All posts by Giulio

GG-loop brings biophilic regenerative architecture to large-scale urban developments

The need for healthy homes has hardly ever been more apparent than during the current global condition. The current efforts to reduce the negative impacts of buildings are inadequate. Therefore the built environment must be designed in a different way. To bring regenerative collective habitation to all scales of development, Amsterdam architecture practice GG-loop, sharing the vision with Arup, is developing Mitosis: a modular building system created by a parametric design tool following biophilic and user-centric design principles.

Mission

GG-loop’s goal is to develop an architectural solution that “gives back” to the Planet and can serve as a benchmark for the real estate and urban development sector. Mitosis’ vision is to deepen the understanding of its relationship with Nature, to raise awareness and sensitize both professionals and the general public regarding the importance of biophilic architecture as an answer to the current climate condition.

Sharing the same vision as Arup, GG-loop works to inspire and provide healthy sustainable living communities and net-positive impacts on ecology and society. By working with the natural environments rather than against it, the natural balance and health of the planet can be restored.

Giacomo Garziano stated “Mitosis aims to support the daily uses and the tasks of the inhabitants, in order to promote direct and indirect contact with nature. We aim to generate a healthy, emotional, and productive habitat for rest, work, and living at 360° with nature.”

Mitosis is the follow-up of a multi-awarded pilot project completed by GG-loop in 2019: Freebooter, a pair of prefabricated CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) apartments in Amsterdam, wrapped in a parametric timber louvered facade. The building was created using biophilic principles, connecting architecture with nature in order to improve the life quality of the people who use the building. GG-loop’s ambition to bring these qualities to multiple scales has resulted in Mitosis.
The name Mitosis refers to the biological process of a single cell dividing itself into two identical daughter cells. It represents the modularity and the long-term adaptation of the system and serves as a metaphor for a flexible co-living organism where each residential unit coexists in symbiosis with all the others and its environment.

Bringing biophilic design to large-scale developments

The “Biophilia Hypothesis” by Edward O. Wilson reveals why humans have an intrinsic need to connect with nature and other living systems. Mitosis adopts the 14 principles of biophilic design and articulates the relationships between nature, human biology, and the design of the built environment. It builds an ecosystem where dwellers experience a unique way of living and fulfill their innate desire to reconnect with nature. Exposed to green shared areas, tiny forests, and gardens that cascade up and down the entire building, dwellers can benefit from the direct and indirect connection with nature. Health and well-being are fostered through careful material choices, flexible layouts, organic interiors, and large outdoor spaces.


Giacomo Garziano, founder of GG-loop said “Our vision goes further than the integration of just green systems, but rather creates a built environment that restores and nurtures its surroundings, and that serves as a catalyst for positive change.”

Positive footprint ecosystems

Mitosis creates regenerative ecosystems with a positive ecological footprint. It balances the technical benefits of an environmentally conscious construction with the qualities of an organic and healthy environment in which its residents coexist harmoniously.

Mitosis generates urban clusters using prefabricated timber and bio-based modules that are cost-efficient and flexible in its construction. By consciously choosing materials that capture carbon and using resources more efficiently, Mitosis constructs a net-positive built environment that produces more energy than it consumes and uses resources in a circular way.

The enhancement of biodiversity in the urban fabric has a beneficial impact on the quality of life and the environmental education of the inhabitants. Mitosis integrates plant and animal life throughout the buildings, allowing its dwellers to coexist harmoniously with the biodiversity of local flora and fauna. Mitosis is designed to co-evolve with its surrounding, by recreating ecosystems appropriate to the climate, site, and residents. In this way, Mitosis can facilitate the conservation and improvement of the biodiversity that exists on the site. 

Giacomo Garziano, founder of GG-loop also stated “We are part of nature in a deep and fundamental way, but in our modern lives we’ve lost that connection. In addition to the technical benefits of acoustics improvement, CO2, and urban heat reduction, being in direct contact with nature has proven to improve physical and mental health and overall well-being.”

