PARIS (AFP) — French star architect Jean Nouvel was chosen Tuesday over four world-class peers to build a landmark skyscraper on the edge of Paris, set to rival the Eiffel Tower for domination of the city skyline.
Set for completion by 2014, the concrete, glass and steel tower will spearhead an ambitious plan to rejuvenate La Defense, the 50-year-old business hub on the city’s western rim.
Winner of this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize, the industry’s top award, Nouvel faced a stiff challenge from the likes of Britain’s Norman Foster and the American Daniel Libeskind, chosen to rebuild the site of the September 11 attacks.
The 62-year-old architect said he was “overjoyed” by the jury’s decision.
Soaring 301 meters (990 feet) high, just short of the Eiffel Tower’s 324 meters, his tower hopes to become a hub for local life in a district often criticized as cold and faceless.
“The Signal Tower is the most important architectural event since the Eiffel Tower,” said Patrick Devedjian, head of the public body in charge of renovating La Defense, EPAD, as he announced the winner at a press conference in Paris.
Set in parkland, its 71 stores are split into four cubes with shops and restaurants on the ground floor, then offices, a 333-room hotel and finally a top level of luxury apartments.
Each section is built around a giant glass-fronted loggia, housing courtyard gardens and public spaces, with sliding panels that open to provide natural ventilation in the hotter months.
Vast coloured panels will be printed onto the back walls of each loggia, visible from miles away.
The 600-million-euro (950-million-dollar) tower aims for 50-percent energy savings, with solar panels and wind-turbines on the roof, and mirror-covered window frames to reflect more natural light inside.
Devedjian said Nouvel’s tower would be “the defining building in the Greater Paris that is currently taking shape,” a development plan for Paris and its outskirts championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Nouvel has designed all over the world, from Japan to Italy, Germany and the United States, but his flagship French works are the Paris Arab World Institute and the Quai Branly museum of tribal arts which opened in 2006.
In the early 1990s he designed a 400-meter skyscraper, the “Tower Without End,” for La Defense but the project was never built.
La Defense, which describes itself as Europe’s largest business district, is used by 400,000 people each day with 2,500 company headquarters as well as 20,000 residents.
Its first building, a vast shell-shaped white dome called the CNIT, was built in 1958, while another landmark, the Great Arch was built in alignment with the Champs Elysees Avenue and Arc de Triomphe in 1989.
Under a renovation plan launched in 2006, 17 ageing buildings are scheduled for demolition in La Defense by 2013, to be replaced by new skyscrapers, shops, parks and cycle lanes.
Two other 300-meter skyscraper projects are under way: a soaring structure called “Le Phare” (The Lighthouse) by US architect Thom Mayne, and the Generali Tower, both due for delivery in 2012.
Strict building regulations have until now kept most high-rises firmly outside Paris city limits, with a few notable exceptions such as the Tour Montparnasse which rises around 200 meters over the southwest of the city.
But Paris’s Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoe has sparked controversy by suggesting a handful of skyscrapers could be built just inside the city, to revitalize run-down parts of the capital.
Images courtesy Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The CaixaForum Madrid is a new cultural center in the historical center of Madrid, near the renowned Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the 2001 Pritzker Architecture Prize winners. The CaixaForum is a restoration and expansion of one of the few examples of industrial architecture in Madrid’s historical center, the old power plant Central Eléctrica del Mediodía. Herzog & de Meuron used four basic principles to redesign of the building: to restore the brick outer layer using traditional techniques, to get rid of the stone base around the power plant, to open up a new public square with an entrance on Paseo del Prado and to add volume. The seven-floor, brick and cast iron building will hold art exhibitions, film screenings, concerts and conferences. The Caixa Forum was inaugurated on February 13, 2008.
BluE. is a platform for students at the TU Delft to help them realize and market beautiful things they designed, smart inventions they had or interesting publications they want to write. We can help students with things like production, sales and legal aspects on selling a product.
The platform is supported by a committee of enthusiastic students. Founder Ger Bruens, teacher of Design Aesthetics is involved as advisor.
Anna Ruiter: Chairman
Gerjan Huzen: Clerk
Jefta Bade: Treasurer
Thijs Orth: Realisation Jonas
Tomas Schietecat: Sponsoring
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
fire in architecture building from w.pasman on Vimeo.
On the 13th of May a fire destroyed the entire architecture building on the campus of Delft University.
