Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cybertecture Egg Mumbai India

Cybertecture Egg office
“In the 21st Century, buildings will be different from 20th Century”, say James Law Cybertecture International, “They are no longer about concrete, steel and glass, but also the new intangible materials of technology, multimedia, intelligence and interactivity. Only recognizing this will bring a new form of architecture to light, namely a Cybertecture.”

James Law have been commissioned by Vijay Associate (Wadhwa Developers) to create an office unlike any other in Mumbai, India. The 32,000 sq m egg-shaped build will accommodate 13 floors of offices bringing together iconic architecture, environmental design, intelligent systems, and new engineering to create an awe-inspiring landmark in the city.

The concept was inspired, according to the designers, by considering the world as an ecosystem allowing life to evolve. Elements of the design and intelligence systems will work together to give the building’s inhabitants the ‘best space to work in’. And this includes monitoring their health. Within the building, there will be a series of innovative systems such as ‘cybertecture health’ in the washroom which is designed to keep track of the inhabitant’s health including blood pressure and weight. The data collected may be retrieved and sent to a doctor if deemed necessary.

Technology and the working environment are united in the use of ‘cybertecture reality’ which allows you to customize your favorite view and have real time scenery all around the world instead of the view the user currently has.

The egg itself is orientated and skewed at an angle to create both a strong visual language and to alleviate the solar gain of the building, also there is a sky garden on the top of building which performs thermolysis (the dissipation of heat from the surface). PV panels will be installed on top of the building and a wind turbine on the sky gardens will generate electricity. A water filtration system will also be incorporated into the building to recycle grey water for flushing and irrigation purpose.

By using this “Egg” shape, compared to a conventional building, the structure has approximately 10-20% less surface area. Within the building, an innovative structure derived from the skin of the egg creates up to 30m spans of columnless floors. The architecture is sleek and computer designed, with engineering that creates a building of high quality and geometric sophistication. It is hoped this building will act like a “jewel” for the new Central Business District of Mumbai, and will be a worthy neighbour to other esteemed buildings in the district. The building is due for completion by the end of 2010

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Water Tower Student Housing Denmark

Water towers, TV antennas, parking garages and other structures tend to be ignored within the ubiquitous context of their surroundings, however these oft-overlooked structures can offer amazing opportunities for renovations. Take this water tower turned student housing complex in Jaegersberg, Denmark. This once practical structure was left unused until Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter ApS won a competition to renovate it into a multi-purpose building for student housing and a youth center.

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter ApS completed this 10-storey youth center in 2006. The top 5 floors are reserved for student housing and feature roomy and bright apartments with multi-faceted protrusions that extend the living space as well as draw more light into the apartments. Daylighting through the extensions brightens the interiors significantly, providing a warm and sunny space with a view of the surrounding lanscape.

The bottom floors are used for a youth center that features several large multipurpose rooms. The youth center utilizes tall windows and colored panels to make the space more playful and alive. Large garage-style doors on the very bottom floor can be raised to open the room to the outdoor playground.

This interesting and practical renovation of a previously unused space shows that renovations can be conducted on virtually any structure with gorgeous results. The tower’s multi-faceted crystal-like protrusions add character to the facade and at the same time open the interior living space with views and light.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Super Sustainable City Gothenburg, Sweden

Addressing the urgent need to green our built environment, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architects have conceived of a Super Sustainable City that re-envisions Gothenburg, Sweden as a future-forward ecotopia. Designed as a dense and interconnected urban area, the master plan incorporates everything from green rooftop gardens to water and energy harvesting roadways, towering solar arrays, and soaring wind turbines. These measures address the issues of density, energy, and food production, while staying true to the city’s architectural heritage.

One of the smartest steps we can take towards a more sustainable future is to build denser, more efficiently designed cities. In doing so we stand to cut down on the materials required for buildings and infrastructure, decrease the distance residents need to travel, and provide space for the world’s surging population.

By 2020 the city of Gothenburg, Sweden will be growing at a rate of 8000 new inhabitants per year, and thus far the majority of this growth has taken the form of lateral sprawl. The Super Sustainable City addresses this issue by forming a dense city center that will house one third of the city’s growth until 2020 while forming a strong connection between each bank of the site’s river. The plan is inspired by the architectural heritage of Gothenburg, and will feature traditional yellow bricks, streets paved with granite, and plenty of markets and canals.

