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SATURDAY 20 JANUARY 2018

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NEWS IN PICTURES

UK foreign secretary wants a ‘Boris Bridge’ to France

Lead News

The Straits of Dover between the UK and France - Image credit - Johnson Space Center of the United S 

Boris Johnson’s latest controversial infrastructure project would see an above the water link established between the UK and France

The UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson has proposed a 22 mile bridge to connect the UK to France and mainland Europe. The idea was first raised at a Anglo-French summit that was called to discuss the UK’s exit from the European Union and immigration. Johnson subsequently tweeted "Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections. Should the Channel Tunnel be just a first step?" French president Emmanuel Macron agreed with the controversial idea, saying "let's do it". If it were constructed the bridge would be one of the longest in the world and would cross the world’s busiest shipping lane. The idea has been meet with a fair amount of scepticism by engineers and architects and the UK Chamber of Shipping tweeted: "Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world's busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges". It is not the first

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Vauxhall Cross continues to rise

Vauxhall Cross continues to rise

As the rapidly emerging Vauxhall cluster continues to expand, more tall buildings are set to transform this area on London’s south bank

VCI Property Holding Limited is bringing forward a new proposal for the Vauxhall Cross Island site in London adjacent to Vauxhall Station that provides a hotel and office-led scheme, alongside new residential and retail uses and improvements to the public realm. The proposals respond to Lambeth Council’s aspirations for a district centre at Vauxhall by providing a mix of employment-generating and active uses on Bondway, as well as a new public square accommodating Transport for London’s (TfL) emerging gyratory and bus station plans. The Site: Vauxhall Cross Island The site is located adjacent to Vauxhall Underground station and is bounded by Parry Street (to the south), Bondway (to the east) and Wandsworth Road / Albert Embankment (to the west and north). The Island lies in a central and important location, adjacent to existing transport links at the gateway to Vauxhall from the north. The site is within the Vauxhall/Nine Elms/Battersea Opportunity Area, identified in the London Plan as having the potential to accommodate high-density development to provide substantial numbers of new jobs and homes. Vauxhall The borough is undergoing a period of transformation with a number of other significant developments under construction or planned for the area. In part, this is due to the Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) which allows for tall buildings of high quality to form a cluster around Vauxhall Cross, and also the Vauxhall Supplementary Planning Document, which sets out Lambeth Council’s vision for the regeneration of Vauxhall to create a thriving district centre. Alongside this guidance, TfL is reviewing its proposals to alter the Vauxhall bus station and gyratory and has recently submitted new plans to Lambeth Council. Together, these changes have re-framed the vision for Vauxhall and our new proposals for Vauxhall Cross reflect this. Commenting on the scheme Zaha Hadid Architects said: “The design responds to Lambeth Council’s aspirations for a district centre for Vauxhall by creating a vibrant new public square adjacent to the busy rail, underground and bus interchange. The proposal also accommodates TfL’s existing plans to upgrade the traffic gyratory and bus station to provide greater accessibility and safety for all. “This project will generate approximately 2,000 new jobs in the borough within a mixed-use design that includes a new public square, homes, offices, shops and a hotel - providing vital civic space, amenities and employment for the growing Vauxhall community.”   Potential for the site We now have the opportunity for a new approach to Vauxhall Cross which includes a new district centre for Vauxhall and also promotes employment opportunities and economic growth in the area. There are four principal opportunities enabled by the new proposals: 1.  Respond to Lambeth Council’s aspirations for a new district centre as set out in the Vauxhall Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) adopted in 2013. Principally through: Providing an active and welcoming destination for Vauxhall Creating a more defined street setting Maintaining the importance of Vauxhall as a transport interchange 2.  