The Waterpod demonstrates future pathways for nomadic, mobile shelters and water-based communities, docked and roaming. It embodies self-sufficiency and resourcefulness, learning and curiosity, human expression and creative exploration. It intends to prepare, inform, and provide an alternative to current and future living spaces.
In preparation for our coming world with an increase in population, a decrease in usable land, and a greater flux in environmental conditions, people will need to rely closely on immediate communities and look for alternative living models; the Waterpod is about cooperation, collaboration, augmentation, and metamorphosis. As a malleable and autonomous space, the Waterpod is built on a model comprised of multiple collaborations. The Waterpod functions as a singular unit with the possibility to expand into ever-evolving water communities; an archipelagos that has the ability to mutate with the tides.
The Waterpod codifies the language of mobility in contemporary architecture and historicizes the notion of the permanent structure, simultaneously serving as composition, transportation, island, and residence. As with all art forms, architecture is largely about stories: stories of its inhabitants, its community, its makers and their reflections on the past or expectations of the future.
Based on an economy of movement, this structure is adaptable, flexible, self-sufficient, and relocatable, responsive to its immediate and shifting environment. It gives shape to the communities of the future, marking a new nomadism.
The Waterpod is an extension of body, of home, and of community, its only permanence being change, flow, and multiplicity. It connects river to visitor, global to local, nature to city, and historic to futuristic ecologies.
With this project, we hope to encourage innovation as we visualize the future fifty to one hundred years from now.


A Good Read by Green Guru Michelle Kaufmann

Michelle Kaufmann, award-winning green architect and sustainable living expert, today announced the release of the white paper, "Embracing Thoughtful, Walkable Neighbourhoods," and with it, her firm's 10 EcoPrinciples for Communities.

In the white paper, Kaufmann looks toward the future--when the economy begins its inevitable recovery and credit flows again--and argues why we must resist the temptation to recommence our most unsustainable mode of developing new housing: suburban sprawl. By turning to sprawl's alternative, smart growth, Kaufmann asserts we can open the door to a new era in housing development that helps secure the health of our communities and our planet.
The white paper, which is available for download , also introduces Kaufmann's 10 EcoPrinciples for Communities. From Smart Design and Water Conservation to Smart Auto Strategies and Location, the 10 EcoPrinciples map out elements that can be incorporated into a community to make it even more sustainable.

"Now is the perfect time to reexamine the qualities we value in our neighborhoods and hopefully shift our focus onto those qualities that are conducive to financial, environmental, and sociocultural sustainability," explained Kaufmann, founder and chairwoman of Michelle Kaufmann Companies.
By reducing resource consumption, waste, costs, and building time by up to 50%-75% over conventional building methods, Michelle Kaufmann's prefabricated, modular building techniques deliver benefits to individual homebuyers as well as builders/developers, who are interested in building green multi-family and community developments.


Singapore's new icon

Singapore is three months closer to the realisation of a remarkable landmark on the island. Aedas have designed this spectacular 54,000 sq m Singapore Civic & Cultural Center as an expression of the rich and varied activities within. Its angular, multi-faceted design creates a variety of perspectives, changing the form dramatically depending on the viewpoint.Inside too the dynamic design serves to create a new visual experience and blurs the boundaries between the public and private realms, between the civic and cultural spaces. 24,000 sq m of retail space on the lower floors connects to the civic and cultural zones visually and spacially via a 40m high 'grand foyer'.The focus of the cultural zone is a 5,000 seat auditorium providing the largest venue of its kind in Singapore. The remainder of the 30,000 sq m of civic and cultural space is comprised of function spaces, administration, foyers, circulation areas and artist and technical support areas.
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 project broke ground in October and is currently making good progress towards its projected completion date in 2011 when Singapore will find its new civic and cultural signature.

source: http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/


Green Living - Solstice on the Park, Chicago

One of the newest developments planned for the Hyde Park area and one of the most interesting additions to the Chicago skyline, is Solstice on the Park, a 26-story residential tower, offering 145 apartment units.

This unique glass and steel tower is literally shaped by solar access and will become one of Chicago’s greener residential buildings and the largest new condominium development in Hyde Park in more than 15 years.

The surface of Solstice on the Park has an optimum angle for 41.5 degrees north, that maximizes passive solar warming potential during the winter while keeping the sun out during the summer thus reducing cooling needs.
The completion of the project is planned for late 2010.


