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June 30, 2014

June’s top stories: 1km tower to combat China pollution, InsectCity in Stockholm

An international competition to design the resort of 2055 suggests that future hotels will be more flexible. Fifty years from now hotel guests could be orbiting the earth and altering the decor at the touch of a button. Rebecca Burgess talks to the judges about where hotel design is heading.

IMS Shanghai

Heathrow Airport begins operations at £2.5bn Terminal 2

London Heathrow Airport began operations at its new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, welcoming the first passengers to the new building.

Designed by UK-based professional services firm Arup and developed by luis vidal + architects, the £2.5bn terminal has been designed with time saving technology to enhance customer experience.

The terminal is part of Heathrow’s on-going transformation and features three waves of check-in, extra space at security, open gates, and the capacity to accommodate 26 airlines. It also houses 33 retail and 17 food and drink outlets.

Construction works begin on $2.5bn Darling Harbour in Sydney

Darling Harbour

Construction works began on the $2.5bn transformation of Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia.

The project is being developed by Darling Harbour Live consortium, which comprises Lend Lease, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless.

Designed by the joint venture HASSELL + Populous, the project will feature three new buildings with public spaces, a convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct.


Kone to supply high-speed double-decker elevators to Kingdom Tower, Saudi Arabia

Kingdom Tower

Finland-based Kone won a contract to supply high-speed double-decker elevators to the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The tower, which is being built by Saudi Bin Laden Group, is expected to reach 1km-high upon completion in 2018, overtaking the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to make it the world’s tallest building.

Kingdom Tower will house offices, a hotel, serviced apartments, residential apartments and an observatory.

The building will have five double-decker elevators and 59 elevators. The double-decker elevators are claimed to be the world’s fastest, moving at a speed of more than ten metres a second, and also the world’s highest, rising to a height of 660m.

US approves $920m storm resiliency projects in New York and New Jersey

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved $920m of funding for the implementation of selected design proposals to protect the New York and New Jersey region from Superstorm Sandy-type flooding.

The six teams with winning proposals are The BIG Team, The Interboro Team, OMA, PennDesign / OLIN, SCAPE / Landscape Architecture, and MIT CAU, ZUS,URBANISTEN.

The selected proposals include the deployment of a system of dikes around the tip of lower Manhattan, and water pumps and parks across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

Belatchew Labs develops InsectCity to make Stockholm self-sufficient in protein


Sweden-based Belatchew Arkitekter’s studio Belatchew Labs developed InsectCity and the insect farm BuzzBuilding in Stockholm, Sweden, for an urban insect production.

Belatchew decided to produce these structures in an attempt to make Stockholm self-sufficient in protein, as the planet’s population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, making it difficult to produce sustainable food without putting additional stress on the environment.

According to Belatchew, the best alternative for protein, which is currently being derived from meat, is insects.

Chetwoods designs 1km-high Phoenix Towers in China to tackle pollution

UK architectural firm Chetwoods Architects proposed designs for The Phoenix Towers, which will be built in Wuhan, China, to address pollution problems.

The two giant towers will reach 1km in height, surpassing the current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, to become the tallest pair of structures in the world.

Phoenix Towers is part of an ambitious environmental master plan for Wuhan, which is situated on the Yangtze River at the crossroads of nine provinces, and has recently been designated as an environmental super city by the regional and Central Government of China.

SOM team selected for Polestar Tower project in Gothenburg

Polestar Tower

Sweden-based Serneke, along with the city of Gothenburg, selected designs developed by American architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Copenhagen architects Entasis and COWI Group, for the new 230m Polestar Tower project in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The team was selected from the five candidates shortlisted in the competition, which was held by Serneke in January in consultation with the Swedish Association of Architects, Gothenburg’s City Planning Authority, and the municipal firm Älvstranden Utvecklings.

The project master plan will include a 143,000m² mixed-use district with single-storey flats, loft-style apartments, and duplexes, with balconies that offer city and waterfront views.

Atkins to develop IMX International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Shanghai

UK-based design and engineering company Atkins secured a contract worth CNY4.8bn ($768.3m) to build the IMX International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Hongqiao Central Business District (CBD) of Shanghai, China.

The IMX centre development is part of an initiative taken by the Shanghai Government to connect Shanghai businesses with transport hubs, such as Hongqiao CBD’s Hongqiao transportation interchange.

The project will be developed on the mainland of China in partnership with King Wai Group, an investment enterprise of Hong Kong King Wai Group.

Under the contract, Atkins as a master planner will be responsible for the preparation of architectural designs for the IMX centre and building commercial facilities, and the centre will spread across an area of approximately 150,000m².

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