Monthly News Round-Up, June 2015 Edition

by | 25. Jun 2015


At the top of the pile of stories breaking this month, BIG revealed their design for the new 2 World Trade Center in New York consisting of stacked, offset blocks. Then, the winning team has been found among the 1,715 entries in the competition for the Guggenheim Helsinki. Also, new towering development projects by Hadid and Libeskind – in Australia and Italy, respectively. And finally, Google brings in Heatherwick to vivify their London HQ project.



New 2 World Trade Center Tower. Image courtesy BIG


BIG Reveals Addition to NYC Skyline with Stepped 2 World Trade Center

Bjarke Ingels Group has lifted the veil for their design of the new version of 2 World Trade Center Tower. Located at the highly sensitive site on Lower Manhattan, BIG’s soaring tower consists of seven stacked volumes that reduce in size, but expand in width as the height increases.

Forming part of the final stages of the revitalization of the area, the redevelopment is set to be inhabited by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and News Corp., while the upper half of the 80-storey skyscraper will be leased to other commercial office tenants.

BIG’s scheme will be built on the foundations of the original Foster & Partners-designed scheme, which was abandoned after Murdoch allegedly uttered his discontent with the design, finding it “more suited for an investment bank than a modern media company”.

Get the full story here (via WIRED).



Image ©  Moreau Kusunoki Architectes


Moreau Kusunoki Architectes Wins Prestigious Bid for Guggenheim Helsinki

Earlier this week, Paris-based Moreau Kusunoki Architectes was announced as the winners from a shortlist of six contenders in the much-discussed international design competition of the Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki, which had a staggering total of 1,715 entries.

The competition, regarded as one of the most important of recent years, was organised by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which also organised the seminal competition for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, won by Frank Gehry in 1991.

The site proposed for the museum’s Helsinki outpost is in the city’s South Harbour area, close to the city centre. In their statement, the jury highlighted – among other things – the project’s relation to the existing context:

The jury found the design deeply respectful of the site and setting, creating a fragmented, non-hierarchical, horizontal campus of linked pavilions where art and society could meet and inter-mingle.

Read the full jury statement here.



Google London HQ. Image © AHMM


Heatherwick to Invigorate Google’s “Boring” London HQ Development

Thomas Heatherwick has reportedly been brought in to work on Google’s new London headquarters after plans by architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris were deemed “too boring”.

The British designer – who is already working on Google’s California campus in partnership with Danish architect Bjarke Ingels – has been asked to draw up new plans for the internet giant’s London base.

Google’s ambitious £1 billion King’s Cross development, which will be the technology giant’s European headquarters, has faced repeated delays since it was  first announced back in 2013. The project currently has “no target completion date.”

Get the full story here (via Business Insider).

Watch a video of the BIG/Heatherwick Google HQ in California.



Mariner’s Cove. Image courtesy of Sunland Group


Hadid Designs Twin Towers for Australia’s Gold Coast

Zaha Hadid has revealed plans for two 44-storey towers to be built along Australia’s Gold Coast. Subject to development approval, the so-called Mariner’s Cove will combine 370 highrise living units with the region’s first privately-owned cultural precinct, featuring an art gallery, museum and outdoor sculptural gardens overlooking the Broadwater.

The project has been commissioned by the Sunland Group, the organization behind Brisbane’s Grace on Coronation Project – also designed by Hadid. In addition, the development will include ground floor retail and dining, a waterfront promenade and an underground aquarium.



Tor di Valle office towers. Image © Studio Libeskind


Daniel Libeskind Plans Three Office Towers for Rome’s Tor di Valle District

Studio Libeskind has revealed the design of three office towers for the city center of Rome, forming a new, urban district adjacent to the A.S. Roma stadium. Sited at the heart of the planned Tor di Valle business district, the trio of structures work in dialogue with one another, as if cut from a single stone block.

The volumes fit together like building blocks, forming a composition of elements that act both in relation with one another and alone. Arranged in a triangular formation upon a 3,000 m2 public piazza, the towers – which vary in height up to 220 meters – are landscaped with lush vegetation and reflecting pools.

The towers are clad in a mesh of opaque panels that break up their glazed façades. Folded glass panes reveal huge garden expanses containing multi-level spaces for work, recreation and events.