Social cohesion

The distinct rhomboid shape of the individual design modules is integral to the functionality of Mitosis. Stacking these modules creates large areas for shared outdoor living, with each unit having at least one terrace.


Mitosis’ vertical connections are placed externally to connect the units and terraces, creating a continuous ribbon of outdoor ‘cloister-like’ spaces, fostering a sense of openness, belonging, protection, and privacy for residents.

Mitosis’ construction is organic and flexible, providing large areas of urban and vertical farming, greenhouses, wildlife corridors, and integration of habitat creation, that encourage shared outdoor activities among residents.

By applying elements of nature and providing available renewable resources in shared facilities and infrastructures of community living, Mitosis encourages dwellers to engage in pro-environmental practices and share their expectations of sustainability. This helps create healthier environments and improve social interaction.

Project development

Mitosis is developed by parametric and BIM 3D modeling software. It generates dwelling clusters composed of prefabricated CLT modules through a complex iterative process. The optimized volume and scale of Mitosis are based on the calculation and simulation of parameters related to specific stakeholders’ needs and conditions of a given site.

The volumes and internal layouts derive from the calculation and simulation of parameters related to specific conditions of the site: solar radiation, wind impact, privacy, population density, common spaces index, and vertical connections. With the parametric design tool, Mitosis explores how buildings can grow, evolve, heal and self-sustain, similar to human bodies, as well as use biological metaphors to design buildings capable of regeneration, resilience, and self-sufficiency.

Due to its flexible structure and grid formation, Mitosis is able to host a variety of typologies that are customizable to the resident’s needs. It is applicable to diverse urban scales, ranging from off-grid single-family detached houses (30m2 up to a quadruplex 120m2 ) to high-density mixed-use urban clusters that incorporate public functions such as education, leisure, wellness, and retail. Mitosis generates experiential spaces that respect both the environment and its direct inhabitants, reconnecting both in a balanced ecosystem. By accommodating for all sizes, typologies, and performance levels, Mitosis moves beyond the basic concept of sustainable design and shifts towards a design that focuses on producing net-positive impacts on the environment. 

What will Smart Cities Look like in the Future?

Game-Changing, Intelligent Façade for 3deluxe’s New Building

In recent years much has been said about smart cities and smart buildings but people rarely understand what the label can actually mean in real terms. Together with the client FC Ingenieure in Karlsruhe and the technology company Merck, the architects at 3deluxe have succeeded in coming up with an attractive building ensemble with an interesting, innovative glass façade, which adds a fascinating new facet to intelligent architecture.

The trend in recent years towards cutting the expanses of windows in new buildings in order to save energy conflicts with people’s desire for bright, cheerful rooms flooded with light – and does not, therefore, represent real progress. Extensive glazing and the corresponding effect this has on the way people relate to their environment is an emotionally important aspect of well-being and thus always a significant factor in 3deluxe’s building concepts. Accordingly, intelligent glass is not only durable and efficient but also helpful in the innovative design of people-friendly architecture and one of the many technological innovations that will be necessary for planning smart cities in the future.

The Building’s Inner Workings: Smart, Digital, Convenient 

The office stories have a generous, open concept used largely rejects the idea of internal walls. The structure of the building invites a cooperative, non-hierarchical approach to work. Communicative shared spaces and areas for focused work unobtrusively alternate with one another and the offices are fitted out with furniture that is appropriate to its urban context. The concept of a paperless office allows for light, transparent furnishings and views of what is happening outside that are largely unimpeded. Thanks to an app specially designed by the developers, staff can control pretty well everything in the building. They can select their lunches from the in-house food bar or allow themselves to be guided through the surrounding park areas in their breaks.

To avoid plastic, water is provided from the well on the grounds, while the carpet is made of recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles. Modern heated and chilled ceilings ensure a pleasant ambient temperature in the offices. Cooling and heating are provided from a geothermal source that uses 24 probes that run to a depth of 130 meters and electricity is generated by a PV system on the roof, meaning that the building requires zero outside energy.

