TECH TICKER

Shimao-The Wave Showroom, Tianjin

Located at Binhai New Area on the eastern coast of Tianjin, the project is in the heart of the Bohai Economic Rim and close to Tianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park and Binhai Matsu Cultural Park. It is a diversified land that integrates entertainment, edutainment, and culture. Its excellent geographical conditions make it a unique area for exhibition and experience. The entire bay area planning follows the basic logic of “point, line and plane to create contemporary urban spatial sequence of man, sea and sky”. Inspired by the idea of wave, the building focuses on the theme of “water”, extracts the concept of “water drop and wave” from waves and creates an image on the sea. The whole building resembles the wave to create a dialogue between the building and nature, and the building has become a symbolic existence where the sea and the earth converge.

The entire exhibition area is designed with three major functional areas: The Wave (art museum), outdoor theatre and public space. Each area relates to surrounding beach. The building is separated from the sand dune and reef, looking like a floating space structure above the sea. The junction of the building also comes with three outdoor terraces overlooking the sea. This area is an extra space of the building. People may feel completely relaxed when only the sounds of nature are heard. In this space, people, sea, air, and the sunshine establish a closer connection. An integrated parametric design is used for the skin of the building. The subtle arrangement of the scale-shaped aluminium plate allows the façade to reflect the sunlight from different angles in different periods of time. The pool around the building casts diffuse light onto the scale-shaped façade to produce a gorgeous look. The column-free space of the 30-plus-meter tall building is achieved by the thin shell structure, as it goes upwards to split into three sections that balance the stress in each direction.

BIM technology is applied to the scale-shaped aluminium plate, which enables more than thirteen thousand pieces of aluminium plate to fit properly on the façade and delivers a rhythmical upward spiral texture. The real-virtual façade has achieved perfect balance in efficient heat insulation and appropriate daylighting. All electromechanical devices are concealed underground, and the roof and building skin make up an integrated design. The pure form is realized with the help of technology.

Shougang Three Blast Furnace Museum, China

Sited at the northwest of Shougang Park, the project is the most distinctive and stunning area with highest density of ironmaking equipment, as the starting of enterprise construction a century ago. The Park suspended production because of 2008 Summer Olympics, which remained silent until the announcement of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Nowadays, the meritorious blast furnace is open to the public in a more stunning image.

The design focuses on preserving the collective memory exclusive to the site, removing unnecessary industrial buildings, and constructing a dialogue between the blast furnace and nature, to inject new functions into the project. The design adopts two visiting circulations featuring nautilus shell spirals according to the prominent style of juxtaposing “industry” and “nature”. Visitors can have an immersive experience here to closely appreciate the combination of nature and industry, silence, and excitement.

A long dragon-like staircase is attached to the giant cavity steel truss on the west side of the Furnace, which winds from the main hall to the main exhibition hall, to guide visitors. The floor under the staircase is paved with ironstone and grain slag, combined with truss and half-space, which resembles mine and roadway. Long and circular perforated shading panels with holes of different sizes filter day lighting into the half-space, which expands the spatial distance while giving visitors more expectations of climbing higher. Blast-Furnace is transformed from a simple steel structure in the giant closed park into an open space welcoming the public. It is a historical industrial architecture, a scientific base of ironmaking crafts and techniques, as well as a holy space interpreting the combination of modern art and industrial heritage.

Igloo, Israel

To mark the city’s first crafts and design biennale, product design studio magenta workshop has brought an igloo to the warmer climes of tel aviv. Handmade with sheets of stainless steel and using traditional building methods, the installation reflects its surrounding environment. evoking ideas of shelter and refuge, the concept behind the work aims to question our relationship with nature and the important role it plays.

An igloo is a home, a temporary refuge, a primeval dwelling made of snow, an archetypal structure that, when no longer in use, dissolves into a puddle of water. magenta workshop’s igloo is a structure aspiring to forge a connection between traditional societies, ancient construction methods, and new materials and technologies.

It was meticulously constructed by hand, yet its simple form is the result of a complex mathematical computation. sealed like a burial structure, it is composed of reflective stainless-steel sheets that reflect, replicate, and distort its surroundings. it echoes vanishing traditions and melting glaciers, blinding, and warming the viewers while raising questions about the role of humans in the world and their relations with nature.

Alex Guesthouse Belgium

Amid the Trees of a private garden in uitbergen Belgium, sits the introspective ‘Alex guesthouse’ by atelier vens vanbelle. Designed for a client in the film industry, the guesthouse was commissioned to provide their international guests with an unforgettable stay in a cabin-like space.

Built into a slightly raised hill, the guesthouse comprises a ground floor level, basement, and watchtower. The main entrance to the building is located on the raised ground floor, where guests are met by a timber-lined living and bedroom space. It is punctured by two large circular windows; these rooms offer a cozy atmosphere from which to enjoy views of the client’s beautiful garden and the neighboring castle.


a second and more dramatic entrance has also been integrated into the scheme by atelier vens vanbelle to create an ‘almost cinematic experience. ‘from the main house, guests can enter through the living room towards the garden shed. from here they enter the bicycle parking, where there is a staircase to a dark underground corridor (the basement). at the end of this disorientating corridor is a spiral staircase that connects to the outside space. the outdoor elements are therefore drawn into the underground level, adding a little drama to the experience.

