Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Singapore Civic & Culture Centre by Aedas

The concept design is driven by the desire to blur the boundaries between retail and cultural zones and indoor and outdoor spaces with flowing spatial transitions that encourage discovery and deliver an energetic civic node.
Singapore Civic & Culture Centre by Aedas
Design Team: Andrew Bromberg of Aedas
Location: Vista Xchange precinct of one-north, Singapore
When to visit: 2011

Aedas have designed this spectacular 54,000 sq.m. Singapore Civic & Culture Centre comprises of cultural, civic & retail uses and when complete will provide a premier entertainment, lifestyle and retail experience for one-north and the wider Singapore community. Its angular, multi-faceted design creates a variety of perspectives, changing the form dramatically depending on the viewpoint.

The spectacle of the Center is most truly presented from the south elevation which, being completely open to the outside, shows the inner workings and layers as a section visible from the exterior.

The design for the 24,000 sq.m. retail space responds to the challenging site topography as the zone spirals inwards addressing the major entry points and culminates in an open amphitheatre.

Above, a 40m high grand foyer creates a visual and spatial connection between the retail, civic and cultural zones. It also provides a canopy under which the public can experience outdoor entertainment and al-fresco dining while protected from the elements. The focus of the cultural zone is a 5,000 plus seat auditorium, which will be the largest venue of its kind in Singapore capable of staging amplified musicals, concerts and other large scale visual events.

The venue is supported with administration, artist and technical support, function spaces, foyers, concessions and circulation spaces making up the remainder of the 30,000 sq.m. cultural and civic program.

The project is currently making good progress towards its projected completion date in 2011 when Singapore will find its new civic and cultural signature.

via Aedas

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Therme Vals Spa by Peter Zumthor

Therme Vals Spa by Peter Zumthor

Therme spa, an ultra-modernist design statement in grey Valser quartzite, a place that somehow crafts a near-religious experience out of little more than stone, water and judiciously applied light.
Therme Vals Spa
Design Team: Peter Zumthor
Cost: € 16500000
Location: Vals, Graubünden, Switzerland
When to visit: Do check their website for updated visit date & time.

The new thermal spa, formally opened in December 1996 and already listed by the Canton Graubünden as a protected building in 1998, is a self-willed construction set into the mountain slope. It replaced the bathing facilities of the hydro hotel (built between 1962 and 1970) which were too cramped and in need of repair. The new separate spa building is built in Valser gneiss. Stone by stone. A massive element set in to the gradient of the slope and dovetailed with the flank of the mountain. The great slabs of the roof are grassed over: sections of flower studded alpine meadow.

2009 Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor was selected as architect for the spa, despite his limited track record at the time, and the facility was built between 1993-1996. The baths were designed to look as if they predated the hotel complex, as if they were a form of cave or quarry-like structure. This is particularly evident from observing the grass roof structure of the baths, which resemble the foundations of an archaeological site, and reveal the form of the various bath rooms which lie below, half buried into the hillside.

Built using locally quarried Valser quarzite slabs, the spa building is made up of 15 different table-like units, 5 metres in height, with cantilevered concrete roof units supported by tie-beams. These units fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The nature of the construction is revealed through close inspection of the roof – the roofs of the units don’t join, but are covered by glass to prevent water ingress through the 8cm gaps. Inside, this pro­vides a dichotomy – the concrete makes the roof appear heavy but the gaps between the units also makes the roof appear to float.

Therme Vals Spa Switzerland
Therme Vals Spa Switzerland
Therme Vals Spa Switzerland

There are 60,000, 1 metre-long sections of stone forming the cladding of the walls. Whilst these initially appear random, like an ashlar wall, there is a regular order. The cladding stones are of three different heights, but the total of the three is always 15cm, so it allows for variety in arrangement, whilst facilitating construction.

The architect intended to not include clocks within the spa, as he believed that time should be suspended whilst enjoying the baths, but three months after the baths opened, the architect relented to pressure from the client by the mounting of two small clocks atop brass posts.

This building is one of Zumthor’s finest, and as the man himself would say, it’s better seen than merely read about.