Consistent Corporate Design for Future-Oriented Engineering Company 

The developer and user of this building ensemble, which is very prominently situated in close proximity to one of Germany’s busiest autobahns, is the Karlsruhe-based FC Gruppe. This engineering company, which has a payroll of more than 300, works both for Porsche and on innovative, future-oriented hospital concepts. In light of this, the intention in 3deluxe’s building design was to combine innovation, sustainability, efficiency, and a meaningful arrangement, so as to create a distinctive composition.

A cube offered the most economical ratio between outside surface and volume, thus representing the most efficient building shape from a sustainability viewpoint. The FC Group’s two identical cubes are twisted in opposite directions and stand on a large floating podium under which an open underground parking lot is located. Because of the striking, organically-shaped, story-spanning windows, the two individual cubes merge, depending on perspective, to produce a sculptural overall effect with a varying, charming appearance.

The Building’s Inner Workings: Smart, Digital, Convenient 

The office stories have a generous, open concept used largely rejects the idea of internal walls. The structure of the building invites a cooperative, non-hierarchical approach to work. Communicative shared spaces and areas for focused work unobtrusively alternate with one another and the offices are fitted out with furniture that is appropriate to its urban context. The concept of a paperless office allows for light, transparent furnishings and views of what is happening outside that are largely unimpeded. Thanks to an app specially designed by the developers, staff can control pretty well everything in the building. They can select their lunches from the in-house food bar or allow themselves to be guided through the surrounding park areas in their breaks.

To avoid plastic, water is provided from the well on the grounds, while the carpet is made of recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles. Modern heated and chilled ceilings ensure a pleasant ambient temperature in the offices. Cooling and heating are provided from a geothermal source that uses 24 probes that run to a depth of 130 meters and electricity is generated by a PV system on the roof, meaning that the building requires zero outside energy.

Nature and the Protection of Endangered Species between a Commercial Park and the Autobahn 

The FC Campus building is situated in a semi-natural environment, between an industrial park, the autobahn feeder road, and a small tree and meadow biotope with a little stream, an environment very much deserving of protection. The architecture has adopted a circumspect approach to this residual natural environment. In order to avoid birds crashing into the generous glazing which stretches around corners the architect in cooperation with the Swiss ornithological station, Sempach came up with the kind of delicate, semitransparent pattern printed onto the glazing of which birds would be aware but which would not, at the same time, spoil the view.

The outside lighting was designed to take the form of insect-friendly LED lights with a low beam height and focused lighting on the surfaces, without light emission into the surroundings. The decision was taken not to install scenic lighting on the vegetation or the building shell. Throughout the entire site and in the open underground parking lot underneath the building’s floating base plate sealed areas have been reduced to a minimum, which means the roadways and the footpaths.

ARCHIBORESCENCE

A Riparian District Renovated in Solid Wood

‘Archiborescence’ is a neologism, a combination of the words Architecture and Arborescence. It expresses Vincent Callebaut Architectures’ architectural leitmotif: ‘Transforming the city into an ecosystem, neighborhoods into forests and buildings into inhabited trees’.

In the heart of Lille, the project is inspired by the local biomimetic heritage called ‘Les Anciens Marais Vauban-Esquermes’ [The Ancient Marshes of Vauban-Esquermes]. This ecosystem produced its own energy by photosynthesis, emitted no pollution, and transformed all its waste into resources thanks to ‘virtuous circles’, all in a short circuit.

Instead of these old marshes, our urban intention is clearly to build a district in solid wood with a strong vegetal and aquatic character, reflecting the collective memory of the ecosystem, which has always enjoyed positive biodiversity. Our desire is to offer Lille a double green and blue landmark in the urban framework, at the intersection of the Vauban and Esquermes districts, between the Deûle River, the Universities, and the City Center.

