When 875 North Michigan Avenue, formerly the John Hancock Center, opened on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile in 1969, it signaled a departure from the all-too-prevalent trabeated Miesian skyscraper. Its subtly tapered 100-story form and iconic X-frame structure, designed and engineered by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan, respectively, demonstrated that beauty and structural performance need not be mutually exclusive. As if taking this lesson to heart, a new crop of expressively framed towers has sprung up around the country in recent years, each one upping the ante in exuberant form and structural daring. In Seattle, a short walk from the city’s famed, OMA-designed central library, The Mark gamely cantilevers over its older neighbors. The 48-story hotel-and-office tower, designed by ZGF Architects and engineered by Arup, relies on a hybrid steel “megabrace” and concrete core structure to perform its acrobatic feat. Comprising multistory steel members, the triangulated megabrace—so termed by Arup—addresses the structural complexities of building a formally expressive tower in a seismically active region. The architects constructed around two historic structures nestled below The Mark’s protruding midsection: the First United Methodist Church (now an event space) and the Rainier Club. Their efforts have resulted in an eclectic city block, complete with classically proportioned low-rise structures and a decidedly contrapposto tower. In San Francisco, the Heller Manus Architects–designed 181 Fremont employs a similar megabrace structure (again courtesy of Arup) capable of withstanding the city’s seismic activity and ever-present wind loads. But the slightly tapering tower also deploys a structurally integrated damping system (rather than the more typical tuned mass damper), which enabled the architects to increase the tower’s height; at 802 feet, 181 Fremont is the tallest residential high-rise on the West Coast. And because the shocklike dampers work in-line with the megabrace, the design team was able to eliminate tons of steel from the project—3,000 tons, in fact. The envelope created additional efficiencies; calibrated to the angle of the sun, the “saw-tooth” glass facade reduces solar gain by 6 percent. In a departure from the steel systems normally associated with exoskeletal structures, Ateliers Jean Nouvel turned to concrete for the French firm’s first residential tower, 53 West 53 in Midtown Manhattan. At almost the same supertall height of 875 North Michigan Avenue, 53 West 53 even takes some aesthetic cues from the Chicago icon, but the similarities are superficial. Nouvel’s skyscraper was meant to be even taller, but political and economic exigencies—negotiations with city planning, the Great Recession—prompted a complete structural rethink, including subbing out the steel for reinforced concrete. Sloping and slanting up to a pointed precipice, the structure trades a normal diagrid for highly irregular facets, palpable on the exterior as well as the interior. The result is a celebration of the structure in all of the building’s 145 units, each with expansive windows spanning massive diagonal structural members. In downtown Miami, One Thousand Museum takes the possibilities of concrete to even further extremes. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and engineered by DeSimone, the luxury high-rise employs a unique structural system made up of 4,800 prefabricated glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels. The pieces, which were individually fabricated in Dubai and test fitted before being shipped to the dense Miami lot, act as both concrete formwork and finished surface. Whereas 181 Fremont and The Mark contend with intense seismic conditions, One Thousand Museum is faced with a very real hurricane threat. The structural system was put to the test perhaps earlier than expected when Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm, struck Miami in September 2017, as construction was underway. By exploring the formal potential of GFRC, the svelte tower sets a new bar for aesthetic, structural, and construction methods. As a proof of concept, it represents a dramatic advancement of 875 North Michigan Avenue’s revolutionary construction, while opening new doors for expressionist towers to come.