Contribute to employment and jobs in the borough The new proposal prioritise increased office and commercial space alongside a new Hilton Hotel that will be a major tenant for Vauxhall and will make a significant contribution to providing employment opportunities in the borough. The proposed scheme is estimated to create approximately 2,000 jobs across the hospitality, retail, building management and office-based sectors. 3.  Enable TfL’s Vauxhall gyratory and bus station TfL have separate plans to build a gyratory and bus station scheme next to Vauxhall Station. Whilst the schemes are independent of each other, the delivery of TfL’s proposed gyratory and bus station scheme requires land owned by VCI Property Holding to be implemented. The previously consented scheme for the site would have prevented the proposed gyratory changes. 4.  Respond to the emerging Vauxhall cluster Reviewing the design of the buildings enables a scheme that will sit better within the context of the emerging Vauxhall cluster. The design works with the height of the other proposed developments in the area. An employment-led scheme The new proposal comprise two tall buildings, with a low-level podium building creating a defined public square. The scheme includes: A new 500+ room hotel Approximately 260 new homes, including a mix of private and affordable Approximately 220,000 sq ft of office accommodation Approximately 7,000 sq ft of shopping/dining at street level. This mix of uses supports the Council’s objective to create and prioritise employment-generation in Vauxhall district centre. Through the hotel, office and retail, the proposed scheme is estimated to create approximately 2,000 jobs, comprising: Est. 1,450 office jobs Est. 500 hotel jobs Est. 50 jobs from retail and building management A new gateway for Vauxhall The buildings proposed for Vauxhall Cross respond to the emergence of the cluster of tall buildings proposed to the south of the site and have been designed to work with the other buildings, through its rectilinear form, grid-based façade and materials. Their arrangement places the taller building to the south of the site, adjacent to the other tall buildings and the centre of the cluster. The north building is shorter and marks the northern gateway to Vauxhall. Joining the two buildings with a ‘podium’ building of 10 storeys helps to create more defined street edges to the north, west and south of the island site and frames the new public square. Opening up the public realm The proposal provides a new public square and coordinates with the TfL gyratory and bus station scheme to accommodate new street-level pedestrian crossings and wider pavements, providing improved pedestrian environment and experience; helping to create a safer and more legible streetscape, accommodating the increasing pedestrian activity between Vauxhall Station and Nine Elms. Creating a new public square The new square creates a generous public space next to the primary pedestrian route from Vauxhall Station to the south and adjacent to TfL’s new bus stops located on Bondway, giving an opportunity for the square to host a programme of popular community events and activities throughout the year, from markets to street entertainment and performances. We want to work with the community to identify how the square can be used to provide the greatest benefit to Vauxhall and what types of activities or events can be held here. Planning history In 2012, former site owners, Kylun Ltd, received planning permission for the redevelopment of the Vauxhall Cross Island site adjacent to Vauxhall Station. VCI Property Holding Limited has since acquired the site from Kylun Ltd, with the intention of bringing forward a new planning application for the site. The consented scheme provided a mixed-use development, incorporating new residential, a hotel, retail, leisure and community uses at the Vauxhall Island site. The scheme was originally refused by Lambeth Council due to their concerns regarding the design and form of the buildings, and the assessment that the proposed scheme did not support the creation of a district centre for Vauxhall. This scheme gained planning permission through an appeal process. VCI Property Holding Limited purchased the site with the intention of bringing forward the consented scheme, however, after discussions with Lambeth Council and TfL, a new scheme has been designed which addresses some of the council’s earlier concerns. Team VCI Property Holding Limited Site (Owner and Developer) Great Marlborough Estates (Development Manager) Dais (Development Consultant) Zaha Hadid Architects (Architects) Buro Happold (Engineering) Townshend Landscape Architects (Landscape Architects) Nick Myall News editor

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“It wasn’t my choice to do a black building”

“It wasn’t my choice to do a black building”

Richard Meier is known for his striking white buildings, but now he has unveiled plans for a major departure, as he is set to build his first black structure in New York

