Architecture People & Places


Zaha Hadid Architects at Oxford

Zaha Hadid Architects designed the so-called Investcorp Building, aka Softbridge, at Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

Ground has broken on a new building to house the Middle East Center of St. Anthony's College at the University of Oxford. Dubbed "Softbridge," the Investcorp Building will be located between 66 and 68 Woodstock Road in Oxford, England, two existing buildings which currently house the center's library and archives.

Zaha Hadid designed the 1,200-square-meter (13,000-square-foot) building, for which the dominant cladding material will be stainless steel panels. The new two-story structure will serve as a bridge bewtween its two neighbors, with its lower floor set partially below ground and serving as a platform for the steel-clad level above.

The rear of the Softbridge building. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

C.F. Moller - Student Housing in Odense, Denmark

A new student housing building has been designed by Oslo, Norway-based C.F. Møller for University of Southern Denmark, in Odense. Image: C.F. Møller

C.F. Møller has designed a new 250-residence student housing project on the Odense, Denmark campus of the University of Southern Denmark. The dormitory project will comprise three interconnected 14-story towers on a gently sloping site, linking the 1966 campus with a newer research park designed by the firm in 2009.
Axonometric plan view of typical residence floor. Image: C.F. Møller

The dorm rooms, which occupy the second through thirteenth levels, are located on the outer faces of the three towers, where each will enjoy views of the countryside all without overlooking neighboring rooms, thanks to the building's form. Each unit also includes a private balcony, increases their appeal and provides shading to help manage solar gain.

Interior tower view looking toward the central kitchen and commons. Image: C.F. Møller

In the current design, the three towers are arranged in a generally pinwheel fashion around a central space, which on most residential floors is occupied by a sprawling commons that includes kitchen, dining, and living spaces. The inside corner of each tower comprises circulation spaces including corridors and a staircase core, all of which serve to buffer the dorm rooms from the commons. The predominantly glazed central commons areas are also a visual counterpoint to the more enclosed dorm-room towers.

Ralph Rapson in Agra, India

Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan, 1630 to 1653.

Color sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.
On my first trip to India, I had been advised to see the Taj Mahal by full moon, if possible. Built in Agra by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, the white marble structure stands amid dozens of acres of landscaped promenades and reflecting pools. 

LPA - Performing Arts Center in Arcadia, California

LPA, Inc. designed a new Performing Arts Center for the Arcadia High School campus in Arcadia, California. Photo: RMA Photography

Constructed on a 4.2-acre site at the northwest end of the Arcadia High School campus, a new 40,000 square-foot (3,700-square-meter) theater venue has been completed, in Arcadia, California. The Arcadia High School Performing Arts Center was designed, with a particular focus on music, by LPA and built by McCarthy Building Companies.

The main performance hall accommodates up to 1,200 people, with seating on ground-floor and mezzanine levels, while the stage can accommodate up to 150 musicians. This space also uses adjustable accoustic panels that can be configured based on the needs of each performance.

The 1200-seat performance hall of the Performing Arts Center. Photo: RMA Photography

HEAD Architecture - House in Hong Kong

HEAD Architecture designed House 3098, a three-story home in the Shep Mun Kap village of Hong Kong's Lantau Island. Photo: Graham Uden

HEAD Architecture has designed a home that the firm believes could serve as an architecturally high-quality prototype for the village homes program in Hong Kong's New Territories.  House 3098 is a three-story cast-in-place concrete structure that emphasizes possibility while complying with the policy's limitations for building height, area, construction type and other restrictions.

The front and rear elevations of the house provide operable floor-to-ceiling glazing, admitting light and air to all spaces. The rooms of House 3098 are organized around a skylit three-story atrium space that provides daylight and stack ventilation.

Ground-floor kitchen and dining spaces. Photo: Graham Uden

Increasing the sense of openness, glass is also used for guardrails and many doors. Bamboo floors and LED lighting have been installed throughout the house. A rooftop patio provides unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape, and support for a future green roof has been provided.

Looking down and across the atrium space. Photo: Graham Uden

OMA - Architecture Building at Cornell

Milstein Hall, a new architecture building at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, was designed by OMA with Kendall/ Heaton Associates Architects. Photo: © Iwan Baan

Milstein Hall by OMA, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, connects with an existing building as a rigidly orthogonal second floor, appearing to float above the ground, using deep cantilevers, slender columns and a glazed ground floor.

