small WAN logo 22 January 2013
Issue 418
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No end to the possibilities: Möbius house to be constructed by 3D printer
Discovered by German mathematicians Johann Benedict Listing and August Ferdinand Mobius in 1858, the Mobius Strip is a single length of any given material that forms a loop with only one side
and one boundary component. Since its inception, the concept of the Mobius Strip has inspired all
manner of designers from McBride Charles Ryan with their Klein Bottle House to McGill School of Architecture for the ContemPLAY Pavilion. One of the latest creative minds to take a cue from the Mobius Strip concept is Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture who entered his Landscape House into the Europan Europe competition with mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs. The project is a residence which takes the form of a contorted circle; a single line which twists on itself to create a continuous stream of activity within which a series of volumes are arranged, producing a dynamic private home.In a previous interview Ruijssenaars explained that his inspiration came from a house in Ireland: "The location on the coast is so beautiful that we want the design to reflect the nature. Landscapes... Read more
Top stories this week
1 Giraffe Childcare Center, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
For a child, going to hospital can be a scary experience but for youngsters in Paris there is a freshly completed healthcare facility which looks to take away this fear by introducing 'a little bit of fantasy'. Hondelatte Laporte Architectes' Giraffe Childcare Center reached completion in 2012 and is a sterling example of intelligent building design... Read more
2 Iceberg, Aarhus, Denmark
The end is on the horizon for Iceberg, a jagged residential community in Aarhus by an impressive collaborative including CEBRA, JDS/Julien De Smedt Architects, SeARCH, Louis Paillard. The team have been working together on the 800,000 sq m development since 2008 and construction is now in its final stages, with the inauguration scheduled for May. Once completed... Read more
3 Kuwait Maastricht Business School, Kuwait
The 15,000 sq m site for the project is adjacent to a major highway south of Kuwait City and will accommodate 600 students seeking a professional MBA degree. Led by KEO's Design Director Raj Patel, the design solution juxtaposes two L-shape buildings: one contains student areas including instructional spaces, lounges, student... Read more
4 Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, Zhengzhou, China
The Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)-designed Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza has opened its doors to its office users. The circular 60-storey tower takes its place as the tallest building in the central Chinese city. Located in the northeast portion of Zhengzhou, the 919ft tall tower's circular form is a response to the surrounding... Read more
5 Interfaith Chapel, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, United States
Collaborating practices Brooks + Scarpa and KZF Design Studio have released their concept design for a new Interfaith Chapel at the University of North Florida. The 7,000 sq ft facility takes a flowing form inspired by the traditional gowns used in many religious and institutional ceremonies such as weddings... Read more
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Podcast: Daniel Libeskind sides East on London aviation debate
Last week at the BAU 2013 trade fair in Munich, WAN sat down with Daniel Libeskind to find out where he stood on the UK's aviation debate. Should Heathrow - which is currently running at 98.2% capacity - be extended with additional runways or should the UK invest in a new transport hub in the Thames Estuary? For Libeskind it seems that 'the future of airports isn't expansion'. He explains: "At present you can't keep extending Heathrow
and expect it to last for the next 50 years... I think it's a hopeless thing to keep expanding airports in residential areas." Listen to the short podcast to hear more from Daniel Libeskind.

More updates on the UK aviation debate from Michael Hammond's World Architecture Blog

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) buys London Stansted Airport for £1.5bn

In the big game of chess that is being played out with London's airports, the latest move will be sure to have an impact on the outcome of the Davies Commission. Forty miles to the North East of London, Stansted is increasingly seen as a possible contender for the location of London's new airport hub.

London Mayor Boris Johnson is known to be warming to the prospect of adding a second runway to Stansted, even as a short term fix to increase the city's air traffic capacity. Stansted's new owner will now enter the affray and will add yet another vector to the debate. MAG's views on the subject will no doubt emerge soon...

Blizzard of bad news for Heathrow

As the East or West debate looms, the fragility of London's main airport has been highlighted this week with news of cancelled flights dominating the UK media. Heathrow is always fair game for journalists, knowing that for most readers, it could be them on their next flight.

Passenger pain, in any form is therefore guaranteed to get their interest. So when something goes wrong, in this case, images of would-be passengers sleeping rough in a snow-bound airport, extensive media coverage was inevitable.

Read more
Does form follow finance? Listen to
Will Self's thoughts on BBC Radio 4
New York's $120 million question:
What to do with the city's Pier 40?
On BBC Radio 4's 'A Point of View' this past Sunday, British journalist Will Self soliloquised about the urban development of London. Throughout his 11 minute musings Self referenced the theorist masters of urban planning Le Corbusier and Ebenezer Howard and their joint territory of 'safe, space', suggesting that the 'confused aspect of our cities'
As Londoners debate what to do with Heathrow, which is at near capacity and needs to be expanded or replaced with a new airport elsewhere, New Yorker's are facing a big decision of their own: What to do with Pier 40 on the City's West Side. Built in 1958 and envisioned as a major hub for cruise line travel that never came to pass due to the rise in popularity
can be viewed as the 'bastard children of either one or the other of these visionaries'. How can one examine the highs and lows of London's architectural character without lighting on Renzo Piano's The Shard? The 309.6m tall tower was the starting point of Self's (often sardonic) 'Point of View'. The journalist confesses to sleeping in the spare room of his London home in an effort to glimpse the 'lightsaber' that is The Shard, despite his declaration that the structure has 'no architectural merit'. His explanation is worth a listen of air travel, Pier 40 was refashioned in 1990s by the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) as a park. It now supports mostly recreational uses, including ball fields, parking for 1,500 cars, and offices for the HRPT. Currently facing $120m of desperately-needed repairs to keep it from literally crumbling into the Hudson, the Pier urgently needs to be reinvented. The goal is to bring more revenue producing uses to the mix that would be sympathetic to the Park and would make the Pier financially... Read more
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