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41 résultats trouvés

  1. Je vais déménager à Manhattan au mois d'Août. Je garde un pied-à-terre à Vancouver et reviens fréquemment à Montréal. Je viens de voir cette nouvelle toute fraiche. Je vais habiter tout juste à côté de Washington Square, et ce nouveau développement m'intéresse au plus haut point. J'esssaierai de vous en faire part régulièrement. Voici l'article du Wall Street Journal: First Look at NYU Tower Plan University Wants 38-Story Building on Village Site; Critics Fret Over Pei Design By CRAIG KARMIN New York University on Thursday expects to unveil its much-anticipated design plans for the proposed 38-story tower in Greenwich Village, one of the most ambitious projects in the school's controversial 25-year expansion plan. Before and after: The space between two towers designed by I.M. Pei, above, would be filled by a new tower, in rendering below, under NYU's plan. The tower, sight-unseen, is already facing backlash from community groups who say the building would interfere with the original three-tower design by famed architect I.M. Pei. Critics also say the new building would flood the neighborhood with more construction and cause other disruptions. The concrete fourth tower with floor-to-ceiling glass windows would be built on the Bleecker Street side of the site, known as University Village. It would house a moderate-priced hotel on the bottom 15 floors. The 240-room hotel would be intended for visiting professors and other NYU guests, but would also be available to the public. The top floors would be housing for school faculty. In addition, NYU would move the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center farther east toward Mercer Street to clear space for a broader walkway through the site that connects Bleecker and Houston streets. The sports complex would be torn down and rebuilt with a new design. Grimshaw Architects The plan also calls for replacing a grocery store that is currently in the northwest corner of the site with a playground. As a result, the site would gain 8,000 square feet of public space under the tower proposal, according to an NYU spokesman. NYU considers the new tower a crucial component of its ambitious expansion plans to add six million square feet to the campus by 2031—including proposed sites in Brooklyn, Governors Island and possibly the World Trade Center site—in an effort to increase its current student population of about 40,000 by 5,500. The tower is also one of the most contentious parts of the plan because the University Village site received landmark status in 2008 and is home to a Pablo Picasso statue. The three existing towers, including one dedicated to affordable public housing, were designed by Mr. Pei in the 1960s. The 30-story cast-concrete structures are considered a classic example of modernism. Grimshaw Architects, the New York firm that designed the proposed tower, says it wants the new structure to complement Mr. Pei's work. "It would be built with a sensitivity to the existing buildings," says Mark Husser, a Grimshaw partner. "It is meant to relate to the towers but also be contemporary." Grimshaw Architects NYU says the planned building, at center of rendering above, would relate to current towers. He said the new tower would use similar materials to the Pei structures and would be positioned at the site in a way not to cut off views from the existing buildings. Little of this news is likely to pacify local opposition. "A fourth tower would utterly change Pei's design," says Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. He says that Mr. Pei designed a number of plans about the same time that similarly featured three towers around open space, such as the Society Hill Towers in Philadelphia. Watch a video showing a rendering of New York University's proposed 38-story tower, one of the most ambitious projects in the university's vast 2031 expansion plan. The tower would be located near Bleecker Street in Manhattan. Video courtesy of Grimshaw Architects. Residents say they fear that the new tower would bring years of construction and reduce green spaces and trees. "We are oversaturated with NYU buildings," says Sylvia Rackow, who lives in the tower for public housing. "They have a lot of other options, like in the financial district, but they are just greedy." NYU will have to win permission from the city's Landmark Commission before it can proceed. This process begins on Monday when NYU makes a preliminary presentation to the local community board. Jason Andrew for the Wall Street Journal NYU is 'just greedy,' says Sylvia Rackow, seen in her apartment. Grimshaw. While the commission typically designates a particular district or building, University Village is unusual in that it granted landmark status to a site and the surrounding landscaping, making it harder to predict how the commission may respond. NYU also would need to get commercial zoning approval to build a hotel in an area designated as residential. And the university would have to get approval to purchase small strips of land on the site from the city. If the university is tripped up in getting required approvals, it has a backup plan to build a tower on the site currently occupied by a grocery store at Bleecker and LaGuardia, which would have a size similar to the proposed tower of 270,000 square feet. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704198004575311161334409470.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth
  2. Brisbane in Australia is currently having a boom in proposals and approvals for skyscrapers now it seems height limits in the city may be lifted by the powers that be. One of the most recent green-lights will see a two tower project that will house the most expensive apartments in the city. Named the French Quarter Towers the project comes from local developer Devine Limited, it consists of two towers which will be built in two stages, one standing at 54 storeys and the second at 40 storeys. With apartments ranging in price from $2.5 million to a whopping $15 million you might be expecting some spectacular, gimmicky, Dubai inspired skyscraper instead, what Brisbane will be getting is two towers which are rather reserved and elegant. Squared at the bases the towers rise up in a pretty standard boxy way until they get about a third of the way up where they begin to gently curve inwards on one side, the curve deepens before coming back out again creating a subtle sort of S shape at the tops of the towers. The shaping of the tower isn't detracted from by any epic spires or crowns the addition of which could have made the towers look decidedly trashy. The facades are glazed and balconied offering residents fantastic views and somewhere nice to enjoy a glass of wine and the odd sunset or two. Residents at the tower can look forward to unsurpassed luxury as soon as a winner is announced for a international competition to design the interiors of the towers though it can probably be assumed the towers will also be home to a six star luxury hotel that with gymnasiums, spas and restaurants you have to wear a tie in. One thing is for sure though the tower will offer the very latest in "technomenities", a fancy word invented by marketing bods that means the towers will have the latest generation smart home technology, which will include automated systems for lighting and climate, in-home entertainment and electronic concierge services. Despite the French theme, high tech auroma technology spewing out the smell of garlic will not be included, whilst the concierge is likely to be much friendlier to English speakers than a Parisian would be. Construction is hoped to start in 2009 with completion penned in for mid 2012. http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=1487
