ZHA ranks first in design competition to renovate Vilnius railway station

The evaluation commission of the international architectural competition to select the best concepts for the redevelopment of the Vilnius railway station complex and surrounding area awarded the highest ranking to the proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Zaha Hadid Architects’ ‘Green Connect’ proposal creates an integrated transportation hub for the 21st century with new civic spaces enveloped by nature.

Gianluca Racana, Zaha Hadid Architects’ Director said, “It is an honour to be awarded highest ranking in this competition for such a strategically important site for Vilnius. ‘Green Connect’ will be a future-proof transport hub designed with the passenger experience in mind. Providing a wealth of new public space, our proposals transform the site into a destination not only for those using the transportation hub but also for the city of Vilnius and the local community.”

Integral to the city’s ongoing sustainability agenda that prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists, Zaha Hadid Architects’ proposal to upgrade Vilnius railway station incorporates a new public bridge over the railway tracks that connects the Naujininkai district to the south with the city centre and Vilnius old town; transforming the existing rail infrastructure from being a barrier that divides the city into a connector that unites Vilnius and serves as a transport hub for national and local rail services in addition to the new Rail Baltic line that links with Europe’s high-speed network.

The renovation and reuse of the original station creates a new 9,500 sq. m concourse bridge that is a contemporary reinterpretation informed by the existing heritage building.

The composition of the station’s new bridge gradually transforms along its length; from the pitched roof defined by the existing neoclassical station’s triangular pediment into softer geometries and volumes that reduce in scale to land at Pelosos Street in the Naujininkai district. A linear skylight along the length of the bridge and glazed facades over the railway tracks provide natural light and intuitive navigation through the concourse. 

Removing the temporary kiosks and offices installed over recent decades, the clarity of the existing 9,000 sq. m station is restored and linked with a new public transport terminal for the city’s bus networks. Designed as an inhabited landscape within the upgraded Stoties Square park in front of the station, the terminal’s outdoor amphitheatre and ramp lead to a public terrace on its roof.

Relocating the existing car parking in Stoties Square to a new underground facility, the square and its adjacent park will become a vibrant civic space for the city with over 300 new trees and 4,000 sq. m of landscaping including the creation of tree-lined avenues along its main axes and water gardens for the natural collection, filtration and purification of rainwater.

The new concourse bridge is 46 metres wide and spans 150 meters across the railway platforms. Supported 10 metres above the tracks, the fluid forms of the bridge’s roof structure and the terraced landscape of the bus terminal are constructed in locally-sourced laminated timber that is lightweight, fire resistant and incorporates low embodied carbon.

Nature-based solutions are integral to the design. Green roofs, landscaping and planting will lower temperatures in summer and provide heat insulation in the winter. Creating an interconnected series of natural habitats within the city, these urban green spaces are easily accessible and can be enjoyed by communities throughout the year to enhance wellbeing and interaction.

Zaha Hadid Architects’ design to renovate Vilnius Railway Station and surrounding areas also incorporates energy production technologies and depolluting strategies to improve air quality within its adjacent neighbourhoods. Annual solar radiation analysis has defined the facades to maximise sunlight within its interiors in winter and reduce glare in the summer. This analysis also determined the positioning of photovoltaic panels for optimum efficiency.

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius said, “We are working to ensure that the entire station district, including the railway station, bus station, public transport terminal and square, meets the criteria for the city we are developing today: green, comfortable and inspiring. We are already investing in the surrounding spaces and are ready to invest even more in the square, the streets and the new, more comfortable and greener face of Vilnius.”

Mantas Bartuška, Head of Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (LTG), the company managing the country’s railway network, said, “In a modern city, the station is no longer just a building where you can buy a ticket or sit before your trip. The station and its surroundings must become a destination providing public spaces with leisure and service areas, convenient connections for pedestrians, cyclists and all those who choose to travel comfortably and sustainably by train. As a result, we are determined to open and convert the station’s formerly inaccessible industrial spaces for use by all residents.”

