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11 May 2011
Architecture People and Places

MVRDV in Hangzhou, ChinaRafael Viñoly Architects in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaBIG in Tirana, AlbaniaHOK in La Jolla, CaliforniaThe Jerde Partnership in Hashimoto, JapanShepley Bulfinch in St. Paul, MinnesotaFernando Romero in Mexico City, Mexico  


MVRDV has revealed its winning design for the China Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, China. Extra Large Image

Hangzhou · 2011.0505
Architecture and planning firm MVRDV of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has revealed its winning design for the China Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, China. Inspired by speech bubbles from comics, the design features a series of eight balloon-shaped volumes linked to create an internally complex 30,000-square-meter (320,000-square-foot) museum.

In the preliminary design, the monochromatic white concrete facade enables the curved volumes to actually function like 3D speech bubbles when text is projected onto them. Services such as the lobby, three cinemas, and comic book library each occupy separate volumes. Where two such bulbous forms touch, a large opening allows access and views between them. The eight volumes are interconnected to allow for a circular tour of the entire program, with routing that permits short or long visits. The permanent collection is presented in a chronological spiral, while the temporary exhibition hall is designed for flexibility.

Several features are planned to improve the building's energy efficiency, such as ground-source heat exchange, natural ventilation, and adiabatic cooling. The structural concept by Arup creates an aerodynamic design for even wind pressure and reduced need for air conditioning.

Located on a 13.7-hectare (33.9-acre) site, the project will also include an expo center, a public plaza, and a series of parks on islands in a lake. Construction is envisioned to begin in 2012, and the total budget is €92 million. The proposal also includes exhibit architecture by Kossman.deJong and graphic design by JongeMeesters, both based in Amsterdam, with Zhubo Architectural & Engineering Design as local architect.

The new museum will be the anchor of a larger development, the Comic and Animation Center, comprising a series of hill-shaped buildings containing offices, a hotel, and a conference center, of which the first phase is close to completion.  


The University of Pennsylvania's new Translational Research Center, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, has been completed. Photo: © Brad Feinknopf Extra Large Image

Philadelphia · 2011.0504
The University of Pennsylvania's Translational Research Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been completed. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, based in New York City, the facility comprises the first expansion phase in an overall master plan for Penn Medicine. As a translational facility, the building combines research and clinical functions. It expands the existing Perelman Center while preserving its urban character and laying the groundwork for future development.

The new research center consists of a 14-story extension to the west wing of the Perelman Center. Placement of the lab building along the perimeter of the Perelman Center respects that building's central atrium as an urban landmark and public gathering place. The basement of the Translational Research Center houses the existing Roberts Proton Therapy Center, designed by Tsoi/ Kobus & Associates, and for which Rafael Viñoly Architects performed limited design services, above which three floors expand the clinical spaces of the Perelman Center. Separated from the clinical floors by an interstitial mechanical level, seven stories of laboratory research spaces constitute the facility's new programming.

In order to prevent noise and movement from disturbing laboratory animals, and to make service access easier, the two vivarium levels are located above the three clinical floors, with five floors of open, flexible research labs above them. Louvered windows on the vivarium levels admit daylight while reducing disturbances to the research program. The laboratory bench space is designed for extreme flexibility, with lab benches that can be reconfigured, or completely removed and replaced with computer workstations or traditional offices, without the help of electricians, carpenters, or plumbers, or special tools.  


Bjarke Ingels Group has revealed its winning design for a new mosque, Islamic center, and Museum of Religious Harmony in Tirana, Albania. Image: BIG Extra Large Image

Tirana · 2011.0504
Copenhagen, Denmark-based architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has revealed its winning design for a new 27,000-square-meter (290,000-square-foot) cultural complex in Tirana, Albania, that comprises a mosque, Islamic center, and Museum of Religious Harmony.

BIG's proposal incorporates the street grid of Tirana by maintaining the street wall and eaves line, but rotates the ground floor so that the mosque's main wall faces Mecca. This transformation also opens up a series of plazas — two minor ones on the sides of the mosque and a major plaza with a minaret in front — which serve as an urban extension of the place of worship. The mosque can accommodate up to 1,000 people performing their daily prayers and, including the outdoor spaces, can accommodate larger groups of up to 10,000.

With curvilinear forms projecting over the main plaza from the upper portions of the buildings, the composition creates a negative space somewhat reminiscent of the domes of traditional Islamic architecture, turning the mosque "inside out" in a sense. The pattern of rectangular windows in the facades is inspired by Islamic mashrabiya screens. The proposal also includes gardens containing all the plants mentioned in the Quran.

The complex will be part of Tirana's reconceptualization of Skanderbeg Square, where newly completed Orthodox and Catholic churches stand.

