2008年6月17日 星期二

2008西班牙世博會主場館 Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion-Zaha Hadid

Luke Hayes has sent us these photos of Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion, a pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects at Zaragoza Expo 2008 that doubles as a pedestrian bridge across the river Ebro in Zaragoza, Spain.

The pavilion, and the expo itself, opened this weekend.

Zaragoza Expo 2008 is dedicated to water and sustainable development.

Here's some info from Zaha Hadid Architects:


PROGRAM: Interactive exhibition area focusing on water sustainability, integrating a pedestrian bridge to perform as gateway for the Zaragoza Expo 2008.

CLIENT: Expoagua Zaragoza 2008

ARCHITECTS: Design Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Architect: Manuela Gatto
Project team:
Fabian Hecker Matthias Baer, Federico Dunkelberg, Maria Jose Mendoza, Jose' Monfa, Marta Rodriguez, Diego Rosales, Guillermo Ruiz, Lucio Santos, Hala Sheikh, Marcela Spadaro, Anat Stern.

CONSULTANTS: Engineers ARUP Associates
Cost Consultants: ARUP Associates / IDOM
Artists: Golan Levin and Zach Liebermann, Christian Moeller
Total Surface 6415 m2
Exhibition Surface 3915 m2
Pedestrian Bridge 2500 m2


The Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion is organized around 4 main objects, or 「pods」 that perform both as structural elements and as spatial enclosures. The Bridge Pavilion design stems from the detailed examination and research into the potential of a diamond shaped section - which offers both structural and programming properties. As in the case of space-frame structures, a diamond section represents a rational way if distributing forces along a surface.

Underneath the floor plate, a resulting triangular pocket space can be used to run utilities. Floors inside each pod are located at the Expo principal levels: +201.5m (the soffit of the bridge is at +200m, flood protection minimum level of the Ebro River at the location of the Bridge Pavilion) +203m, +206m and +207.5m for the upper level.

The diamond section has also been extruded along a slightly curved path. The extrusion of this rhombus section along different paths has generated the four separate 『pods' of the Bridge Pavilion. The stacking and interlocking of these truss elements (the 『pods'), satisfies two specific criteria: optimizing the structural system, and allowing for a natural differentiation of the interiors, where each pod corresponds to a specific exhibition space.

By intersecting the trusses/pods, they brace each other and loads are distributed across the four trusses instead of a singular main element, resulting in a reduction in size of load-bearing members.

The pods are stacked according to precise criteria - aimed at reducing the section of the bridge as much as possible where the span is longer (approximately 185m from the island in the middle of the river to the right bank), and enlarging it where the span is shorter (85m from the island to the Expo riverbank). One long pod spans from the right riverbank to the island, where the other three are grafted into it, spanning from island to left bank.

This interlocking of the pods has given the design many exciting possibilities. Interiors become complex spaces, where visitors move from pod to pod though small in-between spaces that act as filters - or buffer zones. These zones diffuse the sound and visual experience from one exhibition space to the next, allowing for a clearer understanding of the installation content within each pod. The identity of each pod remains thoroughly readable inside the pavilion, almost performing as a three-dimensional orientation device.

Spatial concern is one of the main drivers of this project. Each zone within the building has its own spatial identity; their nature varies from complete interior spaces focused on the exhibition, to open spaces with strong visual connections to the Ebro river and the Expo.

Natural surfaces have been investigated when designing the Pavilion's exterior surfaces. Shark scales are fascinating paradigms both for their visual appearance and for their performance. Their pattern can easily wrap around complex curvatures with a simple system of rectilinear ridges. For the Bridge Pavilion, this proves to be functional, visually appealing and economically convenient.

The building's envelope plays an essential role in defining its relation to the surrounding environment and atmospheric variations. The project has been designed to allow its interior to be thoroughly enlivened by the effect of atmospheric agents, such as the Tramontana wind blowing along the Ebro and, the strength of Zaragoza's sunshine.

During the Expo, a single weathering layer will enclose the building to protect it from rain. This Shark scale skin will be generated by a complex pattern of simple overlapping
shingles. Some shingles can rotate around a pivot, allowing for temporary opening or closing of part of the façade. The pattern of shingles overlapping each other gives the Bridge Pavilion the widest variety of natural light via several degrees of aperture sizes: from rays piercing through tiny apertures - to wide, full size openings. Large apertures are located on the lower level, in correspondence with either end of the bridge, allowing for the greatest degree of visual contact with the river and the Expo.

2008年6月16日 星期一

Making a splash: MIT's Digital Water Pavilion opens at Zaragoza

An MIT building with walls made entirely of water will go on display this week at the Zaragoza World Expo in northern Spain, the theme of which is water and sustainable development.