Therme Vals Spa by Peter Zumthor
Therme Vals Spa by Peter Zumthor
Therme Vals Spa by Peter Zumthor

Photo credits: AKorour | Métempsycose
via Therme Vals

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Z Bar by Kenneth Cobonpue

z bar cebu

Bamboo branches and steel are hand-tied with rattan to form a cocoon-like structure that morphs into the furniture in the bar, where you may sit contentedly and sip from an impressive selection of wines and champagnes.
Z Bar Cebu
Design Team: Kenneth Cobonpue (Interior Designer), Ed Calma (Architect)
Location: 2nd floor, The Tinderbox Restaurant, Banilad, Cebu
When to visit: Evening till night

Philippines designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s first full-scale organic architecture design, Z Bar in Cebu City is simply stunning. While Kenneth is noted for revolutionizing furniture design, the Z bar is using lots of natural materials for the interior, which he patterned after his own invention, the Kriskros.

Kenneth approachs for Z bar main space is a framework sculpture that fuses utility with beauty. The latticework of bamboo twigs, and steel tied with rattan splits blur the concept of paint, wall, sofa, diver, and accents. The whole configuration resembles a Venus Flower Basket, the skeleton of a kind of glass sponge, and totally gives you the feeling being sheltered and at the same time being given the freedom to enjoy the company of good friends.

z bar cebu
z bar cebu

Light from the solid onyx floor casts a chic glow throughout the tapas lounge, and give a dreamy kind of illumination, and the rest of space, a subdued sense of being in another world. This same light gives the face a kind of glow so flattering, especially when one smiles.

This artistic creation could not have been executed without the collaboration of architect Ed Calma, who masterminded the modern exterior. Artist Estela Ocampo-Fernandez contributed to the design, and saw to it that every detail would be carried out.

z bar cebu city
z bar cebu city
z bar cebu city

via Kenneth Cobonpue

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sultan Lounge by Dupoux Design


It took Stephane Dupoux seven hours, sitting in the dark underground space with lots of boxes, to visualise the transformation of the space around him. It was a musty underground room located below the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur car park, so a fan was brought to help keep Dupoux cool. That was two years ago.
Sultan Lounge
Design Team: Stephane Dupoux of Dupoux Design
Location: Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre
When to visit: 6pm – 3am Monday - Saturday, closed on Sundays

The project’s design was initiated by New York-based Stephane Dupoux, the creative force behind establishments such as Buddha Bar in New York and Cocoon in London. In essence, the brief for his first project in Asia was the creation of two distinct areas within a cavernous basement space. The result is a new home for Pacifica, touted as “the city’s first fine dining seafood restaurant”, which is connected to Sultan Lounge below by a lift entirely sheathed in a decadent golden hue. While the former is a vision in white, the latter has the feel of a luxe Arabian tent.


Other design highlights include 10 semi-private booths running along the lounge’s entire length, a triple-height water feature overlooking a glassy opaque bar, a gold-plated DJ console shaped like a cloud and an area known as “the library” with two pool tables. In an exclusive chat, Dupoux said, “I tried to harness positive energy to minimise the feeling of being underground by choosing very flattering lighting to make patrons feel comfortable, for example. My overall aim was to create a party space that is functional also since this is a place of business after all.”


via Sultan Lounge | Dupoux Design

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

1000 Banknote by RA Studija

They say that money doesn't grow on trees. Well, in Kaunas it grows on buildings. A curvaceous, luminous, 10-floor office building designed in the form of a LTL 1,000 banknote, Office Center 1000 is being touted locally as one of the Baltic region's most daring and original construction projects.
Office Center '1000'
Design Team: RA Studija
Location: Taikos str. 88a, Kaunas, Lithuania
When to visit: 2008

Despite what you might think, this is not a temporal installation. The image of the LTL 1000 banknote is brought onto this 10-story building using special enamel paint. During the process the paint turns into a ceramic print that lasts forever. Jonas Plenta, marketing manager of Urmas, the company behind the project, insists that the new structure is not simply a mighty monument to the power of money.

“At around the same time we were assessing some of the design projects for a new office building in 2005, Lithuania was one of two new EU member states applying to join the euro zone. We happened to come across a very elegant banknote dating from 1926, and decided to use it as our overall theme.”

The exterior consists of 4,500 different pieces of glass with enamel designs, which are being slotted together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The glass was made in the Netherlands and shipped over, and it can, Plenta assures, withstand even the most extreme Lithuanian weather.

The chief Lithuanian architect is Rimas Adomaitis of RA Studija, a young and relatively unknown but promising talent who enjoys experimenting with forms and new technologies. He adds that this particular banknote came out between the two devastating world wars during a period that Lithuania was independant. It is a virtuous image.

It was obvious that the highly modern appearance of the building would clash with the much older architecture of the city center. This is one reason why Urmas instead chose a location in the northern suburbs, close to the Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipeda highway.

