Keep informed about projects, recent developments and other interesting stuff.
‘Super Living’ and the expansion of the smart home
The ‘homes of the future’, previously the stuff of fantasy exhibited only in World's Fairs and science fiction, are increasingly becoming a reality. Automation and connectivity are making it possible for today’s smart homes to integrate information technologies through which systems and appliances are able to communicate in an integrated way, resulting in vastly increased convenience, energy efficiency, safety and security.
Ben van Berkel: “The contemporary smart home not only enables the control of appliances from afar and incorporates the necessary installations and materials to aim for a zero net energy building, it also responds to changes in today’s lifestyles.”
As such, flexible floor plans are incorporated which allow for diversity in function in order to correspond to the family’s changing needs and thus offer
choice for gathering, seclusion, work or play. The organisation of the contemporary home therefore enables the residents to curate their own home life, both now and in the future.
Ben van Berkel: “A challenge for the architect in the design of today’s single family home is a response that accurately reflects the degrees of flexibility, sustainability and automation required by the residents and the incorporation of these into the overall concept of the design.”
The W.I.N.D. House in the province of North-Holland incorporates both integrated sustainable solutions and home automation, whilst flexibility of spaces, the comprehensive assimilation of the surrounding landscape and a centrifugal circulation form the basis of the design.
On Sunday January 18th UNStudio welcomed a class of children from the IMC weekendschool and introduced them to the wide world of architecture. The IMC weekendschool gives children the opportunity to widen their horizons and explore different professions from an inside perspective. Architecture is one of the professions they learn about throughout the school year.
A group of UNStudio experts gave the enthusiastic 10 year olds a tour through the office and provided them with some insights into the profession.
Over the course of four lessons our future colleagues will make their own small projects, the best of which will be awarded during a presentation on February 8th. The students will be given the task to design their dream houses in groups of four to five children. They will make sketches, learn how to make floor plans and sections and to make models.
Caroline Bos yesterday gave a presentation at Eurau 2014 Composite Cities symposium in Istanbul.
Stemming from the urge to critically discuss the ‘today and tomorrow’ of cities worldwide, the Eurau 2014 conference is structured around the theme: “composite cities”, referring to the complexity of cities; ever increasing through new urban emergences adding up to the existing urban environment and continuously redefining our urban experience. The conference aims to enable a medium to discuss the complex relationship between urban form and urban experience through the composite character of our cities, explained hereby in four topics-possible states of composite being: hybrid city, morphed city, fragmented city and mutated city.
Ben van Berkel / UNStudio’s Seating Stones Series was launched by Walter Knoll at Orgatec 2014 in Cologne last week. The Seating Stones series is designed to encourage active participation and personalisation in the space creation of the contemporary office environment.
UNStudio's Theatre de Stoep in the Dutch town of Spijkenisse has been realised and will open to the public tomorrow.
UNStudio’s design for Theatre responds to the current cultural invigoration of the city by merging the archetypal function of a theatre - that of creating a world of illusion and enchantment - with the specific requirements of a regional theatre and its requisite to cater to the varied needs of the local community. The theatre is therefore designed with a dual emphasis on the chimeric nature of the world of the stage and the social aspects of the theatre experience.
UNStudio's exhibition 'Motion Matters 4.0' opened at the Architekturgalerie Munich last night.
The exhibition - which runs until Fri 7th Nov 2014 - presents UNStudio’s milestone projects, in addition to conveying a perspective on 26 years of architectural production, the current approach to architectural practice and the wider discourse that determines design challenges today.
Qatar Rail has appointed UNStudio as the principal architect for the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP).
The Metro Network, the key component of the QIRP - with phase 1 planned to include around 35 stations and phase 2, around 60 stations - will serve as the backbone of the public transport system in the Greater Doha Area (GDA). The full network is planned to comprise four lines connecting the GDA as well as Al Khor, and Al Wakrah-Mesaieed communities located north and south of Doha respectively.
The goal of the QIRP is to create a service which encourages the use of public transportation as a valid alternative to private transportation for the population of Doha.
UNStudio’s pavilion building and underground car park - along with the new City Garden designed by Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects - at the EEA & Tax Offices in Groningen will officially open to the public on Wednesday June 11th.