The official reading is that a leaking water pipe caused a short which caused a fire. The sprinklers had been turned off in order to repair the water pipe. Later they said that the building was old and was not even worth it to place sprinklers.
The fire rapidly destroyed the upper half of the south wing of the building, making the building unstable. That caused the fire fighters to retreat entirely from the building, after which the fire slowly ate away the north wing. The north wing finally collapsed, causing the fire to reach the ground and eating the remains of the south wing.
It is important to note that the fire also destroyed a rare exhibit of mid-century modern chairs recently added to the school. Sorry Mr. Eames.
(via: Vimeo & w.pasman)
The project concerns the construction of a management and conservation Archives Centre for the EDF Group (French Leading Electricity Producer) in Bure-Saudron, France (55), for which the client carries a strong environmental ambition.
Beyond the functional dimension for the management of the Archives, we conceived a strategic project which has to have a positive social and environmental impact on the region. We work in dialogue with the local elected representatives both on the economic aspects (jobs creation at the level of the region and of the village), and on the architectural aspects.
The architecture practice was turned to a global approach taken into account socio cultural, economic, and environmental goals.
A primary concern in designing the building was the environmental ambition of the project ownership, while answering the specific needs of preservation of the technical documents with a low internal temperature, a rate of hygrometry from 30 to 45 % and a rate of minimal illumination. We settled an optimal objective: A Zero Energy Building (ZEB)
The architecture has to become completely integrated into the landscape and also has to answer the standards of environmental quality, which are an inescapable requirement of the construction strategy of EDF Group.
The architectural and environmental reflection and a comparative study with the morphology suggested by the program allowed us to determine the most relevant design shape. We decide for a compact volume of five levels occupying a surface to the ground of 1400 m² and we realize the considerable weight that the shape of a building can have on its future energy consumption.
This solution combines: important savings on the skin of the building, a low landscape impact (the point of view being very remote from the construction), the possibility to build on a small part of the ground and to leave the rest to manage the recovery and the waste water treatment, the creation of a representative symbol within the framework of the program of economic accompaniment of the Meuse Department and the Haute-Marne,
An Archives centre might be a heavy building. The fast and easy management of the optimal site and the efficiency of storage drove us to a simple and rational plan. A particular attention was concerned to the skin of the building. The idea was to transmit the image of a light construction, in movement, and in narrow relationship with the surrounding landscape. Thanks to the superposing of chrome-plated steel panels numerically perforated to a concrete structure dyed in the colours of the earth, the skin of the building loses its limits, reflects the surrounding colours, and so the changes of the seasons.
The total energy consumed by the building amounts approximately to 112 000 kWh / the year. To compensate to these expenses, photovoltaic panels will be settled in roof on a surface of 1100 m ². This will represent a production of 116 000 the kWh / year. The construction will thus produce a surplus of energy during and maybe considered an Energy-Plus Building.
(via: LAN Architecture)
Although this exhibit has concluded at MoMA; the online exhibition is still up and running with its amazing examples of projects that were featured during the show.
Over the past twenty-five years, people have weathered dramatic changes in their experience of time, space, matter, and identity. Individuals cope daily with a multitude of changes in scale and pace—working across several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, and being inundated with information. Adaptability is an ancestral distinction of intelligence, but today’s instant variations in rhythm call for something stronger: elasticity, the product of adaptability plus acceleration. Design and the Elastic Mind explores the reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world by bringing together design objects and concepts that marry the most advanced scientific research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations. The exhibition highlights designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history—changes that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior—and translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use. This Web site presents over three hundred of these works, including fifty projects that are not featured in the gallery exhibition.
Many of you may have seen this project by FRONT design, its been around the web for some time. For those who have not seen it watch it and you will be amazed.... I promise.
the four FRONT members have developed a method to materialise free hand sketches. They make it possible by using a unique method where two advanced techniques are combined. Pen strokes made in the air are recorded with Motion Capture and become 3D digital files; these are then materialised through Rapid Prototyping into real pieces of furniture.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I came across this project through the PBS series e2 (Economies/Environmentally). The project is known as the The Druk White Lotus School located in northern India and was designed by ARUP. I absolutely feel in love with this project based on the fact that it beautifully merges the ideas of socially sustainable architecture with that of environmentally sustainable architecture.