The uppermost level of the 47,000-square-foot (4,400-square-meter) addition contains studio and classrooms, with a nearly floor-to-ceiling ribbon of glazing admitting light on three sides and with skylights providing light from above. Behind this curtain wall, large steel diagonal elements suggest the box trusses that make it possible for the building to appear at times to float.

Upper-floor plan rendering. Image: OMA

Snøhetta - SFMOMA Expansion in San Francisco

SFMOMA has released the design by Snøhetta for an 11-story expansion to the SFMOMA building in San Francisco, California. Image: Courtesy Snøhetta

The SFMOMA art museum has released some renderings and information about the museum's planned 235,000-square-foot (22,000-square-meter) expansion, set for completion in 2016. Designed by Olso, Norway-based Snøhetta, the thin 11-story addition, which stretches from Howard to Minna Streets, will stand just behind Mario Botta's original Postmodern building for the museum.

Sculpture terrace and vertical garden between the new SFMOMA addition and the garage (left). Image: Snøhetta/ MIR

AC Martin Partners - Hotel Skyscraper in Los Angeles

The 1,100-foot-tall Wilshire Grand Hotel, planned for Los Angeles, California, was designed by AC Martin Partners. Image: Courtesy AC Martin Partners. Image: Courtesy AC Martin Partners

AC Martin Partners has unveiled its design for the new Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, California. As designed, the new 1,100-foot-tall (335-meter-tall) building will be one of the tallest in the city upon its completion, which is planned for 2017. The project site is on the western end of downtown Los Angeles on the southwestern corner of the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street.

Street-level view of Wilshire Grand podium and tower base. Image: Courtesy AC Martin Partners

Eskew+Dumez+Ripple - Adaptive Reuse in Baton Rouge

The new Lamar Advertising Company headquarters building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Photo: Timothy Hursley

New Orleans, Louisiana-based firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple designed the Lamar Advertising Company headquarters, an adaptive reuse project that transformed an existing 1970s Brutalist Modern data center building into an office space for a billboard advertising agency. The 115,000-square-foot (11,000-square-meter) building is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Exterior of the adapted Lamar Advertising Company headquarters. Photo: Timothy Hursley

Foster+Partners - Mixed-Use in Buenos Aires

The Aleph Residences apartment building, designed by Foster + Partners, is located in the Faena Arts and Technology District of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners has completed the nine-story Faena Aleph Residences, in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Berdichevsky-Cherny Arquitectos were co-architects for the project. The mixed-use building comprises 50 apartments on the upper floors, ground-floor retail space, and a landscaped rear garden. The project is part of a phased development called the Faena Arts and Technology District, which combines new construction with the refurbishment of historic buildings to create a sustainable mixed-use urban neighborhood.

An apartment living space in the Aleph Residencs. Photo: Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners

The Aleph apartments offer indoor and outdoor living experiences. Double-height patios are combined with split-level living spaces. A predominance of bronzed floor-to-ceiling glazing provides each apartment with considerable daylight access while operable exterior sun screens shade both patios and interior spaces.

Ralph Rapson - with Eero in Chantilly

Eero Saarinen and his Dulles Airport building in Chantilly, Virginia, 1958 to 1962.

Color sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.
"Eero Saarinen followed in his father's tradition to become a leading architect of the modern era. Like his father; who designed the Helsinki railway station, Eero made his most memorable remarks in transportation, with the Dulles International Airport building, in Chantilly, Virginia, and the TWA Terminal at New York's Idlewild (now John F. Kennedy) Airport.

Robin Monotti Architects - Yacht House in Foros, Ukraine

The Yacht House, in Foros, Ukraine, was designed by Robin Monotti Architects. Photo: © Ioana Marinescu

London-based Robin Monotti Architects designed the Yacht House on the shores of the Black Sea in Foros, Ukraine. With an interesting compound program, the all-white modern building combines a large water-level boathouse space with upper-floor apartments. Details of the 875-square-meter (9,420-square-foot) building recall nautical motifs.

View of the sea from one of the residential units. Photo: © Ioana Marinescu

Kohn Pedersen Fox - Reskinning in Iselin

The new Centra Metropark office building in New Jersey, designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, incorporates an existing four-story building on the site.  Photo: Michael Moran

The glass-clad LEED Platinum-certified Centra Metropark office building, in Iselin, New Jersey, was designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates. The 110,000-square foot (10,000-square-meter) building combines a rectangular, cantilevered fourth floor, supported on one corner by an irregular branching column and resting atop a re-skinned three-story existing office building.

