June's top stories: World's second-tallest tower, floating house concept

China started building the second-tallest tower in the world, Building Research Establishment (BRE) initiated its new environmental evaluation for international refurbs, and NCKU designed a floating, sustainable house in Taiwan. Designbuild-network wraps-up the key headlines from June 2015.


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World's second-tallest building unveiled in Shanghai, China

China will soon be home to the second-tallest building in the world, Shanghai Tower, which will stand at a height of 632m in the country's financial capital.

The development, which is presently under construction, will feature a softened triangular 'outer skin' that can literally be twisted 120° around a circular core, reports Agence France-Presse.

Planned as a transparent glass tower, it will have 121 storeys that twist and taper upwards, conveying a sense of movement and growth.

BREEAM extends evaluation scope of global refurb and fit-outs

Building Research Establishment (BRE) in the UK initiated a new assessment scheme for evaluating environmental credentials of international refurbishment and fit-out projects.

The worldwide Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) scheme was enhanced with the introduction of BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-Out (RFO).

Launching of BREEAM International RFO came after the success of a similar programme in the UK, and was backed by extensive industry consultations.

London Mayor plans four new residential zones with 12,000 homes

London Mayor Boris Johnson announced plans to develop four more housing zones across the capital.

The new zones will be in the boroughs of Havering, Enfield, Redbridge, and Tower Hamlets, offering more than 12,000 new homes with around 3,500 being designated as 'affordable'.

Homes will be developed by the Greater London Authority in collaboration with the government and local boroughs, in a partnership intended to speed-up the approval processes and development work.

NCKU unveils sustainable floating house design in Taiwan

NCKU

The National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan unveiled a new floating house design as a part of its sustainable energy initiatives.

NCKU's Research Center for Energy Technology and Strategy (RCETS) expects its sustainable and rotating amphibious house design to be constructed within a year.

Leader of the research project, NCKU visiting expert Bart van Bueren, has been working at the university for three years and had former experience in water architecture.

Moreau Kusunoki Architectes to design Guggenheim in Finland

France-based Moreau Kusunoki Architectes won the international design competition for the proposed Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki, Finland.

Founded in 2011 by Nicolas Moreau and Hiroko Kusunoki, the firm presented their 'Art in the City' concept for the contest defeating five other finalists.

The design scheme features nine low-lying pavilions and a lighthouse-like tower clad in locally sourced, charred timber and glass.

OMA inaugurates art complex for Fondazione Prada in Milan

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The project, led by Rem Koolhaas, Chris van Duijn, and Federico Pompignoli, took seven years to develop and design.

The complex is spread over a 19,000m² area and represents OMA's long-term collaboration with Prada.

It integrates new architecture with that of the early 20th-century, and includes regeneration of a gin distiller, which currently holds warehouses, laboratories and brewing silos. The project also involves construction of new buildings around a large courtyard.

The architecture firm has also designed two exhibitions at the art complex, both of which started from 9 May.

Marks Barfield Architects constructing UK's tallest observation tower

UK-based Marks Barfield Architects started construction of i360 at Brighton Beach in East Sussex, UK, which was touted as the tallest viewing tower in the country.

Rising up to 162m (531ft), the observation tower is scheduled to open in 2016, reported the BBC.

Steel tubes were delivered to Brighton Beach for the construction, which were described as 'cans' by the architects.

Architect David Marks revealed that the construction will have 17 of these cans stacked on top of each other, which will be secured with 112 bolts between the layers.

Three design consortia compete for new Western Australian Museum in Perth

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Three design consortia-led by Brookfield Multiplex, John Holland, and a joint venture (JV) between Doric Group and Tecnicas Reunidas, competed over a construction deal for Western Australia's new museum in Perth.

The new facility will be developed in the 'backyard' of the existing museum in the Australian city, funded by A$428.3m ($331.5m) of government money.

International design firm Foster and Partners, French architect Jean Nouvel, and Dutch designer Rem Koolhaas are involved with groups competing for the contract.

Australian engineering contractor John Holland and local Hames Sharley, along with Foster and Partners, form the first contender team shortlisted for the project.