Under construction: Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, progresses. Conceived as a landmark building and a major new venue for the city of Baku, Azerbaijan, the Cultural Centre will accommodate a conference hall with three auditoriums, a library and a museum.
Cultural Centre for the city of Baku, Azerbaijan — Construction Photography © Zaha Hadid Architects

The building's fluid and undulating form evolves from layering of environmental information from the landscape's natural topography.
© Zaha Hadid Architects

The topography of the site allows to wrap the individual components of the building. From the folding of the natural topography of the site emerges the complex's form.
© Zaha Hadid Architects

The resulting building is merged with the landscape that emerges from the ground.
© Zaha Hadid Architects

This folding building influences the interior spaces with the floors cascading from one to another.
© Zaha Hadid Architects
> The resulting double-curved surface is based on mathematical analysis. Mathematics
have been utilized for the cladding of the façade.

All functions are connected together: floors are linked to the ramps and the circulation is incorporated in the skin to create a continuous path across the interior.
© Zaha Hadid Architects
> "(…) It is not simply a matter of optimising the building from an architectural
point of view, but also from the standpoints of creating energetic structural planning and production techniques.
If this not accomplished, the resulting buildings tend rather to represent aesthetically
motivated endeavours potentially limited in their habitability or usability." (Werner Sobek,
Façade consultant, AD July-August 2010)
© Zaha Hadid Architects
> This irregular, organic geometric building integrates an earthquake-proof system.
© Zaha Hadid Architects

The skin erodes away becoming an element of the interior landscape of the building.
© Zaha Hadid Architects
© Zaha Hadid Architects. Photography construction originally appeared
on Tuncel Engineering

Building Fact
Project: Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre for the city of Baku, Azerbaijan
Program: Mixed use cultural Centre
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrick Schumacher
Main Contractor: DIA
Structure: AKT, Tuncel Engineers
Space frame: Mero
Façade: Werner Sobek
Mechanical: GMD
Lighting: MVLD
Acoustic: DBKes
Fire: Etik Engineering
People Movers: BME Ltd. Co
Client: IC ITCAS, The Republic of Azerbaijan
Building area: 57519 sqm
Footprint area: 15514 sqm
Total Construction: 101801 sqm
Total landscape: 135778 sqm
Credit image: Zaha Hadid Architects

Source: Zaha Hadid Architects


Bamboo Housing for Haiti by Laurent Saint-Val

Paris-based architect Laurent Saint-Val proposes, for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a sustainable housing block based on the traditional art of basketry. This strategy consists of weaving natural plant fibres, including bamboo, from the local habitat. This results in a cocoon-type structure.
Bamboo Housing for Haiti © Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on evolo

According to Laurent Saint-Val, this residential block can be compared to the carving of a totem pole: "It's an architecture that segments space and which translates well the transient character of these habitats."
Technique of construction of the Bamboo Housing © Saint-Val Architecture.
Originally appeared on evolo
> Using local materials, including bamboo, the structural system
is based on a technique inspired by the traditional art of basketry by
weaving natural plant fibres.
Details of the assembly and connections of bamboo sections
© Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on inhabitat
© Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on inhabitat
> Examples of application of Guadua Tech systems to the nodes.
This system allows for standing great compression and tension forces.

The Guadua Tech, which is a method to prepare a modern system of terminal assembly for bamboo, allows for standing great compression and tension forces. Bamboo poles have been joined with high-tech X-type joints to create the bamboo exo-skeleton of the building. This technique can be a response to recurrent earthquake threats in terms of earthquake engineering. Ventilation is provided by wooden slats and  glass panels curving up the exterior in a double helix.
Diagram © Saint-Val Architecture. originally appeared on evolo
This Bamboo Housing illustrates new reflections in terms of building for Haiti.
Elevation © Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on evolo
© Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on evolo
© Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on evolo
> The housing contains a ground floor that serves as the entrance.
The bathroom and the small kitchen are located in this level.
The bedrooms are located in the upper levels.
Diagram © Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on inhabitat
> The diagram shows the manufacturing of the building structure wrapped
in canvas.
Elevation © Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on inhabitat
Diagram © Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on inhabitat
Sketch © Saint-Val Architecture. Originally appeared on inhabitat
Who is he?
Laurent Saint-Val has founded his agency in 2006 after having collaborated with important agencies. The firm is based in Paris, France.

