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.

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.

Urban experiments for ‘ghost’ Metro stations

A Paris Mayoral candidate has pledged to repurpose disused Metro stations if she is elected, offering a range of interesting suggestions for the spaces.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet commissioned Oxo Architectes and Nicolas Laisné Associés to produce ideas for the renovation of the stations, including plans for an art gallery, a restaurant and even an underwater swimming pool.

The plans used Arsenal station (near Bastille) as an example, which closed at the outbreak of the Second World War and never reopened.

Paris has several out-of-use and never-opened Metro stops, and Kosciusko-Morizet would consult the public for more ambitious ideas if she wins the election next month. However, RATP (France’s public transport operator) raised concerns about the cost and safety of permanently repurposing the stations.

The London Underground also has ‘ghost’ stations, such as the original Shepherd’s Bush station, British Museum and Aldwych, which has been used for several films – would you like to see this kind of plan for our transport network?

Take a look at some of the ideas here.

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. 

Renowned architects create fantastic designs with LEGO

Three world-renowned architecture firms were given sets off LEGO and tasked to use their imaginations to design something new.

This year LEGO introduced ‘LEGO Architecture Studio‘ – a LEGO set designed exclusively for adults – and gave the architecture firms a set each.

The firms included in this were SHoP ArchitectsSnøhetta and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

The architect’s designs certainly didn’t disappoint, with designs ranging from ice sculptures and even entire cityscapes.

Take a look at the rest of the designs here, and tell us if you think you could do better. 

The Architect@Work trade fair comes to Paris

Last week we visited the sixth edition of Architect@Work, a trade fair aimed at architects and interior designers, which took place on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th October in Paris.

The exhibition emphasizes innovation, quality, knowledge and design in the built environment. This year’s main theme was ‘The Sensory Architecture’.

Visitors could discover a selection of innovative materials and technologies which, by employing our sense of touch, sight, smell and sound, can increase the perceived sensory quality of spaces and products that surround us.

The fair was also home to the ‘SENS UNIK, sensory experiences’ exhibition by the Innovathèque / FCBA, the French resource centre for innovative materials established to meet the needs of architects and interior designers.

Our client Formica Group was present at the fair, celebrating its 100th Year Anniversary while showcasing their Anniversary Laminate Collection. The fair also saw the preview of the new Formica® – Unilin MFC Collection, introducing exclusive designs inspired by the latest trends.

Architect@Work is a great fair and we definitely enjoyed the continuous supply of free catering throughout the day, especially the small éclairs au chocolat and apple tarts for the afternoon snack!

You can find out more about this trade fair here.

The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2013

Recently this year’s awards ceremony for the best designed restaurants and bars in the world took place in London.

The ceremony included a unique pop-up bar and restaurant concept called ‘The Box Project‘, featuring five different themed bar areas created by ‘Best Restaurant/Bar’ winners of the past. 

The overall Best Bar Award was won by Atrium Champagne Bar in London – designed by Foster + Partners, and the overall Best Restaurant Award was won by Höst in Denmark – designed by NORM Architects.

Take a look at the other winners and shortlisted entries here, and tell us if you fancy visiting one of these award-winning bars and restaurants.

RIBA choose Astley Castle as their winner of the 2013 Stirling Prize

Stirling Prize WinnerThe Royal Institute of British Architects has announced their winner of the 2013 Stirling Prize, which was awarded to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for Astley Castle.

This beautiful and sympathetic scheme placed a new building at the heart of the old, bringing new life to features that were once dying away. 

Astley Castle is a 12th century fortified manor that was damaged by fire in 1978. Witherford Watson Mann Architects has designed a new house that allows visitors to experience life in a centuries old castle whilst still enjoying all the 21st century modern conveniences.

