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Posts tagged as 'Ben van Berkel'

The Dance Palace forms an integrated part of the European Embankment city quarter masterplan for a new urban square in the historic centre of St. Petersburg.

The Dance Palace forms an integrated part of the European Embankment city quarter masterplan for a new urban square in the historic centre of St. Petersburg.

UNStudio’s design has been selected in the competition for a 21,000 square meter dance theatre in the historic centre of St. Petersburg. The new complex houses The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, headed by the prolific choreographer Boris Eifman. From the four projects presented (Jean Nouvel (FR), UNStudio (NL), Snøhetta (NO), ZAO (RU)), UNStudio’s design was yesterday unanimously chosen by the jury for realisation.

 Dance Palace in the historic centre of St. Peterburg by UNStudio/ Ben van Berkel

Dance Palace in the historic centre of St. Peterburg by UNStudio/ Ben van Berkel

According to Ben van Berkel, “The urban context of the building is essential to the design. The Dance Palace is positioned on the square in such a way as to allow for unrestricted visibility towards the nearby Prince Vladimir and Peter and Paul cathedrals, thereby framing some of the most exceptional buildings in St. Petersburg. The sculptural qualities of the Dance Palace reflect those of the surrounding buildings in the masterplan, providing a connection to its surroundings yet still retaining saliency. A central main entrance is incorporated into the façade design in order to fully integrate the building into this lively public square.”

The vertical foyer provides a high level of transparency from inside to outside.

The vertical foyer provides a high level of transparency from inside to outside.

UNStudio’s design for the Dance Palace presents an open and inviting theatre building with provision for 1300 guests (large auditorium 1000, small auditorium 300). Programmatic considerations focus on the spacious circulation of the public foyer and the transparent relationship to the surrounding public square and the city. Integration with the existing neighbouring buildings is achieved by both the scale of the building – which in elevation follows and respects St. Petersburg’s typical 28m roofline – and the transformative transparency which is introduced by a facade system of triangular cladding panels. The variation between opaque and perforated panels creates a controlled openness, depending on programme, views and orientation.

 

 

to UNStudio

Taking the river as inspiration and twisting it with contemporary design results in the perfect combination of form and function at Raffles City Hangzhou

Taking the river as inspiration and twisting it with contemporary design results in the perfect combination of form and function at Raffles City Hangzhou

UNStudio’s design for the mixed-use Raffles City development is located near the Qiangtan River in Hangzhou which is one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China. Raffles City will be CapitaLand’s sixth Raffles City, following those in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Bahrain. It incorporates retail, offices, housing and hotel facilities and marks the site of a cultural landscape within the Quianjiang New Town Area.

The long lines of Raffles City Hangzhou / The graceful tapering towers

The long lines of Raffles City Hangzhou / The graceful tapering towers

According to Ben van Berkel, “The philosophy behind the Raffles City concept is to integrate mixed use in an urban context, but in such a way as to give this concept a twist; by focussing on where the urban context meets the landscape of the city. In the design of the towers the urban element of the project twists towards the landscape, whilst the landscape aspect, in turn, twists towards the urban context, thereby effecting the incorporation and consolidation of these separate elements in one formal gesture.”

Smooth and soothing interiors by UNStudio

Smooth and soothing interiors by UNStudio

The incorporation of natural ventilation principles and the ways in which materials are employed, all work in concordance with one another to lower the energy and material demands of the building. Urban sustainability is also an important consideration in the design. The programme mix creates a dynamic, continuous 24/7 cycle of activity, a hub for business conduct, a new destination for visitors and residents alike and will become an all-in-one destination for working, living, leisure and entertainment.

In the chain of events and attractions of Hangzhou, like the West Lake area and the commercial centre, the Raffles City project will be at the core of the Qianjiang New Town area and contribute to the recognition of this area as a new destination in the city. It is due for realisation in 2012.

 

to UNStudio

Burnham Pavilion by Ben van Berkel<

Burnham Pavilion by Ben van Berkel

“What we as a people decide to do in the public interest we can and surely will bring to pass”, this is a passage of the famous 1909 Burnham Plan, an innovative infrastructure plan for the at that time fast-growing city of Chicago.

London-based Zaha Hadid and Amsterdam-based Ben van Berkel of UNStudio have designed architectural exhibits to be installed in Millennium Park this summer to honor the forward-looking spirit of the Plan of Chicago. They want to emphasize the importance of boldly imagining a better future for all, as Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett did in 1909.

UNStudio principal architect Ben van Berkel says the design of the pavilion was influenced by a trip to Chicago as a teenager, where he observed the cantilevered ceiling and roof eaves of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. The two horizontal planes of the pavilion show this influence. The edges of the lower of the two planes – the pavilion’s floor – act as benches, inviting rest and interaction.

Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects

Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid´s pavilion is made of totally recyclable materials, and can be dismantled and reinstalled elsewhere after the Centennial. It is a tent-like structure made of aluminum and dressed in a tensile fabric. The aluminum ribs are deliberately expressed through the external skin.

The Pavilions will open to the public on June 19, 2009 in conjunction with a Grant Park Music Festival concert and will close on October 31, 2009.

Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid architects

Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid architects

to the Burnham Plan Centinnial website

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