small WAN logo 21 January 2014
Issue 469
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Latest phase of Gardens by the Bay opens today with children's garden
The latest stage of the applauded Gardens by the Bay complex in Singapore opens today (Tuesday, 21 January 2014) with the 1-hectare Far East Organization Children's Garden. Designed by the landscape
architects behind the soaring Supertrees and masterplanners of the Bay South Garden Grant
Associates, the Children's Garden is a colourful explosion of educational play experiences for young people. This is no ordinary playground, as Grant Associates' Director Andrew Grant explains: "The Far East Organization Children's Garden at Gardens by the Bay will create play opportunities that are not found elsewhere in Singapore that connect children to nature via technology, art and horticulture." Since its completion in June 2012, the award-winning Bay South Garden has been as popular with visiting adults and children as it has with architecture critics, with over 7 million visitors thus far. As part of its wider school and public educational programmes, the Gardens by the Bay now offers a new environment that helps visiting children to connect with horticulture through play... Read more
Top stories this week
1 Shard Number 3, London, United Kingdom
The Sellar Property Group has commissioned architect Renzo Piano to design another tower as part of its regeneration of the London Bridge area. The 27-storey project is being dubbed Shard number three, as it will be Piano's third tower project in the area after his original 87-storey Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, and the... Read more
2 Monsoon Retreat, Khandala, India
Set in the picturesque valleys of Khandala, nestled between Mumbai and Pune, this Monsoon Retreat is a spacious villa with a private swimming pool and evergreen gardens. The design of the villa was formulated on the seemingly antonymous concepts of privacy and openness. The orientation of the villa ensures total privacy... Read more
3 Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, Philadelphia, United States
Foster + Partners have unveiled their designs for 1,121 ft, 59-storey Comcast tower, commissioned by the Comcast Corporation and Liberty Property Trust. The glass and stainless steel tower will complement the neighbouring Comcast Center, the global headquarters of the Comcast Corporation... Read more
4 EDITION Hotel, Times Square, New York, United States
The Marriott International hotel group, hotelier and real estate developer Ian Schrager and real estate and investment firms The Witkoff Group, Winthrop Realty Trust, New Valley LLC and Maefield Development have announced plans for a second EDITION Hotel in New York City. The new hotel will be located... Read more
5 Taj Residential, Tehran, Iran
The housing market in Iran and, in particular in Tehran, has been subject to the many price fluctuations in the country, with land and rental values thought to have surged by around 81% and almost 245%, respectively, over the past few years. This has meant that the housing market has remained buoyant despite all the recent economical difficulties. When the client... Read more
From snide to pride, WAN AWARDS
win helps change perception of new bridge
Once written off as a waste of public money, sneered at for being behind schedule, and unkindly dubbed 'the bridge to nowhere' by many locals, now, in the northeast of England, Hull's new £7m Scale Lane Bridge is being hailed as a triumph. This is thanks, at least in some part, to the now completed bridge winning the prestigious WAN Transport Award 2013 in the completed category this past December.

Now open to the public, the new 1,000-tonne pedestrian and cycle Scale Lane Bridge spans 57m. Its distinctive 'whale' form makes it an instant landmark, unique to Hull and its rich maritime heritage. The innovative pivoting design allows members of the public to remain on the bridge while it opens and closes for river traffic - believed to be a world first and making it a destination in its own right.

In an interview with WAN AWARDS judge Anthony Leslie (HOK) on BBC Radio Humberside last week, presenter David Burn admitted that the local radio station had criticised the bridge project in the past, saying: "For many years it was a project that was a bit of an embarrassment really, because it dragged on; when was it ever going to open, we didn't quite know."

However, cynicism quickly gave way to a real sense of civic pride during the interview with news of the international award win that has seen Hull beat some mighty competition. Burns could barely contain his glee as he asked Leslie, "For a bit of local pride, whose backsides have we kicked here?" - to which the reply included architectural greats such the new concourse at Kings Cross in London, Malmö Central Station in Sweden and Stuttgart's Main Station in Germany.

We spoke to Jonathan McDowell of the bridge's architects McDowell+Benedetti to get his reaction to the award win. He told us: "People locally may not be aware of the world-class quality against which the bridge was competing but I am sure the award will help them feel proud of their new place. The award goes along well with the recognition that they are being given in the awarding to Hull of the UK's 2017 City of Culture title.

