Following a recent ceremony in Rabat, Morroco, Agence pour l’Aménagement de la Vallée du Bouregreg (The Bouregreg Valley Development Agency) verified that architectural designs will be provided by Zaha Hadid Architects. The program will include three theater spaces, indoor spaces consisting of 2,050-seat and a 520-seat, and a fully-equipped outdoor amphitheater holding up to 7,000 people. The theaters will share back of house facilities, efficiently reducing the size of the building services needed. Creative studios will also be incorporated into this cultural venue. Estimated cost is at 120 Million Euros for the Rabat Grand Theater.
This hotel and villa development is designed as an ecologically sustainable development designed by WOHA. Located on the dry savannah landscape of the Bukit Peninsular on the dramatic southern cliffs of the Indonesian island of Bali, it comprises of a 50 suite hotel with 35 residential villas. The resort opened its doors in June 2009.
“This vertical structure will be placed in Cotonduba Island. It will be both an observation Tower, and a welcome sign for the visitors arriving by air and by Sea at Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympic Games 2016 will take place.”
“Jaber Al Ahmed City is the Kuwait Public Housing Authority’s latest contribution to the urban and housing welfare of its citizens. Currently under construction, the new town will ultimately be home to some 65,000 people.
Jaber City is located approximately 25 km west of Kuwait’s central area, overlooking the western end of Kuwait Bay, with excellent links both to the city centre and other activity nodes of the metropolitan area.
“ Chanel is to donate the exhibition pavilion designed by Iraqi-born British architect, Zaha Hadid, winner of the 2004 Pritzker Prize, to the Arab World Institute. The pavilion showcased artworks by contemporary artists inspired by Chanel’s iconic bag in 2008.
Chanel will thereby perpetuate this work designed by one of the greatest contemporary architects.
Hadid’s unique pavilion was widely appreciated during Mobile Art’s world tour and came to the attention of the Arab World Institute who contacted Chanel to express their interest in it.
Early 2011, the pavilion will be installed in front of the Arab World Institute, in the unique architectural environment of this prestigious cultural institution, which is open to all in the heart of Paris.
From then onwards, the Arab World Institute will use the pavilion to pursue a contemporary art exhibition policy in relation with the Arab countries.”
McDonald’s is undergoing a process of redesign. What is more important than design itself is its study for exploring more sustainability in certain locations.The chain’s first self-proclaimed “green” restaurant, located in Chicago, is LEED Gold-certified, while a North Carolina location features Charge-Point electric vehicle charging stations. And in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, 270 McDonald’s restaurants deliver used oil to be converted into biodiesel.The packaging however still has a long way to go. Most McDonald’s packaging is paper-based and can be composted,yet still haven’t found biodegradable materials that don’t retain heat.McDonald’s can never truly claim to be green as long as it sells meat products–the average Holstein cow produces up to 180 kilos of methane each year. Ultimately, cows produce 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and the meat industry is one of the leading contributors to climate change.
The new ‘design’ concept is revolving around the idea of a community center, a place for young people to hang out especially since slow food is the trend now with more attention on the eating experience itself as opposed to gulfing food down. France was the first country to have a redesigned McDonald’s. All the plastic will be replaced with clean and modern lines, wood, brick and softer lighting from modern lamps. The signature mansard roof is being replaced by a flat roof topped and a newly designed golden sloping curve. The emblematic red and yellow colors will be revamped to terra cotta, olive and sage green.All this with the aim of attracting more adults and young professionals to their customers.
“ Each new situation requires a new architecture.” Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel is a name synonymous with bold architecture and creativity beyond the ordinary with concentration on incorporating buildings and landscape within their surroundings. Jean Nouvel is now a name not only known to architects, but among the general public as well.
Educational, Cultural, & Entertainment Center, Kuwait
It would have been a great achievement if this project was realized, Kuwait lacks impressive and meaningful architecture similar to the projects Jean Nouvel has been providing in the other Gulf countries. In 2004 Ateliers Jean Nouvel , Pritzker Prize-winning architect, along with SSH International won the International competition for the Educational, Cultural and Entertainment Center in Kuwait City. Bartproject were the digital media bureau hired to do the animation for this project. The main aim of this animation is to render, in just 3 minutes, the architectural complexity and atmosphere of some of the key places of this huge city centre project. The 135.000 m2 complex includes a concert hall,cinemas,shops,restaurants and recreational facilities, a business center, a technology school, and a 25-hectare park.The location of the project was on Abdullah Al Ahmed Street close to Heritage village, a project whose destiny is also unknown. It was supposed to start in June 2005, 5 years later we know nothing about the project. Its a shame, it would have been great to associate the works of such a great architect with a center in Kuwait. Abu Dhabi and Qatar now have a few projects by Jean Nouvel that are being realized and making the news on most architecture and design sites.
The “supposed” location for the project:
National Museum- Qatar
Qatar Museum Authority and Jean Nouvel unveiled plans for the new National Museum of Qatar. The cultural center is inspired by the desert architecture and lives of the Bedouin culture as well as a deep-seated respect for the hot desert climate. The new museum will be the first monument travelers see from the airport and the sustainable design of the complex and surrounding landscapes will help prove Qatar to be a forward-looking country. The museum is presently closed during construction with an anticipated reopening in late 2013.The entire complex will seek LEED Silver certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), relying mostly on traditional building practices to create shady and cool areas with thermal buffer zones. The interlocking disks of the building will provide deep overhangs for outdoor promenades and minimize the transmission of heat into the interior spaces. Steel and concrete will be the main building materials, both of which will be sourced locally. Source and source
Almost every city has its icon building or skyscraper making it the symbol of the city if not the entire country. Kuwait has its “Kuwait Towers” but now this might change, a new iconic tower is emerging. Like everything so big, controversy arises, many people are against it due to the high cost and its “alien” character in a city where no proper city planning has been done, others however are thrilled to have such a monument that would draw international attention. The AlHamra tower is 412m high, one of the 10 highest towers in the world, however this is not the main special characteristic of this tower, its pride resides in it being the tallest “sculpted” tower. It is about time we appreciate design and form over just height. This tower captures it all.
Its southern wall acts as the backbone of the skyscraper, yet it is designed to decrease solar radiation. In a country as hot as Kuwait, creating such an aspect that protects the building against harsh environmental conditions is essential.
It’s a pity how the area around it is very primitive with old 1 and 2 story structures that are an eyesore for everyone passing through the city. In addition to the unfortunate surrounding, the angle at which the tower is situated does not allow much ability for passers by to view the entire monument, it can only be seen fully from a distant angle.
Instead of criticizing the AlHamra tower for being among these buildings, instead, I think its a step to find a solution for everything that should NOT be there.
Below are images taken from AlHamra website, the video from Discovery’s “Build it Bigger” , and the last one from my phone’s camera couple of days ago to show the tower’s recent status.
For details, floor plans, and images please refer to the tower’s web site.