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All posts tagged architecture & design

Thornton Tomasetti’s London office is responsible for ‘serving up’ structural and façade engineering services for the design of a new No. 1 Court development at The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) in Wimbledon, London.

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It’s that time of year again for Pimm’s and lemonade, strawberries and cream, and the familiar purple and green of the oldest and arguably the most famous tennis tournament, The Championships, Wimbledon. Hosted by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), it is the only Grand Slam still played on grass. As one of the most prestigious events in the sporting calendar, the brief to design the interiors for The Champions’ Room was focused on creating an enjoyable and unique customer journey.
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Within the framework of a restricted architecture competition organised by Meishan city authorities, Sichuan province, in the south of China, Spanish architectural studio, Rafael de La-Hoz, associated with the Chinese design institute, ADRI-HIT (Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology), won the design competition to design a large leisure complex, which includes five museums and a sports centre.

A museum of Culture, a museum of the City, a museum of Science and Technology, a library, a wide exhibition hall and a sports centre will shape this complex over a total surface area of 260,000sqm. The plot of this project will be located in natural surroundings, close to various buildings of the University of Meishan.

The design of the complex is inspired by the important personality of the Song dynasty, in particular the poet Su Dongpo – the most versatile genius in the history of Chinese literature. The master plan is based on the traditional drawings of buildings made of bamboo and on Su Dongpo’s poems, while the buildings represent bamboo leaves and the bands of the landscape – water and vegetation – represent bamboo branches and logs.

The winning pattern brings out the essence of the terraced rice paddies of Sichuan province and reinterprets the abstracted smooth curvatures of traditional Chinese roofs and their symbolic architecture characterised by wooden structure. The project aims at exploring the relationship between traditional and contemporary architecture.

Surrounded by nature, located between the Dongpo lake and the Min river, Meishan is a growing university city in the Sichuan province, within the People’s Republic of China. One thousand years ago, the city of Meishan was the government of the State. It became known as the “town of the learned people” under the Song dynasty.

Founded in 1920, Rafael de La-Hoz is a very active architectural firm with a wide international scope.

Status: Competition Entry
Location: Meishan, CN
Role: The Spanish architectural studio Rafael de La-Hoz, associated with the Chinese design institute ADRI-HIT (Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology), wins the design competition to design a large leisure complex, which includes five museums and a sports centre.

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Images courtesy:

Images courtesy: Spanish architectural firm, Rafael de La-Hoz and the Chinese design institute, ADRI-HIT.



The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (24 September 2015) announced that the globally-renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid will receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right.

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”. Awarded since 1848, past Royal Gold Medallists include Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941) and George Gilbert Scott (1859).

Hadid is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her dynamic and innovative projects builds on over thirty years of revolutionary experimentation and research in the fields of architecture, design and urbanism.

RIBA President and chair of the selection committee, Jane Duncan, said:

Zaha Hadid is a formidable and globally-influential force in architecture. Highly experimental, rigorous and exacting, her work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars, is quite rightly revered and desired by brands and people all around the world. I am delighted Zaha will be awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 2016 and can’t wait to see what she and her practice will do next.

Hadid said:

I am very proud to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal, in particular, to be the first woman to receive the honour in her own right. I would like to thank Peter Cook, Louisa Hutton and David Chipperfield for the nomination and Jane Duncan and the Honours Committee for their support.

We now see more established female architects all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes the challenges are immense. There has been tremendous change over recent years and we will continue this progress. This recognition is an honour for me and my practice, but equally, for all our clients.

It is always exciting to collaborate with those who have great civic pride and vision. Part of architecture’s job is to make people feel good in the spaces where we live, go to school or where we work – so we must be committed to raising standards. Housing, schools and other vital public buildings have always been based on the concept of minimal existence – that shouldn’t be the case today. Architects now have the skills and tools to address these critical issues.

Born in Baghdad in 1950, Zaha Hadid started her architectural journey in 1972 studying at the progressive Architectural Association in London. She joined her former professors, Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, where she became a partner in 1977. By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her trail-blazing theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).

Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, Hadid’s interest is in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of cutting-edge technologies – the result is often unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.

Hadid’s first major built commission, one that catapulted her rise, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space. Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with new spatial concepts and dynamic, visionary forms.

In 2004, Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She has twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st Century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation; and the Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents they are valued and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn.

Hadid’s other awards include the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture.

Hadid has held various adademic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture; guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg; the Knolton School of Architecture, Ohio and the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York; the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.