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SATURDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2018

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UNStudio designs for EuropaCity

Lead News

UNStudio 

UNStudio’s ‘Centre Culturel’ has been selected in the largest private initiative architectural competition ever launched in France

Following the announcement in 2017 of BIG’s masterplan for EuropaCity - a unique new tourism and leisure district in Greater Paris – a large scale competition was launched inviting proposals for eight key buildings within the development. These include a concert hall, hotels, a contemporary circus and an exhibition hall. UNStudio’s proposal was selected for the ‘Centre Culturel Dédié Au 7è Art’, a cinema complex and cultural laboratory which opens up and expands the traditional cinema experience.  EuropaCity EuropaCity is a tourism development of a completely new genre; a brand new and unique leisure district that will combine culture, sport, commerce, leisure, hotels, restaurants and urban agriculture and will cater to local communities alongside national and international tourists.  Located on the Triangle de Gonesse, in a

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WAN Urban Challenge Awards

An urban oasis is set to bloom in LA

An urban oasis is set to bloom in LA

The Lower Los Angeles River and its surroundings are heading for a transformational redesign

Southeast Los Angeles County communities have long suffered from disinvestment, pollution, and a lack of public open space. The Lower Los Angeles River Revitalization aims to connect residents to the river that flows through their communities. The Plan ensures that the Los Angeles River continues to provide flood risk management while restoring natural features, increases access to the river, creates opportunities for recreation, and promotes equity.  The County of Los Angeles, the river-adjacent cities of the southeastern county, and community organizations collaborated as part of a “Working Group” created by Assembly Bill 530 to create the Lower Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan (the Plan), which explores ways for improving the environment and quality of life along the river while identifying opportunities to reduce flood risk. The Plan's goal is to connect individual communities to the river, and to ensure that residents have a voice in the process as the river is re-imagined and revitalized. Perkins+Will worked with Tetra Tech, the Working Group, the San Gabriel and Lower LA Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and the LA County Department of Public Works on the public realm plan to set goals, explore the feasibility of improvements and develop concept designs for three signature open space sites and three signature design templates for infrastructure improvements. These signature projects aim to help transform the river into an integral healthy, equitable, and sustainable community.  Martin Leitner, urban design leader at Perkins+Will's LA office says, “The signature projects are probably some of the largest open space opportunities that LA will ever see. Los Angeles is not about mega-projects, it is a city of diverse communities, cultures and moments. We worked with the Working Group, LA County and Tetra Tech to design concepts that serve the communities first." Throughout the process, stakeholders were asked to describe what improvement they would like to see along the Lower LA River. The project team conducted over 80 community and stakeholder meetings that helped shape design objectives. Site-specific revitalization projects were identified for 155 locations throughout the river corridor, focusing on public open space or public land for public use.   Overcoming a contrast between the massive concrete channel and the scale of the surrounding neighborhoods, the Plan aims to transform the river into a canvas for the community to play, explore, and create. Open spaces, street spaces and multi-use paths are woven together creating a vibrant extension of the public realm.  Connecting the surrounding community with the built fabric, the signature projects apply a human-scaled approach, creating a canvas for activity, expression, and recreation along the Los Angeles River. Nick Myall News editor

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Aston Martin motors into real estate

Aston Martin motors into real estate

Designed by Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger this new tower in Miami marks a significant development for luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin

Aston Martin and global property developer G&G Business Developments have broken ground on Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way in Miami, confirming that construction of the 66-story luxury condominium tower is set for completion in 2021. The milestone marks the development of Aston Martin’s first real estate project, and the iconic brand’s expansion into luxury residential design. The construction launch makes Aston Martin Residences the first condominium tower to break ground in Downtown Miami this year, underscoring the development team’s strength and market confidence. The striking building of curvilinear glass and steel is set to rise on one of the last parcels of developable land on the Downtown Miami waterfront and has been designed by Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger, renowned for creating visually impressive and exceptionally well-engineered landmark properties. General contractor Coastal Construction Group will now begin work on the tower. Aston Martin Residences’ 391 condominiums will combine breathtaking design aesthetic with an ideal location, featuring spectacular panoramic vistas of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The development’s expansive one- to five-bedroom apartments will be complemented by seven penthouses – including two-story duplexes and a three-story triplex – all of which will enjoy private pools and spacious terraces. Aston Martin’s design team, led by EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, will design the interior and amenity spaces throughout the development. Key Aston Martin design elements, such as the signature carbon fibre reception desks, will adorn each of the tower’s two private lobbies. Highlight features will include doors with bespoke artisan Aston Martin handles, number plate plinths and kestrel tan leather door tabs. Residents will be able to relax and unwind just steps from their front doors, with 42,275 square feet of outstanding Sky Amenities spanning four full levels between the building’s 52nd and 55th floors. Sky-high perks will include a double-level fitness centre overlooking the ocean, spinning studio, boxing gym, virtual golf room, art gallery, two cinemas, as well as a full-service spa, beauty salon and barber shop. These exquisite spaces will be encased in a bold sail-shaped building reflecting the marina setting and offering superb views of the local surroundings. Residents will also be able to enjoy direct access to the turquoise waters of Miami via an exclusive yacht marina. Representing Aston Martin at the groundbreaking ceremony, Simon Sproule, Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Aston Martin is on a growth trajectory globally and across the United States. Our partnership with G&G Business Developments to create Aston Martin Residences Miami, forms an important part of that growth story and of our desire to bring our brand to new audiences across the world.” German Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments said: “In October 2016 we announced the partnership with Aston Martin and our plan to break ground in October 2017. Exactly one year later we are here to celebrate the start of construction which is confirmation of our commitment to follow our own strict timeline. This development has been extremely well received, in part due to the unique offer but also due to the outstanding job our official broker Cervera is doing. I am confident we will deliver on our promise to create the ultimate residential tower and I’m looking forward to admiring the view from the top of this special building when it is complete.” Coto concluded: “The success of this collaboration is a testament to the team work, mutual trust and dedication of everyone involved, both at G&G and Aston Martin.” The residences and penthouses, which range from 700 to 19,000 square feet, are priced from the $700,000s to upwards of $50 million. The sales centre for the Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way in Miami, Florida is open daily from Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

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Less is more...

Less is more...

Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects were inspired by canal boats on the Regents Canal to remodel this London waterside home

Union Wharf is a mid terrace canal side property built within the footprint of a converted factory building  located along the Regents Canal in Islington, London. The aspiration of the project was to transform a dated, under-performing and compromised couple’s dwelling into a contemporary, energy efficient and spatially generous family home. Works consisted of a full refurbishment and remodel of the three-storey property including the replacement and extension of an existing roof top conservatory to transform it from an unusable store room into a contemporary habitable space that can be used all year round with an external terrace. The approach throughout the project was to use moderately priced materials, adding value through thoughtful, crafted details and care during execution. The footprint of the existing conservatory was increased to create a flexible space that can either be used as a guest suite, lounge and/ or study. Located along Regents Canal, the new roof top structure is inspired by canal boats incorporating an enveloping oak and ash interior. As the roof top expresses so much of the structure, Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects worked closely with Blue Engineering from an early design stage. Timber and steel flitched components create structural legibility adding rhythm and texture whilst enhancing the perception of volume. The layered south elevation maximises light, views and enhances connectivity with the terrace and sky. It is articulated by 3 bespoke picture frames fabricated from 10mm steel plates that respond to the interior zoning of the space. The frames accommodate full height sliding glass doors as well as glare reducing steel cables strung vertically in tension in front of the glass to diffuse daylight. The primary living space at ground floor was reconfigured to resolve the disconnection of the kitchen, lounge and dining area whilst creating an open free flowing space. A sliding glass partition allows a new playroom to be concealed or connected when appropriate to the main living space. Bespoke rotating window shutters fabricated from fluted glass provide privacy from users of the canal tow path whilst maximising natural light and views. Inspired by the former industrial use of the building, the material palette incorporates raw and uncovered finishes such as the original concrete soffit, which contains the scars of where walls were located whilst the building was used as a factory. In contrast to this, elements such as the kitchen, fixtures and fittings are precisely detailed, warm in colour and texture to create a unique material palette with a contemporary yet homely atmosphere. Nick Myall News editor