  3. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/forbidden-montreal-an-ancient-set-of-downtown-tombs-1.1043598 Forbidden Montreal - Other episodes from 2012 Forbidden Montreal: Royal Vic's secret storage Forbidden Montreal: Inside the city's beacon Forbidden Montreal: Inside our sewers This episode Forbidden Montreal: an ancient set of downtown tombs http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/forbidden-montreal-an-ancient-set-of-downtown-tombs-1.1043598 CTV Montreal Published Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 7:01PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 2:14PM EST The ancient stone towers tucked behind the walls of downtown’s Grand Seminaire on Sherbrooke just east of Atwater are among Canada’s most ancient structures. The towers also form part of one of the country's most mysterious places as well. Some of the city’s very earliest European settlers came from France to establish a settlement on the spot in the 1680s. Their aim was to promote what they considered a sacred mission to establish a new creed for the New World. Those missionaries sought to spread their unique vision with First Nations people but they brought most of the details of the plan to their graves. Those tombs, deep underneath the seminary, are off limits to all but the custodians. Among those whose remains lie in the crypt, first established in 1661, is Francois Vachon de Belmont who came from Burgundy, France to fund and operate the mission. The Grand Seminaire has since remained one of the city’s longest-running institutions and is also home to many other architectural treasures, including an alluring chapel, where around 8,000 priests have been trained. If there is any off-limits place you'd like to see, just send us an email at [email protected] Series in 2013. CTV Montreal: Forbidden Montreal Former courthouse Annie DeMelt takes you for a tour of Montreal's former courthouse, a heritage building complete with a dungeon and jail cells below. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.1202711
  4. [h=1]New Twin Towers Unveiled as World’s Jaw Hits Floor[/h]"AAAAAGH! YOU HAVE ERECTED A TERRIFYING MONUMENT TO THE NIGHTMARES OF 9/11!!!" was probably not the reaction that Seoul-based Yongsan Dream Hub corporation had in mind when they unveiled their plans today for an ambitious new construction project: Two high-rises connected by a "pixelated cloud" structure that, tragically, calls to mind the kinds of images you don't really want to call to mind when looking at a new set of twin towers. The design is by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, who seemingly had no ill will when they envisioned the cloud as a kind of oasis in the sky, with "a large connecting atrium, a wellness centre, conference centre, fitness studio, various pools, restaurants and cafes." (Rendering here.) Actually, now that I've sat with it for a little while, a floating sauna inside a pixelated cloud sounds pretty relaxing — the kind of place Mario and Luigi might go to unwind after a hard day...
  5. The New York Times July 15, 2008 Country, the City Version: By BINA VENKATARAMAN What if “eating local” in Shanghai or New York meant getting your fresh produce from five blocks away? And what if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food? Dickson Despommier, a professor of public health at Columbia University, hopes to make these zucchini-in-the-sky visions a reality. Dr. Despommier’s pet project is the “vertical farm,” a concept he created in 1999 with graduate students in his class on medical ecology, the study of how the environment and human health interact. The idea, which has captured the imagination of several architects in the United States and Europe in the past several years, just caught the eye of another big city dreamer: Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. When Mr. Stringer heard about the concept in June, he said he immediately pictured a “food farm” addition to the New York City skyline. “Obviously we don’t have vast amounts of vacant land,” he said in a phone interview. “But the sky is the limit in Manhattan.” Mr. Stringer’s office is “sketching out what it would take to pilot a vertical farm,” and plans to pitch a feasibility study to the mayor’s office within the next couple of months, he said. “I think we can really do this,” he added. “We could get the funding.” Dr. Despommier estimates that it would cost $20 million to $30 million to make a prototype of a vertical farm, but hundreds of millions to build one of the 30-story towers that he suggests could feed 50,000 people. “I’m viewed as kind of an outlier because it’s kind of a crazy idea,” Dr. Despommier, 68, said with a chuckle. “You’d think these are mythological creatures.” Dr. Despommier, whose name in French means “of the apple trees,” has been spreading the seeds of his radical idea in lectures and through his Web site. He says his ideas are supported by hydroponic vegetable research done by NASA and are made more feasible by the potential to use sun, wind and wastewater as energy sources. Several observers have said Dr. Despommier’s sky-high dreams need to be brought down to earth. “Why does it have to be 30 stories?” said Jerry Kaufman, professor emeritus of urban and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Why can’t it be six stories? There’s some exciting potential in the concept, but I think he overstates what can be done.” Armando Carbonell, chairman of the department of planning and urban form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass., called the idea “very provocative.” But it requires a rigorous economic analysis, he added. “Would a tomato in lower Manhattan be able to outbid an investment banker for space in a high-rise? My bet is that the investment banker will pay more.” Mr. Carbonell questions if a vertical farm could deliver the energy savings its supporters promise. “There’s embodied energy in the concrete and steel and in construction,” he said, adding that the price of land in the city would still outweigh any savings from not having to transport food from afar. “I believe that this general relationship is going to hold, even as transportation costs go up and carbon costs get incorporated into the economic system.” Some criticism is quite helpful. Stephen Colbert jokingly asserted that vertical farming was elitist when Dr. Despommier appeared in June on “The Colbert Report,” a visit that led to a jump in hits to the project’s Web site from an average of 400 daily to 400,000 the day after the show. Dr. Despommier agrees that more research is needed, and calls the energy calculations his students made for the farms, which would rely solely on alternative energy, “a little bit too optimistic.” He added, “I’m a biologist swimming in very deep water right now.” “If I were to set myself as a certifier of vertical farms, I would begin with security,” he said. “How do you keep insects and bacteria from invading your crops?” He says growing food in climate-controlled skyscrapers would also protect against hail and other weather-related hazards, ensuring a higher quality food supply for a city, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Architects’ renderings of vertical farms — hybrids of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Biosphere 2 with SimCity appeal — seem to be stirring interest. “It also has to be stunning in terms of the architecture, because it needs to work in terms of social marketing,” Dr. Despommier said. “You want people to say, ‘I want that in my backyard.’ ” Augustin Rosenstiehl, a French architect who worked with Dr. Despommier to design a template “living tower,” said he thought that any vertical farm proposal needed to be adapted to a specific place. Mr. Rosenstiehl, principal architect for Atelier SOA in Paris, said: “We cannot do a project without knowing where and why and what we are going to cultivate. For example, in Paris, if you grow some wheat, it’s stupid because we have big fields all around the city and lots of wheat and it’s good wheat. There’s no reason to build towers that are very expensive.” Despite its potential problems, the idea of bringing food closer to the city is gaining traction among pragmatists and dreamers alike. A smaller-scale design of a vertical farm for downtown Seattle won a regional green building contest in 2007 and has piqued the interest of officials in Portland, Ore. The building, a Center for Urban Agriculture designed by architects at Mithun, would supply about a third of the food needed for the 400 people who would live there. In June at P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, a husband-wife architect team built a solar-powered outdoor farm out of stacked rows of cardboard tube planters — one that would not meet Dr. Despommier’s security requirements — with chicken coops for egg collection and an array of fruits and vegetables. For Dr. Despommier, the high-rise version is on the horizon. “It’s very idealistic and ivory tower and all of that,” he said. “But there’s a real desire to make this happen.” ---------------- Peut-être pour Dubai en premier? Et le silo no.5, un de ses jours?