Within the basement level a bar and cinema provides the perfect place to entertain guests, while climbing the spiral staircase all the way to the top leads to a watchtower with a view of the schelde river valley. the guesthouse was designed as one large piece of furniture and constructed from different layers of LVL wood, giving it a sculptural appearance. the structure was prefabricated in a studio and assembled on site. cladding the timber construction is profiled corten steel, which helps embed the new intervention into its surroundings, almost as if it has been there for years.

King’s International College, Canterbury

Architecture firm Walters & Cohen uses weathered steel and concrete for King’s International College in Canterbury, Kent, to reference the site’s industrial heritage. The new college building for King’s School provides teaching areas and accommodation for students aged 11-16 who are entering the English school system from abroad. While the school’s main campus occupies the Canterbury Cathedral precinct, the new college occupies an ex-industrial site at the edge of the city centre. It’s the focus of a wider masterplan drawn up for the school by Walters & Cohen in 2016. King’s International College’s robust concrete base and orange steel cladding of the college were designed to echo an adjacent 19th century malt house building.

Nicholas Hare Architects recently converted this structure into a theatre. It was crucial that the new building complemented the site’s industrial heritage as well as the existing buildings surrounding it. This was achieved with a striking mix of weathered steel, concrete and glass. King’s International College faces out onto a newly created civic square. A run of tall, thin windows in its concrete base forms a colonnade-style facade. A large opening in this concrete facade leads into the college, the square plan of which is organised around a central private courtyard. This courtyard is wrapped by a glazed, cloister-like corridor that provides circulation around the school. It doubles as a bright, communal meeting space, with semi-private areas that can be isolated using sliding doors. The area masterplan also includes a new sports court and changing facilities located to the north of the college, to be used by both the local community and students.

Principal Tower, London

Principal Tower a comprehensively planned mixed-use scheme on the border of Shore ditch in the City of London. It comprises a 15-storey office building that hosts the London headquarters for Amazon, alongside one of London’s tallest residential buildings, the 50-storey Principal Tower, with six eateries that wrap around the building at street level and a light bar, creating a 360-degree active frontage that extends the vibrancy of the city towards the north. The relationship between the creative, formerly industrial east end and London’s financial center is expressed in the tower’s massing, which appears as three slim volumes.

The tower addresses the residential neighborhood of Shoreditch, it appears lower from ground level, while from the west it reflects the high-rise nature of the City. A central volume rises between the two to provide an elegant marker on the skyline. The approach was instead to create a maze of load paths, using transfer structures from level 7 of the tower down to direct loads away from the rail corridor and toward the heavy substructures.

The combined solution uses a stack of reinforced concrete walls gradually transferring loads through multiple storeys called “walking walls”. It also uses inclined concrete-encased steel columns, steel Y-frames, and 50 tonne steel girders spanning the width of the rail corridor. The out of balance lateral forces resulting from the various transfer structures are resisted by the reinforced concrete core, which is located to one side of the 8-track corridor, through flat steel plates embedded in the post-tensioned slab. This unique combination of structural solutions is what makes Principal Tower such a prime example of precision engineering.

Chicago O’Hare Airport Expansion

Studio Gang has been selected to lead the $8.5 billon O’Hare 21 International Airport expansion in Chicago. Chosen from a list of firms including BIG, Calatrava and SOM, the Studio Gang team is part of the Studio ORD partnership. They won the project for the Global Terminal and Concourse with three volumes converging in a central hub. Designed to celebrate Chicago’s history as a city shaped by lines of movement, the project represents O’Hare’s first major overhaul in 25 years. Studio ORD’s winning proposal was made to establish a vibrant new neighborhood in the heart of O’Hare’s campus. The tripartite design merges terminal and concourse into a single building. At the branches’ confluence, an Oculus welcomes visitors under a six-pointed glass skylight. Beneath the Oculus, a Central Green was created with planters, trees and street furniture.

Surrounding the Oculus is a rhythmic, pleated roof of long-span steel trusses. the pleats are spaced and oriented to maximize natural daylight and energy efficiency. When seen from above, the building’s form takes on a distinctly Chicago icon: the city’s “Y symbol,” or Municipal Device, that represents the branching Chicago River. as a flexible space for diverse programming. “City of Chicago called upon teams from across the city and around the world to lead O’Hare’s historic expansion, and Studio ORD answered that call,” said Mayor Emanuel. “During this historic competition, the world’s best architecture firms submitted their incredible visions for the world to see with each of these five world-class designs strengthening our plans to bring O’Hare into the 21st century.

A diagonal grid, or “diagrid,” of intersecting steel would form a monumental exterior that greets departing travelers with three grand arches, then morphs into a single arch a jaw-dropping 530 feet wide facing the airfield. The multi-phase O’Hare 21 project aims to break ground in 2023 with completion scheduled by 2026.

Jiangyin Greenway, China

The project will consist of four clearly identifiable segments, each with a unique response to the spirit of the place in which it is located. The north segment of the loop has already been built and passes through the dockland’s parks. It responds to the history of shipbuilding and its port function. This project, the eastern segment of the loop, leads to the Yangtze River, the river to which Jiangyin owes its existence. Consequently, this segment will respond to the significance of the Yangtze River.

The freeway is lifted off the ground for its entire length of the site. Contrary to what one would think, and thanks to this enlightened engineering decision, the freeway is not a barrier in the city. However, the park in which it sits is not as helpful in keeping the city well connected. In fact, this linear park with its emphasis on a major north-south connection becomes a frustrating barrier to east-west circulation. A careful analysis of desire lines and shortcuts can rejuvenate the park with activity, make the park safer, and make the city more efficient. The stitching paths also ensure that the green way is connected to the rest of the park and to the adjacent streets and pedestrian circulation networks.

The design of this project is a clear and legible response to this path, with: solid and transparent balustrades providing privacy or views; sound walls near the freeway for the comfort of the pedestrians; arbors to provide shade and enclosure; widenings with seating at locations overlooking lakes and canals; landmark bridges with sculptural trusses framing views for pedestrians; stairs located at street intersections to link existing pedestrian paths to the new greenway; and surprising additional programs that make the adjacent city programs work even better. It is said that place is space with memories attached and that memories can’t be attached without articulation.

Consequently the journey along this greenway is articulated with a number of variously scaled events; an Amphitheatre for performances or relaxing on; a raised plaza with permanent sound instruments for all to play; an exercise playground with nets, slides and a gentle climbing ramp for all ages, to name a few – all providing the clarity and legibility to become memorable places. The entire greenway is built in steel and utilizes prefabricated to reduce the impact on the park. A steel structure with a colored bituminous concrete screed gives the greenway both the potential for prefabrication and a durable low-maintenance, long-wearing surface.

Charles Library at Temple University, United States

Sited at the intersection of two major pedestrian pathways, Polett Walk and Liacouras Walk, and at the nexus of Temple’s Main Campus, the project anchors a new social and academic heart for the university’s diverse student body of over 39,000. Woven into the fabric of North Philadelphia, the building sits just one block off Broad Street, the connecting artery to the city.

Within its dynamic urban context, Snøhetta’s design, developed in collaboration with Stantec, reinterprets the traditional typology of the research library as a repository for books, integrating the building with a diversity of collaborative and social learning spaces. In offering more than double the amount of study spaces than its 1960s predecessor, Paley Library, the 220,000-square-foot Library anticipates over 5 million annual visitors. By uniting a plethora of academic resources, disciplines, and cutting-edge technology under one roof, Charles Library stewards Temple’s progressive mission to provide equitable learning experiences for its students, its faculty, and the surrounding community.

The lobby’s domed atrium offers views to every corner of the building, serving as a way finding anchor and placing the user at the center of the library’s activity. An oculus carved into the expansive cedar-clad dome allows light to pour into the lobby from the uppermost floor, connecting the terminus of the library back to its beginning. The steel-clad main stair is immediately visible from the entry as it winds up to the highest level of the building, inviting people to climb upwards. As people move through the building, this visual and physical connectivity allows them to maintain their bearings and encourages usage of all of the building’s resources.

Charles Library, Philadelphia

Sited at the intersection of two major pedestrian pathways, Polett Walk and Liacouras Walk, and at the nexus of Temple’s Main Campus, the project anchors a new social and academic heart for the university’s diverse student body of over 39,000. Woven into the fabric of North Philadelphia, the building sits just one block off of Broad Street, the connecting artery to the city.

Within its dynamic urban context, Snøhetta’s design, developed in collaboration with Stantec, reinterprets the traditional typology of the research library as a repository for books, integrating the building with a diversity of collaborative and social learning spaces and in offering more than double the amount of study spaces than its 1960s predecessor, Paley Library, the 220,000-square-foot Library anticipates over 5 million annual visitors. By uniting a plethora of academic resources, disciplines, and cutting-edge technology under one roof, Charles Library stewards Temple’s progressive mission to provide equitable learning experiences for its students, its faculty, and the surrounding community.

The lobby’s domed atrium offers views to every corner of the building, serving as a wayfinding anchor and placing the user at the center of the library’s activity. An oculus carved into the expansive cedar-clad dome allows light to pour into the lobby from the uppermost floor, connecting the terminus of the library back to its beginning. The steel-clad main stair is immediately visible from the entry as it winds up to the highest level of the building, inviting people to climb upwards. As people move through the building, this visual and physical connectivity allows them to maintain their bearings and encourages usage of all the building’s resources.