Posts tagged with "Zaha Hadid Architects":
London-based Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has revealed that it will build the new Shanghai headquarters for the state-owned China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP) after the firm’s superlatively sustainable design was selected as the winner of an international design competition. The 2.3-million-square-foot project—a park-like “mixed-use urban campus” anchored by three interlocking office towers with integrated thermal mass—will take root at a riverside parcel near the Yangpu Bridge and serve as a showcase for a wide array of renewable energy technologies and conservation-minded features. They include rooftop and facade-integrated photovoltaic cells that feed into an on-site microgrid that will enable the campus to reduce its energy usage by 25 percent; a thermal ice storage cooling system whose use will be minimized by extensive external shading; rainwater harvesting; a waste heat recovery system; non-resource-intensive, biophilic landscaping design, and an advanced building management system that will “continually monitor the interior environment and automatically react to changes in internal conditions such as variations in temperature, air quality, natural daylight, or number of occupants.” What’s more, construction of the campus’s buildings will rely heavily on locally produced prefabricated components that, per ZHA, “will reduce the project's embodied carbon and also support the local economy while procurement will prioritize the use of recycled materials.” With “sustainability embedded into every aspect of its design and construction,” the project is aiming for a 90-point score in China’s Three Star Green Building Rating system—the highest number of credits ever achieved for a building in Shanghai. In addition to the office high-rises, the Huangpu River-facing compound will serve as a dining, shopping, and recreation destination encased by an ample amount of public green space. This “echoes CECEP’s commitment to environmental education by creating vital new public spaces for its staff and neighbouring communities to enjoy the natural world,” according to the company. This hearty communal spirit, however, doesn’t extend to all aspects of the project considering our new surface-paranoid reality. As ZHA noted, access to the office towers and other spaces will be controlled by no-touch biometric security systems that render contact with shared surfaces by CECEP staff and visitors completely moot. The CECEP campus is ZHA’s second major Shanghai project following Sky SOHO, which was completed in 2014.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) swiftly alerted authorities after falling victim to a ransomware attack last week. The London-based firm first reported the incident to investigators on April 21 after discovering confidential data had been encrypted and held hostage by a hacker or hackers who had managed to infiltrate the company’s private servers. The cyber-thief left messages announcing the crime and demanding an undisclosed ransom settlement. As the Architects’ Journal first reported, a now-deleted anonymous Twitter also account posted screenshots of payroll and financial information following the breach. ZHA did not respond to the threat directly, and upon discovering the breach brought in a cyber-forensics team. It’s also unclear how much data was stolen, although it’s believed that no specific project information was pilfered. As a result of the breach, employees were briefly locked out of the company servers and forced to change their passwords. Additionally, “it is understood clients have not yet been made aware of the security breach, as the company could not yet guarantee its communications system was secure,” wrote the Architects’ Journal. Although the firm doesn’t have any reason to believe it was specifically targeted, ZHA believes that hackers are prying on the vulnerabilities of companies that, like itself, have fully transitioned into work-from-home mode during the coronavirus pandemic. “With all our 348 London-based staff working from home during this pandemic and cyber criminals poised to exploit the situation, we strongly advise the architectural community to be extremely cautious,” a spokesperson for ZHA told the Architects’ Journal. “Data protection and privacy is extremely important to us and this is why we regretfully have to announce that on 21 April we experienced a security breach and theft of data in a ransomware attack. We immediately worked to secure our network and reported the incident to the authorities. With minimal disruption to the work of our teams, we continue to investigate any criminal theft of data with cyber specialists.” As recently reported by Reuters, reported incidents of hacking activity against companies in the United States and abroad has more than doubled “by some measures” over the past month as a record number of workers access sensitive information stored on servers via virtual private networks (VPNs) while housebound. “There is a digitally historic event occurring in the background of this pandemic, and that is there is a cybercrime pandemic that is occurring,” Tom Kellermann, a cybersecurity strategist with software and security company VMware Carbon Black, told Reuters. “It’s just easier, frankly, to hack a remote user than it is someone sitting inside their corporate environment.”