Richard Meier’s oeuvre is known for bold, geometric buildings cast in luminous white, a colour he believes enhances nature and refracts the world. One of the most recognized architects alive today, Meier has dedicated five decades to his field and worked on projects around the globe. In this new short video from the Time-Space-Existence series, Meier discusses his first ever black building, 685 First Avenue in New York, as well as his love of designing buildings for public gathering, for enjoyment and for learning. Produced by PLANE—SITE, the video has been commissioned by the GAA Foundation and funded by the ECC in the run-up to the Time-Space-Existence exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia Architettura (opening May 2018). Richard Meier — TIME SPACE EXISTENCE from PLANE—SITE on Vimeo. ABOUT RICHARD MEIER Part of the renowned New York Five group of Modernist architects, Richard Meier (b. 1934) has led his own practice since 1963. Over the course of his fifty-year career, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect has consistently placed formal clarity, light, and abstraction at the centre of his work. Equally committed to pedagogy, Meier also advocates for the role of architecture in government, education, and community. He is best-known for the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia and the Jubilee Church in Rome. ABOUT THE VIDEO SERIES The Time-Space-Existence video series has already featured both prominent and emerging architects including Denise Scott-Brown, Peter Eisenman, Meinhard von Gerkan, WOHA Architects, Curt Fentress, Dirk Hebel, Arata Isozaki and others. The series will be exhibited in Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora, and distributed digitally to the media and press. At least one video will be released each month in the run-up to the opening of the exhibition.  

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FXFOWLE: new logo, new location, new name... FXCollaborative

FXFOWLE: new logo, new location, new name... FXCollaborative

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the architecture firm takes on the future with a trio of big transformations

After 40 years, the world-renowned architecture, interiors and planning firm, FXFOWLE Architects, originally founded as Fox & Fowle, is rolling out a new name. Now to be known as FXCollaborative, the name casts the creative spirit, as well as the legacy of the firm, to the forefront of its brand. “We are excited about how the name ‘FXCollaborative’ reinforces our shared core values and the essence of working together: creating buildings and environments that resonate and endure; celebrating our clients’ unique cultures; designing with deep respect for our planet’s resources; and embracing diversity and promoting social responsibility,” said FXCollaborative Managing Partner Guy Geier, FAIA, FIIDA, LEED AP. “As part of the ongoing evolution of the firm, founded by Bruce Fowle, ‘FXCollaborative’ builds on our history while establishing a clear identity for our practice as we head into the future.” The FXCollaborative logo was designed by Pentagram. Michael Bierut, partner at Pentagram, said, “The new identity is not so much a logo but a statement of purpose and a commitment to a way of working. It’s a simple statement but a profound promise, reflected in straightforward typography and a simple, strong underscore.” As the firm marks its 40th anniversary in January 2018 with the new name, it looks forward to another significant change. In a little less than four years, FXCollaborative will relocate from its Manhattan location (its home for 35 years) to Brooklyn, into a new building of its own design, One Willoughby Square. The vibrant scene in Brooklyn is conducive to FXCollaborative’s position in the field. With the profession becoming increasingly polarized between small boutique firms and large global firms, FXCollaborative resists being wholly defined by either of these models. It operates like a large atelier, with few boundaries between disciplines and typologies, reinforcing information and knowledge exchange. "We're one of those few firms that have really claimed the middle, and own it," said FXCollaborative Senior Partner Dan Kaplan, FAIA, LEED AP. "In the era of very large design organizations, there's a lack of nimbleness perhaps, and a lack of personal touch. Yet for our size, in the age of leveraging technology and collaboration, there's nothing we can't do—and do well." Describing the future home of FXCollaborative, Kaplan further explained, “We crafted One Willoughby Square specifically for Brooklyn. Our design promotes social and natural connectivity with wide-open, light-filled work environments, which is something that we as a firm are passionate about. We imagined what kind of spaces would attract dynamic, collaborative tenants, and envisioned a building that had a sense of creativity and flexibility. We then had an epiphany and realised we wanted to occupy this building, since it perfectly mirrored the FXCollaborative culture.” Developed by JEMB Realty Corporation, the 34-story mixed-use tower is slated to open in 2021. FXCollaborative has signed a 15-year lease for 40,000 square feet on floors seven through nine; the move is planned for 2022. Nick Myall News editor