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IN BRIEF

Casey Jones joins Perkins+Will

Global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will has announced that Ca

David Chipperfield Architects Works 2018

An exhibition at the Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza, Italy. 12 May &ndas

Darling Associates expands leadership

Following the studio’s continued strong performance, Darling Ass

EVENTS

22.02.2018 

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

12.03.2018 

Facade Tectonics 
BEYOND THE DIALOGUE SKINS on Campus: Bridging industry and academia in pur 

20.03.2018 

Planning for High Density Housing 
The population of most of our major towns and cities is rising rapidly, put 

Reinventing Le Harve

Reinventing Le Harve

Hamonic+Masson & Associés are creating a unique residential project located at the nodal point of Le Havre’s history and reconstruction

Overlooking the Bassin du Roy, the Bassin du Commerce and the heart of Perret's reconstructed city centre, whilst also being located next to Niemeyer’s Volcan and the city’s historic monuments such as the Town Hall and the Saint-Joseph church, the Videcoq project is a building that sits within the unique city of Le Havre, whose history is formed by architecture. By taking into account the specifics of this context, the project which has been designed by Hamonic+Masson & Associés, attempts to link two territories: the city and the sea. Its architectural style and affirmed expressiveness combine to create a new piece in the port town’s skyline. The site is located at the nodal point of Le Havre’s history and reconstruction. This strategic position, at the articulation between the two urban fabrics of Perret’s proposed general plan, bestows a remarkable character and geometry upon the building. Benefiting from great visibility and exceptional views overlooking the docks, the building offers varied scales for neighbouring local residents and a diversity of spaces for the inhabitants. The project plays with the idea of movement, background and multiplicity. Its volume works alongside the differing scales, creating a sculpted fan effect where the concrete netting wraps around the building’s body accentuating the transforming, rising twist. Living here allows people to understand and appreciate the vast richness of the urban tissue that makes up this astounding site. Residents will not only be aware of the city’s heritage which unfolds before their eyes, but also of the fantastic opportunities that await this territory. Both an emergence and a signal, the Videcoq project strives to provide remarkable apartments. The free floor plan allows different typologies to be created upon request. This personalisation is possible from the building’s conception. The question of housing here carries values such as quality of use, diversity, dynamism and optimism. Embracing the future with ambition, the Videcoq project will be demonstrative of vertical housing in the urban environment. It is rare to have the opportunity to confront a subject with this much symbolic power. During the buzz of Réinventer Paris, Inventons la Métropole, Réinventer la Seine and other international architecture competitions, this project primarily poses the question of our connection to history and heritage. Invention is introduced within historic continuation and not via style or dogma, but through a certain state of mind. Le Havre is Perret and Niemeyer, but above all it has a sense of modernity and architectural adventure on the same scale as its original history: a town built as the starting point of the quest for new territories.

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Sitting on the dock of a bay...

Sitting on the dock of a bay...