Appropriately enough, two main players in the Lithuanian banking market, SEB and Snoras Bankas, were among the first takers for tenancy. How amazing is that! With these tenants the façade suddenly has become representational. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So far, Office Center 1000 is 85 percent full, with space now available only on the more expensive upper floors. The 10th floor, in fact, is an excellent location for an office; on a fine day, you can just make out the Baroque spires of Pazaislis.

via 1000lt | eikongraphia | Baltic Times

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hedgehog building by Moxon Architects

The appearance of the building changes quite dramatically depending on the position of the viewer. The three-dimensional cladding creates an animation for the passersby. As the appearance of the building shifts from solid to transparent, the interior is revealed.
Hedgehog building
Design Team: Moxon Architects
Location: Preston, Lancashire, North West of England
When to visit: Granted Detailed Planning Permission

The Hedgehog building or ‘163 PRS / Olivers Place’ by Moxon is a 40,000 square foot office building located in the north west of England. The building is perhaps most striking for its unusual façade. While the main exterior is clad in glass, a superstructure sits on top of it featuring an array of aluminium fins on all four facades of the building.

The aluminium fins, or Reeds, are all oriented in the same direction. On the SW facade they act as a large scale brise soleil and rain screen, but appear more visually permeable on the SE facade. Early morning and winter sunlight is able to enter the building while high summer sun is excluded and so does not adversely alter the environmental conditions within the building. The Reeds also appear as a thicket of material that gives the building a striking appearance that changes dramatically depending on the position of the viewer.

The roundabout and the 3 dimensional nature of the cladding system combine to create animation as one moves towards the building obliquely along the approach roads. By turns the building appears solid and then transparent depending on the viewers position: it reveals the interior as one moves around it.The fins are definitely an aesthetic choice, but they also serve as sun and rain protection.

via moxonarchitects | Eikongraphia

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Burnham Pavilions

Both pavillions are intended to echo the audacity of the 1909 Burnham Plan, which proclaimed, “What we as a people decide to do in the public interest we can and surely will bring to pass.”
The Burnham Pavilions
Design Team: Ben van Berkel of UNStudio, Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Millennium Park, Chicago
Cost: USD $500,000 each pavillion
When to visit: 19th June - 31st Oct 2009

The Burnham Plan Centennial Committee has unveiled designs for two temporary pavilions that will be installed this June in Millennium Park, symbolizing the forward-looking agenda of the 220 organizations commemorating this year’s 100th anniversary of the Plan of Chicago. These two pavilions for the Chicago’s Millenium Park are designed by Ben Van Berkel of UNStudio & Zaha Hadid of Zaha Hadid Architects.

Pavillion by UNStudio

The sculptural UNStudio pavilion is highly accessible and functions as an urban activator. Framed by Lake Michigan on one side and Michigan Avenue on the other, it relates to diverse city-contexts and scales. The edges of the roof are parallel, but toward the center there is more complexity in the form.

At night, UNStudio’s pavilion becomes a responsive architecture with LED lights that change color and pattern. These lights will be in constant flux as the number of visitors to the pavilion changes. Programmatically the pavilion invites people to gather, walk around and through the space—to explore and observe. It’s sculptural form and reactive lights will spark curiosity and wonder in its visitors.

The UNStudio pavilion is made of steel, clad in plywood, and is covered in high-gloss white paint to reflect the city and pavilion visitors. It will be built of steel donated by Chicago-based ArcelorMittal, and after October 31 will be de-constructed and recycled.

Pavilion by Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid’s pavilion is a tent-like structure made of light weight aluminum and dressed in a tensile fabric. The exterior skin rises and falls along its aluminum ribs—the lines for which were derived from the diagonal lines and avenues in Burnham and Bennett’s 1909 Plan. Louvers in the pavilion’s ceiling will bring an interplay of light and shadow into the space as the sun changes position during the day. Exterior lighting will highlight the pavilion at night.

The interior of the Hadid Pavilion will serve as a screen for an immersive video installation created by UIC-trained and London-based artist Thomas Gray for The Gray Circle. This film will tell the story of Chicago’s transformation, including visions for Chicago’s future by local architects. The pavilion envelops visitors in its sinuous form, but the addition of Gray’s film leads to an even more engaging experience. This pavilion and video exhibition will inspire public discourse about the history and future of Chicago.

The aluminum structure for this fabric pavilion was donated by Marmon/Keystone Corporation, a member of The Marmon Group of companies. The Pavilion can be dismantled and re-installed in another location.

via The Burnham Plan | UNStudio | Zaha Hadid Architects

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