Posts tagged with "Zaha Hadid Architects":

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Take a look at Zaha Hadid Architects' dog house design

While Zaha Hadid Architects' 666 Fifth Avenue Tower is in legitimate peril, fans of the architect have something to cheer, or in some cases, howl about. The firm has designed its first dog kennel, a cocoon-like, CNC milled plywood design called "Cloud." Designed for BowWow Haus London, a public exhibition that will aid UK pet charity Blue Cross for Pets, ZHA's barkitecture is slightly elevated above the ground to protect dogs from cold floor surfaces. Other architects and artists participating in BowWow Haus London—most of them located in London and surrounding cities— have created dog houses that range from frilly traditional to austere modernist to flat-out psychedelic. Jia-hao Syu's Bark-alona Pavilion comes with a small reflecting pool/ water bowl and a structurally exposed glass roof; Denise Jaques' Mosaic Happy is covered in a kaleidoscope of colorful mosaic tiles; and Ivan Djidjev's is basically a doggy Greek Temple. See more designs in the gallery above. The completed designs will be displayed at venues around London starting early next year, and will be auctioned at a gala in late spring.
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Zaha Hadid's supertall Kushner Companies building thrown into uncertainty

The major redevelopment of the Kushner Companies' 666 Fifth Avenue building by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) may be stalled for good. According to Bloomberg, Kushner's partner on the project, Vornado Realty Trust, has decided to simply renovate the site's existing structure. Kushner's original plan, with designs by ZHA, was to strip the current building down to its steel core and extend it up into a 1,400-foot-tall slender cigarette of a tower. The building would have included luxury condos and office space as well as a five-story mall. Currently the property, a 1957 Carson & Lundin-designed aluminum panel building, is a sturdy 41 stories with its unforgettable address displayed in huge numerals at its peak. In ZHA's plan, the development would have been rechristened 660 Fifth Avenue, distancing itself a bit from the connotations of its current address. When the renderings for the new tower were released earlier this year, finding investors for the project proved difficult. Some were concerned by a potential conflict of interest as Kushner Companies' former director, Jared Kushner, left to serve as the senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald J. Trump. Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese conglomerate, pulled out of investment negotiations with Kushner in late March, dealing a significant blow to the development's progress. Now that Vornado has refocused its attention as well, ZHA's design is on hold. Both of the partnering organizations have vastly different stakes. Vornado spent $80 million for its share of the project with money drawn from a secure portfolio of properties. Kushner Companies had to withdraw the costs for their share–$30 million–from the property itself, having struggled to find investors since the beginning of the Trump presidency. Politics aside, it looks for now like Midtown Manhattan won't be getting Hadid's steel-frame torpedo. Those interested in renting an apartment at 666 Fifth Avenue (which were estimated to go at $6,000 per square foot) can perhaps plead for a condo exchange at ZHA's new residences in Chelsea at 520 West 28th Street.
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REVEALED: Two interiors of Zaha Hadid's 520 West 28th

The first images of furnished interiors from Zaha Hadid's 520 West 28th Street in Chelsea—located by The High Line—have been unveiled. The images reveal a 4,500-square-foot, $15 million, four-bedroom condo that looks over The High Line with views onto the Empire State Building and a smaller, 1,700-square-foot apartment. Designer Jennifer Post provided the furniture and decor for the former, being commissioned by developer Related Companies. She used a mixed palette of soft tones and vibrant colors that populate the extravagant interior space. "I am usually the creative visionary behind both the architecture and interior design of a space," said Post in a press release. "Here, I am respectfully creating a vision that coexists with the vision of one of architecture's greatest minds. This prompted me to really consider every move, every decision in a different, special way." For the smaller living unit (which will cost $4.9 million) West Chin, principal of West Chin Architects, employed a minimalist aesthetic when designing the condo's interior. 520 West 28th rises to 11 stories and offers 39 residences that vary from two to five bedrooms. They range in price from $4.95 million to $50 million—the latter getting you a triplex penthouse. It will also be outfitted with a 2,500-square-foot sculpture deck, art from Friends of the High Line, an automated underground parking lot with a robot-operated storage facility, a double-height lobby, an entertainment lounge, and a 12-seat IMAX screening room. The development will also include a 75-foot pool, a gym, and a luxury spa suite equipped with a spa pool, cold plunge pool, waterfall shower, sauna, steam room, chaise lounges, and massage beds. Construction is edging closer to completion. Move in dates are expected around June this year. Both Jennifer Post's and West Chin's model dwellings will be used as sales galleries for the building.
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Inside Zaha Hadid Architects' under-construction One Thousand Museum in Miami

When 62 floors accommodate 83 living units, you can presume listings will not include the words “cozy” and “poky.” This, along with the fact that Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) residential high-rise in Downtown Miami is virtually column-free inside, residents can expect plenty of room—and a glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panel or two.

