Chicago’s Willis Tower falls off top ten list of tallest buildings in world

Chicago in 2010. (Monika Thorpe via Flickr)

The former tallest building in the world, now 11th, the Willis Tower in Chicago. (Monika Thorpe/Flickr)

The Willis Tower (formerly known as, and still referred to by locals as, the Sears Tower) has been bumped from the Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) top ten tallest buildings in the world list with the completion of the Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China.

More after the jump.

Fire that engulfs Dubai skyscraper raises questions about safety of exterior cladding practices

(Christian van Elven/Flickr)

The tower before the fire. (Christian van Elven/Flickr)

A raging fire that consumed a luxury skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates on New Year’s Eve is raising concerns about the safety of a number of ultra-high towers that have come to define contemporary Dubai.

More after the jump.

Plans unveiled for a sprawling mall of pebbles in the suburbs of Dubai

(Courtesy Design International)

(Courtesy Design International)

LuLu Group International has commissioned Design International and Eng. Adnan Saffarini to design its new flagship shopping center: Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis in Dubai. And while it might not boast the heights we’re used to seeing in the towering city, it is certainly sprawling at 1,779 acres. Read More

Report finds the Middle East could soon be too hot for human inhabitation as Dubai moves forward with its own indoor rainforest in a skyscraper

View of the Burj Khalifa in the background (Courtesy ZASA)

View of the Burj Khalifa in the background (Courtesy ZASA)

In an ironic twist, the global fuel powerhouse that is the Middle East is at risk of becoming too hot for human life due to the emissions produced as a result of creating that fuel. Such news evidently means little to the city of Dubai which is currently in line for two new luxurious skyscrapers, one of which will feature its very own rainforest.

Continue after the jump.

SOMA designs exclusive One at Palm on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah artificial island

(Courtesy SOMA)

(Courtesy SOMA)

The top-of-the-line new residences by New York-based firm SOMA boast the tagline: “crafted for the most privileged of the privileged few”—and it’s easy to see why. Rising at the entrance to the Palm Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s artificial islands, the One at Palm consists of 90 exclusive residences, the units arranged in alternately pulled-in and pulled-out configurations across each level so that each apartment is guaranteed 360-degree views.

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London skyline as battleground: Designers render 3D-printed chess pieces in the shape of iconic architecture

(Courtesy Skyline Chess)

(Courtesy Skyline Chess)

City skylines can seem at times like battlegrounds, with architects vying for superlatives of tallest, grandest, and bizarrest. Skyline Chess, founded by London-based designers Chris Prosser and Ian Flood, reimagines chess pieces as miniature models of the city’s landmark buildings.

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Watch as these two jetpack-assisted flyers streak over Dubai at blistering speeds

(Courtesy Jetman Dubai)

(Courtesy Jetman Dubai)

The two innovators behind the Jetman Dubai jetpack athlete team recently released a video of them streaking in synchronized flight over the Dubai skyline and surrounding desert—and it brings a completely new perspective to the architecture of the city. Yves Rossy, a professional pilot from Switzerland, and Vince Reffet, a professional skydiver, have spent years perfecting the contraptions for propelled human flight.

Watch the video after the jump.

This mall looks like it should be built in Dubai, but it’s actually planned in Miami as the nation’s largest

Americana Dream Miami. (Courtesy The Triple 5 Group via the Miami Herald)

Americana Dream Miami. (Courtesy The Triple 5 Group via the Miami Herald)

The slew of stories on the death of the American shopping mall has not deterred one real estate company from submitting plans to build the largest shopping and entertainment center in the country. The Miami Herald reported that the ambitious plan comes from the Triple 5 Group, a company that knows a thing or two about big malls—it owns and runs the Mall of America in Minnesota. Apparently not satisfied with letting that mall remain the nation’s largest, the developer has unveiled designs for something even larger in Miami-Dade County.

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Such Great Heights: CTBUH names world’s best tall buildings

One Central Park (Richard Braddish)

One Central Park (Richard Braddish)

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the nonprofit arbiter on tall building design, has named its 2014 picks for best tall buildings. Among the winners are a twisting tower in Dubai, Portland’s greenest retrofit, and a veritable jungle of a high-rise.

Read More

Skyscraper Expert Gordon Gill Talks High-Performance Facades

Facade detail of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture's Wuhan Greenland Center in Wuhan, China. (Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

Facade detail of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s Wuhan Greenland Center in Wuhan, China. (Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

Architect Gordon Gill has one simple rule for facade design: seek performance first, and beauty will follow. Gill, who will give the opening keynote address at next month’s facades+PERFORMANCE conference in New York, is a founding partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, a firm known for pushing the boundaries of what architecture is and does. Gill and his team start by “establishing a language of architecture that’s based in the performance of a building,” he said. “We’re trying to understand the role of the building in the environment it’s being built in, then shape the building in order to benefit it the best way. Once we take that approach, the facades play a pretty rich role in either absorbing or reflecting the environment.”

More after the jump.

Zaha Hadid Tapped for Her First Wholly Designed Hotel: ME by Meliá Dubai

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects

Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects

In 2007, Zaha Hadid received commission from Omniyat Properties to design the 312-feet-tall Opus Office Building in Dubai. Now, she has been given opportunity to continue this structure’s development beyond solely its architectural exterior. Spain-based Meliá Hotels International announced Hadid as designer for their second hotel in the United Arab Emirates (their first is in Bar Dubai). The internationally renowned architect will be given full creative design of the interior and exterior of the ME by Meliá Dubai Hotel, to be located in her Opus Building. Set to open in 2016, the project will be Hadid’s first hotel designed in entirety. Continue Reading After the Jump

Unveiled> SOM Designs Mashreq Bank Tower in Dubai

International
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
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(Courtesy SOM)

(Courtesy SOM)

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) announced last week it would design a new headquarters for Dubai-based Mashreq Bank. The 32-story tower is “a quiet sculptural form within Dubai’s skyline,” SOM Design Director Ross Wimer said in a statement. Its L-shaped floor plate is cantilevered around an empty volume between the building’s eight-story podium and its top levels.

The building’s massing shields that courtyard from solar gain, while opening up views to Sheikh Zayed Road and the Burj Khalifa to the east. Executive offices occupy the top two floors, where the square floorplate resumes, with Mashreq’s Board Room suspended from an interior opening at the middle.

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