Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík, Iceland

The Hallgrímskirkja (literally, the church of Hallgrímur) is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres (244 ft), it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland.

It took 38 years to build the church. Construction work began in 1945 and ended in 1986, the landmark tower being completed long before the church's actual completion.

of Reykjavík, it is one of the city's best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city. The church is also used as an observation tower. An observer can take a lift up to the viewing deck and view Reykjavík and the surrounding mountains.

Architect : Guðjón Samúelsson

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Oriental Arts Center is one of the leading performing arts and cultural facilities in Shanghai and China. Located adjacent to Century Avenue in the Pudong Adminitration and Culture Center, the landmark building was officially opened at the end of 2004 and has come to symbolize the growth of western and traditional art forms in China in recent years. Various cutural and musical performances are currently held in the center, including the 2005 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Shanghai Concert.

The building merges architectural artistry with functionality. The material of the façades is mainly laminated glass incorporating perforated metal sheets. The five interconnected hemispherical halls or 'petals', resembling a butterfly or butterfly orchid from above, each 'petal' belonging in turn to the entrance hall, the Performance Hall, the Concert Hall, the Exhibition Hall, and the Opera Hall, respectively. To avoid confusion when inside, the interior of each of the five segments are decorated with large distictly-coloured pebbles hung on the walls as a means of differentiating between them. Inside, the dark granite floors and richly hued furnishings offer the feeling of being inside a forest, while the metal-layered glass screen walls filter the sunshine for a softly diffused forest floor effect.

The high-tech ceiling changes colour during the night to reflect the nature of the performances inside. It also features ancillary public facilities, such an exhibition hall, music shops, restaurant and arts exchange premises.

Architect : Paul Andreu

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saint-Pierre, Firminy, France

Saint-Pierre (English: Saint Peter) is a concrete building in the commune of Firminy, France. The last major work of French Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier, it was completed in 2006, 41 years after his death.

Designed to be a church in the model city of Firminy Vert, the construction of Saint-Pierre was begun in 1971, six years after Le Corbusier's death in 1965. Due to local political conflicts it remained stalled from 1975 to 2003, when the local government declared the mouldering concrete ruin an "architectural heritage" and financed its completion. It has been used for many different purposes, as a secondary school and as a shelter. As the laicist French state may not use public funds for religious buildings, Saint-Pierre is now used as a cultural venue.

The building was completed by French architect José Oubrerie, Le Corbusier's student for many years.

Architect : Le Corbusier & José Oubrerie

Frederic C. Hamilton building (Denver Art Museum), Denver, US

The Denver Art Museum is an art museum in Denver, Colorado located in Denver's Civic Center. It is known for its collection of American Indian art, and has a comprehensive collection numbering more than 68,000 works from across the world.

Major expansion was carried out in the form of this building, Frederic C. Hamilton building, which was completed in 2006 at the cost of 20 million dollars. The building is clad in titanium and glass. The project was recognised by the American Institute of Architects as a successful Building Information Modeling project.

Architect : Daniel Libeskind

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Aspire Tower, Doha, Qatar

The Aspire Tower is a 300 meter (984 ft) structure located in the Sports City complex in Doha, Qatar. Aspire Tower served as the focal point for the 15th Asian Games hosted by Qatar in December 2006. The Aspire Tower is currently the tallest structure in Doha, but it is expected to be surpassed by the Dubai Towers and the Barwa Tower. The tower has also been known as Khalifa Sports Tower or Doha Olympic Tower.

The tower was a landmark of the 2006 Asian Games due to its size and proximity to the main venue, the Khalifa International Stadium. The tower housed the Asian Games flame during the games and holds the record for tallest ever games flame and highest positioning of a games flame, which was visible throughout Doha for the duration of the games. The design employs a concrete core which acts as the primary support. The remainder of the building is a steel structure that cantilevers out from the concrete core. The exterior of the building is covered in a steel mesh which, during the Asian Games, was festively illuminated by vibrant LED lights.

Aspire Tower includes a five-star hotel with ballroom/banqueting suite, conference/business center, a lower-level restaurant, gymnasium, franchise spaces, salons, a sports museum, a four-story Presidential suite, and at the buildings' top, a restaurant, bar and observation deck providing panoramic views of Doha. It will also feature a swimming pool cantilevered 80 meters above ground.

In late 2007, the Aspire Tower was completed at a final cost of 133,395,000 EUR (173,500,510 USD).

Architect : Hadi Simaan