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‘UNIC,’ MAD Architects’ first built project in Europe, is nearing completion. Led by Ma Yansong, MAD was awarded the project in 2012 through an international design competition in collaboration with local French firm Biecher Architectes. Located in Paris’ 17th arrondissement, Clichy-Batignolles is a newly developing area of the city. ‘UNIC’ emerges as part of the mixed-use masterplan envisioned adjacent to the Martin Luther King Park – a 10-hectare green space.

Unlike the static Haussmann apartment blocks that define Paris, MAD’s project is characterised by its interaction with nature in the urban environment. Its undulating floor plates form a series of terraces, creating dynamic spaces within and expansive gardens and balconies on the exterior. Each asymmetrical level slightly tapers as the building ascends, with the upper floors boasting panoramic views of the surrounding city and the Eiffel Tower.

  • Photo © Jared Chulski

Clichy-Batignolles provides the opportunity for French and international architecture firms to collaborate and create a new part of Paris. The neighbourhood re-activation plan includes construction of new residential buildings, as well as other community resources. The area was divided into nine plots which were each assigned to a group comprised of architecture companies and developers.

After winning the competition, these groups met regularly to discuss each team’s project within the bigger scheme of the neighbourhood. They particularly participated in a series of workshops to explore topics from the macro-scale urban plans to micro-scale details, such as sustainable community development, resource sharing, energy management, and population demographics.

  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski

MAD’s design was the result of these workshops with the developers, architects and the Clichy-Batignolles inhabitants. In addition to which, the residential plot for ‘UNIC’ includes both private housing and affordable housing, thus enriching the dynamics of the neighbourhood. Situated in this evolving socio-economic boundary, ‘UNIC’ reinterprets the conventional residential typology.

The design is characterised by sinuous floor plates, vertically extending the neighbouring green park. By combining residential density with raised gardens, the project is an upwards-growing organic arrangement, one that blurs the boundary between architecture and nature. Sharing the same podium with the affordable housing, its communal programming is further realised with the addition of the kindergarten, retail spaces, and other community resources at ground level.

  • Photo © NKCHU

A metro station is integrated with the building, linking the community and neighbourhood to the greater Paris area. In contrast to typical modern cities that displace the connection between the ground and nature as they grow increasingly dense and vertical, MAD’s scheme creates an environment that is generous in natural spaces.

Embracing the Parisian legacy of integrating nature and gardens into the urban center and everyday activities, ‘UNIC’ actively enhances relationships within the community, represents the neighbourhood’s evolution, and offers a contemporary vision of how nature can be integrated into the urban environment. The project is expected to be completed in September 2019, with an estimated move-in date scheduled for November. Source by MAD.

  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Architect: MAD Architects
  • Principal Partners in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
  • Associate Partners in Charge: Andrea d’Antrassi, Flora Lee
  • Design Team: Zhao Wei, Wu Kaicong, Daniel Gillen, Jiang Bin, Tristan Brasseur, Juan Valeros, Gustavo Alfred van Staveren, Xin Dogterom, Juan Pablo, Cesar d Pena Del Rey, Natalia Giacomino, Torsten Radunski, Rozita Kahirtseva
  • Team Coordinator: BIECHER Architectes
  • Executive Architect: BIECHER Architectes
  • Structure Engineers: BECIP – BET Structure
  • MEP Consultant: ESPACE TEMPS – BET Fluides
  • Landscape Designer: PHYTOLAB – BET Paysagiste
  • Interior Designer: Charles Zana
  • Project Management: Artelia
  • Construction Company: Vinci Sicra Ile-de-France
  • Client: Emerige
  • Site Area: 1,033 sqm
  • Building Area: 6,600 sqm
  • Building Height: 50 m
  • Expected completion: September 2019
  • Photographs: Jared Chulski, NKCHU, Courtesy of MAD
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © NKCHU
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
  • Photo © Jared Chulski
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This port area, as large as the inner city of Rotterdam, is being further developed into the breeding ground for innovative manufacturing industry and the creation of a new piece of the city. It will be a place where the port and city together shape the future. In addition to innovative manufacturing companies, the Merwe-Vierhavens (M4H) also offers space for knowledge and educational institutions, creative makers, supporting services, housing, cultural facilities, hospitality and shops.

