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Tuesday, 19th March 2013 at 9:35am
Foster + Partners has designed their first flagship hotel, where everything from the shell to the interiors has been designed by the practice.
The ME Hotel, which opened earlier this year, is a brand new luxury hotel built occupying a triangular site in the Aldwych Crescent area of London. The 157-bed hotel seamlessly integrates with the restoration of the adjacent 1904 Marconi House, whose interior has been completely restructured to provide 87 apartments.
Clad in Portland stone, the hotel was built to the same height and scale as its neighbour, and despite having a modern feel, is still in keeping with the surrounding area. An elliptical tower on the corner of the building, which defines the end point for the Aldwych Crescent, is topped by a glass cupola – a contemporary reinterpretation of the Edwardian-style domed roof across the street. The glass cupola houses the penthouse suite for the hotel, with an impressive 360-degree panorama of the city, including views of the river.
Guests arriving at the hotel pass through a ground floor lounge with accompanying public restaurants and bar before ascending to a dedicated hotel lobby with a champagne bar on the first floor, all housed within a nine-storey high pyramidal space, encased entirely in white marble.
On the tenth floor is the hotel’s rooftop terraces, which are an urban oasis, with the Radio Rooftop Bar offering views of the river and Westminster skyline. The 5-star hotel also boasts versatile conference suites, a gym and a luxury 25-seat screening room.
Find out more on the project page.
Wednesday, 13th March 2013 at 10:43am
One Angel Square opened its doors at the beginning of the year to become the new headquarters for the Co-operative Group.
Designed by 3D Reid, the building comprises the first BREEAM 'Outstanding' regional office building in the UK, offering a total of 327,643 sq ft over 17 floors.
The design incorporates a recycling system for used water as well as a rainwater harvesting system to decrease water consumption by the building. It is also designed to consume 50% less energy compared to the previous Manchester headquarters of the Co-operative Group, as well as a reduction of 80% in carbon emissions. This will lead to an overall reduction of 30% in operating costs.
The building will get its power from rape seeds from the Co-operative farms, acting as fuel for the building's CHP (Combined heat and power) plant, with the remaining husks of the crop recycled into animal feed.
It has been designed to be future-proof allowing for a general temperature increase of 3-5 degrees and with the possibility of a 30% increase in rainfall by 2050.
Other ground breaking engineering features include a double skinned facade, to minimise heating and cooling throughout the year, and underground concrete earth tubes that provide free heating and cooling for incoming fresh air. There are also electrical pool car charging points and an 'App' is in development to relay real time information on how the building is performing.
Tuesday, 5th March 2013 at 3:26pm
Architecture and design company Murado & Elvira has released a free download that allows you to build your own paper model of the Teknobyen Studentboliger, a student housing project the company built for SiT in Trondheim, Norway.
The building has been nominated for the Statens Byggeskikkpris 2012; the Norwegian National Building Awards and has won the Trondheim Kommune Energispareprisen (Energy Saving Prize 2012).
The company also has a free desktop pet available to download- there are five to choose from, representing the belief that buildings as objects can become like pets due to an empathic relationship people build with them.
Download the Free Paper Teknotoy here.
Friday, 1st March 2013 at 11:29am
In the latest move forward for a new London airport Boris Johnson has appointed Zaha Hadid Architects, along with aviation experts, to develop designs for a multi runway hub, to be built in the southeast.
Zaha Hadid will submit plans that will also help make recommendations on the location of the airport, which the Mayor of London sees as vital to rejuvenate the British economy and to solve the current aviation crisis.
Other organisations asked to prepare plans, as part of an airport design and infrastructure panel, were Atkins, a British design and engineering company, and Pascall & Watson architects who worked on St. Pancras international and Heathrow Terminal 5.
Find out more via the full press release here.
Tuesday, 26th February 2013 at 5:07pm
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) has unveiled the winning design for the new French national rugby stadium.
The ‘Grande Stade’ will be built using the designs of Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4/, and will be much more than just a rugby stadium; as well as hosting all the French rugby home matches, it will accommodate conventions, shows and a broad range of other sporting events thanks to its multi-purpose design.