It is my opinion, modern architecture lacks a basic understanding of cultural identity and social responsibility. We as architects are finally becoming aware of the environmental impacts of our buildings and we have spent a sizable amount of time and energy curtailing that issue; but we still haven't addressed the cultural and social strain that our buildings have on the people of the world. That is why the The Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh is so amazing, because it has found away to give back a sense of identity and culture to a society who is feels it necessary to modernize under it own cultural and social conditions.
Click here to watch trailer of the episode:
below is some further background on the project provided by e2:
Ladakh is one of the most remote places in India with one of the harshest climates on earth, and has long been isolated from the modern world. Now, caught in the political and cultural crossfire of neighboring countries and amidst religious strife, His Holiness the Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa saw his people and their future at risk. Under increasing pressure to modernize and engage with the 21st century, His Holiness, one of the four core leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, envisioned the Druk White Lotus School. The objective was to equip Ladakhi children to function in a modern world, while also embracing the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Guided by the vision of His Holiness, Jonathan Rose and his team of architects and engineers at ARUP London designed a school that utilizes modern technology and knowledge to preserve and respect the Ladakhi culture and environment.
The master plan for the Druk White Lotus School was inspired by the Buddhist tradition in Ladakh. By laying out the school buildings in the traditional form of a mandala — a series of symmetrical geometric shapes with significant spiritual resonance — the design itself honors the culture of the community. The great innovation of the school is that it does not simply transplant Western notions of sustainable building into this remote region of India. ARUP considered the extreme climate of Ladakh and sought to understand local methods of construction, local architecture, and environmental physics in order to create an efficient design that would best address the needs of the school. The designers used construction methods based on the surrounding monasteries, which have survived up to a thousand years in the region's hostile conditions. They also made full use of local materials, using timber frames to reinforce the walls and roofs of the buildings. Tree plantations flourish in the valleys of Ladakh and trees grow very quickly, making them a sustainable and locally-sourced material.
ARUP also used the natural environment to improve the buildings' functionality and longevity. Buildings were strategically positioned to maximize solar potential according to their specific function. Classrooms face the morning sun to naturally heat and light them during the day. Residential buildings absorb solar energy during the day and release the heat at night. These and other considerations allow the school to maintain comfortable temperatures without using money or energy.
The Druk White Lotus School demonstrates that efficient design doesn’t necessarily have to be something Western or Western-looking. With careful design and consideration, local cultures can sustain their way of life while also utilizing technologically advanced methods. Thanks to the vision of His Holiness and the ARUP team, the world has an example to build off of. Where will this model be copied next?
Monday, May 26, 2008
The school booths at the ICFF get better every year, and are increasingly presenting student work with a singular theme rather than highlighting individual projects. Dana Getman from Yale University of Architecture gave us the lowdown on their Egyptian inspired furniture.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This is a installation that Adam Riddle, Whitney Parks, Nate Steuerwald, & Myself (Britton Chambers) worked on during our second year of graduate school at the University of Minnesota.
The project was create a physical installation that solves certain building issues such as glare, poor acoustics, spatial storage, et cetera; while using the ideas and principles found in bio-inspired design.
While looking at the acoustic qualities of snow we came up with certain principles and design guidelines that are analogous to the experience of a snowy winter day. Being that we are all from Minnesota, we had a certain connection or affinity with the silence of a winter and we sought to replicate that in the built environment.
Our installation was constructed out of dozens of interactive hung objects that were made up of a cellular material that had small hairs that vibrated when hit by sound waves. These small hairs would stop the sound waves by dissipating them into heat.
Stationary Panel Design
Transformable Panel Design (closed)
Transformable Panel Design (open)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
This is the film trailer for a new documentary that illustrates the current work being done by the Swiss firm of Herzog & de Meuron.
The documentary by Christoph Schaub and Michael Schindhelm shows how the Chinese culture affects the construction work of the architects: The specific architectonic form and the struggle to achieve it give us information about the society, the culture and everyday life in China. BIRD’S NEST - HERZOG & DE MEURON IN CHINA explores how these prestige buildings are being built in China. On the one hand, the documentary attempts to understand the two architects’ very own method of contextual building applied successfully again and again. On the other hand, it explores the Chinese side: their intentions, their expectations, and their strategies in this complex creation process.
To see more about this film: click here
I read this article on Pruned about a week ago and found it to be very interesting. It examines a missile bunker in North Dakota that resembles a theoretical project done by French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée. Anyone who has ever stepped foot in architecture school knows of the fascinating work of Boullée.
