the above is oma’s latest wunderkid; commissioned by grupo DANHOS and scheduled for completion in 2010, the torre bicentenario as it’s known, will be latin america’s tallest at 984.25 feet (north america’s tallest remains chicago’s sears tower at 1,450 feet, though construction has begun on one world trade center, or the freedom tower, and is slated to reach the mostly symbolic height of 1,776 feet) oma’s building is simply stunning. i absolutely love the tectonic asymmetrical massing of the structure. and as if the tenuous nature of the building’s balancing act wasn’t enough to get you excited it appears as though the building’s skin will have some sort of light-shifting effervescence. personally i find this to be a gorgeous project. i can’t wait to see photos of the completed high-rise.
on the building’s interior will house 160,000 sq.ft. of office space, with ample public venues including restaurants, stores, museums, fitness centers, etc. making it a truly mixed use facility. most important, at the building’s widest point there are a pair of void spaces acting as glorified atrium light and ventilation wells that serve to provide even the deepest interior spaces with natural light and ventilation.
the project isn’t without critique however; as you can see from the image above the torre bicentenario dwarfs mexico city’s surrounding skyline. on the one had there is an extremely powerful scalar dialogue at play here, a stunning graphic really. but there is, on the other hand, a question of necessity. is something this large necessary in such a dense, low-rise, city. how will a structure of this stature affect the delicate nature of the urban fabric? these questions aren’t merely academic, rather if left unaddressed/unexplored, a building of this size could, in fact devestate a city; and, in a city as old as mexico city, with their wonderful cultural background, it would be a terrible thing to destroy the cultural urban fabric.
personally, i think this building will be a smashing success. its sheer beauty will certainly impact the lives of mexico’s city’s residents in a powerful way. here’s hoping rem has done his homework on the impact curltural, physically, and metaphysically that this building will have on mexico city.
buckminster fuller was one of the most influential and prolific thinkers and designers of his time. it is only appropriate that in the spirit of his ingenuity a competition bears his name. the call for entries opens like this:
“if success or failure of the planet and of human beings depended on how i am and what i do… how would i be? what would i do?”
— buckminster fuller
“the buckminster fuller challenge seeks submissions of design science solutions within a broad range of human endeavor that exemplify the trimtab principle.” furthermore, they explain, “trimtabs demonstrate how small amounts of energy and resources precisely applied at the right time and place can produce maximum advantageous change.” this phenomenal competition is sure to produce a host of wonderful ideas, energy saving, life-improving, achievable ideas. if you have one yourself, or simply like to enter competitions for the thrill of the design go check it out. entries must be received between september 4 2007 and october 30, 2007 and why not enter, there is a $100,000 cash prize… i personally, i can’t wait to see the finalists. happy designing.
our good friend over at looper, who has provided us with endless eyecandy over the last year or so, has moved to new york. if you enjoy photoblogs, especially his last one, looper, i’m sure you’ll love his latest endeavor: 24gotham.
it’s been a while since we’ve talked about architecture for humanity here. it’s no secret i am a huge fan of their work, their principles, and most of all, their sincerity. a few days back i received mr. sinclair’s most recent newsletter in which it describes a shift in their approach to funding all the great work they do. understandably frustrated with the snails pace and red tape associated with enticing large corporations to donate money, mr. sinclair and afh have shifted their focus back to small donations from private individuals. hoping to be able to recapture the sort of grass-roots funding they received in year’s past, afh has started a brilliant program called “own the day.” it’s simple, donate one day’s worth of your salary/wages and you can choose a day to own at afh. their website describes the program more fully and naturally you can donate as much or as little as you want, as every little bit helps. hop on over to their website and look around. if you like the architectural philanthropy you see send them a few dollars. i promise it will be money well spent. carpe diem!
happy belated fourth. apologies for posting so irradically recently, the last few months have been absolutely crazy around here. it started with a new job, a series of trips, and then, unfortunately, a loss of internet connection for a number of weeks. consequently i have been remiss about keeping things fresh around here. in the meantime here’s a little tidbit to chew on: a little while back i posted a link to a friend of mine’s digital portfolio. recently he has published a series of photobooks and made a number of his photos available for purchase through his website’s store, lulu, and imagekind. everyone should head over and have a look-see, it’s pretty impressive work. in the meantime, i’ll try and start putting together some more regular posts.