Hadid leading architectural rush to the Emirates – International Herald Tribune

Sometime in 2011, three twisting towers are set to shoot up along a man-made creek in the desert sheikhdom of Dubai.

Bent at the waist, the Signature Towers will be the work of the Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, who, with fellow Pritzker winners Norman Foster and Frank Gehry, is leading an architect rush to the Emirates.

“We are trying things out for the first time which we wanted to try out, but couldn’t,” said Patrik Schumacher, a partner at Zaha Hadid Architects. “We have found an unusual degree of receptiveness to new ideas in the Gulf.”

The Persian Gulf is home to more than $2 trillion worth of construction projects, fueled by a quadrupling of oil prices over the last five years. As the Gulf states – home to about 40 percent of the world’s proven crude-oil reserves – seek to diversify away from hydrocarbons, their appetite for landmark buildings is growing.

Read more at the Source: Hadid leading architectural rush to the Emirates International Herald Tribune.

The push to greener housing – Canada

“Once people become more aware of green issues, they recognize the advantages,” he says. “If a house, because it is well-insulated and has an efficient heating system, costs $300 less a month to maintain than a similar neighbouring house, that house is worth more.”

An Eco Home survey conducted by Royal LePage Real Estate suggests Canadians are looking for greener homes and are ready to put their real estate dollars on the line for these purchases. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the 1,266 people surveyed said they would look for an environmentally improved property when buying their next home, and 63 per cent said they would pay more for an eco-friendly home.

Source: globeandmail.com: The push to greener housing.

Foster + Partners opens office in Abu Dhabi

Building on Foster + Partners’ pioneering work in the region and consolidating the practice’s long-term commitment to further development, HRH The Duke of York is to open a new Foster + Partners office in Abu Dhabi on April 3rd. The practice has been working in Abu Dhabi for the past two years, during which time it has developed an appreciation for and understanding of the specific design challenges faced by the local climate and culture.

Foster + Partners’ projects in the area – led by Senior Partner Gerard Evenden – include the design for Aldar Central Markets, a reinterpretation of the traditional market place and dynamic new quarter for Abu Dhabi, as well as the design for the Abu Dhabi World Trade Center, part of the Al Raha Beach Development. As a result of the Masdar Initiative, the Foster masterplan for Masdar will provide Abu Dhabi with a new sustainable city, a centre for new ideas for energy production and a sustainable urban blueprint for the future. Foster + Partners also won the international competition to design the new Sheikh al Zayed National Museum, an ambitious project to honour the legacy of the late ruler and founder of the nation.

Source: Foster + Partners

OMA to Redevelop Modernist London Icon

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been selected to redevelop the iconic Commonwealth Institute in Kensington and Chelsea, London, by Chelsfield, one of the United Kingdom’s major property development groups, and their partner Ilchester Estate. The project includes the addition of a major residential scheme alongside the rejuvenation of the 1960’s structure at the edge of Holland Park.

OMA to Redevelop Modernist London Icon.

Source: OMA Website

Jean Nouvel wins Pritzker Prize

Tour de VerreJean Nouvel of Paris, France has been chosen as the 2008 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor will be held on June 2 in Washington,D.C. at the Library of Congress. At that time, a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion will be bestowed on the 62-year old architect.

Nouvel who came to international attention with the completion of his Institut du Monde Arabe (usually referred to as IMA) in 1987 as one of President Francois Mitterand’s Grands Travaux in Paris, now has several projects in the United States, including the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis completed in 2006, a 75-story tower (Tour Verre) next door to MOMA in New York, and recently announced plans for a high rise condominium (Suncal Tower) in the Century City district of Los Angeles. In Europe, some of his other important works are the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art (Paris 1994), the Branly Museum (Paris 2006), the Agbar Tower (Barcelona 2005), a Courthouse (Nantes 2000), a Cultural and Conference Center (Lucerne 2000), an Opera House (Lyon 1993), and Expo 2002 (Switzerland).

Also currently under construction is a concert hall in Copenhagen. Although the bulk of his work is in France, he has designed projects all over the world, including Japan, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Brazil, Qatar, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iceland, UAE, Taiwan, Malaysia, Portugal, Kuwait, Morocco, Russia and the U.S.— well over two hundred in all.

Image: Courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Source: Pritzker Prize

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