Archive for ‘Urban…’

January 22, 2012

Transit Oriented City – Dongtan Central Business Master Plan | Ojanen Chiou Architects + SWA Group

Designed by SWA Group with Ojanen Chiou Architects LLP, the 157 hectare Central Business Master Plan is at the heart of  City: a new urban center located just 30 km south of Seoul in . The development zone is situated on a former agricultural plain that had been taken over by various industrial uses. Bounded by a river to the west and mountainous terrain to the east, this zone is bisected by a major transportation corridor connecting Seoul with the southern reaches of the country. At the core of the development is a transit center that will accommodate high-speed and metropolitan rail stations connecting with a bi-modal (bus + tram) transit system, and long-distance and city buses, establishing City as a major regional transit hub.

The remainder of the program includes public plazas, office buildings, a corporate campus, retail functions, hotels, schools, and various cultural facilities. Inspired by the local native ecology, the layout is a constructed response to the natural course of water as it moves from higher to lower elevations. The urban fabric is organized by a series of green zones established around a system of watercourses traversing the site, infusing the overall urban experience with a strong sense of nature by creating natural corridors of light, air, flora, and fauna, and providing numerous open spaces for leisure and recreation.

Their design defines open spaces that utilize natural resources prior to establishing street grids creating fingers of green belts that connect hills on the east side and the riverfront on the west. The landscape infrastructure follows the unique site topography and hydrology and becomes part of an integral water management system.

In order to establish a public transportation node, they provide a well-integrated system of trains, metro, trams and buses to attract corporations, residents, commuters, and tourists. The design also promotes a pedestrian and bicycle network with pedestrian-scaled blocks, comfortable sidewalks, continuous street facades with arcades and three-dimensional connections at busy intersections. They also proposed compact and mixed-use developments with a balance of a high density development (FAR 5-8) with 36.5% open spaces that are dispersed through out the site and easily accessible.

Ojanen_Chiou architects LLP assisted SWA in overall planning concepts and strategy, provided building massing studies, architectural guidelines and conceptual architectural design for the transit center and the various facilities.

Architects: Ojanen Chiou Architects + SWA Group
Location: Dongtan, South Korea
Client: Heerim Group
Project Area: 157 Hectares
Year: 2012


December 3, 2011

The Urban Crossing | Aedas

The Urban Crossing (11) site plan diagram

Anchoring at the end of the proposed Hongqiao primary retail axis in , and with a canal meandering through the northern edge of the site, the Linkong Block 10-1 Development is the destination for the public within the Linkong Business Park. The program for the development, ‘The Urban Crossing’, calls for a boutique urban mixed-use project with office, retail, gallery, conference center, and water promenade plaza. This concept by Aedas is to create a brand new landmark, which further establishes a strong civic presence through its iconic form and vibrant program mix. Portrayed as the Gateway of Hongqiao Airport Transportation Hub, the project is deemed to generate synergy from public and commercial activities.

In keeping with a metaphoric image with functional requirements within a limited site confine, the concept places a series of vertical forums and stages using inter-connecting layers of platforms, while maintaining a strong gateway presence. These platforms allow access and offer distinct views at various levels and locations. The Urban Crossing also signifies a dynamic mix of urban forum, windows, stage, and observatory, providing platforms for different activities throughout the day.

The form consists of two office towers linked by two weaved platforms at upper and lower floors. The platforms combine with a north-south directional shift on the towers to complete the portal concept. The elevated linkages complete this iconic form, and the diagonal connections receive circulation movements from three different axes and distribute people flow to various platforms. Simple shifting and connecting paradigm enriches the overall spatial quality, while satisfying the users’ functional requirements and providing a place for drifting. The Urban Crossing is capable of hosting multiple major events, while maintaining daily commercial/retail activities as part of the urban living scene.

The project will be the focal point in Linkong Business Park where people gather and exchange. The shifting of architectural form, layering and circulation pattern expressed the Crossing concept in architectural terms. Functional interaction and spatial extension between the interior and exterior, further strengthens and completes the inter-connected vertical living room/showcase concept at The Urban Crossing.

November 20, 2011

Metropol Parasol | J. Mayer H. Architects + Arup

The destruction of the Mercado de la Encarnacion in  left a huge void in the urban character of the city center which remained unfilled for over thirty years.  The market enriched the city with life, and with its absence, the vitality of the Plaza de la Encarnacion was soon challenged by the negative implications of economic downturn. In April of 2011,  Jürgen Mayer H and  teamed to complete their solution for Seville’s central square – an architecture that brings a contemporary spirit to such a historical and traditional space.  Entitled Metropol Parasol, the massive timber structure (which is one of the largest timber structures built in the world)  draws residents and visitors back to the city center as its striking aesthetic provides a variety of markets and restaurants bounded by the dynamic shape of the parasols.  We enjoyed the video as it illustrates the impact architecture can bring economically and socially to enrich even one of the most established city centers in the world. The ability for the design team to look toward the future allows Seville to preserve its historic cultural prowress while not limiting itself for future greatness.  Special thanks to Marina from Arup for sharing the video with us!

