Tag Archives: Architecture

Louvre Abu Dhabi Dome

Abu Dhabi’s Louvre museum gains star canopy dome

Abu Dhabi Louvre construction

The last of nearly 4,500 metal stars was placed Sunday on the outer layer of the dome on Abu Dhabi’s Louvre museum, expected to open by the end of 2016.

The final star was added in the presence of French architect Jean Nouvel, said Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC).

“The outer cladding consists of 4,481 stars which is now 100% complete.”

Louvre Abu Dhabi Dome

The giant 180-metre (yard) dome is perforated with designs that will project light patterns in the shape of palm trees onto the exhibition space below.

The outer canopy is part of eight layers of cladding comprised of 7,850 star-shaped pieces of aluminium and stainless steel, the largest of which measures 13 metres in diameter and weighs 1.3 tonnes.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

TDIC said major work was expected in the next few months to lay the museum’s stone flooring, display cases for galleries and to complete the administration building.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, built on the island of Saadiyat in the oil-flush Emirate, is to have 9,200 square metres of art galleries.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum

Aladdin City Dubai

Aladdin City Coming To Dubai

Aladdin City Dubai

Construction work on ‘Aladdin City’, a project inspired by the tales of Aladdin and Sindbad, will start next year, according to emirates 24/7.

The project will have three towers, comprising commercial and hotel space, with the towers spread over a distance of 450 metres on Dubai Creek.

The project aims to develop towers to be the icons of legends of the past with a touch of beauty and tourism characteristic of the city.

Aladdin City

It comes in the prime location of Dubai Creek maintaining the activities of the port heritage. The project is located outside the zone waiting to be registered with the World Heritage by Unesco.

It will have air-conditioned bridges with moving floor to connect the towers, driveways and parking lots. The shape of the bridge represents the form of exotic marine life such as dragon and snakes.

Three towers will have a built up area of 110,000 square metres with the highest tower of 34 storeys. The other two towers will have 26 and 25 floors respectively. There will be a total parking space for 900 cars.

Olafur Eliasson designs new bridge in Copenhagen


A new pedestrian bridge designed by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has been inaugurated in Copenhagen, where its maritime-inspired design creates a walkway spanning the Christianshavn Canal.

For his “Cirkelbroen”, Eliasson took inspiration from sailboats in creating a series of five circular platforms, each with its own central mast.

With its non-linear design, the bridge aims to encourage those crossing it to reduce their speed, possibly using it as a meeting point or taking a break before they continue on their way. Eliasson hopes it will not just provide a new route but actually create a new urban space of its own.

“To hesitate on our way is to engage in bodily thought. I see such introspection as an essential part of a vibrant city.”

It is expected that more than 5,000 cyclists and pedestrians will cross the bridge daily as they travel between the Christiansbro area and Applebys Plads. In linking those areas, the Cirkelbroen makes the waterfront more accessible to walkers, joggers and bicyclists.

A swivel design, meanwhile, allows it to clear the way for boats traveling along the canal. Eliasson said the bridge “celebrates pedestrians” and reflects “the daily life and intimacy that you will find around the canal.”

The circle bridge

Building on the Cirkelbroen began in March 2012, and the finished bridge was inaugurated over the weekend.

Sky Pool

Suspended ‘sky pool’ coming to London

Sky Pool

In what appears to be a word first, developers in London are planning a swimming pool suspended high between two buildings with a clear shell that enables swimmers to feel like they’re in the sky.

The 25-meter-long pool would connect two apartment complexes that are part of the 2,000-home Embassy Gardens development in London’s new Nine Elms quarter, reports Dezeen.

Sky Pool London

It’s the work of architecture firm Arup Associates with help from structural design engineers at Eckersley O’Callaghan and also from Reynolds, an aquarium design firm.

It has reached the second stage of construction and developers from the Ballymore Group say it will include a bar, spa and orangery.

