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Shenzhen Energy Company

The 96,000m2 office development for the state-owned Shenzhen Energy Company is designed to look and feel at home in the cultural, political and business center of Shenzhen, while standing out as a new social and sustainable landmark at the main axis of the city. The volume and height of the new headquarters for Shenzhen Energy Company was predetermined by the urban masterplan for the central area. The development consists of two towers rising 220m to the north and 120m to the south, linked together at the feet by a 34m podium. BIG developed an undulating building envelope which creates a rippled skin around both towers and breaks away from the traditional glass curtain wall.

By folding parts of the envelope that would reduce solar loads and glare, a façade with closed and open parts oscillate between transparency to one side and opacity to the other. The closed parts provide high-insulation while blocking direct sunlight and providing views out. As a result, the towers appear as a classical shape with an organic pattern from a distance and as an elegant pleated structure from close-up. The sinuous direction of the façade corresponds to the solar orientation: it maximizes north-facing opening for natural light and views, while minimizing exposure on the sunny sides. This sustainable facade system reduces the overall energy consumption of the building without any moving parts or complicated technology. The folded wall provides a free view through clear glass in one direction and creates a condition with plenty of diffused daylight by reflecting the direct sun between the interior panels.

3 World Trade Centre, Manhattan

The city’s fifth-tallest building spans 80 storeys and reaches 1,079 feet (329 metres) high, making it currently the second tallest building at the redeveloped World Trade Center site. Also known as 3WTC, the building is surrounded by 10,000 floor-to-ceiling glass panels and based on a reinforced concrete core. Steel girders and beams form a lattice K-shaped pattern up the sides of the tower. All the corners are without columns and are shaped by an exterior glass and steel bracing system. This bracing is finished in stainless steel to complement the reflective glass.

The design is typical of the firm’s work, which includes a set of residential high-rises across from the Tate Modern in London that features a similar external bracing system. Located at 175 Greenwich Street in Downtown Manhattan, 3WTC is a mixed-use building with plans to include offices and private residences. The first three storeys and two below grades are designated for retail. For ventilation, air is drawn into the building from high up the tower – so it is supposedly cleaner than at ground level – and then filtered to remove chemical pollutants. Three terraces are included in the tower, on floors 17, 60 and 76, with the upper two being privately owned by companies. The top terrace is currently the tallest outdoor office patio in Manhattan, at 935 feet (285 metres) above ground level. The tower is part of the greater World Trade Center (WTC) campus, which includes SOM’s One World Trade, which welcomed its first tenants in November 2014, and Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus, which serves as the WTC Transportation Hub. The entire WTC campus is spearheaded by Silverstein Properties in collaboration with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns most of the property.

The Morpheus Hotel, Macau

It is the first tower in the world, to use an external skeleton to support its massive structure, the Morpheus hotel is one of the final projects designed by celebrated architect Zaha Hadid. DesignCurial were offered the chance to speak to viviana to find out more about the Morpheus hotel project, which is due to open in the spring of 2018. 28,000 tons of steel were used to construct the supportive exoskeleton that makes this project one-of-a-kind. The result is a sensuous and intriguing form which provides the construction advantage of contributing to the building’s stability, and reduces the internal structural requirements optimising the interior layout. By using a pioneering exoskeleton, there is more freedom with regards to how to use the space inside.

The building will contain approximately 780 guest rooms, suites and sky villas in the two main towers. These are joined at the top – by an infinity pool and leisure area on the 40th floor – and at the base, by the hotel’s central atrium. In between these connecting points, there will also be two sky bridges that connects the towers and gives the overall design the appearance of a melting sculpture. The aim for Zaha Hadid Architects was to create something new and original for the city, which represented the future of buildings and helped set Macau apart from other popular high end travel destinations. One of the ways that the team overcame these challenges was through the use of technology. Two highly connected pieces of tech were used in the project: bespoke scripts to control the geometry, and computer controlled robots to assemble components. A unique piece of architecture, as the last project of a great design legend, the Morpheus hotel will undoubtedly make a mark on its surroundings – and give Macau a bright future as a luxury travel destination.

Singapore Tower

Bjarke Ingels Group and Carlo Ratti Associati have started building a 280-metre-high skyscraper in Singapore, which will feature a four-storey vertical park complete with treetop cocoons. The tower, at 88 Market Street in the city-state’s financial district, will contain 29 floors of office space and 299 apartments, along with gardens spread through the building. The design shows the glass and steel facade of the 51-storey tower being “pulled apart” at the base, mid and upper levels to allow trees and plants to protrude out. “At multiple elevations, the facade peels open to reveal urban oases for its users and the surrounding city, animating the elegant smoothness of modern architecture with the ubiquitous tropical nature. The tower will become the joint-second tallest building in downtown Singapore, with only SOM’s Tanjong Pagar Centre rising higher. A public park will be located on the ground floor, with spaces for exercise classes, art installations and community events. Paths and covered walkways through the forest will lead to a 19-metre-high open space in the tower’s podium housing shopping and dining outlets, as well as the lobbies for the offices and residences. Four interconnected levels of the tower, at the 100-metre point, will be dedicated to a 30-metre high vertical park, with a covered spiral stairway rising through the centre.

