Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China
Resembling two smooth boulders basking in the river bank of Pearl, the two rock shaped units of the opera house overlooking Pearl adorns the city of Guangzhou.
The ‘twin boulder’ is set amidst a contoured profile along with riverside access and dock areas. The landscaping as a whole complements the sharp angles of the building profile often smoothening its harshness for the viewers. The interior too is designed keeping in mind the philosophy of abstract cutting which eventually carves out spaces for lobbies, cafes and assemblies. The seamless flow of the interior of brought about by glass fibre reinforced gypsum.
The Opera House has played a substantial role for the cultural development of the of the city. It houses a large auditorium with 1800 seating capacity and a smaller multi-functional auditorium with 400 capacity.
BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany
The Central Building of the whole BMW factory complex is designed as the focal point of the campus. The building occupies the northern front. The building serves as a communication knot of all the other three buildings which would otherwise be working in indirect isolation. All the activities seem to diverge from the nerve centre and gravitate at the same.
The design of the building and its positioning was conceived this way in order to achieve the above.
London Aquatics Centre, London, UK
This is an aquatic sports facility built before London had won the bid for hosting 2012 Summer Olympics. The site was situated adjacent to the Water polo arena of Olympic park and opposite to the Olympic stadium with the Waterworks river in between. The Aquatic centre was prepared for the London Olympics by adding two temporary wings alongside the flat structure.
The structure exhibits a laminate form undulating roof which is grounded at three positions. The undulating free flowing structure reverberates the fluidity of water hence apt for aquatic sports.
There are three pools accommodated within a single architecture space- a training pool, a competition pool and a diving pool. The difference between the volumes dedicated to the respective pools are created by this flowing roof which subtly divides the space without the help of physical barriers.
Wangjing Soho, Beijing, China
Built like three smooth round pebbles, the Wangjing Soho is the major office and retail hub of the city connecting the city centre and airport.
The building facade is glass broken with aluminium strips. These strips not only serve as shading devices but also are ledges which help in the course of maintenance of the building. The insulated glazing system was selected so as to reduce the amount energy use of the building. These are windows which can be opened and closed.
The three pebbles are arranged in such a manner that all of them get sufficient light at all directions and also at every floor.
The Investcorp Building, Oxford, United Kingdom
The Middle East Centre at St.Antony’s College is one of the major Middle East research and study facility extended at Oxford. The Investcorp building was built to expand the existing smaller area to include a large lecture hall, reading space and better storage facility.
The building was designed in a restricted site keeping intact the existing buildings and trees. A drainage system has also been introduced below the foundation to keep the roots of the existing trees moist. The steel facade reflects the soft light to magnify the natural surroundings.
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan after its depart from the soviet monumental architecture has strived to seek its own architectural form through its new buildings. One such building celebrating this new identity is the Heydar Aliyev Centre. The building has entirely new free flowing structural form has tried to break free from the so prevalent forms. This building serves as a centre for hosting programs and therefore keep up the Azeri culture.
The flat plaza accessible by the urban fabric seems to be folded in the form of creases to form the building figure. Cladding materials like glass fibre reinforced concrete were chosen due to its plasticity. The fluidity of the of the exterior surface has also been reflected in its interiors. Illumination techniques have been employed to enhance the flowing forms in its interiors as well as exteriors.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, South Korea
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza was the first building in Korea to employ the Building Information Modelling (BIM). The use of Parametric architecture in the design of the building cladding has made the management of 45,000 panels easier. Through this customised form of design, one could also deliver quality and cost effective work.
The facade has pixelated and perforated patterns which donate a dynamic visual effect to the building. The facade is attributed an entity of dynamism as the change in lighting pattern of both interiors and exterior gives a different look to the building.
The design plaza houses museums, exhibition halls and parks accessible by people of all age groups.
Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza, Spain
The bridge pavilion is an enclosed space that served several purposes. Firstly, it served as a gateway to the Zaragoza Expo 2008. Secondly, it is a footbridge over the Ebro River. Lastly, it also served as an exhibition pavilion.
The shape of the architectural form ‘fluid and dynamic’ as conceived also complements the theme of Zaragoza Expo- Water and sustainable development.
The entire structural form is composed of four elements. They not only serve the structural purpose but also as separate spatial enclosures with different identities. However, the spaces were made to intersect and brace each other to keep up the overall unity.
The Jockey Club Innovation Tower, Hong Kong SAR, China
Situated within the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Innovation Tower houses the School of Design and Jockey Club Design Institute for social innovation. The comprises of design studios, workshops, labs and multi-facility lecture halls.
The tower was built is a rather irregular site in the borderline of the campus, however through its design it has managed to connect to the heart of the campus.
The entire excellency of this architecture forms revolves around the fact that the spaces with the tower has sufficient amount of connectivity. The glazed or void spaces allow the students to interact and exchange ideas.The research culture is fed by collective thoughts. And this is the key to innovative design.
CMA CGM Tower, Marseille, France
The vertical form of the tower has made it a landmark in the city of Marseille. According to Zaha Hadid Architects web site: “The curving profiles on the exterior facades work with the central core of the building, bringing a rigid frame and a sense of movement to this completely new typology of tower.”
Although the longitudinal structure of the tower mesmerises us so much, the horizontal integration of the tower form with the surroundings is also very interesting. The tower is situated in a pretty congested area, with pedestrians, traffic, shipping movement and also an elevated motorway. However, it has its own way to deal with the existing energy. The form of the tower is extended horizontally in order to keep up with the horizontal movement of the traffic.