Embassy Gardens

Vincom Landmark 81

Vietnam to have new tallest building in 2017

Vincom Landmark 81

A new skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City aims to be the country’s tallest when it is completed in 2017.

Vincom Landmark 81, designed by UK architecture firm Atkins, is expected to reach a height of 460 meters and will add to the ever-growing skyline of Ho Chi Minh City, which has seen a boom in the construction of high-rise buildings in recent years.

The 81-storey building is located in Vinhomes Center Park, facing the Saigon River. At its base will be a shopping center, while the mixed-use development also includes space for a hotel and for apartments.

The architectural design is “modern and unusual,” says Atkins, “symbolizing the diversity and fast-emergence” of the city. A contemporary landscape design will bring nature into the 241,000 square meter development.

As construction gets under way on Landmark 81, another major new skyscraper is already preparing to eclipse it!

The 86-storey Empire City Tower, an observatory tower at the center a larger complex to include shopping, a five-star hotel, offices and apartments, is expected to be finished in Ho Chi Minh City by 2022.

Both buildings are the latest in a race to build Vietnam’s tallest building. Currently, the distinction goes to Hanoi’s Landmark 72, finished in 2011, followed by the Lotte Center Hanoi (2014), while in Ho Chi Minh City the Bitexco Financial Tower (2010) takes the top spot with 68 storeys, followed by the Vietcombank Tower (2014) and Saigon One Tower (2011).

shanghai tower China

Shanghai Tower nears completion

shanghai tower China

The Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world, is nearing completion.

Located in the Pudong financial district, the 632m tower composed of 128 floors is a striking addition to the Shanghai landscape.


Composed of a tapering outer skin of glass and steel that wraps itself around the building’s circular core, Gensler, the American firm behind the design, claims this twisting shape reduces wind load on the building by 24%, thus saving approximately $58 million in steel and structure costs.

While still dwarfed by the 829.2m Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Shanghai Tower is now Asia’s tallest skyscraper and a bold statement about the country’s economic prosperity going forward in the 21st century.

A soft opening of Shanghai Tower has seen some tenants allowed into the building to conduct interior construction. An official public opening has yet to be announced but is expected sometime this autumn.

Tours Triangle interior

Paris to get new triangle-shaped glass skyscraper

Tours Triangle interior

It seems Paris is fond of glass pyramids. Because city officials have just approved plans to build another giant pyramid or triangle-shaped structure, this time on the southwest edge of the city.

After years of wrangling, opposition and rejection related to environmental and esthetic concerns, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo scored a major victory Monday after councillors narrowly approved plans to begin construction of the Tour Triangle, a soaring, 180-meter (590-foot) tower.

Since first being introduced in 2008, the project has divided the city and generated heated debate, with critics charging that the project will become a glaring blight on the Paris skyline and supporters pointing out that the tower will create 5,000 jobs and new, modernized work spaces.

triangle tower paris

When construction is complete, in 2020, the tower will house a four-star hotel with 120 rooms; a sky bar; restaurants; office and retail spaces; as well as a child care center, health center and cultural center for locals.

The 43-storey building, designed by Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron, will be located at Porte de Versailles in the 15th arrondissement at a cost of around 500 million euros.

The Tour Triangle will be the first skyscraper in Paris since the opening of the Tour Montparnasse (below) in 1973, a building Parisians love to hate.

Paris' Tour Montparnasse

The ensuing uproar resulted in a height limit that banned the construction of buildings taller than 37 meters, and confined high-rise buildings to the city’s financial district, La Défense.

In 2010, the rules changed to allow for the erection of office buildings up to 180 m along the city periphery.

louvre museum paris

Paris is already home to an iconic, glass pyramid structure at the Louvre.

Mall of qatar

New Mall of Qatar to equal the size of 50 soccer fields

Mall of qatar

More details have emerged on a new luxury mall set to open in Doha, Qatar that will feature the biggest 3D IMAX theater in the world.

Set to open its doors in 2016, Mall of Qatar will become the biggest shopping and entertainment complex in Qatar and aims to become a premier shopping destination in the Middle East.