The partners-in-charge for BIG are Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Christoffersen. The winning project team also includes Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold, Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management.  


On the La Jolla, California, campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital, construction has begun on the new Scripps Cardiovascular Institute and nearby central energy plant, both designed by HOK. Image: HOK Extra Large Image

La Jolla · 2011.0504
Construction is underway on the new Scripps Cardiovascular Institute and nearby central energy plant on the La Jolla, California, campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital. International multidisciplinary firm HOK designed the two buildings, which measure 383,000 square feet and 26,000 square feet, respectively.

The ten-level, steel-framed, brick-and-glass cardiovascular tower will accommodate 60 beds on two ICU levels, 108 beds on three medical surgery levels, six operating rooms, four CATH/ EP labs, one sterile processing department, and one imaging department. Designed with input from physicians, nurses, and clinical staff, the building features decentralized nurse stations and computerized room-level observation stations. Large expanses of windows will facilitate daylighting. A tunnel will be built to connect the basement and ground levels to the existing hospital. The tower will be the first of three new towers that will eventually replace the existing hospital as part of the 25-year master plan for the campus.

The three-level energy plant will be a cast-in-place concrete structure with two levels located below grade. It will provide air conditioning, heating, medical gas, steam, fuel storage, waste storage, and emergency generators for the hospital. One challenge the project team faces is the 1,600-foot (490-meter) distance between the energy plant and the new tower. A utility corridor is being built to facilitate that connection.

Completion is targeted for January 2015, with an anticipated tenant move-in date of April 2015. The San Diego office of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is serving as design-assist general contractor. The project team also includes Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., construction manager; KPFF, Inc., structural and civil engineer; X-NTH, mechanical engineer; and MWPA, landscape architect.  


The Konoha Mall, designed by The Jerde Partnership, has opened in Hashimoto, Japan. Photo: Hiroyuki Kawano/ Courtesy The Jerde Partnership Extra Large Image

Hashimoto · 2011.0426
The Konoha Mall has opened in Hashimoto, Japan. Designed by The Jerde Partnership, an architecture firm based in Venice, California, the 84,000-square-meter (900,000-square-foot) facility contains 120 specialty shops and restaurants, including a large community grocery anchor and a food court.

The shopping center is organized around three major courts that represent different seasons: the large summer court, which serves as the central plaza, and the autumn and spring courts, which anchor opposite ends of the center. Multilevel walkways and bridges across levels offer views of activity below, and the project's layout and forms facilitate natural ventilation. Large leaf-shaped forms atop the building support solar panels.

Jerde also created the conceptual landscape, lighting, and signage for the project. The developer was Fukuoka Jisho, and its in-house urban design group, FJUD, served as executive architect.  


At Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, ground has been broken for a new university center designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott. Image: Shepley Bulfinch Extra Large Image

St. Paul · 2011.0411
Hamline University has broken ground for a new university center on its St. Paul, Minnesota, campus. Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott of Boston, Massachusetts, and Phoenix, Arizona, designed the three-level, 75,000-square-foot (7,000-square-meter) building, which will be named the Carol Young Anderson and Dennis Anderson University Center. It will include large and small meeting spaces, computer bars, dining facilities, a coffee shop, a spirit store, a meditation room, an outdoor terrace, and an underground parking garage.

The glass-and-terra cotta building will include sustainable features, such as solar panels and a vegetated roof. LEED Silver certification is targeted. Planned for completion in time for the 2012-2013 academic year, the center is being built by McGough Construction.  


The Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, Mexico, designed by Fernando Romero, has been completed. Photo: Javier Hinojosa Extra Large Image

Mexico City · 2011.0329
The Museo Soumaya has been completed in Mexico City, Mexico, in a former industrial zone. Architecture firm FREE/ Fernando Romero EnterprisE of Mexico City and New York City designed the building, which houses over 6,200 works of art from the collection of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The heterogeneous collection is housed in a continuous exhibition space of about 60,000 square feet spread across six levels. The building also includes a 350-seat auditorium, a library, offices, a restaurant, a gift shop and a multipurpose gathering space.

Clad in hexagonal aluminum modules, the building has a distinctive sweeping, asymmetrical form that constricts between the base and roof. The shell is constructed with 28 curved steel columns of different diameters, each with its own geometry and shape, leading to a nonlinear circulation pattern inside the building. Located at each floor level, seven ring beams provide a system that braces the structure. The top floor is the most generous space of the museum. Daylight enters from the roof, while the rest of the building envelope is nearly opaque.

The general contractor was CARSO Infraestructura y Contrucción. Interior design was performed by FREE and Grupo MYT. The project team also included Colinas de Buen, structural engineer; Inpros, construction manager; Lighteam, lighting designer; and Gehry Technologies, facade technical project.

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