Vilnius’ Chief Architect Mindaugas Pakalnis said, “We received many strong proposals that can enrich the architectural face of the city. Designers of the commission’s preferred concept, Zaha Hadid Architects, know Vilnius and have extensive experience designing detailed projects that include the Rail Baltica railway station in Tallinn. The concept presents a unique, recognizable, contextually appropriate design for the new station terminal that creates network of public spaces of the highest quality and establishes important connections between the Naujininkai, Naujamiestis and Senamiestis districts of the city. In addition, it successfully combines functional and aesthetic solutions and creates opportunities to convert the former railway maintenance yard and surrounding areas. Of course, this is only an initial idea that can be explored and developed in detail.”

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The organizers of the architectural competition are Lietuvos Geležinkeliai, the company LTG Infra, which manages the country’s railway network, and Vilnius City Municipality. The organizers of the competition are represented by the consulting company Civitta and the Lithuanian Union of Architects.

Source: zaha hadid

Port House in Antwerp celebrates 5 years since opening

This week marks 5 years since the Port House in Antwerp first opened.

Port House repurposes, renovates and extends a derelict fire station into a new headquarters building, connecting the city with the vital activities of its shipping port.

With 12km of docks handling 26% of Europe’s container shipping, the Port of Antwerp is the continent’s second largest, with ambitious targets for future expansion to meet the Europe’s growth over the next century.

Working with heritage consultants Origin, ZHA’s historic analysis of the fire station revealed its unrealised tower. Port House is a composition of a new volume that ‘floats’ above the old building, respecting each of the existing facades and completing the verticality of the original design’s unbuilt central tower. The new extension points towards the city, connecting Antwerp with the port on which it was founded.

Surrounded by water, the new extension’s façade is a glazed surface that ripples like waves and reflects the changing tones and colours of the city’s sky. This perception of a transparent volume, cut to give the new building its sparkling appearance, reinterprets Antwerp’s moniker as the city of diamonds.

With constant references to the River Scheldt, the city of Antwerp and the dynamics of its port, married with the successful renovation and reuse of a redundant fire station–wholly integrating the old firehouse as part of the new headquarters–Port House will serve the port of Antwerp well through its planned expansion over future generations.

Photograph by Helene Binet

Source: zaha hadid

ME Dubai within Opus named Hotel Design of the Year

Home to the ME Dubai Hotel, the Opus has been named ‘Hotel Design of the Year’ at the 2021 INDEX Design Awards.

Opus for Omniyat was designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole—taking the form of a cube. The cube has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric bridge 71 metres above the ground.

The cube’s double-glazed insulating facades incorporate a UV coating and a mirrored frit pattern to reduce solar gain, while the void is created from 4,300 individual units of flat, single-curved or double-curved glass. The high-efficiency glazing units are comprised of 8mm Low-E glass (coated on the inside), a 16mm cavity between the panes and 2 layers of 6mm clear glass with a 1.52mm PVB resin laminate.

During the day, the cube’s facade reflects the sky, the sun and the surrounding city; whilst at night, the void is illuminated by a dynamic light installation of individually controllable LEDs within each glass panel.

Furniture by Zaha Hadid Design is installed throughout the hotel, and the hotel’s bedrooms incorporate the ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection, designed by Hadid in 2015 for Porcelanosa, continuing her fluid architectural language throughout the hotel’s interiors.

2021 INDEX Design Award winners

Photograph by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Source: zaha hadid

Melodie Leung guests Design Milk

Melodie Leung, Associate Director at Zaha Hadid Architects joined Design Milk’s DMTV Milkshake to talk about working with Zaha and on challenging the design process.

Watch the video via link below.

Melodie Leung at Design Milk’s DMTV Milkshake 

Source: zaha hadid

Four projects by ZHA shortlisted for 2021 WAN Awards

Four projects by Zaha Hadid Architects are shortlisted for the 2021 WAN Awards; Leeza SOHO, Beijing in the ‘Commercial’ category; One Thousand Museum, Miami in the ‘Residential’ category; Al Janoub Stadium, Al-Wakrah in the ‘Leisure’ category; and The Henderson, Hong Kong in the ‘Future Project – Commercial’ category.

The award is organised by World Architecture News to promote imaginative and innovative work of talented architects and interior designers.