The design boasts a retractable pitch, to ensure the best possible playing surface for matches, and a retractable roof, which will help to create an intense atmosphere for sporting fixtures as well as creating the largest roofed entertainment venue in Europe, with a planned seating capacity of 82,000.
The new venue will be built South of Paris, with the architecture alluding to the hospitality and shelter of a town, with solid white stone masses on the exterior resembling the rock quarries of the region, contrasted by the variety of thriving public spaces and multi-level lounges within the structure.
Sunday, 24th February 2013 at 12:00pm
A new hotel is being built that will extend 328 feet underground, but fear not it will still have a view.
The Shimao Intercontinental Hotel is being built in an abandoned quarry near the base of Tianmashan Mountain in the Songjiang district of Shanghai.
The hotel will accommodate 380 rooms over 19 floors, with three of those floors being above ground, whilst the remainder are built against the face of the 100 meter deep quarry.
The concept is to mimic a waterfall with a glass atrium that will span from the ground-level all the way down into the quarry and was designed by the British engineering firm Atkins Global. It will also blend into the surrounding area via green roofs at the ground level, which will double up as insulation.
To increase the wow factor of the future 5-star resort there are no plans to drain the water from the bottom of the quarry. Instead they will use it as a man-made lake for water sports.
There will also be underwater public areas, including a 10-meter-deep aquarium, alongside the standard amenities you would expect from a luxury hotel; cafes, restaurants, swimming pools, shops and sporting facilities.
Whilst the hotel won't meet the original opening date of May 2009, it is scheduled to be open from late 2014 to early 2015.
Tuesday, 19th February 2013 at 12:00pm
The temporary semi-transparent pavilion, which will be open from 8th June until 20th October, will have two entrances, provide a seating area for a central cafe, and will occupy 350 square-metres of lawn outside the London gallery.
This is the third time a Japanese architect has accepted the annual unpaid commission, which is one of the most highly sought-after small projects in world architecture and goes to a major architect who hasn't yet built in the UK.
Last year's pavilion was a cork-lined archaeological dig created by Herzog & de Meuron with Ai Weiwei, who was forbidden to leave China at the time.
Wednesday, 13th February 2013 at 12:30pm
Boca Do Lobo has featured on their blog the Top 10 public spaces, architecturally speaking.
The feature has some amazing examples of innovative design and amazing engineering from all over the globe, including the Floating Movie Theatre, Thailand, El Bosque de la Esperanza, Colombia and possibly our favourite the170 foot Trampoline in Russia.
The list is a great representation of architecture from 2012 that is accessible to all, and helps to make the world a better and more fun place to live. Enjoy!
See the full list and read more about them here.
Tuesday, 12th February 2013 at 1:51pm
The venture set out to complement the existing facilities offered by the famous Shoreditch House Members Club in East London. It was built on the remaining vacant plot of the Tea Building/Biscuit Building, situated adjacent to and above the existing entrance to the club.
The plot used was previously occupied by the White Swan pub, which had sat empty and unused for many years falling into a state of disrepair. The design is a contemporary box structure which rises from behind the facade of the old pub, retaining the existing characteristics whilst embracing the challenging composition of the high level additions, clad in corten steel.
The building was shortlisted for several awards, including the Hackney Design Awards and the Wallpaper Magazine Best Business Hotel.
Sunday, 10th February 2013 at 11:30pm
YAP is an annual competition that supports and promotes young and emerging architects in collaboration with MAXXI Architettura, MoMA/MoMA PS1 of New York, Constructo of Santiago and, for the first time, Istanbul Modern, Turkey.
The winning design, called "He" is intended to attract and impress viewers, with its massive scale and innovative ideas.
The project will see the MAXXI facade transformed with a giant yellow prism-shaped balloon, which will provide shelter from the sun during the daytime and light the area in the evening throughout the summer.
