A head for heights

Thursday 23 Feb 2012

Information Based Architecture share their Canton Tower, a 600 metre observation tower

Information Based Architecture (IBA) was originally set up in London in 1998 as a partnership between architects Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit. Using the newest technologies the practice challenges conventional thinking and seeks to exploit new opportunities to enrich our cities with conceptually interesting, and well thought through environmentally responsible architecture.

The practice's most interesting project to date is the Canton Tower, a 600 metre observation tower with 114.00 m2 of restaurants, conference and entertainment spaces. The project aims to seek coherence by integrating architectural, structural and environmental design. In the project of the Canton Tower, the structure's façade functions as an environmental filter that reduces sun loading.

IBA's work can be typified as both experimental and progressive. They constantly attempt to extend the boundaries of artistic design, while introducing the newest digital technologies. Their project, the Canton Tower uses parametric design to control cost, structure and space all at once. Both structure and space in this project are complex. Through complexity the architects produce a diverse field of material variation, which are controlled and optimised as it were with a single radio button. Through this controlling approach they hope they can reinvigorate architecture again with the needed level of control with which it can produce meaning and value, all while still create coherent design.

In 2002 IBA was short listed for the Young Architects of the Year Award in the United Kingdom. They have received support by the Dutch Department of Trade and Industry and received several encouragement-grants by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture.

Currently based in Amsterdam the Netherlands and Guangzhou China, IBA continues its work on both large and small projects in Europe Africa and Asia. The work includes urban masterplanning, architecture, landscaping and furniture design.

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