small WAN logo 01 October 2013
Issue 454
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Group GSA completes snaking footbridge through red gum tree canopy in Werribee
Group GSA have shared their recently completed orange pedestrian bridge with WAN. Slipping through the leafy fronds of a red gum tree canopy in Werribee, Australia, the 165m bridge was inspired by the native
eastern brown snake. The uniform brown tones of this venomous land snake are starkly
contrasted with an underbelly of bright orange, yellow or grey, a colour combination that has directly inspired the arrangement of Group GSA's new pedestrian structure. Threading its way through the canopy, this elegantly looping bridge rises over reflective rivers and winds in coils around mature gum trees. The purpose of the new bridge is to encourage a heavier footfall from the retail hub of Werribee to Wyndham Park, a generous recreational facility with barbeque and picnic facilities, giving pedestrians an additional option to access these public amenities. Group GSA explains: "The challenges included threading a bridge structure through the remnant river gum tree canopy, and a structure that could span the river without disturbing the river bank minimising any impact of the recently re-established population... Read more
Top stories this week
1 Emporis Skyscraper Award 2012
This year's winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award has been revealed as the Absolute World Towers in Mississauga by MAD Studio and Burka Architects. The swivelled pair of towers is now the second project in Canada to take home the award, the first being One Wall Centre in Vancouver back in 2001. These two towers reach... Read more
2 Astley Castle, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Never before recognised in the RIBA Stirling Prize programme, Witherford Watson Mann Architects have been named winners of this year's award. The team has been celebrated for its restoration of Astley Castle in Warwickshire; a sensitive conservation scheme which saw a residential property inserted into crumbling countryside... Read more
3 Ark Nova, Matsushima City, Japan
An inflatable concert hall has ballooned in Matsushima City, Japan in preparation for the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova, a local music event (Ark Nova) with the support of the European music event Lucerne Festival. The artist behind this deep purple mass could only be Anish Kapoor. His courageous, ethereal and ambitious works have graced public spaces... Read more
4 Allianz Headquarters, Wallisellen, Switzerland
Construction is nearing completion on a Wiel Arets Architects-designed office block in Wallisellen, Switzerland for Allreal Generalunternehmung AG, Allianz Suisse. The hybrid development incorporates two glistening volumes - one high rise, the other 5 storeys in height - linked by a series of bridges. Building work is due to complete... Read more
5 National Library of Sejong City, Sejong City, South Korea
Samoo's National Library of Sejong City is a landmark facility planned specifically for the Multifunctional Administrative City of Korea, also known as Sejong City. Designed from the motif of a book page being turned over, a simple geometry of a gently curved paper forms the basis of the design and creates a unique outline that is easily recognisable... Read more
Final results of WAN AWARDS Civic Buildings Sector (Future Schemes)
Hadid's fluid addition to Serpentine Gallery met with mixed reviews
This weekend saw the public opening of Zaha Hadid's latest completed scheme for the Serpentine Gallery, thirteen years after she helped launch the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion series with the institution's first commission. On Saturday 28 September, the crowds thronged to Kensington Gardens to witness the sculptural architect's newest addition to the revered Serpentine Gallery, in collaboration with engineers Arup and chief project managers RISE.

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery is the result of a £14.5m project which has transformed a 208-year-old Grade II* listed building into an art gallery, restaurant and meeting space. The Magazine was constructed in 1805 as a munitions store for gunpowder during the Napoleonic wars and has since been used for military parades and as home to the Crystal Palace of the Great Exhibition of 1851. With the opening of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, The Magazine is now open to the public for the first time.

Located approximately 5 minutes walk from the main Serpentine Gallery, The Magazine now benefits from a predictably fluid addition from Zaha Hadid Architects. The 'aesthetically driven gallery space' is described thus by its architects: "The extension contains a generous, open social space that we expect to enliven the Serpentine Sackler Gallery as a new cultural and culinary destination.

"The extension has been designed to complement the calm and solid classical building with a light, transparent, dynamic and distinctly contemporary space of the 21st century. The synthesis of old and new is thus a synthesis of contrasts. The new extension feels ephemeral, like a temporary structure, although it is a fully functional permanent building."

Despite claims from Zaha Hadid Architects that the new structure 'complements rather than competes with the neo-classical architecture of the original building', not all agree with the final outcome. Rowan Moore's review for The Observer on Sunday considers that 'the curves, ideally fluent, sometimes grind and stutter round corners, and if the structure is intended to float, to touch the ground lightly, it rather labours and heaves'; while The Telegraph's Ellis Woodman opens his article with the consideration, 'As an addition to a historic building of some quality, it is hard to see Zaha Hadid's new structure as anything other than aggressive and banal'.

Read more
Grace Bogran and Laura Matute
discuss the housing deficit in Honduras
WAN AWARDS 'House of the Year'
Winner's Exhibition to be hosted by VOLA
Grace Bogran and Laura Matute are both students at the Universidad Global de Honduras and will be attending World Architecture Day 2013 in New York (6-8 October). WAN asked Bogran and Matute to discuss the current housing situation in Honduras. The following is their response. We are a population of 8 million in 112,492 sq km. According to the National Statistics Institute of Honduras (INE), there are only 1,700,000 homes accounted for,
As the dust settles after a lively House of the Year Award entry period, we look forward to an exciting and exclusive exhibition of the shortlisted and winning entries, to be hosted by Danish design icon VOLA at their showrooms in London. Including a retrospective of past winners, together with videos and exhibitions of this year's finest houses - not to
making us a country that simultaneously has the highest growth rate and also one of the highest housing deficits in Latin America. This comes down to a housing shortage that reaches over one million homes with a tendency to grow exponentially - about 25,000 homes each year due to the lack of an official policy on the subject. According to figures from the United Nations (UN), this represents more than 50% of the total households in... Read more mention fine drinks and nibbles - this promises to be a memorable celebration of great global architecture and design. As a valued WAN reader, your attendance would be welcome and appreciated. The exhibition will be taking place from 6.30pm onwards on Thursday 24 October at the VOLA showrooms, 32-36 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 8QX. To RSVP, and for further information about the exhibition, contact Richard... Read more
Interview: Marie Elliott, Dow Corning
By way of introduction, Dow Corning is a global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, and will be sponsoring the High Performance Facades workshop at WAD13. But more of that later... First, we spoke to Marie Elliott, Dow Corning's regional marketing leader to find out how she first met Michael Hammond, Editor-in-Chief of World Architecture News and creator of WAD, and why Dow Corning decided to become a sponsor. Says Marie: "I first met Michael at WAD12 towards the end of last year,
and it was there that we arranged to meet again at BAU 2013 last January to talk further about ways we could work together. Dow Corning hadn't exhibited at BAU for about eight years, so when I attended this year's show, it was the first time I had done so."

We asked what her impressions of BAU were. "It's the biggest and most professional industry fair I've been to so far. We were all impressed with how BAU had moved forwards to become such a prestige event since we last exhibited some time ago.

"From the point of view of the calibre of the other exhibitors, the sheer size of the event, BAU is the one that people try to get along to because the quality is magnificent. It also has a very strong international pull - it's a very good place to network."

Dow Corning attended BAU 2013 not so much to sell - although it did gain new business - but to promote awareness of new innovations, such as in insulation, that it is currently working on.

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