Arup creates a gateway to Zaragoza Expo 2008

Two Arup buildings opened on June 13 forming central features for the Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain. The Bridge Pavilion, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Arup is a pedestrian bridge and also serves as the main entrance to the Expo site. The bridge also provides one of the event’s main exhibition spaces.

Before reaching the Bridge Pavilion visitors to Zaragoza Expo 2008 will encounter another Arup collaboration, the Digital Water Pavilion. Created by the architect Carlo Ratti, the pavilion provides breathtaking views over the Expo site.

For more information refer to ARUP News

SOURCE: ARUP

OMA appoints Shohei Shigematsu as Partner

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has appointed Shohei Shigematsu as partner of the OMA Holding company. Mr. Shigematsu is currently director of OMA*AMO PC in New York.

Mr. Shigematsu is currently in charge of Cornell University’s new building for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning in Ithaca, NY, a Mixed-use High-rise Building in Jersey City, NJ, and a Residential Tower with CAA (Creative Artist Agency) screening room on 23 East 22nd Street in Manhattan amongst other projects.

SOURCE: OMA.eu – OMA appoints Shohei Shigematsu as Partner.

New green materials testing lab for Dubai – Xpress

Dubai Municipality has established a new laboratory for testing green materials. The new initiative will be used for assessing the characteristics of these materials as per the international approved standard specifications, said Eng. Hawa Abdullah Bastaki, Director of Dubai Central Laboratory Department.

She said the initiative is also in line with the Dubai Government’s directives on facing the current environmental challenges aimed at transforming Dubai to a hygienic and sustainable city adhering to all environment friendly standards, which will make it capable of providing safe and secure life for its citizens.

Read more at the SOURCE: Xpress: News – New green materials testing lab for Dubai.

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

Want a new urban model? Go west – TheStar.com

VANCOUVER–Even in this city of condos, The Beasley stands out. Not because of its height (33 storeys), the number of units (271) or its location (Yaletown). What makes it impossible to ignore is its name – The Beasley.

In this city, that can mean only one thing, Larry Beasley.

On the off chance you haven’t heard of Beasley, he is Vancouver’s former chief planner and creator of the famous “Vancouver model,” which for all its flaws, now defines this city.

The point is that in a world obsessed with starchitects and celebrity designers, Vancouver is one of few cities to have grasped that the important issue isn’t architecture, but planning. It’s not so much buildings as the space between them that differentiates one city from another, that makes one city attractive, another unappealing.

SOURCE: TheStar.com – Ideas – Want a new urban model? Go west.

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