Future Watch

Spain Pavilion

Architecture firms Selgascano and FRPO have been selected as finalists to design Spain’s National Pavilion for EXPO 2020 in Dubai. The winning proposal includes an inflatable canopy of nine yellow ETFE cylinders set within a steel framework. Reinterpreting the Spanish plaza, the design creates a new take on the public square. The pavilion was made to be ultralight as a more sustainable structure that could be easily removed and transported. Formed as a ‘breathing pavilion’, the design allows two inflatables to move up and down to respond to views, light and breeze.

As expo 2020 will be held during Dubai’s cooler months, selgascano and FRPO’s design takes advantage the lower temperatures with a generous amount of outdoor space.

The two cylinders at the front of the pavilion can move up and down, opening or closing the pavilion in response to climatic conditions and events beneath the dynamic canopy, a matrix of fans helps circulate air, while shade, ventilation, and micro-evaporation are used to ensure comfort. As with any other plaza, the idea of the square is linked to the presence of water, which is never wasted conceived as oases, three areas of native vegetation and moving water help temper the heat, while serving as sources of freshness, shade, and life. Meanwhile, a single-floor exhibition space joins other services beneath the pavilion’s elevated square.

Design team also suggests that the structure, particularly the inflatable deck, could be easily assembled in a second location, such as a fairground as more than 80 per cent of the material used will be certified recycled material, other elements could be recycled or reused independently.

Shipwreck tower, Czech Republic

A red shipwreck crashes into this high-rise, which Black n’ Arch and sculptor David Černý have designed for developer Trigema on the outskirts of Prague. The shipwreck will envelop the 135-metre-high building, named Top Tower, which is expected to become the tallest building in Czech Republic and contain a mix of housing and office spaces.

Its striking form is designed by Black n’ Arch and sculptor Černý to serve as a stark reminder of climate change – imagining a future where a shipwreck has collided with a building during an apocalypse caused by storms and rising sea levels.

Named Top Tower, the building has been commissioned by Prague developer Trigema, and is currently undergoing planning permission for a site close to the capital city’s metro station Nové Butovice.

Trigema has projected that construction will begin in 2021, with the building set to take less than three years to complete. It is hoped that the tower, which is outside Prague’s urban conservation area, will revitalise the public pedestrian zone outside the metro station. “The project under preparation will be outside the protected zone of the urban conservation area and outside the area prohibiting high-rise buildings,” explained Trigema.

“At the same time, it is located far enough away from the Prague, so that it will not be visible from the vast majority of places in the centre of the metropolis and will not disturb the historical city skyline.”

Though little detail has been disclosed about Top Tower’s structure, the shipwreck is expected to be made made of red-coloured steel and wrapped with climbing plants – standing out from the pared-back rectangular tower. At its highest point, the shipwreck will enclose a public observation deck that is accessed by an external lift. The main building will also feature a rooftop garden offering visitors panoramic views of the city.

Japan’s tallest skyscraper

Based in New Haven, Connecticut, the architecture firm has revealed its design for Japan’s tallest building, an approximately 1,083-foot-tall (330-meter-tall) skyscraper that will rise in Tokyo and is scheduled to be completed in March 2023.

Located at the midpoint between Tokyo’s cultural and business districts, the so-called Toranomon-Azabudai tower is the tallest in a complex of three on the mixed-use site and will overtake the previous height record set by the Abenobashi Terminal Building in Osaka, Japan, which stands at nearly 985 feet (300 meters) and was also designed by the late César Pelli in 2014.

Crowned by four curved-glass petals on each corner, the Toranomon-Azabudai tower is expected to become a new landmark for the city.

It will also be a skyline indicator of its new neighborhood, the ARK Hills development in Minato City, a 20-acre (8.1-hectare) complex that includes two additional mixed-use towers, a shorter podium building with residential and office spaces, underground train connections, and a curvilinear and extruding public realm designed by London-based designer Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio, which will be greened with a lush landscape of lawns, trees, flowers, and waterscapes.

One of the other towers on the site by Pelli Clarke Pelli is set to follow its companion and become the second-tallest building in Tokyo—the West Tower, at approximately, 863 feet tall (263 meters).

Planned to be approximately 330 meters high, the main tower would be around 30 meters taller than the Abeno Harukas skyscraper in Osaka – currently Japan’s tallest building. “Out of our three projects on the site, the main tower is perhaps the most visual on the skyline.

