Posts tagged with "Nikken Sekkei":

Placeholder Alt Text

Indonesia’s new capital city will be master-planned by AECOM, McKinsey & Company, Nikken Sekkei

Last August, the Indonesian government announced that the city of Jakarta will no longer be a viable capital city in the near future, given increasing flood risks attributable to sea-level rise. Instead, a new capital city for up to seven million people would be constructed on higher ground in East Kalimantan, a province in the neighboring island of Borneo that the country shares with Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, founder and CEO of Japanese holding company SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, are all on the overseeing committee for the ambitious project. Three international organizations—international engineering company AECOM, international consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and Japanese architecture and engineering firm Nikken Sekkei—have recently been selected to develop a master plan for the 988-square-mile property. “[The consulting firms] have experience designing large cities,” said Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, according to The Jakarta Post. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo expressed that the development of a new capital city is an opportunity to create a “smart metropolis” that will be energy non-intensive and beneficial to the country’s economic growth. Additionally, Blair told The Jakarta Post that “It’s going to be a project that doesn’t just mean creating a new capital city, but a capital city that is going to be very special in the way that it's developed with a particular emphasis on it being clean and green and doing the very best for the environment, but also a capital city that will allow the economy of the country as a whole to develop and grow.” A large portion of the budget, currently estimated to be 466 trillion rupiahs ($34 billion), will go towards the development of its 21-square-mile downtown, in which the new presidential palace and related government buildings would be sited. A fifth of that budget will be provided by the state, while the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) have agreed to invest an additional $22 billion through a sovereign wealth fund. While the master planning committee develops a scheme for what the ‘smart metropolis’ will entail, exactly, it will have to be designed in a way that benefits the area’s indigenous Dayak tribe and preserves the abundant natural resources. Construction is expected to begin later this year and the new city will accept new residents as early as 2024.
Placeholder Alt Text

FC Barcelona unveil images for new expanded Camp Nou stadium

Despite being arguably one of the biggest, if not the biggest names in club soccer, FC Barcelona occupies an aging stadium. The Camp Nou, as it is known today, was originally built in 1957 with the iconic Francesc Mitjans-designed open bowl. Today, the all-seater stadium can hold 99,354 fans, and while the arena had upgrades 1982, 1995, and 2008, the need for radical modernization has been in the pipeline for quite sometime. Behind the $651.9 million project is the Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei, who will be delivering their first project in Europe, collaborating with Catalan architects Joan Pascual and Ramon Ausió. Paying respect to Mitjans' original concept, whose design allowed the arena to essentially become a modern day colosseum with no roof and roaring crowd, the team have "inverted" the bowl. A roof is now set to encapsulate every spectator—an upgrade on the meagre canopy that before only sheltered the monarchy and high-rollers. The ETFE-clad translucent roof will visually maintain the sense of openness and also boost the atmosphere: it will amplify the stadium's acoustic qualities by keeping sound in and allowing it to reverberate around. “Our design is derived from the essence of the original stadium,” said Takeyuki Katsuya of Nikken Sekkei. “The great open space around the stadium is like a large piece of origami, carefully arranged not to disturb the flow of people into the stadium. People can be outside, enjoying the Mediterranean climate." “It is a perfect match,” added Pascual. “We’re speaking as architects to architects. This has allowed us to get to know each other well. We understand what Barca is, what it represents and we know what it means for the city. The project is very respectful of the work of Mitjans and the solution was to continue his path." “The whole project needed to simultaneously capture the two settings, the stadium and the city. It will feel timeless. The members will continue to feel at home; they will not see the difference. They will only notice the improvements.” In terms of capacity, allocation will be expanded to an estimated 105,000 spectators. While only averaging an attendance of just over 70,000 in recent years, some 98,760 piled in to watch el classico (vs. Real Madrid) in March last year. While needs must, the refurbishment of the stadium's often unseen underbelly will be a loss to some. The rugged concrete aesthetic of the stadia's inner workings had an honest appeal. The stadium bore the scars of disgruntled fans through visible etchings and crater marks. As a result, the stadium had developed a character. The concrete infrastructure was also partially open to the elements. This was unusual compared to the arena's contemporary counterparts but, given the structure's size, it allowed the coastal breeze to supply natural ventilation (a must on a balmy evening in the mediterranean) and also offered views across the vicinity. Nikken Sekkei have dutifully maintained this aspect and have in fact taken it further. The upper concourses will be much more open, facilitating panoramic views, with only pitched eaves as barriers to the outside. Subsequently, this continues the theme of openness and sense of honesty, perhaps restoring what will be lost through materiality. At ground level, the stadium's perimeter will be bound by a glass facade, meanwhile escalators and elevators will be added to improve accessibility to all tiers, replacing the stairways that exist today. Current Barcelona player Andrés Iniesta commented that “for me and everyone at the club this is an important step forward in our history. Having a stadium like this means we’ll continue to set new standards as the best team in the world.” Work on the new stadium will continue through to the 2021/22 season, by which time Iniesta will be 37. "Everyone will be able to enjoy the New Camp Nou in their own different way," he said, with a hint that he may not be in the team at that point. The stadium is part of a wider scheme to develop the immediate area which will see American firm HOK design a new Palau Blaugrana multisports arena. An hour-long video of the full stadium presentation, which has been open to public can be view below.
Placeholder Alt Text

