Archive for September 25th, 2011

September 25, 2011

The Crystal | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Location: Copenhagen, 
Client: Nykredit
Landscape Architect: SLA
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 6,850 sqm
Photographs: Adam Mørk

“Freestanding on the site, the building reads as a transparent, geometrical, glazed form which, resting only on a single point and a single line, floats as a visually light, crystalline structure above the plaza,” explained Partner Mr Kim Holst Jensen of schmidt hammer lassen architects. He continued: “The building and the plaza are designed to interact with each other and with the surrounding city.”

In terms of both form and scale, the building is intermediate between the city and the harbour, and harmonises with neighbouring buildings. On the southern side, it rises with reference to the gable apex of the “Elephant House” and creates space for the main entrance. From the corner of Puggardsgade and Hambrosgade, the passage under the building allows a clear view towards Nykredit’s head office building and the harbor.

The interior of the building complies with the demands for functionality, flexibility and efficiency. The typical floor plan is disposed in a Z-shape around two atria, ensuring that all workstations are well lit and enjoy a view. The disposition of the plan allows the accommodation of an open plan, separate offices or meeting rooms. The large three-dimensional steel structure constituting the building’s constructive system functions as an architectural element while at the same time freeing the building of columns, creating maximum flexibility in the office spaces.

The double-glazed façade has integrated solar screens and is decorated by a subtle silk screen frit design that mitigates solar ingress, reflects daylight, and gives the building a homogenous expression which enhances its sculptural form.
“The architectural idea of The Crystal’s design is inspired by the fascinating shapes of nature, the premises and the potential of the site,” said Kim Holst Jensen. “The building distinguishes itself from traditional commercial buildings by being a precise sculpture rising elegantly from the plaza underneath.”

The design team has brought a holistic approach to the environmental strategy underlying the project. The scheme manages to combine a completely transparent office building with an exceptionally low energy-consumption at 70 kWh per sqm, which means that the building consumes 25 per cent less energy than the requirements of the existing energy legislation. The roof is covered with highly efficient photovoltaic panels generating 80,000 kWh per year. In addition, the triple-layered inner  façade provides extremely effective thermal insulation, with a U-value of only 0.7 Wh per sqm.


September 25, 2011

Timber Wave, London | Arup and Amanda Levete Architects

Arup and Amanda Levete Architects present timber artwork at London Design Week

September 2011 marks the fourth year of Arup’s support for the London Design Festival. The festival, renowned for its innovative projects, this year features two installations as part of its Landmark Projects initiative, both designed in collaboration with Arup – the Timber Wave with Amanda Levete Architects and Two Lines with David Chipperfield Architects.

Visitors to the festival’s hub, the Victoria and Albert Museum, will pass through a stunning three dimensional latticework spiral, built from oil-treated American Red Oak and entitled ‘Timber Wave’.

Designed by Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) in collaboration with Arup, and supported by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the oak used in the temporary self-supporting 12m diameter arch is more traditionally used in furniture making. The temporary frame to the entrance of the V & A will remain in place until 15th October.

Arup Director Ed Clark said: “Participating in these experimental installations at the London Design Festival is hugely valuable to us. They provide a great chance to evolve new modelling, analysis, design and construction techniques. The two projects this year are very different to each other but share a sculptural elegance which will make an instant impression on festival visitors and passers-by.

“Design is central to the work that we do as engineers and these installations provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the interplay of artistic creativity and technical expertise that is inherent in all design.”

September 25, 2011

London River Park | Gensler

Gensler releases renewed renderings of floating civic platform on The Thames

Global design studio Gensler has just released these illustrative images of its concept for the kilometre-long floating River Walk on the north bank of the River Thames in England’s capital. Working with financiers Venus Group of Singapore and construction/consultancy firm Mace, Gensler has been finalising its design over the past six months and submitted a planning application in August 2011.

In May Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London stated that: “The sheer beauty and design brilliance of this structure will provide yet another amazing and unique attraction for the capital.” If planning is approved the 12m wide platform will be completed in time for next summer’s London 2012 Olympic Games and will remain post-event as a lasting legacy for the city.

Loosely comparable to the highly successful Highline in New York, Gensler’s London River Walk will form a continuous walkway running parallel to the existing mismatched streets along the river frontage and include a number of event spaces and a swimming pool.

September 25, 2011

LA Sports and Entertainment District Master Plan | RTKL

L.A. rejuvenated by RTKL district masterplan

In the 1990s, downtown Los Angeles suffered from a declining urban population, disinvestment in the urban core, and rising social inequity. Consequently, a progressive group of leaders came together to effect positive change.