Located on the water’s edge and overlooking Herzog & de Meuron’s Pérez Art Museum, ZHA’s One Thousand Museum’s curvaceous exoskeleton makes a statement. In accordance with the vernacular of condominium buildings in the city, the structural framework is all white, but that’s where the building’s flirtation with Miami modernism ends.

Instead of the once-standard stucco-and-white-paint procedure, GFRC comprises the exoskeleton’s casing. “There was an idea from the start that we wanted the architectural and structural expression to be synthesized,” said Chris Lépine, associate director at ZHA. “We wanted a very fluid exoskeleton.”

Manufactured in Dubai by cladding fabricators Arabian Profiles, 4,800 pieces of GFRC are in the process of being shipped to South Florida. Upon arriving in the Port of Miami, they are taken west to Doral, Florida, to be processed, then back to a prep yard in Miami, and finally onto the construction site.

GFRC was first used by ZHA on the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, where the material was used purely for cladding. In Miami, however, GFRC acts as formwork for poured concrete. This casing is assembled off-site to ensure quality control and continues its use as the exoskeleton’s finish. “It is all part of the building process, it’s not simply a cosmetic piece,” said Lépine.

Billowing at the base, gill-like forms comprise the tower’s eight parking levels. The gills act as such, providing natural ventilation to the garage area while also instigating a sense of verticality at street level. The curves coalesce and continue their way up the building, bulging at around two-thirds of the way up. Like the GFRC casing, this too was not an aesthetic choice. The wider section accommodates the structural load of the 54 floors above, including a rooftop helipad and a two-story penthouse at what Lépine described as the building’s “crown.”

While serving as a structural device and taking on the typical billowing form ascribed to Hadid’s aesthetic, the exoskeleton also produces wide-open floorplans. “We wanted it, to a degree, to reflect what was going on inside the building,” said Lépine. In addition to the penthouse, there are eight full-floor apartments and 70 half-floor units.

Much of the enclosure is set back from the face of the exoskeleton with the glazing system being abutted and sealed to the structure, thus allowing for apartments to be self-shaded. The exoskeleton is expressed inside with the GFRC entering apartments. It can also be touched. (There’s no fear of heat loss through thermal bridging in Miami.) Balconies are further recessed, “almost created as depressions behind the structure,” Lépine said, and result in the glass facade folding and faceting behind. “There is a nice interplay between the two materials, as well as with how light casts down upon the structure and fenestration,” he added.

Aside from palatial living units, One Thousand Museum is laden with luxury amenities: thirty thousand square feet of communal areas, including a two-story aquatic center, a sky lounge, a multimedia theater, a wellness spa, gym facilities, and a private event space—naturally, a “bank quality” vault is also included.

Ground broke on the building in December 2014. During the summer of 2015, one thousand trucks rolled onto site to pour 9,500 cubic yards of concrete in 24 hours to start the One Thousand Museum’s foundational work. The building is currently due for completion in 2018.

Resources

Developers: Louis Birdman, Gregg Covin, Kevin Venger, and the Regalia Group

Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers Construction: Plaza Construction Landscape Design: Enea Landscape Architecture Local Architect: O’Donnell Dannwolf & Partners Architects Interior Lighting:  Uli + Friends
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Rendering revealed of Zaha Hadid Architects design for 666 Fifth Ave.

[3/29/2017 — UPDATE: Anbang backs out of negotiations to redevelop 666 Fifth via The Real Deal] Plans to convert the existing building at 666 Fifth Avenue, a long-idled development project owned by Kushner Companies and Vornado Realty Trust, might yet see the light of day as foreign investors indicate their interest in financing the tower. Kushner Companies was led by son-in-law to President Donald Trump and former CEO Jared Kushner until mid-January when he relinquished his control over the company and formally divested his stake in 666 Fifth Avenue. Though some have questioned the significance of these measures to sever himself from the project, Kushner will purportedly no longer have a formal role as it moves forward and will recuse himself if any conflict-of-interest should arise. Yet, Kushner’s precarious web of financial entanglements could potentially haunt him. Shortly before his departure from his family's business, Kushner negotiated investment talks with Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese company shrouded by opaque ownership and known associations with the Chinese state. In a report by 6sqft, sources say that Anbang has been involved in “advanced talks to provide as much as half of the $2.5 billion in equity for the planned redevelopment.” Though the company has denied it is a stakeholder in the 666 Fifth Avenue project, the deal seems to support its growing portfolio of real estate investments in New York City as they are also the owners of nearby Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The building will require a substantial redesign of the existing structural core to accommodate an additional 40 stories, a task to be resolved by London-based Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) which recently circulated a rendering of the ambitious 1,400-foot-tall tower. ZHA has been signed up for the project since 2015 and later this year will wrap construction on its first project in New York City, a residential building adjacent to the High Line. If all goes as intended, demolition will begin in 2019 with a desired completion by 2025.
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Zaha Hadid Architects designs gallery dedicated to mathematics

