Danish architect Bjarke Ingels to design 2WTC

An exclusive report by the publication Wired provides us with a first glimpse of what will be the latest and final skyscraper in the World Trade Center complex. You may well be thinking... But wasn’t that building designed years ago, and by someone else? Hadn’t they already started building it?

And you would be right. The 2 World Trade Center was originally designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster a decade ago, in 2005. He had proposed a tower which would be crowned by four huge diamond-shaped skylights. Work on his tower did, in fact, begin, with the construction of the foundations but it was later to grind to a halt due to a lack of interest from potential tenants of the 88-storey skyscraper.

Rupert Murdoch has now stepped in as the project’s saviour. In April, the New York Times reported that Murdoch was in the process of cutting a deal to resurrect the project with a view to the complex becoming the new headquarters for 21st Century Fox and News Corp. This revival also meant a change of architect for the 2WTC to meet the requirements of the media mogul.

Wired recently confirmed that Foster had been officially bumped from the project. In his place, the young Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has been commissioned to design the new skyscraper - his presentation represents a tower with two sheer glass sides and a stepped series of outdoor terraces running down another side.

What was wrong with the Foster design? According to Wired reporter, Andrew Rice, Rupert Murdoch’s son James did not think the design suited a ‘modern media company’ like News Corp. ‘That’s why Foster ended up being bumped aside in favour of Ingels, who is exactly half his age—a wunderkind by the standards of the profession’, Rice revealed.

It is not, of course, the first time a skyscraper design has been altered while under construction. Architecture, particularly that of tall buildings, is susceptible to change, moving with the economic and political forces that shape it even when a project is already underway.

This video reveals the previously untold design story of the final WTC
Building, created for 21st Century Fox and News Corp.:


Mies van der Rohe Award

Barozzi Veiga wins the Mies van der Rohe Award

The winner of this year’s Mies van der Rohe Award was announced on Friday 8 May. The prize of 60,000 euros went to the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall (Poland), by architects Barozzi Veiga, a Barcelona-based firm led by an Italian, Fabrizio Barozzi, and a Galician, Alberto Veiga.

Built on the site of the former Konzerthaus, which was destroyed in World War II, the new complex is designed to stand in emphatic contrast to adjacent buildings, its translucent white glass façades given rhythm by white aluminium ribs.

Reminiscent of a giant crystal, the geometry of the building reflects and responds to the urban fabric in which it is inserted. The new complex has four main areas: a large symphony hall with capacity for 1,000 people, a chamber hall with capacity for 250 people, an exhibition area, and a lobby which doubles as a multi-purpose area.

These different areas are connected by an internal corridor whose geometry and handling of light are designed to enhance and enrich the spatial qualities of the building. The symphony hall is the most representative element in the complex, offering a contemporary interpretation of a space designed to simultaneously embody reflection and essence.

Another award, the Mies van der Rohe Foundation’s Emerging Architect Special Mention, went to Casa Luz in Cilleros (Cáceres, Spain), designed by Arquitectura-G. The prize of 20,000 euros is shared by architects Jonathan Arnabat, Jordi Ayala-Bril, Aitor Fuentes and Igor Urdampilleta.

The Mies van der Rohe Prize is awarded on a biennial basis to architectural works within the European Union.

Sources: arquitecturaviva.com, arquitecturayempresa.es

Expo 2015 Milan

Expo 2015 showcases the best in world architecture in Milan

Expo 2015 opened its doors to the public in its host city of Milan on 1 May. The slogan of this year’s Expo is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, and it will be examining the universal theme of nutrition from multiple points of view: environmental, historical, cultural, anthropological, medical, technological and economic.

Expo 2015 runs until 31 October and will provide a focus for global debate, reflection and policy initiatives on nutrition and sustainability.

For the six months of the exhibition, Milan will be a global showcase for participating nations to unveil the technologies and solutions they have developed in their endeavours to provide a concrete response to one of today’s most pressing issues: how to guarantee safe, healthy and plentiful nutrition for the world’s population without upsetting the planet’s natural balance.