The RTKL-master planned, 33-acre area now known as the L.A. Sports and Entertainment District (LASED) is a result of that effort; sited on a former blighted industrial area adjacent to the convention center and downtown’s South Park district, a public/private partnership was formed in 1997 between a master developer (AEG), the City of Los Angeles, and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) with the shared goals of creating a new sports and entertainment district with an arena for L.A.’s five major sports teams; extensive improvements to district infrastructure and community services programmes; a master plan for a mixed-use district encompassing an expanded convention centre, convention hotel, residential, offices, entertainment, and restaurants in a pedestrian-orientated urban format; and a one-acre plaza for year-round events.

Significant public outreach determined that in addition to the goals stated, RTKL’s master plan would include a community benefits programme offering jobs outreach, wage requirements, small business assistance, and childcare services. Phase one of the project was the design and construction of the Staples Center, a 20,000-seat arena completed in 1999. Phase 2 is L.A. Live, master planned by RTKL and completed in 2010. With the popular NOKIA Plaza at the heart of the project, L.A. Live is a vibrant retail and entertainment district.

The impact of the LASED has been significant and measurable. The adjoining South Park district, once a high-crime area, is now a viable neighbourhood with over 3000 new housing units and numerous retail, office, and hotel developments. Staples Center is a premier venue and LA Live has won critical acclaim and community acceptance, hosting major events like the X Games and the Grammys. To date, over $2.5bn has been invested in the area, but the most significant impact has been in the development of a sustainable, mixed-use community in downtown LA.

September 25, 2011

Conversion Old and New Harbour Bremerhaven | Latz + Partner

Bremen’s harbour transformed by Latz + Partner


The project’s main objective has been to offer a strong and flexible framework in terms of structure and material for the different urban demands and building activities of a town, which has to make progress in its social, economic and ecological change. It has to combine a clear embodiment in the harbour’s rich history and an up-to-date technical and esthetical expression: a transformation of traditional materials into a modern language and sustainable urban design.

Change will happen step by step therefore the newly emerging public spaces have been realised also without still missing future buildings; not only to attract investors, but to offer at an early stage attractive public areas to the citizens. Blue lights on top of the multifunctional masts frame the harbour basins and define the outline of the new quarter being completed within the next years.

Its spatial, ecological and technical renewal provokes the reconnection of the city centre with the harbour and the Weser, with flexibly usable squares and promenades, with marina and boat lock. Existing attractions are combined with new ones, forming a complex structure being both town and landscape, building and open space, harbour and park.

The renewed dykes are zoned by use of material and equipment which emphasise their specific character. Lighting and furniture were developed especially for the place. A strong design vocabulary works with materials common in the place for long-term use and development, including weathering as beautifying process.

Recycled natural paving stones characterise the surfaces with a continuous carpet, thus creating quiet in view of existing and future edificial heterogeneity. Sawn stones cover the main walking areas whereas rough cobblestones along the edges signal attention. Safety elements could be reduced to preserve the harbour’s character, the direct contact to the water and experience of technical elements.

The carpet’s structure changes only where particular materials are marking points of attraction like the Lloyd Place forming the centre of a prominent sightline between city and harbour, or the new wooden bridge crossing the historic entrance to the Lloyd dock.

September 25, 2011

Edmonton Airport Lands |

Redevelopment of airport lands creates a new sustainable community


Completed in 2010 and the winner in an international design competition, Perkins+Will’s master plan for the redevelopment of Edmonton’s airport lands repairs a 215-hectare rift in the city’s urban fabric and creates a truly memorable place for Edmontonians. To achieve this, the plan – called ‘Connecticity’ – fulfills the city’s goal of creating a world-class sustainable community for 30,000 residents and pursues four strands of connectedness, each embodying key sustainability principles.

Embedding the site’s past in its future, the plan repurposes historical airport features as new community amenities and reuses runways as key streets and organising elements. Preserving more than half the land as green space, the plan includes a destination park that acts as a regional draw; neighbourhood-scaled open spaces at the park perimeter extend into the city to knit together now-disparate communities.

The plan extends the surrounding pattern of streets and pathways through new neighbourhoods to connect future and current residents.  A new LRT line will connect the site to more distant neighbourhoods and provide easy access to downtown.

The proposal fosters economic vitality, not only by creating a deeply mixed-use community, but by connecting to the growth potential of four major existing catalysts: a planned LRT line; the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; a new rehabilitation hospital; and Kingsway Gardens Mall, a vibrant retail area that will extend into the site’s new Town Centre.

Finally, an innovative energy strategy reduces carbon emissions from the community by 3.2 million tonnes over 20 years. Energy produced through biomass and deep geothermal sources will create enough electricity to fully meet the development’s needs. Surplus energy will be sold to public buildings within the greater area, resulting in a ‘beyond carbon neutral’ community.