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IN BRIEF

Darling Associates expands leadership

Following the studio’s continued strong performance, Darling Ass

Woods Bagot Announces New China Head

Stephen Jones has been appointed Regional Executive Chair, China, for

University of Bristol appoints Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Hawkins\Brown, and BuroHappold for new University Library

A new £80 million library development is to be built at the hear

EVENTS

22.02.2018 

Annual Architecture & Design Film Festival 
Annual Architecture & Design Film Festival Washington D.C. from February 2 

05.04.2018 

Dwell on Design 
The Largest Design Fair on the West Coast of the USA at the Los Angeles Con 

Moxon Architects bridge the gap in Barnes

Moxon Architects bridge the gap in Barnes

The meandering alignment of this bridge linking sections of the Thames Path will encourage views of the river up and downstream

Moxon Architects and CampbellReith consulting engineers have submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Hounslow for a new footbridge beneath the existing Grade II listed Barnes Bridge, in Dukes Meadows, Chiswick. The proposal responds to a call from the council to build a new public pedestrian bridge linking two sections of the Thames Path, incorporating landscaped landings at either end. Part of a wider scheme enhancing one of London’s busiest parks, the footbridge will cater to all types of users, allowing access to wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and those with buggies. By enhancing the Thames Path, the new footbridge will provide additional leisure options to the wider area, encouraging recreation and sustainable modes of travel. The bridge also responds to the high volume of rowing traffic along this section of the river, anticipating views to and from rowers at all tide levels. The structure is a ‘half through’ truss form with distinctive bracing members angled to maximise oblique views to the river. The meandering alignment will encourage views up and downstream as well as into the adjacent Dukes Hollow nature reserve which is one of the few remaining natural tidal habitats in London. In addition to linking the Thames Path and providing access to the adjacent sports grounds and rowing clubs, the design also respects the surrounding ecology by carefully positioning a minimum number of supports along the river bank. Through off-site prefabrication and river transport the project aims to reduce disruption as well as carbon consumption during construction. With energy efficient lighting and robust finishes such as stainless steel and aluminium, the project will anticipate and reduce the maintenance required over its expected 100+ year lifetime. The impact of the resulting footbridge will be felt far beyond the project’s boundaries as it enhances the already cherished Dukes Meadows. “The intention is to develop an affordable, efficient and honest solution that is easy to construct and pleasing to use,” said Ezra Groskin of Moxon Architects. “With a modest and refined appearance, the bridge will sit respectfully below the existing landmark structure, referencing its form without competing for attention.” “Dukes Meadows is an incredible asset for Hounslow, achieving over one million visits per year,” said Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council. “The Council is keen to improve the site, particularly in terms of resolving the issue of a railway line that severed the Thames path. The Thames path is an important feature and the proposed bridge will encourage access and usage. The new Dukes Meadows footbridge is an iconic structure that will no doubt add character to the area and, we hope, be appreciated for generations to come. The Council has worked very closely with the Port of London Authority and other key partners to make sure our improvements reflect the London regional strategy and its vision for the River Thames.”  Nick Myall News editor

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AIA Conference comes to New York

AIA Conference comes to New York

The AIA Conference on Architecture 2018 in New York City will highlight excellence in architecture

