city. Visual transparencies and accessible public spaces connect the institution to the physical, social and cultural fabric of its urban context. At street level, the transparent facade invites the neighborhood to observe and to take part in the intensity of activity contained within. Many of the public functions – an exhibition gallery, board room and a two-hundred-seat auditorium – are easily accessible one level below grade.

The building reverberates with light, shadow and transparency via a high performance exterior double skin whose semi-transparent layer of perforated stainless  wraps the building’s glazed envelope to provide critical interior environmental control, while also allowing for transparencies to reveal the creative activity occurring within. Responding to its urban context, the sculpted facade establishes a distinctive identity for Cooper Square. The building’s corner entry lifts up to draw people into the lobby in a deferential gesture towards the institution’s historic Foundation Building. The façade registers the iconic, curving profile of the central atrium as a glazed figure that appears to be carved out of the Third Avenue façade, connecting the creative and social heart of the building to the street.

Built to LEED Gold standards and likely to achieve a Platinum rating, 41 Cooper Square will be the first LEED-certified academic laboratory building in  City. Advanced green building initiatives include:

  • An operable building skin made of perforated stainless  panels offset from a glass and aluminum window wall. The panels reduce the impact of heat radiation during the summer and insulate interior spaces during the winter.
  • Radiant heating and cooling ceiling panels introduce innovative HVAC technology that will boost energy efficiency. This contributes to making the new building 40 percent more energy efficient than a standard building of its type.
  • A full-height atrium enables unique circulation for building occupants, improves the flow of air and provides increased interior day lighting.
  • Seventy-five percent of the building’s regularly occupied spaces are lit by natural daylight.
  • A green roof insulates the building, reduces city “heat island” effect, storm water runoff and pollutants; harvested water is reused.
  • A cogeneration plant provides additional power to the building, recovers waste heat and effectively cuts energy costs.
  • Flexible state-of-the-art laboratories, studios and classrooms are specifically designed to accommodate pedagogical objectives, as well as current and future research activities.

This aggregation of progressive green building initiatives combines with the building’s social spaces and urban connectivity to support Cooper Union in advancing its legacy of innovative ideas, cross-disciplinary knowledge, and creative practices well into the future.

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January 20, 2011

Kaufmann House | Richard Neutra

Kaufmann house_thom watson © Thom WatsonKaufmann house_Caffinara © Flickr User: CaffinaraKaufmann house_Caffinara2 © Flickr User: Caffinarakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura1 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura2 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura3 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura4 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura5 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura6 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura7 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura8 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufmann house_wikiarquitectura9 Courtesy of Wikiarquitecturakaufman house planKaufmann_Plan plan

One of the most important architects of the 20th Century, yet often overlooked, has been on the forefront of modern residential architecture.  After moving to the United States from Vienna, Austria in 1923, Neutra worked with Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler until 1930 when he started his own practice.  One of Neutra’s several iconic projects is the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, .  Completed between 1946-1947, the Kaufmann House was a vacation home for Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. and his family to escape the harsh winters of the northeast.

10 years after the design of Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Bear Run, Pennsylvania, the Kaufmann’s were looking for a residence that could be used to escape the cold winters of the northeast, which would primarily be used during January.  After seeing Wright’s Taliesin West, Kaufmann was unimpressed and gave his commission to .   Unlike Taliesin West, which implemented more earthy tones and materials, Neutra employed a more modernist and international style approach using , and some  in the design.

The design of the house is quite simplistic; at the center of the house is the living room and the dining room that is the heart of the house and the family activity. The rest of the house branches out like a pinwheel in each of the cardinal directions.  From the center of the house each wing that branches out has its own specific function; however, the most important aspects of the house are oriented east/west while the supporting features are oriented north/south.

The north and south wings are the most public parts of the house that connect to the central living area.  The south wing consists of a covered walkway that leads from the center of the house to the carport. The north wing is the guest’s quarters that are publicly accessible, but retain their private needs as they are separated from the rest of the house.  The west wing of the house is the service wing, which is fairly secluded from the rest of the open plan design.  The east wing is the most privatized aspect of the house as it is the Kaufmann’s master suite.