Aedas have designed a landmark hotel for one of South East Asia’s best known attractions

Dotted with limestone pinnacles, the World Heritage seascape of Halong Bay is Vietnam’s biggest attraction. The Aedas-designed Alacarte Halong Bay Condotel Development occupies a prime seafront plot with large sweeps of unobstructed views towards the heritage site.  The building design is a perfect composition of modern and traditional, presenting the unique elements of Vietnamese culture in a contemporary context. With a façade design inspired by the undulating flow of seawaves, the 35-storey tower sits on top of a four-storey podium, offering hotel rooms, serviced apartments, restaurants, ballrooms, meeting rooms, gyms and four-season pools, spa facilities and retail outlets. While most rooms enjoy breathtaking seaview, the infinity pool, sky bars and restaurants on the rooftop also overlook Halong Bay.  The site enjoys good accessibility with road connections on three sides. To enhance pedestrian connectivity and create a focal point along the promenade, the ground level is designated for retail. Its strategic location ensures high visibility from the city and the bay. Nick Myall News editor

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The ‘Big Debate’ focuses on the London Plan

The ‘Big Debate’ focuses on the London Plan

Experts have responded to the draft London Plan which sets out plans for London’s spatial development over the next 20 years

The draft London plan will have far reaching implications for architects, engineers and the property industry. Politicians and property professionals must work harder to effectively work together with communities if demanding housing targets are to be met and London is to thrive. This was the key response from over 1,000 professionals, politicians and community groups at the Big Debate, organised by New London Architecture, to discuss the key policies guiding the draft London Plan. However, this new draft of the plan to guide London’s spatial development for the next 20 years was given a broadly warm welcome on 5 February as London deputy mayors Jules Pipe and James Murray took part in the debate on how the document might help meet the demands of the city and its citizens. Jules Pipe, deputy mayor for planning, said that the new plan was ‘intended to be a blueprint on how we can continue to succeed as a world city’, but is very definitely not a war on the suburbs, an encouragement to garden grabbing or a move to try and ‘preserve every last inch of industrial space in aspic’. Neither does greater density mean tall buildings or a drop-off in quality. Something had to be done on the city’s ‘growing inequality’, which will, Pipe said, be addressed through the ‘good growth’ guiding principles and the ‘ambitious, delivery-focused’ plan now out for consultation. ‘Most importantly it means ensuring people have more of a say in the development of their city’, he said, ‘so that growth brings out the best in places, while providing jobs and other opportunities for communities that are already there’. Polls held on the night found that most (86%) agreed that densifying the suburbs was necessary if we are to deliver more homes and jobs, and that the mayor working with wider south east partners on strategic infrastructure and housing targets would prove effective in providing affordable homes for Londoners (72%). But an overwhelming majority (93%) said there should be more powers to stop land banking and 96% of those polled felt London would fall short in delivering 65,000 new homes a year. Deputy mayor for housing and residential development James Murray disagreed, declaring it is possible to do so and without building on the Green Belt, asking questions about density and using a mixture of small sites and colocation as well as the volume housebuilder. The GLA, he added, recognised it needs to play a more active, interventionist and muscular role in bringing land forward, since ‘all roads lead to land.’ ‘At the centre from my point of view is a commitment to building genuinely affordable homes’ he said. ‘It is incumbent on us to set out a blueprint of how that can be achieved’. The event was watched at Friends House by an audience of over 1,000, and streamed live on the internet, including questions to panels both from the room and online. Issues covered ranged from density to the impact of Brexit, and the importance of planning discussions to remember the human element beyond just numbers or architecture alone. Yolande Barnes, director of world research at Savills, for example, said that it was important to remember that housing density is not a number. ‘We don’t live in housing units, we live in neighbourhoods, we live in places’, she said. We need to pay a close attention to how we design our neighbourhoods, and although the plan is a great start, we need to think of new mechanisms and levers to make things happen. British Land planning director Michael Meadows stressed the importance of community engagement, while dRMM Architects’ Sadie Morgan said that London ‘cannot do it on its own’ but that infrastructure projects like Crossrail Two and East Thames Crossings are all ‘essential’. Create Streets founding director Nicholas Boys Smith said London faces the biggest clean air and housing challenge since the 19th century – the plan needs to ‘come alive’ for the wider public. On housing, Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation chairman Liz Peace said it was important to use scale to make a dent in housing numbers, with Opportunity Areas like hers offering a chance to ‘think and build big’, with a sellable ‘brand’, perhaps creating a car-free community. RIBA president Ben Derbyshire, moreover, welcomed the plan’s emphasis on design continuity, and that now was a good chance to create a ‘wonderful new vision for our suburban neighbourhoods’, turning Nimbies into Yimbies through financial incentives as set out in his Supurbia project. But land values are not the same across London, which is a problem in the plan, suggested Jo Negrini, chief executive of LB Croydon. Volume sites are important but so are the key small sites programmes such as Brick by Brick, and more collaboration needs to happen to make things stack up. Finally, Claire Bennie, director, Municipal and Mayor’s Design Advocate said that all developers want is simplicity, great growth needs great leadership, but the main problems is tax. ‘Tax is crucial if we are to house all Londoners.’ The final session of the Big Debate was the assembly members’ response, chaired by LSE London director Tony Travers, who pointed out that we are living through a time of a change of mood to large developments and the way they are presented and conveyed to communities. Labour’s Nicky Gavron said she believed we could build 65,000 units and applauded higher targets of affordable housing. But planning departments need more resources and the density matrix and framework should be revived, along with ‘active state intervention’ to deliver the plan. ‘Bring it on’, she said. Green Party assembly member Caroline Russell admired the plan’s commitment to healthy streets and made the case for no further expansion of London’s airports, while Liberal Democrat Cllr Adele Morris, LB Southwark, said it was a ‘really tough ask’ for people to ‘get deep and involved’ in the plan. The key issue was the affordability of housing, which the plan has acted on but which will still be overridden by viability, she felt. Finally, Conservative assembly member Andrew Boff said the plan did represent a war on the suburbs, with the abolition of the density matrix giving developers ‘carte blanche’ to develop more. ‘I realise how developers are; I quite like greed, I’m a Tory!’, said Boff pointing out that the plan does not include any references to the word ‘beauty’. ‘This is supposed to be an outbreak of peace with the suburbs; no, it’s war on the suburbs as sure as eggs is eggs’, he said. ‘And this is a war that the suburbs must win.’ David Taylor, editor, New London Quarterly  @davidntaylor    

