In mid-May, AN wrote about Zaha Hadid's first project in Mexico—a sprawling, 981-unit housing complex in Monterrey. The Esfera City Center development appears as a series of interconnected, almost pixelated, mid-rise residential buildings that are centered around a communal green space. And now it has a slick video rendering that sheds new light on the project's design. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxReDJpqMMQ As with pretty much every Zaha Hadid project, the unveiling of Esfera City Center came with plenty of eye candy in the form of glossy renderings. But if those pictures left you wanting more, you're in luck! Hadid's team has also released a fly-through of the project that gives a closer look at the complex's apartments, gym, pool, and open space. Take a look at the video above for an in-depth look at Hadid's latest, inside and out. [h/t Dezeen]
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Italian football giant AC Milan is relocating to what the club purports as “the world’s most innovative stadium” in the city’s Portello area. The new mixed-use facility will be slightly over half the size of the team’s current 80,000-seater San Siro stadium, which it shares with fierce rival Intel. Flagging spectator turnout in recent years has incentivized several Italian football clubs to occupy downsized stadiums. In the 2013-14 season, AC Milan averaged just 40,061 spectators and half-empty bleachers. The club selected a design team consisting of architecture and design firm Arup and Italian architect Emilio Faroldi, who studied 70 stadia around the world as part of the design process, absorbing ideas from the Emirates Stadium in London, the St. Jakob-Park in Basel, and the new San Mames stadium in Bilbao. Given initial protests by Milan residents over the club’s relocation, Faroldi’s onus was to create a minimally invasive design with the aesthetic of a building rather than a hulking sports facility. Thus the first 33 feet of the stadium will be sunken underground, with the building peaking at just 98 feet. Aspiring towards a multi-use stadium that remains operational on non-matchdays like those in the UK, the facility will include a hotel, sports college, restaurants, courtyard and rooftop green areas, a children’s playground, and public art spaces. “Scientific research, through a series of studies, tell us clearly that the role of arenas in Europe and the world is gradually changing,” Faroldi told Italy’s La Gazetta dello Sport. “The stadiums are no longer meant just as a place for sporting events, although open all week, but as a useful piece to reorder the outlook of a neighborhood, a city.” The architect aimed for fewer turnstiles and fewer barriers between fans and the stadium, proposing to supplement these distancing reinforcements with heightened security. AC Milan recently mobilized to tout the benefits of the new stadium to the public, such as escalated land value and the creation of 1,000 jobs during construction and 500 jobs thereafter. The club emphasized the incorporation of state-of-the-art sound-proof materials for near-zero noise pollution and minimal visual impact, as well as the stadium’s integration with public transportation systems. AC Milan hopes to move into its new stadium by the beginning of the 2018–19 Series A season.
YouTube vlogger Grant Thompson aka 'King of Random' recently broke the internet with a how-to video for concocting edible, stackable LEGO gummy candies. The mixture is made using just two ingredients—unflavored powdered gelatin and water—and then poured into arts & craft store-variety silicone LEGO molds or ice cube trays. You need simply mix the powder with water and melt the mixture. Thompson recommends letting it sit for ten minutes and then pouring the jelly-to-be into a squeezable condiment container to easily dispense it into the molds. If lumps form, pour the entire mixture into a large drinking glass, where air bubbles and clumps will rise to the top, adding more water if you desire clearer bricks, and increasing the ratio of unflavored gelatin to flavored for a chewier texture. Allow five hours for the syrup to cool. Provided that the mixture properly fills the mold, the resulting LEGO bricks and figures should be stackable just like the real toy—veritable proof that everything is awesome, as proclaimed by the irritatingly catchy LEGO Movie theme song.
Piece by piece, Watch as New York City's first micro-unit housing complex by nArchitects takes shape
New York City's first-ever entirely micro-unit housing complex is being stacked together on Manhattan's East Side. Back in February, we wrote that the modules for the nARCHITECTS-designed building were being assembled at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and now we can report that they have begun arriving at their permanent home in Kips Bay. https://vimeo.com/129103128 The project, which is being developed by Monadnock, won Michael Bloomberg's adAPT NYC Competition in 2013 and was originally known as My Micro NY. It has since since been given the more conventional-sounding name: Carmel Place. Each of Carmel Place's units measure between 260 and 360 square feet and offer nine-and-a-half-foot-tall ceilings. If tenants are feeling a bit cramped, they can lean over their Juliette balconies for some air, or step into one of Carmel Place's (non-micro) communal spaces like the gym, lounge, or terrace. "While there are currently micro-apartments in buildings throughout the city, regulations do not allow an entire building to be comprised only of micro-units," the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development said in a statement. "This pilot project will help inform potential regulatory changes that could allow the development of micro-unit apartment buildings in appropriate locations." The 11-story building is slated to be completed by the end of the year and will have a mix of market-rate and subsidized units, and housing for veterans. The market-rate units will be listed between $2,000–3,000. You can watch the installation process in the video above, made by Lloyd Alter of Treehugger.