  6. Updated - Oct 26 http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=174954 Yikes... Espérons que Altitude Montréal commence bientot!
  7. The Saudi capital is unlikely to become an alternative to Dubai any time soon May 11th 2013 | RIYADH |From the print edition THE glass-clad skyscrapers are reaching ever higher into Riyadh’s dusty sky. The first tenants are due to move to the King Abdullah Financial District in the Saudi capital’s north-west later this year. But they may well find it a lonely place: enthusiasm is clearly lacking for the development, which boasts 42 buildings and 900,000 square metres of office space—similar in scale to London’s Canary Wharf. Granted, new office districts often take time to come to life. Canary Wharf had to battle against sceptics for many years before becoming the success it is today. But it is unclear how Riyadh’s new district will develop into what it is meant to be: a sober Saudi alternative to Dubai’s exuberant International Financial Centre. To date just 10% of the district’s office space has been leased; tenants will include the country’s stockmarket regulator, the Capital Markets Authority, and one large local bank, Samba. A further 10% is under negotiation, according to sources close to the developers of the project. A big problem is its size. The Saudi economy may be doing well on the back of high oil prices, but not so well that its businesses could easily digest all the extra property. The new financial district has three times as much high-end office space as the rest of Riyadh. In other words, even if every company in the city’s plusher offices moved to the new district it would still be two-thirds empty. Costs are another hurdle. “It might be prestigious but why should I pay an arm and a leg to be there?” asks a local executive. Some banks, like Arab National Bank and Al Rajhi Bank, are building new towers elsewhere. Even the Saudi central bank is thought to be staying where it is. But if banks do not fill the space, then who will? Accountants, lawyers and insurance firms are not nearly numerous enough. They also remain to be convinced of the development’s merits. “There’s going to be all those towers, but for what? It looks like an overbuilt proposition,” says a Riyadh lawyer. Nor are foreign firms likely to be of much help. Riyadh may be the centre of the region’s biggest economy, boasting more people and oil revenues than anywhere else. But unlike Dubai, as a financial centre the city is inward-looking, with banks largely servicing the domestic economy. That, as well as a lack of cultural life, prevent it from becoming a regional financial hub. Yet at some point the new district may still serve its purpose. The owner has pockets deep enough to take the long view. The project was the brainchild of the Capital Markets Authority, with support from the Public Pensions Agency. One of the agency’s subsidiaries, the Rayadah Investment Company, has taken over the development, which is estimated to cost between $7 billion and $10 billion. More important, so many near-empty buildings will be a political embarrassment, in particular since the new district carries the king’s name. Authorities may yet lean on the banks to move. Optimism and market forces alone will certainly not be enough to fill all the space. From the print edition: Finance and economics http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21577424-saudi-capital-unlikely-become-alternative-dubai-any-time-soon-empty?frsc=dg%7Cc
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_la_Bourse Somebody used to have a rendering with the 3 towers on SSP, but I can't find it anymore...
  9. jesseps

    Place Ville Marie

    For some reason yesterday I was thinking about what if PVM was one or two buildings it would be one of the tallest buildings on the planet, if the city did not have height restrictions. Seeing PVM is like 4 towers + the middle connecting everything together, just to make one. Each tower has 46 floors (188 meters). It would be like 230 floors (with the middle part connecting everything). If it was like 1 tower it be 940 meters. It would be bigger than both: Petronas Tower put together (though it would still have about 1/2 the amount of sq.ft). If it was two towers each one would be like 470 meters and it if was divided into 3 towers smaller towers of 313 meters. Something to think about.
  10. Could the era of glass skyscrapers be over? One of the architects behind London's famous Gherkin skyscraper has now turned against glass buildings. Is it time tall towers were made out of something else, asks Hannah Sander. It is one of the UK's most recognisable buildings. A Stirling Prize winner. A backdrop to Hollywood films. Named the most admired tower in the world. But 10 years after it was opened, one of the designers behind the "Gherkin" has turned against it. Architect Ken Shuttleworth, one of the team at Foster and Partners who designed the tower, now thinks the gigantic glass structure was a mistake. "The Gherkin is a fantastic building," he says. "But we can't have that anymore. We can't have those all-glass buildings. We need to be much more responsible." The building at 30 St Mary Axe - nicknamed after a gherkin because of its bulbous silhouette - kick-started a decade of strangely shaped glass towers. The Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie and the Shard loomed up from the pavements of London. The skylines of both Birmingham and Manchester were drastically altered by the addition of towers by property firm Beetham. One of the best-known glass building mishaps took place last summer, when the Walkie-Talkie at 20 Fenchurch Street in London was accused of melting cars. The 37-storey building reflected light in its glass facade and shone powerful rays at its surroundings. Cars parked underneath were damaged, and passers-by even managed to fry eggs using only sunlight. In the end the developers, Land Securities, had to apply for planning permission to obscure architect Rafael Vinoly's £200m design with a permanent "brise soleil" or sunshade. And yet despite this, Land Securities recently revealed that the widely reported calamity "did nothing to deter lettings". Glass buildings are popular - not just because of their striking appearance but for the views they boast, and the increased light they let in. When German architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe designed what is said to be the world's first glass skyscraper in 1921, he associated the glass facade with purity and renewal. Later in the century, British architect Richard Rogers praised glass buildings because of their social worth. Glass walls enabled even employees working in the basement to benefit from reflected natural light and dissolved barriers between a cramped indoor office space and the greenery outside. Companies like to give the impression of a democratic working environment - open-plan and with floor-to-ceiling windows, so that all employees, not just the boss, benefit from the view. However, as concerns over global warming have become more widespread, so the glass structure has come under scrutiny. Since leaving Foster and Partners in 2006, Shuttleworth has become a key voice in the fight against glass. Despite his background working on giant glazed buildings, he has founded an architectural practice in which floor-to-ceiling windows are considered an archaic luxury. "Everything I've done for the last 40 years I'm rethinking now," he says. "If you were designing [the Gherkin] today... it wouldn't be the same product all the way around the building. "We need to be much more responsible in terms of the way we shade our buildings and the way we thermally think about our buildings." Glass lets out and lets in a lot of heat. A vast amount of energy is required for an office full of people to remain cool in the UAE and to stay warm