Sunday, 16 July 2017

Project Sydney Modern, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia and the Sydney Modern Project
The Art Gallery of New South Wales narrowed the list of architecture firms vying for its $450 million Sydney Modern project from 12 to 5, and there were no Sydney firms running.
Stage one of the selection process was anonymous in the sense that the jury assessed high-level concepts submitted by each firm and did not know from where they came. According to Director of NSW Art Gallery the Sydney Modern should be ready by 2021. Sydney architects were represented in the jury and drew up guidelines for the competition. Local firms may work with the ultimate winner.
Two Australian firms were in contention in Stage 2 - Kerry Hill Architects, Singapore and Perth, and Sean Goodsell Architects, Melbourne. They joined Kengo Kuma and Associates, Tokyo and Paris, RMA Architects, Boston and Mumbai, and SANAA, Tokyo.
They are saying that Sydney needs vision.
".. "Only after we picked the five concepts were we able to reveal whose concepts they were," Dr Brand said. .."
".."Architecture now, like art, is such an international practice – you have Sydney architects designing buildings in China, Chinese architects designing buildings in America. We have two Japanese architects in this list, one of whom has offices in Paris." .."
"..The winning firm will then work for a year with the gallery refining the design. .."
" be completed by 2021, which marks the AGNSW's 150th anniversary. .."
".. projected budget is $450 million, which Dr Brand says will come from a mix of private and state investment. .."
".. Sydney needs a great amount of vision now." .."
Find this at .
This news item is from 2015 January.

Update: SANAA, Tokyo won. Visit . Find presentation drawings' thumbnails here from the Stage 2 entries.

Stage one shortlisted architects

Candalepas Associates – Sydney
David Chipperfield Architects – London
Fender Katsalidis – Melbourne
Herzog & de Meuron – Basel
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA – Tokyo
Kengo Kuma & Associates – Tokyo
Kerry Hill Architects – Singapore
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos – Madrid
RPBW (Renzo Piano Building Workshop) – Genoa
RMA Architects (Rahul Mehrotra Architects) – Mumbai
Sean Godsell Architects – Melbourne
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects – New York
Stage two shortlisted architects

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA – Tokyo
Kengo Kuma & Associates – Tokyo and Paris
Kerry Hill Architects – Singapore and Perth
RMA Architects (Rahul Mehrotra Architects) – Mumbai and Boston
Sean Godsell Architects – Melbourne


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Newspaper has written about an Architect

Yeshwant Ramamurthy is the founder at Studio One, Hyderabad.
Newspaper has written about an Architect.
Yeshwant Ramamurthy is the founder at Studio One, Hyderabad. He is a graduate from J.J. College of Architecture in Mumbai, and began his career in Bangalore.
".. Commenting on old Indian architecture, he says that the pre-colonial style, emerging from indigenous parameters, was humble and deeply aesthetic. “The colonists transposed grandiose and incongruous style onto native design in a bid to establish cultural hegemony, though many times with disastrous consequences,” he says.

“After independence, India grappled with the idea of rediscovering her design roots, and many buildings of that era display confused priorities. Fast-forward to the present, a time of globalisation, and we see a proliferation of mindless Lego-set facades as clients commission architects to replicate Manhattan in the IT precincts of urban India despite a shocking lack of context.”

But all’s not lost. “Thankfully an increasing fraternity of Indian designers now sees desi as the relevant language to define our emerging vernacular, yet contemporary idiom. Indeed, it is the only plausible way to go,” he concludes."
He says there is a proliferation in IT India of mindless Lego type facades from Manhattan which are out of context. ANI wonders why this simple fact is lost on our janata. Perhaps janata is not as much at fault as Architects themselves. Jury is out?
Find this at .

Friday, 14 July 2017

Space Elevator 20 km High A Reality

Freestanding Tower reaching 20 kms above earth's surface
20 km high space elevator. Height = 20 x 'height of Burj Khalifa'.
The idea of a space elevator, first proposed by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895, is slated to become a reality.

