Groundbreaking landmark on New Jersey site


This landmark project called ‘Journal Squared’ is set to become the tallest building in New Jersey, USA.

Journal Squared, which is an urban renewal project, will include three unique towers with a strong white and blue cuboid design, dominating but not overwhelming the surrounding area.

The design, which was created by Hollwich Kushner and Handel Architects, has been described as ‘touch[ing] the ground lightly as its mass morphs into smaller units’.

The lower levels of the mixed-use towers will become retail and leisure areas with ‘tree-filled plazas’, while the upper stories of the towers will be residential.

Take a closer look at Journal Squared here and let us know what you think of the design.

White Tree: a tower with branches


The design for a 17-storey tower in France has been revealed, named ‘White Tree’, or ‘arbre blanc’.

White Tree, which will be built in Montpellier, has an organic feel with ‘leaves’ branching off the main body of the tower, creating modular spaces and areas of shade.

Inspired by Mediterranean and Japanese influences (the design team includes NLA, OXO and Sou Fujimoto), the tower also incorporates hanging gardens, plants and trees.

White Tree will overlook the historic and modern parts of Montpellier, and is designed to be a mixed-use tower, including an art gallery and a panoramic bar.

Find out more about the unique design here and tell us what you think of it.

The Sustainability Treehouse


Architectural practice Mithun has designed a tree-house with a difference in West Virginia – it educates visiting Scouts about sustainability.

The Sustainability Treehouse, which is 125 feet tall, has been designed to encourage ‘camp adventure, environmental stewardship and innovative building design’.

Using a weathering steel frame to rise through the trees, the tree-house incorporates wind turbines and photovoltaic panels for renewable energy.

With interactive galleries and educational spaces at ground, tree canopy and sky levels, the Sustainability Treehouse is an immersive and entertaining experience for any of its visitors.

Take a closer look at the structure here and tell us if you would like to see more ‘living buildings’.

Broadcast tower design resembles ribbon


The winning design for a new tower in Turkey has been revealed – and it resembles a bright orange ribbon.

The design for Çanakkale Antenna Tower was submitted by architects Inter.National.Design and Powerhouse Company.

It incorporates recreational facilities which were called for in the brief, as well as the broadcast and observation tower, which forms much of the continuous loop.

At 100 metres high, the scheme certainly stands out amongst the surrounding forest landscape and will surely be a must-see for any tourists visiting the nearby town of Çanakkale (which is close to the legendary city of Troy).

Find out more about the tower here and tell us what you think of this striking design.

UK-GBC launches new ‘Pinpoint’ website


The UK-GBC launched their new ‘Pinpoint‘ website this week.

Pinpoint is an online resource for the green building industry which gives industry professionals the opportunity to share their insights on a digital platform.

The new Pinpoint offers users a number of ways to filter their way through resources – from simple tick boxes to a Google-like search bar at the top.

Pinpoint is completely free both to sign-up and post your own resources or to read ones other users have uploaded.

The Think Tank is very pleased to have been involved in this project and are proud of the new website which has been built.

Take a look at  the new and improved Pinpoint here.

Ecobuild opens its doors for the tenth time!


London’s ExCel arena opened its doors to Ecobuild 2014 this week.

Ecobuild is a yearly exhibition that is a must-see event for architects, contractors and manufacturers in the green building industry.

This edition saw Ecobuild celebrate its ten year anniversary.

There were a few highlights from this year’s show, featuring cinematic tents, wooden pianos and many compelling presentations on the cutting edge topics in the green building industry.

The UKGBC were also in attendance – one of their highlights was to show off their new Pinpoint website which The Think Tank are very pleased to have developed for them.

Take a look at the highlights and find out more here.

An office desk with space for 175 people


An office in New York is now the proud owner of a 1100-foot-long ‘super-desk’ which can seat every single one of its employees, with room to spare.

Advertising company Barbarian Group commissioned architect Clive Wilkinson to create an office that would ‘encourage collaboration and communication’, giving staff the space to move freely.

However, the desk isn’t straightforward and rectangular – instead, it curves up and around different points of the office, giving it an open and organic feel as it creates cubbyholes and corridors.

Take a closer look at the ‘super-desk’ in the video below or in Wilkinson’s interview with The New York Times here. Tell us if you would like to work on a desk like this.