The Science Museum in London has today opened a new gallery dedicated to mathematics. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), Mathematics: The Winton Gallery will shed light on the importance of math and the role it has played in history and our lives today. The gallery is the first project of ZHA's to be completed in the UK following Zaha Hadid's passing earlier this year. “When I was growing up in Iraq, math was an everyday part of life," said Hadid before she died. "My parents instilled in me a passion for discovery, and they never made a distinction between science and creativity. We would play with math problems just as we would play with pens and paper to draw—math was like sketching.” Exhibiting their typical parametric style—fitting for the context—ZHA filled the space with a series of undulating volumes that derive their forms from the aerodynamics of the Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’ airplane. Designed in 1929, the aircraft heavily influenced the aviation industry. Aerodynamic research on the aircraft paved the way for future wing designs and furthered public aviation transit with its revolutionary approach to safety. ZHA's design for the gallery uses equations relating to airflow around the plane to form their curvaceous installations which have placed around the the Gugnunc. A video (below) details the firm's process. The plane is just one of more than 100 artifacts on display throughout the gallery. The pieces have been collected from the Science Museum's collection of works relating to technology, engineering, and mathematics to tell the story of how numbers shaped our world, impacting trade, travel, war, peace, life, death, form, and even beauty. Objects range from a 17th-century Islamic astrolabe once used to map stars to an early version of the Enigma machine designed by Alan Turing and his team to crack Nazi code in WWII. Aside from the artifacts, archival photography and film are also used to tell the story of mathematics and introduce the people behind the exhibited pieces. In a press release, Curator Dr. David Rooney said:
At its heart this gallery reveals a rich cultural story of human endeavour that has helped transform the world over the last four hundred years.  Mathematical practice underpins so many aspects of our lives and work, and we hope that bringing together these remarkable stories, people and exhibits will inspire visitors to think about the role of mathematics in a new light.
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, meanwhile commented:
It was a terrible shock for us all when Dame Zaha died suddenly in March this year, but I am sure that this gallery will be a lasting tribute to this world-changing architect and provide inspiration for our millions of visitors for many years to come.
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"Come out Patrik, come out from under that table!" cry protesters at Zaha Hadid Architects' London office

After Patrik Schumacher voiced his desire for public and affordable housing to be abolished, protesters have today targeted the office of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in Clerkenwell, London. In Schumacher's speech, made earlier this month in Berlin, he argued that state regulations stifle architectural creativity and development while giving tenants of public housing unfair access to city centers. Schumacher also called for 80 percent of Hyde Park to be built upon and for the privatization of all public space, all of which was part of his "urban policy manifesto." This has not gone down well with activists from Class War and the London Anarchist Federation who protested at around midday (U.K. time) and into the late afternoon outside ZHA's Clerkenwell studio. According to The Architects' Journal (AJ), numbers swelled to around 20 and demonstrators accused Schumacher of "driving the working class out of London." The AJ also reported that shouts of: "Come out Patrik, come out from under that table" were heard. Schumacher, however, is believed to currently be out the country. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper (AN), Jamie Wilson, an architecture student who works nearby ZHA's office recounted the affair: "Under police surveillance, a few representatives [from the London Anarchist Federation] were speaking on a megaphone. They commented on the ideas raised in P.S.'s World Architecture Festival keynote and their potential outcomes for citizens of London. Following this they addressed the office directly, pointing out that his views should not be taken lightly by his colleagues (who have since issued an open letter distancing themselves from the matter). Issues of their publication "RESISTANCE" were being handed out to passers by." "What Patrik Schumacher has said is social fascism. If it’s not opposed early on, it will grow and grow […] we as working class people want to stop it right at the beginning," told founder of Class War, Ian Bone (no relation to Ken Bone) to the AJ. "We hope Schumacher will retract his vile views, apologize and get out of the country."