"... The company will build a freestanding tower, reaching 20 km above the planet's surface. ..."
"Astronauts would ascend 20 km by an electric elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refuelling and reflight," its inventor Dr Brendan Quine was quoted as saying.
The elevator will also be used for wind-energy generation and communications. ..."
"... The Thoth design reportedly uses inflatable sections and flywheels to provide dynamic stability. ..."

Find this at .

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Railway Stations Development task outsourcing

Large no. of railway stations in shortest possible time
Development of Railway Stations task to be outsourced and bids to be invited on website.
With the aim to complete the development of a large no. of stations in the shortest possible time, the details of the railway stations will be put online. If anybody is sure that they are upto it, then they may tell the Railways what is required from the Railways. The entire exercise will be completely transparent. For instance, the Railways want proper and adequate waiting room facilities, ladies dormitories, segregation of arrival and departure, all essential facilities like catering, unifying integration at both sides, integration with public transport as access station etc.
"... Currently, Prabhu said, there are elaborate processes involved in developing a railway station. He cited “inception and pre-feasibility report”, appointment of architect, technical consultants, financial and legal consultants, “in-principle approval of local authorities”, “request for qualification”, “shortlisting of bidders”, and “request for technical proposals” to underline how this exercise takes such a long time.
“What we are proposing is why not pull all the stations that we have in India for redevelopment without going through these elaborate processes which I have mentioned,” he said. “Rather than that, if you put it in public domain, put it on website and say all the stations of India, small, big, A size, A-plus size, all categories would be developed in this way.” ..."

Find this at .

This is old news actually. Anyway, the task is slated to begin in 2017.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ancient Step Wells - Down To Water Table

India's Step Well Architecture - Collecting, Storing Water
The ancient step wells of India are man-made wells or reservoirs that take one down to the water table. They also served as spots for socialising for women and were also apt for meditation and prayer. India's stepwells are fast disappearing. They are feats of Engineering actually. Find photos of stepwells on the page accessible via link at the bottom.
"... You'll find many of these unique water sources in northwestern Indian regions like Gujarat and Rajasthan, which are extremely hot and dry for half of the year and filled with monsoon rains the other half. The stepwells allowed towns and cities to maintain a constant water supply even in the face of months-long droughts.
Rudimentary stepwells began popping up in great numbers around India between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D., and only became more elaborate and grandiose over the centuries.
Stepwells declined in use during the rise of British rule in the mid-1800s as more modern piped water systems were installed across the empire. As relics of the past, many stepwells are now tourist attractions, while many others have deteriorated due to neglect. ..."

Find this at where you are also served a crash course video on step well architecture..

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Treescrapers for High Density Urban Living

'Treescrapers' is a current typology in speculative architecture
'Treescrapers' are here then? A Solution for High Density Urban Living?
A vertical garden tower, Bosco Verticale, designed for Milan has been named the Best Tall Building Worldwide for 2015 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. .. From architectural fiction towards built reality. .. But can they work and are they green? Should we start believing about them?
A Passive House design calls for retention of energy and heat at low costs.
Treescrapers, a current popular typology in speculative architecture existing mostly on paper, is a building scheme that incorporates both environmental gains and high density. The porous designs look futuristic, and maybe actually stink (article doesn't say stink, whoops) so that they actually don’t look like the future of architecture.
The article speaks of carbon emissions - embodied and operational. It talks whether these are actually 'net sustainable'.
"... One is the additional force that it takes to shore up a balcony to support the weight of a tree. (Trees on balconies are the definitive features of the designs I’m lumping together under the treescraper label.) Increasing the steel reinforcement or concrete slab of a balcony increases the embodied carbon emissions for the project.
The other broad issue is the operational: the loss of heat where the balcony meets the exterior wall. Thermal bridges, essentially areas where heat loss happens at an intersection with the building’s envelope, can potentially lead to problems, namely an increased heating requirement to keep the building comfortable. There are ways to thermally break the juncture using insulation to protect against heat loss, but the question gets a bit technical for a broad look at a range of buildings. ..."
Find this at and also find a Vijayawada building's photos.