A total of 145 participant nations from every continent will be presenting their innovative solutions to the greatest a problem of our age: how to lay the foundations for a sustainable future. Each nation looks to its own culture in its attempts to address this issue. Visitors to the Expo will therefore have the chance to enjoy some of the finest foods in the world and discover the agricultural and gastronomic traditions of each nation in spectacular settings that represent the very best in global architecture.

Each of the pavilions which comprise Milan’s Expo 2015 stands out for the originality of its structure and its ability to ‘transport’ visitors to the country it represents. This event is one of the biggest architectural exhibitions in the world, with each participant country displaying its architectural innovations on the central concept of ‘Feeding the Planet’.

Visit the Milan Expo 2015 website at www.expo2015.org

skyscraper in the alps

A 381-metre-high skyscraper in the heart of the Alps

The idyllic landscape of the Vals Valley, home to just a thousand local residents, located in the Grisons canton, the largest of the 26 into which Switzerland is divided, has barely altered over the course of the past 700 years, when the town's very first stone houses were built. If the plans put forward by Remo Stoffel, the owner of the local health spa resort, which accounts for the main economic activity of the area, are given the go ahead, however, it will change forever. And significantly at that.

Stoffel is looking to erect Europe's tallest building in this green and rugged alpine valley – a 381-metre-high tower with a net internal area of 53,000 square metres housing a hotel that would, in turn, become the tallest in the world.

The building, known as the 'Femme de Vals' (Woman of Vals), would be the same height as the Empire State Building, the famous New York skyscraper that, for decades, was the tallest man-made structure in the world, before being substantially surpassed by a number of towering buildings built in cities like Dubai, Shanghai and Mecca.

As part of the complex which features Peter Zumthor's emblematic underground rock Vals thermal baths construction, plans include the addition of a slender 381-metre-high mirror and glass tower designed by Pritzker Prize-winning American architect Thom Mayne. Reflecting the surrounding mountainous Grisons landscape, and with panoramic views of the Swiss Alps, the 53,000-square-metre hotel consists of three main elements: a podium that links the building with the adjacent spaces; a cantilever housing a restaurant, cafe, spa, bar and ballroom; and the skyscraper that includes 107 rooms and suites. A minimalist building that seeks, with its glass structure, to merge seamlessly into its environment, with the reflections of the mountains and clouds in the tower softening its impact on the landscape.

The environmental groups and the majority of the local population are yet to be convinced of the project's merits, however, with the power of the final say through a local referendum – a method of consultation often used in Swiss politics, as well as by the cantonal government – and permission being granted for the tower's construction is by no means guaranteed. The decision whether the Vals landscape should remain that of the last 700 years or whether it will feature the long shadow of a steel and glass skyscraper cast along it each day is, therefore, down to the ballot boxes.

Incredible city views captured in a 360º photo

Providing us with a new and striking perspective of our cities, aerial photography is a product which has become ever more prolific in recent times since the emergence of drone technology. The most recent development in this trend is that of 360º imaging.

The technique which makes capturing shots such as these possible is called stereographic projection, where the subject of the photo is not seen as a flat area due to the loss of the projection point.

These images allow us to see the architecture of the buildings that make up the cities from a unique perspective. Spherical 360º photographs are a great way to show a city, the inside of a hotel, an apartment or any space worthy of being viewed from all angles.

This has become a widely used resource in recent times, particularly on websites that offer online tours. It is also an excellent application for construction companies, real estate companies and agents who not only use the images on their websites but also on other media such as screens in showrooms, sales staff tablets and company computers. Thus, companies have seen the potential for increased business by being able to offer a virtual tour of all their projects from a single location – an essential element in the technological age.

These high-resolution images give us the opportunity to travel around the world and discover, in detail, the architectural wonders of different countries. A very useful tool for all lovers of architecture.

