Posts tagged with "Mountains":

Spare a billion or two to help build a real life version of Tolkien’s Minas Tirith?

There's something about those CGI scenes of Middle Earth in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings that really tickles the imagination. Apparently, they're inspirational enough to prod one group in Southern England to put together a campaign to build a real life version of J.R.R. Tolkien's hilled city of Minas Tirith. And they're asking the world to fund it. A determined group of architects and structural engineers launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign seek to recreate the fictional city in all its white-walled, mountainside glory—and it won't be cheap. The so-called Realise Minas Tirith project has already raised over $94,000 of the approximately $2.8 billion budget with 47 days left to reach its goal. The project won't receive any funds unless its entire budget is met by that deadline, so it's a pretty safe bet to chip in a few bucks. "We all share a love of Tolkien's work, and a desire to challenge the common perception of community and architecture," project leader Jonathan Wilson said on his Indiegogo page. "We believe that, in realising Minas Tirith, we can create not only the most remarkable tourist attraction on the planet, but also a wonderfully unique place to live and work.We're fully aware of the scale of our ambition, but we hope you realise just how special this project could be." If the funds are raised in time, the group plans to break ground in 2016 and open their gleaming new city in 2023. There is precedent for such a monumental hill-city building campaign. Take, for instance, Le Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France, pictured below.

Now open to the public, Zaha Hadid’s Italian Messner Museum is literally built inside a mountaintop

Zaha Hadid's Messner Mountain Museum Corones is perched 7,464 feet above sea level. The museum itself is embedded within Mount Kronplatz as if it was violently speared through the peak to overlook the breathtaking Dolomites region in the Italy. And you you can see the stunning views yourself now that the museum has officially opened to the public. The predominantly subterranean construction encouraged by Hadid was intended to allow the smooth, computer-drafted building to blend and contrast with the mountain's jagged rock. With only the cement-based entrance exposed, the museum resembles a singular, enormous climbing wall hand hold that, because of its natural color, is paired well alongside the mountain landscape inviting climbers to ascend to the peak. Said to represent the “supreme discipline of mountaineering,” the museum is one of six dedicated to the legendary mountaineer and explorer Reinhold Messner, who is known to be the first climber to ascend all fourteen "eight-thousanders" and the first to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen. Each Messner Museum commemorates not only his accomplishments as a mountaineer but more importantly honors mountain culture overall. Exhibits differ at each location, ranging from film to Dolomite paintings to relics representing those that shaped alpine history. Generally located in South Tyrol and Belluno, Italy, the first five museums are open to the general public. The MMM Corones opened its doors on Friday, July 24th.

Snøhetta brings a touch of modern design to the old cable car with this winning gondola in the Italian Alps

Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has been selected as the winner of a competition to design a cable car that will take visitors to the top of Virgolo Mountain, near Bolzano, Italy, for the first time in 40 years. The mountain has been practically inaccessible since the city closed its historic cable railway in 1976. The new cable car transit system will take visitors to the top in just one minute. The design is based on two rings. One forms the base station, the other the top station, while the cable connects tangentially. It makes the summit just a five minute trip from the city center. The new cable car also interacts with the city via a landscape at the end of the Südtirolerstraße, which brings nature into the city. At the top, a restaurant, café, infinity pool, and meeting rooms with views of the city and surrounding countryside are also planned. "Mountain Square" at the top the Virgolo will be an open space for everything from open-air markets to concerts. The project is currently displayed in the showroom of department store Bozen Bolzano in the Palais Menz in Bolzano Mustergasse.