At the core of the of 500,000-square meter complex is the Oasis, a glass-domed space equal to the size of three football fields, specifically designed to bring light and greenery to the indoor retail center.

The Oasis will include restaurants, 17 cinemas, what’s being billed as the world’s largest 3D IMAX theater in the world, as well as gardens, cafés, fountains and artistic programs.

Other features include zones dedicated to families and children, a Hilton Curio Collection hotel, and 100 restaurants.

Located near the Al Rayyan stadium for the FIFA World Cup 2022, in total the Mall of Qatar will house 500 boutiques, restaurants and tourist attractions, and is expected to attract 20 million visitors in its first year.

The construction of a mall equal to the size of 50 FIFA soccer fields will fill the need not yet met in the area for modern, luxury retail and entertainment facilities, said director general Rony Mourani in a statement.

The 3 billion Qatari Riyal project ($823.8 million) is set to open in 2016.

When complete, the Mall of Qatar will join The Dubai Mall, the largest shopping center in the world, in catering to affluent locals and visitors in the Middle East.

Falcon Nest Arizona Home

Phoenix architect puts tallest house in US up for sale

Falcon Nest Arizona Home

Falcon Nest in Prescott, Arizona is up for sale! The 124 ft tall home is 6200 sq ft and is selling for $2.8 million.

Falcon Nest Arizona bedroom

Shaped like a chimney, this 10-story residence in Prescott is the creation of an architect who wanted to build an energy-efficient home. After eight years of planning and construction, the final result features a master bedroom made for watching shooting stars, a ‘tea kitchen,’ and an elevator.

Falcon Nest Arizona Kitchen

NetDragon headquarters

VIDEO: Chinese millionaire builds Star Trek office

NetDragon headquarters

China’s online gaming operator NetDragon has its headquarters modeled after the Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise, new reports have confirmed.

The Y600m ($97m USD), six-floor building near Changle, southeast China, was made with the agreement of US rights holder CBS, reports the Wall Street Journal; NetDragon founder Liu Dejian is a big fan of the series.

NetDragon headquarters China

Construction started in 2010, with the building opening in May 2014; also contained within its halls is a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

The company runs a number of MMOs, including “Disney Fantasy Online,” as well as mobile apps that cover enterprise productivity, 3D home remodeling and weather reports.

"Bamboo Nest Towers

Could these futuristic green towers be Paris in 2050?


Paris is aiming to reduce 75% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, so could these futuristic green skyscrapers be the way forward?

“2050 Paris Smart City” is a research and development project for Paris City Hall carried out by Vincent Callebaut Architectures.



It features eight high-rise buildings which recycle their own energies in a short loop through innovative systems.

The buildings include “Mountain Towers” in the city’s first arrondissement or district, that blend solar, hydrodynamic and planted buildings, using bio-air conditioning systems.

Mountain Towers

The “Antismog Towers” in the 14th district are described as an “ecologic corridor” 23 km long, punctuated by depolluting photo-catalytic towers.

Photosynthesis Towers

A striking complex called “Photosynthesis Towers” in the 15th, to be built in a vertical spiral and featuring organic facades of green algae, has been suggested, alongside “Bamboo Nest Towers”, a series of thermodynamic garden structures featuring food gardens and orchards on balconies.

To view the project in full, see vincent.callebaut.org.

Brisbane River in Toowong

Architecture and design personalities of 2014

2014 was a busy year for architecture and design. Here are some of the top players who shook the scene this year:

Zaha Hadid

From winning “Design of the Year 2014” for her stunning creation the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan to designing the “Women Fashion Power” exhibit in London, it has been a big year for the Pritzker Prize-winning British Iraqi architect.

