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Showing newest 4 of 10 posts from 02 January 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 4 of 10 posts from 02 January 2011. Show older posts

Saturday, January 8, 2011

:LAVA - Michael Schumacher Tower, Abu Dhabi, UAE

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The Michael Schumacher Tower is the first in a series of seven towers to be built worldwide.

Image courtesy LAVA
Inspired by the geometrical order of a snowflake and the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 racing car, the tower encapsulates speed, fluid dynamics, future technology and natural patterns of organization. Rather than purely mimicking shapes in nature for their elegance and unpredictability, the architects learned from nature’s own geometrical orders creating highly efficient structures and intriguing spaces.

Image courtesy LAVA
“We let the design unfold as a result of the project’s needs: optimal natural light and air distribution, maximum views, minimal structure, user comfort and an unrivaled water experience.”
Tobias Wallisser

The lower levels of the tower, traditionally the most difficult and least attractive area, has been reinterpreted as a series of prestigious wharf apartments, terraced similar to that of cruise ship decks. By widening the base, the tower is anchored into its surrounding water basin similar to the surrounding mangroves and nearby canals. The top Sky villas offer 270-degree views opposite the new cultural district on Saadyiat Island

Image courtesy LAVA

Image courtesy LAVA

Image courtesy LAVA
The building features an iconic silhouette and a facade characterized by vertical slots with private balconies. A series of reflective fins generates a vertical dynamic and gives the building a constantly changing appearance.
The fins track the sun, control the solar shading and dissolve the rationality of the plan into a continuously evolving building volume.
The facade’s continuous surface enables curvature with a lot of repetition and the potential for standardization in the building process. State-of-the-art engineering and innovative materials will be used to achieve a fully sustainable performance.

Image courtesy LAVA

Image courtesy LAVA
“The unique collaboration with Michael Schumacher gave us new insights. Technology, precision, speed, elegance, paired with human intuition and extraordinary performance were a great source of inspiration for the design. Similar to the formula one operation, construction is a team sport with a lot of highly skilled experts. In this sense the architects take the driver seat in the process, taking the project to the physical limits of possibility.”
Alexander Rieck

Image courtesy LAVA

Image courtesy LAVA
Ground Breaking is planned for the beginning of 2009, with an expected completion date June 2011.
LAVA, the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture, was founded one year ago by Chris Bosse and Tobias Wallisser together with architect Alexander Rieck, innovation expert at the Fraunhofer institute in Stuttgart.
“The project brings together our previous experiences, theMercedes-Benz Museum, a brand-owned museum with an extraordinary spatial concept exploring the latest digital design and fabrication technologies with the Water Cube Beijing, an example of the highest performance of both the building and the athletes, creating by a stunning atmosphere developed through the deliberate morphing of molecular science, architecture and phenomenology.”
Chris Bosse

Client: Vedera Capital|Marasi
Concept: PNYG:Company, Dubai

Architects: LAVA
Local architects: Wenzel+Wenzel, Abu Dhabi
:LAVA - Michael Schumacher Tower, Abu Dhabi, UAE :

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hot and sticky in Singapore

by Jandkross

There are a number of things that have deterred us from visiting Australia and New Zealand before, not least of them the grim prospect of the 24 hour flight time.  To make the long journey more tolerable we have decided to stop off on the way and spend a few days in Singapore.

The flights (with Emirates via Dubai), though tedious as expected, went without a hitch and we landed at Changi airport on time at 9.00pm on Monday.  It was hot and humid but not oppressively so.  We took the very reasonably priced airport shuttle bus into the city centre which conveniently delivered us directly to the Ibis hotel.  By the time we had checked in it was 11.00pm but we needed to wind down with a couple of cold beers before bed.  A brief reconnaissance of the streets in the immediate vicinity of the hotel revealed several restaurants still open with tables and chairs on the pavement.  The food they were serving looked appetising but there was a distinct lack of alcohol.

The Ibis, however, had its own bar and whilst it would have been good to escape the air conditioning and sit in the fresh air we ended up returning there and downing a few very welcome Tiger beers.  We signed off the enormous bill for these, mentally making a note not to drink at the hotel bar in future, and fell into bed.

We woke early to a blue sky and found that our room on the 10th floor overlooked not one but two temples, one Hindu, the other Chinese.  Breakfast was not included in the room price but neither of us felt particularly hungry and the complimentary tea and coffee provided in the room was ample preparation for a day's gentle exploring.  It was very hot and humid.  We both seemed to be feeling the effects of jetlag too and so progress was slow.

We strolled through Fort Canning Park, the city's first botanical gardens, admiring the tropical vegetation, enormous trees sprouting long lianas and covered in bromeliads, and some of the buildings erected by the early settlers of Singapore.  Raffles, the founder of Singapore, had a bungalow built on the hill and the British Army had a fort and barracks here.