It is the first thing visitors will see upon arrival in Tokyo and is the tallest building in all of Japan. When it is completed in 2023, the Toranomon-Azabudai main tower will overtake the 258-metre-high Toranomon Hills skyscraper, which was also developed by Mori, to become the tallest building in Tokyo.

Beijing Daxing International Airport

Another project by ZHA, the Beijing Daxing International Airport terminal (aka Beijing New Airport) was promoted as the world’s largest airport terminal building when revealed and as far as we know this still stands. It’s expected to open for business in September, 2019.

The huge building was created in collaboration with ADP Ingeniérie and takes the form of a massive starfish, with a total floorspace of 700,000 sq m (over 7 million sq ft). It will eventually have a capacity of 100 million passengers annually and will apparently also boast sustainable technology, but we’ve still received very little information on it as of writing. No doubt we’ll learn more once it’s finished in late 2019.

The new airport is incurred an approximate expenditure of CNY120bn ($17.46bn), while the projects in its periphery attracted investments of CNY330bn ($48bn). It is expected to handle 72 million passengers and two million tonnes of cargo annually by 2025.

Kansas City Airport Terminal

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have unveiled the latest design for Kansas City’s new airport terminal. Working with the Kansas City Aviation Department, the City of Kansas City, Missouri and major airlines, the project is coming together with developer Edgemoor. The air travel hub that will be the largest single infrastructure project in Kansas City’s history.

Designed, planned, and engineered by SOM and a team of local and national consultants in collaboration with CWC, the terminal project will transform the existing airport, adding a one-million-square-foot terminal designed to embody the city’s identity as a growing center of technology and innovation.

The project will replace Kansas City’s existing facilities which were built in 1972 with a 39-gate terminal designed with the flexibility to expand to 50 gates in the future. With feedback from residents and stakeholders, the team revealed new renderings last week during a business session meeting with the Kansas City city council.

The renderings include views of the airport’s exterior, retail shopping area, check-in area, observation area and baggage claim.

More than 60 local firms, including 41 minority or women-owned businesses, will participate in the project, which is expected to generate up to 5,000 construction-related jobs.
The design is made to center on seamless transitions in a compact layout. Walking distances are kept to a minimum, while check-in and security are consolidated into one space.

A dual-level roadway will separate the vehicular traffic between arrivals and departures, and at the entrance, the project will feature a generous overhang with structurally expressed columns and glass facade. The new terminal is targeting LEED® Gold certification. The new terminal broke ground in March of this year, and the project is designed to enhance the city’s air travel experience upon its completion in 2023.

Basketball Net Inspired Arena Los Angeles

AECOM has unveiled a new design for a “basketball net-inspired” 900,000-square-foot arena for the LA Clippers in Inglewood. Working with Anderson Barker Architects, the City Design Studio of Los Angeles, and Hood Studios, the team’s proposal includes a solar panel tile cladding system around the building and sunken basketball court. The project’s facade was designed to symbolize the diamond shapes in a basketball net.

Funded by owner Steve Ballmer, the new 26-acre Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Complex would house everything from the Clippers’ corporate headquarters to the team’s training facility. The team currently practices in playa vista with a business office in downtown Los Angeles and plays in Staples Center. The arena complex will be entirely privately financed, use no public money and will require no additional infrastructure surrounding the site to be paid for by the city. Renderings show three parking garages, a sports medicine clinic, spaces for parks and educational facilities, restaurants and businesses and an indoor court available to the community.

The goal was to have the best home in all of sports said Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer. It is to build a facility that re-sets fans’ expectations while having a transformative impact on the city. The Clippers campus is also designed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions through a combination of carbon offset credits and sustainable design features. The Clippers arena aims to begin construction in 2021 and open three years later as its lease at Staples ends in 2024.

Harbour Sea Infinity, Russian

Architecture practice DNKag has designed two Corten discs as a rooftop extension to a seaside production facility in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Dubbed Harbor Sea Infinity, the project will become a social and business center overlooking Sevkabel Port. The new rooftop addition aims to bring new life to the industrial warehouse. “Harbour Sea Infinity” is the slogan of the project concept. It considers the location and history of the place. Thus, the team proposed a superstructure consisting of two “reels” – offices with a 360-degree panorama. It is a symbol of infinite possibilities that complement the atmosphere of discoveries and anticipations in Sevkabel Port.