The photo shown here is a shot of São Paulo with the Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in the foreground, which was designed by architect João Valente Filho and is famous for being the only bridge in the world with two curved tracks that converge at a single central mast. The perspective obtained through 360º imaging results in a truly spectacular photo.

More photos here

Codina Architectural Halles Sète market Metal Mesh

The new Sète market

The renovation of this southern French town's historic market was completed around a year ago. The project involved a rebuild echoing the style of the old Baltard market, opened in the late nineteenth century, but offering a completely contemporary take on the original model. An update was required that would reflect the spirit and atmosphere of the place and its people.

The acclaimed French architect François Fontès wanted to develop a model not seen anywhere else, maintaining the spirit of this Mediterranean building and its maritime identity, moving away from the standard models previously used for markets. Hence he came up with the idea of covering the building's passageways with something reminiscent of a giant fishing net, visible from a number of points around the city as the light glints off it - a tribute to the men of the sea.

The use of materials, colours and transparency combine to make the façade the building's most expressive element. The structural form and interplay of light and shadow provided by the transparency of the main façade are interwoven into a net of steel: a metallic wave with a dynamic that reflects the undulating presence of the sea, the fishing nets and the trawls full of iridescent fish.

This net which forms the market roof is made using a Codina Metal mesh supported by a carefully designed three-dimensional structure. It was our Gaudí model that Fontès selected to provide the shape and appearance of netting on this architectural complex; its qualities of being highly malleable, lightweight and its resemblance to actual fishing nets were key in the choice of this model. The mesh is composed of a special stainless steel known for its superior resistance to weathering, sun, heavy rain and changes in temperature.

The new-look Sète Market is now able to promote its maritime identity, acting as a draw, not only for the city's residents, but also for people from across the entire region, interested in visiting a contemporary building that remains anchored in the city's ancient tradition.

See the project here

Frei Otto, posthumous winner of the 2015 Pritzker Prize

Frei Otto, posthumous winner of the 2015 Pritzker Prize

The announcement for the Pritzker Prize came a few weeks early this year, posthumously honouring German architect and engineer Frei Otto after his death on 9 March at the age of 89.

When Otto was notified of the decision earlier this year, he humbly remarked: ‘I am now so happy to receive this Pritzker Prize and I thank the jury and the Pritzker family very much. I have never done anything to gain this prize. My architectural drive was to design new types of buildings to help poor people, especially following natural disasters and catastrophes. So what shall be better for me than to win this prize? I will use whatever time is left to me to keep doing what I have been doing, which is to help humanity. You have here a happy man.’

Otto founded his independent architectural practice in Berlin in 1952 and worked on a series of lightweight tent-structures for temporary exhibitions throughout the decade. This approach to materiality and structure became a signature for Otto: lightweight, open to nature and natural light, non-hierarchical, democratic, low-cost, and energy-efficient.

The committee recognized his pioneering body of work and his collaborative approach to the discipline, expanding the role of the architect ‘to include researcher, inventor, form-finder, engineer, builder, teacher, collaborator, environmentalist, humanist, and creator of memorable buildings and spaces.’ Otto looked to nature and its processes to understand ways of using the least amount of materials and energy; he was an early thinker in the field of sustainability before it became a catchphrase.

The 2015 award ceremony will take place on 15 May at Frank Gehry’s New World Center in Miami Beach, where Otto’s colleagues will gather to celebrate his work and life.


Source: metropolismag.com

The Red Mirror Building in Seoul / Le Red Mirror Building à Séoul /

The Red Mirror Building in Seoul

A spectacular cage-like structure made from strips of mirror metal and red plastic encases an office building in central Seoul. Known as the Red Mirror Building, this striking work was designed by Wise Architecture for the Gangnam district of Seoul.

Slender bands of mirror, glass, steel and translucent red polycarbonate plastic form a grid that fully encloses the two glazed levels of the building and rises through the ground floor to the building’s roof garden.