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‘Parachute Hybrids’ take shape in Moscow

‘Parachute Hybrids’ take shape in Moscow

As well as employing a new building typology ‘Tushino’ will have a mix of housing types, providing homes for all economic brackets

Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with art-group “Kamen”, has won the international design competition for the residential quarters of the Tushino district in Moscow, beating Fuksas Architecture, Zaha Hadid Architects, Mad Global, and Tsimalo, Lyashenko & Partners. The development will provide a new mixed-use center filled with housing, social spaces, a kindergarten and an elementary school on a former paratrooper airfield. Steven Holl Architects has proposed a new building typology, “Parachute Hybrids,” which combines residential bar and slab structures with supplemental programming suspended in sections above, like parachutes frozen in the sky. Large circular openings in the towers’ facades give a defining geometric character and express health and social spaces. The master plan is organized to shape public space with maximum sunlight exposure. The buildings wrap around to create large, public garden and playground spaces as a reference to the site’s former use as a paratrooper air field. Tushino is located in north-western Moscow along the bank of the Moscow River. For the greater part of the 20th century, the historic site was home to a flying and parachuting school, including the Central Aero Club of the USSR, and acted as an aviation parade ground. In the early 2000s, city officials proposed turning the uninhabited district into an 200,000 sq m urban center for housing, commerce, offices, entertainment and sports. “Tushino can be an important urban model for 21st century high density living, shaping public open space,” said Steven Holl. “The new building type we have proposed here, inspired by the site’s history, is unique to this place.” Developer Vi Holding has stressed the importance of a comfortable living environment for the project, incorporating rich infrastructure and education spaces into the programming. The new kindergarten and elementary school are designed to stand alone in architecturally distinct buildings that take advantage of natural light and green space. The housing complex will also contain amenities such as health spas, pools, cafés and lounges. Tushino will have a mix of housing types and will provide homes for all economic brackets. Steven Holl Architects is committed to long-term, sustainable design in every project. The design of the Tushino housing project utilizes green roofs, solar pergolas, daylighting, rainwater recycling, and geothermal heating and cooling. Apartments will be enclosed in a thin section facade of operable glass that will help insulate the buildings in winter and create open balconies for every apartment in warmer months. Eco corridors, undisturbed by automotive traffic, run through the site and connect to the Moscow River. The first phase of drawings are to be completed March 15, 2018 Nick Myall News editor