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the 2018 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design. Selected from roughly 500 submissions, 17 recipients located throughout the world will be honoured at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018 in New York City. Nine projects (detailed below) were selected in the architecture category, slightly less winners than last year but still the largest category in the awards program.  2018 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture The jury for the 2018 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture includes: Lee Becker, FAIA (Chair), Hartman-Cox Architects; Anne Marie Decker, FAIA, Duvall Decker Architects; Susan Johnson, AIA, Strata; Anna Jones, Assoc. AIA, MOD Design; Caitlin Kessler, AIAS Student Representative, University of Arizona; Marilee Meacock, AIA, KSS Architects; Robert Miller, FAIA, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Sharon Prince, Grace Farms Foundation; and Rob Rogers, FAIA, Rogers Partners.   The Broad; Los Angeles Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Associate Firm: Gensler With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, The Broad showcases artworks from the 2,000+ works in the Broad collection. The “vault” storage holding shapes the museum experience for visitors who enter the lobby below its carved underside, shoot through it in the elevator, stand above it in the galleries, and peer in through viewing windows. The vault is enveloped by the “veil,” an airy, honeycomb-like structure that filters daylight into public galleries. Since opening in 2015, The Broad has welcomed more than 1.7 million visitors and has been heralded as a catalyst for urbanizing downtown Los Angeles.   Audain Art Museum; Whistler, British Columbia, Canada Patkau Architects Inc. The Audain Art Museum is a private museum built to house and exhibit Michael Audain’s personal art collection, including British Columbia art from the late 18th century to the present. The design navigates three main determinants by connecting local culture with the permanent collection and traveling exhibits of all kinds, by spanning the revegetated floodplain of Fitzsimons Creek, and by strategically shedding the enormous snowfall typical of Whistler. The building’s minimal interiors recede behind the art and its calm exterior foregrounds the natural landscape.   Chicago Riverwalk; Chicago Ross Barney Architects As early as Burnham and Bennett’s 1909 “Plan of Chicago”, the Main Branch of Chicago River was envisioned as a place of both leisure and commerce. Nearly a century later the Chicago Riverwalk has realized this vision. Through changes in its shape and form, the continuous river level path drives a series of new programmatic connections to the water. Above all, the Riverwalk honors the iconic quality of the existing urban context by embracing and interpreting Chicago’s layered history.   Gohar Khatoon Girls' School; Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan Robert Hull, FAIA, and the University of Washington, Department of Architecture Located in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan’s fourth largest city, the Gohar Khatoon Girls’ School is an important urban center educating several thousand girls every day. Commissioned by the Balkh Province Ministry of Education, in partnership with a U.S.-based non-profit organization, the school is integrated into the national education system expanding Afghanistan’s push toward the development of women and girls and their contribution and inclusion within Afghan society. Gohar Khatoon supports this process by promoting stability, comfort, and community engagement and has become a model for other girls’ schools in the country.   Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 & Spring Street Salt Shed; New York City Dattner Architects in association with WXY architecture + urban design Located at the edge of Manhattan in a dense mixed-use neighborhood, the Department of Sanitation’s garage and a salt shed were signature projects of NYC’s Design Excellence program. The 425,000-square-foot garage’s double skin façade is clad in perforated metal fins, reducing solar loading while providing a strong vertical articulation of the project’s mass. The 5,000-square-foot salt shed, with faceted concrete planes, has become an iconic structure, attracting photo shoots, architectural tourists, and curious locals. The design and siting of these two projects provide a dignified example of vital civic architecture.   Mercer Island Fire Station 92; Mercer Island, Washington Miller Hull Partnership From the earliest ages, we are drawn almost magically to the firefighters, firetrucks and the equipment contained in these civic landmarks.  The design for the 8,000-square-foot replacement of FS92, originally built in 1962, embraces this attraction by providing inviting views into the apparatus bay from the main pedestrian and vehicular thoroughfare in this small island community. This visibility promotes a greater connection to the people that the fire station serves, resulting in increased awareness and vocal advocacy for these vital services. The design team incorporated a number of sustainable features to reduce energy use and provide thermal comfort for the firefighters. The station boasts a thermally efficient envelope, and fast-acting bi-fold doors in the vehicle bays reduce the amount of time the doors are opened following an emergency response.   New United States Courthouse; Los Angeles Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP The New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles houses the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. The building’s architectural expression is an inextricable union of site orientation, environmental performance and principles that honor the public realm. An innovative hat-truss structure allows this cubic form to “float” above a stone base, opening up new public spaces, giving the project a clear civic presence and separating it from its commercial neighbors. The design is rooted in classic principles of American civic architecture as seen through the lens of 21st Century Los Angeles.     Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L. Anderson Design Center; Fayetteville, Arkansas Marlon Blackwell Architects The Steven L. Anderson Design Center is a contemporary addition to a carefully restored and renovated historical building, Vol Walker Hall, the University of Arkansas’s original library and home to the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design since 1968. The coupling of old and new creates a striking hybrid, invigorating the historical center of the university’s campus and revitalizing the educational environment of the School. The expanded facility unites all three departments – architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design – under one roof for the first time, reinforcing the School’s identity and creating cross-disciplinary, collaborative learning environments.   Washington Fruit & Produce Company Headquarters; Yakima, Washington Graham Baba Architects Company leaders desired a new office/headquarters that would serve as a refuge from the industrial agribusiness landscape that surround them. They asked for warmer materials, little-to-no concrete, non-boxlike forms, protection from the freeway, and a spare office aesthetic that minimized visible equipment or devices. The approach for the new 16,500-square-foot office was to create an inwardly focused oasis. The building is light, from the delicate, expressive structural beams to the ample amount of daylight throughout. The building tucks into its environment to merge with nature.