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Photo by Jandkross

Mikou Design Studio - Bailly School Complex, Saint-Denis , France

Saint-Denis , France
The shape of the roof and the glazed brick give reference to the lanterns in cathedrals.

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn
The Bailly School Complex, on the rue de Bailly, is situated on a site being developed by Plaine Commune who sees the project as an initiator for the reorganization of the district.
The complex forms a wall on the rue de Bailly pulling back in one area to allow for the ramp leading to the main entrance. The ramp is sheltered by the colorful second story awnings.

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn
The brick base extends into an internal brick street which functions as an interspace area to access both schools, the recreation centre, and also serve as the connection to the various functions.
The preschool, the recreational center and the elementary school are connected by an interior street open to the forecourt. Circulation is horizontal and the classrooms, organized north south on two levels, are protected from noise by interior gardens.

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn
Towards the rue de Bailly the facades are glazed to protect the privacy of the children, towards the interior gardens the facades are transparent.

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn

Photo: Florian Kleinefenn
Because of the tall surrounding buildings the design of the roof was a crucial factor of the project. It is the fifth facade, a bright colored pallet, visible from the rue de Bailly by the children.

Drawing courtesy Mikou Design Studio
Site Plan

Color Concept
Site area: 5,200 square meters
Building area: 3,000 square meters
Gross floor area: 7,000 square meters

Completed: 2010
Client: City of Saint-Denis
Architect: Mikou Design Studio
Structural Engineer: INGEROP
Environmental Engineer: TRIBU
Colors Designer: Ruedi Baur

Mikou Design Studio - Bailly School Complex, Saint-Denis , France

Thursday, January 6, 2011

DINKA: Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan

By Angela Fisher & Carol Beckwith
Publisher: Rizzoli

This seminal volume on the indigenous African Dinka group is a landmark documentation of a vanishing people in war-torn Sudan. This book is a bit out of the ordinary for an arcspace review but we love it and wanted to share our enthusiasm with you......and Christmas is coming up!
World-renowned photographers Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith have devoted their lives to documenting the rapidly disappearing ceremonies and cultures of the indigenous people of Africa. In breathtakingly poignant images, they present a story that started with their first visit to the Dinka thirty years ago.
“We were struck by the beauty of the cattle camp - the layers of smoke at sunset, the striking silhouettes of cattle with their lyre-shaped horns, and the tall herders moving among them.”
Angela & Carol

Between November and April every year, the Dinka move their vast herds to dry season cattle camps, to take advantage of the rich grasslands on either side of the River Nile.

Living in harmony with their cattle, the Dinka have survived years of war only to find their culture on the brink of vanishing forever. Where the White Nile River reaches Dinka country, it spills over 11,000 square miles of flood plain to form the Sudd, the largest swamp in the world. In the dry season, it provides abundant pasture for cattle, and this is where the Dinka set up their camps.
Every morning hundreds of animals are taken out to graze. White is the Dinkas favorite color of cattle, but they recognize a myriad of other colors with the subtle distinctions and spend hours discussing them.

Dinka men often walk hand in hand. This physical touching celebrates their close bonds as age-mates. Their traditional corsets are color coded to show their status in life; a red corset indicates a young man 15 to 25 years old, while a yellow one shows he is over 30 years old and ready for marriage.

The size and beauty of a man’s corset reflects whether he comes from a family rich in cattle and can afford a high bride price.

A young woman abandons herself to the pleasure of dancing. She wears the highly valued blue beads given to her as a present by her husband at their marriage.

The men dust their bodies and faces with gray ash—protection against flies and lethal malarial mosquitoes, but also considered a mark of beauty. Covered with this ash and up to 7’ 6" tall, the Dinka were referred to as "gentle" or "ghostly" giants by the early explorers. The Dinka call themselves "jieng" and "mony-jang," which means "men of men."

Thirty years of work on the African continent have taken award winning Carol and Angela over 270,000 miles, through remote corners of 40 countries, and to more than 150 African cultures. Producing 14 universally acclaimed books and making four films about traditional Africa. Their photographic exhibitions, lectures and unique books have received acclaim in museums and galleries throughout the world.
“These unique cultures possess a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared and honored. It is our life passion to document and create a powerful visual record of these vanishing ways of life for future generations.”
Angela & Carol

Photo: arcspace
Angela and Carol signing books at a Los Angeles event hosted by Joan and Arnold Travis.
Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan

Angela Fisher & Carol Beckwith
Publisher: Rizzoli

DINKA: Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan - By Angela Fisher & Carol Beckwith :: books at