A photo posted by Maarten Mutters (@mmutters) on

  The anger from the protesters is directed at Patrik Schumacher and already ZHA in an open letter rebuked his words, saying: "Patrik Schumacher’s ‘urban policy manifesto’ does not reflect Zaha Hadid Architects’ past—and will not be our future." Olly Wainwright also tweeted a screenshot of an email detailing Rana Hadid, Lord Palumbo, and Brian Clarke's essential disavowal of Schumacher's remarks. (The three are trustees of the Zaha Hadid Foundation and executors of Hadid's estate). Schumacher himself has also responded to the furore. "I was hoping to stir a discussion and got much more than what I had bargained for," he said on his Facebook page in an apologetic statement according to Dezeen. "The topics I touched upon turned out to be too touchy to touch at all in any direct or straightforward way, or so it seems." He continued, going on to say: "Like all of us, I dream of a caring, inclusive, diverse society where everybody can flourish and realise his/her potential and nobody is left behind. All I say is inspired by this longing."
Despite ZHA's open letter, according to CLAD Global, a ZHA spokesperson reaffirmed Schumacher's position in the company. They said: “Patrik’s position is certainly not under any threat; he remains our principal. Patrik is currently in Asia, along with other senior members of the practice, for a topping out ceremony.” Current London Mayor Sadiq Khan however, has not been impressed by Schumacher's comments. "One of our biggest strengths as a city is our diversity, with Londoners from different backgrounds living side by side," he said speaking in London newspaper, the Evening Standard. "So whether these out-of-touch comments were designed to shock or not, anyone who thinks abolishing affordable housing altogether, supporting 'buy-to-leave' empty properties, and building on Hyde Park is the answer to London's housing crisis doesn't understand the first thing about our great city."
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Zaha Hadid Architects and Patrik Schumacher openly feud over public housing and privatizing public space

One of the world's top architecture firms has entered a public row with one of its partners. On November 17, Patrik Schumacher, a partner at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and renowned proponent of parametricism, took the stage at the World Architecture Forum in Berlin to deliver a speech that shocked some: Attacking government regulation and bureaucracy, he described an eight-point plan that called for the privatization of public space, the elimination of government-issued land use policies, and the abolishment of all social, affordable, and public housing, among other similar goals. In the speech, he decried how such laws, regulations, and practices stifle architectural creativity and development while giving tenants of public housing unfair access to city centers. "All top-down bureaucratic attempts to order the built environment via land use plans are pragmatically and intellectually bankrupt," he said, according to Dezeen. Schumacher has made similar statements in the past, though with less forcefulness. Last August, he told The Architect's Newspaper (AN) that "We at ZHA see society’s development differently and I’m willing to talk about my optimism for more market-based organization processes and entrepreneurial solutions to societal problems. Solutions to maybe what we can perceive to be certain economic statements and stagnation in recent years." Earlier this morning, ZHA published this letter, which AN has reproduced below:
Open letter from Zaha Hadid Architects November 29, 2016 Patrik Schumacher’s ‘urban policy manifesto’ does not reflect Zaha Hadid Architects’ past—and will not be our future. Zaha Hadid did not write manifestos. She built them. Zaha Hadid Architects has delivered 56 projects for all members of the community in 45 cities around the world. Refusing to be confined by limitations or boundaries, Zaha did not reserve her ideology for the lecture hall. She lived it. She deeply believed in the strongest international collaboration and we are very proud to have a hugely talented team of 50 different nationalities in our London office, including those from almost every EU country. 43% of architects at ZHA are of an ethnic minority and 40% of our architects are women. Zaha Hadid didn’t just break glass ceilings and pull down barriers; she shattered them—inviting everyone of any race, gender, creed or orientation to join her on the journey. Embedding a collective research culture into every aspect of our work, Zaha has built a team of many diverse talents and disciplines—and we will continue to innovate towards an architecture of inclusivity. Architects around the world are calling for the profession to become more inclusive. The national and international press have also done a very good job highlighting the critical issues of housing and the threats to vital public spaces. Through determination and sheer hard work, Zaha showed us all that architecture can be diverse and democratic. She inspired a whole new generation around the world to engage with their environment, to never stop questioning and never—ever—stop imagining. Collaborating with clients, communities and specialists around the world who share this vision, everyone at Zaha Hadid Architects is dedicated to honouring Zaha’s legacy, working with passion and commitment to design and deliver the most transformational projects for all. Zaha Hadid Architects  (Copyright © Zaha Hadid Architects)
It remains unclear exactly who authored the piece, or who among the firm's members, trustees, partners, etc. pushed for its publication. AN  will continue to cover this story as it evolves. UPDATE: Oliver Wainwright of the The Guardian has tweeted this:   UPDATE: “Come out Patrik, come out from under that table!” cry protesters at Zaha Hadid Architects’ London office
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New lawn, new dawn: Zaha Hadid Architects designs all-wood stadium for UK soccer minnows Forest Green Rovers

