Thursday, January 31, 2008

Turning Torso, Sweden

Turning Torso, Sweden

HSB Turning Torso is a skyscraper in Malmö, Sweden, located on the Swedish side of the Öresund strait. It was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and officially opened on 27 August 2005. The tower reaches a height of 190 metres (623 feet) with 54 stories. Upon completion, it was the tallest building in Scandinavia, the tallest residential building in the EU and the second tallest in Europe, after the 264-metre-high Triumph-Palace in Moscow.

The 84 metre high Kronprinsen was the tallest building in Malmö before Turning Torso.

The design is based on a sculpture by Santiago Calatrava called Twisting Torso. It uses nine five-story cubes that twist as it rises; the top-most segment is twisted ninety degrees clockwise with respect to the ground floor. Each floor basically consists of a rectangular section surrounding the central core, along with a triangular section, which is partially supported by an exterior steel scaffold. The two bottom cubes are intended as office space. Cubes three to nine house 149 luxury apartments.

The Twisting Torso sculpture is a white marble piece based on the form of a twisting human being. Johnny Örbäck, former CEO of the Turning Torso contractor and Board Chairman of the Malmö branch of the co-operative housing association HSB, saw the sculpture in 1999 and contacted Calatrava to ask him to design a building using the same concept. Construction started in the summer of 2001.

crane that had been used for ship building and somewhat symbolised the ciOne reason for the building of Turning Torso was to re-establish a recognizable skyline for Malmö since the removal of the Kockums Crane in 2002, which was located less than a kilometre from Turning Torso. The local politicians deemed it important for the inhabitants to have a symbol for Malmö — Kockumskranen, which was a largety's blue collar roots.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

30 St Mary Axe, London

30 St Mary Axe, London

30 St Mary Axe is a building in London's main financial district, the City of London. It is widely known by the nickname "The Gherkin", and occasionally as a variant on The Swiss Re Tower, after its previous owner and principal occupier. It is 180 m (590 ft) tall, making it the second-tallest building in the City of London, after Tower 42, and the sixth-tallest in London as a whole.

The building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Lord Foster and ex-partner Ken Shuttleworth and Arup engineers, and was constructed by Skanska of Sweden between 2001 and 2004.

The building uses energy-saving methods which allow it to use half the power a similar tower would typically consume. Gaps in each floor create six shafts that serve as a natural ventilation system for the entire building even though required firebreaks on every sixth floor interrupt the "chimney." The shafts create a giant double glazing effect; air is sandwiched between two layers of glazing and insulates the office space inside.

Architects limit double glazing in residential houses to avoid the inefficient convection of heat, but the Swiss Re tower exploits this effect. The shafts pull warm air out of the building during the summer and warm the building in the winter using passive solar heating. The shafts also allow sunlight to pass through the building, making the work environment more pleasing, and keeping the lighting costs down.

Most tall buildings get their lateral stability from either a core column or by an unbraced perimeter tube without diagonals — or some combination of the two. This normally means that if they are designed to be just strong enough to resist wind load, they are still too flexible for occupant comfort. The primary methods for controlling wind-excited sways are to increase the stiffness, or increase damping with tuned/active mass dampers. To a design by Arup, Swiss Re's fully triangulated perimeter structure makes the building sufficiently stiff without any extra reinforcements.

Despite its overall curved glass shape, there is only one piece of curved glass on the building — the lens-shaped cap at the very top.

The primary occupant of the building is Swiss Re, a global reinsurance company, who had the building commissioned as the head office for their UK operation. As owners, their company name lends itself to another nickname for the building variants on Swiss Re Tower, although this has never been an official title.

On the building's top level (the 40th floor), there is a bar for tenants and their guests featuring a 360° view of London. A restaurant operates on the 39th floor, and private dining rooms on the 38th.

Whereas most buildings have extensive elevator equipment on the roof of the building, this was not possible for the Gherkin since a bar had been planned for the 40th floor. The architects dealt with this by having the main elevator only reach the 34th floor, and then having a push-from-below elevator to the 39th floor. There is a marble stairwell and a disabled persons' lift which leads the visitor up to the bar in the dome.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Green Bird, London

Green Bird, London

* Despite looking like a massive dildo this is a real design relying on the curves of it to stay rigid rather like parts of the male body.

* The aerodynamic shape would reduce wind resistance and structural stress with a diagrid steel lattice wrapping around it.

* The building has been concieved by the architect as being split into a series of seven different segements, one of which would be underground but all allowing different uses.

