Populous Wins Incheon Stadium Design for 2014 Asian Games

October 30, 2009 Leave a comment


Populous Wins Incheon Stadium Design for 2014 Asian Games

It’s an exciting time for sports fans everywhere as cities around the world unveil the incredible stadiums that will host the events of tomorrow, and the designers and architects of Populous have them in spades. The latest competition-winning proposal from the HOK offshoot was recently selected as the primary stadium for the 17th Asian games in Incheon, South Korea. The adaptable stadium creates an abundance of green space within the city that will serve as a public park when not in use.


Populous Wins Incheon Stadium Design for 2014 Asian Games by Mike Chino, 10/09/09

Designed by Populous (formerly HOK Sport Venue Event) and Heerim Architects and Planners, Incheon’s new stadium is designed to hold 70,000 people for the Asian games in 2014, after which it will downsize and transform into a 30,000 seat stadium and public park.

The elegantly sloping structure is meant to reflect the traditional Buddhist ritual Seung Moo dances. According to architect Daekwon Park, “In architecture, as in dance, dynamic movement creates form, but can also be recognized by the space voids created around its form. The yin and yang of complementary opposites within a greater whole are represented inside the form of the master plan of the stadium, and the left over space around that form, becomes the main access to the building.

The stadium has been described as promoting “a new era of designing sustainable venues for major events”, however the project’s sustainable features have yet to be disclosed. Ensuring environmental responsibility in a structure designed to draw thousands of spectators is a challenging goal, and we’re interested to see how populous plans on pulling off the feat.

For now Populous has said “The key to its success will be linking it into the surrounding parklands, to make it an open, accessible building for its people. It will be smaller, easier to operate and more usable by the community, securing its long term sustainability and providing a true legacy for the people of Incheon.”


Graft Lab’s Vertical Village in Dubai Has Spider Web of Solar Panels

October 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Graft Lab’s Vertical Village in Dubai Has Spider Web of Solar

At first glance, Graft Lab’s dazzling complex in Dubai may appear to have a cluster of sparkling geometric pools at its base. But upon further inspection, the web-like structures are actually something even more desirable than a place to take a dip in the hot desert – a means of collecting the scorching rays of the sun and transforming them into energy. Dubbed the Vertical Village, this multi-use building and accompanying massive array of solar collectors was designed to work smarter, not harder, which is expected to earn it a LEED Gold certification when it is completed.


Graft Lab’s Vertical Village in Dubai Has Spider Web of Solar Panels

The architects at Graft Lab (also responsible for the unique and ethereal Bird Island) must have been taking good notes in their LEED classes because the Vertical Village incorporates the most basic mantras of energy-efficiency in hot climates: reducing solar gain and maximizing solar production. Each hockey-stick-shaped building within the village is self-shading on its north side and on the east-west axis to reduce long-angle sun penetration. A massive bed of solar collectors lies at the south end of the complex and has the ability to automatically position itself toward the sun to maximize solar-energy aggregation. The roof of the village has veins like a leaf which can break up the solar field into smaller, more manageable portions.

Aside from its energy-harvesting features, the Vertical Village is also quite breathtaking to behold. The way that the buildings have been sliced and tilted gives each one a unique, futuristic look. Residents and visitors will be able to take full advantage of hotels, cinemas, restaurants, shops and a theater.

Flood Harvesting Housing Brings Tidal Power to New York City

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Flood Harvesting Housing Brings Tidal Power to New York City

The concept of harvesting energy from river waves to power New York City just got more enticing. Earlier this year we brought you GRO Architects notable concept, which stood out among the entries for Metropolis Magazine’s 2009 Next Generation Design Competition. Brian Novello, one of the partners in the project, also has a beautiful design to expand these modular docking stations in energy-collecting floating houses, and it looks so cool that we had to spread the news.

To refresh your memory, GRO Architects‘ floating walkways are designed to extend from piers and use the river current to spin their large turbines. Power would be generated silently while the passersby could also use the spaces within the network of turbines for walkways, public spaces, or even residences as the project’s title suggests.

The first iterations of this design featured a set of open structures with faceted cladding and rib cage-like walkways. In Brian Novello’s version, the walkways are more like enclosed passageways inside of the swirling turbines, and a sleek and technical look has been given to the central connecting modules that act as green spaces for trees. This new look is similar to the pristine, yet engineered style of a brightly colored Dyson vacuum, but it is appropriate since the action of water in a turbine lends itself to these twisting forms.


Flood Harvesting Housing Brings Tidal Power to New York City

Brian Novello has posted a fly through video of the project, which gives a nice overview of the spaces. These structures could act as a nice retreat from the city streets, since they seems very inviting in their modernity. In addition to the architectural achievements, the FH2 Flood Harvesting Housing project could have significant value for adding green space and collecting power for the city. We hope that these design updates means that headway is being made toward making a hydropower project a reality in New York City.

ACME United Nations Memorial Space Inspired by Cells

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

ACME United Nations Memorial Space Inspired by Cells

A recent competition earlier in 2009 held by the city of Chungju in South Korea made a call for a memorial space in the city’s United Nations Peace Park. Coming in at 3rd place was London-based firm ACME with their dramatic hive-like design. Drawing from the very core of what the United Nations is, this building is comprised of individual cells combined together to form a cube structure, mirroring how the UN is made up of individual countries who come together to form one entity. ACME’s proposal also includes an idyllic green roof and plenty of natural daylight.


