The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has selected four leading architectural firms—Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Foster + Partners and Snø-hetta—as finalists following a comprehensive international search for a firm to expand the museum’s facilities and design a new wing. The final selection of the architect will be announced in September, and the expansion is slated for completion in 2016. The expansion will triple the museum’s gallery and public spaces.
The British Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, an event devoted to scientific and cultural exchange, recently opened its doors to curious visitors. Known as the Seed Cathedral, the 20- meter-square structure features 60,000 transparent acrylic rods that extend outward and downward and quiver in a breeze. The end of every rod contains seeds of different plant species from the Kew Millennium Seed Bank. The rods, serving as fiber-optic filaments, bring in daylight to illuminate the interior exhibit space. The unusual pavilion was designed by Heatherwick Studio, based in London. Heatherwick partnered with the Mace Group on the construction.
Vancouver, B.C.’s planned $458-million renovation of BC Place, the province’s largest stadium, already has paid dividends. Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming announced in March it would lease the property adjacent to build a $450-million entertainment complex, complete with a 24-hour casino, five restaurants and two hotels. Operations are set to start in 2013. Photo: Paragon Gaming An entertainment complex will abut BC Place by 2013, according to Paragon Gaming’s plan. The 76,000-sq-meter fabric cover at BC Place—the largest air-supported roof in the world—will soon become the world’s largest cable-supported retractable roof. Work starts this month with a winterization program. The 27-year-old
Photo: Arup Group A 115-m-tall looping latticework of tubular steel has been chosen to be the landmark for London’s 2012 Olympic Park. Standing 22 m taller than the Statue of Liberty, the “ArcelorMittal Orbit” will provide a high-level viewing platform between the main stadium and the Aquatics Centre. Funded substantially by steelmaker ArcelorMittal, the $29-million structure is the creation of London-based artist Anish Kapoor, who worked with Cecil Balmond, director of the Advanced Geometry Unit at Arup Group, London.
Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners of the Tokyo-based Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates, better known as SANAA, have been awarded this year’s Pritzker Prize. The annual award is given by the Hyatt Foundation to a living architect or architects who have consistently produced important work. Nishizawa is the youngest architect ever to win the Pritzker, while his partner Sejima is only the second female laureate in the competition’s history. The pairs’ first masterpiece, according to McGraw-Hill’s Architectural Record magazine, was the 21st-Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan. Located in the center of an urban park, the circular
A 70-story, folded, creased and curved stainless-steel curtain wall on an 867-ft-tall apartment building has been called “Gehry only on the outside,” as if the building is a fake Frank. It’s true that, when it opens next year, New York City’s tallest residential tower won’t be an internationally acclaimed cultural icon, as is the architect’s now-12-year-old Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain. The 76-story high-rise is not as colorful, whimsical and structurally innovative as the nearly decade-old Experience Music Project rock ’n’ roll museum in Seattle. The new tower is not as description-defying inside and out as the six-year-old Walt Disney
Engineers inspecting Chile’s structures after the magnitude-8.8 earthquake that struck the nation’s midsection on Feb. 27 say Chile’s modern buildings are more robust than many equivalent buildings on the West Coast of the U.S. Even concrete frames under construction fared well in the second-strongest temblor on record, say seismic experts. Photo: Miyamoto International Inc. Tower in Concepción appears to lack vertical reinforcing and horizontal confinement. + Image “It’s amazing how little structural damage there is on new buildings,” says Scott Nyseth, a principal in the Vancouver, Wash., office of Miyamoto International Inc. The amount of shear wall per sq ft
Six years after design began and one year after it was completed, Egypt’s Ministry of Culture is almost ready to start construction of the $550-million main building of the Grand Egyptian Museum, near Cairo. Video Image: Heneghan Peng Architects Monumental ancient artifacts will have plenty of headroom with 24-m ceilings. Image: Heneghan Peng Architects The 100,000-sq-m main building of the Egyptian museum will have a low profile to avoid competing with the great pyramids of Giza, two kilometer away. Having secured a $390-million soft loan from Japan, the ministry last month appointed a team of Hill International Inc., Marlton, N.J.,
In April, the Simon Wiesenthal Center plans to announce the name of its replacement architect for the redesign of its planned Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. The group and its first architect, Gehry Partners, recently parted company after six years. The center cited “today’s economic realities” as a rationale behind the redesign. Frank Gehry issued a statement saying he will not be able to participate in the redesign effort because his staff and resources are committed to other projects around the globe.
An independent engineering report prepared for the University of New Mexico about its Albuquerque indoor practice facility found that wind pressure could enter the building through openings in the structure and not escape, putting the training facility at risk of collapse. The investigation by Chavez-Grieves Consulting Engineers in Albuquerque found the school’s steel-and-fabric facility had been designed by Summit Structures, Allentown, Pa., as an enclosed building. However, the independent engineers concluded that louvers, roll-up doors and other openings created a partially enclosed building. Currently, the university uses the facility only when the louvers and doors are closed and the wind