Thanks to the Dynamic Thermal Simulation (DTS), the performance of the bio-based materials implemented, as well as the bioclimatic design choices and the integration of renewable energies; for the first time in the European Metropolis of Lille, we are aiming to achieve a building which may obtain the E4 level of the E+C label.

Concretely, Vincent Callebaut Architectures want the project to have a neutral carbon footprint and produce more energy than it consumes on a regular basis, even during phases of low renewable energy production. In addition, we plan to develop low technology for exchanging energy flow between offices and homes. As demonstrated by the DTS carried out in the upstream phase, the energy needs of these two programs make it possible to cover the needs over the entire typical day; the energy accumulated in offices at the end of the day being recycled during the night in residences.

As working towards a collective commitment to co-build a low-carbon city certified by the E+C label (level E4), the 5 pillars of the ‘Archiborescence’ project are as follows:

PILLAR 1: A PERMEABLE URBAN DESIGN TO MAKE THE DISTRICT ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE AND TRANSFORM IT INTO A DESTINATION

Before any architectural project commences, there is an urban challenge for residents. That of the Michel Servet site is twofold: to create a new urban space and energize the heart of the location by making it accessible to all.

First of all, at the Servet-Canteleu corner, the aim is to create a new generous and welcoming urban place in order to energize the district and articulate the flows that cross it. Vincent Callebaut Architectures designed this square, ideally south-west facing, to be as wide as possible, from facade to facade, eliminating the roundabout to increase the pedestrian walkways. The Jardins de Turenne square is also perfectly integrated into the design of the new square in order to unify them.

Then, the architect is interested in the concept of creating free and open heart within the block, where a green ‘trail of breadcrumbs’ weaves across the site from la Communauté des Filles de la Charité, la Cité Fauchille and the Rue Bailleux Square. The site being historically located along the Old Vauban-Esquermes Marshes (with fine winding canals in former times), it seemed opportune to reinterpret this ‘Genius Loci’ through a landscaped allegory proposing a garden crossed by small canals collecting rainwater and connecting the new square in the heart of the block. Between these canals, we will plant a range of riparian species to evoke a little more the ancient shores of the Marais d’Esquermes.

A haven of water and greenery, the heart of the block becomes a true ode to biodiversity where it is ideal to live, have fun, and meet your neighbors in a friendly atmosphere. It is accessible to all with special attention to people with disabilities. The space will be open to the public during the day, and then secured at night by a system of gates managed by a management service. A 12-meter-wide (39 ft) full-height path connects this natural setting with the new Servet/Canteleu square.

The streets, public square, and courtyard garden within the heart of the block are therefore connected by visual openings under high porches from rue de Turenne, the future Place, and rue Canteleu ensuring that the site is traversable for residents and users.

The architectural design also proposes the expansion of the perimeter walkways in rue de Turenne, rue Michel Servet, and rue de Canteleu. The facades are either installed so as to recreate the urban alignments or are set back to save all the existing large trees that border the site.

On Rue de Turenne for example, the facade of the rehabilitated stand is revived by a set of bow windows exploiting the potential offered by the removal of the existing building.

PILLAR 2: MULTIFUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING LED BY ARCHITECTURAL ENTITIES WITH DISTINCT IDENTITIES AND HIGH-QUALITY PRACTICES

The permanent concern of the BECI Group is to develop a very rich multifunctional program in order to ensure a coherent and balanced social mix for the life of the district. The architectural challenge is to translate this programmatic richness into distinct functional entities that are perfectly connected and working together with each other. The prescriptions of the PLU (Local Urban Planning Plan) have therefore been applied to reflect this functional density with the most generous ceiling heights possible and various sizing templates.

The user is at the heart of the design of this urban complex. In this sense, the accommodation has dual orientation, comfortable surfaces, and large intimate outdoor spaces. The eco-design of the buildings optimizes acoustic comfort and air quality, and their design limits operating and co-ownership costs.