In many ways, it's fitting that a team who was the world's first all-vegan soccer club and has the word "Forest" in their name should play in a stadium made entirely of wood. That is about to become a reality for U.K. hipster soccer minnows (think minor league) Forest Green Rovers from the sleepy town of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire in West England thanks to Zaha Hadid Architects' (ZHA) all-timber design. Their current stadium called "The New Lawn" (a name born when terracing was added in the 1950s; previously the "stadium" was merely just a lawn and named accordingly as "The Lawn") can be found on a road called Another Way. And another way is on the horizon. While one yearns for ZHA's design to be called "The New New Lawn," the stadium will predictably be known as "Eco Park Stadium"—perhaps an unsurprising choice in the age of stadia bearing their financier's namesake, which in this case is local green energy firm, Ecotricity. The stadium will be the focal point of the $124 million "Eco Park" development which comprises 100 acres worth of space dedicated to sports and green technology. Alongside the stadium, grass and all-weather training pitches, publicly accessible multi-disciplinary facilities, and a sports science hub will form one-half of the site. Meanwhile, a green technology business park, housing commercial offices and light industrial units, will form the other. Ecotricity's proposal also includes work being done on the site's nature reserve and the nearby Stroudwater canal as well as the potential addition of a public transport hub. While the prime stadium naming opportunity was passed up, hopes of the stadium being placed on a road within the development called "The Other Way," or at least something that references the team's quirkily-named origins, remain un-dashed. As for ZHA's design, the structure will be first all-timber stadium in the world. The typically undulating Hadid style can be seen in the stadium's roof design. Such a style, however, is not uncommon in contemporary stadia where similarly curving roofscapes are used as acoustic devices to contain crowd noise. Since the devastating Bradford City FC stadium fire of 1985, timber has been largely ignored as a material for stadium design, especially in the realm of British soccer despite advancements in fire retardant treatments. The stadium will have a capacity of 5,000. Forest Green Rovers' current home ground actually offers room for 5,140 though only 2,000 of this is seated. The team has never been a member of the professional Football League in the U.K., but has made exceptionally steady progress (40 years without any relegations) from floundering in unheard of Hellenic Football League Premier Division to the Conference National League–one tier away from prized professional football where the minimum capacity requirement stands at 5,000. Club Chairman Dale Vince has green-fingered ambition. He has been turning the club into one the most eco-friendly soccer teams around since he became a major shareholder in 2010. Since then, numerous solar panels have been installed on the team's current stadium while an organic soccer pitch (another world-first) is kept trim by a solar-powered robot grass mower. However, in terms of soccer, at their current rate of progression, the dizzying heights of the Premier League is only 68 years away. "The club’s heritage, ambition, and vision reflect our own, combining the latest material research and construction techniques with new design approaches to build a more ecologically sustainable and inclusive architecture," said Director at ZAH, Jim Heverin. “With the team’s community and supporters at its core, fans will be as close as five meters from the pitch and every seat has been calculated to provide unrestricted sightlines to the entire field of play. The stadium’s continuous spectator bowl surrounding the pitch will maximize matchday atmosphere." A stadium solely designed for soccer playing will also be welcome news for fans. As London club West Ham United recently found out, multipurpose stadia–often with seating miles away from the pitch–are bereft of atmosphere. As a result, one expert has called for the former Olympic Park stadium to be knocked down. A successful precedent, though, for bespoke soccer-orientated stadia can be seen in Herzog & de Meuron's Allianz Arena for Bayern Munich in Germany where crown proximity, circulation, and acoustics are at the forefront of the design. ZHA's design also follows in Herzog & de Meuron's footsteps in its use of an unconventional material for a stadium—a phenomenon which appears be on the rise for the U.K. soccer typology. Herzog and de Meuron's bold brick design for Chelsea FC also strays away from the explicitly tectonic approach almost always donned by stadia in the recent past. This style is even more prevalent in the U.K. in the wake of the Taylor Report whereby stadium safety was once hot on the agenda and thus expressed aesthetically.
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Building of the Day: Zaha Hadid's 520 West 28th Street