Brisbane River in Toowong

Read More
Zaha Hadid unveils “blooming” towers in Australia
Macau’s City of Dreams Hotel by Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid designs crystal vase collection for Lalique


Japanese design collective Nendo has had a busy year, extending its “Peg” furniture collaboration with Cappellini, inventing the “Stay-brella”, which stands on its own two feet to drip-dry, and being named “Designer of the Year” for the upcoming January 2015 edition of Maison&Objet Paris.

nendo-designed stay-brella

Shigeru Ban

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban achieved the highest accolade possible within the industry in March this year when he was awarded the Pritzker Prize. He also saw his Aspen Art Museum open up to the public.

Kenneth Cobonpue

Kenneth Cobonpue made his debut on the world stage in March, when he was named “Designer of the Year” for the inaugural Maison&Objet Asia edition. Best-known for his intricate rattan furniture designs, Philippines-born Cobonpue is a graduate of the famous Pratt Institute in New York.

Rem Koolhaas

The Dutch Pritzker Prize-winning architect was in the spotlight over the summer when he curated the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale.

One of the main highlights was ‘Luminaire’, a collaboration between Koolhaas’s studio OMA and crystal house Swarovski at the entrance to the Biennale. The six meter-high light installation featured 15 kilograms of gems set into glittering archways.

Frank Gehry

This year Frank Gehry made headlines with the opening of his first major design project for Latin America, Panama’s Biomuseo, a multicolored building that houses exhibits on biodiversity, as well as his Fondation Vuitton in Paris, intended as a true temple to contemporary art, inspired by the greenhouses of 19th-century gardens and characterized by the organic shapes that are the Canadian-American architect’s signature.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

He also got attention this year for making disparaging comments about the state of contemporary design at a ceremony in Spain where he received the Prince Asturias Award for the Arts.

Read More
Opus Hong Kong by Frank Gehry

Living inside New York by Gehry Residential Tower

Eugeni Quitllet

A regular collaborator of major design brands such as Kartell and Flos, Quitllet is known in particular for his frequent use of plastic.

The Catalan designer’s long and illustrious career was crowned this year with a miniature retrospective at the boutique of the Centre Pompidou during 2014 Paris Design Week.


Founded in 1764 by decree of Louis XV, Baccarat is one of the most renowned crystal makers in the world today.

Its glassware and other delicate transparent creations have adorned illustrious tables over the centuries, including those of Louis XVIII, Tsar Nicolas II and several maharajahs.

Nowadays, well-known designers such as Marcel Wanders breathe new life into the Baccarat name, reinventing its classic items. In 2014, the brand celebrated 250 years of its history with a coffee table book published by Rizzoli, a new crystal chess board and a special holiday collection.

Not to mention two exhibitions in Paris, one in the gallery of the Musée de la Maison Baccarat and the other in the Petit Palais.

Baccarat Hotel Restaurant

The crystal house plans to keep up the momentum in 2015, when it plans to open its first hotel in New York.


triangle tower paris

Paris rejects plans for triangle skyscraper

triangle tower paris

 city councillors voted against plans on Monday for French capital’s first modern skyscraper in more than 40 years: the Tour Triangle.

The 180-metre (590-foot) Tour Triangle was supposed to go up in the southwestern corner of the city by 2017, but local lawmakers blocked the proposal by 83 votes to 78 in heated scenes at city hall.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she would launch a legal appeal against the vote, accusing councillors of displaying their voting cards in what was supposed to be a secret ballot.

The Triangle tower project was supposed to create 5,000 jobs with construction costs put at 535 million euros ($670 million) in 2011.


But many lawmakers will have been thinking of the scorn that is still directed towards the Tour Montparnasse — a brown carbuncle opened in 1973 that remains the only skyscraper in the city centre and has made it all but impossible for developers to win approval for future high-rises.

Paris's Tour Montparnasse

Paris imposed a height limit of 37 metres in the wake of the uproar over the 210-metre tower in Montparnasse — which was accused of ruining both the view and a once-beloved artist district.

City developers later struck a compromise with critics by quarantining high-rise buildings in the La Defense business sector just outside the centre.

