Rooms of different types and usage can be divided, reduced in size, enlarged, have their proportions modified and thus be adapted on demand to the different number of people using them. From the small conference room to the large exhibition hall. This flexibility generates a special atmosphere, characterized by creative aesthetics and enhanced by a wide range of surface materials and finishes.
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SHoP Architects has just broken ground on their first project in Mexico, a mixed-use development inTijuana. The complex, which will be know as BAJALTA, explores new ideas about open-space and mixed-use developments, yielding a better quality of life for residents and visitors.
According to SHoP, “[Bajalta] aims to provide a new architectural expression,” meaning that opposing functions will integrate in synthetic arrangements, such as a hotel and office hybrid, or a mixture of commercial and public functions. The most prominent feature of the development will be the Manzanita, or little block, located at the intersection of two prominent streets in Tijuana. Considered the gateway to Bajalta, it is intended to be a cultural and educational nexus of the city.
Tijuana is dramatically close to the US border and the state of California, and the design is meant to establish a dialogue between these two places, reflecting their geographic similarity and cultural diversity. SHoP describes the project as taking on “the characteristic push-and-pull of the border culture.” In turn, Bajalta will not only connect with the urban fabric of the surrounding area, uniting the city as one, but it will also become a destination for outside visitors.
The overall goal of this project is to show that Tijuana is establishing a stance on high-density living that reflects a positive balance “between image and lifestyle.” The development broke ground today, and does not yet have a scheduled completion date.
CEBRA, in collaboration with landscape architect SLA, has designed Veris International School for The Sustainable City in Dubai. In opposition to hot-climate educational environments that are often large, air-conditioned structures, CEBRA’s vision for The Sustainable City proposes a permeability between outdoor and indoor learning environments, utilizing both in equal measure.
“We had to rethink the school in our design. Why not take advantage of the warm climate, move many of the functions of the school away from artificial air-conditioned rooms, and out in a naturally ventilated, cooled environment?” posits Mikkel Hallundbæk Schlesinger, architect and head of CEBRA’s Abu Dhabi office. “[We’ve] worked extensively with [educational] architecture since we established the office in 2001, but this is the first time [we’ve designed] a school, in which the climate and vegetation constitute active design parameters.”
The greenery of The Sustainable City continues into the school and up the building’s facade, and students will actively contribute to this dialogue by maintaining gardens for vegetables and flowers. The City project is being developed by Diamond Developers and consists of townhouses and courtyard villas inspired byDubai’s historic “Bastakyia” district, as well as a hotel and innovation center. Living up to its name, the City’s energy will come from solar cells and all wastewater will be treated and reused.
Once completed, Veris International School will serve 1000 students age 3-12.