One of the entries that he accessed is the Jackling house a historic mansion in Woodside, California, designed and built for copper mining magnate Daniel Cowan Jackling and his family by the noted California architect George Washington Smith in 1925. Johnathan was able to access the Jacking House which is currently owned by apple big boss Steve Jobs. He takes a series of rare, photos of the slowly decaying mansion, which has now been abandoned for over a decade. Jobs has been trying to get permission to knock the building down so that he can put up his own ihouse (or something like that) while local preservationists have been trying to preserve the structure. The battle is ongoing. But for now take a look at some of the great photos!
To see more prictures of the structure take a look at Jonathan`s blog.
How to make a glass office block the right way.
Visible from the lively cafes across the water, the new corporate headquarters for a Danish Investment Bank, Saxo Bank has been turning heads since its opening earlier this year. This striking building, with its playful patterns of white and glass facades, reflects the colors of the surrounding sky and water.
In the months before it was completed, the new headquarters for Danish Investment Bank – Saxo Bank – began attracting stares and attention from passersby in Tuborg Harbour, north of Copenhagen Denmark. Now it has attracted the attention of the renowned RIBA International Award, recognizing excellence conceived by its members from around the world.
With its shimmering façade of diagonal white aluminum and blue glass patterns, the building reflects the sea and sky just as it does Saxo Bank’s profile as a solid, dynamic and modern bank. Inside, a transparent and inspiring environment enhances the sense of team spirit amongst employees. The open plan layout of each floor surrounds a softly shaped, top-lit atrium; with a winding main staircase functioning as the building’s spine. The openness allows for interaction, sharing of knowledge and an environment of learning amongst this highly driven and international team of professionals.
Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal Architect of 3XN comments on the design saying, ‘The building is designed in such a way that it challenges the surroundings and yet contributes to a unified setting. The interior has been designed in close collaboration with Saxo Bank to create an environment of learning; encouraging interaction and sharing of knowledge. Commenting on the award, Kim Herforth Nielsen says, ‘The RIBA International Award isn’t just any prize. There is a very thorough evaluation process from the committee’s side, and they have visited all of the projects. It is very important for us to create architecture with meaning, and not just a signature piece. I think this is why we have won.’
Mall master Jim Ryan gets too little regard from peers
Jim Ryan does do shopping malls. The architect of the Somerset Collection in Troy and many other upscale malls around the nation, Ryan, now 73, just retired from active practice at his firm JPRA Architects of Novi.
Given his retirement, it seems like a good time not only to acknowledge Ryan’s work as a designer but to question the accepted hierarchy in architecture.
In that hierarchy of important buildings, art museums and concert halls rank highest at the moment (just look at the covers of any architecture magazine). Those are followed in the pecking order by skyscrapers (especially those in China), major university buildings and quirky homes for the rich.
Malls and other retail architecture get snubbed as little more than empty boxes with slick surfaces. Read More
Seville, Spain, is a city for wanderers. The warren of tiny streets and alleyways that make up the heart of this interesting place twist and turn their way past buildings of architectural grandeur, making every corner the gateway to a new discovery. Hours can be spent strolling the streets with no purpose other than admiring the skill of builders and artists long gone.
One of the things I enjoyed most about Seville, besides the delicious, cheap tapas and beer, was it’s walkability. Armed with an imprecise map, and a vague idea of the main sites of the city, I spent two days strolling about in wonder. The maze and size of the streets seems to keep most traffic at bay, so the heart of the city is relatively car-free. Add to that the vast number of café’s and restaurants scattered about in the plazas, and it becomes a walker’s paradise.
Now, despite an interest in architecture, I’ve never studied it, so I don’t know the first thing about building styles and periods. I only know that I like certain things, admire others, and am bored out of my mind by steel and glass rectangles. I like and admire Old Seville.