Through an intensive process, the framework has been formed with internal and external stakeholders. Two inspirational sessions with entrepreneurs and developers offered insight into the expectations of these groups for the area. Together with the proceeds from all previous plans, experts from the municipality, the Port Authority, DCMR (environmental service) and the municipality of Schiedam subsequently started working.

  • The spatial framework plan for 2050

Guidelines
The area is being redeveloped together with developers and other “city makers”. The Spatial Framework that has now been established offers the first guidelines for the interpretation of the area. With the framework, developers, companies and other interested parties in the area know what opportunities are there, what quality level is required and what is expected of them. The spatial Framework forms the basis for a new zoning plan and for future investments.

Living, working, innovating
Together with RDM Rotterdam, M4H forms the Rotterdam Makers District. Space has been created here for (young) entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions from the new (creative) economy. The innovative manufacturing industry that is growing here can flourish further in a city district as “a bustling urban environment with housing, hospitality, education and culture”.

  • Image © DELVA

The spatial framework identifies a number of sub-areas, each with their own profile. The Galilei Park in the heart of the area has the space to accommodate the larger manufacturing companies. There is no place for living here, but there is education, sports, culture and hospitality. There are various living and working environments around it. The highest densities are in the Marconikwartier. Keilekwartier and Gustoweg form the transition to work areas.

This is where creative and traditional manufacturing companies fit in, and wherever possible, combined with living. In the Merwehaven the emphasis is on living, combined with small and light businesses. Through the combination of working and living, M4H makes a substantial contribution to the inner-city building assignment of 50,000 homes in the Rotterdam region. Up to 2035, M4H will facilitate around 3500 to 5000 homes.

  • Image © DELVA

M4H makes it possible to opt for sustainable mobility
The task for the spatial framework consists not only of realizing good connections, but also of achieving a different relationship between individual car traffic and other forms of transport. This means a clear organization of car and truck traffic compared to slow traffic, a close-knit network for cyclists and walkers, collective transport systems and parking solutions in HUBs instead of the car on the street.

M4H builds on the industrial capacity and quality of the area
The current variation in buildings – high and low, wide and narrow, solitary and connected – forms the basis for the new volumes. The variation in construction volumes fits the programmatic mix. The appearance of the area will give the idea of an organically grown image, with different grain sizes in buildings and with clear contrasts.

  • Image © DELVA

M4H is a resilient climate adaptive system
M4H changes color from a stony plain on the water to a green veined area. Greenery that generates quality of life, reduces heat stress and introduces biodiversity. Building, streets, squares and parks together with the water form an inseparable whole in order to arrive at an interesting ecosystem. The basins also participate in certain places by introducing tidal parks. Together they make a positive contribution to the biotopes of the city and port on the M4H scale, but also on the urban fabric scale.

Guiding principles
Each of the principles expresses the ambition to develop M4H into a future-proof area. The eight guiding principles for sustainable area development all fit within all-encompassing theme: collectivity as the basis for circularity. No one can be circular on their own. Cooperation brings everyone further, not only in sustainability, but also in innovation. Seen in this way, the commitment to collectivity not only contributes to sustainability, but also to economic development. Source by DELVA.