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BuckleyGrayYeoman completes Herbal House refurb

BuckleyGrayYeoman completes Herbal House refurb

This comprehensive refurbishment celebrates the historic industrial character of a former printworks, adding two storeys to create a contemporary flagship creative space for Clerkenwell in London

The adaptive reuse of former industrial buildings continues to create unique working spaces in London and further afield. Another example of this trend can be seen with BuckleyGrayYeoman’s extensive refurbishment of Herbal House, a former print works in Clerkenwell, owned by Ærium and managed by Allied London. Arranged over ten floors, Herbal House provides 115,000sq ft of flexible office space and high-quality apartments in the heart of Clerkenwell, close to Farringdon station in London. Commenting on the project Matt Yeoman, Director of BuckleyGrayYeoman said: “Herbal House is an exciting development for the heart of London’s creative district. Clerkenwell is one of Central London’s most exciting districts, a mature creative district ideally placed for access to the knowledge quarter in Kings Cross, the tech cluster at Old Street and the emerging cultural hub in Farringdon.  The size of this former print works has offered us the scope to create a lively and characterful focal point for the working life of the area, which is being transformed by the imminent arrival of the Elizabeth Line.” Constructed in 1928 as a printworks for the Daily Mirror, Herbal House later became part of the academic campus of Central St Martins College of Art and the London College of Printing. The building sits within the Hatton Garden Conservation Area. BuckleyGrayYeoman’s design is a radical reinvention which has celebrated and breathed new life into an iconic example of London’s industrial architecture. Celebrating the heritage and character of the building, the architects have stripped features back to their original materials, re-introducing the industrial character of the building and bringing the space up to contemporary standards of accommodation. Features such as the original brickwork and stone detailing have been repaired and refurbished, whilst the original Crittal windows have been replaced with visually-similar modern equivalents. The building has been extended upwards by two storeys with a steel-clad rooftop extension, the extension houses office space, roof terraces, and six duplex apartments with private access via refurbished cores on Back Hill and Herbal Hill. An existing loading bay on Back Hill has been converted to create a dramatic triple-height space, extending upwards from the basement and linking to the upper ground floor. A new circulation core has been introduced, connecting the new extension and residential space with the office floors below, as well as creating the option to split the office floorplate for multiple occupiers. A new vertical lightwell has also been introduced, welcoming natural light down through the centre of the building right through to the lower levels.  Commenting on the project Robin Carr, Co-chief Investment Officer at Ærium, said: “Herbal House is located in the heart of London’s best-established hub for digital, design and creative business, and also benefits from excellent public transport links including the forthcoming Elizabeth line, which will launch in 2018. We look forward to welcoming businesses to experience this exclusive and imaginative office space in Clerkenwell.” Nick Myall News editor