RIBA comments, “Astley Castle demonstrates that working within sensitive historic contexts requires far more than the specialist skills of the conservation architect: this is an important piece of architecture, beautifully detailed and crafted. The decision to put the bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor and the communal spaces above makes the experience of the house very special as perhaps the most impressive spaces are the outdoor Tudor and Jacobean ruins.”

Astley Caste - Stirling Prize WinnerWatch a film about this fantastic building below or visit RIBA here to find out more about this outstanding project and the other shortlisted entries.

Images © Helen Binet

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist: Astley Castle from RIBA on Vimeo.

2013 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist announced

Bishop Edward King ChapelGiants Causeway Visitors CentreRIBA has announced a shortlist of six buildings nominated for their Stirling Prize Best Building of the Year award.

The Stirling Prize is awarded to the building that has made the most significant contribution to British architecture in that year.

There is a refreshing feel to the candidates on RIBA‘s 2013 shortlist, because five out of the six practices responsible for the buildings are nominated on this list for the first time.

The favourite to win the award is an exceptionally crafted stone chapel by Niall McLaughlin Architects. The chapel is beautifully built from hand-cut clipsham limestone, which is laid to give a woven, drape-like effect up to a continuous clerestory window from which divine light resonates.

Another interesting candidate from this years shortlist is the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre, Heneghan Peng were the architects responsible for the design of this building. It strikes a difficult balance of being a geological presence in its own right, while also maintaining the designer aspect that makes it aesthetically pleasing for the visitors. 

Find out more infromation on this year’s candidates here and let us know your winner!

Milan Design Week 2013 Showcase

Pure shoeTools for Life3 Nuns StoolMilan Design week took place at the beginning of the month, an event that showcases the latest designs from around the world, with a focus upon furniture.

Many architects have worked in collaboration with manufacturers to design pieces to be shown here, and so ArchDaily has compiled a list of what they feel are the Best Architect Designed Products from the week.

The list includes work by Jean Nouvel for Ruco Line, where he explored fashion, creating Pure – a high quality trainer that idolizes “purity of form”.

Also featured is Tools for Life,  a new furniture range designed by OMA for Knoll and Ron Arad’s 3 Nuns Stool for Moroso’s American Collection.

Take look at the full list here.

World’s largest underwater hotel

World's largest underwater hotel 1World's largest underwater hotel 2World's largest underwater hotel 3It looks like it could be something from an old James Bond film, but Polish company Deep Ocean Technology (DOT), are planning to make this idea a reality. 

The Water Discus hotel will not be the first underwater hotel, but is set to be the world’s largest. It will be built in Dubai, and consist of two main discs, one above water, the other below, and will have smaller circular modules connected to the above water section to provide additional facilities to the 21 hotel rooms located below the sea level. The main above sea disc will be supported and connected to it’s counterpart by five columns and a main central shaft for stairs and lift.

The hotel will also boast a helipad, an underwater diving centre, with an airlock leading directly underwater, and a decompression chamber for training purposes. The nature of the design allows for the hotel to be expanded or even moved, with the surrounding discs having the ability to detach from the main disc and act as a buoyant life raft in the event of an emergency.

Hotel guests will be able to enjoy underwater views from their room, a submerged bar and even take a course in piloting an underwater vehicle.

DOT’s other ventures include designing underwater vehicles and equipment for seabed exploration.

A crystal ball for FIFA 2022 World Cup

Crystal Ball Qatar 2022 FIFA World CupBuilding up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar has announced its plans to construct a gigantic shimmering crystal ball that will host a sports museum and shopping centre.

It was conceived by Danijel Koletić, owner of Apriori Communications,  and was designed by architects Vedran Pedišić (SANGRAD) and Erick Velasco Farerra (AVP-arhitekti).

Incorporating cutting-edge technology to ensure energy efficiency (they will need a crystal ball to know what these might be), the structure will be called the Crystal Ball-Light of the Future.

See more on Inhabitat.