Introducing the Superdesk from The Barbarian Group on Vimeo.

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Surface Design Show opens its doors


Surface Design Show, an innovative surface solutions trade fair for the built environment, opened its doors from Tuesday 4th to 6th February at the Business Design Centre in London.

The event is well visited by architects and designers who come to the fair to discover innovative materials like natural stone, green materials, glass, illuminated surfaces, tiles and coatings that can be used for various applications such as flooring, cladding or wall coverings.

Visitors could enjoy over 100 participating companies exhibiting at the fair, and further benefit from a series of talks, seminars and live demonstrations. They could also learn about the colour and material trends for Spring/Summer 2015 or debate the meaning of BIM.

The fair kicked off with a preview evening hosted by the charismatic Maxwell Hutchinson for RIBA Journal who was joined by George Saumarez Smith, director at Adam Architecture, Pernilla Ohrstedt, director at Pernilla Ohrstedt studio and Robert Sakula, partner at Ash Sakula Architects to debate and discuss the role of materials in architecture and the vernacular in the built environment.

The other highlights of this show include the Pecha Kucha Evening on Wednesday, where leading architects and designers presented 20 of their favourite images, each for 20 seconds, The Trend Wall presented by Global Color Research, Mix Publications, highlighting future trend concepts for 2015, as well as Light School, introduced for the first time at the show, designed to educate and inspire through a programme of seminars hosted by lighting designers.

You can find out more about the show here.

Skyscraper candles set the design world alight



A Beijing-based designer has sculpted a range of candles resembling famous skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building and the ‘Gherkin’.

Architect Naihan Li created the ‘Flammable’ series as a reaction against the trend for extravagant towers and wrote: ‘watching them burn down can be truly satisfying’.

Sold online, the white wax candles are over a foot tall and are to scale, carved to capture the unique look and shape of each iconic building.

Naihan is known for her collaborations with the famous artist Ai Weiwei and for her work at OMA .

Take a look at Naihan’s ‘Flammable’ gallery here and tell us if you would want these landmark candles in your home.

World’s tallest building to be built in just 90 days!


Work is set to begin next month on what will become the world’s tallest building, and its constructors say it will be completed in just 90 days.

China’s Broad Group will be constructing the building, which they say will be built at a rate of five storeys a day.

On completion the building entitled the ‘Sky City’ tower will include schools, a hospital, 17 helipads and apartments for more than 30,000 people.

Take a closer look at this project here, and tell us if you are a fan of this architecture. 

NEXT Architects win Chinese bridge competition


Dutch studio NEXT Architects has won a competition to design a pedestrian bridge in Changsha, China.

The design of this sinuous structure reflects traditional Chinese crafts such as the Chinese knot.

The 150-metre bridge will create three different pedestrian routes across the Dragon King Harbour River.

Work on this stylish bridge is expected to start in 2014.

Take a closer look at the project here, and tell us if you like this design.

Paul Cocksedge Studio design ‘living staircase’


London-based Paul Cocksedge Studio has created a staircase that also functions as a garden.
 

The plants grow along the balustrade and certainly offer a more scenic view, you can even pick some fresh mint for your afternoon tea! 
The central column of the staircase can be removed and replaced by platforms, which can then be used for reading, socialising or just taking a break.

The living staircase was designed for the Ampersand Building that is to be opened in London, Soho in autumn 2014.

Take a look at the staircase here, and tell us if you think your staircases could do with a plant or two.

Ancient church revived by David Closes


This 18th century church built for the Sant Francesc convent has been revived by David Closes.

The church’s ancient architecture has been preserved in this new design, whilst also reinventing the building in a contemporary way.

The project aimed to convert the unused church into an auditorium and general cultural facility for the local Catalan area.

Take a closer look at this project here, and tell us if you think a church near you could do with some of this architectural inspiration.

Apple’s new campus


Apple has unveiled their plans for a new campus, which is set to be completed by 2016.

British firm Foster + Partners were commissioned to conceive this design, which is predicted to cost Apple 5 billion dollars.

The 260,000-square-metre campus will provide for 13,000 employees and will include; a company fitness centre, a 1000-seat auditorium, a private park and much more!

Take a closer look at these designs here, and tell us if this workplace would inspire you.

