From fireworks to kayaks, step inside the well-produced world of renderings

Some more birds and some more kayaks. (Courtesy SCAPE)

Lots of birds and lots of kayaks. (Courtesy SCAPE)

In the idealized world of architectural renderings, everything is absolutely perfect. There are no dirty windows, no rust, no clutter, no dead leaves, no mud, no rain. There are crowds, but nothing is crowded. There are cars, but there is no traffic. The scalies dropped into these polished scenes are as happy  as can be—why wouldn’t they be? Every day is spent walking hand-in-hand down a boardwalk with a loved-one giggling about a Jeff Koons sculpture over there. Life is good, they think, as fireworks explode behind them. Life is good.

When you spend as much time as we do here at AN sifting through these highly-planned digital worlds, some trends start to appear over and over. Here’s a sample of what we see again and again.

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Unveiled> Jeanne Gang doing the Twist in San Francisco with new skyscraper

Thanks to changes in its bays, Gang's planned San Francisco Tower appears to torque as it rises. (Tishman Speyer)

Thanks to changes in the angeles of its bays, Gang’s planned San Francisco Tower appears to torque as it rises. (Tishman Speyer)

We’ve known for some time that Chicago architect and certified genius Jeanne Gang has been planning a residential tower for San Francisco‘s Transbay District, south of Market Street. Now we know what it will look like. Gang and developer Tishman Speyer have revealed renderings of a 400-foot-tall, 40-story building clad in masonry tiles at 160 Folsom Street.

Continue reading after the jump.

Parisian preschool stays light and airy with an undulating glass facade screen

(Julien Attard)

This exterior shell enables light to penetrate into the building; it undulates slightly to indicate the entrances. (Julien Attard)

French architecture firm H20 Architectes has given light to a nursery school sited in an unusually tight and narrow courtyard site in Paris. Located in the shadow of surrounding buildings, the new facility has been designed with a glass facade and corresponding shade canopy that appears to lift effortlessly at the front entrance, belying its rigid construction.

Continue reading after the jump.

And Now A Gehry Tower For LACMA? What’s Next?

Model of Zumthor's newest scheme for LACMA, along with massing study of new tower. (Courtesy LACMA)

Model of Zumthor’s newest scheme for LACMA, along with massing study of new tower. (Courtesy LACMA)

The surprises keep coming at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). After learning that the museum plans to shift its proposed Peter Zumthor–designed building southward (partially bridging Wilshire Boulevard) to avoid damaging the La Brea Tar Pits, now comes news that the museum is hoping to partner with LA’s transit agency, METRO, to build a tower across the street.

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Have World Cup Fever? Second World Cup Stadium revealed for Qatar 2022

International, Newsletter
Thursday, July 10, 2014
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World-Cup-Qatar-Al-Bayt-Stadium-Archpaper

With the U.S. knocked out of the World Cup, true fans already are dreaming of our next opportunity to enter the final four. Qatar, which won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has added detail to what one of those future venues might look like by revealing renderings for its latest soccer venue. The Al Bayt Stadium is modeled after a traditional nomadic tent.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Chinese developer releases plans for Chicago tower that would be the city’s third tallest

Though the news is still unconfirmed by local sources, Chinese developer Wanda Group said it would soon begin construction on a 1,150-foot-tall tower in Chicago's Lakeshore East neighborhood. It would be the city's third tallest building.  (Wanda Group)

Though the news is still unconfirmed by local sources, Chinese developer Wanda Group said it would soon begin construction on a 1,150-foot-tall tower in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood. It would be the city’s third tallest building. (Wanda Group)

Chinese real estate developers Wanda Commercial Properties announced Wednesday plans to build an 89-story mixed-use tower in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood that would unseat Aon Center as the city’s third tallest building. Read More

Wrigley Field renovation saga goes into extra innings as neighbors reject latest plans

In 2013 The Cubs proposed a "Triangle Building" to the west of Wrigley. (The Cubs)

In 2013 The Cubs proposed a “Triangle Building” to the west of Wrigley. (Chicago Cubs)

Chicago’s Wrigley Field turns 100 years old this year. To many neighbors and architectural historians, however, the ballpark’s centennial celebrations are an afterthought to the real action: the years-long debate over how to update the landmark park without corrupting its beloved 1914 character. Read More

On View> Connecticut’s Bruce Museum presents “Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing”

Other
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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(Chen Shaoxiong)

(Chen Shaoxiong)

Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT
Through August 31

The Bruce Museum’s newest exhibition examines two of the world’s greatest art capitals: New York and Beijing. The show compares works by five New York–based artists and five Beijing-based based artists. The ten creators have been engaged in five different global, cross-cultural, artistic dialogues over the course of two years via email, Skype, and in person, sometimes with translators, about issues ranging from political and social upheaval, the concept of global culture, and questions about materials and techniques.

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Deep Underground, Researchers Testing Giant Elevators for the World’s Tallest Building

KONE Ultrarope (Courtesy KONE Online Bank)

KONE Ultrarope (Courtesy KONE Online Bank)

Where there are tall buildings there are also tall elevators. Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower, designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, will be the tallest building in the world if constructed as planned. The building is expected to stand 3,281 feet tall and will require elevators the likes of which the world has never seen. Luckily for the Kingdom Tower, one elevator company is researching the extremes of vertical circulation.

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Researchers Train Robots to 3D Print Architecture

Minibuilders (Courtesy Iaac)

Minibuilders (Courtesy Iaac)

The future of architecture is upon us, and thanks to a team of researchers led by Sasa Jokic and Petr Novikov, construction workers may soon be made obsolete. A team from the Institute for Advanced Architecture Catalonia (IAAC) is currently tackling the challenge of making “mini-builders”: drones that are capable of applying 3-D printing at a large, architectural scale.

Continue reading after the jump.

Facade Expert Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido on the Perils of Homogenous Design

Leatop Plaza in Guangzhou, China. (Courtesy JAHN)

Leatop Plaza in Guangzhou, China. (Courtesy JAHN)

According to Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido, president of Chicago-based JAHN, contemporary facade design neglects one of the building envelope’s foremost responsibilities: storytelling. “There is a focus now on using the building massing to convey the key message,” he said. “However, I think it’s through the facade that we can bring a more compelling narrative about how the building functions.” As an example, Gonzalez-Pulido pointed to Mies van der Rohe’s One IBM Plaza, which he can see from his office. “When you look at the mechanical floors, they’re treated differently,” he said. “In the lobby, the glass is different. This is actually the responsibility of the facade—it’s more than a piece of glass and metal to cover the building.” Read More

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