in the snowstorms of Toronto. Governments are now so concerned by the long-term impact of "solar gain" - the extent to which a building absorbs sunlight and heats up - that they have introduced strict regulations around shape and structure. Architects are being encouraged to change where they place windows, so that a sunny south-facing wall has less chance to absorb heat than a chilly north-face. Walkie-Talkie developers Land Securities are currently at work on a building called the ZigZag, that is designed so that alternate walls cast shadows on their neighbours. The building is deliberately shaped so it can keep itself cool. In the US there is a campaign in favour of wooden skyscrapers, promoting wood as a "green" building material in place of glass. However, the trade association Glass for Europe has dismissed what they consider "a preconceived idea" that glass is bad. Instead they point to sustainable buildings in which glass has been fashioned into corridors that don't require central heating and solar panels that have been slotted seamlessly into a design. The association also points out that glass is fully recyclable. "A whole palette of glass products is available for the glazing to meet different functions in the building envelope," the association said. "Glass is fit for all climates." In the past decades, the glass industry has worked hard to adapt technology in the context of climate change. Engineer Andrea Charlson is part of a team at firm Arup that seeks new ways to increase material sustainability. She is not convinced that the glass in glass buildings is the cause of their problems. "There have been a lot of advancements in glass technology in the last few years and it's amazing what we can do now in terms of putting coatings on glass. Some of them can be a heavy colour tint that will provide some shading. Others will be almost invisible but will still keep a lot of the heat and solar gain outside a building," she says. Charlson is currently investigating problems in the materials that hold the glazed panels on buildings in place. "As the glass technology improves, one of the biggest causes of heat loss is through the framing. The heat energy will always try to find the path of least resistance." Even with the improvements to glass technology, Shuttleworth is not convinced that these sheer skyscrapers can be justified in today's society. He is not only concerned by their environmental impact, but also with the other effects a glass tower has on its surroundings. Architecture and design critic Tom Dyckhoff is equally keen to see the glass skyscraper put to bed. "As someone who spends their entire life staring at buildings, I am a bit bored by the glass box. They were radical in the 1920s and now they are just cliches, expensive ones at that. "But now that we are having to be more thoughtful about how and where we use glass, maybe architects will become more inventive in how they use windows, instead of plastering them across whole facades," he says. Shuttleworth's most recent project began life as a solid steel object and he says it has glass only where it is needed. "It is a privilege to have a window. I think it should be seen as a privilege," he says. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27501938
  11. We shouldn't expect to see many more condo towers going up in the short term... "Regarding condominiums, the inventory of unsold units will remain at a relatively high level. The need for new units will remain limited in 2016 and 2017" http://m.marketwired.com/press-release/housing-market-outlook-for-2016-and-2017-montreal-cma-2066846.htm Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. etienne

    Atelier BIG

    Voici un groupe d'architecte dont on entend de plus en plus parler, ils sont BIG W towers à Prague Pavillon Danois à l'expo 2010
  13. (CNN) -- For architecture buffs numbed by the ongoing global battle to crank out record-breaking tall buildings, here's something innovative to spark the imagination. The South Korean government has granted approval to begin construction on the world's first "invisible" tower. Designed by U.S.-based GDS Architects, the glass-encased Tower Infinity will top out at 450 meters (1,476 feet) and have the third highest observation deck in the world. The project is backed by Korea Land & Housing Corporation, a state-owned land and public housing developer. The invisibility illusion will be achieved with a high-tech LED facade system that uses a series of cameras that will send real-time images onto the building's reflective surface. It will be built just outside of Seoul near the Incheon International Airport. Neither the developer nor GDS have released a target completion date. The development will reportedly be used primarily for leisure activities. It will include a series of observation decks, a movie theater, roller coaster, water park and numerous food and beverage outlets. Though height isn't its main selling point, Tower Infinity is no slouch in the vertical department. When completed, it's expected to come in sixth on the list of the world's highest towers, behind Tokyo SkyTree, Guangzhou's CantonTower, Toronto's CN Tower, Moscow's Ostankino Tower and Shanghai's Oriental Pearl. Editor's note: The original version of this paragraph said Tower Infinity would be one of the world's tallest buildings, not towers. The error has been corrected. How it works Tower Infinity's invisible face is essentially just state of the art camouflage. Cameras will be placed at three different heights on six different sides of the building to capture real-time images of the surroundings; three other sections, each filled with 500 rows of LED screens, will project the individual digital images. Through digital processing, images will be scaled, rotated and merged to create a seamless panoramic image that appears on the LED rows to create the illusion of invisibility. In essence, whatever is going on behind the building will be projected onto the front of the building. According to GDS, managers will be able to alter the level of power used to give the building different levels of invisibility. "Instead of symbolizing prominence as another of the world's tallest and best towers, our solution aims to provide the world's first invisible tower, showcasing innovative Korean technology while encouraging a more global narrative in the process," said Charles Wee, GDS design principal, in a statement. In 2011 GDS, in collaboration with firms Samoo Architects and A&U, was awarded first prize in a National Design Competition sponsored by the Korea Land & Housing Corporation to provide design and engineering services for the observation tower. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/12/travel/seoul-invisible-skyscraper-tower-infinity/index.html?hpt=hp_c4