AN announced last December that Vauxhall Cross Island, a mixed-use proposal designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in south London, had received criticism from members of the neighboring borough of Wandsworth over its proposed height and location, and would be facing a public planning inquiry prior to receiving approval. Sited across from Vauxhall Underground station, the project would provide 257 apartment units, 23 of which would be affordable, along with offices, a hotel, retail space, and a new public square for the burgeoning neighborhood. Today, the Architect’s Journal reported that Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has finally approved of the towers, clearing a major hurdle that’s been in place since renderings were first unveiled in December 2017. Composed of two towers that are 605 and 495 feet tall, along with a ten-story building between them, the firm has described Vauxhall Cross Island as “a new gateway for Vauxhall” with the potential to become its new town center. While its envelope design is more subtle than others typically proposed by the firm, the project’s tapering geometry and vaulted detailing would have a striking presence in the relatively low-lying neighborhood. Although the project received local approval, a public planning inquiry from the Ministry of Housing, Communities, & Local Government over the aforementioned incongruities in scale had been holding up construction; something now resolved with Secretary Jenrick’s approval. Planning inspector John Braithwaite initially expressed concern over how the project would alter the current fabric of the neighborhood. Its construction would likely result in the demolition of the Vauxhall bus station, a pavilion designed in 2005 by ARUP Associates that has been likened to a ski jump. “Local residents would prefer that the existing bus station is retained, but they also seek the creation of a town centre with Bondway at its heart,” said Braithwaite, according to the Architect’s Journal. He additionally pointed out that the proposal exceeds the 150 meter (492 feet) limit enforced in the local plan before later acknowledging that the rule had already been broken several times for other towers proposed in the neighborhood, most notably with Kohn Peterson Fox's DAMAC Tower. “The proposed development, in architecture and urban townscape terms, would be of the highest quality and would successfully contribute to the planned cluster of tall buildings in Vauxhall,” added Braithwaite. Though it is currently without an official construction timeline, Vauxhall Cross Island will be ZHA’s first mixed-use residential and commercial building when completed.
One Thousand Museum, the Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)-designed residential tower opposite Miami’s Museum Park, has been documented in detail by Hufton & Crow in a newly released photo series. Incorporating Hadid’s signature curves and an exoskeleton, the 62-story structure was the late Hadid’s last residential tower design and was completed posthumously in July 2019. Boasting views of Biscayne Bay, the 30-acre Museum Park site was redeveloped in 2013 in an effort to increase public space surrounding downtown Miami’s cluster of art and science museums. Known for its distinctive concrete superstructure, the exterior of One Thousand Museum reflects ZHA research into high-rise construction, blending an expressive “web of flowing lines” with solid structural support. The building’s diagonal bracketing system provides strength against powerful hurricane winds, and base columns fan out as the tower rises to meet at the corners, resulting in a tube-like shape that provides additional resistance against wind. “The design expresses a fluidity that is both structural and architectural,” explained ZHA’s project director Chris Lepine in a press statement. “The structure gets thicker and thinner as required, bringing a continuity between the architecture and engineering.” Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) used in the formwork creates an architectural finish requiring minimal maintenance, and that “crystal-like facade” balances the heavy concrete features of the structure. The interior offers slightly different plans on each floor as a result of the exoskeleton’s curvature. Terraces on lower-floor units cantilever from the corners while upper-floor terraces are incorporated behind the concrete lines. In addition to its 84 residential units, One Thousand Museum features landscaped gardens, an aquatic center, an event space, and on-site parking for residents.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has unveiled its competition-winning vision for OPPO’s new headquarters in Shenzhen, China—a bulbous set of interconnected towers straight out of the space age. The Chine smartphone manufacturing giant selected ZHA’s enormous proposal after sifting through a shortlist that included Bjarke Ingels Group, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and Henning Larsen Architects. Slated for construction in downtown Shenzhen, ZHA’s civic-centric master plan features four glass buildings split into varying heights across a total of 1.9 million square feet. The tallest tower will house 42 floors full of open-plan office space that connects with another tower via a 20-story vertical lobby. Another pair of external towers, smaller in height, will provide circulation for the main structures. Set near the Shenzhen Bay, the globular buildings will provide ample access to daylight and views of the city with their translucent facades for employees and the visitors. As