But the rules changed in 2010 when the city decided to allow apartment blocks up to 50 metres and offices up to 180 metres in areas near the ring road.

In July 2013, it gave initial approval to the Tour Triangle in the Parc des Expositions. Environmentalists and aesthetes were immediately up in arms.

They had formidable support, including from Norman Foster, the celebrated British architect behind several skyscrapers including London’s “Gherkin”.

“I don’t see what Paris needs with a skyscraper,” he said at the time.

The UN’s cultural body UNESCO also waded in, warning that new towers would threaten the landscape of one of the few remaining horizontal cities.

The prestigious Swiss team behind the project, Herzog and De Meuron, rejected the criticism, saying the Triangle was “beautiful”…

Dubai twin towers

Dubai unveils plans for tallest twin towers in the world

Dubai twin towers

 is reaching for the skies with a plan to build the world’s tallest twin towers as part of its “The Lagoons” project.

The Dubai Twin Towers are set to “define a new skyline for the city”, although an architect for the project has yet to be announced.

The mixed-use towers will form part of The Lagoons, a “city of the future” comprising 40-storey residential towers by Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding. The concept forms part of the Dubai Creek Harbour project.


Spread over 6 million square meters, The Lagoons will feature its own integrated transport systems, environmentally sustainable ecosystems and park areas, alongside Dubai Creek Residences, a series of luxury waterfront apartments.

Dubai Creek Harbour at The Lagoons will also feature cultural amenities, healthcare centers and retail space.

Dubai Creek Residences will launch on November 1 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London and Moscow, where apartments will be available for pre-sale.

A construction date for the twin towers has yet to be announced.

riverside towers in Brisbane

Zaha Hadid unveils “blooming” towers in Australia

riverside towers in Brisbane

Dame Zaha Hadid has unveiled her latest design for a series of riverside towers in Brisbane, Australia.

The Pritzker Prize winner’s proposal comprises 3 towers which would hold 486 apartments and eight riverfront villas as well as featuring 7,300 square meters of landscaped public parkland in the area of Toowong. The $420 million project is being proposed by property developer Sunland Group.


riverside towers Brisbane

Each tower would feature a multi-layer façade comprising a curtain wall glazing overlaid with glass reinforced concrete in a quilted diamond pattern, with Sunland Managing Director, Sahba Abedian, likening the design to “a flower in bloom.”

“The design tapers each structure to minimize their footprint and open the riverfront to the public; creating a vibrant civic space for Toowong within a new riverside park,” said Hadid.

Brisbane River in Toowong

“Our vision is to create a vibrant urban village which sensitively activates its urban and riverfront context through compelling architecture and landscape design,” explained Abedian.

The project also includes the preservation of the Heritage-listed 1860s Middenbury House, located on the 1.5 hectare site.

Sunland bought the land last September for $20 million and plans to start demolition of ABC studios next month.

Bombay Sapphire distillery

Bombay Sapphire’s new distillery by Thomas Heatherwick

Bombay Sapphire distillery

Architecture and design practice Heatherwick Studio has created a contemporary new distillery for gin brand .

The London design studio has transformed the historic buildings of Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England.

Laverstoke Mill

At the heart of the design is a series of bell jar-shaped greenhouses where visitors can explore 10 different botanicals.

The studio also renovated the site’s Victorian and Georgian buildings, restoring them to their former glory and transforming them into a Still House, a Heritage Room and a Gallery.

Bombay Sapphire Laverstoke Mill distillery

The Mill has been awarded the prestigious BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) Award for Sustainable Industrial Design.

Previously a paper mill for the Bank of England for nearly 250 years, the site is opening its doors to the public for the first time on October 1.

Bombay Sapphire gin distillery

Visitors will be able to taste, test and serve their own cocktails onsite.

Monaco Odeon Tower penthouse

The $390 million Tour Odeon penthouse in Monaco

Monaco Odeon Tower penthouse

A multi-storey penthouse in Monaco could become the world’s most expensive property per square metre when it comes onto the market next year.