Building Fact
Project: Bamboo Housing
Architect: Saint-Val Architecture
Location: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Status: study phase
Credit images: Laurent Saint-Val

Images originally appeared on evolo and inhabitat
Source: evolo and inhabitat

Update: Tripoli Tower, Tripoli, Lebanon by Adrian Lahoud

* An important update: My apology for this mistake. Indeed, this is not Libya but Lebanon. Of course, Tripoli is the capital of Libya. Yet Adrian Lahoud's project is the city of Tripoli, Lebanon.
A warm Thank to Stephanie Bashir for having contacted me about this unforgivable mistake.


While Lebanon is facing plausible change — yet look before you leap, one may say —, architect Adrian Lahoud announced his collective tower for the city of Tripoli, that is to say a new building typology.
Collective Tower — Master plan © Adrian Lahoud. Originally appeared on archdaily

Given Tripoli's existing high density fabric, it would be a huge change for Tripoli even in terms of architecture.
Tripoli — Existing high density fabric © Adrian Lahoud

Master plan © Adrian Lahoud. Originally appeared on archdaily

With this flexible triple support structure, Adrian Lahoud proposes another building typology. This collective tower is a bundle of three smaller towers connected in the middle for structural stability which can be married to high density in a low scale existing context.
Mid-level plan © Adrian Lahoud
> The mid-level podium is structured by a trefoil geometry that is
driven by the geometry of the center point between the stems.

This strategy articulates two axes: 1. the public podium level occurs at the mid-rise of the tower, while the ground condition — now shaded by the volume — can take on a more active public character; 2. this  tower will act as a series of semi-autonomous scalar problems, each problem being registered in the building in different ways. Adrian Lahoud aims at developing a generic and repeatable strategy at each register.
Tripoli — Periphery of expo site © Adrian Lahoud

The location of the structural stems of the three tower can shift according to site conditions; either to align to smaller existing plots at the ground level or else to minimize excessive over-shadowing of the context by deforming above the mid-level.
Adaptive facade © Adrian Lahoud
> different type of facade that adjusts to environmental parameters. The facade
system consists of pleated surface that can narrow and expand its apertures in order to control solar penetration to the interior.
In turn, the envelope can thicken and narrow within a certain bandwidth in order to adapt the floor plan at each level to variable conditions. The facade system is based on a pleated surface that can narrow and expand its apertures in order to control solar penetration to the interior. The mid-level podium is structured by trefoil geometry driven by the geometry of the center point between the stems.
Poche, voids and interstitial spaces between these systems allow for a strategic autonomy to emerge. By selectively delimitating the part-part relation, the functionality of each part becomes less dependent on that of its neighbors. Because each scale poses a distinct problem to the building (support,, volume, solar penetration, floor area), the separation of each system frees the parts to express different functionalities based on the problem being posed to them. In this way, the diagrammatic complexity of the situation can decomposed into a series of generic strategies defined by the presence or absence of relationality between scales.

For which reason?
Adrian Lahoud's design envisions to explore different type of urban transformation, such as these old urban high density fabrics.
Blind spot © Adrian Lahoud. Originally appeared on archdaily

Tripoli illustrates these old and -finely-grained cities composed of small scale forms developed by tradition and necessity over centuries.
Nested system © Adrian Lahoud
> The project is designed as the collection of a series
of semi-autonomous scalar.
Components have been nested to form the collective tower.
It is a bundle of three smaller towers connected into the middle
for structural stability.
The idea is to develop a generic and repeatable strategy at each register

It is obvious that the evolution of technologies in terms of design, engineering and manufacturing allows for new buildings typologies in these cities.
Oscar Niemeyer Site, Tripoli © Adrian Lahoud
View from port © Adrian Lahoud

Proposing another type of density, this tower aims at reducing buildings footprint that minimally disrupts the fabric of the existing  cities.
Collective tower — Adaptive stem structure © Adrian Lahoud
> various patterns of land use of the collective tower
surrounded by myriad of small, variable site conditions that
are characteristics of fine-grained sites in older cities.