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Piuarch creates new Gucci HQ

Piuarch creates new Gucci HQ

The new Gucci HQ is a 100% sustainable project which has been carried out in a sympathetic way to respect an original 1920s building

The redevelopment project of the old Caproni factory in Milan, Italy, by Piuarch, focuses on enhancing the stylistic features of the 1920s’ architecture and aims to transform this old plant into a large complex for Gucci, holding offices, showrooms and spaces for fashion shows and operations connected with graphics, as well as a canteen and restaurant. Recovery and enhancement of the characteristic shed buildings was the first element of the redevelopment project: set out in a regular pattern across the site and featuring modular structural bays, the abandoned industrial warehouses with exposed-brick facades generate, thanks to their spatial layout, a seamless interaction between the inside and outside.  Particular attention was paid to the Hangar recovery, a volume of “exceptional” size, once intended for the final assembly of Caproni aircraft, that is now used to house the fashion shows from 2017. Moreover, the Hangar is enhanced by a large open and covered square connected with the main pedestrian axis facing to via Mecenate. This covered square acts as the core of the pedestrian system that includes a tree-lined square, common gardens, patios and green walls. Inside the regular layout of solid structures and empty spaces, a new six-storey tower closely interacts with the old construction: characterized by a glass façade covered with a regular pattern of sunscreens, the new building breaks down the site’s symmetry and tends to draw together all the different functions.  The new Gucci Headquarters is a 100% sustainable project, with a Leed Gold certification, and considers as the main focus of the workspace the quality of life. In terms of energy performance, the project has allowed an average of 25% savings on energy costs and a share of the total annual energy cost is offset by renewable energy generated on site through the use of a photovoltaic system and the heating and cooling effectuated by heat pumps using the groundwater. A highly advanced water management system allows saving 20% of water for the users management. The entire area also provides an advanced plant management to measure the power consumption of individual systems (such as lighting, heating and cooling). Finally, during the construction, over 90% of waste products were recycled.  Nick Myall News editor

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WAN AWARDS London Ceremony: Thursday 28 February

WAN AWARDS London Ceremony: Thursday 28 February

The inaugural WAN AWARDS ceremony is just over a week away and there’s still time to book tickets for this prestigious event

Architects, designers and clients responsible for some of the best projects created across the globe during 2017 will gather at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on the evening of Wed 28th February 2018.  We are thrilled to announce that the ceremony will be presented by Suzannah Lipscomb, historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning academic.  Join us for a three course dinner, exhibition of shortlisted work, awards presentation, and to celebrate the architectural work of the world’s most talented and influential firms. At the event all the winners will be interviewed and photographed for content to be used following the event. The trophy presentations to the winners and highlights from the evening will also be captured on video with winner’s receiving their own video clip. Following the evening content from the event will be shared online across the brand promoting the shortlist, the winners and the event. A sample of some of the architects attending the inaugural awards ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square include: Arup Barr Gazetas  Patel Taylor Perkins and Will  Hamonic + Masson Associes Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects  SimpsonHaugh  UNStudio  WATG  White Arkitekter We look forward to seeing you on 28th February 2018 for what promises to be a must attend event. Click here for more details and to buy tickets  Nick Myall News editor

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