After nearly two decades of designing, planning, and construction, Rome-based architecture firm Fuksas's $262 million Rome-EUR Convention Center is finally complete, along with an adjacent hotel. Dubbed the "Cloud" due to a suspended white curvaceous volume that dominates the 592,000-square-foot space and appears to loom over the concourse, the convention center has been in the making for some 18 years with design work starting in 1998. Now, though, the building is fully open and accessible to the public. It's located in the EUR area of Rome—an area known as being a business and residential district. Encasing the "Cloud" is what Fuksas call the "Theca." The steel structure uses a double-glass facade to expose the cloud to passersby and give the white volume visual precedence. "The 'Cloud' represents the heart of the project. Its construction within the 'box' of the Theca underlines the juxtaposition between a free spatial articulation, without rules, and a geometrically defined shape," described Fuksas on their website. "The Cloud is the distinctive architectural element of the project: The steel rib structure... provides an extraordinary visual effect, and is covered by a 15,000-square-meter transparent curtain." Inside, visitors can access numerous exhibition spaces and auditoriums, part of a flexible space that boasts a seated capacity of nearly 9,000. Included within this is a grand 1,760-seat auditorium (found toward the Cloud's rear) that also offers snack points and support services. Meanwhile, large conference rooms totaling 6,500 seats can also be found within the center. (Courtesy Moreno Maggi) The "Cloud" and "Theca" are two of three elements that "define" the scheme. The third is the "Blade"—a slender 441-room hotel that lies next to the convention center. Fuksas sees it as being an "independent and autonomous structure." All in all, the scheme is touted to make between $330-440 million-a-year, quickly recouping its construction costs. A climate-control system will also aid the scheme's finances in terms of energy usage: Variable flow air conditioning mediates homogenous gains in rooms prone to crowding and photovoltaic elements facilitate the on-site production of electricity.
Posts tagged with "Fuksas":
The Beverly Center, an indoor shopping mall with 883,000 square feet of retail space in Los Angeles, is currently undergoing a $500-million renovation by Rome-based architecture firm Studio Fuksas. The mall, originally built in 1982, is a gigantic multi-level shopping center stacked above five floors of parking. It originally featured a Pompidou Center-style monumental staircase connecting the street to the mall above. The Architect's Newspaper's West Editor Antonio Pacheco interviewed Studio Fuksas Principal Massimiliano Fuksas over email to discuss the project. The Architect’s Newspaper: For a certain period of time, the Beverly Center was referred to as the "most popular tourist attraction in L.A. County." Which aspects of this project work toward reclaiming that mantle? Massimiliano Fuksas: The project pursues the understanding of shopping centers as a pivotal role in today's society, where they are perceived as magnets for social venues and cultural exchanges. The renovation does not consist only [of] the facade design, in order to enhance the building’s appeal, but is also meant to be regarded as an important step to rebrand the shopping center and create a new symbolic meeting area for luxury and contemporary retail in California. Which aspects of the redesign are aimed at creating a different identity for the complex? The chaotic Los Angeles environment evolves into the idea of representing a sense of fluidity and dynamism on the façade of the building. The elevations become white, continuously-reflective surfaces, and will reverberate through the fluctuation of the surrounding cityscape of Los Angeles: The reflected color of the sky superimposes itself upon the building’s materials and mixes with the environment. With the proposed reflecting envelope, the new landmark will change its appearance throughout the day and night and according to the public’s points of view. The fragmentation of the new skin dematerializes the existing volume, through the fluctuation of colors and the kinetic decomposition of the surfaces, into vibrating fragments. In addition, the metal mesh that wraps around the building gives a unique texture which will create an icon for the city. What is the new scheme doing to activate the street life around the Beverly Center? With the renovation, reflective and backlit perforated metal panels reverberate the interior lighting [to the outdoors], creating a visual luxury-promenade throughout the shopping floors. A sequence of curved voids punctures the floors and is intended to be a reminder of the fluidity found in the exterior façade, although in a more human scale as opposed to the urban scale of the exterior. This interaction between the inside and the outside is intended to create a sense of discovery for the users and culminates with a panoramic rooftop terrace. The terrace setting can be enjoyed, not only by the store visitors, but also attracts people and customers from the surrounding local communities. What are some of the ideas behind increasing the porosity of the building, in terms of views and access from within the Beverly Center itself? The idea is to take advantage of the unique location of Beverly Center by opening up the inside to the sky and to the spectacular views of the city. The continuous “river” skylight have a very strong connection to the void openings towards the city that are proposed in the mall, as well as feature ceiling lighting systems in the parking areas. These elements unify the whole building as one. Direct sunlight increases people’s perception of brightness. Larger and more articulated surface areas of the skylight increase the amount of direct sunlight available to shoppers. Entering the building, the visitors are guided through the floors by three-story atria and voids full of movement, which encourage activity throughout the commercial spaces. Large openings on the roof flood natural light through filtered skylights deep within the space to reach all shopping areas. The natural light will be perceived from the lowest levels of the Beverly Center in order to enhance the public areas and the retail activities.