While disrupting the existing buildings typology, the collective tower will adjust to its surrounding environment creating a new type of relationship with the existing urban objects.
View from the park © Adrian Lahoud. Originally appeared on archdaily
Collage of street © Adrian Lahoud

Who is he?
Adrian Lahoud is an architect, urban designer and researcher. Lahoud understands the discipline as a pursuit that ranges across material and intellectual domains. Through design studios, doctoral research and private practice He explores different types of urban transformation. For Lahoud, the city is a site of conflict that solicits the discipline into action. The discipline responds by producing speculative objects that redraw the lines of disputes.
Existing at the intersection of urbanism and architecture, this work explores the usage of technology in the design of cities, particularly the way its form and infrastructure adapt to crises. In 2010, he guest edited a special issue of Architectural Design (1D) titled Post-Traumatic Urbanism. Forthcoming in 2011 is 'Project for a Mediterranean Union' exploring transformations in infrastructure networks in North Africa and the Middle East. His doctorate titled 'The Life of Forms in the City' sets out an idea of the 'part' as a response to the problem posed by scale.
His work has been exhibited internationally, including countries such as China, Germany, Italy and the United States. He hosted workshops with Dan Graham, Diller + Scofidio, Vito Acconci, Atelier Bow-Wow, Wolf D. Prix, Eyal Weizman and Graham Harman, and with institutions such as the Royal College of Arts London, Chinese University of Hong Kong, American University of Beirut, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University and the Architectural Association London, where has also lectured and worked as a guest critic.
Lahoud is a strong advocate of the discipline and its broader cultural remit, through various forums, curatorial work and writing, he strives to create an expanded audience for architecture. His professional work has moved across a broad range of scales and disciplines including architecture, art, urban design and landscape.
In 2003 he established an award winning private practice. Currently, he is Course Director of the Master of Advanced Architecture in Urban Design at The University of Technology Sydney

Building fact
Project: Collective Tower
Architect: Adrian Lahoud
Assistants: Alina McConnochie, Sallie Hsu, Regan Ching, Erik Escalante
Location: Tripoli, Lebanon
Credit images: Adrian Lahood

Images originally appeared on Adrian Lahoud website. Some originally appeared on archdaily.

source: archdaily


Coop Himmelb(l)au winner of 'The New Parliamentary Complex' of the Republic of Albania

Firm Coop Himmelb(l)au announced to be winner of 'The New Parliamentary complex of the Republic of Albania competition. It will be its first project in Albania.
The New Parliamentary Complex of the Republic of Albania, © Coop Himmelb(l)au.
Originally appeared on designboom

Implanted in Tirana, this building will integrate fundamental democratic values such as openness, transparency and public co-determination. The site measures approximately 28,000 square-meter.

Architectural concept
This New Parliamentary complex will be conceived as an outstanding architectural landmark in one of the main parts of Tirana's urban fabric.
The building will be situated along the compositional axis of the city, in vicinity to the major governmental institutions.
Three core ideas articulate this scheme: providing a strong urban statement in this exposed part of Tirana's urban fabric; to assemble the different functions in one building ensemble that is compact enough to create a public forum and a park on the southern part of the site; and to create a unique building for the most important public institution of the Albanian Republic with a contemporary architectural approach shaped to optimize active and passive energy use.
© Coop Himmelb(l)au. Originally appeared on designboom

