Touring the World of Architecture: Week 19
By Christopher William Reeves
arcspace presents Touring the World of Architecture Week 19, a quick round up of recent news and features to keep you in the loop! This week, 3XN's mangrove styled towers get going in Mumbai, Foster + Partners prime Las Vegas Hotel is sentenced to fate and Frank Gehry is commended for his defining and continuous contribution to architecture and human cultural heritage. See you next week readers!
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3XN First Jaunt in Mumbai
Mangrove stalks were the inspiration for 3XN's pair of 38 story towers that have begun construction in Mumbai, India. The entangled design named 'Grove Towers' total's 78,000 square meters, formed of 273 apartments, numerous commercial plots and a series of elevated green spaces, totalling 2,500 square meters.
The common mangrove may not look like your typical architectural inspiration but 3XN took the tangled, weaving and braided form as stimulus to produce this innovative design. In further connection with the Indian environment the building will host an array of technical solutions to help ventilate and shade inhabitants. The elevated gardens will provide some rest bite from the mass activity of the surrounding city. Perhaps 3XN's hope of the elevated garden's reducing carbon dioxide levels in the surrounding air is a little far fetched regarding the extent of Mumbai's extreme smog issues, but every little helps!
Construction is planned for completion in 2017.
End of the Road for Foster + Partners Harmon Hotel
The Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas will be torn down without ever opening its doors to the public! Designed by Foster + Partners for MGM Resorts International, the 27-story blue glassed tower will be dismantled floor by floor. Initially designed to reach 47 stories the building was downsized in 2008 because of 'structural defects' (a minor issue about the building falling over in an earthquake!).
A battle is ensuing between MGM and the building's developers as to whom is responsible for the faulty construction. Foster + Partners it seems are not at fault, however the associated bad press won't be enjoyed by London based firm.
The demolition is set to cost $11.5 million dollars, hence the bad feeling between owner and developer. The question remains, how will Las Vegas survive without another casino!?
This Weeks Win
Frank Gehry Wins 2014 Prince of Asturias Award
Frank Gehry, founder and architectural icon of Gehry Partners has won Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. The 34th recipient of the award, Gehry was praised "for the relevance and impact of his creations in numerous countries, via which he has defined and furthered architecture in the past half century."
The jury went onto state, "His buildings are characterized by a virtuoso play of complex shapes, the use of unusual materials, such as titanium, and their technological innovation, which has also had an impact on other arts,"
"An example of this open, playful and organic style of architecture is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which, in addition to its architectural and aesthetic excellence, has had an enormous economic, social and urban impact on its surroundings as a whole."
Gehry recieves a very welcome 50,000 Euro cheque, a commissioned sculpture of his face, a diploma for the mantelpiece and an insignia for the trophy cabinet / kitchen drawer! In receiving the prize, Gehry joins big timers such as Oscar Niemeyer (1989), Roberto Matta (1992), Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza (1993), Santiago Calatrava (1999), Norman Foster (2009) and Rafael Moneo (2012), all recognised for their contribution to mankind's cultural heritage.
Congratulations to Frank Gehry and his team whom no doubt share such accolades.
The Absent Column
8 minutes to learn of the battle between new an old. In Chicago, Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital was the focus of architectural preservation vs. modern needs. This short documentary highlights the question, who determines the future of the past?
Last updated: May 12, 2014