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Visitors to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games to see
their faces projected onto Asif Khan's latest masterpiece
'A monument for the digital age' is the concept behind the latest creation by Asif Khan. The MegaFon Olympic Pavilion designed by the British architect for a Russian telecommunications company for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games is inspired by a culture in which the 'selfie' rules and 'emoticons' are used as a digital communication tool.

The 2,000 sq m pavilion enables visitors to play an active role in the architecture of the Games by having their faces 3D scanned and projected onto the façade of the pavilion. Visitors to the site and to MegaFon stores will be able to scan their faces five times to create a 3D image which is then fed to 11,000 mechanical actuators within the façade.

A fabric membrane will be stretched over these actuators, each of which hosts a light at the tip to precisely calculate the position of every pixel and adapt the colour of the façade in turn. Up to three faces will be featured at any one time with a depth of 2m providing the ability for full 3D arrangements.

Of his futuristic concept, Khan said: "I'm inspired by the way the world is changing around us and how architecture can respond to it. 'Selfies' and 'emoticons' have become our shorthand for communicating in the digital age; my instinct was to create a piece of architecture for Sochi which could be monumental yet open to that immediacy."

The client is clearly impressed by the inclusive notion of its upcoming pavilion, as Chief Marketing Officer of MegaFon Anastasia Orkina explains: "The Sochi Olympics motto of our company is: 'Make your own history'. These Games are our national heritage. And those thousands of faces on this architectural canvas will make a contribution to this legacy by drawing a united portrait of Russian sports fans and supporters.

"Our Olympic Pavilion is not just a remarkable work of architecture, but a very important metaphor of the unity of individuals. It will bring people together."

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Warehouse-style condominium now
complete on The Bowery, New York
Grimshaw to begin final phase of
Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan
The building is located on the east side of the Bowery, between Houston and Prince Street in New York. The Bowery is the street that separates NoLiTa (North of Little Italy) from the Lower East Side. From the Civil War time until a few years ago, The Bowery was still considered the street of the homeless, the prostitutes and the drug addicts and was known for its flophouses. In the spirit of social reform, the first YMCA opened on the Bowery in 1873. Due in part to the
Grimshaw, in partnership with Gruen Associates, will begin the third and final phase of the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan. Awarded in 2012, Metro, the station's owner, recently green-lighted the final phase of the project which aims to enhance passenger and visitor experience by forging new connections to nearby destinations and inspire a mix of uses
presence of the music club CBGB, the Bowery also became known as one of the centres of Punk culture in the 1970s and 1980s. The CBGB was the club that saw the first performances, among other less famous bands, of the "Talking Heads", The "Ramones" and Patty Smith. But the vagrant population of the Bowery declined after the 1970s, in part because of the city's effort to disperse it. Since the 1990s the entire Lower East... Read more that reflect a shifting demographic of users. The scheme includes a new multi-modal concourse with a grand civic space, a relocated bus plaza, and the potential integration of a high-speed rail station at the site. The scheme preserves the celebrated qualities of the historic structure and its surrounding 17 hectares while addressing the urgent needs of the future. It is hoped that an increased level of activity combined with... Read more
Foster + Partners reveal canyon-inspired
design for UAE pavilion at 2015 Milan Expo
Foster + Partners have revealed the designs for the United Arab Emirates pavilion which will form part of the 2015 Milan Expo. The universal exposition will take place between May and October, exploring the theme of 'Feeding the planet, energy for life'. Bringing the planning principles of the traditional desert city to Milan, the pavilion's interior of self-shaded streets evokes the experience of the UAE's ancient communities, while demonstrating the natural energy efficiency of their compact urban form.

"We are very proud to be chosen again to create the national pavilion for the UAE. Our challenge has been to design for two climates - to create a naturally cool, comfortable space for visitors in Milan, while considering the pavilion's ultimate reconstruction in the Emirates, where there is a need to provide shade from the intense sun," said Foster + Partners' founder Lord Norman Foster.

"The design reflects our investigations into the form of ancient cities and our appreciation for the desert landscape. It also maximises the opportunities presented by the elongated site - the dramatic canyon-like entrance will welcome people inside, and the channels between the high walls provide intuitive circulation, naturally leading visitors to the auditorium, exhibition and restaurant spaces," he added.

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