This is the twenty-first in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! The architecture buffs of Archtober got a special hard-hat tour this afternoon of one of New York’s most highly anticipated new constructions: 520 West 28th Street. The project is the first building in the city by the late Zaha Hadid, the renowned Iraqi-British architect who passed away last spring (The Real Deal recently reported that the Moinian Group has filed plans for a second Zaha project in Chelsea). For this luxury residential property along the High Line, developer The Related Companies and the design team at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) are carrying out her legacy. Our tour began at the project’s sales gallery at West 25th Street—a small but comprehensive showroom that defines the brand of the building’s interior: bright, white, simple, and striking. Tour-goers were introduced to the project by a video narrated by Hadid herself. We learned about the multiple upscale amenities the building has to offer that make up this “distinctly curated lifestyle.” We were shown stunning renderings of the soon-to-be constructed 75-foot sky-lit pool, the private spa suite, the private IMAX theater, the fitness center, the robotic parking portal, and the lobby with 16-foot ceilings and a sculptural “moonscape” wall. Hadid’s projects around the world are often characterized by the graceful curves and nature-inspired organic forms she infuses into her designs. This curvy condo is no exception. Even the interior showroom, representing a single unit’s living room and master bathroom, was full of sweeping lines and exhibited seamless flow throughout the space. After studying the detailed interior, we put on construction vests and customized ZHA hard hats to tour the L-shaped construction site. The flat façade on 28th Street was already complete, and we could view the futuristic chevron pattern that covers the entire building. Walking into the lobby, it was hard to imagine the visionary, light-filled spaces that would eventually replace the current construction. But ZHA’s Filipe Pereira explained the nuances of the coming design that would make it feel like a Zaha rendering come to life. In fact, once next to the project, it felt as if the construction had magically gone up exactly as she’d designed it. This building may look like an out of this world as a rendering, but it feels very authentic as a singular, physical piece of architecture. No unit is like another, so every buyer is getting a unique work of art. Our final stop on the tour was on the 16th floor of the 18-story structure in unit 32, a split-level, four-bedroom condominium and among the most expensive of the building's 39 units. Here we were able to best understand what it will be like to own and live in one of these spaces. We lingered on the balcony, talking about the non-distorting window glass and watching the construction workers prepare to put pieces of the hand-rubbed stainless steel façade in place. We also gawked at the views of the High Line and the distant Empire State Building while trying to capture the best angles of the building on our smartphones. And up there, it became clear, as Pereira pointed out at the tour’s start, that this beautiful, immaculate façade—and building as a whole—won’t be done again. Tomorrow, we visit the brutalist Met Breuer! About the author: Sydney Franklin is a content producer at the NYC Department of Design and Construction. She recently graduated from Syracuse University with a master’s degree in architectural journalism.
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Winners announced for this year's Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), London-based Zaha Hadid Architects, and four others have been named as winners of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The Danish architect claimed the prize for his Superkilen project in Copenhagen, Denmark, meanwhile Hadid for her design for the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. The announcement was made in the capital of the UAE in Abu Dhabi earlier today. Awarded every three years, the prize has become a heavily cherished trophy since its inauguration in 1977 when Aga Khan established the award to recognize building concepts found in predominantly Muslim communities. For this year's award, a jury drew up a shortlist of 19 projects, born from 348 nominations. The prizes awarded are as follows:

Superkilen Copenhagen, Denmark Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek 1, and Superflex Words from the jury: "A public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture."

Bait Ur Rouf Mosque Dhaka, Bangladesh Marina Tabassum Words from the jury: "A refuge for spirituality in urban Dhaka, selected for its beautiful use of natural light."

Friendship Centre Gaibandha, Bangladesh Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury/URBANA Words from the jury: "A community center which makes a virtue of an area susceptible to flooding in rural Bangladesh."

Cha’er Hutong Children’s Library and Art Centre Beijing, China ZAO/standardarchitecture / Zhang Ke Words from the jury: "A children’s library selected for its embodiment of contemporary life in the traditional courtyard residences of Beijing’s Hutongs."

Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge Tehran, Iran Diba Tensile Architecture / Leila Araghian, Alireza Behzadi Words from the jury: "A multi-level bridge spanning a busy motorway has created a dynamic new urban space."

Issam Fares Institute Beirut, Lebanon Zaha Hadid Architects Words from the jury: "A new building for the American University of Beirut’s campus, radical in composition but respectful of its traditional context."

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Passive-Aggressive design: When sustainability radically shapes architecture

This article is part of  The Architect’s Newspaper’s “Passive Aggressive” feature on passive design strategies. Not to be confused with “Passivhaus” or “Passive House” certification, passive design strategies such as solar chimneys, trombe walls, solar orientation, and overhangs, rely on scheme rather than technology to respond to their environmental contexts. Today, architects are more concerned with sustainability than ever, and new takes on old passive techniques are not only responsible, but can produce architecture that expresses sustainable features through formal exuberance. We call it “passive-aggressive.” In this feature, we examine three components—diagram, envelope, and material—where designers are marrying form and performance. We also look back at the unexpected history of passive-aggressive architecture, talk with passive-aggressive architects, and check out a passive-aggressive house. More “Passive Aggressive” articles are listed at the bottom of the page!

Diagram

The promise of architecturally considered, environmentally conscious buildings that are more than exercises in technological prosthetics is taking shape around the world. Sustainable design can be achieved without subjugating space, form, experience, and aesthetics, concepts that often end up subservient to green concerns. Even offices are moving beyond the often-gauche addition of solar panels and sun shades to typical building typologies. To do so, form is playing an important role in achieving sustainability goals, and a new crop of spatially and formally exuberant projects is being realized. The result is a series of buildings that neither perform—or look—like anything we have seen before.