Next to MoMA, a Tower Will Reach for the Stars

If New Yorkers once saw their skyline as the great citadel of capitalism, who could blame them? We had the best toys of all.
But for the last few decades or so, that honor has shifted to places like Singapore, Beijing and Dubai, while Manhattan settled for the predictable.
Perhaps that’s about to change.
A new 75-story tower designed by the architect
Jean Nouvel
for a site next to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown promises to be the most exhilarating addition to the skyline in a generation. Its faceted exterior, tapering to a series of crystalline peaks, suggests an atavistic preoccupation with celestial heights. It brings to mind John Ruskin’s praise for the irrationality of Gothic architecture: “It not only dared, but delighted in, the infringement of every servile principle.”
Commissioned by Hines, an international real estate developer, the tower will house a hotel, luxury apartments and three floors that will be used by
to expand its exhibition space. The melding of cultural and commercial worlds offers further proof, if any were needed, that Mr. Nouvel is a master at balancing conflicting urban forces.
Yet the building raises a question: How did a profit-driven developer become more adventurous architecturally than MoMA, which has tended to make cautious choices in recent years?
Like many of Manhattan’s major architectural accomplishments, the tower is the result of a Byzantine real estate deal. Although MoMA completed an $858 million expansion three years ago, it sold the Midtown lot to Hines for $125 million earlier this year as part of an elaborate plan to grow still further.
Hines would benefit from the museum’s prestige; MoMA would get roughly 40,000 square feet of additional gallery space in the new tower, which will connect to its second-, fourth- and fifth-floor galleries just to the east. The $125 million would go toward its endowment.
To its credit the Modern pressed for a talented architect, insisting on veto power over the selection. Still, the sale seems shortsighted on the museum’s part. A 17,000-square-foot vacant lot next door to a renowned institution and tourist draw in Midtown is a rarity. And who knows what expansion needs MoMA may have in the distant future?
By contrast the developer seems remarkably astute. Hines asked Mr. Nouvel to come up with two possible designs for the site. A decade ago anyone who was about to invest hundreds of millions on a building would inevitably have chosen the more conservative of the two. But times have changed. Architecture is a form of marketing now, and Hines made the bolder choice.
Set on a narrow lot where the old City Athletic Club and some brownstones once stood, the soaring tower is rooted in the mythology of New York, in particular the work of Hugh Ferriss, whose dark, haunting renderings of an imaginary Manhattan helped define its dreamlike image as the early-20th-century metropolis.
But if Ferriss’s designs were expressionistic, Mr. Nouvel’s contorted forms are driven by their own peculiar logic. By pushing the structural frame to the exterior, for example, he was able to create big open floor plates for the museum’s second-, fourth- and fifth-floor galleries. The tower’s form slopes back on one side to yield views past the residential Museum Tower; its northeast corner is cut away to conform to zoning regulations.
The irregular structural pattern is intended to bear the strains of the tower’s contortions. Mr. Nouvel echoes the pattern of crisscrossing beams on the building’s facade, giving the skin a taut, muscular look. A secondary system of mullions housing the ventilation system adds richness to the facade.
Mr. Nouvel anchors these soaring forms in Manhattan bedrock. The restaurant and lounge are submerged one level below ground, with the top sheathed entirely in glass so that pedestrians can peer downward into the belly of the building. A bridge on one side of the lobby links the 53rd and 54th Street entrances. Big concrete columns crisscross the spaces, their tilted forms rooting the structure deep into the ground.
As you ascend through the building, the floor plates shrink in size, which should give the upper stories an increasingly precarious feel. The top-floor apartment is arranged around such a massive elevator core that its inhabitants will feel pressed up against the glass exterior walls. (Mr. Nouvel compared the apartment to the pied-à-terre at the top of the Eiffel Tower from which Gustave Eiffel used to survey his handiwork below.)
The building’s brash forms are a sly commentary on the rationalist geometries of
Edward Durell Stone and Philip L. Goodwin’s 1939 building for the Museum of Modern Art and Yoshio Taniguchi
’s 2004 addition. Like many contemporary architects Mr. Nouvel sees the modern grid as confining and dogmatic. His tower’s contorted forms are a scream for freedom.
And what of the Modern? For some, the appearance of yet another luxury tower stamped with the museum’s imprimatur will induce wincing. But the more immediate issue is how it will affect the organization of the Modern’s vast collections.
The museum is only now beginning to come to grips with the strengths and weaknesses of Mr. Taniguchi’s addition. Many feel that the arrangement of the fourth- and fifth-floor galleries housing the permanent collection is confusing, and that the double-height second-floor galleries for contemporary art are too unwieldy. The architecture galleries, by comparison, are small and inflexible. There is no room for the medium-size exhibitions that were a staple of the architecture and design department in its heyday.
The additional gallery space is a chance for MoMA to rethink many of these spaces, by reordering the sequence of its permanent collection, for example, or considering how it might resituate the contemporary galleries in the new tower and gain more space for architecture shows in the old.
But to embark on such an ambitious undertaking the museum would first have to acknowledge that its Taniguchi-designed complex has posed new challenges. In short, it would have to embrace a fearlessness that it hasn’t shown in decades.
MoMA would do well to take a cue from Ruskin, who wrote that great art, whether expressed in “words, colors or stones, does not say the same thing over and over again.”
source: TheNewYorkTimes, original posted by NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF


