Namdeamun Office Building

With its stark linear facade patterns, the Namdaemun Office Building in Seoul stands out from the vibrant market district that surround it. The office tower is Mecanoo’s first completed project in South Korea’s capital. The first project in Seoul by Mecanoo is completed on a corner plot opposite the Namdeamun Market. Located next to the ancient southern gate to the city of Seoul, the Namdeamun Market is the oldest and largest market in South Korea.

Since its beginnings as a government managed marketplace in 1414, it has become an important 24-hour destination for trade and a popular tourist attraction. The market’s history and regional traditions informed the design for a contemporary office building, connecting past and present. Maximizing the land allocation, the slim 14-floor building sits elegantly on a corner plot opposite the market. Its restrained monochromatic appearance acts as a counterbalance to the colorful frenzy of the market’s nonstop activity.

The role of the facades frames extends beyond decoration. It continuously creates different atmospheres, filtering incoming light and making shadows across the interior spaces. The relationship between the building and its surroundings reflects the passing of time, changing from day to night. During the day, the facade material reflects the sun light, whereas in the night, the building glows from within, revealing its characteristic facade pattern to the market and beyond. the building contains a restaurant at ground level.

Pedestrian Bridge, Rhode Island

A curved and stepped wood-covered Pedestrian bridge to link two parks in Providence, Rhode Island.

Spanning 394 feet (120 metres), the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge connects new green spaces on the east and west sides of the city’s riverfront. The design also incorporates five existing piers along the Providence River. Built with a steel superstructure, the curvaceous form is clad in modular panels of Wana wood, also known as Red Louro. In addition to its durability and resistance to rot, the South American hardwood was chosen for its use in boat building to evoke Providence’s maritime past.

With modern innovations, this exceptionally versatile material was used to capture formal characteristics reminiscent of historical ships while simultaneously transitioning into an innovative contemporary solution. Using parametric tools to develop the internal structure for each panel, the team was able to modularise the larger system for efficiency while preserving the unique form and outer surface curves. The prefabricated design was chosen to help with long-term maintenance and enable access to the steel structure if needed. The result accelerated the production schedule and reduced material waste and costs. The bridge’s form is stepped to create a lower level that is closer to the water. It faces south and features plantings and wide steps that double as seating. On the east side of the bridge, a pathway splits in directions towards James Street and Transit Street.

The west side of the bridge joins a 4.5-acre (1.8-hectare) green space and Providence’s Innovation and Design District, a development underway by Wexford Science and Technology and includes a new building, Point225, that houses Brown University’s School of Professional Studies. As a part of the Waterfront Park Master Plan, the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge had a significant responsibility to unify the East and West Park spaces into an integrated public environment synthesising both urban and natural conditions.

Neocleous Tower, Cyprus

The project is a mixed-use landmark tower including offices, retail, a Euro-Mediterranean alternative dispute and resolution centre, one luxury apartment, a business club and four-storey automatic car parking. The new offices will connect directly with open public spaces to offer a new spatial experience, to encourage social interaction and communication throughout the company. Each floor will exploit the inherent advantages of the coastal location and capture the sea views. The project incorporates large terraces facilitating maximum enjoyment of the outdoor Mediterranean lifestyle. The tower design was inspired by its unique location. The brief was mainly driven by the Limassol climate and the breathtaking sea views. For most of the tower spaces to enjoy sea views the service core and circulation had to be sited at the rear of the building.

The shallow footprint maximizes the potential for natural day lighting and ventilation, with a double skin façade which protects the most exposed sides of the building and satisfies fundamental criteria for BREEAM or LEED. A steelwork design solution was deemed the most suitable response to the plot size, the slender building and the basement parking layout. Due to the small and compact nature of the site it was desirable to reduce the building footprint to offer a friendly approach and provide the neighborhood with accessible open space.

Genoa Bridge, Italy

Stefano Boeri has unveiled the design of a circular elevated walkway that will be built below Renzo Piano’s replacement for the collapsed Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy. Developed by his eponymous studio Stefano Boeri Architetti, working with Metrogramma and Inside Outside, the walkway forms part of the Polcevera Park and The Red Circle masterplan, which has been designed to “breathe new life” into the landscape that is recovering from the Morandi Bridge collapse in 2018.

