martedì, settembre 19, 2006

Peter B. Lewis Building

Peter B. Lewis Building in Cleveland Ohio; designed by Frank Gehry.

domenica, settembre 17, 2006

London City Hall

London city Hall, designed by Sir Norman Foster
City Hall houses the assembly chamber for the twenty-five elected members of the London Assembly and the offices of the mayor and staff of the Greater London Authority. Located on the south bank of the Thames, alongside the new More London development, it is one of the capitals most symbolically important new projects. Advancing themes explored earlier in the Reichstag, it expresses the transparency and accessibility of the democratic process and demonstrates the potential for a sustainable, virtually non-polluting public building.
Designed using advanced computer-modelling techniques, the building also represents a radical rethinking of architectural form. It has no front or back in conventional terms. Rather, its shape is derived from a geometrically modified sphere, a shape that achieves optimum energy performance by minimising the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. Analysis of sunlight patterns throughout the year produced a thermal map of the buildings surface, which is expressed in its cladding. A range of active and passive shading devices is also employed: to the south the building leans back so that its floor-plates step inwards to provide shading for the naturally ventilated offices; and the buildings cooling systems utilise ground water pumped up via boreholes from the water table. These energy-saving techniques mean that chillers are not needed and that for most of the year the building requires no additional heating.
The chamber faces north across the river to the Tower of London, its glass enclosure allowing Londoners to see the Assembly at work. Members of the public are also invited to share in the life of the building. At its base, opening on to a piazza is a caf overlooking the river; and from the entrance foyer, gentle ramps allow visitors to move up through the building. A flexible public space on the top floor Londons Living Room can be used for exhibitions or functions, while its riverside terrace allows visitors to enjoy unparalleled views out across the city.

venerdì, settembre 08, 2006

giovedì, settembre 07, 2006

Adler Planetarium in Chicago

Adler planetarium in Chicago
The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and is the oldest in existence today. The Adler was founded and built in 1930 by the philanthropist Max Adler, with the assistance of the first director of the planetarium, Philip Fox. It is located amongst many other world famous museums on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago's Museum Campus.
The Adler is home to more than 35,000 square feet of exhibits including scale models of the Solar System, antique astronomical instruments, and interactive displays. The Adler's historical collections of astronomical instruments and rare books are considered among the finest in the world.
The Adler is the only museum in the world with two full-size planetarium theaters. Since the museum's opening in 1930, visitors view representations of the night sky in the historic Sky Theater planetarium, the dome of which is visible from the exterior of the building. The Zeiss Planetarium projector is capable of accurately reproducing the movement of every aspect of the night sky. In 1999, the Adler expanded its exhibition space, including the addition of the StarRider Theater, a completely digital virtual outer space environment powered by Digistar 3 simulator technology. In addition to its educational shows, the StarRider Theater hosts showings of SonicVision, a digitally animated planetarium music show.

martedì, settembre 05, 2006

Arsoa Headquarters; designed by Mario Bellini

Arsoa headquarters in Yamanashi-Ken, Japan. designed by Mario Bellini
New Headquarters of the cosmetic Arsoa Co. (offices, research and development dept.)
The building is located in Yamanashi, a site with an outstanding landscape in a valley down below the Yatsugataka peaks, surrounded by mountains and pine woods. It recalls the distinguishing feature of the Arsoa company policy, through the symbiosis between building and nature.Reaching the building from the entrance road, one feels a close introverted volume almost a fortress, while it is amazing to notice how the core of the building is characterized by an empty space, a stretch of water surrounded by porticoes: a space between air and water.
The small dimensions of the area and its peculiar orographic configuration lead to the concentration of the project in a few simple volumes.A central circular volume and two triangle-base volumes, connected with the first one by the edge. These two, which are subordinated to the central building, are defined by two stiff concrete walls, while the third side leans forward to the nature by means of a curved wall made of wood and glass.The functional diversification allows the typological definition of the project elements. The central building hosts offices, meeting rooms, services and rest rooms while the other two respectively host the research dept. and the training center.

sabato, settembre 02, 2006

Torri Bianche

Torri Bianche (White Towers) in Milan.....