This tropical garden will also feature a jungle gym, cocoons suspended in the treetops, “sky hammocks” and a cafe. “In this building, green areas are made accessible to the public at different heights, allowing the city’s exuberance to extend throughout the entire tower. “Working in nature will be as essential to the experience of the building as the most advanced digital technologies, offering us a glimpse of tomorrow’s offices. Tech-wise, the Singapore Tower is due to have sensors, Internet of Things-enabled devices and artificial intelligence capabilities “scattered throughout” to allow tenants to “fully customise” the skyscraper.

“Buildings can no longer be designed with a singular purpose or customer profile in mind – the definition of work is rapidly evolving and will continue to take on new forms. The upcoming integrated development will set a new benchmark for workspaces of the future as we harness the best-in-class design, engineering and smart technologies to empower occupants with new levels of flexibility and mobility. The lower eight floors of the tower will be occupied by 299 serviced apartments, along with a swimming pool, jogging track and gym, residents lounge, social kitchen and barbecue pits. While the upper 29 floors will be office spaces, a sky terrace on the rooftop is set to feature more cascading greenery, a restaurant, and what the developers claim will be Singapore’s “highest urban farm”

Perth Stadium, Australia

Perth Stadium will open to the public on 21 January, signaling the end of a decade-long planning, design and construction process. Hassell, Cox Architecture, and HKS Sport and Entertainment, as part of the Westadium consortium, won a competition to design the publicly-funded stadium which sits adjacent to the Perth CBD on the Burswood Peninsula. The stadium, which has its first sporting match scheduled for February, is a five-tiered structure wrapped in a bronze facade made from anodized aluminum that is also embedded with an LED light system. With the capacity to seat 60,000 people, the stadium is the third-largest in Australia. A fabric roof covers 85 percent of the seats, which ring the pitch in a steep, bowl-shaped arrangement that maximizes views. The project also included the precinct surrounding the stadium, which is composed of three recreational spaces inspired by The Dreamings and the site’s connection to the Swan River.

These include a covered “community Harbour” linking the stadium precinct to a new railway station; a precinct on the western side with an amphitheatre; and an area on the northern side containing a children’s playground, picnic areas and a boardwalk. WA government architect Geoff Warn, who was a member of the jury that selected the winning design, a “monumental iconic quality” that would immediately become synonymous with the city. The internal experience was designed to be enjoyable for users, with a bronzed interior skin creating an inviting atmosphere and a visually interesting texture.” The second is a sinuous footbridge designed by Denton Corker Marshall and Parry and Rosenthal Architects connecting the stadium to East Perth. Delays in the bridge’s construction have led to a cap on the stadium’s capacity over fears of increased congestion on match days.

Class Café, Thailand

In the past couple of years, Buriram has seen the birth of many new architectural structures. Been located on the main road that leads to the city center, Class Cafe occupies the once old and unused building and is now turning into a new destination of this northeastern city’s inhabitants. As the first branch outside of Nakhon Ratchasima, the neighboring province where the coffee house brand is originated, the project’s owner’ brief includes the wish to have the old-looking structure wrapped with the new building shell with the current architectural trends being the references. Looking through the structure’s physical conditions into the actual demands of both the project’s users and owner, the architect proposes the idea that is later materialized into the design of the building.

While the building’s capacity is sufficient to function a café, the architect thinks that idea of using air conditioning system with all the functional spaces may have caused the program’s ambience to be somewhat too homogenous. The inspiration for outdoor space comes from the ‘sala’ (a Thai pavilion) located on the yard of the owner’s grandmother’s house. The outdoor addition grants greater flexibility to the house’s functional space, especially on the good-weather day. The architect’s idea is to add an architectural element that serves the similar role to a ‘sala’. The 4×15-meter pavilion with the height of 7.5 meters is constructed at the front of the existing building instead of spending the money on wrapping the original structure with a new shell. A semi-outdoor space offers the diverse spatial experiences and can be used to host events while concealing the preexisting structure of the old building as the owners initially intended. The construction employs the use of steel structure for shorter construction period and relocation when the lease comes to an end.

With one of the partners owning a corrugated metal sheet factory, the material is used for the construction efficiency including the modern aesthetic that the fast-growing city such as Buriram needs. While popularly used to construct the solid form of building shells, the material is approached differently with Class Café. The architect searches for the beauty in the straightforward use of corrugated roofing sheets whose image is often associated with cheap buildings. The sheets with standard width and 1-meter length are jointed to the steel structure in horizontal configuration, with 15-centimeter gap between each piece, collectively forming the pavilion that stands 6-meter high from its base. The gaps allow the corrugated sheets to reveal the beauty rendered from their sleek thinness. The structurally solid mass when complemented by the presence of light looks visually weightless and airy. The joints are flexible enough for the sheets to slightly move when encountering a strong wind while the damaged sheets can be conveniently replaced in the future. With the copious amount of 1,036 sheets and 8,288 joints, the installation is handled with great attention to details, similar to the way a piece of furniture is crafted where intricacy and time are pivotal to the desired aesthetic appearance and functionality.