Spring 2011 marks the opening of “Metropol Parasol”, the Redevelopment of Plaza de la Encarnación in , designed by J. MAYER H. Architects. After finishing the concrete works in 2008, the parasols are under construction now. Visiting the site at the moment gives an impressive imagination of the final dimension and appearance.

The project becomes the new icon for Sevilla, – a place of identification and to articulate Sevillas role as one of Spains most fascinating cultural destinations. “Metropol Parasol” explores the potential of the Plaza de la Encarnacion to become the new contemporary urban centre. Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Sevilla allows for a great variety of activities such as memory, leisure and commerce. A highly developed infrastructure helps to activate the square, making it an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike.

The “Metropol Parasol” scheme with its large structures offers an archeological site, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, multiple bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols, as well as a panorama terrace on the very top of the parasols. Realized as an innovative timber-construction with a polyurethan coating, the parasols grow out of the archeological excavation site into a contemporary landmark. The columns become prominent points of access to the museum below as well as to the plaza and panorama deck above, defining a unique relationship between the historical and the contemporary city. “Metropol Parasols” mixused character initiates a dynamic development for culture and commerce in the heart of Sevilla.

Project Team: Juergen Mayer H., Andre Santer, Marta Ramírez Iglesias, Jan-Christoph Stockebrand, Marcus Blum, Ana Alonso de la Varga, Paul Angelier, Hans Schneider, Thorsten Blatter, Wilko Hoffmann, Claudia Marcinowski, Sebastian Finckh, Alessandra Raponi, Olivier Jacques, Nai Huei Wang
Competition Team: Juergen Mayer H, Dominik Schwarzer, Wilko Hoffmann, Ingmar Schmidt, Jan-Christoph Stockebrand, Julia Neitzel, Klaus Küppers, Georg Schmidthals, Daria Trovato

International Competition: 1. Prize, 2004
Project: 2005-2010
Completion: Spring 2011
Client: Ayuntamiento de Sevilla and SACYR

Management Consultant: Dirk Blomeyer
Technical Consultant for Competition 2nd phase only and Multidisciplinary Engineers for Realization: ARUP GmbH
Technical Support for Plants – Competition 2nd Phase only: Coqui-Malachowska-Coqui with Thomas Waldau
Translation competition text: Carmen Diez

Plexi-Model: Werk 5
Photographer: Uwe Walter
Timber-Model: Finnforest Merk
Construction-Site Photos: J. MAYER H. Architects

Designed by , this project becomes the new icon for Seville, – a place of identification and to articulate Seville’s role as one of the world´s most fascinating cultural destinations. “Metropol Parasol” explores the potential of the Plaza de la Encarnacion to become the new contemporary urban centre. Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Seville allows for a great variety of activities such as memory, leisure and commerce. A highly developed infrastructure helps to activate the square, making it an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike.

The “Metropol Parasol” scheme with its impressive timber structures offers an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, multiple bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols, as well as a panorama terrace on the very top of the parasols. Realized as one of the largest and most innovative bonded timber-constructions with a polyurethane coating, the parasols grow out of the archaeological excavation site into a contemporary landmark, defining a unique relationship between the historical and the contemporary city. “Metropol Parasols” mix-used character initiates a dynamic development for culture and commerce in the heart of Seville and beyond.

November 19, 2011

Trafford Wharf Promenade | FoRM Associates

Architects: FoRM Associates
Date: Completed 2011
Client: Peel Media
Design: FoRM Associates
Engineering: Gifford
Text credits: FoRM Associates
Photographs: McCoy Wynne,  Webbaviation, FoRM Associates

Quayside designed by London-based FoRM Associates in front of Imperial War Museum North by Daniel Libeskind is now open to the public. The new quayside completes the first section of the Irwell River Park masterplan, an 8km long river edge park linking Salford, Manchester and Trafford developed by FoRM Associates in 2010. With the adjoining new Media City foot bridge by Wilkinson Eyre Architects the quayside delivers an important new strategic circulation loop in the Quays, a key regeneration zone in Greater Manchester. The loop helps to transforms the experience of walking in the area through linking Media City UK – the new home of the BBC, with the IWMN, Manchester United Stadium and Lowry Arts Centre.

FoRM’s design of the quayside plays with convex and concave geometries, creating an imaginative public realm complementing the designs of both the IWMN and the new Media Bridge. Importantly the project also actively orientates the IWMN towards its water edge with its newly constructed additional entrance now admitting over 50% of the museums visitors. The original severance to movement along the Manchester Ship Canal was resolved by a newly constructed deck and stepped area built over water, delivering generous pedestrian and cycling connectivity as well as a series of public realm spaces that serve as informal performance/educational resource for the museum. Terraced seating leading down to the water’s edge provides excellent views of the area making the new quayside already a popular destination both during the day and the evenings.