Most of the roof space will remain open to retain the potential for further development. The project provides for clear zoning of the roof for the public, and this public space includes several zones with different types of activity. The office part is a superstructure consisting of two “reels” – offices with a 360-degree panorama. It does not affect the existing facade of the building, since the lower disk of the offices is elevated above the roof of the old building. This solution creates an unobstructed view from the offices, while underneath, the mechanical and storage areas can be placed. The offices offer picturesque views of the water, city and courtyard. The optimal width of the building ensures good natural lighting and allows flexible space planning. Overhanging slabs form a circular balcony also serve as protection from direct sunlight.

Harbin Airport, China

Architecture firm MAD has proposed building a snowflake-shaped third terminal at Harbin Airport, China, which would feature indoor gardens for travelers. MAD’s design for Harbin Airport Terminal Three would increase the capacity of the airport serving the capital of Heilongjiang, China’s most northern province.

The airport terminal is designed to serve 43 million passengers on 320,000 outgoing flights per year.

MAD chose the five-fingered fractal shape as a nod to the airport’s setting in snowy Harbin, where its winters earned it the nickname of Ice City. Skylights set into the white roof would be articulated as ridges that would mimic the look of snowdrifts. Renders show glass domes over the indoor gardens, letting natural light into the terminal below. The indoor gardens would connect different levels of Harbin Airport Terminal Three, providing a place for passengers to sit and enjoy being surrounded by greenery before their flights.

A new Ground Transportation Centre would also have gardens between the transport hubs. High-speed rail links, subway lines and airport buses would all route through to here, to encourage people to travel to the airport by public transport rather than drive. MAD often looks to nature to inspire the organic forms of its building designs. The studio has designed a sports complex that sits under a park of green hills, and a set of skyscrapers that look like boulders, as well as an opera house for Harbin with a curving form that blends into the winter snow.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles

Located on Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles, the museum has three primary goals: to convey the power of movies, to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look into how films are made, and to explore their impact on culture and our lives.

Renzo Piano’s design comprises two distinct buildings that form the academy museum’s 300,000-square-foot campus. The six-storey Saban building designated at Los Angeles historic-cultural monument will feature more than 50,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, a state-of-the-art education studio, a 288-seat theater, a restaurant and café, a store, and public event spaces. Meanwhile, a soaring globe-shaped addition appropriately titled ‘the sphere’ will include a 1,000-seat theater and will host a range of performances, screenings, premieres, and events. At its top, an expansive terrace will afford sweeping views of the Hollywood hills.

Occupying two floors of the Saban building, the museum will open with a long-term exhibition that explores the evolution of film. The institution has also announced a temporary exhibition dedicated to Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, which will be followed in 2020 by an exhibition that reveals the important and under-recognized history of African-American filmmakers in the development of American cinema. Meanwhile, the museum’s 34-foot-high project space will open with a major work by the Tokyo-based interdisciplinary art collective Teamlab.

Burj Jumeira, Dubai

Visuals have been released of Burj Jumeira, a 550-metre-tall split-volume skyscraper in Dubai that will rise from a lake shaped like the fingerprint of the emirate’s ruler. Unveiled by state-owned Dubai Holding, the supertall skyscraper has been dubbed as the “new icon in Dubai’s skyline”.

It will be located on the city’s waterfront opposite the Sheikh Zayed Road and form the centerpiece of the new Downtown Jumeira district. The Burj Jumeira tower’s oval-shaped base, which is patterned with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s fingerprint, will form the heart of the project. It will be used to host “social, cultural and artistic events and activities”.

The tower will rise from one end of the lake, and comprise two connected, curved volumes that are modelled on desert topography and lined with digital displays. Burj Jumeira’s design is inspired by the harmonious ripples of the United Arab Emirates’ desert sand dunes and its flowing oases. The tower’s facade will be covered with digital displays that can be utilized for various occasions and celebrations, further reinforcing the tower’s role at the heart of Dubai’s community activities.

This deck will offer 360-degree panoramic views of Dubai and the opportunity to skydive and be accessed by lifts that are fitted with interactive and immersive digital screens. The Burj Jumeira will be connected to the Sharaf DG Metro Station by a covered pathway, which will also extend to the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, a hotel on an artificial island 280 meters from Jumeirah Beach.