When I was studying Boullée, I often found myself asking the question of weather or not his ideas and theories were full of shit; or was he simply an architectural genius who saw that monumental architecture could reach out past the boundaries of earth. Can architecture, made by man, have the potential to reach towards the heavens and extend past the earth in which it sits on? Boullée thought so.
I think Boullée would be fascinated by this building in North Dakota. Because of the fact that it houses objects (muti-continental missiles) that aren't bound to earth but fly out to the heavens with the sole mission of destruction and terror.
Below is the text from Pruned:
From the HABS/HAER collections in the Library of Congress comes these gorgeous photographic documentations of an anti-ballistic missile complex in North Dakota. Several such sites were planned as part of the Safeguard Program, but only this was ever completed. And after being in operations for just 4 months, it was deactivated.
In the years since, countless drunken youths and their spray paints have made pilgrimages to these Pharaonic ruins of the U.S. Army. No doubt one of them must have wondered whether if it was simply a matter of coincidence that this pyramid, whose walls he was pissing on, resembles the unfinished pyramid in the the Great Seal of the United States, its once radar equipment being the Eye of Providence, the all-seeing eye.
Or if the military counts among its ranks a cabal of Freemasons constantly and surreptitiously finding ways to channel their aesthetic inclinations, in the face of institutionalized prohibition against self-expression and individuality. Sculpted berms here, geometrically-patterned rows of exhaust stacks there, mastaba-shaped radar facility right over there, chalked footpaths everywhere.
The U.S. anti-ballistic landscape as a subset of Land Art.
One of his companions, a blogger of the built environment, will report his inebriated musings, speculating further that those anonymous soldier-bureaucrat-architects must have been great admirers of the unbuilt works of Étienne-Louis Boullée. As an homage, they designed the radar building in the form of the master's pyramidal cenotaphs.
Even their monument-complex are pierced with holes, this blogger will blog, although they are not cosmically aligned. You will not see stars; they do not form constellations. Rather, they are aligned to millions of city dwellers halfway around the world, under surveillance, targeted for total erasure.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
The Architectural Choices
Text was translated from French to English through Google language generator.
"The Cour Visconti will not be covered, but will remain visible ': this is the choice architectural strongly affirmed by the architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti, in search of a" sweet and integration without violence "between a resolutely contemporary architectural design and a site historic. The presentation of the collections is dispiegherà of about 3,500 sq.m., divided into only two levels. The first - the level of court - will present works ranging from VII and the tenth century, the second - the level or buried at the "new" ground floor -will exhibit works from XI to the nineteenth century with the prestigious collection of carpets . The new museum spaces are covered by a 'Velo' bright that effondendo a discreet lighting widespread flotterà gently sull'allestimento museografico. Thanks to this' Velo 'from the new museum spaces you have the perception of facades of the court. From halls, visitors can admire the play of folds and waves of coverage that will give the whole a poetic suggestion.
The Path Museografico
The visitor, coming from the Pyramid, will reach the lowest level dell'Aile du Manège, at the same level of cour Visconti; instead traced the escalators leading to higher level, the visitor will be attracted by the spectacular vision of 'Velo' iridescent that animates the court of a new presence: the entry to the new Department of Islamic Art. The visit forms a circuit perfect, not introducing any unnecessary movement. The other collections distributed around the court, will be put into resonance with the collections of Islamic art thanks to connect with those of Trois Antiques (south), with those of Greece Pre-Classical (north), Coptic Egypt (east ) And Egypt Romano (west).
The "borders" of different sequences route, take the body in the form of a continuum of furniture (Banquette) that, in its design, evokes the ruins of a city: this element spread over several levels high, while maintaining frequently l 'height of a table, to enable the eyes of the visitor to move freely, but at the same time contribute to the needs dell'allestimento becoming from time to time area of mediation, cimasa, etc...
This element can also be used as backing for the title of the various sections, or as support for educational texts, captions, plasma screens, or can deform up to host an educational model specially constructed. Nell'apparente maze formed by units of presentation, the item of furniture we are talking about will be a clear guide for the peaceful conduct of the tour, but also shelter, a balustrade, a sort of handrails source of information. The captions on the works will be placed behind the shop windows on media inclined to be sufficiently close to the works without distraction, with their presence, the attention of visitors.
The Distribution and Organization of Spaces
The project museografico rejects the fragmentation space to focus on the continuity of the tour. The absence of interruptions in the flow of the visit will reinforce the sense of a speech rhythm only by time spent in front of objects, from meditation and the rest took and fostered by the project.
