Touring the World of Architecture: Week 14
By Christopher William Reeves
It's week 14 already! Touring the World of Architecture is here to inform you of this week's biggest and best news. Zaha Hadid Architects have revealed their Macau hotel design, DUS Architects are causing a stir with their 3D printer in Amsterdam and there is a fantastic new architecture school in the pipeline in Dubai. We finish the week with an intriguing short film on busking, asking what architects can do to cater for such informal city life? Have a great weekend.
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Good Luck Welders!
Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled their design for a 40-story hotel development in Macau, China. Upon first sight one can't help but be struck by the lattice exoskeleton that engulfs the inner structure. There certainly will be a hell of a lot of welding before the completion date, due in 2017. ZHA have designed the 780-room hotel complex for Melco Crown Entertainment, a property developer and casino owner.
The building will span 150,000 square meters with dramatic public spaces and generous guest rooms. ZHA statement explains, "the rectangular outline of the site is extruded as a monolithic block with a series of voids which carve through the centre of the tower, merging traditional architectural elements of roof, wall and ceiling to create a sculptural form that defines many of the hotel's internal public spaces."
No doubt this design will be a hit or miss with architectural followers, and after recent ZHA events, where is the controversy you may ask!
DUS Architects Lead the Way with their Beast of a 3D Printer
On Monday President Obama was in the dam, stopping off at the Rijksmuseum where DUS architects' 3D printed canal house was on display. As you can see from the picture he was extremely interested and we can only imagine the in-depth questions that must have followed.
More to the point however DUS Architects seem to be leading the way in 3D architectural component design, taking the humble 3D printer and beefing it up with a dose of steroids to create a machine capable of printing 2x2x3.5 meter high components. The printer is called the KamerMaker (Room Maker). Talking to the Guardian DUS Architects stated: "With 3D-printing, there is zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled. This could revolutionise how we make our cities."
The components can be printed and stacked like large LEGO blocks, simple! Still in its infancy, the blocks will be assembled to make the canal house façade as seen in the video. Those with an environmental conscience may want to point out that the process uses a bio-plastic mix that's about 75% plant oil (is that good or bad I do not know?) and that the components will have to be filled with concrete (that is bad!). A life cycle assessment against conventional building practises would be an interesting read, but for now we think its just pretty cool that you can (nearly) print a whole house!
This Weeks Win
BLUE TAPE Takes the Title in Dubai
Graduates Evan Shieh and Ali Chen have proposed the design 'Blue Tape' for a new architecture school in Dubai. Inspiration was taken from the way the students used to pin up and review work at their former university, USC.
"At the core of BLUE TAPE is the concept of pin - up space: a place where students share their ideas, collaborate with their peers, and participate in academic critique of their designs with instructors."
Shieh and Chen stated, "BLUE TAPE also recognizes how vital the professor-student relationship is to the architectural education. By placing the faculty offices and administrative services along the entire north-west elevation of the tower, offices are in direct adjacency to the studios on every level, providing an integrated educational environment."
Here's a short film called 'Busk'. It follows 5 street performers in New York City. It made us in the office think how architects and urban planners can cater for such informal and spontaneous city life. I hope it can inspire you beautiful arcspace readers this weekend.
Last updated: April 04, 2014
Pasadena, California, USA