Foriegn firms aren’t just in India for the cash

The Times of India looks at foreign firms in India and talks about

Be it a slum redevelopment project in congested Mumbai or Kolkata’s new museum of modern art, the global imprint on the country’s fast-changing urban landscape is evident. Made in India but designed by a clutch of foreign architects looking to cash in on the country’s real estate boom.

This is true of many developing nations (UAE, China, India, Vietnam, Tanzania,) that when the first major projects such as airports, museums, galleries, opera houses are slated for design and then construction many foreign firms are issued the contracts. And as the article speaks about it has a lot to do with star marketing power but often it has more to do with the experience of designing and building large scale projects and finalising them within a short time frame(eg Olympic, Commonwelath Games Venues).

The author refers to RMJM, Foster and Partners, HOK, who all have experience in large scale projects but also have offices all around the world so they understand what it takes to open a new office in a developing nation and to make it work.

Having international firms design infrastructure, civic and residential projects is not all bad, the country benefits from projects being seen on the world scale an example is the Olympic Stadium (bird’s nest) in Beijing many people have known about this building years in advance of the Olympics. The main benefit to the developing country is that many of these large firms employ local workers and train them in the international standard of design, engineering and detailing which they can then take to a local firm or move on and open their own firm. This is true of many of the major cities in China where over the last 15 years foreign firms have opened offices and worked on large scale projects and local firms have learnt from their successes and failures (in design and business) and now compete quite successfully against foreign firms.

Most of all it is up to local firms, schools and governments to educate the current and future designers of India so that they can compete and win against foreign firms not just from North America and Europe developed Asian countries but their developing neighbors such as China.

SOURCE of Original Article: Times of India – Foreign hands building India – Author: Neelam Raaj

IHG to open tallest hotel in Vietnam by 2011

InterContintenal Hotels & Resorts(IHG) to open Vietnam’s tallest hotel in 2011 InterContinental Hanoi Landmark to occupy upper floors of a new 336-metre tower, one of the world’s tallest buildings 

IHG announced the addition of InterContinental Hanoi Landmark, Vietnam’s tallest hotel, to its growing list of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts under development. The company has signed an agreement with Korea-based Keangnam Enterprises to develop the brand new luxury hotel in the centre of West Hanoi. Targeted to open in early 2011, InterContinental Hanoi Landmark will have 383 rooms and suites and 300 serviced residences, occupying the upper floors of the 70-storey, 336-metre Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower. The development is expected to be among the 20 tallest buildings in the world.

SOURCE: IHG Press Release

The battle of the skyscrapers – Salon News

For an entire century, New York was the city of skyscrapers, the epitome of the vertical city. It just kept growing into the sky, faster and faster. It was an exhilarating adventure in stone, steel and glass — and seemingly unsurpassable.

In “Delirious New York,” his legendary 1978 book about the giant city of skyscrapers and its magic, the young Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas raved about what he called the “colonization of the sky.”

Even the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center have not diminished the enthusiasm the now world-famous architect has for the skyscraper as a model of success. Despite the disaster, says Koolhaas, the skyscraper is still “about the only type of building that has survived the leap into the 21st century.”

From a Western perspective, at least, this is precisely the problem. Economically booming megacities — such as Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai — where extravagant skyscrapers are shooting up all over, mean that cities like New York are beginning to look old and outdated, despite attempts to modernize. In Europe, the eastern part is beginning to look more modern than the western part. Cities like Istanbul and Moscow are more dynamic than London, Paris or Milan.

SOURCE: Salon News – The battle of the skyscrapers .

Dwell on Design Los Angeles to start on June 5

What happens when Dwell editors drive the agenda? A roster of more than 50 incredibly talented and diverse speakers ranging from legislators to practitioners to activists, discussing everything from urban gardening to a mandated LEED program for LA. The conference follows two parallel tracks but we encourage you to veer from the linear and sign up for any panel that sparks your interest.  

An exciting and different event will be the Monrovia Design Challenge allows party attendees to create an instant, eye-catching landscape within a small space. Three teams at a time have just 10 minutes to create a design using a wide palette of stylish Monrovia plants. When all sets of teams are finished, the judges, including Monrovia CEO Miles Rosedale, will award the winning team a living trophy from Monrovia. Every party attendee will receive a Monrovia plant to take home.

Dwell on Design – Los Angeles starts on June 5 to June 8

SOURCE: dwell.comDwell on Design Los Angeles Home Page – Dwell Conferences – .

Athens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics – Telegraph.co.uk

The buildings constructed in Athens for the Olympic Games four years ago are fly blown, closed to the public and covered in graffiti, a forewarning of the possible aftermath of the London Games in 2012.

Of the 22 venues in the city, 21 are in a state of disrepair and under guard to prevent vandalism.

Athens spent more than £9 billion on staging the Olympics, slightly less than the current estimate for the London games.

The hangover from the games was tremendous. Greece was left with a national budget deficit of 6.1 per cent, more than twice the maximum allowed under European Union rules.
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The infrastructure, which was installed in such haste, has proven to be far too extravagant for the city. It is difficult to imagine there was ever much local interest in continuing to use the baseball, kayaking, fencing and handball facilities down the coast at Hellenikon.

A few miles outside the city centre, the sprawling Faliron complex that once hosted the beach volleyball and taekwondo competitions is deserted and a lone security guard has not been able to deter youths from spraying the walls with slogan

Telegraph.co.ukAthens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics.

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