Monthly News Round-Up, March 2015 Edition

March 26, 2015 /

This month, BIG and Heatherwick's design for the Google HQ in California, Morphosis' much-debated 381 meter soaring high hotel gets the go-ahead in Vals, Switzerland and Renzo Piano's luxury waterfront development in Sydney. Also, Heatherwick's Learning Center in Singapore is complete and Chipperfield's extension for Kunsthal Zurich is in the making.


mar-15-bjarke-ingels-group-BIG-thomas-heatherwick-google-headquarters-mountain-view.jpgGoogle HQ. Image courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio

BIG + Heatherwick = Google HQ

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been teamed up with the British studio of Thomas Heatherwick by Google to design a 316,000 m2 masterplan for their new headquarters in Mountain View, California, and the first images detailing the project have now been released.

The proposal comprises lightweight block structures which can be moved to accommodate for future use. large translucent canopies cover each site, controlling the internal climate while letting in daylight and ventilation. a variety of trees, cafés, and bike paths weave their way through these structures, dissolving the boundaries between the built and natural environment.

See a highly informative video promoting of the project here.


mar-15-morphosis-thom-mayne-7132-hotel-therme-vals-skyscraper-switzerland.jpgVals Luxury Hotel. Image courtesy of Morphosis Architects

The New Collossus of Vals

Morphosis has revealed the design of a new luxury hotel to be built in Vals, Switzerland. Thus, they will now join the league of fellow Pritzker Prize winners, Peter Zumthor and Tadao Ando in making a mark on this small Swiss Alp village.

The unveiling of the extraordinary scheme follows an international competition in which eight of the world's leading architectural practices contended for the opportunity to complete the project. the concept is defined by three primary forms: a podium linking the building with neighboring structures; a cantilever containing a restaurant, café, spa, and bar - public amenities shared with the town; and a 381 meter-tall tower containing a sky bar, restaurant, and 107 guest rooms with sweeping panoramic views.


mar-15-thomas-heatherwick-studio-learning-hub-nanyang-technological-university-singapore.jpgNTU Learning Hub. Atrium. Image © Hufton + Crow

Heatherwick's Twelve Tapered Towers in Singapore

Standing as a new educational landmark for Singapore, the new Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has opened its doors two and a half years after work began on site. Designed byLondon-based Heatherwick Studio, the building forms part of the school's campus redevelopment plan, providing a series of multifunctional spaces for the university's 33,000 students.

Rather than the traditional educational building, connected with corridors linking box-like lecture rooms, the university asked for a design better suited to contemporary methods of learning. The outcome is a structure that interweaves both social and learning spaces to create a dynamic environment more conducive to casual and incidental interaction between students and professors.

Twelve towers, which taper inwards at their base, are articulated around a generous public atrium to provide 56 tutorial rooms without corners or obvious fronts or backsides. The flexible format of the volumes allows professors to configure them to better engage students, and encourage closer collaboration among individuals.

mar-15-thomas-heatherwick-studio-learning-hub-nanyang-technological-university-singapore-1.jpgNTU Learning Hub. Image © Hufton + Crow


mar-15-renzo-piano-one-sydney-harbour-barangaroo.jpgNew Sydney harbourfront promenade. Image courtesy Lend Lease

Piano to Design Luxury Apartment Towers on Sydney Harbourfront

Renzo Piano has been chosen to design several luxury apartment highrises along the Sydney waterfront. The Italian architect's towers are set to become landmarks along the skyline at the future district Barangaroo South, and they will offer extraordinary panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Piano joins a party already well underway - the Barangaroo South masterplan is now in its second phase - and he's not the only A-lister: Wilkinson Eyre Architects is designing the Crown Sydney Resort Hotel, and Rogers Stirk Harbour are responsible for the realization of the Sydney International Towers.


mar-15-kunsthaus-museum-david-chipperfield-01-818x524.jpgKunsthaus Zurich. Image courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects

David Chipperfield's Design for Kunsthaus Zurich Well Underway

Set to open in 2017, the construction for David Chipperfield's design for the extension at the Kunsthaus in Zurich is now underway. The Kunsthaus, originally designed by Swiss architect Karl Moser, is located at the south-east end of Heimplatz close to Zurich's historical center. The new building will exhibit contemporary art from the 1960s onwards, as well as classic modernism and areas for temporary exhibitions. 

Chipperfield's plan is to clearly establish the connection between the existing and the new by linking the Kunsthaus to its new extension with a passageway underneath the square. The organization of the two urban spaces on either side of the museum - the Heimplatz and the art garden - will be linked by a publicly accessible hall spanning the length of the entire building.

Last updated: March 31, 2015

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