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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.

Ilan & Asaf Ramon International Airport, Israel

The Ilan and Asaf Ramon International Airport was designed by Amir Mann-Ami Shinar Architects and Planners in partnership with Moshe Zur Architects. The Airport, servicing the Red Sea resort city of Eilat and surrounding region, was commissioned by the Israel Airport Authority (IAA) and was handled from A to Z by the architects in their role as Design Managers. Located in Timna, it is Israel’s first civil greenfield airport.

The architects developed a unique and minimal design language influenced by the futuristic world of aviation and its seemingly timeless natural desert surrounding. The decision of the IAA to appoint the architects as design managers responsible for budget, program, and planning schedule, allowed for the architects to implement the design across the entire airport – from the various buildings to each individual check-in counter, unifying the airport under one unique holistic design.

The Terminal’s envelope consists of a steel and concrete skeleton structure, cladded to the exterior with insulating aluminum triangular panels, continuous from wall to roof that create one single mass. The Terminal building’s minimalist interior scheme is based on a tightly organized high-ceilinged hall with low-level furniture and pavilions acting as dividers. Its entire infrastructure is hidden on a lower level. This allows for the roof to be free of any technical equipment as a fifth façade viewed from the airplane window, and for all passenger processes to be efficiently on one single level.

Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel, China

The Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental hotel has opened within an 88-metre-deep abandoned quarry near Shanghai. Designed by London and Shanghai based Jade + QA, the 337-room hotel descends 16 storeys below ground level, within the former quarry and is described by the studio as a ground scraper. The concept for the building was inspired by the quarry itself and by its natural environment needing to be finely balanced with the new development following the using the Tao principles of yin yang.

The steel-framed building is attached to a cliff face on one side of the excavated water-filled quarry, with only two storeys rising above ground level and the lowest two floors descending below the water level. Rooms are wrapped around the walls of the quarry, with a “glass waterfall” structure containing the building’s observation lifts and giving access to all the floors.

The hotel’s public areas are located above and below the main room’s levels. The two storeys above ground contain the quarry hotel’s reception, a restaurant and conference facilities. Swimming pools and further conference facilities are on the lakeside, 14 floors below ground level. The two floors below water contain a restaurant and further bedrooms, which face onto an underwater aquarium. The unique location of the project, combined with the structural challenge of creating a tall building that is attached to the ground at both ends, meant that the hotel has taken 12 years to design and build.

China Resources Headquarters, China

Kohn Pedersen Fox has completed a 400-metre-high supertall skyscraper as the headquarters of the China Resources export company in Shenzhen, China. The 67-storey tower, which Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) describes as “inspired by the shape of the winter bamboo shoot”, is the third tallest building in the rapidly developing city. Named China Resources Headquarters, the skyscraper is located in the Houhai district of Shenzhen, a city that is already home to the world’s fourth tallest building.

The tapered China Resources tower is ringed with 56 prefabricated slender steel columns that allow the building’s office floors to be column-free. At the top and base of the building, the columns converge into a diagrid – a diagonal grid pattern – similar to that used in the Gherkin in London, designed by Foster + Partners. Following the diagrid, 28 columns continue to the building’s apex to enclose a 68.4-metre-high “sky hall”, which will be used as an events space. At the building’s base, entrance portals are placed within the triangular forms.

The conical tower design shows a geometric boldness that reflects China Resources’ pride in their past and confidence in the future. The skyscraper is in Shenzhen Bay in the western part of the city. It is the anchor building in a larger development being designed by KPF, which includes a pavilion containing shops, a 3,000 square-metre museum, a performance hall and an auditorium, along with 2,000 square metres of public space.

Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre

The Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre is located on the river in Hexi New Town; Nanjing’s new central business district. The project includes a 106,500 m2 conference centre, two towers totalling 258,500 m2, 100,000 m2 of basement areas and the plaza that terminates the CBDs main axis on the riverfront. The masterplan expresses the continuity and connectivity between the urban environment of Hexi New Town, riverside parkland, and the rural landscapes of Jiangxinzhou Island in the Yangtzer River connected by a pedestrian bridge. The Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre occupies a site area of 5.2 hectares with a construction floor space of 465,000 square metres. The two towers share a five-level, mixed-use podium that houses the Cultural Centre.

The towers create a dynamic transition from the vertical of the urban CBD to the horizontal topography of the river. The taller tower signifies the position of the plaza both within the urban grid of Hexi New Town and on the Nanjing Skyline. The natural landscapes of the river are connected to the urban streetscape of the new CBD through the fluid architectural language of the mixed-use podium and conference centre.

The centre is the first completely top- down/bottom-up tower construction in China – starting at street level and building upwards and downwards in tandem – constructed in only 34 months using ZHA’s expertise and experience in 3D digital BIM (Building Information Modelling) design and construction management to reduce the on-site programme by a year to only 18 months.