Architecture

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“Stacked” is a photo series that features the compact urban architecture of Hong Kong. Standing from below, Australia-based photographer Peter Stewart points his camera upwards to capture the abstract shapes which form the densely populated public housing structures. The stacked, repetitive architecture dominates the sky in its vertical journey and, although the buildings have evidence of life within, the images lack any human presence as the photographer focuses mainly on the urban environment alone. Stewart says, “My passion stems from travel and the desire to visit and document all the amazing places the world has to offer. My goal is simply to create images that make you go ‘wow.'” (source).

 

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The legendary city of Atlantis isn’t lost, it turns out—it just hasn’t been built yet. Japanese engineering firm Shimizu Corp recently announced their proposal for Ocean Spiral, an underwater city designed to house several thousand residents and sustain itself on eco-friendly energy from the seabed below. The plan is predicted to cost $26 billion and, once construction begins, take only five years to complete. Shimizu’s Ocean Spiral will be divided into three sections: the city itself, a sphere suspended 1,640 feet below the ocean’s surface that will feature both residential and business establishments, a 9-mile spiral path beneath the structure, and Ocean Spiral’s “earth factory,” according to the project’s press release. With the help of microorganisms, this “factory” will convert carbon dioxide to methane and generate energy from thermal differences in the surrounding sea. As fantastic as Ocean Spiral may sound, Shimizu spokesman told the Guardian that the submerged city isn’t just possible but—technology willing—extremely achievable. (source).

 

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The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition is the first open, international architectural competition to be organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. This initiative reflects the Guggenheim’s long history of engagement with architecture and design and its belief that outstanding original design can speak across cultures, refreshing and enlivening the urban environment. The reserved site is located in the Eteläsatama, or South Harbor area, an urban space of great national and cultural significance, close to the historic city center and immediately visible to visitors arriving by sea. From the Stage One entries, the jury has selected six proposals to advance to Stage Two of the competition. They will be asked to expand on their Stage One design and produce a master plan model. (source).

 

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With this extension of the JST Malaysia factory, Japanese architect Ryuichi Ashizawa has worked with nature, capturing sunlight, wind, rainwater and geothermal energy to build a living green factory that sits lightly on the earth. With elegant Islamic architectural elements and forward thinking engineering, the complex completely transcends the usual factory typology. The central tower contains an office space that encourages a zen-like atmosphere amongst co-workers and it’s east-west orientation minimizes the effect of solar radiation to keep office workers cool inside. When workers pop out for a break, they’re able to take a walk around the green roof via a path that links the tower and the roof to the surrounding landscape. Vines are trained to grow up wires, forming a green facade, shading the glass from the sun and letting beautiful dappled light through. The vines also hang over the helter-skelter like curving path that invites employees to take a stroll out into the surrounding forest or around the surrounding structures. (source).

 

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Beijing architecture studio MAD has designed an artificial island with an art museum set in caves in its three dune-like forms. Set in a reservoir on Pingtan island in China’s Fujian province, the Pingtan Art Museum will be the largest private museum in Asia, displaying a collection of over a thousand Chinese artworks and objects.  The museum itself acts as a smaller scale island off the Pingtan Island itself, connected to land only by a slightly undulating pier, which, in turn, bridges artificial and natural, city and culture, as well as history and future. The museum represents a long-lasting earthscape in water and is a symbol of the island in ancient times. The sea, the beach, the oasis and the slope all interconnect with each other, forming a harmonious capacious space with the mountains in the distance. The building is constructed with concrete that is blended with local sand shells. The indoor space, formed by the rise and fall of the formal movements, looks similar to ancient caves. (source).

 

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