The plan calls for energy-efficient apartments topped with roofs that serve multiple functions. South-facing terraces provide space for leisure, solar panels generate energy, and food-producing rooftop gardens provide a local source of food while helping to reduce the structure’s heating and cooling demands. Many of the roofs also feature small scale wind turbines, which further help reduce their energy needs.

In addition to energy efficient architecture, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architects‘ green Gothenburg will feature several options for sustainable transportation. A personal rapid transit system will provide for emission-free transportation, while covered cycling highways will encourage the use of bikes. These transit paths will also be capable of collecting rainwater and capturing solar energy.

Kjellgren Kaminsky Architects have created a blog for the project and they are currently inviting readers to share their own ideas for a more sustainable Gothenburg. Check out their website to submit your suggestions!

Torrer Agbar

Battery in the Grid City marking the born of new barcelona, does it real good?

This tower was built by the Barcelona Water Company. The outer skin is made of glass panels that can be opened to adjust the interior temperature.

Avinguda Diagonal 209-211, plaza de las Glorias
Barcelona CAT Spain

Construction Dates
Floor Count33
Basement Floors4
Floors to Floor4 m
Floor Area51,483 m²
Elevator Count9
Building Uses
 - office
 - conference
 - restaurant
Structural Types
 - highrise
Architectural Style
 - futurism
 - glass
 - aluminium

 Heights ValueSource / Comments 
Roof144.5 m
Top floor128.3 m

- Architect: Jean Nouvel

- Owner: Grupo Inmobiliario Layetana

- Inaugurated: Sep-16-2005

- Cost: E $130,000,000

Marina Bay Singapore

Singapore, 26 May 2006 - The Singapore Government announced today that it will award the project to develop the Integrated Resort (IR) at Marina Bay to Las Vegas Sands Corporation (“Sands”).

The Ministerial Committee (Tender Approving Authority or TAA)  evaluating the four proposals, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Professor S Jayakumar , announced their decision at a press conference this evening.  Prof Jayakumar said, “All four proposers submitted very strong proposals which reflected their commitment to developing a truly outstanding integrated resort in Singapore”. He added that “Sands had submitted the best overall proposal that meets our economic and tourism objectives.”

Successful RFP Process

The RFP for the Marina Bay IR was launched on 15 Nov 2005 and closed on 29 Mar 2006. Four proposers responded to the RFP – i.e. Sands; Harrah’s Entertainment and Keppel Land (“Harrah’s”); Genting International and Star Cruises (“Genting”); and MGM Mirage and CapitaLand (“MGM”).

Each of the four proposers committed to invest a total  of $4 billion to $5 billion in a world-class development that would generate substantial economic benefits for Singapore. This reflects the strong confidence of international investors in Singapore’s tourism sector. All the proposals offered an excellent range of tourism products, ranging from MICE (i.e. Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) facilities to leisure attractions and entertainment shows. The proposals also all met the stringent social safeguards set by the Singapore Government for the casino component.

Rigorous Evaluation Process

The evaluation of the proposals was based on the following four main criteria, with approximate weights as shown:

a. Tourism appeal and contribution (40%);
b. Architectural concept and design (30%);
c. Development investment (20%); and
d. Strength of consortium and partners (10%).

The proposals were assessed using the Analytic Hierarchy Process. It is a methodology that provides discipline and objectivity, ensuring that the final outcome is based on an evaluation of both the qualitative and quantitative factors.

The evaluation process was conducted in a systematic and rigorous manner. All the proposers had the opportunity to present their proposals to the Ministers in the TAA shortly after the close of the RFP. Assisting the Ministers in the evaluation process were Permanent Secretaries from the same four ministries. The committee also considered the views of a Design Evaluation Panel comprising established local and international architects, as well as the inputs of other international and local experts in areas such as attractions, entertainment, and financial and business models.

After a rigorous evaluation process, the Ministerial Committee assessed that Sands had submitted the best overall proposal.

Marina Bay Sands: Best Overall Proposal

Tourism Appeal and Contribution

Sands proposed an outstanding IR development (“Marina Bay Sands”) that will boost Singapore’s attractiveness as a premium destination for business and leisure visitors. Leveraging on Sands’ expertise and excellent track record in MICE, the proposal will create a strong MICE cluster in Marina Bay and enhance Singapore’s MICE capabilities and offerings. The Marina Bay Sands will have a combination of exhibition and meeting space amounting to 110,000 sqm in gross floor area, which is 2½ times the size of the convention and exhibition centre at Suntec City.