The house’s swimming pool is one of the most iconic and recognizable aspects of the Kaufmann House; however, it is not solely a photographic gem or simply a recreational feature.  The swimming pool creates a compositional balance of the overall design of the house.  The house alone is unbalanced and heavy as the wings are not equally proportioned, but with the addition and placement of the swimming pool there is a cohesive balance and harmony throughout the design.

The low, horizontal planes that make up the pinwheel design bring the house closer to the landscape making it appear as if it is hovering above the ground.  The floating effect is emphasized through a series of sliding  doors that open up to cover walkways or patios. The way in which Neutra designed the Kaufmann House was such that when the sliding  doors were opened the differentiation of interior and exterior was blurred as if it was a sinuous space.

The flow from interior to exterior space is not simply a spatial condition rather it is an issue of materiality that creates the sinuous experience. The  and  make the house light, airy, and open, but it is the use of  that solidifies the houses contextual relationship.  The light colored, dry set , what Neutra calls “Utah buff,” brings out the qualities of the  and , but it also blends into the earthy tones of the surrounding landscape of the , mountains, and trees.

The Kaufmann House has gone through several owners after the Kaufmann’s owned the house, which led to the house to fall in disrepair and a lack of concern and preservation of the modern dwelling.   However, a couple that appreciated 20th Century modern homes restored the house back to its original luster with the help of Julius Shulman. The Kaufmann House is now considered to be an architectural landmark and one of the most important houses in the 20th Century.

Location: Palm Springs, , United States
Project Year: 1946-1947
Photographs: wikiarquitectura.comThom WatsonFlickr User: Caffinara
References: Archinform.netgreatbuildings.comLA Times



January 20, 2011

Four Towers in One Competition | Morphosis

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Morphosis just shared with us their proposal for the Four Towers in One Competition.  The competition (which Steven Holl Architects ultimately won) asked participants to design an office tower complex for the new  Stock Exchange Headquarters in the Futian commercial business district.  The area was in need of a unified urban plan that would include the Headquarters for the new office towers of  Media Group,  Construction Bank, Insurance Group, and Southern & Bosera Funds.  For Morphosis’ proposal, rather than creating various disconnected vertical skyscrapers, the project aims to create one “cohesive, interwoven district.”  By conceiving the sites as 3-dimensional envelopes rather than flat 2-dimensional footprints, the buildings can be interwoven to “facilitate a network of interlocking forms reminiscent of the venerated Chinese puzzle.”

More images and further project description after the break.

“In response to the interconnectedness of the new global city, Four Towers in One re-conceives the conventional urban grid as a dynamic, multi-dimensional organization, or armature, able to support the complex systems that define contemporary urban life,” explained the architects.

The tower is designed to become rooted in a new urban fabric that fluidly connects other built forms and civic spaces.  Each tower does not have its own identity but rather together, the towers create a scheme that includes the entire Financial District as a new type of icon,  “a district with its own unique character amidst the greater city of .”  The result of this strategy is “a holistic scheme that is greater than the sum of its parts-where integration and collaboration create enormous pragmatic and symbolic potential for all stakeholders.”

All images are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights under international conventions.  The images may not be used or reproduced without seeking permission from or the Photographer, Artist or Institution indicated in the image details provided.



Client:  Construction Bank with  Jianyin Investment Securities

Site Area: 1.8 acres / 0.7 hectares

Size: 829,900 gross sq ft / 77,098 gross sq m

Program: Office Building

Design: 2008

Type: Commercial

Design Director Thom Mayne

Project Principal Kim Groves

Project Designer Ben Toam

Project Team Linda Chung, Amy Kwok, Rachel Smith, Satoru Sugihara

Project Assistant Jesus Banuelos, Andrew Baty-Csorba, Anne Marie Burke, Min-Cheng Chang, Jessica D’Elena, Alex Deutschman, Penny Herscovitch, Marh Johnson, Apoorv Kaushik, Andrea Manning, Hugo Martinez, Taraneh Meshkani, Michelle Nermon, Aleksander Tamm-Seitz, Shanna Yates

Facade Consultant Buro Happold

Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Engineer Buro Happold

Structural Engineer Thornton Tomasettit Group, Inc

Cost Consultant Davis Langdon



January 20, 2011

Greenwashing Manual | Valentina Karga

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga Greenwashing Kit


Greenwashing Kit

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga top


Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga solar heat panel

solar heat panel

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga rotating house

rotating house

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga photobioreactor


Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga hydroponics design

hydroponics design

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga Greenwasher, Sustainable active chamber