As well as providing shade "He" will also drip water, creating a refreshing curtain for the public trying to escape the heat, whilst in the evening it will drench the area with a warm yellow glow as it rises up to the height of the museum, acting as a lantern in the sky.
Being installed on the 20th June 2013 for the duration of the summer, "He" will then be deflated, with it's Helium being collected and used for scientific and medical research, whilst the balloon itself will be recycled.
Wednesday, 30th January 2013 at 1:21pm
The Water Discus hotel will not be the first underwater hotel, but is set to be the world’s largest. It will be built in Dubai, and consist of two main discs, one above water, the other below, and will have smaller circular modules connected to the above water section to provide additional facilities to the 21 hotel rooms located below the sea level. The main above sea disc will be supported and connected to it's counterpart by five columns and a main central shaft for stairs and lift.
The hotel will also boast a helipad, an underwater diving centre, with an airlock leading directly underwater, and a decompression chamber for training purposes. The nature of the design allows for the hotel to be expanded or even moved, with the surrounding discs having the ability to detach from the main disc and act as a buoyant life raft in the event of an emergency.
Hotel guests will be able to enjoy underwater views from their room, a submerged bar and even take a course in piloting an underwater vehicle.
DOT’s other ventures include designing underwater vehicles and equipment for seabed exploration.
Friday, 25th January 2013 at 12:57pm
Artek’s Stool 60 is a familiar sight to many, and it is not really a surprise that this beautifully simple stool was designed by highly acclaimed architect Alvar Aalto.
The unique design of the stool relies on the fact that it was the first 3-legged stool made of wood, and not tubular steel, with the iconic L-shaped legs taking years to perfect, the result being a simple and stackable stool that has survived the test of time for the best part of a century.
To commemorate the 80th birthday, Artek is releasing a series of the stools in the same colours that Alvar used in his designs at the time of their creation. They are also working with well known architects and designers to produce a new series of stools, with the first ones being released designed by Mike Meiré.
There is a video showing the creation of his colourful stools below. Read the 80th Birthday press release here.
Friday, 25th January 2013 at 9:29am
You can't read the news today without seeing something about 3D printers and their possible uses.
Now Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Dutch firm Universe Architecture, is working with the Italian inventor of the D-shape 3D printer, Enrico Dini, to build the world's first 3D printed building.
The project is to create a two storey building, due for completion in 2014, using pieces made by the 3D printer.
It will be made by printing 6 x 9 metre chunks of frame, which will be made of sand and inorganic binder. The frame will be fitted together and then filled with fiber-reinforced concrete, to create a sturdy and solid structure.
Ruijssenaars describes the project as, “One surface folded in an endless möbius band. Floors transform into ceilings, inside into outside. Production with innovative 3D printing techniques. Architecture of continuity with an endless array of applicability.”
Thursday, 24th January 2013 at 9:23am
After waiting 23 years for their market square to be redeveloped, the people of the Dutch town of Schijndel have an incredible new structure that pays homage to the local farming heritage.
Architects MVRDV noticed that the area put aside by the town planners resembled the layout of a traditional local farm. They used this idea to create a 1.6 times bigger model of a farm, made from glass and printed with images of a variety of different buildings from local farms, taken by artist Frank van der Salm.
The structure isn't just for show, it also houses several retail and business premises on the 1600sqm of Schijndel’s large market square.
Images from MVRDV and Persbureau van Eijndhoven.
Saturday, 19th January 2013 at 2:30pm
Dezeen has developed a guide to all the architectural and design events in the world. The World Design Guide is still in it's infancy and it will grow and develop more as time goes by, but the idea is a simple and fantastic one.
Quite simply, it's a map of the world with markers on it, not too different from the markers on Google maps, these markers represent an event. But it doesn't stop there, you can filter events by location (not just by zooming in) or date or even name. The events listed only currently cover 2013 but more will be added as time goes by.
Last September Dezeen published a map of events at the London Design Festival which was viewed by over 500,000 people in a week. It's now the highest ranking map of the festival on Google. Earlier last year it also mapped all the architecture and design studios in the east London borough of Hackney as part of its Designed in Hackney project. This map has been viewed over 2.5 million times. Dezeen is now working on more map-based apps and tools that it hopes to launch in the coming months.