There is no cohesive style. Seville has been constructed over the millenia, and influenced by the Romans and Moors as well as the Spanish themselves. There are aquaducts to be found, and the Moorish elements crop up everywhere from window designs to the extensive buildings and gardens in Alcazar, the palace. Perhaps it is the blend of North African and European styles that sets Seville apart from other cities I’ve visited.
Seville also boasts one of the largest cathedrals in the world, built on the former site of a mosque after it was taken back from the Moors in 1248 and conveniently located next to the Alcazar. In fact most of Seville’s tourist attractions are within easy walking distance of each other; another point in it’s favour.
I was also impressed by the bicycle rental system. Throughout the city there are stands of bikes that anyone can rent for a low fee. Team this with the bike lanes on most major streets, and low traffic volumes on the smaller roads, and you have a terrific, green transportation system to augment the trams, buses, and soon-to-be subway system.
The reputed home of tapas and flamenco, Don Juan, Carmen and The Barber, Seville is a true gem of a city.
Its been a while since we did an architectural feature, lately we’ve been focusing more on public projects, and sustainable initiatives but this project re-piqued my interest as its connected to an urban regeneration project (The High Line) that I have been following for almost a year and a half now. For any of you who are unaware The High Line is an urban renewal project in New York City that has taken the old elevated freight rail line that runs down the lower west side between 34th street and Gansevoort Street in the West Village, and at the moment most significantly through the meat packing district (MePa) that is sandwiched between the West Village and Chelsae. The project will turn this former freight line that has been unused since 1980 into an elevated parkway in the style of the Promenade Plantee’ in Paris.
Hotelier Andre Balazs, owner of the Chateau Marmont and The Standard chain of hotels will soon be officially opening The Standard New York on a lot that would have been considered ‘problematic’ before The High Line conversion, but is now considered plum due to its immediate proximity. Which could be understating it a little, The High Line cuts across Balazs’ lot diagonally.
“For the first time I had a hard time imagining what the hotel should look like,” Balazssays. “I usually renovate older buildings, and this was ground-up construction. Add to that the matter of the High Line and it was a unique challenge.” S
As such the Hotel is suspended above The High Line on concrete pilotis, which suspend the hotel 56 feet above ground level and 30 feet above the track. This caused one real estate blogto mention that the Hotel is in a ‘perpetual lapdance’ with The High Line. The design is a bit of a progression through time periods. Overall the building looks a lot like a Le Corbusier, built in the International style. The building is two concrete framed glass walls bushed together at a slight angle. It evokes an open book standing on its end.
“If you had to look at this project from an urban-planning perspective,” says Balazs, “it gets more modern, in terms of building type and décor, the higher you get. The ground floor relates to early in the last century, the time of the High Line. The hotel floors, in the tower, are midcentury—I was looking at Eero Saarinen, Mies van der Rohe, and Arne Jacobsen, who had designed an amazing hotel in Stockholm in the 50s.” S
While many of us plebes would be unable to stay in the hotel once it has had its grand opening the hotel is currently open(ish) as the website states. Some of the rooms are open even though the construction isn’t finished a a pretty affordable rate. Check out the the hotel chain’s website for rates.
One of the things that I find most exciting about these developments is that they prove that things that once were considered eyesores and only worthy of being torn down can be re-purposedinto serious assets. The park is considered one of the most innovative and influential urban-renewal projects of our time. With an imaginativeapproach to city planning, and some creative reuse of existing infrastructure, we can come up with some truly stellar results.
AMNP brings us a great post about the city of Beşiktaş’s new fish market.
The Beşiktaş Fish Market is located on a triangular site. It is an iconic venue where many locals and visitors buy fresh fish daily. The construction of the old fish market was in very poor shape and needed to be replaced.
The design solution was to maintain its iconic neighborhood presence, while also reaffirming its welcoming feeling. GAD designed a triangular shaped concrete shell covering the entire site with large openings at street level. The concrete shell provides a column-free interior space, optimizing the project’s programmatic needs. The new design injects a contemporary and pragmatic solution, at once preserving the fish market’s history.
