PHABRIK Magazine


Architecture + Interiors

432 Park Avenue by Rafael Viñoly

By João Paulo Nunes

Uruguayan (and New York-based) architect Rafael Viñoly has designed what will become the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere when it is completed in 2015. Since it was launched in March 2013, the 96-storey 432 Park Avenue condominium has achieved over 1 billion USD in sales of apartments priced between 7 million USD and 95 million USD. The homes in the concrete and glass building will command views of Central Park, as well as of the Hudson and East rivers through 10 by 10 foot apertures that evoke Mies van der Rohe’s architectural compositions.

Hygge (Cozy time)

Liquid Glacial Tables by Zaha Hadid


Architect Zaha Hadid has unveiled the Liquid Glacial series of tables at the inaugural exhibition for the new David Gill gallery in London’s St James. The tables, which come in clear or in colour, resemble ice formations made from clear and coloured acrylic. The geometry of the flat table tops appears transformed from static to fluid by the subtle waves and ripples evident below the surface, which seem to pour from the horizontal through a vortex that forms the table legs. The transparent acrylic material, milled and hand-polished to create their finish, amplifies this perception, adding depth and complexity through a display of kaleidoscopic refractions. The result generates a surface dynamic that inherits a myriad of colours from its context and continually adapts with the observer’s changing viewpoint. The tables represent Zaha Hadid’s application of her architectural process to the design of furniture. Known for pushing the boundaries of architecture and design, her fluid forms are informed by multiple perspectives in defiance of accepted ways of working in space. Hadid’s key architectural projects include the Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, the Phaeno Science Centre in Wolfsburg, Germany, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (MAXXI) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. Hadid has lived in London since attending the Architectural Association in the 1970s. He work has been featured in several exhibitions worldwide and she has won numerous awards, including the Pritzker Prize, the Praemium Imperiale by the Japan Art Association, and the Stirling Prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

MAD Architects Complete Marilyn Monroe Towers in Canada


Beijing-based MAD Architects have completed their Absolut Towers (nicknamed ‘Marilyn Monroe Towers’ by the locals owing to their curvaceous shapes) in Mississauga, Canada. The two residential towers (one of 56 stories and the other is 50) are located at the junction of two main streets. They feature a continuous balcony that surrounds the whole building, eliminating the vertical barriers traditionally used in high-rise architecture. The entire building rotates by different degrees at different levels, corresponding with the surrounding scenery and providing 360 degree views of nature for each residential unit. The project was recently awarded the best new building in the Americas by the Council of Tall Buildings and Habitat (CTBUH).

Work Starts on China’s Second Tallest Skyscraper


The Evergrande Tower, designed by UK architecture firm Terry Farrell and Partners, has started construction in the central business district of Jinan, the capital of China’s Shandong province. The tower, which comes with a building price tag of approximately 25 billion Yuan (or 4 billion USD), will contain apartments, offices, and entertainment and retail spaces. When completed, the Evergrande Tower will stand at 560 metres and will be China’s second tallest skyscraper after the Shanghai Tower by Gensler Architects (due to be complete in 2014).

Daniel Libeskind’s Reflections at Keppel Bay, Singapore


Architect Daniel Libeskind has completed ‘The Reflections at Keppel Bay’, a series of aluminium-clad residential towers in Keppel Harbor, Singapore. This is Libeskind’s first residential project in Asia, and his largest completed residential project to date. The six glazed curved towers, that range between 24 and 41 floors feature rooftop gardens and are connected to one another by elevated bridges. The development also includes 11 low-rise villa apartment blocks that range between 6 and 8 floors. Overall, the two-million-square-foot residential development comprises a total of 1,129 units.

Beach + Howe Tower, Vancouver, by BIG Architects

By João Paulo Nunes

Copenhagen-based architecture studio BIG have unveiled designs for a structurally innovative residential tower which will become an elegant gateway to the city of Vancouver, Canada. Named after the site streets where it will be built, at 150 metres high, ‘Beach + Howe Tower’ will be the city’s fourth tallest building. The tower addresses the requirements of a challenging site that is divided by the Granville overpass, and the need to integrate high and low-rise structures into the odd-shaped lots that have been produced by the roads and the imposed city building codes. To address these criteria, and to keep a minimum 30-meter clearance of to the infrastructure, BIG have devised a 49-storey building with a slender base that widens to the top. A nine-storey podium accommodating offices, shops and restaurants is accessible by a public plaza under the large concrete supports of the overpass. Above this structure, and by resorting to a twisting structure, the tower’s 600 residential units manage to avoid noise and pollution while securing views of the ocean and surrounding mountains.

Foster + Partners had unveiled plans for Marseille’s Old Port, Paris, France

By João Paulo Nunes

The practice is now celebrating having been granted ‘Permis de Construire’ for the Hermitage Plaza in Paris. The project will comprise two 320-metre-high buildings (the tallest mixed-use towers in Western Europe) and is expected to create a new community in Courbevoie, to the east of La Défense, that extends down to the river Seine with cafés, shops and a public plaza at its heart. The result of a close collaboration with the planning authorities (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. The two towers accommodate a hotel, spa, panoramic apartments, offices and serviced apartments, as well as shops at the base. 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 (created by burying the existing busy road beneath a landscaped deck) lined with new cafés and restaurants. As they rise from an interlocking diamond-shaped plan, the towers turn outward to address views across Paris. The angle of the façade panels promotes self-shading while vents can be opened to draw fresh air inside, contributing to an environmental strategy that targets a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating. At the same time, the diagrid structure uses less steel and emphasises the proportions of the towers.

©2013 PHABRIK Magazine