  • Building structure outlines per zone
  • Location: Merwe-Vierhavens, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Architect: DELVA
  • Team: DELVA + Municipality of Rotterdam + Port of Rotterdam
  • Other team members: SITE urban development, Skonk, Goudappel Coffeng, KettingHuls, Plusoffice Architects
  • Artist Impressions: DELVA, KettingHuls and A2 Studio
  • Status: Spatial Framework (approved by the city and harbor of Rotterdam)
  • Client: Rotterdam Makers District
  • Year: 2019
  • Images: Courtesy of DELVA
  • The spatial framework plan for 2050
  • Image © DELVA
  • Image © DELVA
  • Image © DELVA
  • Image © DELVA
  • The makers district between port and city
  • Historical development
  • The breeding ground for innovation in the port and city
  • The scale of M4H compared to the inner city of Rotterdam
  • Concept of the framework
  • Building structure outlines per zone
  • Guiding Principle M4H offers permanent space to different types of makers
  • Guiding Principle M4H makes it possible to opt for sustainable mobility
  • Guiding Principle M4H works as a resilient climate adaptive system
  • Guiding Principle M4H builds on the industrial capacity and quality of the area
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Nestled between the bustling city of Hangzhou and the calm shores of East Lake, the Hangzhou Yuhang Opera cuts a distinctive profile in the skyline, its landscaped peaks appearing to dip beneath the water’s glassy surface. The new building forms the heart of a new cultural node in Yuhang, a fast-growing district in the metropolis of Hangzhou. The new structure houses a broad range of culturally oriented spaces, including a 1400-seat multipurpose auditorium, a 500-seat black box theatre, an exhibition center, and supporting facilities.

Extending Cultural Connection from West Lake to East Lake
Crucial to the design was East Lake, an expanse of water that lies at the heart of the surrounding park and forms the shimmering, reflective backdrop for the new Opera. While at first glance an established landscape, the lake was in fact part of Henning Larsen’s winning competition design, mirroring Hangzhou’s famed West Lake and creating a geographically contrasting node for culture in the urban region.

  • Photo © Philippe Ruault

A meandering promenade circles the lake, passing through small pocket parks (including a traditional Chinese water garden) and commercial facilities. The exterior edge of the park borders a high-speed rail station that has been instrumental in Yuhang’s recent growth and will welcome even more visitors to the new cultural destination. The opera dominates the lake and the surroundings with a publicly accessible sloping landscape reminiscent in form and scale to ancient manmade landforms that have been discovered in the region.

A Building that Dissolves into the City
The two sloped and intersecting masses of the Opera perch above an elevated public plaza, the roofs touching lightly on the ground level to invite visitors to climb up and enjoy the view. Both structures are clad in a graphic façade pattern that references ice cracking on the frozen lake; moving from solid back-of-house coverage to near total transparency where it encloses the public foyers – floes of ice drifting away to reveal the bright interior.

  • Photo © Philippe Ruault

The different entrances to the building connect in a path around the auditorium that offers views to the lake and foyer interior. Interior balconies and staircases maximize views out across the site and within the foyer: going to the opera is about seeing and being seen. The Opera building comprises two main performance/event spaces: the Main Hall, which can seat up to 1400, and the 500-seat Black Box theatre. The ability of the halls to host a variety of events was a core focus in the design, driving the ambitious acoustic and stage design inside the halls.

The Black Box theatre has the ability to literally open one full side to the elevated public plaza, becoming a stage for a massive 10.000 people exterior venue. Since its opening in May, the Opera has already hosted numerous performances and events, including an opening concert on 18 May by the Czech National Philharmonic Orchestra. The Opera and surrounding grounds have already proven to be a spark for regional development, with the surrounding district blossoming to become a new center in the in the 20 million person city of Hangzhou. Source by Henning Larsen.

  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Location: Wangmei Road, Yuhang District, China
  • Architect: Henning Larsen
  • Partner responsible: Claude Godefroy and Elva Tang
  • Project manager: Hannah Zhang
  • Project Team: Allen Shakir, Chee Yuen Choy, Dominik Mrozinski, David Ba-bul Mikkelsen, Ewa Bryzek, Emma Wang, Kasia Piekarczyk, Ka Tam, Melissa Sand-oval, Michelle Tam, Peng Jia, Richard Wood, Thomas Bormann
  • Local Architect: Hangzhou Architecture & Civil Engineering Design Institute Co., Ltd
  • Engineer: Buro Happold
  • Theater Planning: Kunkel
  • Acoustic Consultant: MBBM
  • Landscape Architect: Henning Larsen, Bassinet Turquin Paysage, AECOM
  • Façade Consultant: Inhabit Group
  • Contractor: Shanghai Construction No.4 (Group) Co. Ltd
  • Client: City Government of Yuhang District in Hangzhou
  • GFA: 82,546sqm
  • Year: 2019
  • Photographs: Philippe Ruault, Courtesy of Henning Larsen
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
  • Photo © Philippe Ruault
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A building that breathes
Futian is one of the oldest and densest districts of Shenzhen. Recent urban regeneration efforts aim to breathe new life into this urban centre, which lacks urban quality and is crowded with residential and commercial high-rises.

