CCTV, OMA, construction in procress... (above)
National Stadium, Herzog & De Meuron, 2008 (bottom)
This tower isn’t yet finish to build and it’s already famous and iconic. OMA pushed a bit further yet his high quality architectural standard. They totally rethink the way to conceive skyscraper. In a race to reach the higher level, the project offers at the same time vertical and horizontal tower creating a loop of function. It clashes with the usual skyline and fully redefines the constantly changing Beijing’s silhouette. They innovate in their design but also in their construction technique to joint together these to vertical towers with the horizontal part.
.The stadium was the prime figure of the 2008 Olympics Games in China (view by billions of people through television network)Iconic yes !! Way too big for Wyndham Gateway scale (an expansive too). The cool thing about this project is that the building has been think to be converted after the game to still be useful. Many stadiums across the world (Montreal, Barcelona etc.) have suffer of a lack of projection. How the gigantic building like this can be build for 2 weeks of activities? Welcome to sustainable design!!
This office, through his entire work, has always questioned the standards, the general or popular aesthetic. I particularly love the way Koolhass analyses, critics and reacts to the urban context of modern cities.
Another cool think about the statdium is the way that Herzog and DeMeuron have create the space with a single element, the concrete structure. The roof is wall and the wall is the skin. One element scaled, rotated and oriented to become this gig nest.
Power of Architecture. Every intervention in a city lets a mark and contributes to history. Architecture in his nature and in the act of building is there to stay for a long time. It marks his time. From small to large scale, architecture* changes the face and the behaviour of our daily environment. It analyses or questions the past, marks the present and influences to the future. A build intervention takes his place in a context both physical and historical. It can accept it and adapt to it, accept but react to it or simply reject it. It is important to think and make a deep reflection before any intervention. Designers should question the way the world proceeds and react in their proposal. Every intervention should have a purpose, a meaning or an intention. Not necessarily clear. In that sense, it is important for some practices to go forward and innovate. Innovate in their way of thinking the world, questioning his behaviour and designing his components. Try to make their own mark with their approach to every project.
LAX Gateway, NADEL Architectes, 2007. Personally I dislike the thousand changing color LED lights, but I think the general public likes it (based on Quebec’s reference ; New lighting facade of Palais Montcalm, Jules Dallaire Complexe and Robert Lepage’s Moulin a images “screen saver”). I like flashy colors, but don’t make them switch from one to aother. Sure it gives the pylons a dominant presence in the landscape of LA, but it looks cheap. Still, it is a good precedent for the gateway contest because of its efficiency, scale and visibility. The installation becomes very quickly the new identity of LAX (postcard, web site, travelling agency). It is visible from any scale at every speed. It is also a very simple set up, gigantic glass columns, big ‘’LAX’’ letter and flashy changing colors.
Every historical period has his own predominant style. A way to think, a way to teach or a way to design, it stills a good reflection of the general culture of a society. During the last century, architecture and design became worldwide. You can find some vernacular styles in some regions with a specific climate, but an international style (glass and concrete) seams to lead a good part of the civic construction. Despite of this dominance of style, almost every decade has his own style that reacts, questions, disapproves, critics or provoke the previous. That makes architecture the ideal media communicate a message, a vision and intention. This gives the architecture the power of being iconic, to be a statement. (That is a risky power to give to architects. The result can be very different from shocking or controversial to boring and beige, from disgusting to amazingly beautiful or sometime a combination of all that. But let’s not mention that into our eoi.)
Iconic. Many architects have provided to cities a strong identity through their work. What is call now the Bilbao effect from the famous museum of Frank Gehry is not a new phenomenon. Sydney’s Opera House from Jørn Utzon has made a similar effect on Australia. More recently, project like the 226 National Stadium of Beijing from Herzog et DeMeuron, 2008 (bottom-left)) or LAX Gateway from NADEL Architects, 2007 (top-right) contribute to the international identity of those cities. Molecular crossing, JBeauchamp, 2010 This bridge installationdg floats and interacts with the river flow and question the river’s property and conservatism for the citizens (who haven’t access to the shores).