ACME United Nations Memorial Space Inspired by Cells

The structure is built from hexagonal cells on the exterior as well as throughout the interior. Built as a metaphor for how the UN operates and functions, this memorial space is meant to “represent the nature of the organization, where many different nations come together to create one entity, but without losing their
individual identities.” Inside there are two conference halls, a theater, an exhibition space and an assembly hall for 1,500 people. The cellular design will also serve as a multi-function meeting space and house offices, restaurants, meeting and educational space as well as public viewing platforms.

An open staircase winds up the exterior of the building and leads all the way up to the roof, where a public garden and green roof await. Rooms, meeting space and public areas are all well lit by natural daylight.  We’re quite taken with this design proposal and considering it received 3rd place, we’d love to know what the first and second place designs were.

Modular Passiv-Haus Concept Offers Customizable, Net-Zero Home

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Modular Passiv-Haus Concept Offers Customizable, Net-Zero Home

This prefab concept house, Mini40, comes out of Austria and has a slant towards the increasingly popular Passiv-Haus design method, which promotes a very tight and low-energy design. Hailing from Innsbruck, architect Mario Handle designed this passive home so that it doesn’t require any conventional heating. In fact, in good solar locations, it could be completely off-grid, powered by photovoltaics. The Mini40 was also designed to be constructed with modular parts, and reminds us a little bit of Werner Sobek’s modular homes, although the Mini40 has a slightly warmer aesthetic. And with just as many variations as Sobek’s homes, including the Mini60, Mini80 and Mini120, the concept can be expanded to become a larger-sized home or even multi-family housing.


Modular Passiv-Haus Concept Offers Customizable, Net-Zero Home

In most locations, the Mini40 would require about €200 per year in heating costs to run a heat exchanger that heats both the air and water. In sunnier locations, a photovoltaic system could take care of all electricity costs, making the Mini40 a net-zero home. The module itself is built from austrian larch, a local wood, which is then insulated with recycled cellulose. The front facade is a fully-glazed wood frame with three levels of glass and then framed with black slabs. Black steel tubing accents the front entrance.

The Mini40 is the core module for this prefab home concept and multiple units can be combined to create larger homes. The Mini80 requires 2 modules and the Mini120 uses 3 modules. Prefabrication is handled by a local wood builder and is delivered in 2-3 parts. Handler hopes to have a couple of these homes built sometime in 2010 and is currently working on a module that would allow the home to be delivered inside a shipping container.

Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstore

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment
Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstore

Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstor

Whether you’re religious or not, this old Dominican church will certainly bring you the enlightenment you’ve been seeking. After months of renovation this magnificent structure originally constructed in 1294 has opened its doors to the public as a “brand new” bookstore in the heart of Maastricht. A superb example of adaptive re-use, the Selexyz Dominicanen infuses rich and historic architecture with plentiful shelves ripe with information.

Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstore1

Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstore

Dating back to the 13th century, the structure was a Dominican church until Maastricht was invaded by Napoleon in 1794 and the group was forced out of the country. Since that point it has been briefly used as a parish, then a warehouse, then an archive, then a giant parking lot for bicycles (not such a terrible idea) and finally made over into a bookstore.

Led by architecture firm Merkx + Girod, the new installations are highlighted by a towering, three-storey black steel book stack stretching up to the stone vaults. The highest shelves are reachable by lift or by a set of stairs within the sleek, well-made stack. The views provided from the top shelf along the nave of the church are nothing short of uplifting.

At the back of the church customers and visitors can sit and admire the beautifully renovated 14th century ceiling frescoes, or chat over a cup of coffee in the café situated in the former choir. In a bit of humor the bookstore also installed a cross-shaped reading table where anyone can sit and flip through the magazines and newspapers kept in the slats of the table. So far the design has won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize, and in 2008 The Guardian called it the “best bookstore in the world”.

Selexyz Dominicanen belongs to the popular Selexyz chain and maintains a wide selection of books across all subjects, even boasting a sizeable collection of books in English. As more and more churches are being abandoned due to redundancy, maybe this is something for Barnes and Noble to think about…

Fluid: Amphibious Pavilion For 2012 World Expo That Can Sail Away

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Fluid: Amphibious Pavilion For 2012 World Expo That Can Sail Away

Fluid, one of the most eye-catching designs for the much-anticipated 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, South Korea, is a whale-like pavilion designed by Melbourne-based Peddle Thorpe Architects (PTA). Their organic floating exhibition space is designed around the concept of adaptability, making the structure useful for many scenarios, even long after the World Expo has concluded. With it’s environmentally aware design, Fluid has a minimal impact on the surrounding coastal ecosystem and has another extremely cool feature – after it’s duties in Yeosu are complete, the whole building can unlatch from its site and be sailed to other cities as a giant, amphibious floating exhibition!


Fluid: Amphibious Pavilion For 2012 World Expo That Can Sail Away

The concept for Fluid was actually created for PTA by Antoine Damery, who is known for his sustainable and environmentally conscious designs. Sustainability and conservation are integral elements of the design of the structure, acting also as a metaphor of change for the emerging city of Yeosu. Fluid will be anchored to a harbor and can rise and fall with the tides, resting on the water, but not fully built into its environment. Extremely organic in form, Fluid even appears as an aquatic animal with it’s flowing lines and smooth facade.

PTA and Antoine Damery’s hope for Fluid is that it will encourage collaboration between the Asian and Pacific countries, especially with regards to the preservation of oceans and ecosystems. Created with adaptation in mind, the interior of the pavilion is open, capable of hosting various types of events during the Expo and afterwards, becoming more sustainable as the lifespan and utility of the environmentally aware pavilion is expanded. Post World Expo 2012, Fluid can be sailed around to coastal Asian cities, showcasing various exhibitions or acting as a venue for events, celebrations or concerts, meaning that new pavilions will not have to be constructed at those locations.