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Dubai development may be down, but it’s not out

A BREAK IN THE ACTION: Stalled cranes and shells of structures stand in contrast with the exuberant building boom of the last two decades along Sheikh Zayed Road.

A BREAK IN THE ACTION: Stalled cranes and shells of structures stand in contrast with the exuberant building boom of the last two decades along Sheikh Zayed Road.

Many of the city-state’s bigger-than-life projects may be in a holding pattern, but don’t look for its mega-growth world influence to be contained any time soon.

By Christopher Hawthorne, Architecture Critic
June 21, 2009
Reporting from Dubai, United Arab Emirates — If a city can be spectacularly quiet, this waterfront city-state has certainly qualified in recent months. Hundreds of abandoned construction cranes languish above Dubai’s gated communities and beach-side developments and, most dramatically, up and down Sheikh Zayed Road, its high-rise spine. According to a recent estimate in the Middle East Economic Digest, projects worth a staggering $335 billion in the United Arab Emirates — of which Dubai, with a population of about 2 million, is the largest member — are stalled or have been canceled outright.

Dubai’s residents, roughly 85% of them expatriates, have been left to wonder if the current crisis is merely a pause, a recessionary lull that will be painful but temporary, or closer to a fundamental reckoning that will entirely reorder the emirate and how it does business. The same question is being asked in cities around the world, of course. But it’s a particularly acute, even existential one here, since it goes right to the heart of Dubai’s self-image.

Full article via Los Angeles Times 
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Kindergarten Sighartstein – Can You Hear the Grass Growing?

bustler

Kadawittfeldarchitektur just completed their competition-winning kindergarten building in Sighartstein, Austria.

Gerrman architecture firm kadawittfeldarchitektur recently completed their competition-winning kindergarten building in Sighartstein, Austria.

The kindergarten is integrated into the landscape like a chameleon (including a crèche) for 4 groups. Kadawittfeldarchitektur’s proposal for the building won the 1st prize in the public architecture competition in 2003. The project was realized between 2008 and 2009 with a budget of €1.2 million ($1.7 million).

Full article and additional photos via Bustler Blog

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Featured Architecture + Design Blog of the Week

Inhabitat “Design will save the world” Blog

Studio Shift’s honorable mention submission for Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control

Studio Shift’s honorable mention submission for Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control

About

Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

Inhabitat was started by NYC designer Jill Fehrenbacher as a forum in which to investigate emerging trends in product, interior and architectural design. Mike Chino is the Managing Editor; Emily Pilloton, Olivia Chen, Evelyn Lee, Abigail Doan and Jorge Chapa are Senior Editors. The site was designed by Jill Fehrenbacher and runs off the fabulous blogging platform WordPress.

Mission

GREEN DESIGN IS GOOD DESIGN
GOOD DESIGN IS GREEN DESIGN

Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

With an interest in design innovations that enhance sustainability, efficiency, and interactivity in the home, Inhabitat’s attention is focused on objects and spaces that are eco-friendly, multi-purpose, modular, and/or interactive. We believe that good design balances substance with style. We are frustrated by the fact that a lot of what we see being touted as “good design” in magazines and at stores is all style and no substance. A lot of contemporary design merely imitates the classic Modernist aesthetic without any of the idealistic social agenda that made Modernism such a groundbreaking movement back in the early 20th Century. The flip side to this is that oftentimes real technological innovations – the ones which will eventually change the way we live our lives – are often not packaged into enough of a stylish aesthetic to move beyond niche circles and crossover into mainstream popular taste.

Likewise, we are frustrated at seeing an emerging category called “Green Design” – as if sustainability is somehow separate from good design in general. We believe that all design should be inherently “Green”. Good design is not about color, style or trends – but instead about thoughtfully considering the user, the experience, the social context and the impact of an object on the surrounding environment. No design can be considered good design unless it at least attempts to address some of these concerns.

We believe in the original modernist ideology that form and function are intertwined in design. Style and substance are not mutually exclusive, and Inhabitat is here to prove it!

ABOUT & MISSION statement via Inhabitat blog

architecture, architecture critic, buildings, construction, Featured Architecture + Design Blog, government architecture, green buildings, Green Built Environment, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, skyscraper | | Comments Off on Featured Architecture + Design Blog of the Week

The ten most creative people in architecture

BY Cliff Kuang
Tue Jun 9, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Which architects have the most unusual, influential visions for the field?
1. Will Alsop, ALSOP Architects

Few architects have been so dedicated to such an unusual design aesthetic as maximalist Will Alsop. And fewer still have been as successful at building their designs. His nearly completed “Chips” building was inspired by piled french fries; his extension for the Ontario College of Art and Design is one of the strangest, most exciting buildings in recent memory:
ALSOP Architects

ALSOP Architects

Architects 2-10 via Fast Company
aia, architects, architecture, architecture critic, buildings, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, skyscraper | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

7 World Trade Center

wt7

by James Carpenter

Seven World Trade Center was the third building to collapse on September 11, 2001, and it is the first to be rebuilt. Designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the new building is composed of 42 floors of office space set above eight floors of Con Edison transformers (located in large concrete vaults at street level).

