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25 August 2015
Issue 551
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Reinventing Cape Town’s industrial past
A soon to be completed project in South Africa posed a significant challenge for Heatherwick. How do you turn 42 vertical concrete tubes into a place to experience contemporary culture? The brief was to reinvent
the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa as a cultural institution housing
the most significant collection of contemporary art from Africa. The extraordinary physical facts of the building obviously presented a challenge. There is no large open space within the densely packed tubes and it is not possible to experience these volumes from inside. Rather than strip out the evidence of the building’s industrial heritage, Heatherwick wanted to find a way to celebrate it. Unlike many conversions of historic buildings which have grand spaces ready to be repurposed, this building has none. The soon to be completed project became about imagining an interior carved from within an infrastructural object. The solution Heatherwick developed was to carve galleries and a central circulation space from the silos’ cellular concrete structure, creating a cathedral-like central atrium filled with light from a glass... read more
Top stories this week
1 House of the week: Trübel, Switzerland
One of the entries in this year’s WAN House of the Year Award, the designers of this house in Dielsdorf, Switzerland came up with a unique solution to a lack of available space. Dielsdorf is a small Swiss town northwest of Zurich in an area dominated by agriculture and mountains. Although a rural community, Dielsdorf is at the heart of Europe: by car, the centre of Zurich is less than 20 minutes away. No wonder that Dielsdorf has... read more
2 Covering all the angles
Aukett Swanke have completed a landmark development in Victoria, London at 62 Buckingham Gate. The building envelope is composed of a series of folding planes that either tilt forward or fold backward to respond to the contextual demands of the site and create intimately scaled building volumes. Designed to achieve an optimum energy balance, the façade incorporates high performance solar control glass delivering... read more
3 Swimming in the air
Plans for a breath-taking, suspended swimming pool named ‘Sky Pool’ have been unveiled for Embassy Gardens – the residential heart of London’s newest neighbourhood, Nine Elms on the South Bank. The stunning outdoor pool will link two residential buildings at the 10th storey and allow residents to swim from one building to the next. The sky deck at the top of the two buildings incorporates a spa, summer bar and orangery for residents... read more
4 A blueprint for sustainability
A new commercial headquarters building for IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) – designed by global architectural practice Woods Bagot – is operating in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Grade A office building, developed by the Masdar organisation, also includes speculative commercial space that, combined with the space occupied by IRENA staff, will offer a total floor area of 32,000sq m. The building achieved... read more
5 Bjarke Ingels Group crowdfunds designer clouds
By 2017 the citizens of Copenhagen, Denmark will be able to ski down the cleanest power plant in the world. At the same time their perceptions of what a power plant can be will be challenged by an art piece that highlights our carbon emissions. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) are planning the world’s first steam ring generator which will turn the plant’s CO2 emissions into 100ft-diameter smoke rings that puff into... read more
Long-list for Doha
Art Mill competition announced
First London
theatre for 20 years planned
The global search for the designer of the Art Mill in Doha, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, is gathering momentum as Qatar Museums announce the long-list of twenty-six architects. Chosen from a field of 489 submissions the list includes an impressive array of WAN Business Information subscribers. These competitors, from countries including Spain, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and Canada, amongst others, will go forward to the second stage of the design competition. The project involves the redevelopment of a spectacular and historic waterfront site in the centre of Doha, at the heart of an emerging cultural quarter of the city. The Art Mill is conceived as a vibrant and multi-layered civic and cultural presence, a focus for the emerging campus of museums... read more
Plans have been unveiled for London’s first new theatre in 20 years, prompting suggestions that the creative core of the capital’s theatreland is shifting east along the Thames. The new theatre will join the Globe and the Unicorn Theatre, designed by Keith Williams, on London’s Southbank. The auditorium is designed by Steve Tompkins and Roger Watts of Haworth Tompkins, the Stirling Prize-winning theatre design practice behind The Royal Court Theatre and the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. Situated at the heart of Berkeley Homes’ landmark One Tower Bridge development, the venue will be the flagship theatre for the London Theatre Company, the new independent producing company founded by Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr... read more
WAN Awards: Shortlists announced
Civic Buildings Façade
Tech Spot #17:
‘Tag and track’ technology
A village within a village
Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has awarded Skanska funding towards a £1m project to research real-time ‘tag and track’ methods - a development that has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of construction programmes. The two-year research programme will look at methods of tagging different aspects of a construction project throughout its life, capturing data from multiple supply-chain partners in a standard format that is consistent for all. Managing Director, Terry Elphick, said: “We are delighted to be involved in developing an understanding of how this technology will serve us better in the future. As a business we are committed to engaging with great innovative ideas, testing and trialling them to provide better information and increased... read more
Two new 'Share Houses' designed by New York City-based designer Sharon Davis Design in partnership with Rwanda Village Enterprise for Partners in Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health have opened in rural Rwinkwayu, Rwanda. The two structures, each of which houses eight doctors and nurses are located immediately adjacent to the 110-bed Rwinkwayu Hospital, allowing medical staff to live closer to the population they serve. The design of the buildings are informed by their hillside location and the hot, dry climate of the region. Each bedroom has its own private exterior space oriented to views of the valley to the west with large overhangs for rain and heat protection. The bedrooms are connected to shared bathrooms and... read more
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