Zaha Hadid to Design New Port House in Antwerp

The future headquarters of Antwerp Port Authority will be designed by the London firm of Zaha Hadid Architects.
The new building will be built upon sustainable principles and will be completed in 2013 and will be the workplace for 500 people currently working in different premises.
In addition to offering better accommodation, the future Port House will contribute to further development and upgrading of this part of the city and will become a symbol of the Port and an economic driver for the Antwerp area.
Nearly 100 architectural firms presented their ideas on this project and only five of them made it to the shortlist, with Zaha Hadid Architects proposal being the winning one.

The estimated construction cost is 31.5 million euros excluding VAT and architect’s fees. This includes all the work for an office building with around 12,000 m² of floorspace for around 500 people, together with underground parking for 300 or so cars.
A landmark on the making.


Campanas Workshop in Athens

Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana have built over the last 25 years a solid career drawing inspiration from their immediate surrounds! As alchemists combining materials, textures, colours and dreams, the Campana Brothers created a unique vocabulary of design, giving poetry to “everyday” materials.
Their latest creation, Yes Hotel Athens is borne of an exclusive partnership between the Brothers and Dakis Joannou, owner of YES! Hotels and among other, the founder of the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, member of the Board of Trustees of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and of the Tate International Council and also a member of the International Directors’ Council of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The Campana Brothers' first hotel project, Yes Hotel Athens is an adventurous design undertaking due to open in late Summer 2009. It is a pioneering venture of luxury accommodation set amongst ecofriendly design conceived by two of the most exciting designers of our time. Yes Hotel Athens integrates art, architecture and design, creating a “live in” sensation, transcending the Museum or Art Gallery experience, provoking the senses and challenging common space perception.
An important part of the renovation project is the injection of ideas from a group of design and architecture students and young professionals who have formed a workshop under the tutelage of and in collaboration with Fernando and Humberto. The workshop group is creating furniture, producing samples and prototypes whilst exploring methods and techniques associated with the Campanas style: reusing and reinterpreting local material and culture.
source: http://campanasworkshop.blogspot.com/