The use of alternative transport is facilitated and encouraged. The car parks created encourage co-sharing and electromobility via information and communication technologies. The project integrates high-quality two-wheeled parking spaces with intentional design. They are secure, comfortable (including for transport bikes), and equipped with maintenance services (repair/maintenance workshop, individual storage lockers for equipment, etc.).

The mixed program offers multiple housing opportunities (private home ownership, social rental opportunities, social sustainable home ownership, hotel opportunities) associated with a tertiary university residential opportunity. The whole benefits from sports areas (fitness room, dance/yoga/pilates room, climbing area) and services (shops and professional services) that are open to all.

The use of alternative transport is facilitated and encouraged. The car parks created encourage co-sharing and electromobility via information and communication technologies. The project integrates high-quality two-wheeled parking spaces with intentional design. They are secure, comfortable (including for transport bikes), and equipped with maintenance services (repair/maintenance workshop, individual storage lockers for equipment, etc.).

The mixed program offers multiple housing opportunities (private home ownership, social rental opportunities, social sustainable home ownership, hotel opportunities) associated with a tertiary university residential opportunity. The whole benefits from sports areas (fitness room, dance/yoga/pilates room, climbing area) and services (shops and professional services) that are open to all.

Built from trees cut and harvested nearby, within the Lille region, in the heart of eco-responsible forests – where each cut tree equates to a replanted tree – the ‘Archiborescence’ project will therefore be a real carbon sequestration well. In fact, when trees grow with natural photosynthesis, the stored carbon is ‘trapped’ in solid wood and is not released into the atmosphere. For 1 ton of wood produced, about 0.9 tons of carbon is confined.

This means we are talking about a building with a negative carbon footprint! In addition, the project advocatesthe use of bio-based materials for facades, insulation (interior and exterior), and interior fittings (50% of materials will be labeled C2C) as well as an ‘Upcycling’ approach which is implemented in demolished buildings to strive for the zero-waste objective

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PILLAR 4: ARBORESCENT ARCHITECTURE, AN ODE TO BIODIVERSITY (Biodiversity Label)

The metamorphosis project is organized around the heart of the city block where it is most densely vegetated in the open ground. This basic principle is combined with the various techniques of vegetating the building (intensive, semi-intensive, extensive). These are deployed throughout the program on balconies, roofs, and patios. This intensive revegetation has the following objectives:

– The creation of a refreshing urban island

– The repatriation of biodiversity in the heart of the city

– Tainwater recovery, and its phyto-purification (100% Water Footprint approach)

– The development of Urban Agriculture and co-gardening in permaculture

Urban farms have been created on the roof of the former high school’s existing stand with, in particular, over an area of 300m² (3229 sq. ft), a collective approach in neighborhood networks (promoting social inclusion and intergenerational solidarity). This mode of operation makes it possible to complete the professional production system which will also be installed on this roof. The area dedicated to establishing this professional partner is 500 m² (5382 sq. ft), which will benefit from a profitable business model producing 25 kilos of fruit and vegetables per m² (55 lbs. per 10 sq. ft) per year. Wildlife lodges, insect and bat hotels, as well as nesting boxes are integrated into the project to strengthen the ecological corridor.

In terms of water management, all stormwater buffering is done within the plot itself. Roof storage areas provide gravity watering (via rain chains) to landscaped facades and balconies. The central marsh optimizes the infiltration and recovery of rainwater. It is designed in such a way as to avoid any stagnant water and to ensure autonomous management and maintenance. Rainwater is reused for watering all the green spaces and to supply the toilets of tertiary programs.

PILLAR 5: PASSIVE BUILDINGS ALLIED WITH RENEWABLE ENERGIES TARGETING THE OBJECTIVES OF RE 2020 (ENERGY SELF-SUFFICIENCY)

After choosing solid wood construction to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the project during its construction/renovation, our efforts have focused on the integration of passive systems and renewable energies to reduce its carbon footprint during its operation.

First of all, all buildings benefit from double insulation – interior and exterior – from natural materials such as straw, hemp, and cellulose wadding. In addition, green roofs and balconies make it possible to control solar power generated and take advantage of the evapotranspiration of plants to cool the apparent temperature by 2 to 5 degrees Celsius.

