Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
In classic, extravagant Daniel Libeskind fashion, his addition to the Military History Museum in Dresden rises to a cantilevered point containing an observation area. Photo: © Hufton + Crow Photography
Daniel Libeskind's Perspective
by Jo Baker
ArchitectureWeek You tend to take on or win
projects with a great deal of emotional symbolism. Is
there anything in particular about your past work or
personal history that you think resonates with people?
How did this feature, for example, in your design for
New York City's Ground Zero Master Plan?
Daniel Libeskind My work addresses not just
the surface of things, but how architecture, urban
space, buildings can really tell a story, and how they
can bring hope to often gloomy pasts. As a child of
Holocaust survivors who grew up under communist
dictatorship in Poland, I didn't have to research these
issues in the library; it's part of my own visceral
past. I understand what it means to be free, what
liberty and open space means. Perhaps the fact that
these themes have been so much a part of my life creates
Perhaps too because I believe that architecture is not
an abstraction, but is a way to communicate a language
to people at large, not only conceptually but
emotionally, because the themes of life are really about
integrating human beings. My parents worked in
sweatshops around Lower Manhattan, and when creating the
concept for Ground Zero, I pointed out that they would
never have been in mega-towers, but in the streets of
New York, in its subways and public spaces, like most
The design is not just for the way it looks on a
postcard, but about how it feels to working people in
New York. What the streets should feel like, and the
urban space should feel like — that was uppermost
in my mind. Every project I do is a personal project,
not an assignment, so I have to have a connection to it
and see that it deserves a unique answer.
Graphisoft's BIM Explorer (BIMx) app for iOS allows users to view and interact with downloaded 3D models created in ArchiCAD.
iPad Apps for AEC: Part 1
by Lachmi Khemlani
My Personal Take On the iPad
I am not the kind of person easily enamored by gadgets,
the kind who simply must have the latest technological
device that is introduced, even by a company such as
Prior to getting my iPad, I didn't even have an iPod or an iPhone, and I still don't. I didn't go out and buy an iPad the moment it was introduced — I waited till version 2 had been released earlier in 2011.
I already own both a desktop and a laptop computer, so I was definitely not looking for yet another computer. I didn't see the iPad replacing my laptop when I traveled.
My main reason for getting an iPad was actually to facilitate stopping the delivery of my daily paper newspaper and switching to reading the online version of it. That way, I wouldn't feel "obliged" to read the newspaper simply because it was there, but could read as much or as little as my time permitted.
And, of course, there was the "green" argument as well — I would be saving trees in the process! This reasoning made it easy to justify getting another gadget, even though it was not one that I badly needed or couldn't live without.
What I had not bargained for was falling in love with my iPad once it arrived and I started using it. Its interface is so slick and easy to use! I have even become used to its virtual keyboard and do a lot of my writing on it. It is quite a relief to be freed from my desk and be able to write anywhere. (A laptop is also supposed to be mobile, but mine has stayed on my desk for the most part.)
SOM has revealed its competition-winning design for the Greenland Group Suzhou Center, a 358-meter- (1,175-foot-) tall mixed-use tower planned for Wujiang, China. Image: SOM/ Crystal CG
People and Places
by Nancy Novitski
SOM in Wujiang, China —
The Mufson Partnership in New York, New York —
Perkins Eastman in New York, New York —
GDS Architects with A&U, 2HM, and Haima in Incheon, South Korea —
Shepley Bulfinch in Boston, Massachusetts —
HOK in Port-au-Prince, Haiti —
Sorg Architects in Port-au-Prince, Haiti —
CO Architects and FXFOWLE in Los Angeles, California —
HOK with Potter Lawson in Madison, Wisconsin —
IA Interior Architects in San Francisco, California —
VOA Associates in Chicago, Illinois...
Wujiang, China 2012.0117
The Chicago, Illinois, office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has revealed its competition-winning design for the Greenland Group Suzhou Center in Wujiang, China. The 75-level, 358-meter- (1,175-foot-) tall tower will be prominently sited next to Taihu Lake as part of a mixed-used development. The building's curved, tapered form will unify offices, hotel, and service apartments within a single volume.
The tower will feature a composite core and outrigger structural system, with an unusual split-core configuration of the upper floors. By placing half of the building core program on each side of the lobby and interconnecting them with structural steel braces, the combined core becomes more effective than a typical center-core system, while also creating a dramatic, tall lobby space within.
As designed, the tower features a 30-story-tall operable window. The atrium will maximize daylight penetration, facilitate mixed-mode ventilation in the public spaces, and act as a fresh air supply source for the tower. The building will be oriented to harness both the stack effect and the prevailing winds via the atrium's east and west facades.
Other energy-saving strategies include a high-performance facade, lighting energy optimization using efficient fixtures and occupant controls, energy-recovery systems, demand-controlled ventilation, and an onsite energy center with a combined heat and power plant. According to Luke Leung, SOM director of sustainable and MEP engineering, the design aims "to achieve a 60% savings in energy consumption compared to a conventional U.S. high rise and a 60% reduction in potable water use."
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