Ørestads Boulevard 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S
3XN has shot another bit of news our way this past week, Ørestad College has been nominated for the 2009 Mies van der Rohe Award. The firm issued a press release explaining the purpose of the building and provides an explanation on the firm’s portfolio.
Ørestad Gymnasium (upper secondary school) creates a framework for cross-disciplinary and an extended use of IT-based learning by revolutionizing educational space in a structure without traditional classrooms With a profile of media, communication and culture studies, and providing wireless Internet and laptops for all students it soon got the knick-name “the Virtual Gymnasium.”
Four boomerang shaped storey decks rotate in relation to each other like the shutter of a camera. They form the superstructure; the overall framework of the college, and provide space for the college’s four study zones. Each zone is on one level, providing organisational flexibility, with the option of micro adjustment to create different spaces, learning environments and group sizes. The rotation of the storey decks projects a part of each deck into the high central hall. This part is the so called X-zone; a spatial expression of the colleges’ ambition to promote interdisciplinary expertise between study zones with physical and visual links.
The storey decks are open towards a central core, where a broad main staircase winds its way upwards to the roof terrace. The main staircase is the heart of college educational and social life; the primary connection up an down, but also a place to stay, watch and be seen. Three ‘mega columns’ form the primary load bearing system, supplemented by a number of smaller columns positioned according to structural requirement, not as part of a regular grid. As a result, each floor has few permanent elements and can be laid out and rearranged almost completely at will. The superstructure is supplemented by a series of newly developed ‘room furniture’, which accommodate the need for the flexible and temporary room arrangements and learning environments required by varying group sizes – from one on one to an entire cohort.
The rotated decks are mirrored in the facades. Due to their rotation, the decks create openings double- and triple high while drawing lines on the façade. As a rule, the glass is smooth with the deck fronts, but on each floor, one façade is withdrawn to create an outdoor space. These outdoor spaces are connected from ground to roof. In front of the glass facades, a series of coloured semi-transparent glass louvers can open or close to protect from the sun, while adding dashes of colour to the indoor environment.
Ørestad College was built in immediate continuation of new legislation in the Danish educational sector in 2005 and is an educational building remarkable for its complete absence of class rooms in the traditional sense. At present, the gymnasium is the most-applied-for in Denmark.
Best building i Scandinavia 2007
Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2009
Forum AID Award 2008 for Best Architecture in the Nordic Region
The building is an intriguing take on an educational facility with its free form design and open concept. I must admit I find it a little hard to imagine what kind of classes could be held in this type of building. I’m curious if it functions as a teaching area or if it functions as more of a study space. As a student I would definitely enjoy studying in this type of building, but I also have to wonder whether noise from my fellow students would be an issue. This building is a forward thinking design that reinterprets the way we look at study spaces.
If any of our readers has visited, or better yet attends Ørestad College we would love to hear what it is like to use this building! Send us an email or comment below!’
The Bank Of Oklahoma tower located in downtown Tulsa would come as a surprise to anyone previously unaware of it. The tower looks startlingly like the towers that stood at the world trade center site in New York City until their destruction in 2001, but of course that was the whole point. The Bank of Oklahoma Tower was built in 1975 by Minoru Yamasaki, the same architect who designed the twin towers in New York City. The tower was built by commission of John Williams the CEO of Williams Companies to be a scale replica half the size of the original towers. However there are a few design features that are not quite the same, for example the arches of the lobby level are big and round unlike the Venetian Gothic ogees, in the original design that flow directly into the columns which made up exterior of the towers. Coming in at 203 m in height the Bank Of Oklahoma tower and its 52 stories is currently the tallest building in the upper midwest plains.
Currently the towers are undergoing about $16 million worth of renovation work with $6 million earmarked for pedestrian bridges and a granite coating for the base, along with windows, lots of windows. The Williams company plans to replace every window on the eighth through forty-ninth floors.