Next generation Superyachts from Zaha Hadid Architects


London architect Zaha Hadid has designed a family of superyachts for German shipbuilders Blohm + Voss.

Zaha Hadid originally created a concept for a 128 metre superyacht which has then been used to inform the design of a family of five smaller yachts.

The upper mesh structure – which has been compared to a skeleton – of the stunning design connects the different decks of the 90m vessels. 

To find out more and to take a virtual tour click here, and tell us if these superyachts take your fancy.

Weston Williamson wins Brasilia Stadium Competition


London studio Weston Williamson has won the Brasilia Athletics Stadium Competition, which called for designers to envision a 70,000 seater stadium in the nations capital.

The competition challenged designers to feel ‘free from constraints’ and ‘push the boundaries of what is possible with design’.

This design featured a roof made up of petal-like sections, each able to move independently and respond to weather and light conditions.

The structure of the stadium is modeled after a bird in flight, and reflects the utopian spirit of Brasilia itself.

You can take a closer look at this award-winning project here, and tell us if you plan on paying it a visit.

A house fit for Lionel Messi


Architect Luis de Garrido has designed a fantasy home for his ideal client – Lionel Messi.

Named the ‘One-Zero Eco-House’, the themes of the architecture are designed to fit the lifestyle requirements of Lionel Messi.

Luis de Garrido is renowned for working with ‘sustainable architecture’ and there are elements of that in this design, most obviously in the fact that half of the roof would be covered in grass.

Other notable features are in the shape of the design – which is that of a football, and also the giant swimming pool located to the rear of the building.

You can see more of this project here, and tell us if this is the sort of house you could live in.

Architectural vision of a ‘Never Ending Line’ comes true


After winning a local architectural competition, a fine art student was rewarded with the facilitation of his ambitions – a project called ‘Never Ending Line‘.

The Romanian born student called Andrei Costache of University Campus Suffolk said that he hoped his project would “express the connection between place and people.”

The piece consisted of a number of coloured posts fixed into the ground at differing angles, these posts lead the way into a vibrant new retail destination called Futura Park.

The project was commissioned by AquiGen, and manufactured and installed by Claydon Architectural Metalwork.

Take a closer look at the project here, and tell us if you are a fan of this work.

100% Design opens it’s doors!


Formica Group100% Design, the UK’s largest contemporary design trade event, opened its doors on September 18th to the trade and press for four days and will be open to the public on Saturday 21st.

100% Design includes six colour-coded areas: Interiors, Office, Kitchen & Bathrooms, Eco, Design & Build, International Pavillons and Emerging Brands attracting leading UK and international brands such as Knoll, Herman Miller, Young & Norgate, Deadgood and many more.  

Our client, Formica Group, worked with design resource studio Material Lab to create a unique ‘deconstructed’ interior environment showcasing essential surfaces in their
natural light.

At their stand decors and textures are being featured from the DecoMetal® by Formica Group range, including the red dot award-winning Plex texture, AR Plus® High Gloss laminate, solid through-colour ColorCore® as well as on-trend decors from the Formica® Colors range.

Throughout the exhibition there were a number of great products that caught our eye;

A living room table by Picchio, constructed from cork cylinders of various lengths, resting on a copper footing, creating a fascinating contrast between the refined materials of copper, cork and glass.     

There are also some of the most luxurious baths in the world. Curated by Designer Kitchen & Bathroom magazine, the Bath Boulevard exhibition features stunning bathtubs, from traditional classics to ultra-modern style. 

You can find more information and  register for this fun event here, and let us know which bit is your favourite.

Ajando’s ‘Next Level’ working environment


Cross-media agency Ajando are to use a very unusual loft as their new corporate headquarters, which has had its design inspired by quantum physicist John Wheeler, the architecture of Josef Hoffmann and, of course, the information expertise of Ajando.

Built upon the premise that “material is not the building material of our world, but rather information” this project aimed to deliver an architectural concept that mirrored the data and information that flows through Ajando. 

Needless to say internationally renowned architect Peter Stasek and Loftwerk architects had their hands full when commissioned to facilitate this ambition.

However the end product is impressive and as a result, the loft becomes a live cross-media platform in real life with perfect usability.

Take a closer look at this interesting project here, and tell us if this is a working environment you would enjoy.

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