Greenwasher, Sustainable active chamber

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga Greenwasher in parts

Greenwasher in partsGreenwasher,

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga Greenwasher, Sustainable active chamber

Greenwasher, Sustainable active chamber

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga CO2 pump

CO2 pump

Green Washing Manual - Valentina Karga biogas digester

biogas digester

Valentina Karga has a Master in Architecture, Technical University of Thessaly, . She also was a Erasmus student in BUTE (Budapest University of Technology and Economics). Her last projects are the “Greenwashing manual” and the “Greenwasher, Sustainable active chamber”, which are her experimental thesis on how architectural research and design could adapt to the new reality of the implementation of sustainability.


The idea behind the Greenwashing Manual to create a manual that began with a collection of systems aimed at an ecologically bearable conscious contemporary lifestyle. Next step was tthe restriction of the system to “do it yourself” version. For this reason we studied «how to» and «Do It Yourself» youtube videos and websites that offer such expertise to ease of manufacture and low cost. The low cost factor has a similar relationship with the construction of ecological factors when taken into account the reuse of objects. Thus, adaptations were made in the way of manufacturing systems with emphasis on the implementation of used items may change or adjust the use of objects. For example, a reused tub acts as a tank – aquarium in the hydroponic /aquaponic system. Finally, we combined all segments in a single system with the logic that“nothing is wasted”.

The elements that trigger the system is water and sun. Water can be collected from the roof when it rains through the gutters and stored in tanks. Using a filter and proper maintenance of tanks, this water is drinkable. The clean water goes to the sink. Whatever is spent for washing dishes and washing vegetables led to the cistern where it can be reused. The toilet waste is transported to the burner biomass. There, may also be led discarded remnants of food and the excess biomass of algae after extraction of oil.

The biomass after fermentation process gives biogas, which, passing through a boiler can heat water for radiators and showers. The radiator may be used only in conditions of lack of solar energy, ie when the solar heater can not operate. Biogas can be used for cooking when there is not enough solar energy to function the solar oven.

The low quality of water leaving the boiler biomass after fermentation with the waste water in the shower, can be reused in the cultivation of algae for biodiesel production. This led to a tank where it is mixed with a small quantity of microalgae, some nutrients plus carbon dioxide, while the contaminated water contains enough already. The mixture is sent by a pump in transparent tubes. After a day of exposure to sunlight, the algae have grown considerably. Harvesting can be done in a container covered with a filter that keeps the biomass from the water. The water can be sent back to the tank algae. The biomass of micro-algae left in the sun to dry. The paste is dried biomass is transferred to an oil press. The extract of the oil must be transported to the biodiesel processor to make biodiesel fuel. The hot water process requires heat on biogas.

The representation of the system is graphical. Can be tailored to each building plan, including an apartment in a more concise form.

Feature is excessive economy, which would otherwise be characterized meanness. With neurotic patience, the user utilizes the water through a hierarchy system of value, until evaporated. Moreover, by simple chemical processes, produces useful goods from useless waste, while producing no waste, since he re-uses everything. The appearance of the system seems complicated, but consists of humble materials. It is an assembly of used items, garbage, cables, pipes and fluids of changing purity, transparency and clotting interfering or cooperating with the building. One could describe it as a concentrated version of the complexity of gathering the goods of modern life.




January 20, 2011

Arp Museum | Richard Meier & Partners

Arp Museum / Richard Meier & Partners Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, © Roland Halbe

The design of the Arp Museum represents the seamless integration of the building’s spectacular site with the museum’s mission to showcase the work of the Dadaist master Hans Arp and his circle. One of the unique features of the region in which the museum is located is the series of medieval castles that line a 35-mile stretch of the river Rhine. The Arp Museum, sited on a wooded escarpment overlooking the Rhine, is intended to respond to and echo the forms of these captivating relics.

Video and drawings of the Arp Museum in  following the break.

