Chicago has benefited from its unique form of architecture, riverwalk. Before looking into this event, I was not fully aware of how a certain architecture or even design positively influenced to society as a whole. As shown in a picture above, riverwalk in Chicago holds a pivotal role in transforming once-neglected downtown riverfront into a showcase public space.
At first, it looked like a commonly found riverfront and busy road above it. Then, as I kept engaging in more description and pictures, I realized that constructing a riverwalk was phenomenal idea towards increasing public interests. It is important to consider the effects of architectures on surroundings, especially the way that people interact with.
Lotus Temple is located in New Delhi, the capital of India. Also known as Bahai House of Worship or Bahai Mashriqul-Adhkar Temple, the temple was able to see its full construction in 1986 and is one of the most visited place in the world. Lotus Temple places emphasis on the teachings of the Bahai faith believing in the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religions, and the Oneness of Mankind. Because of this, everyone is welcomed inside regardless of colors of religion. Thus, Lotus temple is defined as unique place of worship where there is no certain idol of a deity people pray to.
Lotus Temple’s beautiful appearance can not be ignored as significant factor to its attraction. Designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba, Lotus Temple is one of the best architectural marvels in modern times. Temple has nine sides, and they form by 27 marble petals. With a capacity of 2500 people, 40-meters high central prayer hall can be seen by entering nine different doors. The floor inside the central hall is also made of marble. These marbles come from Greece, specifically, Penteli Mountain. The entrance of the Lotus Temple is also very enchanting since you can see ponds and gardens when making your way to the gate of this temple. The total area of the place is 26 acres.
The interior dome is made of crisscrossing ribs and shells of intricate pattern. When viewed from inside, each layer of ribs and shells fades away as it rises. Some of the ribs come together radially and meet at a central hub. The radial beams emanating from the inner leaves also meet at the centre of the building. Between the radial beams and the top of the interior dome, there is a neoprene pad in order to allow lateral movement caused by the effects of temperature changes and wind.
“Architectural Blossoming of the Lotus,” The Baha’i House of Worship
Unlike other architects, Bernard Tschumi, the award-winning Swiss-French architect, has put different perspective on the idea of architecture. The notion that architecture is defined by space and form is widely known. However, he specified this concept by stating the importance that architecture is also about the action and event. He believed that there would be no architecture without events, actions or activity. This has accounted for significant part of his work, where the events and movements of living things should be considered in the form of architecture. Addressing this belief into his buildings, Bernard said “I would like people in general, and not only architects, to understand that architecture is not only what it looks like, but also what happens in it.”
In 1983, he won the international competition by constructing Parc de la Villette. Since Tschumi’s idea in this building was based on activity, it was possible for him to combine the idea of movement and events in the definition of architecture.
Therefore, Tschumi has made unprecedented definition of architecture, and it affected other architects by changing their limited view of buildings.
“Bernard Tschumi’s Architecture Is Not Just About Space And Form But Also The Events Happening Inside”, Forbes
- “History of Bernard Tschumi architects”, Tschumi
The Soumaya Museum is located in a former industrial zone dating from the 1940’s which today presents a very high commercial potential. The Soumaya Museum plays a key role in the reconversion of the area: as a preeminent cultural program, it acts as an initiator in the transformation of the urban perception. Its avant-garde morphology and typology define a new paradigm in the history of Mexican and international architecture.
From the outside, the building is an organic and asymmetrical shape that is perceived differently by each visitor, while reflecting the diversity of the collection on the inside. Its heterogeneous collection is housed in a continuous exhibition space spread over six levels, representing approximately 60,000 ft². The building also includes an auditorium for 350 people, library, offices, a restaurant, a gift shop and a multi-purpose gathering lounge.
The shell of the building is constructed with 28 steel curved columns of different diameters, each with its own geometry and shape, offering the visitor a soft non-linear circulation all through the building. Located at each floor level, seven ring beams provide a system that braces the structure and guarantees its stability. The top floor is the most generous space of the museum; its roof is suspended from an impressive cantilever that allows natural daylight to flow in freely. In contrast, the building’s envelope is nearly opaque, offering little and scarce openings to the outside. This gesture can be interpreted as an intention to create a protected shelter for the art collection. The façade is made of hexagonal aluminum modules that optimize the preservation and durability of the entire building.
“The Museo Soumaya is an extraordinary structure rising up from the earth’s crust as a multi-dimensional icon,” Raymund Ryan,
The Heinz Architectural Center.
Rem Koolhaas and his architecture firm OMA might easily have been two separate entries in our Hot List (his consultancy AMO could have been a third, but didn’t get enough search traffic to make the cut).
This year the Dutch sage made the news more than his office, with his pronouncements on the death of Zaha Hadid, the UK’s Brexit vote and the architecture profession’s communication problems proving more popular than OMA’s architecture.
In fact, of the five most popular Dezeen stories about Koolhaas and OMA over the year, only one of them is a building: our 2012 post about the firm’s cinema pavilion for music artist Kanye West.
That perhaps highlights the fact that, despite its high profile, OMA didn’t really complete any significant buildings during the year (the striking, gold-leafed Fondazione Prada in Milan opened in May 2015).
Instead our readers were more interested in what Koolhaas had to say on the issues of the day.
Most popular of all was our exclusive interview with the 71-year-old on the legacy of his longstanding friend Zaha Hadid. Speaking just after she died, Koolhaas paid warm tribute to Hadid and also shared his views on what he thought she had contributed to architecture.
“I see her work not necessarily as an exciting form of Western architecture and a development of Western architecture, but really something fundamentally different,” he said. “That is what I think may be her biggest achievement.”
Interestingly the second-most popular post about Rem was another tribute, this time to young Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, whose work he described as “a fully fledged new typology”.
By lavishing such praise on fellow architects – who incidentally occupy the two top spots in our Hot List – Koolhaas this year earned his place in our list for being architecture’s reflective elder statesman, rather than one of its most iconoclastic practitioners.
1. Zaha Hadid was a combination of beauty and strength, says Rem Koolhaas
2. Bjarke Ingels embodies “fully fledged new typology in architecture” says Rem Koolhaas
3. Brexit campaigners are fighting for an England that doesn’t exist, says Rem Koolhaas
4. Zaha Hadid Architects should follow example of McQueen, says Rem Koolhaas
5. Seven-screen pavilion by OMA for Kanye West
Today, Mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park officially opened Seoul’s new public garden Skygarden, Seoullo 7017, a 983-metre botanical floating walkway, a transformed former city highway. Reborn as a linear park with over 200 local species of trees, shrubs and flowers, all of which are lined as a walkable plant library for residents and visitors to the city. “Skygarden offers a living dictionary of plants which are part of the natural heritage of South Korea”. Winy Maas, MVRDV co-founder, said in his introduction speech today.
Seoullo, the Korean name for Skygarden translates to ‘towards Seoul’ and ‘Seoul Street’, while 7017 marks the overpass’ construction year of 1970, and its new function as a public walkway in 2017. The pedestrianised viaduct next to Seoul’s main station is the next step towards making the city and especially the central station district, greener, friendlier and more attractive, whilst connecting all patches of green in the wider area.