High-speed computer-controlled solenoid valves generate the water walls, which are programmed to take on varying shapes and display different patterns, images and text.

The only solid element of the building is the 400mm-thick roof which rests on moveable pistons that move up and down depending on wind conditions. The roof can also be flattened into the ground so that the building disappears.

In all, the building contains 3,000 digitally controlled solenoid valves, several dozen pumps, 12 hydraulic stainless steel pistons, and a digital control system that uses open source software.

"The design for the pavilion grew out of the central challenge of how to make fluid, reconfigurable architecture," said Carlo Ratti, head of MIT's Senseable City Laboratory.

"Our building aims to stand as a possible answer to this endeavour."

He added: "The Digital Water Pavilion illustrates how buildings of the future may change their appearance and form from moment to moment, based on necessity and use.

"It is not easy to achieve such effects when dealing with concrete, bricks and mortar. But this becomes possible with digital water, which can appear and disappear."

The concept of a digital water wall was initially developed and prototyped by the Smart Cities group at MIT's Media Lab, and its application at Zaragoza was explored by an MIT design studio.

The building itself was designed by Ratti's Turin-based firm, Carlo Ratti Associati – comprising Ratti and partner Walter Nicolino – and engineered by Arup, with landscaping by Paris-based landscape architect Agence Ter.

The Zaragoza World Expo runs from June 14 to September 14 2008.

Photo credit: carlorattiassociati - Walter Nicolino and Carlo Ratti with Carlo Bonicco

Photo credit: carlorattiassociati - Walter Nicolino and Carlo Ratti with Carlo Bonicco

Photo credit: carlorattiassociati - Walter Nicolino and Carlo Ratti with Carlo Bonicco

Cladding designs at the cutting edge

Source from

Cladding designs at the cutting edge
13 June 2008

By Cathy Strongman

Advances in technology mean that cladding can take on increasingly elaborate decorative forms. Cathy Strongman looks at three of the latest projects to exploit this approach, taking their inspiration from tree branches, flowers and Polish folk-art

Project: Polish Pavilion, Expo 2010

Architects: Wojciech Kakowski, Natalia Paszkowska and Marcin Mostafa

Location: Expo 2010, Shanghai

The architects have drawn on the Polish-inspired theme of a folk-art paper cut-out to create both the form and architectural d�cor of the exhibition space. 「We didn't wish the design to be literally folklorish, a mechanical multiplication of conventionally approved set patterns,」 says the architects. 「The intention was for the structure d�cor to draw on and make reference to tradition, but ultimately to be that tradition's contemporary reinterpretation, a creative extension into the present day by way of inspiration rather than replication」. They also wanted the pavilion to be a significant landmark and to stand out among the other pavilions during both the day and evening.

The exterior envelope is made from laser-cut plywood.

The exterior envelope is made from impregnated laser-cut plywood mounted on glued wood construction modules with flitch panels. Panel wall elements made of glass, polycarbonate, hydro or UV-resistant materials are mounted on the outer side of the modules. In addition, semi-transparent PCV or Tyvek-type material membranes will be mounted on the interior surface.

The architects chose these materials because of the transient nature of the project. They hope that the materials will be reused or that the entire building will be reconstructed in a Polish city after the Expo. The architects are also exploring the possibility of using the plywood elements cut from the elevation to produce indoor and outdoor furniture for the space.

By day, light filters through the cut-out patterns of the elevation and creates a distinctive pattern on the interior membrane of the building, enabling visitors to experience the theme of the pavilion from both inside and out. By night the appearance of the elevation will change as different colours of light penetrate the voids in the building's outer shell.

Different colours of light will alter the pavilion's appearance at night

The structure's slanted shape both complements the overall theme by suggesting a folded sheet of paper, and creates an exciting and flexible space for exhibitions, live performances and the necessary services. The partial roof created by the fold in the building provides shelter for an open-air restaurant and queuing visitors. The entrance opens onto a hall containing the information centre, a restaurant and a shop. Visitors then proceed to the main, full-height exhibition area, where the solid inner walls of the pavilion act as screens on which images of Polish city life are projected. The concert hall, located above the entrance roof, can be accessed from this area. Auxiliary functions are in the lowest part of the building, underneath the outdoor ramp which leads to the rooftop.

Carrying on their journey, visitors enter the main exhibition space. The floor gradually rises and leads to terraced stairs that double up as an auditorium when performances are taking place below. The stairs lead to the exhibition ramp, which rises to a bar and a final area for display.