Another characteristic: different building elements will coexist in one building ensemble with a contemporary aesthetic that allows visualizing new functions and meanings.
The core of the building complex is the parliamentary hall situated in a glazed cone and stands for the transparency of the legislation.
The building is equipped with a public stair leading from the public forum to the landscaped roof of the plinth building. Its function consists of uniting all the different building elements: Office block, entrance structure and parliamentary hall.
© Coop Himmelb(l)au. Originally appeared on designboom

It is possible to look into the parliamentary hall from the plinth, and even from the outside.
The main entrance is designed as a massive cone, which creates an impressive space. It will act as the counterpart to the glazed parliamentary hall.

Energy concept
The building complex will capture the natural resources and energy flows of its surroundings providing optimal environmental conditions for its occupants.
© Coop Himmelb(l)au. Originally appeared on designboom

The configuration of the building form and the optimization of the building envelope, and the use of renewable energy sources play an essential role in that they ensure an energy efficient design and reduce reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
© Coop Himmelb(l)au. Originally appeared on designboom

The office building will be wrapped with a second skin clad in perforated steel specially optimized to improve building performance related to optimum daylight use, views, solar control, glare protection, thermal insulation, natural ventilation and noise protection.

Building facts
Project: New Parliamentary Complex of the Republic of Albania
Architect: Coop Himmelb(l)au
Design principal Wolf d. Prix
Design partner: Karolin Schmidbaur
Senior project partner: Michael Volk
Project partner: Hartmut Hank
Project architect: Friedrich Hähle
Design architects: Anne Aridsen, Peregrine Buckler, Veronika Janovska, Kadri Kerge, Heimo Matt, Anais Meon, Valerie Messini, Ismet Qorrolli, Jeroen Roosen, Tamara Soto Bailon, Xinyu Wan
3d Visualization: Steven Ma, Cynthia Sanchez-Morales
Structural engineering: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger Grohmann Schneider ZT-GmbH, Vienna, Austria
Energy design: Professor Brian Cody, Berlin, Germany
Graphic: Thomas Hindelang, Jan Rancke, Anja Sorger
Photography Markus Pillhofer
Model building: Sebastian Buchta, Tyler Bornstein, Paul Hoszoswki, La Chi Nam, Morteza Farhadian Dehkordi, Tichen Lu, Magnus Möschel
Animation: Isochrome
Site area: 28,000 sqm
Gross floor area: 38,650 sqm
Footprint: 13,100 sqm
Height: 36m, 50m (highest point)
Length: 88m, 70m (office building)
Width: 60m, 70m (office building)
Credits images: Coop Himmelb(l)au

Images originally appeared on designboom

Source: Coop Himmelb(l)au

Adaptive capacity

A new notion for my project the Dictionary of advanced ecological urbanism is adaptive capacity, a term which is closely linked to resilience. I propose, below, an abstract of the new entry:

Adaptive capacity is the ability of a system to adapt to climate changes to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities for or to cope with the consequences, and resilience is the key to enhancing adaptive capacity of these systems. It refers to the capacity of humans to deal with change in their environment by observation, learning and altering their interactions.
 As applied to cities, adaptive capacity defines the skill of a city to adapt to changing contexts such as climate change to recondition itself with minimum loss. Adaptive capacity makes cities strong, more resilient, and higher performative. Cities are to learn to live with change and uncertainty. Cities with high adaptive capacity are able to reconfigure themselves without significant declines in crucial functions.
In few words, adaptive capacity can be enhanced by: learning to live with change and uncertainty; nurturing diversity for resilience; combining different types of knowledge for learning; and creating opportunity of self-organisational.

See: Resilience, landscraping, redundancy, adaptive, retrofitting


Cloud Room by One Design Inc.

Another fascinating project found in evolo is this Cloud Room designed by Shanghai-based One Design Inc. This installation occupies the roof terrace of the National Art Museum of China, a historical landmark from the 1960's in Beijing.
The Cloud Room © One Design Inc.

