Architecture People & Places


Moriko Kira Architect in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Inside an upper-floor node of the newly renovated Tripolis building,  originally designed by Aldo van Eyck and remodeled by Moriko Kira Architect. Photo: Christian Richters
Moriko Kira Architect has redesigned the interior of Aldo van Eyck's Tripolis building in Amsterdam-South. Built in 1991, Tripolis is now the headquarters of Nikon Europe, a regional division of the Japanese electronics company.

The five-story building's original plan is a series of four interconnected volumes whose form is based on an octagon, although alternating facets of the octagon are expressed as large protruding bays. The volumes are linked together in a T-shaped plan and at the lower level, two curving wings help to enclose a pair of octagonal courtyards on either side of the central axis.

One of the newly opened office areas in the Tripolis building. Photo: Christian Richters

UNStudio in Stuttgart, Germany

The Haus am Weinberg, in Stuttgart, Germany, was designed by UNStudio. Photo: Iwan Baan/ Courtesy UNStudio
Built on the site of an ancient hillside vineyard east of Stuttgart, Germany, the Haus am Weinberg is a large, white modernist composition poised on its site. Designed by UNStudio, the 618-square-meter (6,650-square-foot) four-story home overlooks river-valley farmland and stands in stark contrast to the brick and wood buildings that surround it.

Haus am Weinberg is generally rectangular in plan, and extensively glazed. From the outside, the three-level home's structure appears to be a series of counterweighted surfaces that cantilever to shade the glass walls that separate inside from out. At key points, the home's solid horizonal surfaces fluidly into transition walls, connecting each floor or roof plane with the one below and deftly balancing the building on its sloped site. At one corner, the second floor plane smoothly bends upward to join the roof.

Looking across the dining room of the Haus am Weinberg toward the living room. Photo: Iwan Baan/ Courtesy UNStudio

CTBUH Tall Building Awards in Sydney, Milan, Doha, and Mississauga

An upper floor view of the Doha Tower, in Doha, Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel. Photo: Courtesy Ateliers Jean Nouvel 
The 238-meter-tall (781-foot-tall) Doha Tower, designed by Jean Nouvel, is shaded by an aluminum screen that recalls the mashrabiyya grillwork screens in traditional Islamic architecture. Located in Doha, Qatar, the tower's outline even seems to echo the shape of an Islamic pointed arch. The screen, together with a layer of reflective glazing and operable interior shading devices protects the tower's interior office space from the harsh desert sun.

The circular tower's diagrid reinforced concrete structural system is inset slightly from the perimeter, creating an open office floor plan. And rather than a traditional central placement, the building core services are offset from the tower's center and are stepped in plan, minimizing the sense of the core's size. A slender internal atrium also rises through the building's first 27 floors, exposing elevator mechanisms.
Doha Tower is 238 meters (781 feet) tall. Photo: Courtesy Ateliers Jean Nouvel

SOM in Colorado Springs, Colorado

The tapered glass-and-steel skylight of the Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) is aligned with the star Polaris. Image: SOM
Ground has broken on a new facility on the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) was designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and will serve a central role in the training of all of the academy's cadets.

The 46,5000-square-foot (4,320-square-meter) building, which was recognized in an unbuilt category of the 2012 AIA Education Awards earlier this year, will be largely subterranean. The central rectangular meeting space, called the Forum, will feature an angled steel-and-glass prismoid skylight, whose orientation is in line with the star Polaris. The Forum's skylight tapers as it rises to a height of 105 feet (32 meters),  and cantilevers at 39 degrees over the nothern portion of the building. According to the Air Force Academy the alignment with Polaris is intended to be a symbol of navigation to the cadets.
CCLD section drawing looking west. Image: SOM

C.F. Møller Architects in Haderslev, Denmark

C. F. Møller Architects designed the new Bestseller Logistics Center in Haderslev, Denmark. Photo: Adam Moerk
A new wood rainscreen-clad logistics center, located in Haderslev, Denmark, supplies all of the European boutiques of the clothing company Bestseller.

The Bestseller Logistics Center has been designed by C.F. Møller Architects in three parallel linear bands along a main avenue. One of the bands contains the main entrance, office and staff facilities, together with a truck-loading area, while the second contains an automated sorting facility, and the third, a fully-automated storage area. This layout provides a flexible arrangement, and allows for a possible future expansion of the logistics center to triple its present size – i.e. 150,000 square meters (1,600,000 square feet).
Overview of the Bestseller Logistics Center on its greenfield site. Photo: Adam Moerk

Foster + Partners in Shanghai, China

An overview of the Hongqiao Vantone SunnyWorld Centre, designed by Foster + Partners. Image: Courtesy Foster + Partners
Ground has been broken on the Hongqiao Vantone SunnyWorld Centre, a project in Shanghai, China, designed by London-based Foster + Partners. The project is a major new sustainable urban plan for a large-scale site in the Hongqiao central business district.
The buildings of the new center face into a park. Image: Courtesy Foster + Partners

Louis Kahn in New York

Designed by Louis Kahn in 1974 and completed earlier this year, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park opens to the public on October 24. Photo: Steve Amiaga/ Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park

The last project designed by Louis I. Kahn, a park on Roosevelt Island in New York City, has been completed over 38 years after the architect's unexpected death in 1974. The four-acre (1.6-hectare) Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park occupies the East River island's southern tip, with views of both Manhattan and Brooklyn shorelines.

The triangular park pays homage to the 32nd President and his January 6, 1941 "Four Freedoms" State of the Union speech. At its northern end, a grand stair lead visitors to  formal lawn, bordered by wide concrete paths and flanked by precise rows of Little Leaf Linden trees arranged in allees.