In the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Rome–based architecture firm Fuksas, led by Massimiliano Fuksas and his wife and Doriana, have unveiled their second building: a music theater and exhibition hall along the Mtkvari river that flows through the city. Located in Rhike Park, the building's two programs—theater and exhibition space—are divided into to corresponding twin glass and steel tubular volumes. Standing next to an old retaining wall, the volumes appear to protrude out from the roadside toward the waterfront. Holding 566 seats, the Musical Theatre Hall sits to the North of the site and houses the foyer and other back-of-house facilities. Supported from the ground at the end, the volume acts, in Fuksas' words, as a "periscope" to the river and city, with views framed toward the old town of Tbilisi. The Exhibition Hall, unlike its counterpart, opens up at its end and features stairs leading up to the entrance. Fuksas's first project, also in Tbilisi, in Georgia came back in 2012. The Public Service Hall—just a stones throw away—uses a similar curvaceous, petal-like roof system that hangs over the predominantly glass facades. “It is important for every country to combine its great cultural tradition with contemporary architecture to create part of the country’s history of the future,” said Massimiliano Fuksas in 2015. “Tbilisi has a relevant historic legacy, which unfortunately has been left without any maintenance for the last 15 years. In this context, the plans to regenerate the city not only include the rehabilitation of the landmark of Tbilisi’s Old Town, but mostly to incorporate the requirements of a modern functional city.” According to Joshua Levine of the New York Times, the "grandiose" architecture currently being erected is intended to reflect the "virtues of Georgia’s kinder, gentler bureaucracy." However, it's not all good news for some Georgians. As Levine reports in 2013, preservationists argue that the government is favoring "slapdash commercialism" instead of paying respect to Tbilisi's history. The Times article quotes Gio Sumbadze, a resident artists, as calling it “facadism.” “I think the new buildings would be marvelous, but maybe someplace far away, like in the suburbs,” said Nino Sukhishvili, a local. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMjZzYljbBE
Pininfarina and AECOM have won an international competition to design an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower and technical building at the Istanbul New Airport. The team was selected from a competitive shortlist, which included Zaha Hadid, Fuksas, Moshe Safdie, Grimshaw-Nordic, and RMJM. “One of the World’s largest aviation projects, Istanbul New Airport’s air traffic control tower will be an iconic structure, visible to all passengers traveling through the airport," said İGA's chief executive officer, Yusuf Akçayoğlu, "We were looking for a striking design fit for a 21st century airport while remaining sensitive to Istanbul’s unique heritage." According to the design team, the tower's form was inspired by the tulip, a symbol of Istanbul's culture. This victory marks AECOM's first collaboration with Pininfarina, a firm recognized for designing cars for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. "The collaboration combines the expertise of AECOM’s architectural and engineering teams with Pininfarina’s distinctive architectural style that epitomises speed and movement, influenced by automotive design," announced the design team. The Istanbul New Airport is expected to have the largest, annual, passenger capacity in the world, accommodating 90 million passengers per year at the first stage and 200 million passengers per year by the final stage. According to the design team, İGA secured a $4.9 billion loan from a group of six banks in October to fund the first phase. The following stages will expand the airport to include six runways and three terminal buildings. AECOM and Pininfarina's design will be approximately 22 miles from the city center, on the European side, adjacent to the Black Sea.
Beating out shortlisted competition including John Friedman Alice Kimm and Brooks+Scarpa, Italian firm Studio Fuksas has been awarded the commission to revamp the Beverly Center, the legendary (not to mention, ahem, aesthetically challenging) high end shopping mall in Beverly Hills. The job, overseen by Michigan-based developer Taubman Group, calls for revamping a building that has become tired both inside and out. Considering the ethereal lightness of Fuksas' work—for instance, his undulating, glass-wrapped Fiera in Milan— he should be the perfect architect to reconsider one of the bulkiest buildings in LA. Look for an official announcement in the coming weeks.