  14. A cautionary tale: Cheap glass window wall is not suitable for our climate http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/11/13/tor-glass-walled-condos.html Thermal Window Failure: How it Happens A Developer's Change of Heart Engineering Buildings to Perform Audio and Video Highlights Many of the glass condominium towers filling up the Toronto skyline will fail 15 to 25 years after they’re built, perhaps even earlier, and will need retrofits costing millions of dollars, say some industry experts. Buyers drawn to glass-walled condos because of the price and spectacular views may soon find themselves grappling with major problems including: Insulation failures. Water leaks. Skyrocketing energy and maintenance costs. Declining resale potential. Glass condominiums — known in the industry as window walls — have floor-to-ceiling glass, so essentially the window becomes the wall. Window walls generally span from the top of the concrete slab right to the bottom. The slow-motion failure of Toronto's glass condos http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/condos/ Over the past decade, Toronto's building boom has been dominated by tall glass condo towers. They've transformed the look of city skylines all over the world – especially here in Toronto, where according to Emporis.comwe've built more towers per capita than any other city in North America. But it may be a trend that puts style over substance. A small but growing chorus is sounding the alarm about the future of these buildings. Building scientists have known for a long time that glass-walled structures are less energy efficient than the stone and concrete buildings that were put up forty of fifty years ago. But the market demand for glass combined with the relatively low cost of glass-wall construction means the building industry has been happy to oblige. However, industry insiders warn that as energy costs climb, glass towers may become the "pariah" buildings of the future. In these stories, we explore the hidden costs of building with glass and the slow-motion failure of window walls. We also look at why the Ontario Building Code failed to make energy performance a priority, and meet a developer who is reconsidering the construction of such buildings. Building science consultant and University of Waterloo professor John Straube wrote a paper called Can Highly Glazed Building Facades be Green? View Paper [1MB .pdf] http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/condos/pdf/condo_conundrum.pdf John Straube John Straube, a building science consultant and professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo says glass condos are a "perfect reflection" of a society that's found it easier to throw things away than to build them to last. "We have a hard time," says Straube, "thinking five years when we buy a laptop, ten years when we buy a car. With these buildings – both the skin and the mechanical systems are going to have to be redone in a 25-year time frame. The concrete structure will be there a long time but in 20, 25 years time, we are going to see a lot of scaffolding on the outside of the buildings as we replace the glazing, sealants and the glass itself." Although falling glass from the condo balconies has attracted most of the public attention during the summer of 2011, building scientists warn that the long-term failure of the glass structures – although less sensational – is much more serious. More: how thermal window failure happens Window-wall systems Most of them are built using window-wall systems which have next to no insulation value, except for a half inch of heavy gas between the two panels of glass. As John Straube points out, what glass does really well is conduct heat. "A little experiment anyone can do at home is get a glass for drinking. Pour boiling water into it, and try and pick it up. You'll burn yourself." Straube, along with building science colleagues like Ted Kesik at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto, warns that as energy costs climb, the costs of heating and cooling glass towers will increase the monthly fees. Kesik wrote a paper called The Glass Condo Conundrum (250KB .pdf) on the potential liabilities of glass towers. The Glass Condo Conundrum It's not just the energy costs. Glass structures require major maintenance much earlier in their life cycle than a traditional structure made of precast or brick. Straube warns maintenance costs will skyrocket in 20 to 25 years' time as the buildings age. The windows will begin to fog up, and the cost of replacing entire walls of glass will be prohibitive on highrise structures that can only be accessed from swing stages. Building scientists talk about the life cycle of a building, akin to a human life cycle, language that encourages people like Straube to see a building as an organism. "It has lungs," says Straube, "it has veins, all of that stuff – it has a structural skeleton." To Straube, a building is a living, breathing thing, enclosing the people who live inside. Building with glass walls is to miss the main point of a building, says Straube – sacrificing the protection that is a building's first duty for a beauty that is only skin-deep. "It's almost derogatory in my world," says Straube, "to forget about everything else that's part of experiencing a building. I like to think what is this building going to be like on a dark and stormy night. In our climate particularly, we care about that. It's life and death." Audio Introduction Matt Galloway spoke with Mary Wiens about the series. Listen (runs 6:11) Part One Mary Wiens introduces us to people concerned about the hidden costs of glass walls. Listen (runs 6:48) Part Two A developer of glass towers tells us why he will never put up another one. Listen (runs 6:28) Part Three Mary Wiens asks engineers about the rise, and repair, of the glass towers. Listen (runs 6:38) Part Four Mary Wiens tours a new condominium with a young couple and their real estate agent. Listen (runs 6:50) Part Five Mary Wiens tells us about a solution that has helped produce more efficient cars and appliances, an approach that may have potential for condominiums as well. Listen (runs 6:59) Video Part One: How glass fails John Lancaster talks to David House about the potential problems facing owners of glass condos in Toronto. Watch (runs 3:16) Part Two: Hidden costs Kamela and Jason Hurlbut are looking for their first dream home but there are hidden costs to living in Toronto's glass condos. Watch (runs 3:19) Part Three: The ripple effect If I can't sell my condo, I can't buy your home. John Lancaster looks at the possible ripple effect in Toronto's real estate market. Watch (runs 3:48)
  15. having recently walked through griffintown from downtown towards verdun i found that while the area is filled with many condo projects most of them look they have been there for quite a while and they all seem to be waiting after one another to 'pop' from the ground ... in the meantime the place still looks awfully desolate and abandoned and you have to think that this has an effect on the health of those projects - it's not like the city lacks any plans for griffintown but don't you think they should be more proactive about it and inject some fund in the neighborhood to help spur the growth of all these residential towers instead of waiting for them to actually get built before they do anything ? chicken and the egg kinda situation now it seems but imo the city should be the first to do actually do something and not the private developers .. after all all these years down the road its the city that will still be collecting tax funds if anything gets built - not the initial investors
  16. I am currently in Caracas (actually a nearby city called Los Teques, which is sometimes considered part of Greater Caracas). In the city center of Caracas there is a very new (about 5 years old) office building called "Torre David" or sometimes "Torre Confinanzas" which was occupied by people from nearby slums during its last stages of construction. The government then proceeded to pay the developer for the building so they didn't have to take them out. Here are some photos of the building, which is 190 meters tall (that's 623 feet), making it the third tallest building in Venezuela (the first two being the twin towers of Parque Central): The one on the left is one of the twin towers of Parque Central, the tallest buildings in Venezuela (221m). The one on the right is the slum I'm talking about. The orange bricks seen in the close-ups were put there by the current occupants. I wonder if this is the tallest slum in the world.
  17. This is a La Presse article from May 1998 regarding the Expos building an office complex to support their stadium construction project. The two towers next to Windsor station represents the two 50 floor towers that was part of the Canadiens original building plans, as mentioned in the second part of the article.