Finally, the last stretch of the ramp leads to the roof terrace. Here visitors can take in the views before walking back down the external ramp back to the entrance.

Project: Flower House

Architect: A&J Burridge

Location: Highland Housing Fair, Inverness

Andrew and Jane Burridge have designed this three-bedroom house and separate live/work unit for the Highland Housing Fair. The fair, based on an event that has taken place in Finland for the last 40 years, will see 54 housing units, each with a strong sustainable agenda, built on a 5ha site south of Inverness. The design competition was concluded earlier this year and the Fair will open in August 2009. The houses will subsequently be on sale to the public.

This 130sq m house will be a timber construction - a prefabricated cross-laminated panel system. Its design incorporates many sustainable features including generous amounts of cellulose insulation, solar hot water panels, rainwater harvesting and whole house ventilation with heat recovery.

CNC technology will be used to cut the flower shapes from the sweet chestnut cladding

But from an aesthetic point of view, what really stands out is the flower-strewn cladding. This forms a monolithic surface over the walls and the roof of the building, and is constructed from untreated sweet chestnut. The flowers are to be cut out of the cladding using CNC technology (additional cladding will be inserted where the insulation would otherwise be exposed). Windows are standard units with flowers cut into the cladding on top, although the Burridges are investigating the possibility of CNC cutting the massive timber panels to form flower shaped openings.

�The design is still under development but we're trying to make a house that will appeal to the general public as well as having serious architectural intent,� says Andrew Burridge. �We chose flowers because we feel a lot of ecological houses take themselves a bit too seriously. You can still take the subject seriously and create a house with character.�

Construction of the Flower House will start early next year.

Project: Saint Cyprien auditorium and movie theatre

Architect: Serero Architects
Client: South Roussillon Community Council
Location: Saint Cyprien, France

The external concrete shell shades the lobby and auditorium.


The canopy of the Auditorium et Salle Video Transmission Haute Resolution, which is due to start on site this autumn, was inspired by the trees that surround it.

「Trees are often a source of inspiration to me,」 says David Serero, founder of French practice Serero Architects. 「They are complex structures elaborated from simple rules, growing coherently and continuously in time and space. The efficiency of those structures is based on notions of redundancy and differentiation in opposition to the concepts of modern engineering such as optimisation and repetition,」 he adds.

The auditorium is set in parkland and the irregular appearance of the roof takes its form from the silhouettes of the surrounding sycamores, acacias, oaks and poplars. This creates a canopy over the concrete auditorium, which the practice describes as a 「pebble」 put under 「foliage」. By responding to the rhythm of the trees, the building becomes part of the landscape rather than an isolated object within it.

To create a final design for the building's external envelope, Serero Architects created a computer script with which to study various branching tree patterns. The cladding structure consists of a double concrete shell. The external shell acts as a canopy, protecting the lobby and the auditorium from the sun. The internal shell, make of concrete and glass, regulates the temperature and ventilation within the building.

Egg-shaped perforations allow natural light to enter the building from above, creating a dappled effect on the foyer floor and the auditorium walls. Towards the end of the day, artificial lights positioned on the sides of the oculus progressively compensate for the lowering light levels, before fully replacing the natural light once it is dark.

The auditorium placed within the external shell of the building is designed to perform both as a concert hall and a cinema. The interior is lined with timber slats and variable density insulation to achieve appropriate acoustics for both cinema and classical music performances.

The ceiling's complex geometry diffuses sound to the whole audience and creates an enveloping atmosphere. Seats are arranged in seven zones of different sizes, which allows the seating to be rearranged depending on the event that is taking place.

The building's foyer, showing the dappled lighting on the floor.

The auditorium interior is lined with timber slats.

Exploded axonometric

Diagram illustrating the design process from branch pattern of trees to the concrete structure.

Franz Kafta Society Center by Steven Holl

Steven Holl has completed the interior of the Franz Kafka Society in Prague, Czech Republic.

Created in collaboration with Czech architect Marcela Steinbachová of
Skupina, the centre features a rotating shelf-lined door between a room filled with black bookshelves and another lined with white ones.

Here's some text from Holl:

Steven Holl and Marcela Steinbachová complete interior project for the Franz Kafka Society Center in Prague.

In collaboration with the Czech architect Marcela Steinbachová (Skupina) Steven Holl Architects has realized the interiors for the
Franz Kafka Society in a small courtyard building of a tenement house not far from where writer Franz Kafka once lived. The 172
square meter project is located in close proximity to the Old Town Square in the center of Prague's former Jewish quarter.