The two innovators behind the Jetman Dubai jetpack athlete team recently released a video of them streaking in synchronized flight over the Dubai skyline and surrounding desert—and it brings a completely new perspective to the architecture of the city. Yves Rossy, a professional pilot from Switzerland, and Vince Reffet, a professional skydiver, have spent years perfecting the contraptions for propelled human flight. Although incapable of independent take-off, their delta-winged, turbine-powered jetpack can gain altitude when dropped from an aircraft and sustain flight for 6–13 minutes at speeds of 112–186 mph. In the promotional video for Skydive Dubai, the duo are shown careening close to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, shooting over the Persian Gulf coast, and freewheeling over the desert. “I felt I was flying. It is just an insane feeling,” one of the jetmen said in the video. “The moment when the action is coming there is big concentration. It’s a mixture of fear and adrenaline that we transform into good energy, into power.” The flight was shot from a chase plane and two GoPro cameras attached to the jetmen, according to The Verge. Rossy, infatuated with the world of free fall and an innovator in the world of propelled human flight, has tinkered for ten years with a jetpack that would allow for prolonged flight and better control of trajectory. With each new iteration, Rossy shrank the wings to make them more aerodynamic for faster flight, building on his first flightsuit that enabled him to stay airborne for just 10 minutes. Rossy is currently developing a new flightsuit featuring bigger and lighter wings with a slower approach speed for independent takeoff and landing, so that the flyer’s own legs can be used as landing gear. In 2013, Rossy cruised in the air alongside a B17 bomber jet at Oshkosh’s AirVenture airshow in Wisconsin. Rossy has also annexed the skies above the Swiss Alps, the English channel, and the Grand Canyon. [h/t Bored Panda]
With the recent opening of One World Trade Center, the folks over at EarthCam have reshared their 2013 timelapse of the tower's 1,776 foot rise. There's not too much else to say about the video, other than that it sure makes the building's very long and arduous climb seem pretty quick and easy. It's also set to some very Game of Thrones-y music, so it has that going for it too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn11DWH_LEA You can check out the video above to see One World Trade, and some other pieces of the World Trade Center site (hello, Four World Trade!), take shape over what has been a very fraught time frame. And, hey, maybe in another year or so, we'll be back here watching a timelapse of Calatrava's Transportation Hub. And after that, how about the rise of (maybe) Bjarke Ingels' 2 World Trade Center?
Zaha Hadid, the starchitect behind this sand-dune inspired headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, a high-design billboard in London, a parametric casino in China, and these uncomfortable-looking high heels, has introduced a new line of lighting fixtures for the Italian lighting company SLAMP. It's being called "Aria Transparent" and the fixtures take the form of icicles, or as Hadid's people put it—a dematerialized volume "where illumination and lightness blend, defining natural design, becoming almost aquatic." Yes, it is very Hadidian. The chandeliers, which come in small, medium, and large, have 50 transparent, droopy surfaces positioned on an axis to each uniquely catch the LED glow. In the video below, which be forewarned has some funky sound issues, Patrik Schumacher, a partner and director at Zaha Hadid Architects, explains that the line is intended to have a "beautifully filigreed, lacy sensibility." So the pieces definitely take Hadid's signature swoopy shape, but they have a much, ahem, lighter materiality than most of her built work around the world. Take a look at the video to learn a bit more. https://vimeo.com/129005669
Santiago Calatrava really wants you to stop blaming him for the very delayed and very over budget World Trade Center Transit Hub. All of your snark and rude comments have really gotten to him, which he recently revealed to the Wall Street Journal. “It has not been easy for me,” he said. “I have been treated like a dog.” But there's now some good news that should help cheer up the Spanish starchitect: famous person George Clooney is staunchly on his side. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=34&v=O6SinrRmuUU Clooney is in some new movie called Tommorowland that filmed at Calatrava's City of Arts & Sciences in Valencia, of which he is a big fan. At a recent press conference to promote the film, which took place on the modern campus, Clooney lavished praise on Calatrava. "This is an amazing place," he said. "If there's ever a question about whether or not there are dreamers in this world just come to look at this building, it is the most extraordinary place. There is such hope here, it's really fun to be in a place like this." The complex is striking, sure, but maybe Clooney hasn't heard about all the controversy and issues its run into over the years. We're talking ballooning budgets, crumbling facades, and lawsuits. As Susan Morris recently wrote on the AN Blog, Calatrava's City of Arts & Sciences is not the only high-profile piece of architecture featured in Tomorrowland. Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion has a cameo too.