  18. Developer floats alternate proposals for a $900 million tower project on Boston’s waterfront It’s not the best economic climate for building office space. But Don Chiofaro, a Boston-based developer seems unfazed. He is moving fast and furious to get approvals for a 1.5 million sq ft mixed -use project for Boston’s waterfront, betting the market will change by the time the project goes into construction. In January he proposed a two-tower scheme for the site, a prime location between the New England Aquarium and the City’s new Greenway. But when that scheme was met with little enthusiasm, Chiofaro unveiled yet another design last week, this three-tower scheme designed by New York architect Kohn Pederson Fox. While this scheme is reportedly the developer's favorite, he has an arsenal of ten different designs that he is prepared to launch on the public until one sticks. The current scheme, which has been likened to a "matched set of furniture" by Boston architecture critic Robert Campbell, features three tall slender glass towers framed with terra cotta walls. Pederson told the Boston Globe that the intent was to create a high rise that made sense in Boston, a city that has an architectural pedigree of brick townhouses and warehouses. “In both types you have long masonry bearing walls at both sides with large openings in the front and rear” said Pederson. The two "bookend" towers will be occupied while the middle tower is intended as sculpture and has no program. One tower will hold a 200-300 room hotel topped by approximately 120 condos. The second one will contain 850,000 sq ft of office space. The lower floors of the entire complex will contain 70,000 sq ft of retail space. Sharon McHugh US Correspondent http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11108
  19. Toronto : Sky-high spinoffs JOHN LORINC Special to The Globe and Mail September 19, 2008 A gleaming new vertical city has sprouted above Toronto's lower-scale buildings. The big question is whether all this condo construction will translate into sustainable economic growth For Robert Whitfield, the eureka moment occurred when he realized his store was filled with customers trapped between drywall and a hard place. It happened about four years ago, shortly after he opened an upscale furniture store in Liberty Village, a district of warehouse lofts on the west end of Toronto's downtown. Young couples were streaming into his shop, desperate to furnish new stacked townhouses and condo apartments with minuscule master bedrooms and other "spatial challenges." "All of 10-by-11," recalls Mr. Whitfield, the principal of Casalife Inc., of one particularly constrained floor plan. "It just didn't have room for a bed and a dresser and a tallboy. Where are you going to put your socks?" Where indeed? Within months, he had launched a queen bed with drawers cleverly tucked underneath, and a niche market was tapped. Today, Casalife specializes in furniture tailored to the cramped confines of the high-rise condos that proliferate in the city. Mr. Whitfield now has several competitors and spends much of his time attending international trade shows searching for size-conscious items, such as the elusive 18-inch coffee table. "The reality is that this market is still neglected." But there's no doubt it's a market. Indeed, Casalife's commercial success is directly attributable to Toronto's sustained condo boom, which traces its origins to some key land-use reforms made in the mid-1990s. A decade later, the market shows little sign of slowing, despite moribund real estate markets in the United States and Britain. Between 1994 and 2007, the annual dollar value of residential building permits in the City of Toronto jumped more than three-fold, largely on the strength of the condo boom. It's as if a gleaming new vertical city has sprouted amid Toronto's lower-scale buildings. Between 2001 and 2006, a staggering 17,000 residential units were built downtown, the vast majority of them high-rises. At the end of 2006, another 39,000 units, in 155 projects, were in the pipeline. The result has been a remarkable 17-per-cent jump in the population of central Toronto - growth not seen since the early 1970s. Nor is the boom a downtown phenomenon: Clusters of condos have cropped up in traditionally low-rise suburban areas such as North York, Scarborough and Mississauga, with more on the way. And the developments are growing not only in height, but also in scope. Vancouver-based Concord Adex, which is building CityPlace, a sprawling 20-building cluster near the downtown Rogers Centre, is also planning a 15-tower project on a 20-hectare former industrial site near Highway 401. To be built over the next decade, this new project is worth a staggering $2-billion. The key to this growth, planners and economists says, is the fact that the population of Greater Toronto jumps by about 100,000 every year. All these new residents need housing and increasingly they are choosing high-rise condos. This rapid transformation is not without its critics, including homeowner groups upset about tall towers and downtown artists who bemoan the loss of Main Street atmosphere in areas targeted by developers. "Pumping a lot more people into the downtown core hasn't led to balanced growth," says Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan, whose ward has the highest concentration of condo activity. Yet even skeptics don't deny that the immediate, local spinoffs are substantial. Condos today represent 50 per cent of all residential development activity in Greater Toronto and 80 per cent in the City of Toronto proper - a trend that puts the region sharply at odds with most North American urban areas. The direct investment for condos built since 2001, as well as those under development, likely exceeds $20-billion. And housing starts - whether high-rises or subdivisions - have always functioned like economic spark plugs. Between 2002 and 2007, residential construction as a proportion of GDP rose to 6.7 per cent from 5.5 per cent - a shift that has moved in lock-step with job creation, according to housing economist Will Dunning. "That's where it all comes from." In the GTA, the most direct beneficiaries are construction workers. Mr. Dunning says $1-million of residential construction translates into nine "person-years" of construction employment, as well as another two person-years for consultants, architects and other professionals involved in planning such projects. The other big winners are the local suppliers of building materials. Although non-residential construction consumes a larger amount of basic materials, residential development represents "a particularly important source of demand for producers of windows and doors, kitchen cabinets, gypsum and wallboard and heating and air conditioning," according to an analysis by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The wages and purchases of materials for Toronto's 2007's condo projects, in turn, triggered about $175-million in tax revenues. In terms of local taxes, city officials say that between 1996 and 2005), the 69,000 new condos completed in that period contributed about $113-million annually to municipal coffers. Then there are the secondary spinoffs - the new supermarkets, dry cleaners, convenience stores, coffee shops, houseware and hardware stores that cater to thousands of residents now living near the financial district. Stephen Dupuis, CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association, says the typical new home buyer purchases about $10,000 worth of goods after taking possession. But Mr. Whitfield, of Casalife, suspects the figure could be higher for condo residents, because of the small size of many suites: "They get their occupancy, they move in and then realize their furniture doesn't fit." Like Casalife, many retail companies are moving to fill the needs of condo dwellers. General Electric Canada's Mabe appliance division recently launched Loft Kitchen, a collection of fashionable, small-scale appliances and stacked washer-driers suited to tiny condo kitchens. Working with developers, GE tailored the collection specifically to this market. "You need to get efficiency and space and hit the prices point," says general brand manager Philippe Meyersohn. Unlike locally sourced construction materials, however, durable goods and appliances tend to be imported from Asia, Mexico and the United States, illustrating how the condo ripple effect can spread well beyond the GTA. Planning consultant Barry Lyon also argues that the high-rise office boom in downtown Toronto (200 floors are currently under construction) is linked to the flourishing condo market. "A lot of the office construction wouldn't be happening were it not for the pool of highly educated technology workers the condos have brought into the city." The big question is whether all this construction will translate into sustainable economic growth for Toronto. Mr. Lyon, who describes himself as "a believer," says the condo boom essentially makes the city function more productively. Intensification gives rise to non-economic benefits such as more transit ridership, energy savings and greater efficiency in municipal services such as garbage handling. Others aren't convinced. Pointing to an earlier generation of high-density towers, Councillor Vaughan says there's a risk that consumers may sour on the glut of tiny suites, leading to losses in market value and condo towers that come to be dominated by low-income tenants. Douglas Young, co-ordinator of York University's urban studies program, points to another pressing issue: "The state of [the city's] infrastructure - physical, social and natural - is in pretty lousy shape." Yet planners continue to approve thousands of new condo units, he says. "You have these fabulous looking high-rises from a distance, but getting from them to somewhere else in the city can be a real pain in the backside." Mr. Lyon counters that the $20,000-to-$30,000 per-unit fee imposed by the city (parks levies, development charges and so on) help underwrite the cost of municipal infrastructure improvements ranging from new transit service to libraries. From his Liberty Village showroom, Rob Whitfield sees no end to the forest of condo towers rising around him, nor a lessening in demand for his products. Casalife recently opened a new outlet in Vaughan, north of Toronto, which has its own big plans to develop high-rise condos and offices in a city-centre to be served by a new subway extension. As he sees it, "I'm a bit of a pioneer."
