3/21/2013

Wanangkura Stadium


Wanangkura Stadium is Port Hedland's new multi-purpose recreational centre.  The name of the center was chosen from hundreds of local submissions and means 'whirlwind' in the local Kariyarra language.




The main gateway into the town in through the air, not roads.  The town is located at the top western end of Western Australia and is surrounded by a sea of red earth at the edge of the Pilbara in a town infamous for Australia's iron ore exports.  This gateway provided the first primary view of the Wanangkura Stadium and the approximately 3500 square meter roof which makes a significant feature in the landscape.  Designers chose to treat the roof as another facade and wanted to celebrate the local club football team, the South Hedland Swans whose team colors are black and white by creating giant stripes in the roof profile.  This creates an impressive view from above but is also an important feature from the oval as the roof is clearly visible from the ground and oval perimeter.




The project site is located at the Kevin Scott Oval on the fringe of South Hedland's flood plain.  It is a significant destination point for major sports and social gatherings for the local community and fly-in-fly-out workers.

The main building houses a new indoor playing court, a gym, squash courts, club rooms for local football teams and upper level function rooms.  Adjacent to the main building are outdoor playing courts for netball and basketball.  Designers at ARM took a design approach that considered the building a mirage– a shimmering, ripple effect on an otherwise flat landscape. Using a halftone pixilated technique, the buildings entry facade acts as a clear visual image from long distances, whilst being highly agitated on closer inspection.

Perth Arena


The Perth Arena is perhaps like the ancient Greek myth of the Trojan Horse- an object- an object of desire, dragged into great triumph and allowed to bring its rampage of entertainment with it.  With up to 15,000 seats, an operable roof for sporting matches, 36 VIP super boxes, five major multi-purpose event rooms, half a dozen food and beverage outlets and a 700-space basement car park, the Perth Arena becomes a stand-alone entertainment extravaganza for the city.  Located in Perth, Australia the stadium has a very flexible design, allowing for crowds of up to 15,000 in general admission concert mode and up to 14,000 in tennis mode.




The design created by ARM Architecture was inspired by the 12-sided Round House in Fremantle and the 209 irregular shaped pieces of Christopher Monckton's Eternity Puzzle.  this landmark building has been designed to provoke symbolic interpretation, create direct visual responses from all approaches, and become an integral part of the city's overall urban design and architectural strategy.





Designer's architectural strategy was to provide a core multi-functional arena without compromise and then surround it with variable circulation and a striking configuration.  instead of a singular facade they created extreme variability, giving the building a different face from every angle. Whether approaching from the elevated freeway to the west, the grand boulevard to the south, the railway lines on the north or new urban developments to the east, every facade presents a new dynamic.





Sustainable features include mixed mode natural ventilation to public concourses, displacement air conditioning system through the seating plats reducing energy consumption, photo voltaic array on the roof, WELLS-rated fixtures and fittings and waterless urinals, locally sourced materials and a water sensitive landscape design.

3/19/2013

Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture


The Toyo Ito Architecture Museum in Imabari is the first museum in Japan dedicated to the work of an individual architect.  The museum overlooks the Seto Inland Sea on the island of Omishima part of the city of Imabari.  The exterior of the building is covered with steel sheeting and is shaped like the deck of a ship.


Construction of the museum was nearly complete when the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011 devastating vast areas of the country to the northeast.  Confronted by the reality of entire towns and villages wiped off the map by the tsunami or abandoned in the wake of the nuclear plant crisis in Fukushima, designers have been forced to reexamine the blind faith in technology upon which communities, the economy and society were built.  The same applies to their approach to architecture and city planning; In the wake of those disasters, they felt their views on how to build cities and buildings should be reset back to zero and start over again.




In light of the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Ito Museum, the opening exhibition was titled A see-worthy vessel.  Like a ship embarking from the port city of Imabari with a cargo of dreams of architecture for the future, the museum is setting sail on a new voyage into the unknown.




How NASA's Deep Space Tech Continues to Make Life Easier On Earth



NASA's research has been responsible for all sorts of technological advances from developing new kinds of artificial limbs to better fire equipment.  The agency's most recent creation, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a 21-foot in diameter telescope will be sent into space in 2018 to find the first galaxies that formed in our universe.


JWST has already proved its value even before its launch.  This is because new technologies had to be invented to make it work.  The Telescope has aided in advancing the efficiency in diagnosing eye disease, testing materials strength, and the production of better cameras.


In order to measure the shape of the telescope's mirrors, NASA had to invent better sensing technology.  This resulted in the creation of the Scanning Shack- Hartmann Sensor, a new kind of measurement device that can also be used to better measure the shape of human eyes in a matter of seconds instead of hours.  The technology has the potential to improve surgery and better diagnose eye disease.  Learn more about this and other advances in a full article at FastCompany.


3/18/2013

NYC Silicon Alley


New York City's Silicon Alley will see growth in the next few years with tech companies set to relocate or expand to the city's downtown financial district.  Five companies will be part of this migration to the "Big Apple", given an extra boost by funds awarded from the Bloomber administration last September.

The administration started a contest to lure New York City's tech, media, and design firms to lower Manhattan by granting them prizes of up to $250,000 to relocate out of the usual hubs, such as Silicon Alley.  The five winning companies are Paperless Post, the Flatiron School, STELLAService, Booker, and Grapeshot.  Each company will receive the $250,000 to relocate to downtown manhattan, bringing to much need life to the sleepy financial District.

Libeskind's Reflections at Keppel Bay


Prominently situated at the entrance to Singapore's historic Keppel Harbor, Reflections at Keppel Bay is a two-million-square-foot residential development comprised of 6 high-rise towers ranging from 24 and 41 stories and 11 low-rise villa apartment blocks of 6-8 floors, totaling 1,129 units.  The series of high-rise undulating towers is the focal point of this project.  These sleek curving forms of alternating heights create graceful openings and gaps between the structures allowing all to have commanding views of the waterfront, Sentosa, the golf course and Mount Faber.



Designers at Daniel Libeskind designed a composition of two distinct typologies of housing; the lower villa blocks along the water front and the high-rise towers which overlook them just behind.  The artful composition of ever shifting building orientations, along with the differing building typologies, creates an airy, light-filled grouping of short and tall structures.  These ever shifting forms create an experience where each level feels unique as it is not in alignment with either the floor below or above.  no two alike residences are experienced next to one another or seen from the same perspective.




The projects, completed in December 2011, is the recipient of Singapore's Building and Construction Authority BCA Green Mark Gold Award and Universal Design Award (Silver).



Sur Yapi Offices; Istanbul, Turkey




The Sur Yapi offices, designed by Tago Architects in Istanbul, Turkey takes a sharks bite out of traditional office architecture.  The building's unique concrete and glass facade is adorned with inverted and angled wood lattice treatments highlighting the main hall, and serving as a sun shield to the rear offices, laid out in a geometric gill like formation.




The building is perched atop a hill side to serve as a focal point, introducing the high-rise residential building it serves.  The offices will first be used as a sales office for the high-rise, and later as the main offices for the construction company.  The three levels are divided up with sales/administration and exhibition space on the Ground Floor, Staging units on the 1st basement level, and mechanical and parking on the 2nd basement level.