New Passenger Terminal, Franjo

The new terminal complex serves up to 5 million passengers a year. The first phase site plan has 8 boarding bridges linked to the terminal building on the north side, and an arrival/ departure ramp with a viaduct on the south. The landside surroundings spatial organization at entrance allows the dominance of pedestrian esplanade in the middle. A dynamic roof envelope, which unwraps itself, to levitate above the terminal hall generates the free dynamics of the structural net – an iconic expression of the landscape and its relief features as original attributions to the generated architectural form. The distinctiveness of the architectural design is achieved through a composition of hypars.

The envelope structure is a spatial truss gently curved in two directions deploying tens of thousands prefabricated steel tubes and nodes based on the triangular off grid module ending in bright, glossy and clean roof surfaces. In the same way, the interior is enriched with the originality of the curved ceiling and construction that is bursting with a multitude of steel elements of the spatial steel structure. The terminal building interior ambiences bear the attributes of neat, clearly arranged areas that follow the functional requirements of airport protocols. This steel truss structure is built on a modular grid of 3.60 x 3.60 m, with an off-grid displacement between the upper and lower truss level. The pier design allows for the flexibility that is necessary to sustain the expected increase of air traffic in the future.

New Passenger Terminal building dimensions are 153m by 153 m, reaching to a height up to 35 m, with a 284-m long pier, total gross building area of 65,000 m2. Functional organization is developed and distributed vertically among the four levels: – Arrival level is located at the level “0” ground floor.

T House

Architect were commissioned to design and renovate an old house in a small alley that branch off from Pham Ngoc Thach St, historically known as Duy Tan. The 161m2 house was finished in 2017. The focus when shaping this space was to create an environment that provoke emotional interactions with the architecture. It is expressed in a continuous reel of functional relationship between spaces that are stringed together from inside the house to the alley and back. This is a kind of architectural newness that set them apart from their typical design method.

The concept embodied the free and limitless character of space resulting in a humble and provocative sense of spatial purposes hinting toward the center of architecture being the subtle personal connection between the occupants, planters, furniture, and the garden. The Architects believe this shift in design thinking will provide opportunities to refresh the residents’ perception toward their living experience that encompass the overlapping relationship among the interior, the envelope, the garden, the alley, and the neighbors.

Cittadella Bridge, Italy

During the flooding of Alessandria in 1994, not only did the water level reach the roadway, but also the piers of the Napoleonic Cittadella Bridge caught much of the debris in the river, effectively acting as a dam. The new design, a single span raised above the flood plain, not only solves that problem, but also reconnects the fabric of the modern city with the Cittadella, an 18th century fort and tentative UNESCO World Heritage site. By relinking Piazza Gobetti to the citadel’s remarkable structures, the project hopes to catalyze their future preservation and reuse.

The bridge also enhances the natural flow of the river Tanaro, and aspires to become a public space for the citizens of Alessandria. While the previous structure was often heavily congested with traffic, making it unsafe and virtually an obstruction for pedestrians, the new bridge provides separate parallel routes for pedestrian and vehicular circulation. The pedestrian walkway effectively becomes a public plaza through which the public and civic life of Alessandria can find a new, positive relation to the river. The vehicular side of the bridge bows strongly to the north, and as a counterbalance to this bow, the 32.5-meter-high arch of the bridge is curved to the south. The weight of the pedestrian bridge helps to maintain the balance, and with the opposing curves, creates a dynamic arrangement.

Torre Citica, Mexico

An important step in providing pedestrian access along downtown Monterrey’s main transportation routes, Torre Citica is a 25-storey mixed-use development designed by Austin-based Miró Rivera Architects and Mexican firm Ibarra Aragón Arquitectura (IAARQ) in Monterrey, Mexico. The project is the first of its kind situated over Venustiano Carranza, a significant thoroughfare that links Monterrey with the neighboring municipality of San Pedro Garza García. Sitting on a polygonal site with extended frontage, Torre Citica accommodates a variety of shops and restaurants on the ground and second floors, interacting with the outdoor public green space that is shaded by a screen of interlaced steel tubes. The corner of the site is dominated by a grand staircase, acting as an appealing public threshold between the street below and spaces above.

The tubular trellis screen is a consistent element that manifests itself elsewhere in the project, by shading six levels of parking above the commercial programs and providing a framework for hanging vegetation that “recall the overgrown ruins of ancient temples scattered throughout the jungles of Central America.” The lattice unifies the three primary masses of the development. Above the commercial base, two separate volumes accommodate 8 floors of office space, along with 9 floors of apartment units, which capture views of the northern part of the city to the southern peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range. With the long side of the building facing north and south, the east and west facades are protected with vertical trellises functioning as solar screens. In addition to the 87 residences, amenities provided include a rooftop terrace, a pool, and a gym. Having broken ground recently, the development is expected to be complete by December of next year.

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