  20. Could the Miami skyline one day resemble Manhattan’s? Apr 5th 2014 | MIAMI | From the print edition A mirror of prosperity ICON BRICKELL, a three-tower complex in Miami’s financial district, was supposed to be a flagship project for the Related Group, the city’s top condominium developer. It would boast 1,646 luxury condos, a 91-metre-long pool, and a hundred 22-foot columns in its entryway. By 2010, however, it had become a symbol of the excesses of the city’s building boom, and Related was forced to hand two of the towers to its banks. Miami condo prices plunged to 60% below their peak. The vacancy rate jumped to 60%. Predictions flew that the market, the epicentre of America’s property crash, would take ten years to come back, or even longer. The speed of the recovery has surprised everyone. Condo prices are already back near peak levels in Miami’s most desirable areas, and at 75-80% elsewhere. The available supply of units has fallen back to within the six-to-nine-months-of-sales range considered normal, from a stomach-churning 40 in 2008. Only 3% of condos are unoccupied. Sales of condos and single-family homes are above pre-crisis levels across Miami-Dade County. Commercial property, too, has rebounded, with demand outstripping supply. Developers are once again relaxed enough to crack jokes. “I call the current expansion the Viagra cycle,” jokes Carlos Rosso, Related’s president of condominium development. “We just want it to last a little longer.” The recovery has been partly driven by low interest rates and bottom-fishing by private equity, which helped to clear excess inventory. But the biggest factor is that the city nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America” has attracted a flood of capital from Latin America. Rich people in turbulent spots such as Venezuela and Argentina are seeking a safe haven for their savings. Estate agents are also seeing capital flight from within the United States. Individuals pay no state or city income tax in Miami, unlike, say, New York, whose mayor wants to hike taxes on the rich further. “Somebody said to me, ‘Give me three reasons why this will continue.’ My answer was: Maduro, Kirchner and De Blasio,” chuckles Marc Sarnoff, a Miami city commissioner, referring to the leaders of the capitalist-bashing regimes in Venezuela, Argentina and New York. Another attraction is the 40% rise in Miami condo rents since 2009, buoying the income of owners who choose not to live in the tropical hurly-burly that Dave Barry, a local author, calls “Insane City”. Brokers report increased business from Eastern Europe and the Middle East (Qatar Airways will fly direct to Miami from June), and an uptick in inquiries from Chinese buyers. Is another bubble forming already? Developers say this time is different, and in some ways it is. In a few years Miami has gone from the most- to the least-leveraged property market in America. Buyers of new condos typically have to put 50% down, half of that before building starts. Banks are loth to extend construction loans unless 60-75% of the units are already sold. In both residential and commercial projects, they require developers to put in much more equity than before. Mr Rosso says Related now puts in three times as much, which limits its ambition. The firm now has 2,000 condos in the works, a tenth of what it was building in 2007. Still, a supply glut is possible. With developers gung-ho again, around 50 towers are under construction or planned in downtown Miami (including the Porsche Design Tower, whose well-heeled inhabitants will be able to take their cars up to the level on which they live in a special lift—this is useful if you really love your car). More were added last month when Oleg Baybakov, a Russian mining-to-property oligarch, bought a trio of condo-development sites for $30m, more than triple their assessed market value in 2013. Miami’s developers are adept at using “smoke and mirrors” to hide the true number of pre-sold units, says Peter Zalewski of Condo Vultures, a property-intelligence firm. Some see the first signs of trouble. The stock of unsold condos and houses has crept up slightly since last summer. A local broker says that Blackstone, a private-equity firm with a taste for bricks and mortar, bought $120m of properties with his firm’s help in 2013 but “won’t do anything like that this year”. Mr Zalewski says banks are competing harder to finance certain projects, but this may not be a sign of unadulterated bullishness. They may simply be betting that many of the 134 towers proposed but not yet under construction in South Florida won’t get built—meaning the 57 that have already broken ground will do better than forecast. Much will depend on whether Latin Americans remain addicted to Miami property and, should their ardour cool, whether Americans and others would take up the slack. Few domestic buyers are comfortable putting 50% down, especially when most of it is at risk if the project fails. One or two developers have begun to accept 30% down, a possible sign of increased reliance on home-grown buyers. The market should get a fillip from the current and planned redevelopment of several chunks of downtown Miami. One of the most ambitious projects is Miami Worldcenter, a 30-acre retail, hotel and convention-centre complex that will feature Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and a giant Marriott hotel. A science museum will soon join the art museum . These projects build on progress made over the past decade towards becoming a world-class city, from the opening of dozens of top-notch restaurants to Art Basel picking Miami as one of the three venues for its shows (“the Super Bowl of the Art World”, as Tom Wolfe called it in his Miami novel, “Back to Blood”). Tourism is at record levels. Miami is the only American city besides New York in the top ten of Knight Frank’s 2014 global-cities index, which ranks cities by their attractiveness to the ultra-wealthy. (It comes seventh, ahead of Paris.) Property is still far cheaper than in most other cities on the list (see chart). Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is dangling the city’s low taxes and lovely weather in front of companies to persuade them to move there. This is starting to bear fruit, especially in finance: Universa, a $6 billion hedge fund in California, recently agreed to relocate, following part of Eddie Lampert’s ESL. SABMiller, a giant brewer, has moved its Latin American head office from Colombia. . “I lived a long time in New York, but here [in Miami] it’s easier to make something from nothing,” enthuses Nitin Motwani, a DDA board member, who talks of the city’s skyline one day resembling Manhattan’s. Mr Zalewski is more cautious. Miami’s property market is “a great game”, he says, but “all it would take to send a chill through the entire market is one big project to go sideways.” Developers who joke about Viagra should keep some aspirin within reach, just in case.