September 25, 2011

Coffou Cottage | Brininstool, Kerwin, + Lynch

Architect: Brininstool, Kerwin, & Lynch
Location: , Indiana
Project Year: 2006-2008
Photographs: Christopher Barrett of Hedrich Blessing

The Coffou Cottage by Brininstool, Kerwin, and Lynch is a 2,800sf residence in Michigan City, Indiana.  The residence was completed in 2008 and was designed for the Coffou family as a natural retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city of Chicago.  The northern shores of Indiana have long been a destination for those looking for a reprieve from city life, so the site was a natural selection for clients looking for a sense of privacy.

After selecting a site that met their needs, the clients sought out Brininstool, Kerwin, and Lynch to design a modest and simple residence that capitalizes on the fantastic natural views of the site which included Lake Michigan to north and pastoral views to the South.  These diametrically opposite view opportunities resulted in two distinct architectural responses — the cottage was designed as a simple structure with a horizontal rain screen constructed of red cedar slats to privatize the northern entry and the southern façade is a wall of operable glass.  Not only does this approach maximize the desired pastoral views, it also maximizes solar gain in the winter.

In keeping with the simplicity of structure, the floor plan of the 3-bedroom Coffou Cottage is logical and organized.  The public living spaces (kitchen, dining, and living areas) are arranged as a large open space and frame the views to the adjacent meadow and woods.  A traditional hearth fireplace is positioned in the front hallway, effectively separating the public and private sectors of the residence.  The primary material for the residence (interior and exterior) is Red Cedar, which was used to establish a material warmth and visual interest.  This material selection is amplified by the raw concrete used for the floor, which also serves as the primary heat mechanism through radiant flooring.

September 25, 2011

Dragoon | LEVS Architecten

Architects: LEVS Architecten
Location: , The Netherlands
Client: Rabo Vastgoed BV, Utrecht
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of LEVS Architecten

In the district Dragonder in Veenendaal LEVS architects designed three parts of a project. The location is a prominent corner of the district, right on the water. The Bastion, 15 ground level residences in the shape of a half circle border directly on the waterfront behind which lies an important access road, which causes some noise. The Bastion is flanked by Lunet, two apartment buildings with 12 and 18 residences. The central avenue that leads up to the Bastion and the apartments is flanked on one side by four buildings each with 5 ground level residences.

In the original urban development plan the Bastion and the apartments were one volume. LEVS architects separated these so that the Bastion now has its own identity of a half-round fort rising from the water. The building has the specific look of a castle, such as horizontal windows flanked by bricks sticking outward that enhance the idea of a fort.

All projects are made with the same marl coloured bricks clamped in Euro format. The extremely large size (11 x 25 cm) of the bricks emphasises the reference to castles and forts and gives the residents a robust appearance. This reference is enhanced by the large contrast in the façades between large and narrow windows and large parts of closed façade. The windows frames are aluminium.

September 25, 2011

Sky Courts | Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Sky Courts is a 20,000 sqf corporate club house that incorporate short-term housing, office space, and entertainment facilities utilizing the logics of the courtyard and sloped roof. The project packs several courtyards into a defined perimeter and utilizes the sloped roof to accommodate program in the wedge between courtyards, allowing the project to read as 100% courtyard from above. The complex lacks a single center; instead it is a network with multiple centers, and multiple paths, edges and liners. The sequence through these precincts creates a series of layered spaces that line exterior spaces, and views from one courtyard might look through perimeter spaces and into other courtyards.

The layering of interiors and exteriors creates a varied sequence through the complex. The roof geometry consists of a series of inward sloping roofs. The roof profile varies to create the impression of a landscape of peaks and valleys. The alternating inclinations of the major ridge lines produce a varied roofscape and cause the roof planes to twist. By maintaining a constant eave line and varying the perimeter, each plane on the roof is a hyperbolic ruled surface. The use of a ceramic tile uses the gap between units as well as the fine grain of the tile, to absorb the non planar roof condition. The ceramic tile, with a built in capacity to absorb tolerance between units aggregates to produce a twisting roofscape configuration. The project exploits a specific building material to achieve a larger geometrical effect.

Architect: Höweler + Yoon Architecture
Location: , China
Photographs: Courtesy of Höweler + Yoon Architecture

September 25, 2011

SLICED POROSITY BLOCK | Steven Holl Architects


– Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl, Li Hu (design architect)
Roberto Bannura (associate in charge)
Lan Wu (project architect, Beijing)
Haiko Cornelissen, Peter Englaender, JongSeo Lee (project architect, New York)
Christiane Deptolla, Inge Goudsmit, Jackie Luk, Maki Matsubayashi, Sarah Nichols, Manta Weihermann, Martin Zimmerli (project designer)
Justin Allen, Jason Anderson, Francesco Bartolozzi, Guanlan Cao, Yimei Chan, Sofie Holm Christensen, Esin Erez, Ayat Fadaifard, Mingcheng Fu, Forrest Fulton, Runar Halldorsson, M. Emran Hossain, Joseph Kan, Suping Li, Tz-Li Lin, Yan Liu, Daijiro Nakayama, Pietro Peyron, Roberto Requejo, Elena Rojas-Danielsen, Michael Rusch, Ida Sze, Filipe Taboada, Ebbie Wisecarver, Human Tieliu Wu, Jin-Ling Yu (project team)

associate architects
– China Academy of Building Research
Hong Jin, Wang Zhenming, Lu Yan (project team)