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Focusing on science in Oslo

Focusing on science in Oslo

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects to design new 30,000 sq m campus complex for the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute

NGI - Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Norway's largest geotechnical specialist community and a leading centre of research and consultancy in engineering-related geosciences, selected Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects to design a new, contemporary campus. The new complex will not only create a knowledge axis in northern Oslo, but also introduce indoor and outdoor spaces for the public in an area that will see increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the coming years. The campus complex will comprise two new buildings linked by a common entrance area across two levels, and will make room for up to 300 employees. The new NGI campus aims to create sustainable and flexible frameworks for staff, partners and clients, and attract start-up companies both inside and outside of the geoscience industry. The new buildings will serve as an open, dynamic meeting place for visitors and residents. "The campus is designed with a modern expression and a strong identity with respect to its context," said Kim Holst Jensen, senior partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. "The campus buildings will stand prominently in the local skyline and will reciprocate the voluminous Ullevål Stadion, Norway's national football stadium located directly across the street." A changing corner in Oslo With approximately 20 percent of the campus open to the public, this project is about more than expanding Oslo's science community. Its cafes, shops and meeting spaces on the ground floor, as well as a new public green space, will integrate NGI with the neighbourhood. In addition, NGI sits on the corner of Ringveien and Sognsveien, a busy intersection that will also see the addition of a new cycling and pedestrian bridge in 2019. The largest of the two buildings has a central, panoptic space that creates visual connection and social interaction between people across floors. It will be possible to look into the advanced laboratories where NGI's vital activities unfold. The building's facade and its framed openings create great transparency, inviting sights from the outside and optimizing the intake of daylight. Roof terraces, solar panel systems and green roofs make up the building's horizontal surfaces. In addition to the advanced laboratories, the building also includes a central canteen and dining area, offices, meeting rooms, atriums, courtyards, and basement parking. The entire complex will be sustainable and viable in accord with Breeam NOR environmental certifications that are setting new standards for sustainability. As an important parameter, construction will be carried out while the existing NGI remains in operation. For more information about the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, visit www.ngi.no/eng. Nick Myall News editor

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White Oak strikes a chord in Houston

White Oak strikes a chord in Houston

A new Houston music venue designed by SCHAUM/SHIEH will open its final stage in early 2018