Perhaps the best test of a project’s sustainability aspirations is an extreme climate. Drastic temperature changes, remote locales, and inhospitable landscapes call for more than technological gadgetry to produce even a habitable project. Deserts in particular present challenges that push conventional designs to their limits. When New York firm WORKac began designing a guesthouse in southern Arizona with the goal of being completely off the grid, it looked to the southwest Earthship typology to start. Earthships are passive solar homes that use a combination of natural and upcycled materials embedded in the earth to create a thermal mass that keeps their interiors cool during the day and warm at night. WORKac took some of these concepts and elevated them into a unique architectural form. A simple diagram, the heart of the project is an adobe brick mass, upon which airy living spaces are cantilevered above the ground.

New York–based MOS Architects engaged the desert climate in its Museum of Outdoor Arts Element House. A guesthouse and visitor center for the Star Axis land art project by the artist Charles Ross, the project hovers just above the New Mexico desert on stout concrete piers. The house, designed to be off the grid, is built out of prefabricated structural insulated panels. By distilling the project down to its basic architectural components, a theme among many MOS projects, a clear yet expressive geometric system governs its overall shape. Rather than a central hearth, a series of modules each has its own solar chimney. The result is a naturally lit interior without excessive glazing to increase solar gain. A reflective aluminum shingle cladding counters even more of the sun’s intense rays while also playing visual games with the overall form. Views out of the project are captured through deeply inset operable glass walls at the ends of each module. The only typical sustainable technology visible is a solar array folly, situated just a few yards from the building.

On the other side of the world in another desert climate, Zaha Hadid Architects supersized its sustainable efforts. The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) was founded in 2010 by its namesake as an independent, nonprofit research institution to investigate the future of energy economics and technology. KAPSARC will bring together researchers and scientists from 20 nations into one planned community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Currently under construction, KAPSARC will become the main building of the campus, while formally being a campus within itself. An aggregation of six-sided plant-cell-shaped spaces, the project is a series of conditioned and unconditioned laboratories, conference rooms, lecture halls, and courtyards. Thanks to the office’s mastery of parametricism, angles, openings, and surfaces are cleverly utilized to manipulate sunlight, blocking it or allowing it into the advantage of the occupants. The modules also permit future expansion while maintaining the overall form and performance. The complex interlocking forms, and green-water-filled courtyards passively cooling surrounding spaces, echo traditional Arab courtyards buildings.

While designers strive to capture and control sunlight in the desert, in more northern climates it can be a scarce resource that is protected by code. In a city like Toronto, which averages six months of regular snowfall, new buildings can be required to allow sunlight to hit the sidewalk for portions of the day. For large projects like Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) King Street development, sunlight, views, and greenspace were calculated using the latest in super-computer simulation modeling. Though the pixelated project will resemble the early diagram-driven ones from Ingels’s days with PLOT, such as the Mountain Dwelling project, King Street will be undeniably more complex. Within BIG, a smaller studio called BIG Ideas works in collaboration with Microsoft to develop predictive modeling tools for direct use by the designers. “All of the hill heights are determined by the sun and site,” Jakob Lange, BIG partner, explained. “Big Ideas created a tool for the design team to use to generate the formation of the hills. On the sidewalk, you need at least a certain amount of sunlight. The only way you can do that is to have a machine that can test every point.” The result is a seemingly haphazard stack of blocks that allow copious light and air into each unit and terrace, as well to streets and public courtyards. 

Whether through high-tech computer modeling or low-tech desert vernacular, passive sustainable design is turning a corner. No longer an afterthought, environmental considerations have stopped holding projects visually captive. With improved agency, architects are striking a delicate balance between formal, spatial experience and sustainable considerations.

—Matthew Messner

Envelope

Be aggressive and show off your passive sustainability strategy facade first.

Bates Masi Architects’ Amagansett Dunes home, a modest cottage a few hundred feet from the ocean on the South Shore of Long Island, is covered on its east and west sides with operable glass. Different-sized adjustable openings create a pressure differential that promotes natural ventilation. To modulate light through these surfaces, the firm installed canvas louvers that admit cool breezes in the summer and block cold winds in the winter.

Each tapered louver is cut from one piece of canvas and wrapped around a powdered aluminum frame, its riveted strips slightly twisted to increase their transparency. The canvas pattern, which was developed through several digital and physical models, casts dappled light and dramatic shadows throughout the house and creates a lantern effect at night.

Another dramatic facade is located at Carrier Johnson + Culture’s Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. The concrete project has achieved LEED Gold certification through a number of sustainable solutions—from drought-resistant landscaping to smart solar orientation—and is lined with a curved, south-facing stainless-steel screen that reflects solar heat while allowing in natural light. A concrete roof overhang provides additional shading for the building and an adjacent outdoor walkway serves both as a pedestrian connector and a sort of double-layered facade. A new public plaza fronts the other side of the wall.