Herzog & de Meuron's New York City skyscraper, 56 Leonard—aka the "Jenga Tower" because of its stacked-cube appearance, is steadily rising in Tribeca. While the building currently has a pretty standard glass box form with some protruding balconies, its upper floors will taper dramatically, hence the nickname. https://vimeo.com/121215554 Ahead of the tower topping out this summer, the 56 Leonard team has a released a one-minute timelapse video that shows the building's progress over the last 14 months. It's a fun (and quick) watch, and nicely builds anticipation for the tower's final form. [h/t Curbed]
It is not surprising that the Barclays Center has been a polarizing building. It was born out of one of New York’s most controversial development schemes, it draws big crowds to the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn, and, of course, has a bold architectural form and facade that people tend to really love or really hate. https://vimeo.com/128175007 But no matter what you may think of the SHoP Architects–designed arena, it hasn’t seemed quite finished since Jay Z inaugurated the building with eight sold out shows back in 2012. Because above the arena’s rippling steel skin was a bare white roof (save for the Barclays logo) that looked, more or less, like a bald spot. Now, that’s changing as the Barclays Center’s long-promised green roof is taking shape. While the 135,000-square-foot space will not be publicly accessible, it is designed to reduce noise output from the arena, capture rainwater, and provide nice views from the street, as well as from the new towers rising above it. The undisclosed cost of the project is being covered by a joint venture between Forest City Ratner and the Shanghai-based Greenland Holding Group, which has joined the Pacific Park Brooklyn project, formerly known as Atlantic Yards. The Architect’s Newspaper was recently granted exclusive access onto the Barclays Center’s roof to see the installation process. See for yourself in our video above.
Last September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism. I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Luke Leung, director of sustainable engineering for SOM. In Shanghai's Jin Mao Tower (an SOM building), we talked air quality, sustainable design metrics, and whether humanity might be able to build ourselves out of the environmental mess we find ourselves in. "The tall building can help to create better health and potentially less carbon emissions in the city per capita," Leung said, but he added it's important to address the issue holistically. We need to reduce emissions associated with embodied carbon, transportation carbon and operating carbon, Leung said: “We need to strike to make those three components to be all approaching net-zero.” Asked if LEED is still the best way to rank green buildings, Leung acknowledged shortcomings in how we talk about sustainable design. “It's amazing that the focus is on energy and water, while the building is designed for human beings,” he said. And he called for more attention to human-centric systems that address human health: “From that standpoint all the green building systems, they have room for improvement, but LEED is one that starts addressing some of those issues.” Finally, in light of technological progress, Leung stressed humility before nature. “[To] go back and listen to the basic laws of nature is our best bet,” Leung said. “But that time is limited.” Watch more videos on CTBUH’s website, and on YouTube. You can subscribe to their monthly video series here.
Cobblestone streets are beautiful to walk around and add charm to historic neighborhoods, but biking down these bumpy thoroughfares is another story. New York City has solved that problem with a new design treatment to a block-long cobblestone bike lane along Varick Street in the city's Tribeca neighborhood. https://vimeo.com/127628966 NYC Department of Transportation Bicycle Program Project Manager Nick Carey explained the new lane to Streetfilms this week. He said the project is part of a major north-south route in Lower Manhattan, the south leg following Varick Street. "The thing with cobblestones is, you can ride a bike on cobblestones, it's just not very comfortable," Carey said. "So naturally, a lot of cyclists were using the sidewalk," which is illegal in the city if you're over the age of 12. Carey said the granite lane was installed to preserve the historic nature of the street. In house crews saw cut the path for the granite pavers out of the cobblestone road bed, laid down the bike lane with an asphalt base, and hand-fit stones around it. The smooth path is narrow, as it only has to fit a bike tire, but the overall bike lane is six feet wide, delineated with offset cobbles. The granite bike lane is located just south of Canal Street. "It's a new tool we have in our toolbox," Carey said. "Just like green paint, or bollards, or signage."