Who says the post–Guggenheim Bilbao era of bombastic, sculptural buildings is over? The spirit of the ’00s lives on in the results of twin competitions for a pair of large cultural buildings in Xingtai, a city of more than one million people in northern China. Coop Himmelb(l)au's winning design for the Xingtai Science and Technology Museum resembles a daring cantilevered sandwich, while Snøhetta went with a somewhat more subdued design for the Xingtai Grand Theatre. The news was announced last week by the China Building Centre (CBC), the group that organized the competition. Himmelb(l)au’s design includes a lot of the firm’s signature moves—a soaring cantilevered roof, undulating surfaces, rippling skins, and colliding geometries—but the scheme bears more than a passing resemblance to other layered rectangular buildings that band a public landscape in between two thickened slabs. The Xingtai renderings call to mind Mecanoo’s recently completed National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts and OMA’s never-built Agadir Convention Center. It looks like this sandwich will have more of a filling than the Mecanoo building, though—Himmelb(l)au’s renderings show the middle as lush, rolling parkland. Snøhetta’s design goes for fewer formal gymnastics than Himmelb(l)au’s but still features a bit of flash. Its main component appears to be a long curved plaza that turns into a ramp that follows the twist of a shimmering facade behind which a soaring atrium awaits visitors. The organizers have not yet announced a timeline for construction.
Posts tagged with "Coop Himmelb(l)au":
Vienna-based firm Coop Himmelb(l)au has completed the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) as part of the master plan for the Futian Cultural District in Shenzhen, a major city in Guangdong Province, China. The complex merges two independent institutions—The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Planning Exhibition (PE)—within a structurally unified form. (The latter is an exhibition venue.) The combined art and exhibition facility consists of a seven-story building which reaches a maximum height of 131 feet, rests on a 233,447 square-foot site, and offers a total of 861,112 square feet of floor space. The building’s irregularly shaped volumes are clad in natural stone louvers and insulated glass, which create a transparent exterior. Within the complex, the central atrium houses an amorphous reflective structure referred to as ‘the Cloud,’ which houses a café, bookstore, and museum store, while joining the exhibition rooms of both museums with bridges and ramps, according to Perspective. Architects at Coop Himmelb(l)au extended this synergy between the two organizations throughout the complex, with both organizations sharing the lobby, auditorium, conference rooms, and service areas. According to a press release, “the transparent facade and a sophisticated internal lighting concept allow a deep view into the joint entrance and transitional areas between the buildings. From the inside, visitors are granted an unhindered view onto the city suggesting they are somewhere in a gently shaded outdoor area, an impression enhanced by 6 to 17 meter high, completely open and column-free exhibition areas.” Energy-wise, MOCAPE utilizes solar and geothermal energy, with a groundwater cooling system in attempts to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint. The transparent roofing of the museum also filters in natural sunlight into the exhibition rooms, reducing the need for artificial lighting sources.
Coop Himmelb(l)au: Dynamischer Raumplan Southern California Institute of Architecture 960 East Third Street Los Angeles Through March 8, 2015 Environmental consciousness and energy conservation have overhauled the blueprint for urban planning. With efficiency at its heart, today’s back-to-nature paradigm will realize the potential of self-sufficient cities powered instead by clean, renewable resources including the sun, wind, water, and earth. The Dynamischer Raumplan is a spatial installation by Vienna-based firm Coop Himmelb(l)au that operates like a machine to visualize the energy lines that shape a city’s morphology. A 21st century game-changer, the influence of energy conservation is as powerful and radicalizing as the advent of the automobile in the 20th century, which mandated all-new infrastructure. The installation can be read in several scales, from a city block to a city district to an urban region, in which the energy lines of an imaginary site are displayed one by one to show how they might converge and adapt according to the needs of the system “like the brain, like a cloud, like a city.”
