Posts tagged with "Asia":

Mecanoo triumphs in Tainan Public Library competition

Dutch firm Mecanoo Architecten has been awarded commission to go ahead with their design for a new public library in Tainan, Taiwan. The practice will work alongside Taiwanese firm MAYU Architects+ for the project that will occupy 376,736 square feet. Aside from being a library, the space will feature a children's area, public courtyard, cafe, conference hall, and a 200-seat auditorium. Within the library area itself will be specialized areas such as reading rooms, special collections, and study spaces. Mecanoo have established a strong pedigree when it comes to the library typology, with the well regarded Birmingham Library in the UK to their name along with another library scheme in the making in Manchester, also in the UK. Their design for the Tainan Public Library (its official title) aims to reflect the merging of cultures, generations, and histories within the site. A selection of natural materials including stone and wood consequently aims to attach the building to its locality. In addition, the city's history will be depicted by an ancient map of Tainan transposed onto vertical louvres. The structure, when taken at a glance, also resembles that of Corbusier's Villa Savoye, though on a bigger scale. Upon closer inspection, one can see the buildings perimeter expand at each level, supported by the stilts that follow the perimeter of the top floor. This system results in a canopy being able to offer shade all around the building, amplifying the threshold between the private interior and public exterior spaces. This schematic also effects the interior configuration too. The surrounding wooden fenestration filters sunlight entering the space, interacting and casting patterns on the stone floor. The building's aesthetic is primarily orthogonal, so a curvaceous staircase offers a nice counter, acting as an anchor and reference point for circulation. An open plan scheme allows for adaptation, and Mecanoo has also allocated 139,930 square feet for future expansion. The project is set to cost $44 million and is due to be open to the public at the close of 2018.

Plans unveiled for a sprawling mall of pebbles in the suburbs of Dubai

LuLu Group International has commissioned Design International and Eng. Adnan Saffarini to design its new flagship shopping center: Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis in Dubai. And while it might not boast the heights we're used to seeing in the towering city, it is certainly sprawling at 1,779 acres. Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis is the front door of the so-called Dubai Silicon Oasis development covering some 1,779 acres. To wrap your head around that number, that's 2.7 square miles or 1,306 football fields. The vicinity will be home to over 700 high tech companies, hotels, business parks, and large residential communities, located right off Emirates Road and Al Ain Road in a rapidly developing area on Dubai's periphery. Architect for Design International, Davide Padoa, said in a press release, "All of the parties involved in this project share the same values: the development of the community, as well as the desire to be at the forefront of style, technology and sustainable innovation, which is what Dubai Silicon Oasis stands out for." The mall uses pebble-like forms that, when viewed from a distance, appear to be wrapped in white wrapping paper. Of course, this is only an illusion—white tiles comprise the facade system that's supposedly inspired by "ancient Arabian movements across the desert." Design Internationals said it aimed to create "an oasis of calm and tranquility in the otherwise hectic pace of modern suburban Dubai." As for the interior, five plazas will reflect the five elements of an oasis: The Cave, The Canyon, The Forest, The Lagoon, and The Mirage. Also inside will be entertainment, urban fashion, luxury, kids, sports and leisure zones along with a cinema, 45 restaurants, and a flagship LuLu Hypermarket and LuLu Department Store. To accomodate the arrival of the expected number of visitors by car, there will also be a two level 3,600 capacity car park.

First this casino in Macau built the world’s first figure-eight Ferris wheel, then it built a time-lapse LEGO model of the spectacle