the fifth largest communication technology company in the world, OPPO experienced rapid global growth since introducing its first smartphone in 2008 and has set out to establish a new space in Shenzhen to house a fraction of its over 40,000 global employees. While the building will be designed to cater largely to its work in tech innovation, OPPO is also aiming to make its new HQ open to the public. To achieve this, ZHA incorporated several levels of public space within the structures, including a Sky Plaza on its 10th floor and a rooftop sky lab with a bar and observation lounge. An outdoor public plaza will also cut through the base of the site, which curves in at the bottom, and gives access to the various shops, galleries, and restaurants located one the first levels of the buildings. The project is expected to be LEED Gold certified upon completion in 2025 and construction is anticipated to start later this year. The headquarters is just one of the many monumental projects announced for Shenzhen recently, including what will be the tallest tower in China by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) Vauxhall Cross Island towers in London will face a public planning inquiry related to ongoing criticism over the building’s height and location. Architect’s Journal reported that though the design was granted approval in May, the Ministry of Housing, Communities, & Local Government is set to investigate how the proposal affects the surrounding community. Comprised of two slender towers—53 and 42 stories in height respectively—and linked by an 11-story base, the mixed-use residential structure is projected to bring 257 apartments, 618 hotel rooms, seven floors of offices, and ground-level retail space to the South London district of Vauxhall. A largely residential and industrial neighborhood, Vauxhall is defined by its accessibility to central London and proximity to a large rail line that services the whole city. ZHA's plan is set to make the massive skyscraper the new "district center" of the community, complete with a public plaza. Britain's housing secretary James Brokenshire has asked the local Lambeth Council to review how ZHA's proposal conforms to the rules set by the National Policy Planning Framework, which ensures "the vitality of town enters; building a strong, competitive economy; and conserving and enhancing the historic environment," according to Architects' Journal. The design would be significantly taller than the previously approved project at the site, which rose to 41 stories, while also surpassing the approximately 500-foot height limit for the area. Additionally, it would contain only 23 units for middle-income-level renters, requiring the firm to pay about $40 million towards affordable housing in the area. Despite the fact that the studio has called it a “breakthrough project"—it would be ZHA's first mixed-use residential and commercial building, the community has been reeling since the scheme was first submitted for approval in December 2017. The building would also cause the demolition of the Vauxhall bus station built by ARUP in 2005, as well as reroute traffic, causing critics to fear increased congestion. The designers of the replacement transportation hub, 5th Studio, see the overhaul as an opportunity to improve mobility and public space in Vauxhall. “The project is catalyzed by the replacement of the road gyratory which dominates the area, established by transport engineers in the 1970s, with a two-way road arrangement which provides dedicated space for cyclists and improved road crossings," the studio said on their website, "The project integrates this more urban approach to road planning with the demands of a busy London interchange, which includes buses, rail, riverboat, and underground services."
Last week, Eco Park Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) was finally approved for construction in Gloucestershire, England, after years of delays. The new home of the Forest Green Rovers F.C. will bring carbon-neutral facilities to the local community while maintaining the natural qualities of the existing site. It is the first soccer stadium in the world to be built entirely out of wood. Although ZHA won the competition to design the stadium in 2016, this was the firm’s second attempt in getting the design approved. In June, the same planning committee denied the proposal due to noise, traffic, and impact on the environment. Alterations to win approval included a revised landscape strategy and increased matchday transport. The 5,000-seat stadium is the world’s first UN-certified, carbon-neutral football club and almost every element is made of sustainably sourced timber which, in the firm’s words, “is highly durable, safe, recyclable, and beautiful.” In a recent press release, ZHA even mentioned the aspiration of the stadium being carbon negative “with the provision of on-site renewable energy generation.” The club itself will provide every seat with unrestricted sightlines and fans will be as close as 16 feet from the pitch. One of the recent modifications in the application was a swap for one grass pitch to an all-weather pitch that has access to local clubs. The design anticipates the club’s future growth. The chair of the club and owner of green energy firm Ecotricity, Dale Vince, told The Architects' Journal: “When you bear in mind that around three-quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of any stadium comes from its building materials, you can see why that’s so important, and it’s why our new stadium will have the lowest carbon content of any stadium in the world.”