The Atmosphere Light
The natural light will be widely used by the 'Velo' coverage, whose iridescent skin will be treated to be able to graduate the intensity, and avoid the glare. In the middle of summer, the intensity of light inside the exhibition halls will not exceed the level of lux provided for the proper conservation of artefacts on display and for the comfort of visitors.
At the lowest level of salt, the sight of 'Velo' will be possible in many points, thanks to openings provided in slabs along the perimeter of the court, thereby confirming the 'Velo' very unifying element in the role of the collections. Echoing the 'Velo', the floor of the lower level will cover the gilded splinters of glass, forming a mosaic discreet in which the light of day find a new depth and preciousness.
Text was translated from French to English through Google
(Text & Images via: Europaconcocorsi)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Parrish Art Museum’s design concept for its new facility, located in the hamlet of Water Mill, in the heart of Long Island’s East End, was created by internationally celebrated architects Herzog & de Meuron. The unique design concept integrates architecture and landscape in a plan that both respects and reflects the singular natural beauty and rich artistic legacy of the area. The new facility will vastly improve the museum’s resources for exhibitions and public programming.
In March of this year, The Architecture League of New York interviewed a number of key individuals that work on the Parrish Museum; one of which, was Ascan Mergenthaler, Partner in Charge, Herzog & de Meuron. throughout the 15 minute interview, Mergenthaler gives an insightful look into the preliminary and conceptual work that lead to the building overall design. Click on the video below to see Mergenthaler's interview in its entirety, or click here to see a higher resolution video of the interview.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Check out Piel.Skin - About skin: This book is the result of two years of architectural research. Dynamic facades, ventilated, high-tech or traditional composites with new features. This book shows that currently new skins not only act as an isolating element, besides interact with the environment, optimizing energy exchange with the outside. From Germany to Australia or Korea to Colombia, there are many examples that readers can visit with this publication. With international vocation due to bilingual English-Spanish text and a language away from technicalities, this paper aims to show as an "interactive toy" the evolving field of the facades in architecture.
Piel.Skin is an experimental web book aimed at architecture students. The book literally surfs on several projects, jumping from exceptional exteriors in Asia to intelligently optimized facades in Europe. The book allows playing a virtual tour dedicated to google-earth travellers: By means of clicking on the coordinates of each project begins a journey where you can jump directly to each site and visualize the project within its environment.
Friday, May 16, 2008
JAPANESE AMERICAN EXCHANGE
Kari Haukedahl - University of Minnesota
This thesis explores the integration of Japanese and American design principles. I am proposing a series of Japanese-American art pavilions in
This entire project was strongly influenced by the
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, announced on May 8, 2008 the appointment of Preston Scott Cohen as Chair of the Department of Architecture as of 1 July 2008. Cohen is the Gerald M. McCue Professor of Architecture, coordinator of the first year design studios, and he teaches the foundation course in projective and topological geometry, advanced studios, and design thesis.
“I am delighted that Scott has accepted this appointment,” said Dean Mostafavi. “The school will undoubtedly benefit from his deep intellectual commitment to the field of architecture and his passion as both an educator and an architect. I have no doubt that he will make a great contribution to the culture of collaboration that I hope will be a hallmark of the GSD. I also thank Professor Toshiko Mori for her support and leadership of the department of architecture during the past six years.”
Cohen is recognized for his innovative geometric forms and his approach to integrating buildings with their environments. The work of his firm, Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. in Cambridge, encompasses projects that range in scale from houses to educational and cultural institutions.
Scott Cohen has produced numerous critically acclaimed projects and has won international competitions for important buildings, including the Taiyuan Art Museum, Taiyuan, China (2007–2010); the Robbins Elementary School, Trenton, NJ (2006–2010); and the Amir Building, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2003–2009), presently under construction. Other projects currently under construction include a Student Center for Nanjing University Xianlin Campus, Jiang Su (2007–2009); a public arcade in Battery Park City in New York (2005–2009); and the Ya Zhou Bay Science and Technology Center in Sanya, Hainan Island (2008–2010).
Cohen is the author of Contested Symmetries and Other Predicaments in Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001). He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three Progressive Architecture Awards, and The Visionary Award from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His work has been widely published and exhibited and is in numerous collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University
Cohen has held faculty positions at Princeton University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Ohio State University. He was the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto in 2004 and the Perloff Visiting Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2002.
(via: Harvard GSD)