The wall’s staggered, water-jet-cut steel panels are unique: Each one contains a gap to allow air and views and is connected to a series of steel posts. The screen’s design makes subtle references to the religious campus, employing alpha and omega symbols, images from the cosmos, and other abstract references. “It’s both an art piece and an environmental wall,” Carrier Johnson + Culture’s design principal Ray Varela said.

Halfway around the world in Tehran, Iran, Admun Design and Construction created a memorable brick facade that shields the hot sun, encourages natural ventilation, and provides privacy while allowing limited, interesting patterns of light. Inspired by the surrounding neighborhood buildings and the city’s chaotic skyline, the facade is composed of variously rotated bricks with varied apertures. The openings change size based on the views, sun angles, and external distractions. Mortar was removed by punching the bricks, and the scheme was designed using parametric software. The process was carried out by the builders through a simple coding system. A ledge was placed in the gap between the brick membrane and the outer edge to provide space for flower boxes and to give cleaning access to the windows from outside. Balconies were placed behind the brick facade.

Indeed, low-tech solutions are becoming new again, but with a clever technological twist.

—Sam Lubell

Material

Is it possible for sustainable systems to be both high- and low-tech at the same time? That’s the question architects are answering with a resounding “Yes,” thanks to advanced, but somehow simple, passive strategies that rely on new materials. One of the most publicized solutions is New York–based raad studio’s Lowline Lab, a heavily planted public space—still early in development—that will be located in a historic trolley terminal under the streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

In order to bring natural light into the space, the team is using what they call a “remote skylight,” in which sunlight passes through a glass shield to a parabolic collector, where it’s reflected and gathered at one focal point, then transmitted onto a “solar canopy,” a reflective surface underground. The technology transmits the necessary light wavelengths to enable plants and trees to grow in the underground space. A motorized optical system (likely to be powered by photovoltaics) tracks maximum sunlight throughout the day, and the solar canopy carefully distributes light evenly throughout the space.

Raad principal James Ramsey likened the system, which uses a series of relay lenses and mirrors, to both a telescope and a plumbing system. “You’ve almost treated the light as if you’ve turned it into a liquid,” he said. “It’s only geometry. That kind of simplicity is very efficient, and there’s something elegant about that.” All these technologies, added Ramsey, are still in development, so a specific system has not been finalized. He hopes to have it nailed down in the next couple of years.

French firm studioMilou’s reimagining of the National Gallery in Singapore consists of a roof and “veil” that unite two renovated historic buildings while creating a new courtyard. It’s another passive wonder that draws even, dappled light and keeps the buildings and their new public space cool. It mimics one of the oldest systems in the universe: a tree, with its thousands of branches stemming outward. The veil starts above the existing buildings and swoops down around them, filtering and softening natural light through thousands of laminated fritted glass and perforated aluminum panels, creating a filigree structure that also marks the new main entrance. All is supported by large aluminum columns, which effectively serve as tree trunks.

The goal, the French architects said, is for the roof and veil to resemble a handcrafted rattan tapestry. To execute the simple but complex form, the firm scanned the entire space and created a detailed 3-D model, working the roof and veil into the complex geometries of the space and even adjusting panels to fit and avoid the existing facade cornices. Each aluminum panel (chosen for its light weight and rust resistance) can be removed if maintenance is needed.

Meanwhile, Phoenix-based Wendell Burnette Architects’ (WBA) Desert Courtyard House uses a simple, reductive system to create a memorable space in a Sonoran Desert community near Phoenix while also being naturally sustainable. The house, which wraps around a courtyard containing volcanic rock, Saguaro cacti, and desert trees, is located in a low-lying area. It consists of about eight percent locally sourced cement (constituting the raised base) and 92 percent rammed earth excavated from the site. All of the extracted soil was used for the thick walls—none was taken away from the site and none was imported from elsewhere. The peripheral walls range from 3.5 to 18 inches thick, their high thermal mass keeping the home cool—although air conditioning can be used on particularly hot days. Another natural cooling system is the folded, wood-framed Cor-ten steel roof, which conducts heat up and out, creating a chimney effect.

The heavy, almost cave-like palette continues throughout the house, creating a unique aesthetic that Burnette said “feels ancient, primal, and modern at the same time.” He added, “You experience this as a shelter in a very elemental way.”

—Sam Lubell

For more “Passive Aggressive” articles, explore: Bjarke Ingels Group’s own tech-driven think tank, how WORKac’s Arizona House revives the super sustainable Earthship typologyMOS Architects' Michael Meredith on sustainability, and our brief, unofficial history of recent passive-aggressive design.