The long-held title of "world’s tallest atrium" has jumped from a building in Dubai to a new tower in Beijing. The recently-opened Leeza SOHO by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) boasts a 623-foot-tall twisting, open-air interior that beats out the Burj Al Arab hotel by 23 feet. Located in the southwest corner of the city, the 45-story skyscraper sits in the heart of the burgeoning Lize Financial Business District near the area’s main transit hub. It features 1.8 million square feet of commercial office space spread across the two bisected volumes, connected by four sky bridges within the adjoining structural rings. The area in between the two halves makes up the full-height atrium, which spirals upward at a 45-degree angle in order to maximize the amount of light able to reach every floor. ZHA had to slice the interior of Leeza SOHO in half due to ongoing work on the nearby subway. The building sits at the intersection of five new lines and is atop a below-grade service tunnel. From the outside, the structure doesn’t necessarily look divided; double-insulated, low-e glazing encases the entirety of both volumes like a shell, reducing energy consumption and emissions. During the day, however, the sun shines through the middle of the facility and reveals the void in its center. Other sustainability interventions include a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, as well as a greywater-collection method. The project is on track to receive LEED Gold certification. Construction on the project began in April 2015 and took just over four years to complete. ZHA co-developed the building with SOHO China and worked with The Beijing Institute of Architectural Design as the architect-of-record. The tower was one of the final projects designed by Zaha Hadid before her passing in 2016.
The first Zaha Hadid-designed building in the United States will host an exhibition that pays homage to the architect’s liberated geometric forms. Later this month, the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) will present its winter exhibition, Props, by mixed-media artist and trained architect Lauren Henkin. The CAC moved into its current home in 2003, centered around a spacious, multistory atrium that creates a sense of free circulation. In a 1998 profile of the museum as a work-in-progress, the Los Angeles Times remarked that “Hadid is erasing boundaries—between inside and out, between a controlled and private inner world and the chaotic energy of public life.” Hadid herself described the building as a “jigsaw puzzle” of exhibition spaces—connected by zig-zagging skywalk staircases, the CAC's layout allows for new modes of exhibiting artwork. Henkin will present a series of eight sculptures scattered throughout the museum, each engaging with site-specific elements of Hadid’s architecture. Props will utilize more than 3,300 cubic feet of “unintended” exhibition space, making use of spaces in the museum which have not been previously used to display artwork. “Hadid so often blurs the line between architecture, furniture, and landscape,” Henkin explained. “It was important to me to extend that uncertainty by pushing the boundaries of how we engage sculpture, while also upending common perceptions of how to experience art in a museum setting. In many cases, the way the ‘props’ are experienced is atypical, placed purposefully in circulation spaces where one can only see the work from above or below, or while climbing or descending stairs.” Along with the unconventional use of space, Henkin makes it clear that she does not consider the sculptures to be the main attraction. Rather than to evoke beauty, the sculptures are meant to serve as catalysts to get viewers thinking about Hadid’s built environment and one's place within it. Additionally, Props will pose important questions about the context of objects displayed in institutional settings, for in addition to the unusual placement of the works, some of which are comprised of objects found in the building’s utility closets. “We’ve all had the encounter of walking into a contemporary art space and wondering if something that looks ‘half-way’ is intentional art or just a chance clustering of items, a renovation on pause,” said Steven Matijcio, curator of Props. “Lauren mobilizes that idea to loosen the absolutes of Hadid’s geometry and materials, and to amplify to more porous and fluid dimensions of the building’s design.” Props will be on view from November 22 through March 1, 2020, at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.