The basement of the small one-story building, formerly used for laundry and storage, now houses a space for exhibitions, lectures, and concerts, as well as it accommodates Franz Kafka's private library. On the first level of the building the Franz Kafka Society has located its offices. The previously dark and dismal spaces of the building are now washed in daylight coming through newly inserted windows and skylights that provide unexpected views to the towers of the Maisel Synagogue.

Marcela Steinbachová (Skupina) and Steven Holl Architects have deliberately situated these windows off axis to the interiors. Inside the building new visual connections through openings and inspection holes give its small spaces depth and create visual connections.

All new partitioning in the building, even when carving out spaces for restrooms and a kitchenette, is created exclusively by book shelves. In one half of the building these bookshelves appear in white (offices) and the other half is filled with black bookshelves (entry hall). Coming from the central corridor one only sees black bookshelves and when coming from the offices one encounters white bookshelves.

A 360-degree rotating door between the corridor and the director's offices, black on one side and white on the other, reverses white to black The flat roof of the courtyard building will be covered with cement tiles displaying the plan of the former Jewish Quarter before its demolition in 1896.

This open-air rooftop space will be used for concerts and exhibitions during summer. The courtyard and the courtyard building are accessed through the Franz Kafka bookstore and reference library both interiors designed by Marcela Steinbachovaá (Skupina) The Franz Kafka Society, established in 1990, is a non-governmental non-profit organization.

Its main goal is to contribute to reviving the traditions that gave rise to the phenomenon called Prague German literature, while restoring general awareness of the great significance of cultural plurality in Central Europe, a region where the Czechs, Germans and the Jews have been living together for centuries.

Promoting those traditions, epitomized by the name of Franz Kafka, the Society is devoting systematic attention to his works, seeking to make Kafka's heritage a natural component of the Czech cultural context. The Society pursues its literary evenings, debates, specialized lectures and seminars at the Franz Kafka Society Center. The Society has published over a hundred books to date. Among the Society's members are Günter Grass, the holder of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Israeli writers Amos Oz and Avigdor Dagan (Viktor Fischl), and Polish poet Tadeusz Rózewicz.

For more information on the Franz Kafka Society, please visit

Steven Holl Architects has realized cultural, civic, academic and residential projects both in the United States and internationally. Steven Holl is a tenured Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. In 1976 he founded Steven Holl Architects, which has now offices in New York and Beijing with a staff of 63.

Currently under construction is the Linked Hybrid mixed-use complex (Beijing, China) which made it to the third project in TIME magazine's list of upcoming Architectural Marvels of 2007, the Nanjing Museum of Art and Architecture (Nanjing, China), the Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China), Beirut Marina (Beirut, Lebanon), and the Herning Center of the Arts (Herning, Denmark).

In September 2007 Steven Holl Architects opened the renovation of the Interiors for the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts & Science at New York University (NYU) and last month the office presented its design for the Hudson Yards in New York City. Recently the office has won a number of international design competitions including Herning Center of the Arts (Herning, Denmark), Cité du Surf et de l'Océan (Biarritz, France), Sail Hybrid (Knokke-Heist, Belgium), Meander (Helsinki, Finland) and Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China).

Marcela Steinbachová (1975, Prague) is a young Czech architect that leads her own office Skupina since 2006. She studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts, Prague, at the School of Architecture of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, the Schule für angewandte Kunst in Vienna and at Cooper Union in New York (video-art, photography).

Currently under construction is the Svetozor cinema in the centre of Prague and among the completed projects are the interiors of the Arena Theatre in Ostrava, the production and administration hall in Hodonín, and the Ostrava Museum permanent collection spaces. Recently Skupina has won the competition for the new Prague Technical Museum.

Since 2002 Marcela Steinbachová leads the Kruh association (The Circle), which aims to draw architecture closer to the Czech public. For more information on Marcela Steinbachova, please visit

2008年6月13日 星期五

柏克萊藝術博物館 by 伊東豊雄

Source from SFGate

Ahead of the herd: Norman Foster redesigns the elephant house at a Denmark zoo

He doesn't have the name recognition of a Frank Gehry or a Daniel Libeskind, but Toyo Ito is one of Japan's most acclaimed and adventurous architects. Looking at the design for a downtown Berkeley museum that would be his first building in the United States, it's easy to see why.

The white steel walls part and fold like ribbons or drapes. Inside, spaces flow one into the next: a gallery here, a screening room there, a terrace scooped into the facade. It's a refined honeycomb, enlarged to human scale.

If reality measures up to Ito's vision, this home for art could be a sinuous work of art itself when it opens in 2013.

"We want the feeling that nature has - merging and melting," Ito said last week by phone, via an interpreter, from his office in Tokyo. "The spaces will shrink and enlarge, shifting as you move through."