To ensure natural ventilation in each apartment, wind chimneys cross the vertical circulation cores throughout their entire height. These chimneys suck in the air that passes under the foundations where the thermal inertia of the earth is constant all year round at 18 degrees Celsius (64° F). This naturally seasonally conditioned air is then forced into the apartments like in a termite mound. The curved facades also favor air circulation and the dispersion of pollutants.

On the roofs of office and residential buildings, solar photovoltaic and thermal canopies produce electricity stored in hydrogen cells for auto-consumption, and domestic hot water redistributed in a virtuous cycle in bathrooms and kitchens. To top it off, a farm of 30 magnetic levitation axial wind turbines also generates electricity in situ without any noise pollution on the roof of the co-living residence.

In the heart of Lille, the ‘Archiborescence’ project advocates the reconciliation of the City and the Countryside through timber, elegant, and frugal architecture. It is now a question of producing as close as possible to the consumers and building with the minimum of resources in order to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the new circular ‘regenerative’ economy, the renovation of this riparian district – built, clad and insulated with wood – is a prototype of resilient and agile town planning respecting the four pillars of the ecological city of the future, namely: energy self-sufficiency (heat, refrigeration, and electricity); revegetation of buildings and the development of urban agriculture; alternative soft transport focused on pedestrian and two-wheel traffic; social inclusion through flexible spaces with high use opportunities, and shared between inhabitants and solidarity services.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures

BIG reveals masterplan for BiodiverCity, three artificial water lily islands off the shore of Penang Island, Malaysia

BIG reveals masterplan for BiodiverCity, three artificial water lily islands off the shore of Penang Island, Malaysia

BIG, the studio founded by Bjarke Ingels, with the Hijjas studios, as a local partner, and Ramboll, for engineering and project management, have been selected as winners to design a masterplan for Penang South Islands, providing Penangites with approximately 4.6 km of public beaches, 600 acres of parks and a 25 km waterfront.

BiodiverCity masterplan supports the Panang2030 vision with a clear focus on livability, on stimulating a socially and economically inclusive development, and on environmental sustainability for future generations. BiodiverCity will be the new sustainable, global destination where cultural, ecological and economic growth is secured and where people and nature co-exist in one of the most biodivers places on the planet at the southern shore of Penang Island.

Penang’s vast biodiversity spans various topographies and protected environments which in recent years have seen its coastal zones and natural habitats disrupted by urban developments. In contrast, BiodiverCity is concived as an Urban Mosaic of three diverse islands, and set of urban guidelines for mixing programs, addressing pedestrian and mobility networks, building sustainability and harvesting resources.

The three islands bring together mixed-use districts of 15,000 to 18,000 residents across 50 to 500 acres, and continuous 50 to 100m buffer around each district, establishing habitat connectivity and supporting edge ecologies in reserves, parks, corridors and urban plazas.

The Channels, BiodiverCity’s first island, is constructed in three complementary phases: in Phase 1, Active Destinations include a wave pool and technology park; in Phase 2 a Civic Heart establishes governance and research institutions in the area; and Phase 3, a cultural Coast builds upon the heritage and vibrant creative energy of Penang’s George Town to create  a regional and international draw.

As the heart of the district, the Channels’ 500-acre digital park includes spaces for research, development and local business opportunities. Malaysia’s newest public destination will be the future home for conferences, education centres and family-oriented park where locals and guests can explore the world of technology, robotics and virtual reality.

The building in BiodiverCity will be designed to prform efficiently and will to a large extent be constructed by low-carbon materials such as bamboo and Malaysian timber in combination with green concrete, a sustainable alternative comprised of industrial waste and recycled materials

By encouraging green roofs, facades, public and private open spaces, the islands can form a nearly continuous habitat mosaic feeding back into the forest, beaches, riparian zones and estuaries at island’s edges.