Check out the guide for yourself here.
Thursday, 17th January 2013 at 3:26pm
The piece covers her relationship with some of the world's top architects and her amazing ability to capture their creations in a truly unique and breath-taking manner. Due to her stunning work, she is regarded as one of the best architectural photographers in the world and when you see the images she has taken it is no surprise that architects such as Le Corbusier, David Chipperfield, Alvar Aalto and Zaha Hadid have all used her to document their work.
Read the piece and see more images here.
Wednesday, 16th January 2013 at 10:18am
Last year's winner was the London 2012 Olympic Relay Torch, and this year still has some Olympic contenders with the Olympic Cauldron by Heatherwick Studio being nominated.
Other nomination's include:
Acrhitecture - The Shard, London, UK
Designed by Renzo Piano
Digital - Rain Room
Designed by rAndom International
Fashion -Prada S/S12 RTW Collection
Designed by Miuccia Prada
See the full list of nominations here.
Tuesday, 15th January 2013 at 4:38pm
If like us in the office you've been feeling the cold recently, then these images may not be for you.Otherwise take a look at some of the stunning ice sculptures at the 29th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in China.
The sculptures include life-size buildings and ice slides, which are all beautifully lit up in the evenings.
The festival started on the 5th January and will go on for a month in the North-East of China, which experiences near-Artic temperatures at this time of year, making it a perfect venue for such a festival.
Within the festival is the Sun Island Park, the site of the Snow Sculpture Exposition displaying a wonderful snow world. It has the world's largest indoor ice and snow art museum and it was open to the public from November.
One of the other main
attractions,the Ice and Snow World, came into being in 1999 and is one of the world's largest ice architecture parks. The inspiration for the ice and snow sculptures there usually is derived from traditional Chinese fairy tales or world famous architectures such as the Great Wall, the Egyptian Pyramids, etc.
Sunday, 13th January 2013 at 8:31am
The aim was to encourage the public to recycle by example. By turning a common piece of packaging, the Tetrabrik, normally used for milk cartons, into a structure that was 7 metres tall, 30 metres long and 15 metres wide.
To achieve this, they turned the packaging into a form of 'Lego brick' by clamping them together at a 135º angle to each other, which allowed for the quick assembly of the record-breaking structure.
The completed structure used 45,000 milk cartons, collected from 100 colleges, and comprised of two major free-standing parts: the wall- a solid latticed base, and the tower- a soaring core section that linked two base walls.
The project took only two weeks to complete, thanks to the innovative method used, as well as the hard work put in by architecture students from local colleges.
After being on display in the courtyard of the ‘Park of the Sciences of Granada’, the pavilion was disassembled and the taken to be recycled!
See ArchDaily for more information and see more images here.
Friday, 11th January 2013 at 9:20am
The exhibition traces Austrian-born Seidler’s key role in bringing Bauhaus principles to Australia and identifies his distinctive place and hand within and beyond modernist design methodology. The exhibition was developed by curator Vladimir Belogolovsky of Intercontinental Curatorial Project in New York with Penelope Seidler and Harry Seidler & Associates in Sydney and sponsored by Seidler Architectural Foundation.
The fifteen featured projects—five houses and five towers in Sydney, and five major commissions beyond Sydney—focus on Seidler’s lifelong creative collaborations, a pursuit he directly inherited from Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, with progressive artistic visionaries: architects Marcel Breuer and Oscar Niemeyer, engineer Pier Luigi Nervi, photographer Max Dupain, and artists Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Norman Carlberg, Sol LeWitt, Charles Perry, Frank Stella, and Lin Utzon.
See other dates and venues here.
Berman House, Joadja, New South Wales, 1996-99 © Eric Sierins
Harry and Penelope Seidler House, view from North, Killara, Sydney, 1966-67 © Max Dupain
Julian Rose House, Wahroonga, Sydney, 1949-50n © Max Dupain