Russian aquarium covers all five continents

Russian Aquarium 1Russian Aquarium 2Russian Aquarium 3This beautiful structure, still in construction, is the Primorsky Aquarium, which is the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Combining a research centre, Dolphinarium and the underwater worlds from five continents the centre will have tanks that are more than 10,000 cubic metres in size. 

These will hold around 500 species of marine and fresh water inhabitants with a complex of different sized tanks, allowing visitors to explore a range of habitats including the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, Lake Baikal, the Amur River and Lake Khanka.

The centre has been design by architects, OJSC Primorgrajdanproekt and you find out more on Arch Daily.

Photographs by Alexander Hitrov.

Clock this interior in St Petersburg

Yandex Office Interior

Yandex Interior Office

Yandex Interior DesignClocking in in St Petersburg, Russia could not be easier than in this office designed by Za Bor Architects.

The office was designed for Yandex, a search engine business, who wanted to go one step further than their other office in the same building, which was also designed by Za Bor.

The project architects decided to locate meeting ‘cells’, work areas and unusual objects along the corridor, resulting in visitors finding themselves ‘inside’ the Yandex search service. 

At the reception they’re met by a ‘Search’ button and a yellow arrow (an unofficial Yandex logo) and as visitors move around the corridors they find familiar user name and email password input boxes as well as symbols and icons associated with Yandex services.

To find out more about this interesting themed interior visit Contemporist by clicking here.

Canstruction comes to London

CanstructionCanstruction designEver fancied knocking down a stack of cans in a supermarket. Then you wouldn’t have been very popular at Canstruction last week.

Sunday saw architects, designers and engineers coming together to compete in teams of five in the 20th anniversary of the Canstruction competition.

The task was to build sculptures entirely from canned food during the 12-hour competition that took place in London’s canary Wharf. 

Waitrose and food retailer AF Blakemore provided the contestants with 40,000 cans to build their designs. Competitors included engineering practice Thornton Tomasetti who used cans of Heinz Cooked Spaghetti to create a rocket ship and others used Heinz Baked Beans cans to create a variety of shaped archways.

This is the first time that Canstruction has come to the UK and is part of the London Festival of Architecture which started on 23rd June.

For more information see World Interior Design Network.

AIA launches architecture app

AIA AppIf you’re heading over to the States and fancy finding out more about the buildings around you then this is the essential app.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has formed a partnership with Broadcastr and created an app that provides in-depth information about the buildings around you along with exclusive interviews with architects and a vast library of narratives from local professionals that reveal the stories and facts. The app initially works in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington D.C.

“Imagine standing in front of one of the world’s great buildings and listening to the architect tell you about her inspiration,” said Andy Hunter, CEO of Broadcastr. “We are thrilled that our partnership with AIA makes that possible.”

The AIA Broadcastr is available on Apple and Android. Let us know if you make it over there and use it. Should RIBA be launching a similar app?

The Ordos Museum lands in the Gobi desert

The Ordos Art and City Museum in Mongolia is an amorphous building that seems to have just landed on this amazing landscape.

It was designed by MAD Archtiects and is surrounded be the dunes of the Gobi desert with stairways and belvederes that grow out of the earth.

Located in the new city center of Ordos, the space itself is deeply rooted in the local culture. To see more click here to view on ArchDaily or watch this atmospheric video.


Mad 3.jpg


Casting a new light on wallpaper

These LED wallpapers from Architects Paper are a great innovation and will make quite an impression in the right environment.

The paper has LED lights embedded within a circuit board design.

The designer comments, “The LED wallpaper offers very thrilling possibilities to illuminate rooms: Dimmed, enigmatic light hardly revealing where the shine is coming from or an urban vibrating atmosphere – to mention only a few options.

It’s magic! A big advantage also is that the LED wallpaper can be hung in more or fewer strips and lengths according to the architecture and furnishing of a room. Interior designers have the choice.”

See more on Trendir.

LED Wallpaper 3.jpg



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