The Laguna, BiodiverCity’s westernmost island, is a oasis for ecological living, organized around a central marina. Eight smaller islands form a miniature archipelago, where floating, stilted and terraced housing takes advantage of the natural setting.

A web of ecological corridors connects forest reserves to coastal beaches while supporting habitats and communities across the islands. Within human-populated areas, animals are given safe passage through the continuous canopy and waterways, and within natural habitats, people can safely access elevated boardwalks.

BiodiverCity supports a water, air and land-based autonomous network, aiming for a car free environment where streets serve as a safe and welcoming thoroughfare for bikers and pedestrian. Districts are efficiently connected below platforms to increase the efficiency of goods, services and regional mobility, while maximizing pedestrian safety throughout the public realm.

BIG is the architecture practice of Danish architect Ingels, which was founded in 2005. Today it has studios in Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona.

Elsewhere, BIG is working a masterplan for the “city of the future” with Toyota, which will be built beside Mount Fuji in Japan.

2,000 Custom-Fit Motorized Shades to Enhance the Architectural Design of the Deloitte Summit Tower

Altex, a family-owned company from Terrebonne, Canada’s leader in window covering and a valued Québec partner for architects and designers, unveils the fruits of an exceptional collaboration with Westport Manufacturing for the Deloitte Summit Tower, one of the four largest audit and consulting firms in the world. Altex’s 2,000 custom-designed shades represent its largest motorized window covering project of this kind in North America.

A major architectural achievement

The Deloitte Summit Tower, a building designed by the architectural firm Merrick Architecture, features glass floors with city skyline views, rooftop terraces sheltered by the tiers above, and vertical gardens framing breathtaking mountain views. Altex’s motorized shades allow absolute control over the building’s many glass spaces, designed to both reflect nature and honor its environment. The motors that will equip the Altex shades come from the French giant Somfy, the world’s largest motor manufacturer in this field, ensuring unparalleled control over the light in each of the spaces.

400 WGeorgia Base Plates / HayesDavidson / Westbank

About the Deloitte Summit Project

Deloitte Summit is a 24-storey office tower made up of several clusters of four-storey steel-framed cubes arranged around a central concrete core. The office will feature glass floors overlooking the city, roof terraces under overhanging volumes, vertical gardens framing views of the mountains, and the largest rooftop amenity in Vancouver.

The character of the workspace at Deloitte Summit is designed to be open, fluid, flexible, but also diverse. This new, creative work environment elicits collaboration, creativity, and spontaneity. The boxes create natural compartments within a continuous floor plate, allowing offices to be variously partitioned while also staying close to the façade. The floors and ceilings of the cantilevering portions are glazed to visually link the garden, the offices, and the street below. The resulting diversity of spaces is complemented by the diversity of views, whose orientation is not only horizontal but also vertical. The project is scheduled for completion in 2021.

BLT DESIGN AWARDS

I am very proud and honoured to be invited as a jury member in prestigious BLT Design Award dedicated to Architecture Design and Construction around the world. https://lnkd.in/g5GnicZ

BLT Built Design Awards recognized the expertise of all professionals involved in the realization of outstanding projects globally: from Architecture firms, Interior design Ventures to Construction Products, and Project Management.

This annual program aims to identify and promote outstanding projects, innovative processes, sustainable initiatives and disruptive companies in the building industry. Its objective is to become the most inclusive platform raising awareness and bringing the spotlight on all professions involved in the realization of new infrastructures.

BLT focuses on celebrating projects, people, and their passion for the industry, and through its rigorous judging process, it recognizes those that have gone above and beyond in the last 5 years.

BLT Built Design Awards gives 6 winning titles/Trophies per year to Professionals and Students:

  • Architectural Design of the Year: Professional
    • Emerging Architect of the Year: Student
    • Interior Design of the Year: Professional
    • Emerging Interior Designer of the Year: Student
    • Construction Product of the Year: Professional, one of the most comprehensive Annual Awards
    • Project Management of the Year: Professional

Selected by an esteemed jury of architects, designers, manufacturers, and leaders in construction and architectural fields, the annual winners will receive the BLT trophy, extensive publicity showcasing their designs and project to an international audience, and more.