Following the completion of the main building in 2011, the underground car park, the pavilion building and the new City Garden complete the development.
Designed by Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects, the new City Garden at the EEA & Tax Offices in Groningen forms an important addition to the city’s parklands and combines the secure atmosphere of a garden with the liveliness of an urban public space.
Situated within the City Garden, the two storey garden pavilion, which houses a variety of programmes (fitness, restaurant café and business centre), relates to the design of the main EEA & Tax Office building but presents a more extravert character.
The new underground car park can accommodate 700 vehicles, of which 60 are pre-fitted with electrical sockets. A separate section of the car park with its own entrance can store 1500 bikes of all types and sizes.
Following selection in the 2011 competition UNStudio’s World Horticultural Expo Theme Pavilion in Qingdao has been realised.
In its design for the Theme Pavilion UNStudio combines expert knowledge of logistics, spatial organisation, specialised typology, future flexible usability, function programming, façade intelligence, user comfort and sustainability.
The 28,000 square meter Theme Pavilion comprises the main Expo hall, a grand performance hall, a conference centre and a media centre.
The four pavilion volumes or ‘petals’ are connected by internal and external walkways and frame a central square which becomes a ‘stage’ for the visitors: a dynamic focal point surrounded by viewpoints on varying levels.
Ben van Berkel: “The architecture for the Theme Pavilion overflows and interacts with the surrounding landscape. The forms of the pavilion buildings respond to the nearby mountains, with their carefully composed rooftops acting as plateaus, each addressing a different portion of the master plan by different inclination and terracing and providing panoramic views which extend far into the surrounding landscape.”
UNStudio, in a joint venture with AD+RG, has been selected by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) to provide consultancy services for the design and administration of the construction of the Lyric Theatre in the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), which is scheduled for completion by 2019. The schematic design for the theatre is expected to be unveiled this autumn, with the design being carried out in UNStudio’s Shanghai and Hong Kong offices. UNStudio is the Lead Architecture Designer and AD+RG is the Lead Architecture Consultant.
The 1,200-seat Lyric Theatre will be Hong Kong’s first world-class facility for dance performances, including ballet, contemporary and Chinese dance forms. In the run up to the opening of further major performing arts venues in the WKCD, it will also be used for a wide variety of performing arts events including drama, opera and musical performances. The Lyric Theatre will act as a platform for Hong Kong’s leading arts organisations, and be a new major venue to show programmes from Asia and worldwide.
UNStudio’s design has been selected as the winning entry for the remodelling of the Hanwha Headquarter office tower in Seoul.
The renovation of the office tower incorporates the remodelling of the facade, the interior of the common spaces, lobbies, meeting levels, auditorium and executive areas, along with the redesign of the landscaping.
Ben van Berkel: “By means of a reductive, integrated gesture, the facade design for the Hanwha HQ implements fully inclusive systems which significantly impact the interior climate of the building, improve user comfort and ensure high levels of sustainability and affordability. Through fully integrated design strategies today’s facades can provide responsive and performative envelopes that both contextually and conceptually react to their local surroundings, whilst simultaneously determining interior conditions.”
As part of the ‘RIBA Shanghai Windows Project 2014’ UNStudio was invited by China Xintiandi to create a gateway installation for the Xintiandi Style Retail Mall in Shanghai.
Located along Madang Road and framing the entrance to the mall, the project conceptually explores the role of display in Shanghai: the symbiotic relationship of cultural reflections that occur between the city’s occupants and the urban landscape.
Ben van Berkel: “The installation is related to the culture of consuming, not with respect only to shopping, but to consuming images: images of our surroundings, of our city, of the buildings and the people around us and, of course, of ourselves.”
As an extended 30 meter long corridor archway that frames the entrance to Xintiandi Style Retail Mall, the project uses a single architectural gesture that transitions from wall to ceiling to wall.
Ben van Berkel: “We wanted to ‘dress up’ the public space as it were and to capture the public in this environment, almost in a kaleidoscopic catwalk – a place where you can see and be seen, but in surprising ways and within new perspectives of your surroundings.”