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Pulse Designed by Helen Pierce of PierceWorkshop in San Antonio, Pulse recently won the $8,000 DawnTown 2008 Award sponsored by the Miami Downtown Development Authority. Its purpose is to conceal a sewage pumping station located in Miami’s Museum Park where museums by Nicolas Grimshaw and Herzog & DeMeuron are planned. “I was struck by the incompatibility of the pump station with museums next door and luxury condos across the street,’’ says Pierce. “We’re trying to hide an ugly, messy thing. But it keeps the city alive, and I liked the idea of making something beautiful from it.’’ The scheme would cover the pump station with a steel cage from which would extend a writhing mass of flexible, orange rubber tentacles with light-emitting diodes at their ends. An electronic board running along the base could carry information about the pump station’s function. Jurors liked Pulse because it would not result in another building competing for attention with the two future museums—but something fun and entirely different.
Shanghai Tower Designed by Marshall Strabala, AIA, in Gensler’s Houston office, the Shanghai Tower Construction and Development Corporation’s 2,074-foottall Shanghai Tower broke ground in November. The 128-story building, set for completion in 2014, is expected to be the tallest building in China. Located in the Lujiazui section of Pudong, the glass-and-steel skyscraper will be one of three extremely tall buildings that are part of the area’s master plan. The Shanghai Tower will stand next to the 1,380-foot Jin Mao Tower (1999; SOM) and the 1,614-foot World Financial Center (2008; Kohn Pedersen Fox with East China Architecture and Design Institute). The mixed-use project will contain offices, stores, residences, a hotel, and the world’s highest unenclosed observation deck. Green features include wind turbines, rainwater collection systems, and a double skin for greater temperature control. Mechanical systems, basic services, and common spaces will be located at vertical intervals to reduce trips to the ground level.
Cibolo Town Center The Cibolo Town Center Master Plan, designed by Archimedia, was developed over several months in a series of stakeholder charrettes and city leadership meetings. Located just four miles off I-35 northeast of San Antonio, Cibolo must adapt to rapid growth. The plan calls for vertically integrated mixed-use buildings set on build-to lines to create a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly experience. A large area of adjacent land will be held permanently as open space to provide critical storm-water detention and a recreation area. Residential options, intended to accomodate all income levels, range from single-family homes with garage apartments to multiplex townhouses and lofts. Daily driving distances will be shortened or eliminated as basic services and needs will be located within a five-minute walk of a given residence. A multimodal transportation depot also is envisioned. Currently, new water tanks and delivery networks, new roads, and a major reconstruction of Main Street are underway.
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Texas Architect, March/April 2009; Official magazine of the Texas Society of Architects|AIA