For more information go to www.bltawards.com

Zaha Hadid Architects to build Tower C at Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base

Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base will be an important business and financial centre in Shenzhen serving the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau; integrating clusters of corporate headquarters within a global technology hub accommodating 300,000 employees each day. Including venues for international conferences, exhibitions, cultural and art programms, the headquarters base will incorporate  residential developments, a transportation centre, botanical grasslands, and coastal zone with wetlands.      

Informed by 3D modelling tools developed by ZHA that optimize efficiencies in architectural massing, orientation and facade-to-floor ratios, Tower C’s design is a multi-dimensional vertical city of two towers at nearly 400m, providing column-free naturally-lit office space, shopping, entertainment and dining amenities, together with a hotel, convention centre and cultural facilities with exhibition galleries.

The double-insulated, unitized glass curtain wall of Tower C’s design steps the glazing as vertical channels for self-shading and incorporates ventilating registers within the channels that draw outside air through operable cavities; providing natural and hybrid ventilation with very effective environmental control for each floor.

Connected with the district’s smart management systems that continually monitor external and interior conditions, indoor environmental controls will adjust in real time to reduce energy consumption with high­   efficiency equipment and chiller plant optimization within the district’s central networks. The design will also incorporate water-collection and recycling as well as photovoltaics to harvest solar energy for the district.

Aquaponics gardens on all terraced levels will biologically filter contaminants from the local environment and low-volatile organic compound materials will be installed to minimize indoor pollutants and particulates. Continuing the district’s ambitions for optimal integration throughout all aspects of the development to increase efficiencies and well-being, Tower C’s procurement will also target embodied carbon reductions and recycled materials.

The design of Tower C integrates the city and nature within its central green axis with the transit orientated development (TOD) of Shenzhen’s new spine, creating a ‘superscape’ that will become a tower of the future within the Super Headquarters Base.

THE ASTON MARTIN VALHALLA: AM-RB 003 CONTINUES ‘V’ CAR TRADITION

Valhalla joins Valkyrie in taking its name from ancient Norse mythology

Continuation of a naming tradition stretching back seven decades

Latest mid-engined addition to the famous lineage of Aston Martin ‘V’ cars

Named after the warrior’s paradise celebrated in ancient Norse mythology, Valhalla follows Valkyrie on Aston Martin’s journey into the highest echelons of road car performance. Employing lightweight construction methods and radical aerodynamics pioneered in Valkyrie, Valhalla will be propelled by a combination of high-efficiency, high-output turbocharged V6 petrol engine and battery-electric hybrid system. Just 500 Coupe examples of the all-carbon fibre hypercar will be built. 

In continuing the fine tradition of Aston Martin ‘V’ cars, Valhalla can trace its lineage back to 1951, when the Vantage designation was given to high performance variants of the then current model, the DB2. Though actual Vantage badging was never applied, the name stuck.


The first time the Vantage name appeared was on the flanks of the DB5. Still it remained a name reserved for the most potent model derivatives until 2005, when the Vantage became a model line in its own right. Fourteen years later that acclaimed family of V8 and V12-powered models is remembered as the most successful in Aston Martin’s history. Since then the all-new generation of turbocharged Vantage has fast forged a reputation as the most dynamically focussed series production Aston Martin ever.

Together with the recently announced Vanquish Vision Concept, Valhalla continues this proud, seven decade old ‘V’ car naming strategy, providing an evocative and powerful moniker fit for one of the world’s most compelling ultra-high performance cars.

Aston Martin is targeting a 0-62 mph sprint time of 2.5 seconds and a top speed of more than 220 mph. If you don’t have the almost $2 million ticket to ride this 200 mph-plus hybrid hypercar, you can see it in the upcoming 007 movie now in production starring Daniel Craig as James Bond.