The new Civic Cultural Centre plays a major role in this effort and will house cultural programme and social spaces for stimulating urban activity. Our proposal is therefore a building that breathes: open to daylight and natural cooling breezes, and filled with greenery.

  • Image © Mecanoo

Permeable ground floor
Attracting public activity requires a strong connection with surrounding urban spaces. The ground floor is thus designed to be as open as possible, despite the confined urban plot. A south-facing public square and a wide semi-interior east-west pedestrian passage provide pedestrian links across the site.

Inside, the ground floor is lively and open, with retail functions and a fully glazed facade that can be entered on all sides. This open public interior directly connects with the theatre lobby, which is the main urban catalyst of the cultural centre. The permeable ground floor, together with the two bordering main roads and metro station within 200m, ensures that the building is well-connected.

  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo

Extensive cultural programme
To serve Futian’s high population density, a large amount of cultural programme was to be built on the tight 10,610 m2 plot: 62,000 m2 of above-ground functional spaces in total, including three theatres, a library and exhibition halls. The brief also included a kindergarten on a separate sub-plot. This spatial puzzle was solved by arranging the various functions within a 150m tower sitting on an L-shaped base.

The theatres are not placed directly under the high rise, thereby avoiding undesirable structural complexity and allowing them to be designed with optimal functionality. To give the cultural centre a strong, singular appearance, the building is wrapped in a uniform triangulated grid facade that flares outwards to incorporate the theatres. Scaling downwards towards the edges, the flared volume smoothly transitions between the 150m tower and the smaller scale of the kindergarten.

  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo

Connecting atria
The Cultural Centre draws ground floor public activity to the top of the 150m tower via efficient elevators and long escalators that connect a series of green atria and terraces. Large, openable planted atria include a roof cafe and open exhibition space above the theatre, an exhibition garden lobby and a library garden.

Urban greenery and sky gardens provide shade, reduce the urban heat island effect and cool the public spaces. They also provide a transition space between indoor and outdoor, public and private functions. The network of atria acts as blood vessels that pump life into the building, making the journey of moving vertically into a lively urban experience. Source by Mecanoo.

  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Architect: Mecanoo
  • Client: Public Culture and Sports Development Centre, Futian District, Shenzhen, China
  • Programme: 1st prize competition design for a cultural development including theatre, cultural centre, library, exhibition hall, elderly and youth activity centre, sports complex, commercial facilities, kindergarten
  • Area: 93,000 m2
  • Year: 2019
  • Images: Courtesy of Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Image © Mecanoo
  • Axo
  • Exploded axonometric
  • Elevation
  • Image © Mecanoo
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Located in the heart of Amsterdam Science Park is MVRDV’s design for Matrix 1, an office and laboratory complex that combines standard laboratories with playful and spacious social areas. The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has reached an agreement to occupy around a quarter of the 13,000m2 building to host the SustainaLab, a specialist facility for research into sustainability that aims to stimulate creative cooperation between education, research, government, and entrepreneurship. The construction of Matrix 1 is expected to start in 2020, with the opening planned for the beginning of 2022.

Located in the East of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Science Park is an innovative environment in which scientists and entrepreneurs work on sustainable solutions for current and future problems. In addition to the buildings of UvA’s Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Computer Science (FNWI), the campus now offers space for homes, data centres and office and laboratory space, including the six existing buildings of the Matrix Innovation Center. The design by MVRDV ensures that Matrix 1 will be an open and social building.