Museum of Middle East Modern Art, Khor Dubai

Museum of Middle East Modern Art, Khor Dubai, UAE2008 UNStudio
MOMEMA: first part of a new cultural hub in Dubai
Plans are in progress for a Museum of Middle East Modern Art (MOMEMA). At the basis of the Museum is the strategic vision of making the UAE a hub for multicultural understanding. The museum will be a celebration of the importance of Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) as a new cultural hub within Dubai as a global city. This new cultural hub, the so-called Culture Village, will be located on 40 million square feet of land in the historic district of Jadaf. In addition to the Museum of Middle East Modern Art, this landmark project will include an amphitheatre for live performances and international cultural festivals, an exhibition hall and smaller museums displaying local and international art, as well as a shipyard for traditional dhow builders. It will also include residential, commercial and retail zones.It is envisaged that MOMEMA will hold a variety of spaces to exhibit Arts and Culture such as exhibitions, art galleries, leasable workshop spaces, auditorium, and amphitheatre for live performances and international festivals. In addition, Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art offers a boutique hotel with 60 keys and a boutique retail promenade on the active Culture Village waterfront, as well as a high end signature restaurant on the top level, with 360 degree views of Dubai Creek.The Museum of Middle East Modern Art was launched in June by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. UNStudio, based in The Netherlands, has been selected to design the Museum. Ben van Berkel, the co-founder and Principal Architect of UNStudio is an experienced designer of museums and a variety of public projects. Current projects are the restructuring of the station area of Arnhem, an apartment tower in Manhattan, New York, a shopping mall renovation in Kaohsiung, a masterplan for Basauri, a music theatre for Graz and the design and restructuring of the Harbor Ponte Parodi in Genoa. In recent years, UNStudio has realized amongst others the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, a façade and interior renovation for the Galleria Department store in Seoul and a private villa in up-state New York.
Ben van Berkel about the Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art:‘In MOMEMA Dubai we recognize the opportunity to create an entirely new type of museum, which consists of a vibrant urban centre, where professionals, collectors and public meet each other. In this way, MOMEMA will be a community-building institution within the city, and offer to both visitors and residents a continuously changing palette of experiences and events.’‘The building is positioned to take full advantage of the prominent location in the Culture Village. With its Dhow-like prow rising up, the building offers panoramic views to the surroundings, and vice versa.’‘Inside, the design of this new museum stimulates contemplation, but by other means than enforcing a restricted optical field. There are no abrupt transitions. The space (the time) you have left behind is undividedly part of the space you are in now, is part of your ecological field, is still perceptible, still surrounding you; the art contained in those spaces follows this principle. Formats, mediums, and times can be effortlessly arranged together and rearranged. There are never too many people; this museum thrives on audiences, vernissages, and spectacle. In the MOMEMA, public, event, art and business meet each other and feed on each other.’The Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art will cover an area of 25,000 square meters and is expected to be completed in January 2011.
source: Museum of Middle East Modern Art Dubai, images / information from UNStudio 100811


Architectural 3D Services - A Powerful Marketing Tool for Architects

If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it
Albert Einstein

… Who am I to argue?

As an architect striving daily to overcome the obstacles of communicating my vision to clients with a non technical background, I find architectural visualizations, to be one of my best marketing allies.

The question for me is not whether to outsource my visualization projects or not. I know like any other architect out there that presenting my work in a clear, error proof and enticing way is of outmost importance.

The question is to whom?

Who can I trust with my vision for a building that is still under development? How do I communicate not the features but the ambience of the new formation to a potential client?

So, if you are in the market looking for premium architectural 3D services and engaging architectural presentation tools, I would with no hesitation recommend, our visualization partners at co.creations.

Visit their website and review their work. That will give you an idea of the level of professionalism and artistic perspective of their work. Unfortunately you will not be able to experience the excellent service level and personal attention given by
co.creations team, but it’s a start!

Even if you are not sure why you need photorealistic 3D’s of your work or how to use them once you have them in your hands, you can just arrange a telephone conference with the marketing department and they will train you on how you can effectively use your newly acquired marketing tool!

Did I mention that the training will be pro-bono?...


Lac Trung Software City office building, Vietnam

Tony Owen NDM’s design has been selected as the winner of the design competition for the new Office Building for the Lac Trung software city in Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam.This project is for a high tech office development in district 12 of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for the VECL group. The 12 story building will contain 25,000m2 of office space., the ground floor contains gardens and a restaurant.
There is also a business club, conference centre, gym and pool on the top floor. The building has been designed to maximise natural ventillation and air circulation. A glass void shaft is located at each end of every floor. This void contains a green skygarden every third level. This wintergarden provides an outlook for the internal users at each end. These areas also have shared break out rooms for each level.
These spaces contain meetiong rooms or common areas. The voids are surrounded by glass louvres to allow natural ventialltion to flow to the sky gardens and the communal spaces. The facades are articulated with a solar screen. The screening consists of perforated aliuminium panels. These panels allow for the maximum transition of natural light, but provide shading from solar heat gain and maximise views.
Lac Trung Software City Vietnam images
information from Tony Owen NDM Architects 120109

Cities and Movies, Vol2: Paris

Paris doesn't suffer from multiple identities like NYC. It has a central theme is love. You can choose any genre of film-making, the moment you set it in Paris, love seeps through the nooks and crevices, under the doors and engulfs your storyParis Je T’aime (Paris, I Love You) which had eighteen 5-minute arrondissements in Paris demonstrates this aptly especially the last story directed by Alexander Payne of a lonely middle aged American woman who comes to Paris and falls in love with no in particular. Just love, no reciprocation, no acceptance or denial. True love, as found in The Last Time I Saw Paris with Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson, or, Amelie, where a recluse waitress decides to make the lives of people around her wonderful and eventually finds love. Various colors of love in Kieslowski's Three Colours trilogy, all set in Paris liberating oneself from past emotions in Blue, avenging love and getting equal in the black comedy White or finding fraternal love in the most unlikely person in Red. Paris has interpreted and reinterpreted love stories over ages. Possibly the new wave with Truffaut and Goddard brought in grubby realism to the images of the city but Paris has fought back to wrest the crown of the most romantic city on screen.

ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability Revitalizes Old Building

Old buildings of Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability, situated in the campus’ are now beautifully renovated with enviromental sustainability. Conceived by Lord, Aeck & Sargent along with Gould Evans Associates, the $6 million renovation included asbestos abatement and standard modernization for classroom use along with a bundle of environmentally and sustainable enhancements. Their innovation turned a once dreary, old and dark building into a new institute filled with enough daylight to inspire its new inhabitants as they look for ways to improve the environment, the economy, and the social challenges we all face today.
One of the most obvious sustainable additions to the building is its six wind turbines that are mounted along the eastern edge of the roof. Each of the turbines is powered by thermal updrafts (it is located in Arizona after all) and provides 1,000 watts of power directly into the Arizona Public Service Grid. More energy generating capabilities will be added next year with the installation of a 24-killowatt photovoltaic solar array. Other sustainable additions include the generous use of recycled content throughout the building in the form of insulation, countertops, and even furniture along with the light sensors, an automated landscape irrigation system, and pervious paving to control storm water runoff.With energy savings of more than 18% and more than a 50% reduction in water use, the building has its site set on attaining LEED Silver upon completion. Being the first institute of its kind to offer transdiciplinary degree programs geared at finding solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges, the new home for Global Institute of Sustainability is making its mark and proving that re-invigorating something old can be just as good as building something new.


Green City in Sanghai - Dongtan Eco City

Green cities seem to be the new initiative of development companies around the world.
One of the most promising being Dongtan the new eco-city planned for the island of Chongming, the third largest island in China, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, near Shanghai.
Planned to open by the time the Expo 2010 opens in Shanghai, it will house 50,000 residents, while by 2040, the city is slated to be one-third the size of Manhattan with a population of 500,000.
Dongtan will produce its own energy from wind, solar, bio-fuel and recycled city waste, and—in order to reduce its impact on the environment—will only allow hydrogen-fueled or renewable-energy-fueled cars on its streets.
The city will also be designed around a series of village-style neighborhoods to make it pedestrian rather than car friendly.


Jumeira Gardens: A Super-City Within Dubai

As the inexorable juggernaut of Dubai’s construction boom wears on amid a turbulent economic era, the city recently unveiled an incredible new development that is intended to cement its status as “a global city of the future”. Master-planned by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and developed by Meraas, Jumeira Gardens is a modern megopolis that will feature no fewer than three soaring superstructures designed by AS + GG: 1 Dubai, Park Gate, and 1 Park Avenue. Although the super-massive project will consume approximately $95 billion, it’s encouraging to see that the entire community has been designed with sustainability in mind. Conceived as “an integrated city within a city”, Jumeira Gardens is designed to be a mixed-use development that incorporates low, medium, and high-density zones for business, residences, retail, leisure, and recreation. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill master-planned the East Park Zone, while Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill master-planned the Atrium City area. Although plans are still being finalized, Meraas Development has confirmed that “‘Green’ buildings and construction, resource conservation and overall sustainability will inform every aspect of this new district, with tools such as intelligent infrastructure technology and cutting-edge eco design serving to reduce the district’s collective ecological footprint.” Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture are credited with designing scores of other structures that incorporate sustainable strategies. The centerpiece of Jumeira Gardens will be 1 Dubai, A tri-partite skyscraper that will rise to 3281 feet, making it the third structure tower in the UAE. Its soaring towers will be connected by a series of glass suspension sky-bridges. Park Gate comprises six mid-rise towers that are arranged in facing pairs. A hanging garden canopy stretches between each set of structures, providing shade and cooling the neighborhood by as much as 10 degrees centigrade. The smooth curves of 1 Park Avenue evoke Dubai’s historic relationship with the Arabian Gulf. The 1,800 foot tower will incorporate solar panels, wind turbines, and a variety of other sustainable strategies in its design.
Excavation for Jumeira Gardens has already begun, and the development is expected to take 12 years to complete.
+ Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
+ Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
+ Meraas Development

source: World Architecture News , Inhabitat