The luxury penthouse is located in Tour Odéon, a 170m (560ft) tower which will be the Mediterranean coastline’s second tallest building when it is completed next year.

Tour Odéon is the first new skyscraper to have been built in Monaco since the 1980s. It will include 70 luxury apartments, including the five-storey penthouse that costs $360 million alone.

As well as being equipped with a health centre, multiple swimming pools and an in-house caterer, the building will offer its residents a 24/7 concierge service and a private chauffeur.

But the penthouse is set to stand out even in the midst of such extreme luxury, with its slide which descends from the balcony into the infinity pool making it a veritable millionaire’s playground.

Source: Propgoluxury via Dailymail

Monaco Odeon Tower


The Shard opens Western Europe’s highest pool


From today, guests staying at London’s Shangri-La Shard hotel can swim in the highest swimming pool in Western Europe.

The indoor infinity “Skypool” at The Shard sits on the 52nd floor and features views of some of the capital’s most iconic sites like St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster.


The west-facing 11x4meter heated pool comes with its own bar, Gŏng, which is the highest in the city.

Gong at the Shangri-La Hotel

Designed by Andre Fu of AFSO, the bar and pool area was inspired by the mythical aspect of ‘dou-gong’ — a series of interlocking brackets that are used extensively in historical Chinese architecture. The interiors are a fusion of traditional Eastern and modern Western aesthetics.

The Skypool is open exclusively to hotel guests between 6 am and 8 pm.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower by Zaha Hadid

Macau’s City of Dreams Hotel by Zaha Hadid

Macau is set to become home to a strikingly dramatic luxury hotel designed by British architect Zaha Hadid that involves voids and negative spaces cut out of the 40-story building, enveloped in a latticed or ‘exoskeletal’ shell.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower by Zaha Hadid

When it opens in 2017, the City of Dreams Hotel Tower in Macau will house 780 guestrooms, suites and sky villas.

 City of Dreams Hotel Tower Architecture

Artist renderings reveal an expressive and powerful design: Hadid pushes the boundaries of structural engineering to reimagine the standard monolithic rectangular block with voids and negative space carved out of the building’s center, using soft, curved lines.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower Macau

The building shell has an exoskeleton design, a motif that’s repeated inside with 3D diamonds and pyramids that seem to grow from the interior walls and into the spacious, atrium space.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower Macau lobby

The tower will become the fifth property developed by Melco Crown Entertainment and feature meeting and event facilities, gaming rooms, a bright, airy lobby atrium, restaurants, spa and sky pool.

City of Dreams Hotel Tower

The “Pink Mosque”

Art in historical architecture: The famous Nasir al-mulk mosque located in Shiraz (Iran) was built from 1876 to 1888 by architects Muhammad Hasan-e-Memar and Muhammad Reza Kashi Paz-e-Shirazi. Also known by the locals as the “Pink Mosque”, the mosque has colourful stained glass windows that illuminate the insides of the mosque especially during the morning where the morning shine shines through the windows. It transforms the inside of the mosque into a kaleidoscope of colours, as if there was a colourful discoball in the room. The exquisite colours, varying shapes and sizes of the stained-glass window panels results in a myriad of patterns and hues dancing on the floor. Intricate tiles, magnificent domes and arches enhance the beauty of this mosque. Contrary to what others might expect of historical architecture being dull and monochromatic, this mosque is bursting with colour and life. It is surprising and somewhat difficult to believe that this mosque has been built during the Qajar dynastry in 1888. Only a few other mosques, such as the Masjid al-agsa and Istanbul’s famous Blue Mosque, features stained-glass windows.


The Pink Mosque

The Pink Mosque 5 The Pink Mosque 6

The Pink Mosque 7

The Pink Mosque 8

The Pink Mosque 9

The Pink Mosque 11

The Pink Mosque 12


The Pink Mosque 2

The Pink Mosque 3

The Pink Mosque 4


Images from mymodernmet