We continue our monthly stories on the most remarkable innovations,ideas and events in the sphere of construction and architecture.
Who will get the right to construct the largest museum in Budapest?
Five museums will be built in the biggest park in the Hungarian capital. The most important building of the future “museum village” will be the New National Gallery. An additional building for the Ludwig Museum, with a collection of modern art objects, is to be built nearby. The jury of the competition for the best project of future buildings have chosen two winners: the famous Norwegian architect's bureau Snøhetta and the Japanese architecture company SANAA.The Norwegian project suggests uniting two buildings and constructing multidirectional cross cut-roofs with stairs from the bottom to the top. It reminds one of the building of the Opera House in Oslo, built by Snøhetta in 2007 – it received prizes at several international architecture festivals. Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa call their project “a natural continuation of the park” and are going to “cover” the buildings with several different-level curved roofs, allowing them to regulate the open space depending on the season. The jury members said that the final choice will be made after personal meetings and talks with both architectural teams.
New York skyscrapers: tricks and records
The designers of New York skyscrapers and the city’s citizens are intrigued… the website New York YIMBY, dealing with news on the city’s real estate, has published a bombshell: according to “reconnaissance” data, the height of the dwelling complex Nordstrom Tower, the construction of which will be soon finished on 57th street in Manhattan, will be 547m high, owing to its gabled tower. It means that the new skyscraper will be the highest building not only in New York but in the Western hemisphere – being 6m higher than the current “leader”, the World Trade Center. The source of the information is not given, but there are some details: the largest department store in Nordstrom will be located on the lower floors, and above it there will be private premises, including penthouses, the recessed balconies of which will be the highest in the city. According to the regulations being worked out by the city authorities, the height of the building and the number of floors are restricted. New York YIMBY mentions that the future skyscraper is to have 88 floors, but in fact there will be 93. This is not the first case where the initial documentation and the reality have not coincided. It is one of the most wide-spread tricks of designers: not including everything that is “over the roof”, ie different towers, spires, domes etc.
Welcome to the ice cores!
Since the 1st of June, extreme tourism fans can enjoy the newest tourist route in Iceland. A wide tunnel will lead them into the depths of a gigantic glacier 580m thick, 50km long and 20km wide. Adventurers are offered a choice of one of the tours for $137 or more and will then be led along a 400m long corridor cut into a huge glacier with several caves. One of the caves will even become a sort of wedding hall. The illumination in all the halls is provided by LED lamps. The idea to create the “under-ice kingdom” came to two Icelandic inventors in 2010. Their energy and the efforts of scientists and engineers, as well as the financial support of the local authorities, made it possible to build what is now being called the biggest man-made ice cave in the world. Before this, only small groups of scientists could look into the depths of glaciers. Now everybody may make this thrilling trip. That’s why Iceland is looking forward to greeting numerous tourists from abroad.
The scandal surrounding the building of the Paris Philharmonic Hall
Famous all over the world, the French architect Jean Nouvel, Pritzker Architecture Prize winner and Vice-President of the Architecture Institute of France, has lost a case against the managers of the Paris Philharmonic Hall construction project, which he designed. The case was caused by the eternal conflict between a creative and a businessman. Nouvel accused the top managers of the construction project of having deviated from his design at the final stage of construction in order to save construction materials and decrease the cost of construction. He demanded the Court oblige the managers to reconstruct the balusters according to the design project as well as to alter the façade, foyer and acoustic elements. However the court rejected his claim, having considered the documents and evidence presented to be insufficiently convincing. Enraged, Nouvel called the result “torturous” and refused to come to the opening of the concert hall, and also forbade the mention of his name as designer. He told the press that it is “an insult for him as the designer of the most important cultural project in France this century”. It is worth mentioning that the construction of the Paris Philharmonic Hall has cost $418 m.
Columbian Medellín: an ecologically sustainable park instead of drug cartels
The international non-commercial organization Holcim Foundation, with headquarters in Zurich, advocating the principles of ecologically sustainable construction (http://www.rcmm.ru/content/topics/689.html), has held a world-wide competition for the best “green” architectural project. A group of Columbian architects presenting a project for an unusual city park were declared the winners and received a grant of $350,000. The city of Medellin, where the park will be located, used to be famous as the motherland of drug cartels and one of the most criminal cities in the world, but over the last two decades the situation has changed. The new park will add to the new look of Medellin. The designers decided to use the space around the deactivated water reservoirs by making beautiful ponds from them. It resulted in an unexpectedly attractive “socio-technical” landscape, connecting architecture, city infrastructure and design. Its implementation will give the citizens a wonderful place for rest and for events.Awarding the winners with the prize, the leaders of the Holcim Foundation stressed that the project of the park is in full harmony with the urban landscape and may become an example for the arrangement of public spaces in other cities and countries.
The biggest hotel in the world will be constructed for Mecca pilgrims
`The biggest hotel in the world, “Abraj Kudai”, will be erected in Saudi Arabia not far from Mecca, the centre of the Muslim pilgrimage, by 2017. Its 10 thousand apartments will house the pilgrims during the annual Haj. Apart from the hotel, the building of a million and a half square meters will include a trade centre, numerous conference halls, 70 cafes and restaurants, a bus station and even a heliport. The design of the hotel resembles a traditional local fortress. Each tower of the hotel will be a separate section with all possible conveniences for Haj participants, with special places for praying and eating. Ten towers will comprise a 4-star hotel, and two towers for VIPs will be 5-star hotels. The inner design is being developed by London Areen Hospitality. The construction of the magnificent building will cost $3.5 bln.
China will invest billions in the infrastructure of Brazil
Recently, the Prime-Minister of China, L? Kèqíang, and the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, agreed on vast investments from China in the Brazilian economy - $53 bln in total. Most of the sum will be invested in the infrastructure of the country. It is necessary due to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year. The Chinese Premier, referring to the wide experience of his country in the construction of modern infrastructure, promised to help Brazil in the optimization of expenses for the development. Dilma Rousseff said, “China and Brazil will play a leading role in the construction of a new world order”. Thus China will take part in an ambitious construction project of a 3.5 thousand km long railroad connecting the biggest ports in Brazil, Santos and Ilo on the Pacific coast. The cost of the railroad construction is $10 bln. At present, the total volume of trade and economic communication between the two countries is more than $83 bln, but this is only the beginning. Both parties, being members of BRICS, spoke about the “new generation” of Chinese investments in the Brazilian economy, its infrastructure and its heavy equipment industry. Then the Chinese Premier left for Columbia, Peru and Chili, where he also signed a number of agreements. These visits demonstrate the intention of China to enhance its influence in Latin America. Trade and economic relations between China and the countries of Latin America are developing fast. At the beginning of the century they were assessed at less than $10 bln, but by 2012 they had reached the sum of $255.5 bln.