The masterplan will overhaul the site below Piano’s replacement structure, with a circular red walkway elevated above biodiverse parkland and a “sustainable innovation” zone. The Polcevera Park and The Red Circle has been thought out as a system of parks with different ecologies and infrastructures. “For sustainable mobility and smart buildings for R&D, and manufacturing with the aim of reversing the current image of the Polcevera valley from a complex and tragically devastated place to a territory of sustainable innovation for the rejuvenation of Genoa itself.

At the heart of the Polcevera Park and The Red Circle, the giant walkway will create a circular “corridor” for bikes and pedestrians to move easily between the parks and buildings. It will measure 1,570 metres in length with a radius of 250 metres, and will be built from steel as a reference to the “powerful local tradition of blast furnaces, cranes, and overhead cranes”.

The walkway will be marked in the city by a 120-metre-high wind tower, which will be used to generate green energy that will be distributed to the buildings in the area. Below it will be the Polcevera park, which will be divided up into a number “linear fields” that will align with the bridge’s support columns. At the heart of the Polcevera Park and The Red Circle, the giant walkway will create a circular “corridor” for bikes and pedestrians to move easily between the parks and buildings. It will measure 1,570 metres in length with a radius of 250 metres and will be built from steel as a reference to the “powerful local tradition of blast furnaces, cranes, and overhead cranes”.

Moma Lotus Resort, China

When Jiuhua Mountain first comes into view, we can see its clear shape. With its endless peaks, it lives up to the reputation as “the best mountain in Southeast China”. The bronze statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva stands quietly under the peaks, withstanding the test of time together with the mountains, the water, and the villages here.

In the late Kaiyuan Period of the Tang Dynasty, Ksitigarbha Jin came to Jiuhua; over the next 1,600 years, the Ksitigarbha Bodhimanda has become widely known. The peaks and mountains of Jiuhua Mountain are integrated with Buddhist culture, presenting a unique style.

The Lotus town just came close to bronze statue. This small town is more like a village, surrounded by natural veins and buildings. Making it ideal for tourist to rest after the trekking. In fact, this small town is more like a village, with natural veins and group of buildings, making it an ideal place for tourists to rest after climbing mountain. In fact, this small town is more like a village, with natural veins and groups of buildings, making it an ideal place for tourists to rest after climbing mountains to worship Buddha and for friends to gather and drink tea.

Opus Hotel, Dubai

The Opus in Dubai by Zaha Hadid Architects, a mixed-use building formed of conjoined towers with an irregular void in the middle, is almost ready to open. Set in the Burj Khalifa district, the Opus will be Dubai’s only building which has both the interior and exterior designed by the late Zaha Hadid, who founded Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). Hotel interiors for the ME Dubai hotel are currently being fitted out, for the scheduled opening in 2020. The 20-storey development from Omniyat will also house 12 restaurants and a rooftop bar, as well as office spaces. Two glazed adjacent 100-metre-high towers form a cube shape, with a curving eight-storey void that appears as if it has been carved from its centre.

These towers are connected by a four-storey atrium ground level and an asymmetric sky-bridge that is 38-metres wide and three storeys tall, suspended 71 metres from the ground. “The design conveys the remarkably inventive quality of ZHA’s work,” said Mahdi Amjad, CEO of Omniyat. “[It] expresses a sculptural sensibility that reinvents the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior.” The designs were first unveiled in 2007 by Hadid, who died in 2016. It was originally due to complete in 2018 but was pushed back due to construction delays. Designs for the Opus’ interiors, which were unveiled at the 2014 London Design Festival, include sculptural balconies, angular beds, and a sculpture of dangling glass balls in the lobby.

The Opus will be located near the Burj Khalifa, the 828-metre-high supertall skyscraper designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill that remains unchallenged for the title of the world’s tallest building. ZHA recently completed another hotel with a curving void, the Morpheus in Macau. Three holes punctuate the middle of the Morpheus, which uses an innovative exoskeleton construction so that the hotel interiors remain uncluttered by supporting walls or columns.

Beijing Daxing International Airport, China

Construction of Beijing Daxing International Airport has been completed after five years of frenzied activity. When the mega-airport begins operation on Sept 30, it will be the world’s largest single-terminal airport at 700,000 square meters – the size of 98 soccer fields. The 80 billion yuan ($11.7 billion) facility, which is 46 kilometers south of downtown Beijing, will serve as a second international airport for the capital. It is designed to relieve the pressure of rising demand for air travel on Capital International Airport in northeastern Beijing.

