Hangzhou Shangri-la to get shorter

In a period when the tallest buildlings are going up such as the Shanghai Tower and Burj Dubai it is comforting to see a city that has the initiative to protect its character and urban fabric.

Hangzhou is requiring that buildings that surround the beautiful West Lake should be made less than 24 metres(78.7ft). The Shangri-La hotel on the edge of the Lake will be made to reduce its building.

read more @ the SOURCE: The Guardian – Chinese city to trim tall buildings

A New Cultural Center for Europe, Hermitage Amsterdam, to Open in June 2009 – MarketWatch

“AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Dec 11, 2008 – Beginning in June 2009, a major new European cultural destination, the greatly expanded Hermitage Amsterdam, will welcome visitors to its elegantly restored 17th-century building in the historic heart of Amsterdam. Renovated at a cost of some 40 million Euros (approximately $50 million), the building has been redesigned as a series of light-filled galleries by Dutch architects Hans van Heeswijk and Merkx + Girod.”

[SOURCE: MarketWatch – A New Cultural Center for Europe, Hermitage Amsterdam, to Open in June 2009]

Calvin Klein Collaborates with REX Architecture for New York Holiday Display – Interior Design

Interior Design reports with a great image gallery

“Seasonal decorations abound in Manhattan, but those with an architectural or interior twist are a special holiday treat for the New York design community. The Upper East Side’s flagship Calvin Klein Collection store on Madison Avenue and 60th St recently unveiled their annual holiday window display with an ultra-modern dollhouse as the central focus. “Madison Avenue (Doll)House” is a collaborative effort conceived by Dale Rozmiarek, senior vice president of creative services for Calvin Klein, Inc., designed by Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX Architecture PC, structurally engineered by Magnusson Klemencic Associates and fabricated by Situ Studio.”

[SOURCE:  Interior Design – Calvin Klein Collaborates with REX Architecture for New York Holiday Display]

MVRDV wins Gwanggyo City Centre Competition, near Seoul, South Korea

The Daewoo Consortium and the municipality of Gwanggyo announced the MVRDV concept design for a dense city centre winner of the developer’s competition for the future new town of Gwanggyo, located 35km south of the Korean capital Seoul. The plan consists of a series of overgrown hill shaped buildings with great programmatic diversity, aiming for high urban density and encouragement of further developments around this so-called ‘Power Centre’, one of the envisioned two centre’s of the future new town.

Since the beginning of the millennium local nodes with a high density concentration of mixed program are used in Korean town planning. These nodes consist of a mix of public, retail, culture, housing, offices and leisure generating life in new metropolitan areas and encouraging further developments around them: the Power Centre strategy. The Gwanggyo Power Centre will consist of 200,000m2 housing, 48,000m2 offices, 200,000m2 mix of culture, retail, leisure and education and 200,000m2 parking.

This divers program has different needs for phasing, positioning and size. To facilitate this all elements are designed as rings. By pushing these rings outwards, every part of the program receives a terrace for outdoor life. Plantations around the terraces with a floor to floor circulation system store water and irrigate the plants. The roofs of these hills and the terraces are planted with box hedges creating a strong, recognizable, cohesive park. This vertical park will improve the climate and ventilation, reduce energy and water usage. As a result a series of overgrown green ‘hills’ appear in the landscape.

The site is surrounded by a beautiful lake and forested hills, the design aims to create a landscape on top of the new program that enlarges the green qualities and that links the surrounding parks by turning the site into a park.

The shifting of the floors causes as a counter effect hollow cores that form large atriums. They serve as lobbies for the housing and offices, plazas for the shopping center and halls for the museum and leisure functions. In each tower a number of voids connect to the atrium providing for light and ventilation and creating semi-public spaces. On the lower floors the atriums are connected through a series of public spaces on various levels linking the towers and serving the outdoor facilities of the culture, retail and leisure program. The Power Centre creates a dense urban program with a green regard.

The concept plan is currently at the Gyeonggi provincial authority’s Urban Innovation Corporation for further development and feasibility study, the entire new town will be a self sufficient city of 77,000 inhabitants. The estimated budget and timeframe are still in the process of being established, completion is envisioned for 2011. A consortium lead by Daewoo develops the project with local firm DA Group, which commissioned MVRDV to design the scheme. British firm Arup is involved as engineer.

[SOURCE:MVRDV news | MVRDV wins Gwanggyo City Centre Competition, near Seoul, South Korea].

Glenn Murcutt selected for 2009 AIA Gold Medal

The AIA Board of Directors selected Glenn Marcus Murcutt, Hon. FAIA, to receive the 2009 AIA Gold Medal. The Board honored Murcutt for the depth of his work and the breadth of his influence, which echoes well beyond his native Australia.

[SOURCE: AIArchitect This Week | Glenn Marcus Murcutt, Hon. FAIA, Selected for 2009 AIA Gold Medal]

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