These strips are arranged in alternating horizontal and vertical sections to create a lattice, giving the building a cage-like appearance.

Inside, a narrow staircase with transparent risers is sandwiched between two wafers of lattice, linking the ground floor with the roof terrace. In the words of the architects, the interplay of transparency and reflection and the layered strips of different materials create a powerful visual illusion.

The long strips of grey metal and red polycarbonate are designed to quiver when the staircase is used. In combination with the multi-toned colouring and pattern, the aim is to disorientate visitors. Ascending the narrow staircase between the wafers, visitors may feel dizzy, explain the architects, not only because of the optical repetition but also because of the quivering of the strips.

The lattice extends above roof level to form stripy translucent balustrades for the roof terrace.

At basement level, the lines and patterns of the lattice are reflected in distorted form on the surface of a pond.

In a narrow well that runs along one side of the building, large, randomly-disposed boulders are bedded in moss to form a kind of rock garden that’s visible through the glazed walls.

The project was recently featured in the exhibition ‘Out of the Ordinary: Award-winning Works by Young Korean Architects’, organized by London Metropolitan University’s Cass.


Source: Dezeen.com

Deckmetal RCNB

Deckmetal wins 7th RCNB One-Design Autumn Trophy

Last year was the 7th RCNB One-Design Autumn Trophy. For two months during autumn, 14 J-80 class boats took part in this competition organised by the Barcelona Royal Sailing Club.

The boat skippered by Josep Mª Pujol, from CN Balís and sponsored by Deckmetal, was the favourite for this Autumn Trophy almost from the start, obtaining the highest scores in each of the regattas held.

After 20 thrilling, hard-fought regattas, Deckmetal was proclaimed absolute winner of the One-Design Autumn Trophy for the J-80 class. After 4 weekends, with all manner of winds, weather conditions and tides, with leadership of the general classification hotly contested, Deckmetal was finally proclaimed the best in its class on 15 December.

The entire team at Codina Metal would like to congratulate the skipper Josep Mª Pujol for his excellent sailing and strategy during this 7th Trophy. This new triumph makes us even prouder to sponsor this sailing craft with our brand.

Żory (Poland) - Museum of Fire

Żory (Poland) unveils its Museum of Fire

The Museum of Fire, which overlooks the principal highway leading from the southern Polish city of Żory to the border, was created with the principal objective of promoting the city. This small structure on the outskirts of the city serves as a landmark, indicating the entrance to Żory. The Museum of Fire is a highly unusual building which looks like a flame dancing on the ground.

Appropriately enough, for Żory’s name derives from a word for fire or flames. When the city was founded in the 12th century, a stretch of woodland was cleared by fire to make space for the new settlement. The origins of the city are remembered every summer with the Festival of Fire, and the city’s emblem is a small flame.

The building comprises three jagged, juxtaposed walls. The shapes of these walls, and the copper panels that cover them, create the impression of dancing flames. The spaces between the walls are fully glazed and form the access to the museum. The walls themselves are of concrete, faced with copper panels on the outside and left exposed on the inside. The floors are of black stone, the same material used for the surrounding external apron. Architects Barbara and Oskar Grabczewski have slashed, cut and folded the building’s silhouette in an attempt to emulate the behaviour of fire.

The copper surface is fiery in colour, and polished to a high sheen so that it glints and flashes in the sunshine.

Since it is exposed to the elements, the copper would normally be vulnerable to the effects of oxidation, which would destroy the ‘fire’ effect. To get round this problem, the manufacturer of the copper panels devised a method for preventing oxidation. The panels are coated in a special varnish similar to that used on the coachwork of cars. This transparent varnish forms a protective film over the glossy copper, preventing the formation of a patina and guaranteeing the ‘flame’ effect for many years to come.

The building hosts multimedia exhibitions on the scientific aspects of natural phenomena.

Source: Plataformaarquitectura, Coopperconcept.org