  21. Broccolini wins two tenders for LEED Gold office towers from the federal government Canada NewsWire MONTREAL, May 7 MONTREAL, May 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Broccolini, a recognized leader in the Canadian construction industry for over sixty years, has recently won two major tenders from the federal government to construct two LEED® Gold office towers, with work slated to begin in late summer. The firm has been awarded the contract to design, develop and build these towers totalling more than 900,000 rentable sq. ft. of Class A office space for the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) in Gatineau, Quebec. Having successfully developed TELUS House, a 9-storey, Class A, 160,000 sq. ft. LEED® Silver certified office building in Ottawa, and with Export Development Canada's (EDC) 575,000 sq. ft. headquarters under construction, the new mandates confirm Broccolini's significant position in development and construction in the National Capital area. The new buildings will provide space for federal government departments and organizations and will attain LEED® Gold certification. This represents the tenth time that Broccolini will have delivered a LEED® certified project to the marketplace. "We are very proud to have won the mandate for these groundbreaking projects," said Anthony Broccolini, Managing Director at Broccolini. "We believe it reflects our reputation for strong development and construction capabilities, as well as the quality of the work we've previously undertaken in the Ottawa market." The 12-storey, 484,000 sq. ft. office tower, located on Carrière Boulevard in Gatineau, features architecture promoting a healthy balance between efficient planning and the preservation and restoration of natural green space. It will enhance the site's attractions, taking advantage of the extensive mature tree coverage and superb view overlooking Lac Leamy. The building's timeless architecture and cutting-edge technology will be an eye-catching reflection of Broccolini's environmental commitment, as well as its ongoing concern for the quality of its developments. The second building, a 15-storey, 690,000 sq. ft office tower, will overlook Promenade du Portage Street in the heart of downtown Gatineau, adjacent to the PWGSC's existing premises. With architecture combining heritage features and high-tech efficiency, its design will allow the building to optimize the usage of space while restoring and improving a significant element of the city's urban fabric, at the same time incorporating PWGSC's existing facilities. The know-how, experience and passion for development and construction, cornerstones of the company's success, were no doubt major factors in the decision to award the mandate to the firm. With a pristine litigation record and an enviable reputation for integrity, quality of work and flexibility, Broccolini has demonstrated its ability to deliver similar signature properties to the market. "We have major experience in a wide range of projects from office buildings and manufacturing facilities to big box stores and industrial complexes," explained Mr. Broccolini. "Our team is enthusiastic and welcomes the challenges of delivering these exciting and demanding projects on time and on budget."
  22. Diagrid design completed for Ernst & Young headquarters Foster + Partners has completed a headquarters building for Ernst & Young at the gateway to the Vivaldi-park area of the new Zuidas district, south of Amsterdam. Commissioned by ING, the tower establishes a landmark on the route into the city with its diagrid façade. Ten per cent more efficient than the target Dutch environmental standards, the building also extends the public realm with a water court at its base. The 24-storey building is divided into two twelve metre-wide column free towers with open, flexible floor plates. The blocks are staggered in plan to admit as much natural light as possible and to make the most of the northerly city views. The northern façade is fully glazed, while partial thirty per cent glazing to the east, west and south limits solar gain. Combined with ground water storage to further save on energy for cooling, the overall environmental strategy is highly efficient. Linked by a shared transparent core, the offices are serviced by double-height meeting spaces and light-filled social spaces allowing communication between different floors. The structural steel diagrid is clad in silver aluminium and is offset by opaque black panels, which reduce the definition of the individual floor levels. This lattice scales the entire 87-metre high facade and gives the building its identity. At the base of the building the height of the diagrid creates a triple-storey lobby space, while at the top of each tower north and south-facing terraces are set into the structure. The towers are approached via a water-court with an ecological pond beneath an overhanging canopy. Defining the relationship between public and private, this space houses the social functions, such as staff restaurant, terrace, auditorium and bar, clustered around the water-court. Coupled with a green roof on the restaurant building, the pond has an important environmental contribution. 65 per cent of rainwater is retained on site while the run-off feeds into the Amsterdam canal system to control water levels following peak rainfall. The pond is naturally cleansed by a planted biotope of reeds, water lilies and grasses. David Nelson, Senior Executive and joint Head of Design at Foster + Partners said: “Our first building in Amsterdam not only exceeds Dutch environmental regulations by ten per cent, but provides a striking marker for the Vivaldi park area, a high quality, flexible working environment for tenants Ernst & Young and a lively public water-court with a working ecological pond at its base.” http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=2434
  23. Foster+Partners announce design for bustling new district in French capital Hermitage Plaza will create a new community to the east of La Défense, in Courbevoie, that extends down to the river Seine with cafés, shops and a sunny public plaza at its heart. Revealed by Foster + Partners at MIPIM in Cannes, the project incorporates two 323-metre-high buildings – the tallest mixed-use towers in Western Europe – which will establish a distinctive symbol for this new urban destination on the Paris skyline. The result of a close collaboration with EPAD, the City of Courbevoie, Atelier de Paysage Urbain and Département de Hauts-de-Seine, the project is intended to inject life into the area east of La Défense by creating a sustainable, high-density community. Due to start on site in 2010 and complete by the end of 2014, the two towers accommodate a hotel, spa, panoramic apartments, offices and serviced apartments, as well as shops at the base. Forming two interlocking triangles on plan, the buildings face one another at ground level. Open and permeable to encourage people to walk through the site, the towers enclose a public piazza which establishes the social focus. As they rise, the towers transform, turning outward to address views across Paris. The glazed façade panels catch the light, the sun animating different facets of the buildings as it changes direction throughout the day. The angle of the panels promotes self-shading and vents can be opened to draw fresh air inside, contributing to an environmental strategy that targets a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating. The diagrid structure is not only highly efficient - doing more with less - but it emphasises the elegant proportions of the towers. A crystal-shaped podium building contains office space, with two detached satellite buildings housing a gallery and auditorium that further extend the public realm. The piazza – created by burying the existing busy road beneath a landscaped deck – slopes gently downward to the water’s edge, which is lined with new cafés and restaurants. Locking into the existing Courbevoie and EPAD masterplans, the project will reinforce the regeneration of the riverfront. Norman Foster said: “Hermitage Plaza will create a 24-hour community that will regenerate the riverfront and inject new life into a predominantly commercial part of the city. A light catching addition to the Paris skyline, the development will also provide a public piazza that leads down to the river’s edge to create a new destination for the city.” http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11286