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.

MVRDV’s Flower Building in Shanghai is Complete

MVRDV'S FLOWER BUILDING COMPLETED. (COURTESY MVRDV)

MVRDV’S FLOWER BUILDING COMPLETED. (COURTESY MVRDV)

In 2013, Rotterdam-based MVRDV won the competition to design and masterplan the so-called Sustainable Business Park at Shanghai Hongqiao. With the firm’s design set to open in early 2016, the first and main structure of the masterplan, the Flower Building, is now complete.

More after the jump.

UUfie Transforms Flagship Store With Icy Cool Glass Block

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Ports 1961 glows at dusk. (Shengliang Su)

From Functional to Fashionable: glass blocks used to create a glowing facade in Shanghai.

Located in a high-end fashion district in Shanghai, this storefront was dramatically reclad in a custom glass block assembly by Toronto-based architecture studio UUfie. The facade is part of an adaptive reuse project, converting an old office building into a new flagship store for fashion house Ports 1961.
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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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Kengo Kuma designs a geometric dreamscape for Hérmes’ Chinese brand, Shiang Xia

(By Masao Nishikawi/Courtesy of Kengo Kuma)

(Masao Nishikawi/Courtesy Kengo Kuma)

The acclaimed architectural firm that once decked the walls of a Tokyo Yakitori bar with LAN cables recently completed designs for the latest retail outlet of Shang Xia, a Chinese culture–inspired offshoot of the renowned Hérmes fashion brand.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bar-Hopping in Secret: Shanghai’s Latest Speakeasy Disguised as Sandwich Shop

Interiors, International
Monday, March 9, 2015
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(Courtesy Shen Zhonghai)

(Courtesy Shen Zhonghai)

These days, the illicit thrill of sneaking into a hidden bar from the back of a video store is a mere blip on our adrenaline threshold. But a new speakeasy in Shanghai aims to reinvent the game with a sleek underground bar concealed behind the innocent facade of a sandwich shop.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Shanghai Talks: Mun Summ Wong of WOHA Architects

ParkROYAL in Singapore by WOHA. (HeyItsWilliam via Flickr)

PARKROYAL in Singapore by WOHA. (HeyItsWilliam via Flickr)

This Fall, I served as special media correspondent for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat‘s September symposium in Shanghai. The topic was “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism,” and among the many architects, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Mun Summ Wong of Singapore-based WOHA.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

OMA heading back to China with an exhibition center in Shanghai

Rendering of the Lujiazui Exhibiton Centre, along the Pudong waterfront.

Rendering of the Lujiazui Exhibiton Centre, along the Pudong waterfront.

Having designed what is arguably Beijing’s most recognizable building, CCTV, OMA is ready to make a similar, if slightly smaller, mark in Shanghai. They’ve just won a commission to design the Lujiazui Exhibiton Centre, located on the northern edge of Shanghai Pudong, a famed tower-filled area along the Huangpu River.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Shanghai Talks: Ole Scheeren on human-scale skyscrapers

The Interlace in Singapore by Büro Ole Scheeren. (© Iwan Baan)

The Interlace in Singapore by Büro Ole Scheeren. (Iwan Baan)

This Fall, I served as special media correspondent for The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat‘s September symposium in Shanghai. The topic was “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism,” and among the many architects, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Ole Scheeren—founder Büro Ole Scheeren and former director at OMA.

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Video> NIKE opens a motion-tracking, LED basketball court in China

The House of Mamba. (Courtesy NIKE)

The House of Mamba. (Courtesy NIKE)

Nike has covered a basketball court in Shanghai with LED sensors and the result looks like a live-action video game. The court is called the “House of Mamba”—not to be confused with the new “House of Vans” in London—and it’s topped with reactive sensors that track players’ every move.

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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.

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Designed in Chicago, Made in China: Blair Kamin, Chicago designers mull Chinese urbanization

Chinese new year flags and lanterns in Shenzhen, the poster-city for rapid urbanization in China. (Flickr / dcmaster)

Chinese new year flags and lanterns in Shenzhen, the poster-city for rapid urbanization in China. (Flickr / dcmaster)

Blair Kamin convened a panel of designers at the Chicago Architecture Foundation last Wednesday for a discussion around themes explored in his recent series “Designed in Chicago, Made in China,” in which the Chicago Tribune architecture critic assessed the effects of that country’s rapid development on urbanism and design. Read More

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