  • Site Plan

This has been achieved with a zigzagging staircase that is inspired by, and an extension of, the network of paths on the campus. The spacious stairwell forms the social heart of the building and is fully visible to the outside world thanks to the glass façade. It provides a balance in the building between the standardized laboratories and a playful, people-oriented architecture – an important consideration in a building where tech workers, who have high expectations for the quality of their office spaces, will share with science workers, for whom laboratories are unable to provide the same perks.

Matrix 1’s stairwell will thus allow scientific workers to feel pampered in the same way that has become normal in the tech sector. The stairwell greets users immediately upon entering the building, operating as a perfect meeting place to stimulate interaction between different users. Entrances on both sides of the building are also connected via a large, inviting atrium. The University of Amsterdam has chosen to establish its new SustainaLab in Matrix 1, where it will work on technologies and systems that reduce CO2 emissions, develop green business models, make agriculture more sustainable, and absorb the consequences of climate change.

  • Image © MVRDV
  • Image © MVRDV

“We are pleased with the agreement of the University of Amsterdam to occupy Matrix 1. As a user, the university fits well with the spirit of this building,” says Frans de Witte, partner at MVRDV and the lead architect responsible for the project. “We look forward to see which other institutions will soon be housed in the rest of the building. The spaces are designed to be flexible for this purpose; office space can be turned into laboratory space with minor adjustments and vice versa. The presence of multiple companies offers opportunities for social interaction, cross-pollination, and innovation.”

SustainaLab’s mission fits in perfectly with the design by MVRDV, in which sustainability plays an important role. For example, the steel structure and the concrete floors of the six-storey building can be dismantled so that components can easily be reused in the future. Where possible, all surfaces of the building have been used; the roof contributes to climate, biodiversity and water buffering with greenery and solar panels. The building will meet the ambitious Amsterdam targets for energy performance (EPC 0.15) and water retention, and targets BREEAM excellent certification, making Matrix 1 a standard-bearer in MVRDV’s endeavour to deliver sustainable projects. Source by MVRDV.

  • Staircase
  • Location: Science Park, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Architect: MVRDV
  • Partner: Frans de Witte
  • Design Team: Mick van Gemert, Roy Sieljes, Lesia Topolnyk, Fouad Addou, Aneta Rymsza, Ievgeniia Koval, Giuseppe Carosini, Andrea Manente, Damla Demir
  • Visualisations: Antonio Luca Coco, Luca Piattelli, Cinzia Bussola
  • Development & Project Management: Stone22
  • Structural Engineering: IMD
  • MEP: Deerns
  • Cost Calculation: IGG
  • Client: Matrix Innovation Center
  • Size and Programme: 13,000 m2 Offices and Laboratories
  • Year: 2019+
  • Images: Courtesy of MVRDV
  • Site Plan
  • Image © MVRDV
  • Image © MVRDV
  • Image © MVRDV
  • Staircase
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In collaboration with C.F. Møller Architects, Atrium Ljungberg is developing a new office area in Gränbystaden, Uppsala, through a renewed land-allocation agreement. Uppsala Municipality has decided to give Atrium Ljungberg a renewed land allocation in the area of Östra Sala adjacent to Gränbystaden. At the same time C.F. Møller Architects has won the parallel assignment of designing the new buildings in the area, which will include a large number of offices.

The development of the area will create a new office cluster in Uppsala. The renewed land allocation includes the northernmost block of Östra Sala backe’s third phase and a small area adjacent to the Gränbystaden galleria. This gives Atrium Ljungberg the opportunity to develop Gränbystaden into a new office cluster in Uppsala, with excellent connectivity and a wide range of restaurants and shops. In addition to offices, there are also plans for service industries, healthcare facilities, educational facilities and housing.

  • Image © C.F. Møller Architects

Gränby has been identified as one of the five urban nodes in Uppsala. The plan is for this node to contain a high concentration of workplaces and be interlinked by a comprehensive public-transport system. In conjunction with the renewed land allocation, C.F. Møller Architects has won the parallel assignment for the buildings in the area. The assessment group included representatives from both Atrium Ljungberg and Uppsala Municipality.