On View> Drawings by Hadid, Tschumi, Gehry, Libeskind, and Koolhaas are being exhibited right now in St. Louis
Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum Washington University in St. Louis 1 Brookings Dr, St Louis, MO Through January 4th The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis is currently exhibiting early drawings from some of the world’s leading architects including Zaha Hadid, Bernard Tschumi, Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, and Rem Koolhaas. The works come from the private collection of the late Alvin Boyarsky who chaired the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London from 1971 to 1990. The collection includes about 40 prints and drawings from the architects, and nine limited-edition folios published by the AA. Those folios include works from Peter Cook, Coop Himmelblau, and Peter Eisenman. “Drawing Ambience offers a rare glimpse into a pivotal moment in architectural history and the imaginative spirit of drawing that was and continues to be instrumental to the development of the field,” said the Kemper Museum in a statement. The exhibit was co-organized with the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design and will travel to Providence in April. This is the first public museum exhibition of Boyarsky’s collection.
Coop Himmelb(l)au recently won a competition to design the Deep Pit Ice and Snow World in the Dawang Mountain Resort area near the city of Changsha. The quarry project, which also featured proposals from Gensler and Asymptote, is the second of its kind in China, following the Songjiang Shimao Hotel outside of Shanghai. It is one of many new schemes for Changsha from international architects such as Zaha Hadid. The 394,000 square foot project is positioned directly on top of a historic cement mining quarry pit and lake, and consists of an Entertainment Ice World, Indoor Ski Slope, Water Park and restaurant and shopping facilities. The design emphasizes the existing quarry pit and the 560 foot spanning sculpted shell of the Snow and Ice World.
The Shell, which spans from cliff to cliff, covers a sunken and hanging garden, creating a new leisure space of islands, water pools, cliffside pathways and ramps that connect the building to its natural surroundings. Other highlights include a cantilevered outdoor swimming pool that also creates a 200-foot-tall waterfall into the quarry pit. A central glass cone provides controlled natural daylight to the Ice World structure and the islands and water surfaces below, and a sculptural 330-foot-tall tower will is to the Ice World via a grand central plaza. The project is slated to start construction sometime in 2014 with an expected completion date in 2016.
"Venice Architecture Biennale 'cannot get any worse' says Wolf D. Prix," read the headline on Dezeen's August 30 wire post. In a press release titled “The Banal,” Prix declared that that architects participating in the biennale are “playing” while the profession is “sinking into powerlessness and irrelevance” at the hands of politicians, bureaucrats, and investors. The broadside caused a stir in Venice during he opening and in the blogosphere but now it appears that Prix was never in Venice for the biennale in the first place and thus had not seen the exhibition he denounced. His office claims that Prix has been misunderstood and "the critique addressed the theme of the exhibition, not the show or its execution," according to a spokesperson for the firm. Mr. Prix has a right to critique David Chipperfield’s chose theme, “Common Ground.” He makes some valid points comparing the biennale to a Venetian Carnival where "one can imagine all the architects in Pierrot costumes surrounded by masked critics and dancing the Dance Banale." The bi-annual fair does have its "hollow, arduous, exhausting, bleak and boring moments," as Prix argued but also displays of pure elation, beauty, critique, and poetry. It’s a trade show like no other and one really does have to attend to feel its "hollow" and beautiful moments and insights. In the 2008 biennale Mr. Prix displayed his iconic 1969 "Feedback Space" plastic bubble that one had to see and enter to really understand. Perhaps Mr. Prix should remember that his recreated plastic bubble argued for and required "physicalness." It comes off like sour grapes that Mr. Prix, who was not exhibiting at this biennale, lambasted it without seeing it himself. I wonder if he would be pleased if journalists critiqued his BMW “Welt” building without actually visiting it in Munich?
What better way to see LA than the way she was intended, by car. My colleague Sam Lubell was kind enough to chauffeur me around the city from time to time--when he wasn't, the buses were surprisingly nice, far more so than in New York, I must admit. While Sam drove, I did my best to take a few pictures. UPDATE: Here are some more pictures from the bus ride to Union Station, where I caught another bus to the airport. Also, I was wrong about the above building. That's a parking garage. See the comment section below for more.