"The core challenge of Centra was to evaluate an existing property that needed to be master planned for a one-million-square-foot development and decide what to do with its first building. This led to the development of a project that has a very strong sustainable mindset but also takes on the challenge of redefining the paradigm of the New Jersey office park experience.

"With a few strategic additions and subtractions, 30,000 square feet (2,800 square meters) of leasable area was added, which nearly doubled the building’s presence. A 10,000-square-foot (930-square-meter) addition, floated from the fourth floor, mirrors the existing building’s L-shaped plan, incorporates a new state-of-the-art curtain wall, and upgrades the building’s infrastructure. The addition transformed this 1980s eyesore and opened its potential for future growth." – AIA

Axonometric drawings of Centra Metropark. Image: Kohn  Pederson Fox

AIA Young Architects Awards 2013

As an associate director and studio head for SOM, Lucas Tryggestad has led projects all over the world, including Trump International Hotel and Tower (2008), in Chicago, Illinois. Lucas is one of 15 recipients of the 2013 AIA Young Architects Award. Photo: SOM

Fifteen architects are the 2013 recipients of the AIA Young Architects Award.
Rachel Minnery, of Seattle Washington-based Environmental Works, designed the Puyallup Tribal Longhouse project, a community center in Puyallup, Washington. Photo: Courtesy Environmental Works

Jerde Partnership in Moscow, Russia

Kuntsevo Plaza, a mixed-use development in Moscow, Russia, designed by The Jerde Partnership. Image: Courtesy The Jerde Partnership
Construction has begun on Kuntsevo Plaza, a full-block mixed-use development in the central area of Moscow, Russia. The Jerde Partnership designed the project, which combines living, working, shopping, and entertainment functions in a pedestrian-oriented complex.

Kuntsevo Plaza will be an ensemble of sharply irregular forms that range from just two or three stories to two midrise towers with around 20 floors each. Bright colors and varied metal panels will accent buildings whose predominant cladding material will be glass.

The two residential towers of the Kuntsevo Plaza. Photo: Erich Koyama

Ralph Rapson in San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, designed by Joseph B. Strauss, 1933 to 1937. 

Color sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.
"The Golden Gate Bridge, with those great pylons and the red-rust hue, never failed to charm me. It seemed the very symbol of 'Frisco's rich diversity, a place where cultural chasms are bridged by people daily, not without effort, but often elegantly."

BNIM in Des Moines, Iowa

BNIM designed its new satellite office in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: © Farshid Assassi
The new Des Moines, Iowa office of Kansas City, Missouri-based BNIM are located in a former bank building lobby.

The space is divided in two zones by a north-south wall clad in cork panels, and used for pinning up work. One zone is a studio space, while the other comprises an open conference area and kitchen/library/work space.
The new BNIM office is in a ground-floor space formerly occupied by a bank. Photo: © Farshid Assassi

Full-height glazing along the north and west exterior walls of the office admits ample daylight.

Mies van der Rohe Award Shortlist

Lar de Idosos em Alcácer do Sal, in Alcácer do Sal, Portugal, is a finalist for the 2013 Mies van der Rohe Award. Photo: FG+SG

Five European projects are finalists for the 2013 Mies van der Rohe Award, also known as the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

The five projects are:
  • Stadshal Gent, in Ghent, Belgium, by Robbrecht en Daem architecten and Marie-José Van Hee architecten
  • Superkilen, in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Topotek1, and Superflex
  • Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall & Conference Centre (Harpa - Tónlistar og Ráðstefnuhúsið í Reykjavík), in Reykjavik, Iceland, by Batteríid architects, Henning Larsen Architects, and Studio Olafur Eliasson
Metropol Parasol, in Seville, Span, designed by J. Mayer H. Photo: Fernando Alda

Tod Williams Billie Tsien in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The new Barnes Foundation building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects is located on a site along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Michael Moran / OTTO

The recently completed Barnes Foundation building, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was designed by 2013 AIA firm of the year Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

A three-part scheme was used to organize the building, comprising: collection gallery, pavillion, and a light court separating the two. The collection gallery is a 12,000-square-foot (1,100-square-meter) space that in many respects replicates a gallery space in the foundation's original home in Merion, Pennsylvania. The light court serves as the building's "living room" and is used for gathering and circulation.

The light court of the Barnes Foundation. Photo: Michael Moran / OTTO

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