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Design

A Geological Landmark’s Phosphorescent Glow Inspires the National Museum of Qatar’s Cavernous Gift Shop

April 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Patches of natural and artificial light highlight the curved layers of the National Museum of Qatar’s recently completed gift shop. The massive undulating walls were constructed from over 40,000 pieces of timber that tower high above visitors’ heads and imitate the shape and feeling of the Dahl Al Misfir or Cave of Light. The Qatar landmark is an underground formation that contains a wealth of gypsum deposits, which illuminate the cave with a phosphorescent glow and often form clusters of rose-shaped crystals known as “desert roses.”

Koichi Takada Architects wanted to connect visitors to the museum back to Qatari desert landscapes, while also creating a natural extension of the “Desert Rose” concept created for the museum by French architect Jean Nouvel. In addition to the museum shop, the architects also designed its restaurants, including the Desert Rose Cafe, Cafe 875, and Jiwan Restaurant. You can see more of the firm’s previous projects on their website and Instagram, and take a look at the museum’s exterior here. (via designboom)

 

 



Art Design

An Enormous Stylized Bird Sculpture Sprawls Atop a Mountain in India

April 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A massive sculpture of a legendary bird has taken shape at Jatayu Earth’s Center in Kerala, India. Based on the epic story of Ramayana, Jatayu is a noble bird of divine origin who lost his wing and fell while fighting to protect a young woman named Sitha. The bird as recreated in concrete at the  Center is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 70 feet tall, with stylized feathers and enormous curled claws. Its prone body is sprawled on a mountaintop with a 65 acre tourist destination campus.

Jatayu Earth’s Center is a collaboration between the Tourism Department of Kerala and renowned film director Rajiv Anchal and focuses on environmental sustainability in its design. The Center includes systems of rainwater irrigation, solar powered electricity, and planned organic farms. Learn more about visiting on the Jatayu Earth’s Center website. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Design

Collected Rainwater Powers the World’s Tallest Indoor Waterfall at Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport

April 16, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

A seven-story waterfall designed by Safdie Architects has become the shining focal point of Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport. The 130-foot “Rain Vortex” is supplied by collected rainwater, and flows at the center of a greenhouse topped by an inverted glass dome. Nearly 10,000 gallons of water are pumped through the circular installation per minute from a centralized oculus in the middle of the space. The overhead dome is composed of a gridded glass thick enough to absorb any noise created by the aircrafts taking off and landing, and was tested to ensure it wouldn’t give off any distracting reflections to nearby air traffic controllers.

The new addition also includes five stories of shopping, a netted play area, and a terraced garden called the Shiseido Forest Valley that is dotted with smaller waterfalls accessed by trails. Although the waterfall at Jewel Changi Airport has just opened, it will soon be eclipsed as the tallest after the 2020 completion of a 164-feet-tall waterfall installed at Grimshaw‘s upcoming Qingdao Eden Project. (via dezeen)

 

 

 



Design

VTN Architects Designed a Vietnam Home With the Green Space on the Inside

March 24, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images via Vo Trong Nghia Architects / Hiroyuki Oki

Blurring the line between the interior and exterior, Vo Trong Nghia Architects designed and built a three-level residential home in Ho Chi Minh City that is overflowing from within with fiddle leaf fig plants, various palms, and winding vines. Going beyond arrangements of potted house plants, the architects integrated the flora into the physical structure. Corridors, staircases, and rooms are lined with natural dividers that add color, block sunlight, and ventilate the space.

The latest project in the firm’s “House for Trees” series, the Stepping Park House is a commentary on environmental issues in Vietnam caused by a lack of green spaces. Views of the exterior show that the driveway, balconies, and perimeter fence have also sprouted leaves. The top floor of the building has an open slatted design with spaces that are filled with even more greenery, which further connects the home with the surrounding environment, and in particular to the rare park nearby. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Design

Europe’s First Underwater Restaurant Doubles as a Marine Research Center

March 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

At Under, a new restaurant completed by architecture and design firm Snøhetta (previously), splashes of aquamarine light dance across tabletops and dishes. This greenish blue hue is emitted from a portal at the front of the space that, as its name suggests, peers underwater and into the depths of the North Sea. The half-sunken restaurant is located at the southernmost tip of Norway, with one side of the structure built into the coastline, and the other resting against the seabed.

Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen explains that the new building “challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment.” In this building,” he continues, “you may find yourself under water, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline.”

In addition to serving as a restaurant, the submerged building also functions as a marine research center. Interdisciplinary research teams will be invited to study the surrounding the biodiversity found along the southern coast, with the goal of building a machine learning tool that will monitor and track the species at regular intervals. Under’s design was also planned with these populations in mind. The building was built to function as an artificial coral reef, and will become integrated into the sea as limpets, kelp, and other underwater life begin to grow from its concrete shell.

The underwater restaurant opens for its first service today, and will seat 35-40 guests nightly. You can see more images from the new restaurant and learn about its menu on their website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Design

A Multi-Level Pedestrian Vessel Designed by Heatherwick Studio Opens at Hudson Yards

March 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images by Michael Moran for Related Companies

Thomas Heatherwick’s new copper-colored structure at New York City’s Hudson Yards exists somewhere between a building and a pavilion, yet is classified by neither title. The open-air structure, which is temporarily nicknamed as “Vessel,” is a maze of 154 crossing stairwells and 80 landings that combine to form a honeycomb-like shape. Although the towering design appears like a sculptural work, the architects behind the project view it more as a piece of furniture than piece of architecture.

“People often ask us, what is this for? Is it a viewing platform? Where are you looking to?” Heatherwick Studio group leader and partner Stuart Wood explains in Dezeen. “It’s not a building, it’s not a sculpture, it’s not an artwork, and yet it has scale and relevance to all of those typologies… In a way, we’re thinking of this as a piece of furniture. Its ongoing use will evolve, quite naturally.”

The structure is narrow at the bottom to avoid a large footprint, and expands to a width of 150 feet wide at the top. It opened yesterday alongside a plaza and gardens and phase one of the surrounding complex’s retail and entertainment. You can reserve free timed tickets to climb the structure on Hudson Yard’s website starting today. (via Dezeen)

All images by Michael Moran for Related Companies

 

 



Design

A Cascading Metal Rainbow Fills a Bookstore in Suzhou, China with Layers of Transparent Hues

March 9, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images: Yijie Hu

As a part of a larger project inside of a unique bookstore in Suzhou, China, architectural designers WUtopia Lab framed a reading room with a colorful structure referred to as the “Xanadu of Rainbows.” Made of one-centimenter thick aluminum sheets that have been perforated and cut into swooping shapes, the metal rainbow is created in a gradient that shifts through almost every shade in the ROYGBIV spectrum.

The word Xanadu is used to describe an idyllic space or place, which is what the architects sought to create with the vibrant, flowing design. The curved panels are installed along the ceiling and down the walls of the bookstore’s reading room and sections of the structure drip down like chromatic stalactites. In addition to creating an eye-catching aesthetic, the panels also functionally divide the open space into sections. To see more of WUtopia Lab’s interior and exterior work, check them out on Instagram. (via ArchDaily)