small WAN logo 06 November 2012
Issue 409
Two new offerings from Zaha Hadid Architects
What a month for Zaha Hadid. First she celebrated the grand opening of Galaxy Soho in Beijing, then was declared one of Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year 2012, and next weekend will be the official
press preview of her extraordinary Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan. The two projects are both intrinsically 'Zaha' and yet display opposing elements of the architect's style.
The Galaxy Soho project - a 330,000 sq m commercial complex comprised of office, retail and entertainment outlets - is defined by its rolling swathes of stone encased in aluminium cladding and insulated glass. Its effortlessly elegant form waves like a ribbon in the breeze in a smooth movement that we have come to expect from Hadid's architecture. In direct contrast, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum cuts a sharp silhouette with keen ridges across its asymmetrical form. No curving edges here, just slanting strokes in parallel lines, intersected with more of the same. WAN's US Correspondent Sharon McHugh will be in Michigan for the press preview of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum next weekend, with a full report in next week's News Review (13 November 2012). Construction on the Galaxy Soho development was 30 months beginning to end, with the 67m-high concrete construction flowing in bounds across the site in an organic expression of Beijing's vibrant city life... Read more
Top stories this week
1 Nantong Urban Planning Museum, Henn Architekten
Near the mouth of the Yangtze River lies the burgeoning industrial city of Nantong. With the location falling prey to harsh sunlight, the architects of the newly-opened Nantong Urban Planning Museum had to take a creative approach to ensure that the varied building users were shaded or illuminated enough for their different needs. Whilst the distinguishing... Read more
2 Luton Airport
Weston Williamson
Recently plans for a new airport in England, UK have been unveiled by architects Weston Williamson. The new flight hub has been located in Luton and aims to create a new type of experience behind flying. The government think tank Policy Exchange has ruled out a new airport in the Thames Estuary and expanding Stansted or Gatwick... Read more
3 Poly Business Tower
Goettsch Partners
A new 200m-tall building will soon join the skyline in Shunde, China. Goettsch Partners (GP) has designed the new Poly Business Tower which will be the tallest building in the region and a new centrepiece for the business district. The tower has created a series of new office spaces which are within a close proximity to various cultural... Read more
4 Mercury City, Moscow
Renzo Piano
Until now, Renzo Piano's The Shard has been recognised as the tallest building in Europe at 310m in height. This title has now been passed to the Mercury City tower in Moscow, designed by Mikhail Posokhin, Gennadiy Lvovich Sirota and the late architect Frank Williams. Due to complete early next year, Mercury City will be 70 storeys high... Read more
5 Marne-la-Vallée University Library
This richly-textured mound of earth-inspired brown cement is the recently completed Marne-la-Vallée University Library in Champs sur Marne, one of the suburbs of Paris. Designed by Beckmann-N'Thépé, the building is deeply inspired by its historic site, High House Farm, which dates back to the 17th century. Rolling hills... Read more
WAN Effectiveness Award Winner: Hawkins\Brown
How resilient is New York when confronted with a national disaster?
A week on from Hurricane Sandy, commuters are returning to work while the city continues to restore its transport services. The New York stock exchange is now open again and citizens are beginning to head back to their jobs. However, NJ Transit, New Jersey's public transport body, warned that it was "still several weeks away from full service restoration".
To cope with the demand, it would be running emergency bus services as of Monday morning to help get commuters to and from the Big Apple. In preparation for the storm, local authorities took immediate action. Tunnels shut down across the city connecting Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. Subways, buses, trains and schools were also closed, as well as 9,000 flights cancelled across the region, and the main rail service was suspended. Nine states declared a state of emergency.

The Empire State took a series of emergency solutions to brace itself for the unclear impact of Storm Sandy. However, could the city have made more long-term investments to make New York's infrastructure more resilient? How could the urban infrastructure of New York be adapted?

In 2009, The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) stressed that "awareness is growing that some impacts from climate change are inevitable" and concluded that "these changes suggest a need for the City to rethink the way it operates and adapts to its evolving environment." The NPCC indicated that the city needed to take steps to protect its equipment and infrastructure from salt-water erosion. If this had been implemented, would the electricity have been restored sooner to the city?

As 730,000 people in New York State continue to live without power, perhaps further investment into 'smart grid energy systems' could prevent the megacity in coming to a standstill as emergency battery devices or back-up generators can only provide a short term fix or can indeed fail too.

In terms of political leadership, President Obama stopped his election campaign to guide his citizens, stressing to the public: "Please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate."

Read more
WAN talks to PDRc's Peter Verity
about Tiajin's latest city plans
SOM's Columbus newspaper
building gets landmark status
This week it was announced that London and Shanghai-based PDRc Urbanism + Architecture and local studio Archiland had won an international competition to design a new Science and Technology City for Tianjin. One of the key reasons for this immense 40 sq km development is to entice Chinese students completing their studies overseas to return to China
Earlier this month the US Department of the Interior named 27 new national landmarks. One of them, The Republic, a modern building in Columbus, Indiana designed by American architect and SOM Partner Myron Goldsmith as a newspaper plant in 1969-71 was on the list. Goldsmith was an undergraduate at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) where he first met and
post-graduation rather than relocating to other knowledge hubs such as Silicon Valley in San Francisco. Initial plans for this new community have been released by PDRc Urbanism + Architecture and the collaborating team are currently working on developing concepts for a 7 sq km portion of land as a 'demonstration area' which will eventually form one of the city districts. Sustainability is a key component of the new Tianjin Science and Technology City and the two studios... Read more later worked with Mies van der Rohe, most notably on the Farnsworth House. From Mies he developed an interest in structural expression and evolved a spare design language. The Republic was one those buildings, with its simple steel supports that recall Mies's spare industrial buildings. The single-story glass and steel building still serves as offices for the Columbus-based newspaper, The Republic, one of the oldest family-owned newspapers in the US, with the publication dating back to 1872... Read more
WAN Business Alert subscribers
shortlisted for Barangaroo Masterplan
The shortlist has been announced for the masterplanning of Barangaroo Central in Sydney, Australia and four of the five big-name architecture firms are signed up to WAN's Business Information Service where the competition was advertised. Located on the western edge of Sydney's Central Business District, Barangaroo is an ongoing development which looks to enliven the waterfront and create a buzzing new attraction for local residents and tourists,
enhancing the area's economy. The Barangaroo Central project is a long-term scheme which will link Headland Park to Barangaroo South Financial Hub. Organisers had a fantastic response to the competition brief, with international firms entering from over ten countries. The shortlist is as follows:
1. BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group (Danish firm with office in New York) and Hassell (Aust representation)
2. Woods Bagot (Aust representation), Scape NYC (USA)
3. UN Studio (Dutch), LAB architecture studio (Aust), NH Architecture (Aust), Imelk (USA)
4. Sasaki Associates (USA), Diller Scofidio Renfro (USA); Jackson Teece (Aust)
5. SOM - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (USA) + Andersen Hunter Horne (Aust)

A winner will be selected by the competition jury in mid-December 2012 with detailed masterplanning work to start at the beginning of 2013.

Read more
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