On the northern side of the site, three residential towers capping out at 95, 80 and 65 stories will comprise hotel, affordable housing, retail and a community center. The southern block will be more commercial-oriented, with two new office towers and the reclad Toronto Star building.
The development will connect to the Toronto’s underground pedestrian system, the PATH, as well as public transportation and simple, safe pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.
“We are looking forward to developing this landmark community on Toronto’s revitalized waterfront”, said Micheal De Cotiis, President and CEO of Pinnacle Internationa.
The first phase will encompass the 65-story tower, and which is expected to break onto the market in the next few months, with subsequent phases to follow.
The government of the United Arab Emirates has announced the launch of the Mars Science City project, a $140 Million USD (AED 500 million) research city that will serve as a “viable and realistic model” for the simulation of human occupation of the martian landscape. Designed by a team of Emirati scientists, engineers and designers from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in partnership with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the 1.9 million-square-foot domed structure will become the largest space simulation city ever constructed.
Mars Science City will house a variety of program pieces for both researchers and visitors, including laboratories for the study of food, energy and water; landscapes for agricultural testing and food security studies; and a museum celebrating humanity’s greatest space achievements and educating visitors on the city’s research. Utilizing one of the techniques currently considered for Mars habitat construction, the walls of the museum will be 3D printed using sand from the Emirati desert.
Laboratory spaces will be outfitted with advanced technologies allowing researchers to test construction and living strategies under specific Martian heat and radiation levels. Plans for the city include an experimental living scenario in which a team will attempt to live within the constructed environment for a full year.
“The UAE is a great country with vision and understanding of the challenges we face and the rapid changes our world is experiencing,” said Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “We believe in the potential of space exploration, and in collaborating with global partners and leaders in order to harness the findings of this research and movement that seeks to meet people’s needs and improve quality of life on earth.”
Michel Kozman has imagined a light-filled library for Hyde Park as part of the Archasm Hyde Park Library Competition that ran earlier this year. The competition, which attracted 378 registrations, called for “a stimulating and exciting approach towards the design of a library at Hyde Park.” The brief requested consideration be given to modern forms of media, including audiovisual and digital technologies, challenge the traditional library typology and become a zone within the park for knowledge exchange and gathering.
Kozman’s design entry was drawn from the park, for the park. Located on the lake edge, the building attempts to solidify the moment where water is disturbed and ripples outwards, resulting in a kind of rolling, droplet-shaped object. The form is then pulled, so it is leaning over its entrance. This formal condition is extended into the landscape, with an outdoor amphitheater curling up from the ground like a lip.
The building’s skin would appear woven and the space frame construction left exposed, creating a dappled, patterned light, denser where the heat gain is less desired and responding to its leafy context.
The library sinks inwards over four floors to an internal courtyard, and stainless steel panels are used internally to capitalize on reflections of the park surrounding. This would create an immersive experience, bringing the outside in and the inside out. The columns holding up the structure fluctuate in width and twist like tree trunks while the floor plates wave around the edges to create double-height alcoves below.
This dynamic scheme would be an interesting addition to London’s largest royal park. It is a unique design, full of light and air and would no doubt offer a place of respite on the city’s colder days.
“Plyscraper,” “woodscraper,” call it what you will, but the timber age is upon us. Brock Commons Tallwood House, the recently completed student residence building at the University of British Columbia(UBC) in Vancouver, now occupies a prominent position within architecture: the tallest timber structured building in the world.
Designed by the Canadian practice Acton Ostry Architects Inc., the project was a collaborative effort of a number of leading companies and consulting firms including Fast + Epp, Austria-based Architekten Hermann Kaufmann, and GHL Consultants Ltd., along with the renowned manufacturer of mass timber products and packages, Structurlam.
“We found that working with wood, we could reduce timelines for construction. The assembly of the wood structure went up incredibly quickly, faster than we even expected”, explained John Metras, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development at UBC.
Stretching up to a height of 53 meters, the building houses 404 students and comprises a mix of one-bedroom and studio units, study and social spaces, and a student lounge on the topmost floor. With the design and construction team working in tandem from the very beginning, the process was streamlined by a thorough testing of wood-to-wood connections on a two-story mock-up prior to on-site construction. This not only allowed the team to test structural stability, but also helped perfect the timeline of the project.
Even more pertinent to the pre-fabrication process was a detailed 3-D model, which helped various departments to collaboratively discuss and apply ideas prior to finalizing them for actual fabrication or construction. Owing to meticulous planning and the efficient integration of construction and design processes, Brock Commons was completed within a mere 70 days after the prefabricated components were ready for assembly – considerably shorter than the amount of time it would have taken to complete a concrete building of the same size.
Surprisingly though, despite wood being the main material used throughout the structure, the interior does little to reveal it. The structure is concealed behind drywall and concrete topping, mainly to comply with the accepted fire-safety codes and consequently speed up approval from building authorities. While Brock Commons could attract some criticism due to this particular aspect, the pros of the mass timber model still seem to outweigh the few cons. Not only is it economically viable, but when coupled with sustainable forest management, represents an altogether environmentally friendly method of building. It is light-weight and hence less prone to damage during earthquakes, but most importantly, due to the prefabricated elements involved, it is a speedy, hassle-free construction process contributing next to nothing to on-site traffic, pollution and noise.