This abandoned rail corridor in Singapore will soon be a nationwide linear park, and these firms are competing to design it

Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has shortlisted five winning design firms for an RFP to overhaul the Singapore Rail Corridor. Defunct since 2011 and once a prominent Singapore–Malaysia trade route, the railway spans the entire country from north to south starting at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to the Woodlands Checkpoint. A competition launched by the URA requested proposals to transform the 15-mile stretch into a public greenway connecting four important urban nodes: Buona Vista, the Bukit Timah Railway Station area, former Bukit Timah Fire Station, and Kranji. The five shortlisted design teams are as follows:
  • West 8 and DP Architects
  • Grant Associates and MVRDV with Architects 61
  • Turenscape International and MKPL Architects
  • Nikken Sekkei with Tierra Design
  • OLIN Partnership and OMA Asia with DP Architects
“The expanse of the corridor running through the center of the entire country presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop a new typology of landscape with transformative effects for the country as a whole,” said Michael Kokora, partner at OMA, one of five shortlisted firms. “This is a project that has the potential to improve quality of life for generations to come.” To progress beyond Stage 2A, the selected firms will have to draw up a feasibility study and present preliminary designs for a 2.5-mile signature stretch designated as a “green gateway” to the Rail Corridor. The landscape architecture is a linchpin in the evaluation process, seeing as the brief calls for the conversion of the railway into a “leisure corridor for shared sports, arts and community activities” while leveraging the tropical environment. The URA launched the "Rail Corridor – An Inspired and Extraordinary Community Space" RFP in March 2015. Sixty-four design teams responded. Stage 2B will commence by the end of this year following a public exhibition held from October to November 2015 by the five shortlisted teams. After assimilating public feedback, the winning teams will work with the URA to refine the Concept Master Plan and Concept Designs to account for the provision of services and infrastructure such as cycling tracks, shelters, and toilets. Evaluation panel member Dr. Malone-Lee Lai Choo, Director for the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities at the National University of Singapore and member of the Rail Corridor Partnership, said, “We were looking for schemes that are particularly strong in responding to the ecology of the site, that respect its natural qualities, while introducing sensitive design interventions to enhance them.” “They must demonstrate understanding and appreciation of the needs, sentiments and collective aspirations of users and residents. We would also want the Corridor to be an outstanding urban asset, and are therefore open to innovative concepts, particularly in and around the nodes; ideas that demonstrate freshness of approach and potentially exceptional design qualities that will enhance our urban landscape.”