The original design for The Bank Of Oklahoma Tower was actually just a small set of towers each coming in at 25 stories, a pair of quarter scale replicas. However John Williams is said to have altered the design by taking Minoru Yamasaki’s pair of towers and putting one on top of the other. Some information suggests that part of the reason for this was that due to the amount of space required for the service core vs. the total floor area of each floor was not cost effective. Due to this change that the Bank Of Oklahoma tower lacks the defining characteristic of the original world trade center site, its twin.
It’s interesting that not many people seem to recognize this tower as a remaining descendant of the original world trade center, but as a standalone with a different base the tower becomes less distinguishable from other office buildings. It’s likely that if the building had been built in a manner more faithful to the original world trade center design, the Bank of Oklahoma Tower would have captured more attention.
The City of Copenhagen has been working on a master plan to redevelop its port area and create and attractive neighbourhood between Amerika Plads and Nordhavnen. The project is called Marmormolen, or the Marble Wharf. It is a comprehensive plan to give the quarter of Østerbro access to the harbour and to the waterfront.
The project is made up of three islands, this will add approximately 1.3 kilometres to the length of the whole wharf system. A major tenant of the plan is to create a bridge will connect Østerbro and the new neighbourhood. What is most interesting about this particular bridge is the scale. The plan calls for a monumental structure that is both a bridge and also a town gate, creating an easily identifiable entry point to the city on a monumental scale that measures up to the size of the ships and cruise boats that will pass through it.
The master plan for the area was put together by 3XN and lays out the general guidelines and design goals in a manor specific enough to properly direct growth, but at the same time also leaves creative licence for the developers of the individual parcels to create a diverse and lively architectural environment.
The winner of the competition for the bridge structure was the office of Steven Holl Architects.
The jury was convinced by the compact towers adapted to the harbour environment and the bridge being “like a handshake across the harbour”.
The winning project is characterized by two spectacular and robust towers – one at Marmormolen and one at Langelinie. The towers are connected by a delicate pedestrian bridge that, according to the jury, resembles “a handshake” between the points of the two wharves. The jury finds the expression of the suggested plan “exclusive” and notices that it is also open for facilities appealing to the public, e.g. terraces, restaurants and, of course, walks on the spectacular pedestrian bridge connecting the two areas.S
As a planner and an urbanite, or maybe just as an urban romantic I feel that to an extent right now there has been a lack of truly monumental structures being built, there are a number of starchitect buildings being done and a number of large projects, but in terms of things like town gates, visual focal points, and monuments are in short supply. Of course an economic recession may not be the time to build these projects, but none the less Copenhagen is building one of these monumental structures so we have an opportunity to create one. While the proposal that the jury selected is a dynamic proposal and there are very few examples of buildings of this scope, to a certain extent it doesn’t quite go far enough. The project still appears to the eye as two separate buildings with a bridge connecting them.
3XN was nice enough to send us their proposal for the Marmormolen City Gate, when considered from afar, the 3XN harbour gate proposal satisfies the urge for a true monument or gate more completely.. in my opinion at least. A bridge structure between two buildings isn’t all that revolutionary, while the span is longer then examples like the Petronas Towers or other commercial buildings with sky-walks or bridge links, it isn’t that surprising or unique. The 3XN proposal for the Marmormolen project in Copenhagen appears as a single structure that flows from one side of the harbour to the other rather then as two separate buildings with a bridge between them, something that we haven’t really seen before.
A bridge spanning a body of deep water, providing the only dry connection between two stretches of land, is one of the most powerful architectural experiences in the landscape. Another classical element is the town gate, which marks the boundary between the countryside and the town, and ‘contains’ the town, physically, structurally and aesthetically.
3XN’s proposal for a construction on Marmormolen in Copenhagen is both: a town gate and a bridge that links Marmormolen with Langeliniekaj, creating a new coherent area in Copenhagen Harbor.