The Marina Bay Sands will offer a wide range of leisure products, such as world-class entertainment in two 2,000-seat theatres, an ArtScience museum, luxury retail outlets,  and unique dining venues such as the floating pavilions in the Marina Bay. There will also be attractive public spaces and interesting activity nodes such as an ice-skating rink and indoor canals. Please refer to the attached fact sheet for more details.

Architectural Concept and Design

The design of the Marina Bay Sands is unique and will provide a memorable image and destination attraction for Marina Bay. The overall composition fits very well with existing and future developments. The setting back of the hotel towers from the waterfront opens up expansive views to the city and the entire Marina Bay. The low-rise MICE facilities, casino and theatres fronting Marina Bay are crowned by wave-like roof forms. 

The design also has many distinctive features. The Sky Park above the hotel towers will provide breathtaking 360-degree views of Marina Bay, the city and the future Gardens-by-the-Bay. The ArtScience Museum offers a “welcoming gesture”, inviting people to Marina Bay. Visitors will enjoy attractive public spaces, such as the Event Piazza which can hold up to 10,000 people and the roof-top amphitheatre above the ArtsScience Museum.  Please refer to the attached fact sheet for more details.

Track Record

Sands has demonstrated its capability in developing and operating large successful IRs from the ground up, such as the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, which also houses the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. In Asia, Sands played a key role in developing the master plan for the Cotai strip in Macau.

Economic Benefits

Sands committed to the highest development investment of $3.85 billion. Together with the land price and other associated capital costs, the total investment by Sands would exceed $5 billion. This is one of the largest investments in the world for a single IR. The Marina Bay Sands is expected to stimulate an additional $2.7 billion (or approximately 0.8%) to Singapore’s annual Gross Domestic Product and generate 30,000 jobs throughout the economy by 2015.

Record of Appreciation

The Singapore Government would like to thank all the four proposers for the tremendous efforts and resources that they have put into the RFP. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Twin Faceted Skyscrapers Paris

Norman Foster + Partners recently revealed the masterplan for a new sustainable community just outside of Paris complete with twin faceted skyscrapers that will be the tallest mixed-use towers in Western Europe. Dubbed Hermitage Plaza, the high-density development will create a a thriving community east of La Défense that is targeting a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating - one of the world’s most widely used environmental assessment methods for architecture.

Running alongside the Seine, Hermitage Plaza “will create a 24-hour community that will regenerate the riverfront and inject new life into a predominantly commercial part of the city.” The development will feature a hotel, spa, apartments, offices, and retail space in addition to a public piazza that runs all the way to the river’s edge. The twin triangle-faceted towers face each other at the ground level and twist as they rise to give stunning views of the city of light. Each tower features a high-performance glazed façade split into faceted panels that promote shading, and exterior vents can be opened for natural ventilation.

Paris has a history of vigorously fighting to preserve its skyline, so it will be interesting to see how the public receives this project. Hermitage Plaza is slated to break ground in 2010 and complete by the end of 2014.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Giant Eco-Egg Hotel

From the unseen, unsung files of design competitions past comes the Envision Green Hotel proposed by Miami-based Michael Rosenthal Associates for Hospitality Design’s Radical Innovation design competition. Part wind tower, part urban eco-resort, and all egg, this “lobular” structure is touted as one of the most recognizable landmarks for the city in which it would ultimately be…laid. Inhabitat leaves it up to you to decide whether this is an egg-cellent idea or something not quite fully hatched.

Operating like a living organism, the Envision literally breathes through its wind and atmospheric conversion systems, which allow natural air into the interior of the building without mechanical intervention. Photovoltaic exterior sheathing provides the building’s energy, while indoor gardens at various levels of the structure act as upward extensions of the earth, creating mini-microclimates that filter the air and act as added insulation. Recycled pools of water around the structure serve as catch basins, water reservoirs, fire barriers, and indispensable decorative aquatic features. Power from the wind turbine heats the boiler and creates steam for the chiller water plant beneath the structure to cool and heat the hotel.

Within the hotel, rooms would be designed on a 4 foot multiple to conform to standard-sized materials and reduce construction waste. A high-efficiency LED system would illuminate the interiors, and non-toxic, non-off-gassing finishes would be employed. Besides the typical water-efficient fixtures, this eco resort would use recovered rainwater for flushing and irrigation. The rooms would also include a mood pad control unit that would allow each guest to control the lighting and choose groovy digital images that would reflect behind glass walls and ceilings.

To help this giant eco-egg blend even more subtly into the surrounding urban context, exterior LED curtain walls would change color throughout the night to indicate the progression of time, making the Envision glow in the night like a giant, moody Fabergé egg.