Houston and New York-based architects, have designed a dynamic cluster of music venues in Houston consisting of The White Oak Music Hall, The Lawn, and Raven Tower Pavilion. The project is a seven-acre assemblage of new and adapted buildings, open-air structures, landscaped areas, and paved and decked surfaces along the Little White Oak Bayou. Pieced together from one large main site and a collection of smaller lots, the project is a unique example of urban infill, feathered into the fabric of the neighbourhood on both sides of the bayou floodway and offering views of the Houston skyline. Owned and operated by a diverse and local group of live music fans and professionals, the venues offer a new state-of-the-art, transit-oriented cultural hub for the Near Northside neighbourhood and for the city.   White Oak Music Hall (WOMH) is the anchor of the project. Completed in 2017, the building houses two performance halls: WOMH Downstairs and WOMH Upstairs. With a 1200-person capacity, WOMH Downstairs is the main hall and the heart of the building, containing two levels lined with cedar slats that are spaced to acoustically tune the room and provide pockets for ambient lighting. WOMH Upstairs' 200-person capacity provides a more intimate setting for up-and-coming acts. Windows behind the stage allow audience members to peek at the skyline while watching a show. Throughout the building, the material palette is matter-of-fact and elemental: steel bar, concrete bar, wood bar. The aesthetic is deliberately direct: the circulation is painted in immersive bright colours that pop in contrast to the dark performance and tech rooms and mark the different zones of the building. Like the industrial buildings that have traditionally housed rock and roll venues, the building is built for vigorous use; the materials selected and detailed to sturdily meet and wear with the rough handling expected.  The White Oak Lawn is a 3,800 capacity amphitheatre that was sculpted to frame the landscape around the bayou and the skyline. Prevailing winds keep concertgoers cool even on hot summer nights. Balconies and a roof deck add a vertical orientation to the venue, and support an intimate audience experience.  Lastly, an existing metal warehouse and unique landmark steel tower were converted into the Raven Tower Pavilion, slated to re-open as a bar and small performance space in late February / early March 2018. Large arched openings were surgically sliced into the steel building to open it to natural ventilation and views. The existing 20-ton steel crane became the proscenium to a small performance area. A decked patio along the bayou conceals a water detention pond, extending and integrating the performance space back into the laid-back landscape.  Architect Troy Schaum elaborated on the new venues: "We designed the performance spaces to be tough in character and a little compressed in proportion. The rawness of the materials invites people to touch, to kick, and rub up against them. They are meant to used and to wear their use over time.” The architects emphasized the nesting scales within the project, from the intimacy of WOMH Upstairs to the modest grandeur of WOMH Downstairs, the main hall, culminating in The Lawn as an outdoor, urban living room for the city. Of the amphitheatre, architect Rosalyne Shieh said: “When The Lawn is teeming during an outdoor show, the gray form of the Main Venue emerges from the banks of the bayou, hulking behind the crowd like a geologic object, facing, across the distance, the skyline of downtown Houston.”  Beyond contributing to the cultural life of Houston in an exceptional way, this cluster of venues keys into the expanded light rail at Quitman Street as well as the latest extension of the Houston Bayou Hike and Bike trail network. In a city defined by automobiles, White Oak Music Hall builds upon and encourages the use of public transit and bicycles.   Nick Myall News editor

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WOHA hits the heights in Taipei

WOHA hits the heights in Taipei

The Huaku Sky Garden features earthquake and typhoon-proof elements set off by a striking facade

Designed by WOHA Architects, Huaku Sky Garden is located at the base of the foothills of the Yang Ming mountain range, in the Tianmu district of northern Taipei. Taiwan’s apartment architecture has been heavily influenced by Japanese colonial and 1980s post-modernism, resulting in heavy, solid blocks. This project breaks away from that influence and is the only high-rise residential tower in its neighbourhood.  The architecture addresses a very scenic view with rolling mountains as the backdrop and vibrant cities in the foreground. The building is expressed as twin towers in a symmetrical, interlinked form with thick columns. Earthquake and typhoon-proof requirements demanded a strong and symmetrical structural frame, which led to the architectural solution of a Chinese-inspired screen in multiple scales, from the oversized structural frame to the delicate metal filigree.  The façade adapts the rectangular asymmetry of traditional Chinese joinery and screen designs and possesses a delightful abstraction. It is enhanced by the depth of the recessed gardens on the double-volume terraces of each apartment. To ensure privacy between the apartments and to embellish the Yang Ming panorama, the slender east and west elevations are veiled with ornamental screens. The permutation and repetition of simple modules in the ornamental screens of this 38-storey tower not only express the beauty of the building, providing a landmark for the area, but also acts as a sun shade in the hot summer months. As the load is borne by the external walls, the interiors are column-free, spacious and uncluttered – a release from the congested city below. The interlocking section is designed with three objectives in mind: The first is dual frontage apartments with views of the city and the mountains. The second is natural cross-ventilation, and the third is spatial excitement. The interlocking allows a double-height terrace and entryway despite being a single-level apartment. The double-volume terraces create an outdoor garden quality, underlining the ‘villa on the mountain’ concept and giving the apartments a grand view of the mountains. In keeping with WOHA’s interest in sociable architecture, the ground level design provides continuity of the street blocks and an appropriate scale in view of the adjacent buildings and surrounding neighbourhood, with gardens, green walls and retail shops that interact with the streetscape.  Nick Myall News editor

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