The buildings form a new entrance motif along one of the most important heritage thoroughfares into the city. The content of this new centre comprises a mixture of offices, culture, housing and educational facilities, forming a completely new commercial cluster in Uppsala. The structure strengthens the locality’s historical thoroughfares and routes and establishes a new thoroughfare and line of vision that visually connects the block with the adjacent heritage district of Vaksala. Source and images Courtesy of C.F. Møller.

  • Image © C.F. Møller Architects
  • Image © C.F. Møller Architects
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The history of Sordo Madaleno encompasses over eight decades of architecture and design. Having been based at Reforma 2076 in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood since the 1980s, the steady growth in the size of the teams both at the architecture studio (SMA) and the real estate development firm (GSM) made it necessary to design and build a new headquarters.

Strategically located at one of the most important economic and cultural hubs of Mexico City (Nuevo Polanco), the new HQ was designed by our own Interior Design department, taking the corporate design to a more challenging level for being our own client.
Floors three to five of the Antara II Corporate Offices—itself designed by SMA—are home to the strategically distributed offices of both parts of Sordo Madaleno.

  • Photo © Rafael Gamo

The new working dynamic and the operational transition towards a mid-sized firm of over 300 employees were among the challenges to be addressed, becoming the guiding principles of the design. The intention was that these determinants should not alter the existing work environment, which encourages each employee to appropriate their workspace and feel comfortable.

Each new space offers different settings for the various activities—collaboration, presentations, meetings—with functional and ergonomic furniture at each work station. To design these new spaces in the larger overall setting, exposed and neutral materials were employed in sober, balanced and timeless hues for furniture, floors and surfaces with the intention of transmitting a welcoming sensation.

  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo

A striking element forms a visual and physical link between the entire office project: a sculptural spiral staircase occupying the triple-height space of the reception area on the entrance floor, and connecting to a key double-height space on level 4, planned to exhibit models, projects and a library of architectural materials. This staircase, intended to expand the functionality of the vertical circulations, was designed with larger dimensions than necessary in order to form a point of encounter and gathering for staff between the three floors of offices.

At the same time, the decision not to include an elevator to the fourth floor ensures the flow and interaction of users on the staircase. The white exterior and black treads and risers are attractive and offer unique perspectives at the different landings. The entrance floor comprises, together with the main lobby, the administrative areas of SMA, a lunch room and terrace as part of the services offered to staff, and two main meeting rooms occupying a volume extruded from the tower.

  • Photo © Rafael Gamo

The architecture and interior design studio is located on level 4, bringing together over 120 architects in an open-plan working space, with private offices for the project leaders and the collaborative working areas, meeting spaces and print rooms to the center of the floor. The work stations are arranged around the perimeter of the floor, offering natural lighting and attractive views. Level 5 of the building is occupied by the administrative offices of GSM, with private offices for department directors, and three meeting rooms.

On the same floor is the executive zone, comprising four directors’ offices on the south façade and the boardroom on the north façade. Thanks to the modular configuration of the façade and the position of the services at the center of the tower, it enjoys views to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra from the north side and to the central precinct of Antara Fashion Hall and the Polanco skyline from the south. Source by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos.

  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Architect: Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
  • Architecture Leader: Javier Sordo Madaleno de Haro
  • Interior Design Director: Nadia Borrás
  • Interior Manager: Miguel Ángel Peña Navarro
  • Interior Team: Maite Sánchez, Ainoha Etchegaray, Marco Menéndez
  • Engineering Coordination: Marcos Hernández
  • Engineering Team: José Eduardo Hernández
  • Media & Marketing: Rosalba Rojas, Daniela Cruz, Daniela Rosas
  • Systems & Special Engineering: INNOVATIVE DESIGNS – Fernando Merino
  • Lighting Consultant: SYSEE – Hugo Rosales
  • Construction: SMC
  • Construction Area: 4,757 sqm
  • Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Rafael Gamo, Courtesy of Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
  • Photo © Rafael Gamo
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JDSA will coordinate an ensemble of new buildings on the Blériot-Féval site as well as design and execute a residential tower in Rennes to generate a mix-use and inclusive neighborhood within the Eurorennes development. The development is located next to and comprises of the new station inaugurated in July 2019.