Recent technological developments have certainly allowed for more efficient building processes and materials. More and more architects now rally for timber instead of concrete and steel, persuaded by its proven success and in reaction to the ever-mounting issue of climate change at hand. Several mass timber projects are already underway across the world including Shigeru Ban Architects’ plans for Terrace House in Vancouver. Once complete, the structure will surpass Brock Commons to become “the tallest hybrid timber structure building in the world”.
For more details of materials and the construction process of Brock Commons Tallwood House, check out our coverage of the project from last year:
Responding to the ever-growing demand for sky-high public spaces and the need for innovative environmental solutions, New York-based studio DFA has envisioned a 712-foot-tall prefabricated timber observation tower in New York’s Central Park that, if built, would become the world’s tallest timber structure.
Combining the principles of “architecture, recreation, resiliency, and tourism,” the Central Park Tower would rise out of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the 106-acre man-made lake that encompasses one-eighth of the total park area and holds one billion gallons of contaminated water.
Currently, the reservoir sits nearly stagnant and fenced off from public use. DFA’s proposal would place a timber tower with a vertical axis wind turbine in the center of the reservoir. The power generated from the turbine would be enough to filter the water below and move people up the structure without drawing from the city grid.
“Aside from supplying water to the pool and Harlem Meer, the Reservoir sits stagnant and fenced off due to its current state as a health threat to millions of New Yorkers, tourists and animals,” said Sayigh.
“DFA envisions a temporary landmark that is remarkably of its time to creatively transform the reservoir into one of New York’s boldest urban amenities,” said DFA founder Laith Sayigh.
The tower would be built from prefabricated Glulam units around a steel core, allowing it be manufactured offsite and assembled in under six months. Anchored to a pre-cast concrete base and stabilized using tensile cables, the tower can achieve an ultra-slender form for minimal invasiveness and cast shadows.
“The first element of the Central Park Tower houses a steel core and a water filtration system,” explain the architects. “From 475-feet to 600-feet the densely configured jointed interlocking woven wood helix continues forming the primary tower. A steel ramp equidistant to a New York City perimeter block, or .42-mile, wraps the interior core from the 375-foot to 500-foot mark of the tower. Wrapping the ramp is a more open, expanded exterior wood helix and skin that stands 500-feet into the air as a single gesture. The porosity of the exoskeleton opens up visibility of the ramp and people from the ground as well as of the city, rivers and park from above.”
The tower’s main attraction is the 56-foot-wide viewing platform, which offers both 360-degree views of the city and inward views to the functional elements of the core. The wind turbine would rise a further 100 feet above the viewing platform, with a 112-foot-tall lighting rod capping the structure.
“This conceptual project pushes the boundaries of what we perceive is possible in a city as dense, historic and environmentally vulnerable as ours,” said Sayigh. “The Central Park Tower has the potential to be a model project for other cities aiming to fix existing infrastructure, build tall to capture views and elevate the urban public realm.”
If you follow MAD Architects on social media, the chances are good that in recent months you’ve seen a number of updates regarding their Chaoyang Park Plaza project in Beijing. Located at the southern edge of the largest park in Beijing, the project comprises a complex of 5 buildings, including a pair of asymmetric towers that reach 120 meters tall. Now, with the building almost complete, photographerKhoo Guo Jie of Studio Periphery has provided us with this sneak peek of the project.
The Chaoyang Park Plaza project is the most complete realization yet of MAD founder Ma Yansong‘s“Shan Shui City” vision, which takes inspiration from traditional Chinese landscape painting to propose an artificial landscape that, in Ma’s words, creates a “future-high-density urban environment focused on people’s emotions: what they feel and what they see.” The project’s location was ideal for this concept, as the park’s Nanhu Lake provides the water (“shui”) to balance the “mountains” (“shan”) created by the project.
Designs have been revealed of the latest, and most central soccer stadium being constructed for the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar. Designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah and design consultantHeerim, the Al Thumama Stadium will feature a woven-pattern exterior skin inspired by the traditional ‘gahfiya’ cap worn by Arab men.
Located six kilometers south of downtown Doha, the stadium will be used from from the group stages to the quarterfinals, seating up to 40,000 spectators. Following the event, it will be transformed into a “legacy mode” containing 20,000 seats and featuring a sports clinic and boutique hotel in the upper stands. While the World Cup will be pushed back from its usual summer date until November, special cooling systems will be installed to allow the stadium to be used year-round.
“Al Thumama Stadium is a nod to the past, while offering an exciting glimpse into Qatar’s tomorrow. In Arab culture, the gahfiya forms an important part of every young boy’s pathway to adulthood,” explains the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the organization charged with managing the construction of infrastructure required for the World Cup. “It is an arena that symbolises Qatar’s youth, the country’s emergence as a major player on the global sporting scene and the shared Arab heritage that inspired its creation.”