Calling itself Asia's entertainment capital, the nearing completion casino, Studio City Macau, is a $3.2 billion resort that has enough glittering amenities to claim such a title. But as we know from Las Vegas, no casino sprawling out over the size of a mini city is complete without some sort of amusement park flourish, and Studio City doesn't disappoint, boasting the world's first figure-eight Ferris wheel. Hovering 427 feet above the ground, the so-called Golden Reel is the crown jewel of the $3.2 billion complex. With a gold-tinted structural system that carries round cars on the novel journey, switching them between rings along the way, the spectacle is sure to be as pleasing from the ground as for visitors spinning up above. The Golden Reel was inspired by an idea right out of a disaster action flick. Melco Crown Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho, who is developing the project, envisioned the dramatic storyline: "not one, but two flaming asteroids crashed through the building facade in tandem to create an almost perfect figure-8 form," according to the company's press release. "The Golden Reel is a ‘world’s first’ technological innovation that reinvents the gondola-ride and Ferris wheel experience for our visitors," Lawrence Ho said in a statement. "As a new iconic landmark in Macau, the Golden Reel is a totally unique entertainment offering to Asia, and indeed the world, and we continue to deliver on our commitment to expanding the non-gaming leisure and entertainment offerings available in Macau, as a continuing strategy in supporting its evolution into a highly-diversified and world-leading leisure and tourism destination." macau-figure8-01 Besides holding title as the first figure-eight wheel, the Golden Reel will also be the highest Ferris wheel in Asia. Seventeen pods, each large enough to accommodate ten people, will traverse the amusement ride. Visitors will spend 15 minutes making the round beginning on the building's 23rd floor. The attraction is situated between what developers are calling "Art Deco meets Gotham City" hotel towers designed by the Goddard Group, designers and master planners of theme parks around the world. But if such a spectacular Ferris wheel isn't enough to satisfy your interest in the bizarre, Studio City has also built a replica of the towers and Golden Reel out of LEGOs, filmed it in time lapse, and put it online for the world to see. Take a look below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5jTgw3TfjI

Such Great Heights: CTBUH names world’s best tall buildings

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the nonprofit arbiter on tall building design, has named its 2014 picks for best tall buildings. Among the winners are a twisting tower in Dubai, Portland's greenest retrofit, and a veritable jungle of a high-rise. The four regional winners are: The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Portland, USA (Americas); One Central Park, Sydney, Australia (Asia & Australia); De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands (Europe); and Cayan Tower, Dubai, UAE (Middle East & Africa). Portland’s Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building is not a new building. Designed by SOM in 1974, the office tower used a pre-cast concrete façade that had begun to fail by the turn of the 21st century. Bainbridge Island, Washington-based Cutler Anderson Architects and local firm SERA modernized the 18-story, 512,474 square-foot structure that is now targeting LEED Platinum. One Central Park in Sydney uses hydroponics and heliostats to cultivate gardens and green walls throughout the tower, cooling the building and creating the world's tallest vertical garden. OMA’s De Rotterdam is the largest building in the Netherlands, and its form playfully morphs the glassy midcentury office high-rise in a way that’s part homage and part experimental deconstruction. In the Middle East, Dubai’s twisting Cayan Tower (formerly The Infinity Tower) is a 75-story luxury apartment building that turns 90 degrees over its 997-foot ascent. Remarked the CTBUH panel: “happening upon its dancing form in the skyline is like encountering a hula-hooper on a train full of gray flannel suits.” CTBUH will pick an overall “Best Tall Building Worldwide” winner at their 13th Annual Awards on November 6, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Their panel of judges includes Jeanne Gang, OMA’s David Gianotten, Laing O’Rourke’s David Scott, and Sir Terry Farrell, among others. OMA’s CCTV Tower in Beijing won last year’s competition. Most of the 88 contest entries were from Asia, CTBUH said, continuing that continent’s dominance of global supertall building construction. CTBUH's international conference will take place in Shanghai in September. You can find more about the 2014 CTBUH awards, including a full list of finalists, at their website.

On View> MVRDV Reconsiders Rapid Urbanization with a Vertical Village

As East Asian cities continue to modernize and densify, monotonous and dehumanizing blocks tend to replace the finely-grained, small-scale architecture and urbanism such as Beijing’s Hutong, Tokyo’s small wooden houses, and Singapore’s traditional villages. These “urban ecologies that have evolved over the course of centuries,” as Dutch firm MVRDV explains, foster a social interconnectivity in these communities, forming the basis for a new exhibition currently on view in Seoul, South Korea. MVRDV presents their research on rapid urban transformation in East Asia in Welcome to the Vertical Village at Seoul's Total Museum of Contemporary Art presented through rich audio-visual displays and vibrantly-colored installations of an imagined Vertical Village of more than 700 individual pieces, a solution in opposition to monolithic development while embracing the density it provides. The exhibition describes an alternative model of development that embraces the qualities of dense three-dimensional communities while preserving the diversity, flexibility, and personal freedom present in traditional East Asian villages. The exhibition runs through October 7, 2012.