Architects: Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP
Principal in Charge: Richard Meier
Design Partner: Bernhard Karpf
Project Architect: Stefan Scheiber
Designer: Bernhard Stocker, Michael Thanner
Collaborators: Clay Collier, James Luhur, Aaron Vaden-Youmans
Associate Architect: Ehrensberger & OertzArchitekten
Principal: Matthias Oertz
Site Administration: Thomas Böhling, Marco Theil, Thilo Bergmann
Structural Engineers: Buro HappoldDraheim Ingenieure
Geotechnical Engineer: Dietrich Beratende Ingenieure Witt, Jehle & Kriechbaum
Mechanical Engineer: Zibell – Willner & Partner Freiländer & Partner
Electrical Engineer: Müller & Bleher
Façade Consultant: Albrecht Memmert & Partner
Lighting Consultant: Müller & Bleher, LichtDesign, Zumtobel Staff
Acoustic Consultant: Trümper – Overath – Heimann – Römer, Ingenieurgesellschaft für Bauphysik
Client: Ministery of Finance Rheinland Pfalz, Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
Client Representative: Landesbetrieb Bau Koblenz
Photographs: Courtesy of  Architects, Roland Halbe ARTUR IMAGES

The structure’s entry sequence does not begin in the museum proper, but rather at the base of the bank-side mountain, in the old village railway station, used since the 1960s as an exhibition space. The lowest level of the station functions as the main entrance to the new museum building, which is reached only gradually by a series of carefully modulated tunnels and shafts that burrow into and up through the mountain to the new building.

The first of these subterranean sequences begins from this lobby, which leads to a 40-meter-long tunnel—illuminated by two continuous bands of light—that extends below ground under the railway tracks to an exhibition pavilion that stands independent of the main museum building. The modest pavilion features polished concrete floors and a discreet slotted skylight; aside from providing ancillary temporary exhibition space, the pavilion also establishes a sense of expectation and uncertainty that is further reinforced by the next sequence, which materializes as another subterranean tunnel, this time 35 meters long and terminating at the bottom of a dramatic 40-meter-high shaft with access to two glass-enclosed elevators. These elevators ascend through the shaft to a conical tower structure above grade. Here the translucent tower walls illuminate the shaft and elevators, with added illumination and hints of views provided by transparent glass slots in the tower walls. At the tower’s apex the elevators open onto a 16-meter-long, glass-enclosed bridge which represents the final stage of the sequential promenade into the museum.

The entry to the museum’s ground floor is flanked to the right by a freestanding staircase leading to the lower and upper levels and to the left by a void overlooking the lower-level lobby. In addition to the lobby, which offers visitors an opportunity for rest and repose, the lower level features a classroom, administrative offices, service facilities, and access for shipping and receiving art. In fact, the oversized service elevator, designed to facilitate the movement of art, also functions as the visitors’ elevator and provides a galvanizing core around which the gallery spaces on the ground and upper floors are organized. More specifically, at the ground level these spaces include two large galleries with access to two terraces, as well as a smaller enclosed gallery. The spaces on the upper floor are distributed in the same manner as on the ground floor; however, rather than opening onto terraces, the two large galleries on the upper floor occupy a seemingly free-floating platform supported by columns so that they overlook the ground floor galleries at the east and west edges. The two main upper-level galleries are illuminated from above by a ceiling composed almost entirely of glazing, with a series of 2-foot-wide adjustable aluminum louvers providing complete daylight or daylight modulated with artificial light. A similar, though immobile, louver system occupies the double-height glazed facade facing the Rhine, opening the museum to breathtaking views of the surrounding valley.

The design of the Arp Museum represents a unique and seamless integration of history, art, architecture and nature. The hillside siting, amongst a gathering of medieval castles, with the landmark railway at the Rhine’s bank side presented a challenge and opportunity to bring a modern texture to the historical fabric of Rolandseck.The use of the railroad station as a portal and the design of the entry sequence is integral to this ideal of relationships between interior and exterior, past and present. Traveling through the exhibition spaces within the rail station, through the tunnels and shafts into the tower and over the bridge makes the experience of entry part of the museum experience as a whole. The double height glazed façade and translucent quality brings the light and extraordinary surroundings into the space as well.

Arp Museum / Richard Meier & Partners Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, © Roland Halbe

Arp Museum / Richard Meier & Partners Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, © Roland Halbe

Arp Museum / Richard Meier & Partners Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, © Roland Halbe

Arp Museum / Richard Meier & Partners Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, © Roland Halbe

floor plan pavilion floor plan pavilion

ground floor plan ground floor plan

first floor plan first floor plan

second floor plan second floor plan

sections sections

elevations elevations

site plan site plan