The towers and the bridge constitute one single, floating dynamic movement, characterized by the bold span across the harbor entrance in terms of both the plan design and the facade. Establishing a connection across the harbor radically improves public access and creates brand new opportunities for life and growth in the area.
Write up furnished by 3XN.
Of course often it comes down to a matter of opinion, so what’s yours?
The New Shanghai Super Tower contract has been awarded to Gensler Architects. The firm has won the international competition to build the Shanghai Center. The site is a small 30,370 square meters, plot Z32 in Lujiazui, on Shanghai’s Pudong Peninsula. Once finished the massive building, will be a steel structure that rises to 632m with a 565.6 meter tall central core made of concrete. The building will be 127 stories tall with an internal area of 558,803 square meters and feature office, and retail space. It will also feature a luxury hotel. When the tower is finished it will line up with the Jin Mao Building and Shanghai World Financial Centre.
The building will feature a double skin that encloses an interior “bioclimatic” atrium. The Artriums will be planted with trees as high as ten meters tall that the firm suggests will turn the Atriums into a “bioclimatic” tower, the trees will help regulate the cooling of the building. The atrium is designed to twist around the building’s core. According to Gensler this, “[reinforces] the impression of movement and dynamism that symbolizes Shanghai’s success as a world city and the emergence of modern China.”
The design is composed of 8 major levels that are tiered, to enable the building to have the large vertical Atriums behind, using floor-plates, approximately the shape of triangles. This design allows each of the eight levels to have a front, with an outer glass façade wrapped around it and creating the large vertical Atrium spaces behind. The top will have a viewing platform and observation areas. These areas will have a large open space inside of the tower open to the elements, this design element is to pay homage to the void located near the top of the Shanghai World Finance Centre.
Architectural Models are a critical part of taking your vision from concept to proposal and ultimately approval as they give an easily understandable form to the concepts that planners and architects dream up. Vincent de Rijk is a well known architectural model maker in Europe. He went to the Design Academy Eindhoven and graduated with an industrial design degree. Based in Rotterdam he opened his own workshop in 1987. Since then he has been involved with a number of the now famous architectural firms based in the city, with work for O.M.A. and Rem Koolhass.
Vincent de rijk has been responsible for developing a number of new techniques of model making dealing with plastics, he has created a series of products in ceramic and plastics. He is also an expert in polyester casting and continues to work steadily for firms in Europe and North America.
Check out the full Interview at: Archinect : Features : In the Modelshop: Vincent de Rijk
Take a look at his ceramics and plastics series at VIVID
The plans for the New Copenhagen Aquarium by Danish architects 3XN represent a departure from the usual in building design. The whole structure is shaped on the idea of a Whirlpool. The core of the building is a round room evokes the eye of the whirlpool, and serves as the gateway to the rest of the building. From the eye visitors choose the type of water environment they would like to explore, either river, lake or ocean.
“The building is based around a central ‘round room’ around which different sequences of rooms ‘whirl’, each with its own unique journey into the murky depths. What is most striking is the care taken over the design’s integration into its surroundings and context: a giant glass ceiling refracts shimmering patches of light onto the walls, giving the impression of being underwater. The feeling is heightened by the fact that to look up is to acknowledge that one is effectively at the bottom of a deep whirlpool.”
The form of the whirlpool is most evident from above, and its a veiw that wont be wasted since the building site located quite near to the airport, and along a flight path. Travellers flying into and out of Copenhagen will be able to enjoy the design of the building from the confort of their seat… (the comfort level of course depends on the class of your seat)
Some of you may or may not be aware that the Washington Capital Building has been undergoing a significant renovation, with the addition of the new Capital visitors Center. The center is the largest addition that has ever been made to the building, however all that one can really see of the project are the two massive skylights in the forecourt in front of the building.