With seven runways planned, including one for military use, the new airport will ultimately handle more than 100 million passengers a year, matching Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States. The Daxing airport is the world’s largest integrated transportation hub. The terminal building is the world’s largest built with a seamless steel structure, boasting the world’s first design of double-deck departure and double-deck arrival platforms.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, there were 36 airports in 1949, most of which could handle only small aircraft. The number had soared to 236 by the end of June, with about seven new airports coming online each year in the past decade. Beijing Capital International Airport, the first airport for commercial flights after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, featured just one 2,500-meter runway when it opened in 1958, and had a terminal covering about 100,000 square meters.

Haramain High Speed Rail, Saudi Arabia

Foster + Partners has completed stations in Saudi Arabian cities Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City, connected by the 280-mile Haramain high-speed rail line. The stations, “conceived as gateways to each city”, are designed to offer a unified appearance to between 60 million and 135 million passengers anticipated to use the high-speed line each year. They are all covered by flexible vaulted roofs supported by grids of steel columns – described by the practice as structural trees. Structural trees support the roof at Medina station. The modular system meant that each station could be designed to fit its site, and that in the future the grid can be extended to increase capacity.

The buildings are designed to be shaded areas that can provide a respite from the country’s heat. Small openings within the building’s roof and its walls allow controlled amounts of light into the stations. All the stations have been designed so that they maintain low ambient temperatures without the need for using mechanical cooling. Holes in the roof and walls at Medina station control the amount of sunlight entering the building. Between the station’s vaults, which are a different colour in each of the cities, large circular chandeliers provide light and are intended to “accentuate the rhythm of the structure”. The Haramain high-speed rail line links the Muslim holy cities of Medina and Mecca, via the coastal cities of Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.

International Spy Museum, Washington DC

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has completed its first cultural building in the US: The International Spy Museum in America’s capital, which features an angled black volume, splayed red columns and a zig-zagged glass wall. The building reaches the city’s height limit of 130 ft from grade in just seven stories. Its most prominent features are the angled facades of the exhibit floors on the south and west sides of the site, encased in a black box. Propped up on columns over an aligned, existing structure, the black box comprises the bulk of building including its exhibition spaces. This is a floating structure which creates public and private spaces for a combination of different uses.

Above the ground-level lobby are the museum’s three main exhibition areas featuring floor heights of up to 20 ft. These include the ‘Special Exhibitions’ floor, the theatre, permanent exhibition and task-finding, as well as the future ‘Operation Spy’ space. Office spaces can be found above the exhibition floors and floating above these is the events space which is encased in a white box and crowned with a large, rooftop terrace. The steel structure found within the events box gives the museum 60-ft spans with floor-to-ceiling windows arranged in a 180- degree span around the building. With its large and slender, structural-steel beams extending upward from the site on L’Enfant Plaza in a predominantly concrete area of Washington, D.C., this type of architecturally expressed structural steel is unlike any other in the district.

Sportcampus Zuiderpark

Sportcampus Zuiderpark – a €50 million sports park designed to promote a healthier society in The Hague, Netherlands. Completed by British design studio Faulkner Browns Architects, the green-roofed recreational facility draws the eye with its copper-hued steel ribbon that changes color throughout the day and its sensitive approach to human scale.

The 33,000-square-meter Sportcampus Zuiderpark comprises a gymnastics hall, beach sports hall, spectator area, a multipurpose sports hall, as well as a variety of sports science and education spaces. The green lung, the Zuiderpark, has a new heart. In deference to its historic surroundings, the sports complex takes on an ovoid shape that the architects creates the perception that the building’s edges are retreating into the distance, minimising its visual scale.

The largest interior spaces were placed in the rear of the building so that the building height at the front could be reduced to provide a more comfortable human scale. Textured precast concrete panels make up the plinth on the ground level, while wraparound glazing on the upper level is partly shielded by a striking metallic ribbon. Near the entrance, the swooping roof opens up to frame a small courtyard. Three-quarters of the roof is covered in heat-regulating sedum, solar panels, and solar water heaters. Geothermal energy is used in the heating and cooling system.