MAD Studio Begins Construction of Organically-Curving Chaoyang Park Plaza Towers

Nearly two years after preliminary discussions and planning, the Chinese studio MAD has set their project “Urban Forest” into motion, breaking ground in late April. Led by renowned architect Ma Yansong, MAD architects intends to transform the city of Beijing, China by erecting eco-friendly buildings—called Chaoyang Park Plaza—in the shape of natural landscapes commonly found in Southeast Asia. 10-mad-china-tower-under-construction All renderings courtesy MAD. According to the architects, "Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park. Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass facade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines." The Chaoyang Park Plaza, in Beijing's central business district, hopes to re-imagine the urban landscape of Beijing by bringing the striking forms of the towers together with lush landscapes pulled in from the adjacent Chaoyang Park. The development is expecting to received a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council when the project is completed in 2016. 06-mad-china-tower-under-construction 03-mad-china-tower-under-construction 04-mad-china-tower-under-construction 05-mad-china-tower-under-construction 07-mad-china-tower-under-construction 09-mad-china-tower-under-construction 02-mad-china-tower-under-construction mad-china-tower-under-construction 01-mad-china-tower-under-construction

Shigeru Ban’s Mt. Fuji Visitors Center Flips the Mountain Upside Down

In the summer of 2013, Mt. Fuji was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The designation was of the cultural rather than the natural variety, in part because of the way the mountain has "inspired artists and poets." Japanese architect Shigeru Ban plans to add a quite literal architectural chapter to this legacy of inspiration in the form of a visitor center commemorating the mountain's recently-minted status. Ban's design takes Fuji's iconic silhouette as its centerpiece and then inverts it, generating an upside-down lattice cone surrounded by a 46,000-square-foot glass cube. The building is set to be located in Shizuoka prefecture of Japan and will offer views of the nearby mountain. A surrounding pool of water reflects the structure's central cone, restoring the right-side up vision of its formal source material. A committee lead by the Ohara Museum of Art selected Ban's plan ahead of 238 competing entries for the project. Construction on the $23.5 million structure will begin in 2015.

Tower Implosion Makes Way For Mountains on Governors Island

[beforeafter] gov_imploded_01 gov_imploded_02 [/beforeafter] It took only a few seconds for Building 877 on Governors Island—dynamited at various key points—to come crashing down in a pile of sand-colored dust (hopefully with no asbestos)! A group of about 150 lucky New Yorkers, including Raymond Gastil (heading back to his home in Seattle), Margaret Sullivan (H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture), Jonathan Marvel (Rogers Marvel Architects and one of the architect's of the new Governors Island), Lance Brown, and The Guy Nordenson family, were invited to witness the "implosion" at 6:37a.m. on Sunday, June 9. Leslie Koch, President of The Trust for Governors Island pushed plunger down and the explosion (which could be felt in the stomach of everyone on the island) brought the building down in a dramatic flash and applause. The scrubbed remnants of the structure will become the base for a tall rise in the center of the West 8 designed park that Marvel claims wil be over 135 feet in height. Renderings of the new hill by West 8 (see below) show a wooded hill through which an open cut creates a dramatic frame for the The Statue of Liberty. gov_imploded_03 gov_island_update_01

Groundbreaking Pushes Bjarke Ingels’ Hedonistic Sustainability Into Spotlight

Against all odds, BIG-founder Bjarke Ingels is actually building a mountain-slash-ski-slope-slash-waste-to-energy-power-plant in his hometown of Copenhagen. Announced in 2011, the project nearly stalled during the approval process, but officials in the Danish capital broke ground on the facility on Monday. Called the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant, the structure represents Ingels' concept of Hedonistic Sustainability, the notion that a sustainable building shouldn't only be green, but should also be fun. And the Amager Bakke design certainly will be a tourist draw to Copenhagen's industrial waterfront, inviting visitors to ascend to the top of the facility via elevators and ski down its sloping rooftop year round. Several slopes to accommodate varying skill levels are included on the roof where a synthetic material serves as snow. Evergreen trees at the periphery of the slopes complete the Alpine scene. The facade is imagined as a checkerboard modular planters resembling oversized bricks with windows with facing an interior atrium in between. A slender chimney at the building's peak, updated from the original design, releases smoke rings periodically, indicating when one ton of CO2 has been released into the atmosphere. In 2011, the price of the incinerator was estimated at $645 million.