This Cloud Room is made of white polycarbonate panels basing on a computer cloud-like profile.
© One Design Inc.

This installation adapts to environmental parameters: revolving according to the wind, casting moving shadows and reflections onto a second layer of translucent polycarbonate.
© One Design Inc.

The translucent interior screen allows for a mix of vague pixel urban image intertwined with wind and sun.
© One Design Inc.

Overall speaking, this installation creates an harmony with the building and its surrounding.
© One Design Inc.

The Cloud Room will travel in different place. The Beijing installation appears to be a starting point of as sequence of works. For its new location in summer — Taiwan — the Cloud Room is expected to transform and to dialogue with the mild and warm of environment of Taichung.
© One Design Inc.
© One Design Inc.
© One Design Inc.
source: evolo

Ecological Wall by Stanislaw Mlynski

I just discovered this project, designed by a Polish architecture student Stanislaw Mlynski on evolo Magazine's website. This design proposal is for an international organized by National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT) School of Architecture. He received the bronze prize for this proposal.
Ecological wall © Stanislaw Mlynski

Stanislaw Mlynski's proposal is based on an universal modular system that shifts industrial building, skyscrapers, office blocks, etc., into green ecosystems.
Diagram © Stanislaw Mlynski

This ecological wall is equipped with solar system to ensure energetic independence. According to Mlynski, covering the building with at least 750 square meters of solar can guarantee the building energetic independence. His proposition is based on combination of needs of users and system of getting solar energy.
© Stanislaw Mlynski

The building is covered with plants absorbing CO2 which enters the plant, and oxygen is then excreted along with water vapour, through the stomata, the pores in leaves and stems.
Diagram © Stanislaw Mlynski

Using green wall is not new. However Stanislaw Mlynski belongs to this category of architects who have strong interest in combining biology, genetics, phyllotaxis with architecture and engineering.
Diagram © Stanislaw Mlynski

It appears that Mlynski has an interest for photosynthetic metabolism. Photosynthesis, which occurs in algae, plants, so forth, converts carbon dioxide in organic compounds using the energy from sunlight.
Diagram © Stanislaw Mlynski

Using this strategy combining with solar power ensures energetic independence. His strategy for reducing CO2 with plants, then, can allow extension of the building which results in vertical growth of the city. It also shortens distances, cost of fuel, pollution and crowd.

Stanislaw Mlynski explains the guideline of his proposal as follows:

I proposed to create structural wall using organic waste containers. I believe that arrangement of elements, as well as their shape have potential to create shelters for animals, gather water, reduce CO2. The solar system has the aim to ensure energetic independence.
The subject of my interest was every — existing or built in the future — useless, dirty, not-adapted city wall. As in nature every organism consist of huge amount of repetitious cells, which ensure reliability, I decided also to make up an universal modular system, which will allow to transform industrial building, grey skyscrapers, office blocks or even typical fences in green ecosystems. Such system would also provide with possibility to create buildings. On every step of the project I was seeking inspirations in nature, because to my mind it is the master of OPTIMIZATION and use of resources from surrounding (to which it is trying to adjust).
Organic waste are nearly 14% of our dust bins and composting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of recycling. I propose system of gathering waste such as grass cuttings, tea bags, ripped cardboards, paper, fruit cuttings and much more, based on delivering new and collecting full containers — cells, which after changing sewage to soil are going to be ecological structure. Shape of every cell is the result of combining 2 functions: container for waste and the construction element of the building. Such wall can be a ground for plants which will reduce the amount of CO2 as well as have positive influence on microclimate. Thanks the tectonic of walls we can collect water and what is more birds would find the shelter there. Solar system is the combination of users' (sunlight) needs and system of getting solar energy. I had an idea to let everyone get involved in very simple but relevant way in creating our eco-cities."

Diagram © Stanislaw Mlynski
Diagram © Stanislaw Mlynski
Diagram © Stanislaw Mlynski

© Stanislaw Mlynski

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