The project involves a new home for UC Berkeley's Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, twins now housed on Bancroft Street in a concrete redoubt from 1970, designed by Mario Ciampi.

Ciampi's building is an architectural tour de force, with the interior spaces fanning out like a stack of heavy cards - but the wide-open form and stone-hard structure limits its adaptability to new forms of art, such as video installations.

Ito takes a different approach to the project he's been working on since the fall of 2006, when the university selected him to design a facility that would blend the functions of the two closely affiliated institutions.

The new site is at Center and Oxford streets, filling half a block that faces the grass and trees of the western edge of the UC Berkeley campus. It also sits within a stone's throw of BART and downtown Berkeley's tallest buildings.

Inside the box

The architectural response by Ito bears no resemblance to the sharp-edged bravado of Libeskind's new Contemporary Jewish Museum, or the Thom Mayne-designed San Francisco Federal Building that opened last year. Instead, Ito has conceived a simple three-story box with each level divided into 16 roughly equal squares.

Then the fun begins.

Instead of a formal procession of rooms, corridor leading to gallery, the spaces bleed one into the next. One gallery might have a fairly traditional form; the next beckons like a calm eddy off a stream. The walls might peel back like curtains at one entrance, or lift up as though an unseen hand is offering you a glimpse behind a veil.

The ground floor of the 139,000-square-foot structure will be the most porous of all. From Center Street, patrons could amble through on a loose diagonal, never paying admission, to another doorway at the corner of Oxford and Addison streets.

Blending traditions

The organic swirl is partly a response to the nature of the institutions, which blend traditional artwork with film screenings and experimental installations. But Ito said he also is drawn by the location, which blurs town and gown, green landscape and gray streets.

"We're not on the campus. We're not in the middle of the city, either," said Ito, whose firm is being assisted by San Francisco's EHDD. "The grid erodes, creating a fluid form."

That fluidity is accented by a structural approach never attempted in the United States at this scale.

The walls that snake through the grid will be engineered to bear the weight of the building, so there'll be no need for freestanding columns. But the walls also will be just 5 inches thick.

Because of the cellular layout - picture an easygoing egg-carton - the weight will be distributed so evenly that the walls will consist of little more than a 3-inch-thick layer of concrete compressed between two inch-thick plates of steel.

Unorthodox as this sounds, it's a natural progression for Ito: His buildings in Japan often start with grids and then whittle away as much structure as possible in pursuit of elegant settings that encourage exploration.

"This is not a place where you only see art," Ito said. "It is various experiences, various media, but all related." As for the engineering, "We have done similar structures in Japan ... this one has curves - but creating a curved surface by weaving steel panels has been done many times in shipbuilding."

The schedule calls for demolition of the existing buildings next year, followed by construction in 2010 and an opening in 2013. The anticipated budget - privately funded, university officials hasten to say - is estimated to be roughly $120 million for construction alone.

As for Ciampi's arts center, it will get a seismic retrofit and be put to new use.

School ties

Beyond the architectural details, Ito's building is fascinating for how it might alter the map of central Berkeley.

Like many university cities, Berkeley pretends there's a solid line between town and gown. Downtown, however, the two increasingly overlap. New apartments often are rented to students; older office space is snapped up for campus spillover.

By placing its new museum on Center Street, UC would make the link visible at the same time it enlivens an area it has tended to treat as a glorified service yard. Indeed, the two buildings now on the site are a parking garage and a printing plant (the United Nations charter was printed there in 1945, causing some Berkeleyans to call for its preservation).

Other projects are simmering. The adjacent block of Center Street - a well-trod path from BART to the campus - may become a plaza. Next door to Ito's site, the university has selected a developer to build a conference center topped by a hotel, though that project is moving slowly.

It's a site charged by the sensitive relationship between the university and the surrounding community. Ito's design offers the chance for a symbol that shows town and gown can gain strength from each other - and that the definition of an art museum is as fluid as the definition of art itself.

Toyo Ito has conceived a simple three-story box with each level divided into 16 roughly equal squares. Illustration courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates

The new site is at Center and Oxford streets, filling half a block that faces the grass and trees of the western edge of the UC Berkeley campus. It also sits within a stone's throw of BART and downtown Berkeley's tallest buildings. Photo courtesy of UC Berkeley

A rendering of the proposed museum on the western edge of the UC Berkeley campus. The design calls for a structural approach never attempted on this scale in the United States. Illustration courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates

Construction of the museum, which will showcase traditional art with installations and film screenings, is expected to begin in 2010. Illustration courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates

Chronicle graphic by Todd Trumbull