“FoRM Associates were not known to Peel before the Trafford Wharf commission. They proved to be one of the most innovative and professional consultants I have worked with. The project was delivered not just on time and entirely within a tight budget but with great flair and imagination. FoRM clearly understood their brief and delivered not just a visual delight but, in concert with the structural engineer produced a technically sound and simply constructed solution.” Ed Burrows, Property Director, Peel Media

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.

July 31, 2011

Xi’an Expo 2011 Officially Opens

aerial2 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

guangyun-entrance1 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

greenhouse-night1 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

greenhouse-birdview Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

flowing-gardens-overview2 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

creativity-pavilion4 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

creativity-pavilion3 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

creativity-pavilion1 Plasma Studio and Huashang Newspaper

The Xi’an Expo 2011 has officially opened and, as expected, the international horticultural event has attracted a staggering 200,000 in just the first weekend! We’ve been covering the Expo beginning with Plasma Studio + GroundLab’s conceptual design, and we have been featuringupdates about the project over the course of the last few months.  The Expo embodies the idea of transformation as the site was formerly a sandpit where the water was severely degraded during the 1980s.   Efforts over the past two decades have restored the ecosystem and now the Expo is able to demonstrate what can be accomplished through the use of the most advanced technology, ideas, and materials.  As we reported earlier, the 37 ha complex includes three buildings that are interconnected with a dynamic landscape of unfolding paths and networks of water, circulation and foliage.

More images after the break.

“By leaving behind the obvious typological and historical references to Xi’an’s past, this project is seeking a contemporary authentic expression of China’s current and future ambitions, adding an entirely new layer to the Millenial tapestry of Xi’an. By the same token, Flowing Gardens explores a new syncretic balance between urbanism and landscape with universal relevance. The traditional subordination of ground and landscape by buildings has been reversed to offer a unique symbiotic experience,” explained the architects.

International Competition: 1. Prize, 2009
Project: 2009-2011
Opening: April 28th 2011
Completion: March 2011

Client: Chan-Ba Ecological District
Architecture: Plasma Studio, BIAD
Landscape Design: GroundLab, LAUR Studio, Beijing Forestry University
Engineers: John Martin and Associates, Arup

July 31, 2011

Xi’an World Horticultural Expo | Plasmastudio + Groundlab










July 30, 2011

Qingdao Science and Technology City | KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten



 Qingdao Science and Technology City / KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten Courtesy of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten

Qingdao Science and Technology City / KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten Courtesy of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten

Qingdao Science and Technology City / KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten Site Plan 01


SP Jürgen Engel Architekten were awarded first place in the international competition for the Qingdao Science and Technology City the company’s design for the approx. 600-hectare site in the north of the port city of China.  The primary objective of the project was to create a sustainable urban living space for the 100.000 inhabitants, in which a high quality of life with ecological equilibrium is achieved.  Come back after the break for more about this project.

The layout of the city is designed as a sustainable development with diverse facilities that prioritizes pedestrian traffic and public transport, contains a rainwater collection and recycling system, and creates the requisite conditions for a green city worth living in. This, of course, includes architectural design that is highly efficient in terms of energy use and distribution with today’s sustainability criteria as a guide.  Different qualities with regard to open space such as the setting on the river, the park, as well as apartments and workplaces close to outdoor areas ensure a high quality of life in the new district.

The design by  for the area is characterized by a compact center and four mixed-usage quarters (residential, work, shopping, leisure ). An approx. 125-hectare area of greenery extending along the river from north to south across the entire planning area forms the backbone of the new development. The compact urban center is concentrated in structure and will be brought to life through the businesses, restaurants, and cultural facilities in it. Prestigious high-rises that are visible from afar will mark the center. Furthermore, each quarter will also boast its own (district) center, which the inhabitants will be able to reach on foot, and which have all requisite facilities. Basic institutions, such as an international school, a hospital etc., will be located in one of the quarters but will be for the use of all inhabitants.

The urban planning concept defines living quarters for the various groups of inhabitants, e.g., less developed, so-called “city garden areas” for families and residential high-rises with studios and apartments for singles and working people. Generally speaking, medium-height buildings (five storeys), with flexible floor plans and interior courtyards dominate. This form of development keeps things on a human scale while at the same time, through the concentration, enabling a certain urban flair.  The central park opens out to the south and north, with in the middle two boulevards intersecting it from east to west, connecting the new district with the rest of the city. In the north the Qingdao Science and Technology City will adjoin an existing highway, separated from it by the perimeter of the park.

Architects: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
Location: Jiao-Zhou, Qingdao
Developer: Beijing Winland Real Estate Co Ltd & Local Government Jiao-Zhou/Shandong
Land Size: 600 hectares
GSA: 6,200,000 sqm
Date: July 2011, 1st prize