Architect : Future Systems

Location : Battersea, London


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Potala Palace - Lhasa, Tibet

Potala Palace

The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, at an elevation of 3700 m. The Potala was the administrative, religious and symbolic centre of Tibet’s theocratic government for many centuries. It is considered the apogee of Tibetan architecture and has high aesthetic qualities due to its dramatic setting. The designated site was extended in 2000 with Jokhang Temple and in 2001 with Norbulingka Summer Palace.

The Potala served as the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Its original construction dates from the 7th century AD, but the main parts (Red Palace and White Palace) are 17th century additions. The White Palace was secular in nature (offices and so on), the Red Palace religious. The Potala has 13-storeys and stands over 117 meter high.
Within the palace there are many outstanding wall paintings and tangkas.

The Jokhang is Tibet’s most sacred Buddhist temple, located in the centre of the old town of Lhasa. It was built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo when he moved his capital to Lhasa. The Jokhang was enlarged and embellished by subsequent rulers and Dalai Lamas. It holds the gilded Jowo Sakyamuni statue as the chief object of veneration, depicting the Buddha of the Present.

De Norbulingka (‘Jewelled Garden’) was the Summer palace of the Dalai Lama’s since its construction in the 18th century. It had the same functions as the Potala, and thus those two are inseparably linked. It holds among others the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama before he fled to India.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Window of the World, Shenzhen

Shenzhen Window of the World is a fantastic replica park situated at the Overseas Chinese Town. Here you can see vivid replicas of the world's wonders, historical heritages and famous scenic sites. The entire masterpiece is built at ratios of 1:1, 1:5 or 1:15. Occupying an area of 48 hectares, Shenzhen's Window of the World features the world wonders, historical interest sites, scenic spots, natural landscapes, folk dwelling and customs, and world-renowned sculptures and drawings, even folklore and theatrical performances are available here.

The park is composed of 118 magnificent attractions on different scales from 1:1 to 1:100, which, based on geographical position and category of scenes, is divided into nine scenic areas, they are the World Square, the Area of Asia, the Area of Oceanic, the Area of Europe, the Area of Africa, the Area of America, the Recreational Center of Modern Science & Technology, the Sculpture Park and International Street. Among the sights, there're quite a lot of the world wonders such as the spectacular 108-meter-tall "Eiffel Tower" that stands erect. Tourists can take the elevator to its top to admire the beauty of scenery of Shenzhen and Hong Kong on the heights. Beside the giant tower, the "Niagara Falls" is rushing down with force of thunderbolts.

Within one day, you can visit many reproductions of famous sites from different countries. For example you can find the Mahamuni Pagoda of Rangoon and the Angkor Wat of Cambodia here. European architectural splendors, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Ancient Athens, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Tower of London will carry you back to the cradle of classical European culture. When you tour the miniature Roman Colosseum, you might notice a cruel and bloody scene. Enjoy the picturesque scenery as you take a gondola along the canals of Venice. Mysterious Africa is always full of life and vigor.

Here, the Pyramids and the Sphinx are quietly waiting for your visit. After traveling through typical African hamlets, you come to the Oceania. Sydney Opera House, which boasts a unique style, is a landmark not only of Australia but also the whole Oceania. Looking from a distance, it looks like a luminous pearl on the vast expanse of blue sea water. The rumbles of Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon lead you to the America, a young continent. These two natural wonders are awe-inspiring. Moving on to modern civilization, in the replica of Manhattan you will see rows of towering skyscrapers. No wonder they say the rhythm of life speeds up here. Shenzhen Window of the World has a lot more to offer. You will have a good day in this miniature world.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Do you know in Berlin, Germany have an amazing aquarium ?

Placed at the lobby of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Berlin, the 25 meters high AquaDom is the largest cylindrical aquarium ever built. Filled with about 900,000 liters of seawater, it contains some 2600 fish of 56 species.

Combined with a vast amount of sandblasted glass, the giant AquaDom gives a transparent-like feeling to the lobby Guests and visitors are able to travel through the aquarium in a glass-enclosed elevator to reach a sightseeing point and restaurant under the glass roof. Two full-time divers are responsible for the care and feeding of the fish and maintenance of the aquarium. Some of the interior rooms and suites look out over the atrium, offering "ocean views" of the AquaDom.

The AquaDom was opened in December 2003. It cost about 12.8 million euros. The acrylic glass cylinder was constructed by the U.S. company Reynolds Polymer Technology. The outside cylinder was manufactured on-site from four pieces; the inside cylinder for the elevator was delivered in one piece The Aquadom is the largest acrylic glass cylinder in the world, with a diameter of over 11 meters built on a 9 meters tall concrete foundation.

Wanna see ?

Take a look at these ..

* Construction

Then ...

The final result is...