Zaha Hadid Architects – Towers, Cairo

Zaha Hadid architects have unveiled plans of The Stone Towers - a 525,000sqm office and retail complex for the rooya group, in cairo, egypt.

A five-star business hotel with serviced apartments, retail with food and beverage facilities and sunken landscaped gardens and plaza called the 'delta' is also included in the development.

Inspired by the patterns and textures of ancient Egyptian stonework, the north and south facades of each tower will be covered with recesses and protrusions emphasizing the effects of light and shadow on the surfaces.

From Zaha Hadid Architects:


‘The Stone Towers by Zaha Hadid Architects for Rooya Group of Egypt is located in the Stone Park district of Cairo. Providing office and retail facilities to a rapidly expanding Cairo, the unique 525,000sqm Stone Towers development also includes a five-star business hotel with serviced apartments, retail with food and beverage facilities and sunken landscaped gardens and plaza called the ‘Delta’.

Ancient Egyptian stonework incorporates a vast array of patterns and textures that, when illuminated by the intense sunlight of the region, creates animated displays of light and shadow. The effect is powerful, direct and inspiring. The facades on the North and South elevations of each building within Stone Towers adopts a rich vocabulary of alternating protrusions, recesses and voids to enhance the deep reveal shadow lines that accentuate the curvatures of each building within the development and animate the project throughout the day.

‘I am delighted to be working in Cairo,’ states Hadid. ‘I have visited Egypt many times and I have always been fascinated by the mathematics and arts of the Arab world. In our office we have always researched the formal concepts of geometry - which relates a great deal to the region’s art traditions and sciences in terms of algebra, geometry and mathematics. This research has informed the design for Stone Towers.’

Client: Rooya Group
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Structural Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
Gross Building Area: 525,000 m2
Site Area: 170,000 m2

More Zaha Hadid in Future Architecture:

London Aquatics Centre

Regium Waterfront Museum, Italy

Antwerp Port House


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Chinatrust Bank Eco Headquarters Breaks Ground

Talking about eco architecture and green design, we recently stumbled upon a great sustainable architecture initiative for Taiwan’s Chinatrust Bank, that has often been referred to as the “Best Bank in Taiwan.”

Designed by NBBJ, a Los Angeles architectural firm along with local Fei & Cheng Associates, the high-profile project, 2.5-million-square-foot headquarters, has broken ground in Taiwan and is estimated to reach completion in 2012.

The Chinatrust Bank development will consist of a 30-story headquarters building, a 21-story commercial office building, a 10-story hotel, and a four-level retail center.

The tower has a series of vertical atriums carved into it creating “centers” or vertical courtyards, like the traditional Chinese house and the building is designed to take advantage of natural site and climate features to optimize the passive heating/cooling design opportunities.

The podium is covered in lush roof gardens, reducing rainwater runoff and urban-heat-island effect. The facades of the office towers will feature the latest in intelligent curtain wall design, optimized for maximum natural daylight through narrow floor plates, with floor-to-ceiling glass and automatic sensors.

All of the above features will dramatically reduce the energy consumption of the overall complex.

Thought this effort Chinatrust is benchmarking with the Taiwanese equivalent of a LEED-NC Gold rating.


Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Illinois

The new synagogue for the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, is the Greenest Synagogue in Illinois and probably in America as well.

From reusing materials from the previous structure, to milling the trees that were displaced during construction into the front doors of the building, the atmosphere of this facility is warm all year long and embraces sustainable design in various ways.
Strategically placed environmentally friendly windows allow for day lighting to fill the 32,000 sq. ft. interior with bright, natural, warm sunlight, without all excess heat and glare.

Concrete, brick, and limestone from other local demolition sites were crushed on-site and placed into wire cages to create gabion rubble walls that enclose the edges of gardens and children’s playgrounds. The concrete and brick from the original site was ground and used as engineering fill for the foundation of the new building.

The building also plays host to a storm water detention garden, which lowers the amount of water that filters into the storm sewer from the property by 30%.
On the inside of the building, low flow toilets and energy efficient sinks and appliances compliment the aforementioned garden, bringing the total water savings to about 41% of a comparable structure’s use.
Reclaimed Cypress slats line the walls and many ceilings. These slats serve a multitude of purposes. The slats provide a warm look and great acoustics barrier. Reclaimed dark walnut from fallen or diseased trees from the Chicago Park District was milled for the steps and surface of the raised podium in the sanctuary.
Flooring throughout the building is no more than exposed concrete that has been polished, saving the money and resources required for a new floor. Even the woodwork and cabinets throughout the building are made of pressed sunflower seeds.


Great River Energy Corporate Headquarters, Minnesota

Great River Energy’s new corporate headquarters in Maple Grove, Minneapolis, is a four-storey, 166,000 sq ft building, designed by architects Perkins + Will, located on a 12.5 acre site in Maple Grove’s Arbor Lakes development.Lets see what makes Great River Energy’s new corporate headquarters one of AIA’s Top Green Projects for 2009, as seen in ArchitectureNews:

The building features a number of the latest advancements in energy efficiency technology that help set the new standard for building design and construction. Features include a low-energy HVAC system design featuring under-floor displacement ventilation and a geothermal heating and cooling system that utilizes the adjacent Arbor Lake.

The building also has an on-site 200kW wind turbine that transforms wind energy into electricity and stands at 160 ft tall. Solar panels will provide nearly 15 percent of the building’s total electric use and the building will use 40 percent less energy for lighting than similarly sized buildings using standard technology.

Great River Energy’s new corporate campus adheres to stringent environmental standards and will serve as a model of sustainable practices. It will be used as a tool to educate member cooperatives, contractors, business leaders and other members of the building industry about ways they can conserve energy and practice sustainability.


Gish Apartments, San Jose, California

Designed by OJK Architecture and Planning, Gish Apartments, in downtown San Jose is a 35-unit transit-oriented family apartment complex that provides quality affordable housing for households earning 35%–50% of the area median income.
A groundbreaking development both for its architectural design and in its use of renewable energy technologies, this mixed-use building is a model for the State of California's Multifamily Housing Program for mainstreaming special needs populations – over a third of the apartments are set aside for residents with developmental disabilities.
So let find out what makes Gish Apartments one of the Top Green Projects for 2009:

- Photovoltaic electricity generation for common area use
- High performance insulation in 2x6 exterior walls
- Fluorescent light fixtures
- Low-flow water fixtures
- Linoleum and recycled content carpet
- No VOC/no formaldehyde cabinets
- Low emitting paints, adhesives, sealants
- Non-formaldehyde batt insulation
- Recycled content interior trim and baseboard
- Recycled content metal siding
- Energy-efficient, fiberglass windows
- Engineered structural lumber
- Energy-Star appliances
- Sustainable harvest teak site benches and lobby furniture
- Reflective roof to reduce urban heat island effect
- Transit-oriented location adjacent to bus and light rail