The visitors center came about after a gunman killed two Capitol police officers in 1998. However much of the original design was scrapped after 9/11. It went from being a modest plan to a highly secure five acre subterranean complex.
One must admit that the facility is a beautiful piece of work. There is a grand lobby, food court, shops, public washrooms, a large food court and a history exhibition. Very little expense has been spared and rooms are well appointed. There are a number of expansive entrance halls and the renovation is an excellent melding of the modern treatment given to the center while still respecting the original structure. The renovation has also restored the original 1824 sandstone facade, which was mostly hidden behind drywall when the East front was extended 32.5 feet by the 1958-62 renovation work.
The building has been recognised by the Washington Building Congress with a number of 2008 Craftsmanship Awards and the interior is has been done very well.
The new visitors center however has a number of other features that in some way are symbolic of a nation that has suffered a number of high profile blows to its feelings of safety and security and is hunkering down. The way that visitors will now enter the building is rather emblematic of this shift. In the past visitors would approach the capitol much the way any other law maker would, with a walk up the East Front Plaza through the Columbus Doors and into the rotunda. Visitors had an immediate feeling of being in, and a part of the Capitol, travelling on the same level as the law makers who do the nations work in the building. When the new visitors center opens visitors are no longer able to walk right up and into the building but instead descend into the new center by entering through state of the art security checkpoints that are removed from the Capitol building itself.
There are a number of other features that the visitor will never see, a new network of restricted access tunnels for both staffers and vehicles. Needless to say security has played a big factor in the redesign and the visitor will no doubt be aware of it. One only has to look up at the bomb proof skylights, (which almost didnt’ make it into the final design due to security concerns) to see the Capitol Dome crossed with a metal grid that on some level, whether conscious or not will remind the visitor that this is a nation securing itself.
But these are the times we are living in…
There are plenty of photos after the first link
The Independent has an article about the ugliest buildings in Britian. To be fair, the buildings are nothing compared to what I see everyday outside, but if they really think they are noteworthy, let them enjoy the contest. A ten minute walk around any Korean city would give them a list of 100 uglier buildings.
Paris decided to release the restriction on building heights and a number of new sky scrapers have been announced for the city of love. One of them is the new tower being designed by Herzog & de Meuron. It’s been nicknamed the Delanoë tower after the Parisian mayor who fought to have the restrictions lifted and will definitely be a memorable addition to the city skyline if only for being the first of the six currently being planned.
There are a couple of great blog posts about this one, though opinion seems to be a little divided on the web, the folks over at AMNP are not all that impressed about the tower, I have to admit I also find that the shape of the tower is of the kind that will either become an icon or end up reviled. Only time will tell, they did after all call the Eiffel tower hideous when it was built. AMNP also brings us a translation from france3.fr that talks about the components of the project.
The base of the tower should host a convention center. Then upstairs, we must find a luxury hotel from 300 to 400 rooms and offices. But the mayor of Paris has also wanted the implantation of businesses, including luxury, style restaurants, including pan, bars, shops. Equipment should also have their place: swimming pool, library, public gardens suspended. The municipality would also present a “museum of world languages.” [translated text from France3.fr]
The building most definitely cuts a striking profile depending on which side you look at it from, thin side on it doesn’t take up too much space, but move one point on the compass and it is quite a bit more imposing.
The boys over at OHLALAMAG say bonjour to Paris First Skyscraper in 30 years, though opinions are swinging towards revile in the comments.
Dezeen has a pretty extensive chunk of information from the architects themselves and reveals a couple interesting factoids. Evidently the triangular shape is to keep the building from casting its shadow on any of the surrounding buildings. The building of course achieves this is by pushing it’s footprint into the area that it’s shadow falls and thus prevents any other buildings from being built in those spaces, but really we’re just splitting hairs. Oh and the shape also allows for optimum solar and wind power generation. I am sure Herzog & de Meuron are pulling that factoid out for the haters. What do you think? is Paris’ next skyscraper a oui or a non?