Touring the World of Architecture: Week 18
By Christopher William Reeves
Welcome to Touring the World of Architecture Week 18, your round up of architectural news is here with MAD going au naturel in China, Atelier Blur finding their Yin Yang in Shenzhen, the Mars One architect and a classic of a video to round it off. Until next week, the arcspace team
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MAD Up Design in Beijing
Chinese firm MAD have unveiled spectacular images for their design of the Chaoyang Park Plaza in Beijing. The release coincides with the start of construction on the 120,000 square meter development. The monster complex will house residential, commercial space and office blocks, all inspired by traditional shan - shui Chinese paintings. The design depicts the paintings mountains, hills and lakes.
The main attraction within the site will be two 120-meter skyscrapers based on the aesthetics of vertical rock formations, followed by four office blocks that visually resemble river boulders and two residential designs that depict the senses experienced when wondering through a mountain forest. The architects state they wish to re-introduce the natural landscape back into the urban realm, creating a balance between high urban density and natural landscapes. Sounds marvellous!
There's no video for this project but check out one of MAD's completed work in Mongolia to get a taste of their style. Your guide… a horse!
Atelier Blur, a fresh Hong Kong based firm founded in 2012 by the talented Georges Hung, has won the right to design a R&D headquarters for a technology company in Shenzhen, China. Hung's firm went super creative on this one and attacked the design with a strategy to address functional requirements! A lesson for all perhaps! Ignoring conventional office tower typologies, the studio looked to enforce a 'ying yang' theme within the two opposing tower structures.
The new buildings will sit smack in the middle of the Shenzhen High Tech Industry Park, an area undergoing a rapid transformation as the city converts from manufacturing to tech and service industries.
The space between the buildings, a central vertical fold, was carved from the original mass, leaving various space and proportions for all sorts of activities, both inside and out. Such design was set against the natural elements with the sun and wind carefully accounted for. Three large sky garden terraces will allow office workers a chance to nip outside to chat all things technology.
This Week's Win
The Architect That Will Help Build History
Danish Architect and overall space design legend Kristian von Bengtson has won a prestige position to work on the Mars One project. Last week's statement read:
"Mars One is pleased to welcome former co-founder of Copenhagen Suborbitals, NASA contractor and capsule designer expert Kristian von Bengtson as Outpost and Capsule Project Manager. Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and General Director or Mars One states, "Mars One is now entering phases were hardware must be produced to begin training of our selected astronauts and Kristian von Bengtson is a person we are confident can help us doing that. We are happy to have such a dedicated and experienced person joining us, in our goal of creating a permanent settlement on Mars.
Kristian von Bengtson, M.Sc., M.Arch., Denmark is an Aerospace Architect with over 15 years of experience in the field of capsule and outpost design with a special focus on man-machine integration and prototype production. Von Bengtson has worked capsule and interior space design independently and for NASA and ESA before he co-founded Copenhagen Suborbitals in 2008, where he was leading the suborbital capsule development and mission planning. He has received a series of awards for his work, latest the Breitling Milestone Award in 2013 as well as over 15 grants supporting his work with manned spaceflight."
This Week's Video
A Sure Classic
The Third and Seventh - from bits to the lens by Alex Romain. If you want an inspiring 15 minutes then take a break and sink into this animated piece. The video tries to illustrate architecture art across a photographic point of view where main subjects are already-built spaces. Sometimes in an abstract way. Sometimes surreal.
Last updated: May 05, 2014
Seattle, Washington, USA
Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA