Friday, November 16, 2012

HKS Architects

Live Between, a concept design by HKS Architects, is a newly launched hotel experience for guests who enjoy the extreme. Their design seeks out urban cities to set up short-term residency between existing buildings. As it moves from city to city, it is designed and installed specific to its temporary inhabitance. Taking on various forms from a spider’s web to a constellation, the hotel formation is ever changing and always evolving. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Courtesy of HKS Architects
Imagine a hotel that brings the destination to you. Imagine an experience so hard to explain, you can only see it to believe it. Imagine sleeping hundreds of feet above the ground, between buildings people work and live in. Imagine making your reservation, today. Hotel destinations are targeted towards urban cities of unique character. From Tokyo to New York, Dubai to London, the versatile hotel seeks to bring an additional economic bonus to cities known for hospitality and grandeur. This chameleon adaptability allows this design to move and expand as quickly as human life itself.
Courtesy of HKS Architects
As the first mobile hotel brand with a mission of revitalization, {LB} also focuses on erecting between buildings or in cities stricken with hardship. Under utilized, unoccupied and abandoned buildings set the stage for a monumental design opportunity. While the Live Between hotel is installed between these buildings, hotel amenities and services are temporarily installed in the floor plates of these environments to accommodate guest needs. {LB} takes negative, depleted space and breathes life into it, renewing interest in an area forgotten.
Courtesy of HKS Architects
Deconstructed pods on semi-trucks ceremonially move into town, generating a buzz within each city just as the freight cars of the circus once did. A sense of energy and anticipation slowly infiltrates each city, and people begin to flock to see the procession. Although nobody ever knows if or when it is coming, the buzz is always brewing.
Courtesy of HKS Architects
For those hotel guests who cannot imagine jumping out of a plane or bungee jumping off a bridge, Live Between guests can rest assured their safety is secure. Designed in collaboration by architects, engineers, aerospace technicians and the multidisciplinary elite, the hotel is designed with a high strength cabling and tension pulley system. Each pod is a self-contained guestroom, with power, efficiencies and plumbing contained within the lower portion of the orb. As the exterior transparency reveals itself from solid to clear, from web-like to reflective, each aspect of the pod’s exterior is intricately designed to maximize the guest experience. Radical design, extreme imagination, superior engineering, and cutting edge technology combine to beat the unbeaten path, paving the way for the first ever urban hotel temporarily erected between existing buildings.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Six of the best architectural projects of 2012

Big, Bold, and Buzz-Worthy Buildings in 2012

AD spotlights a dozen showstopping architectural projects around the world that people will be talking about this year—and beyond

 Azerbaijan Cultural Center in Baku by Zaha Hadid Architects
Zaha Hadid’s signature sexy curves are on full display in the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, a fluid form constructed of glass-reinforced concrete that emerges from the folds of the landscape’s natural topography. This major new venue will play a pivotal role in the redevelopment of the Azerbaijani capital, housing a conference hall with three auditoriums, a library, and a national museum.
Rendering and photo: © Zaha Hadid Architects

 Phoenix International Media Center in Beijing by BIAD UFo
For years China has imported big-name architects (Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl) to create out-of-this-world structures. But now China is producing its own generation of daring designers. Beijing-based BIAD UFo’s Phoenix International Media Center is giving Herzog & de Meuron’s “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium a run for its money. The complex features a pair of buildings with offices and TV-broadcasting facilities encased in a dramatic doughnut-shaped shell of swirling steel.
Rendering and photo: Courtesy of BIAD UFo


London Bridge Tower by Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Of all the buildings added to the London skyline in the run-up to the Olympics, the most imposing is unquestionably Renzo Piano’s London Bridge Tower, located on the south bank of the Thames, next to the bustling London Bridge transportation hub. At 72 stories and 1,016 feet high, it dwarfs the mostly low buildings around it and will be the tallest building in the European Union. Nicknamed the Shard, because of its façade of tapering glass panels, the tower will contain offices, apartments, a hotel and spa, restaurants, shops, and, at its pointed top, a 15-story public viewing gallery.
Rendering: © Renzo

Shenzhen Stock Exchange by OMA
OMA, the international firm cofounded by Rem Koolhaas, has stated that its building for the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has to reflect the financial markets, not just physically accommodate a trading floor and offices. As if buoyed by the same speculative euphoria that drives investors, the building’s rectangular base appears to hover several stories off the ground. “The concept of the building is simple but strong,” says partner-in-charge David Gianotten. “The floating podium of the otherwise generic building liberates the ground level, which becomes a new public square of Shenzhen.”
Rendering and photo: © OMA

Dalian International Conference Center in Dalian, China, by Coop Himmelb(l)au
Founded in 1968, Viennese firm Coop Himmelb(l)au has taken its unique brand of Deconstructivist architecture from Europe to the U.S. and more recently to China. At nearly 1.3 million square feet, its Dalian International Conference Center—which includes exhibition spaces and a performance hall—is one of its biggest projects to date. The building’s floating, wavelike envelope (which sits atop a load-bearing shell structure) and soft, rippling surfaces evoke the forces of the sea, referencing Dalian’s history as an important port.
Rendering: ©, Vienna

Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, China, by Steven Holl Architects
With offices in Beijing now, as well as New York, Steven Holl has quite a lively practice in China, having completed a string of major projects in recent years. His latest is Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Comprising five towers, the three-million-square-foot hybrid complex has residential and work spaces, shops, and facilities for recreation and culture. “It is neither a tower nor a slab or perimeter block,” Holl says. “It’s a sculpted mass, where the exoskeleton structure of concrete is sliced according to precise angles to allow sunlight to reach surrounding buildings.”
Photo: © Iwan Baan

Pazhou Hotel in Guangzhou by Aedas
As bombastic as any building conceived in the past decade, the Pazhou Hotel, designed by the international firm Aedas, stacks guest-room floors in two staggered piles atop a nearly 200-foot-high atrium that links exhibition and retail spaces. Located in Guangzhou’s rapidly expanding Pazhou district, the new building strives to be unique among the bold designs that already occupy the area, including Zaha Hadid’s Opera House just across the Pearl River.
Rendering courtesy of Aedas

Friday, November 2, 2012

World's narrowest house

Can you imagine living in this kind of house? Me? I don't know...maybe not.
It would be interesting to look around though. What do you think?

Keret House by Jakub Szczesny

Polish architect Jakub Szczesny claims to have built the world’s narrowest house, just 122 centimetres across at its widest point.
The Keret House is squeezed into a crevice between two buildings in the centre of Warsaw and will provide a temporary home for travelling writers.
“It started with the space,” Szczesny told Dezeen, after explaining how he came across the site when walking home one day. “I started to think who could live there. It had to be a person that would like to be a hermit, someone who would like to spend time alone doing something, but doing what?”
Szczesny, who is one of the co-founders of arts group Centrala, approached Israeli writer Etgar Keret to get involved in the project and the pair started developing a triangular house with just enough space for a single inhabitant to live and work. “It requires a sense of humour, as you cannot stay long in a place like this,” joked Szczesny.
The body of the house is raised up on stilts and a staircase leads inside from underneath.
At its narrowest point the house is no more than 72 centimetres wide. “Everything was custom and everything needed to be pushed,” said Szczesny, explaining how they managed to fit in all the necessary furnishings.
The house will remain in place for at least two years, but could end up staying for good. “It has already become a Warsaw icon and is already on the tourist map,” said the architect.

Keret House by Jakub Szczesny

Keret House by Jakub Szczesny

Photography is by Bartek Warzecha, © Polish Modern Art Foundation, The National Centre for Culture.

Keret House by Jakub Szczesny

The narrowest Keret House with the broadest horizons
Keret House is the installation art in the form of an insert in between two existing buildings. The project was launched on Saturday 20th of October in Warsaw. It is led by the Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
Keret House is fully functional space in which one can live as well as create. It is located between buildings at Chlodna 22 Street and Zelazna 74 Street. “We deeply believe it will become a symbol of modern Warsaw ingrained in its complicated history. The House attracts attention of media from entire world. He hope it will show the most fascinating side of Warsaw”, say Sarmen Beglarian and Sylwia Szymaniak form Polish Modern Art Foundation, the curators of the project.
The House is located on the plot measuring 92 centimeters in its narrowest point and 152 centimeters in its widest point. “That is why at first it seems that the construction of living space within such premise is impossible. Keret House is to contradict that false image, simultaneously broadening the concept of impossible architecture”, says the architect Jakub Szczesny. The house itself is 72 centimeters in the narrowest and 122 centimeters in the widest point.
In the fracture of history
The house is located between two buildings from two historical epochs. “The first is a brick building on Zelazna Street – a fragment of the pre-world war II city, almost no longer existing. The second – a cooperative concrete apartment building, an element of an “imposed structure”, which was aimed at negating the previous city landscape. Their adjacency is coincidental – like many architectural structures in Warsaw. Keret House is a perfect example of the so-called “non-matching” in the city’s urban fabric. Another reason is the city’s war history – where the house is located, two ghettos – the large ghetto and the small ghetto met. Only a few steps from the house, a bridge connecting the two closed spaces, stood”, explains Jakub Szczesny.
Project’s founder/concept designer: Jakub Szczesny
Art curators: Sarmen Beglarian, Sylwia Szymaniak
Executive producer: Joanna Trytek – Black Salt Production

Organiser: Polish Modern Art Foundation
Co-financing: the Capital City of Warsaw
Partner: National Centre for Culture

Sponsor: LHI
General conctractor: AWBUD
Partners: GIRA, Kingspan, Decoroom, Volunta Parket, Milantex, Polish Institute in Tel Aviv, White & Case, Kostrzewa PR, Chylinski Family, Jewish Community in Warsaw, Chlodna Comedy Club, PMG Partners, Biuro Wystaw.

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