James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA) was invited to join the design team in late 2002, after the building’s prismatic form — derived from significant site planning — was already established. We were asked to collaborate on the curtain wall, the base of the building containing the transformers, and the lobby.

Concept

The site’s new master plan radically altered the building’s context. Before its destruction, the original 7 World Trade Center was accessible only from the podium of the complex, four stories above street level, where the blank granite box was dominated by Con Edison’s industrial louvers. With the loss of the World Trade Center’s raised podium, by necessity, the new design had to still accommodate the transformers, and also respond to a new public and urban presence at street level.

Complete article and credits via ArchiectureWeek

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Image of the Week: Civil Justice Centre from FOTOFACADE BLOG

FOTOFACADE6.3

By Andy Marshall

June 3, 2009

I have to admit: I run hot and cold with the Civil Justice Centre in Manchester by Denton Corker Marshall (2007) – but my constant walkabouts around Manchester remind me of its dynamic ability to make its presence felt in the cityscape.  New buildings make fresh vistas.  I will leave you with some words from John Jeffay Picture Editor of the Manchester Evening News on this pic:

“Some sort of mistake? No, the architect did it because he/she could. The result is compelling, in an odd kind of gravity-defying way, although I’m not sure I’d like to work in the overhang bit.  This image, of Manchester’s new Civil Justice Centre, is borrowed from flickr.com.  Architectural photography a curious thing. Does the architect deserve the credit, or the photographer? Dunno.

Anyway, what I like about this picture is the way the photographer has highlighted the absurd sticky-out bit and chosen an angle that gives it a good clear outline. There’s enough of the rest of the building to give it context, but it still works on an abstract level. Perspective is everything”

 

The rest of the article via Manchester News

Andy Marshall is an architectural photographer and commentator – more from FOTOFACADE here

architects, architecture, architecture critic, buildings, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, skyscraper | , , , | Comments Off on Image of the Week: Civil Justice Centre from FOTOFACADE BLOG

Rotterdam Periscope – A Conversation

Rotterdam
by Emiliano Gandolfi

Willem Jan Neutelings of Neutelings Riedijk Architects spoke with Emiliano Gandolfi, a correspondent for The Plan magazine, about the Dutch firm’s design approach as exemplified in the Shipping and Transport College in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. — Editor

Emiliano Gandolfi: Part of the gradual revitalization of the port of Rotterdam, the Shipping and Transport College is the ultimate “urban icon,” not at all what one would expect of a school building. How did it come about?

Willem Jan Neutelings: We had to bear in mind the particular character of the College, created 15 years before from the merger of several Dutch maritime training establishments. The new school brought many completely different functions under the same roof: mechanical workshops, virtual simulation labs, restaurants, gyms, offices, and classrooms. The result was a highly intricate program.

The College is also of international standing, so it was essential to develop a strong, recognizable image. Another key aspect was the need to maintain a visual reference with the port, its warehouses, silos and containers.

This led us to propose a tower shape in keeping with a port environment. The form brings together all the requirements of the brief and at the same time gave us a highly distinctive building whose cantilevered auditorium offers splendid views over the sea.   >>>

This article is excerpted from New Forms: Plans and Details for Contemporary Architects by The Plan, copyright © 2009

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Skyscrapers as living organisms

This fresh, new, and fascinating approach to sustainability and human population growth is truly awe inspiring.

Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut has redefined the conventional skyscraper. His 132 story complex for the south edge of Roosevelt Island addresses the pressing need for environmental and ecological sustainability. This conceptual design focuses on creating a completely self-sustaining organism that not only utilizes solar, wind, and water energies, but also addresses the pending food shortage problem.

living

Full article via DK blog

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David Fisher’s Dynamic Tower

This Dynamic Architecture building by David Fisher will be constantly in motion changing its shape. It will also generate electric energy for itself.  If you haven’t seen this vidio lately it’s worth revisiting (90 sec.)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY0Uuyf8Xhw]

More via Dynamic Architecture

architecture, buildings, green buildings, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, skyscraper | , , | 1 Comment

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