MEP and fire engineer
– Ove Arup & Partners

LEED consultant
– Ove Arup & Partners

structural engineer
– China Academy of Building Research
Liu Junjin, Zhu Huosheng (senior engineer)

quantity surveyor
– Davis Langdon & Seah (DLS)
Hu Ping, Sun Ying (deputy manager)

traffic consultant
Michael Chiu (director)
Kent Liang (project manager)
– MVA Hong Kong ltd

now the project tops out according to archdaily:

The Sliced Porosity Block—the Raffles City development designed by Steven Holl Architects in—celebrates its topping out at 123 meters. Located just south of the intersection of the First Ring Road and Ren Min Nan Road, the 3 million square feet mixed-use complex consists of five towers with offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants.The project’s sun sliced geometry results from careful study of daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric. Porous and inviting from every side, five vertical entrances cut through a layer of micro-urban shopping before leading to the elevated public ‘Three Valley’ plaza. A great urban terrace on the scale of Rockefeller Center, this multi-level plaza in the center of the complex is sculpted by stone steps, ramps, trees, and ponds. Here the public space parallax of overlapping geometries is supercharged by color that glows from the shops positioned underneath the plaza.The three generous ponds on the plaza are inspired by a poem by the Chengdu poet Du Fu (713-770), ‘From the northeast storm-tossed to the southwest, time has left stranded in Three Valleys.’ These three ponds function as skylights to the six-story shopping precinct below. Residing in voids in the facades are pavilions designed by Steven Holl and Lebbeus Woods.The Sliced Porosity Block is heated and cooled geo-thermally and the large ponds in the plaza harvest recycled rainwater while the natural grasses and lily pads create a natural cooling effect. High-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of regional materials are among the other methods employed to reach the LEED Gold rating.

In Progress:

Construction of Steven Holl Architects’ Sliced Porosity Block is making progress in ,. The large hybrid complex topped out at a 123 meters in September and is scheduled for completion in 2012. The five towers house offices, serviced apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, and restaurants. The 105,000 square foot site will stimulate a micro-urbanism and offer generous amounts of public open space.

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: Chengdu, China
Project Area: 310,000 sqm
Project Year: In Progress
Under Construction Photographs: Steven Holl Architects

The environmentally state of the art skyscrapers are described by Steven Holl as “a poetic form shaped by sunlight.” The precisely calculated sun angles that guides the geometry is a result of code required minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric. Porous entrances, a multi-level urban terrace and sculpted pathways of circulation flanked with vegetation warmly welcome visitors. Overlapping geometries of black and white are illuminated by color, playfully glowing from retail signage.

The Sliced Porosity Block is geo-thermally heated and cooled. Large plaza ponds harvest recycled rainwater while natural grasses and lily pads cool the outdoor public space. High-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of regional materials are a few methods employed to reach a LEED gold rating.

See conceptual drawings, the physical model, and early construction photographs on our previous ArchDaily post here.

Design Architect: Steven Holl, Li Hu
Associate in Charge: Roberto Bannura
Project Architects: Lan Wu, Haiko Cornelissen, Peter Englaender, JongSeo Lee
Project Designer: Christiane Deptolla, Inge Goudsmit, Maki Matsubayashi, Sarah Nichols, Martin Zimmerli
Project Team: Justin Allen, Jason Anderson, Francesco Bartolozzi, Guanlan Cao, Yimei Chan, Sofie Holm Christensen, Esin Erez, Ayat Fadaifard, Mingcheng Fu, Forrest Fulton, Runar Halldorsson, M. Emran Hossain, Joseph Kan, Suping Li, Tz-Li Lin, Yan Liu, Jackie Luk, Daijiro Nakayama, Pietro Peyron, Roberto Requejo, Elena Rojas-Danielsen, Michael Rusch, Ida Sze, Filipe Taboada, Manta Weihermann, Ebbie Wisecarver, Human Tieliu Wu, Jin- Ling Yu
Associate Architects: China Academy of Building Research
MEP and Fire Engineer: Ove Arup & Parners
LEED Consultant: Ove Arup & Parnters
Structural Engineer: China Academy of Building Research
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon & Seah
Traffic Consultant: MVA Hong Kong Ltd
Client: CapitaLand Development