In an era where work-life balance and workplace culture have become major issues in the design industry, Patrik Schumacher says we have nothing to worry about. During a panel at Dezeen Day in London last week, the principal of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) clashed with Pratt Institute School of Architecture dean Harriet Harriss, claiming that measures to limit the exploitation of employees could lead to the “paralyzing” of firms like ZHA. "This is a competitive place where people are eager, have passionate and want to succeed and want to do something," said Schumacher. "But you can't do that if you're told that if work beyond eight hours you can observe exploitation, and something is wrong with you." Schumacher’s comments came in response to Harriss’s claim that overtime culture actually curtails productivity. "It's very important to just bust the myth here that longer hours equals productivity," Harriss remarked, adding that “What we are doing, arguably, is making permissible forms of labor exploitation, and creating work-life balance that often triggers mental health [issues]. And we know this is a pretty serious issue in education at the moment.” “I don’t like your philosophy,” responded Schumacher, claiming that it is a slippery slope for a “socialist world of stagnation” that he has observed in European labor culture. The panel discussion, Fixing Education, also included Neil Pinder, architecture and design teacher at Graveney School in London, and Stacie Woolsey, a young designer who came to prominence after creating her own master’s degree program in response to the lack of affordability in institutional programs. The four professionals were brought together to discuss how to better prepare architecture and design students for the demands of the profession. The comments were not Schumacher’s first foray into criticizing the trajectory of design education. Over the summer, he published a Facebook manifesto entitled “13 theses on the crisis of architectural academia,” citing issues such as teachers without sufficient professional experience, generally uninspiring portfolios from graduates, and a sense of detachment between education and the profession. The ZHA principal has also come under fire for his stance on unpaid internships, as he claimed in 2016 that such work is "the result of a well-functioning market." In an agree-to-disagree resolution, Harriss dismissed Schumacher’s views as outdated, adding that the long-hour discussion is only a small piece of a larger the larger problem of accessibility within the industry.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and COX Architecture are slated to officially design a new airport in Western Sydney, Australia. After winning an international design competition featuring 40 firms, the London-based practice and local Sydney studio will together lead the charge in creating a sustainable transportation hub for the burgeoning region surrounding Parkland City. Known officially as the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport (WSA), the $5.3 billion project is expected to become a catalyst for growth in Western Parkland City, one of the capitol’s new three urban centers (Greater Sydney is officially broken up into three cities). It will be built out in four expansion stages, the first of which will be completed by 2026 and will serve 10 million passengers annually. According to the design team, the vision for the upcoming terminal takes cues from the lush Australian bush: WSA will be a low-lying greenfield airport with nature-filled interiors. Vertical gardens featuring local flora will line the walls, slatted timber ceilings will undulate overhead, and ample daylight will spill in from outside during the day. David Holm, project director at COX, and Cristiano Ceccato of ZHA explained the 4,398-acre site will have an “unmistakable regional identity.” “The design is an evolution of Australian architecture past, present, and future,” said Ceccato in a press release. “It draws inspiration from both traditional architectural features such as the veranda, as well as the natural beauty of the surrounding bushland.” ZHA/COX beat out five other shortlisted teams in the competition for the airport bid. Among them were Foster + Partners, Gensler, Hassell, Pascall+Watson, and Woods Bagot. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, it wasn’t just the highly-localized design that won over the jury, it was the way ZHA/COX presented the importance of the customer’s experience as they journey through the terminal. As the airport expands using modular-based construction, it’s expected that the facility will be able to accommodate up to 82 million passengers a year by 2060—outpacing every other airport in Australia. These numbers coincide with the increased population of Sydney’s greater metropolis as well. In the next 20 years, it’s estimated that Greater Sydney will likely become home to 9 million people. By the time all of the sections of the airport are complete, Parkland City itself will boast well over 1.5 million, according to the Greater Sydney Commission. Construction is slated to begin in 2022.