The city’s new express train connections have cut travel times to its neighbours and the capital by nearly half, enthusing many to develop business with or relocate to Brittany’s epicentre. Within this Game Of Urban Thrones, Samsic, the region’s success story employing 90000, has set to relocate its headquarters to the Blériot-Féval site and steer its development, in collaboration with the developers from Bati-Armor and Rennes Municipality’s agencies.

  • Image © JDS architects

The site is divided in 4 plots and coordinated by JDSA in collaboration with local architects Maurer & Gilbert and Paris offices SMAC and Think Tank. The Féval Tower acts as the masterplan’s geographic and gravity centrepiece, offering 184 new apartments to the city.

Our project promotes densification as a response to urban sprawl. Our tower proposal manipulates the masterplan’s density to propose on ground level a stepped public space that invites the pedestrian to climb its base.

  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects

Various commercial addresses will compose this base, on which the residential program grows from level 3, where the tower is most slender. Resonating Rennes’ colombage heritage, the tower thickens as it climbs upwards, to finally reach its maximum girth on level 10.

This is where a lush community park sets a pause to the rise and welcomes the building’s residents to a panoramic view of the city’s skyline under the shade of trees. The building then resumes its ascension and profile all the way to its 27th floor, offering 184 new homes to Rennes’ residents. Source and images Courtesy of JDS architects.

  • Site Plan
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
  • Image © JDS architects
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  • Diagram
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  • Diagram
  • Diagram
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What is a fine architectural space? “A fine architectural space must be evaluated from two different aspects: visual perception and user experience. Expending more effort to create a good visual perception is the pursuit of most designers. As a result, good user experiences are often ignored.” Considered by LI Yiming, the chief designer of this project.

Health (of three progressive levels including environmental health, physical wellness, and mental well-being) is one of the most important indexes to evaluate whether space has a good using experience. Brii Biosciences’ global R&D center project is located in Beijing. The brief called for a new visual identity for the company’s workspaces, drawn from both their own background in medical and health care, as well as the corporate social responsibility.

  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng

To this end, the chief designer of this project, LI Yiming takes “Shang Shan Ruo Shui.” (From Lao Zi, Tao Te Ching, which means the highest level of good deeds are like water which favors all without caring about vanity) as the core design concept to convey the core mission of Brii Biosciences: “We are committed to serving the needs of patients and improving the level of public health care in China.” Based on this design concept the new office is built into an equal, healthy, open and innovative workspace.

Environmental Health
The first level of health is environmental health. There are three essential elements at the first level: the natural light that symbolizes life, the fresh and moist air, and the pure and clear water. The auditorium area, named ‘Hai Na Bai Chuan’ (All rivers run into the sea), is an interior grey zone which doubles as an ‘all-hands space’ for both work and leisure.

  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng

The US WELL standard was adopted in the whole design process of this project and the characteristics of the Chinese market has been fully considered. In order to create an office space filled with warm and comfortable natural light, the overall lighting system combines various illuminating systems such as light-sensitive curtains, electrified dimming glass, general lighting, and individual workstation lighting. Natural light flows into each workspace through the grille ceiling which maximize the use of natural light to create a comfortable and bright work space.

The theme color of the enterprise and the materials with various textures ensure the overall soft and the pure tone of the space as well as enrich the visual level. Electrified glass, fiber fabric and diffuse reflection light source are widely used to provide kind of bright, transparent and soft architectural feeling. Air conditioning system is based on a fiber fabric air distribution system. This system integrates various air treatment equipment and facilities such as fresh air filtration, electrostatic dust removal, and haze prevention, photocatalyst sterilization, formaldehyde removal VOC, constant temperature and humidity terminal, etc.