Looking south from the entry stair of the Four Freedoms Park. Photo: Paul Warchol/ Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park

Maison L in Yvelines, France

Maison L, in Yvelines, France, is an addition to an 18th-Century orangery designed by Christian Pottgiesser. Photo: Courtesy architecturespossibles

In the corner of the rolling site of a former chateau near Versailles is a heavily restored orangery whose origins can be traced back to the late 18th Century. The building was already home to a couple with four children when they hired architect Christian Pottgiesser to expand it. Maison L, in Yvelines, France, has been awarded the 2012 RIBA Manser Medal for best new house.

The project brief called for an extension that would minimially impact the mature landscape and views from the orangery. These requirements naturally suggested the new home's rambling plan and the use of indigenous stone for retaining walls. But the home's most prominent features are a series of five three-story towers, clad in board-marked concrete, that extend from the home's rockery
Inside the cavernous living space of Maison L, looking at the base of a bedroom tower. Photo: Courtesy architecturespossibles

Guangzhou International Finance Centre by Wilkinson Eyre Architects

The 103-story Guangzhou International Fincance Centre designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Photo: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the Guangzhou International Finance Centre in Guangzhou, China has won the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) 2012 Lubetkin Prize for the best new international building.

The Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China is a 440-meter (1,440-foot) tower. It has a mixture of uses including office space, a luxury hotel and a top floor sightseeing area. At ground level, the tower connects with a substantial podium complex containing a retail mall, conference center, and  high-end apartments.
An atrium of the Guangzhou International Finance Center. Photo: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

MVRDV in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands

MVRDV designed the recently opened Book Mountain, in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands. Photo: © Jeroen Musch
A new library and adjacent residential neighborhood have recently been completed in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands, a municipality southwest of Rotterdam. Both the library, and the adjacent Library Quarter, which consists of 42 social housing units, together with parking and public space, were designed by Rotterdam-based MVRDV.
The prismoid exterior of the new library. Photo: © Jeroen Musch

The library -- named Book Mountain -- is a crisp geometric form comprising a rectangular base finished in brick and glass, that seamlessly transitions into a pyramidal, glazed hip roof. Located in the centre of Spijkenisse, the 9,300-square-meter (100,100-square-foot) building also stands along the traditional market square, next to the historic village church.

AIA Healthcare Awards - Boston, Bethesda, Nairobi, Georgia

NBBJ designed the new Lunder Building, a 535,000-square-foot (50,000-square-meter) hospital building on the campus of Massachusetts General Hospital. Photo: Courtesy AIA
Four buildings have been named recipients of this year's AIA/ AAH Healthcare Design Awards, one in each of four awards categories. The projects include a hospice facility in Albany, Georgia, a major new building for Massachusetts General Hospital, a Bethesda, Maryland facility for researching and treating traumatic brain injury, and a planned medical center for Nairobi, Kenya.

Chicago-based Perkins+Will designed two of the four winning projects.

Lunder Building, Boston, Massachusetts

The five-story atrium of the Lunder Building. Photo: Courtesy AIA
The Lunder Building is a high-tech, flexible structure designed to advance Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, into a third century of care. Designed by NBBJ, the 535,000-square-foot  (50,000-square-meter) building houses procedural programs, 150 inpatient beds, progressive technologies, and new emergency and radiation oncology departments.

Located on a compact urban site in downtown Boston, the building, split into a procedural program base and an upper bed tower, is also linked to five adjacent facilities. A key design element was connections to natural light and gardens; a five-story atrium garden connects all patient floors.

Canopea by Team Rhone Alpes Wins Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

Canopea, the "nanotower" concept home designed by Team Rhone Alpes has won the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe. Photo: Courtesy Solar Decathlon Europe
With a total score of 908.72 points, the Canopea house built by the Rhone Alpes team has won the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe competition. The winning project, on display at the "Villa Solar" event grounds in Madrid, Spain, is a model of one floor of the team's "nanotower" concept: narrow-footprint, midrise towers in which an individual home comprises each floor.

In this design, a top floor, with angled walls of louvered glass, contains common spaces including: a common laundry, a summer kitchen, gardens, storage boxes, and community gathering space. A rooftop photovoltaic array provides shade for the upper floor.
Rendering of possible configurations for the Canopea "nanotowers". Image: Team Rhone Alpes
The home's square floor plan is composed of two concentrically positioned walls, separated by a narrow zone that can be occupied. The outermost wall is largely permeable to light and air, and includes louvered glass panels . The inner wall is largely opaque and comprises the home's insulation. The in-between space can serve as additional enclosed living space, or as patios, porches, and other informal spaces.

Unit designs for the Canopea nanotower range from studio apartments through three-bedroom flats.

Foster + Partners in New York

Foster + Partners has released conceptual designs for a new 40-story office tower at 425 Park Avenue in New York City. Image: dbox/ Foster + Partners
London-based Foster + Partners has won the competition for a new office tower at 425 Park Avenue in New York City. The 40-story tower will feature a predominantly glass facade punctuated by light-colored vertical and steel horizontal structural elements. At the ground level, the building's lower floors are pulled back from Park Avenue to form a sheltered entry plaza.

The building's profile tapers twice as it rises, dividing the tower into three vertical zones. These two upper-level tapered areas are visually punctuated, as multistory diagonal structural elements and outdoor terraces surround special lobby levels.

The building is being developed by a joint partnership of L&L Holding Company and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LBHI).

The conceptual design by Foster + Partners will serve as the framework for a two-year collaborative process with L&L Holding’s project team to create a fully formed architectural and construction plan for the 425 Park Avenue tower. L&L Holding anticipates construction will begin in 2015 with completion by the end of 2017.
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