  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng

The printing room is equipped with independent exhaust equipment. The healthiest indoor air environment is owed to the comprehensive ventilation and air-conditioning system of this project. The whole space has no boundary, no focus and is infinitely extended which provides the users with a peaceful and relaxing architectural experience. Space is always in a positive pressure environment (similar to an airplane cabin), completely isolated from the outdoor unhealthy atmosphere. The straight water dispensers, anti-bacterial copper pipes, and taps are also used in the tea area to ensure water quality.

Physical Wellness
The intermediate level of health is physical wellness. The office furniture that can rise and fall, the ground with flexible material, the gym with bright sunshine have largely alleviated the office syndrome.

  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng

Mental Well-being
The third level of health is Mental Well-being, which is mostly considered by the designer. The whole Office is a single space with flexible and comfortable desks in order to create free and equal working atmospheres. There are several soundproof phone booths randomly distributed in the open space which also can be used as private working units. There are a number of different forms of closed units interspersed in the open office area which provide meeting and communicating area.

This design meets fast all the needs of the modern workspace. Maternal and child rooms and toilets for the disabled illustrate the enterprise’s care for humanity. The designer uses natural and pure colors to interpret the design concept: “Shang Shan Ruo Shui”. The whole space has no boundary, no focus and is infinitely extended and provides the users with a peaceful and relaxing environmental experience. On the date of completion acceptance, key air indexes such as pm2.5/pm10 and VOC was close to zero. Source by QUCESS Design.

  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Location: Haidian District, Beijing, China
  • Architect: QUCESS Design
  • Lead Architects: LI Yiming
  • Design Team: LI Yiming, SHI Chaofei, ZHANG Shuang, WANG Haishen, MU Yu
  • Major material: electric control dimming glass, plastic floor, carpet, aluminum grating, artificial stone
  • WELL system counselor: George Lin
  • Gross Built Area: 3240 square meters
  • Completion Year: 2019
  • Photographs: SHI Yunfeng, Courtesy of Greedy Media
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
  • Photo © SHI Yunfeng
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A school around a green heart
The ISUtrecht is designed with a wide range of different, open and closed learning areas. Their scenography and interior supports specific learning situations and environments. A central square and a courtyard garden form the heart of the school.

The educational environment, which is structured as the continuous learning line, revolves around this collective ‘green heart’. The collective elements such as the playroom, the auditorium, the gym and the libraries are optimally positioned in this continuous learning line. The spiraling movement around the central square brings the various departments together.

  • Image © NEXT architects, Christensen & Co.

This makes the relationships between departments strong and the routing self-evident. The central square is the meeting place for the ISUtrecht community. It is the center of the school where everything comes together. We have positioned this space on the first floor to optimally connect this space with all users of the building.

Thanks to the large inner garden, we can ensure abundant daylight and a direct connection to the roof garden and landscape. A large terrace connects the central square with the inner garden that takes on the character of a Hortus Conclusus: an exciting and richly covered patio. This ‘green lung’ makes it possible to provide all rooms with a direct connection to the outdoors a compact building. Source by NEXT architects.

  • Image © NEXT architects, Christensen & Co.
  • Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Architect: NEXT architects
  • Project Team: Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers
  • with Joost Lemmens, Niek van Harmelen, Michelle Franke, Jorn Kooijstra
  • Collaboration: Christensen & Co, Bureau B+B, Bremen Bouwadviseurs, Breed-ID
  • Client: Gemeente Utrecht
  • Size: 26.602 m2
  • Costs: € 29.598.277
  • Preliminary Design: March 2019
  • Images: NEXT architects and Christensen & Co., Courtesy of NEXT architects
  • Image © NEXT architects, Christensen & Co.
  • Image © NEXT architects, Christensen & Co.
  • Image © NEXT architects, Christensen & Co.
  • Image © NEXT architects, Christensen & Co.
  • Image © NEXT architects, Christensen & Co.
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