Leeza SOHO’s site is diagonally dissected by an underground subway service tunnel at the intersection of five new lines currently under construction on Beijing’s Subway network. Straddling this tunnel, the tower’s design divides its volume into two halves enclosed by a single facade. The space between these two halves extends the full height of the tower, creating the world’s tallest atrium at 194m which rotates as the tower rises to realign the upper floors with Lize road to the north.

One Thousand Museum’s 62-storey concrete exoskeleton – a web of flowing lines integrating structural support with lateral bracing – reads from top to bottom as one continuous frame. Columns at its base fan out as the tower rises to meet at the corners, forming a rigid tube highly resistant to Miami’s demanding wind loads; its curved supports creating hurricane resistant diagonal bracketing. “The design expresses a fluidity that is both structural and architectural,” explains project director Chris Lepine. “The structure gets thicker and thinner as required, bringing a continuity between the architecture and engineering.” The design incorporates GFRC form-work which remains in place as construction progresses up the tower. This permanent concrete form-work also provides the architectural finish that requires minimal maintenance.

The Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar was inaugurated in May 2019 by hosting the 2019 Amir Cup Final. Passive design principles along with detailed computer modelling and wind tunnel testing were employed to maximise the effectiveness of the enclosure for player and spectator comfort. Reflecting Al Wakrah’s maritime heritage, the stadium’s design incorporates local cultural references combined with practical responses to climate, context & functional requirements. Al Janoub’s 40,000 seating capacity for the World Cup will be reduced to 20,000 seats after 2022 – optimum capacity as home ground to the local Al Wakrah Sport Club professional team.

The Henderson in Hong Kong for Henderson Land replaces a multi-storey car park to create an urban oasis adjacent to Chater Garden between Central and Admiralty MTR stations. Sheltering new civic plazas enveloped by nature, the 36-storey design reinterprets the structural forms and layering of a Bauhinia bud about to blossom. Known as the Hong Kong orchid tree, the ‘Bauhinia x blakeana’ was first propagated in the city’s botanic gardens above the Murray Road site and its flowering bud features on Hong Kong’s flag.

The Henderson’s Sky Garden is an outdoor recreational space with running track and an aquaponics planting network that acts as an effective biological air-purifying filter by consuming contaminants. The design has achieved LEED Platinum and WELL Platinum pre-certification together with the highest 3-Star rating of China’s Green Building Rating Program. 4-ply, double-laminated, double-curved insulated glass facades are designed to withstand the region’s powerful summer typhoons. Air quality monitoring systems will control natural ventilation which can be supplemented with dehumidification and filtration when required, as well as detect the degree of occupancy in any interior and automatically adjust indoor air temperature, humidity and fresh air volume – learning to accurately predict daily occupancy trends to increase efficiencies and reduce energy consumption. Construction of The Henderson began last year with its procurement targeting embodied carbon reductions and the use of recycled materials

WAN 2021 shortlist

Source: zaha hadid

Three ZHA projects shortlisted for The Plan Award 2021

Three projects by Zaha Hadid Architects are shortlisted for The Plan Awards 2021; Opus, Dubai in the ‘Mixed Use’ category; One Thousand Museum, Miami in the ‘Housing’ category & Niederhafen River Promenade, Hamburg in the ‘Public Space’ category.

The Plan Awards were established to promote discourse and debate on global design and planning themes.

Home to the new ME Dubai hotel, the Opus for Omniyat was designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole—taking the form of a cube. The cube has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric bridge 71 metres above the ground. The cube’s double-glazed insulating facades incorporate a UV coating and a mirrored frit pattern to reduce solar gain, while the void is created from 4,300 individual units of flat, single-curved or double-curved glass. The high-efficiency glazing units are comprised of 8mm Low-E glass (coated on the inside), a 16mm cavity between the panes and 2 layers of 6mm clear glass with a 1.52mm PVB resin laminate. During the day, the cube’s facade reflects the sky, the sun and the surrounding city; whilst at night, the void is illuminated by a dynamic light installation of individually controllable LEDs within each glass panel. Furniture by Zaha Hadid Design is installed throughout the hotel, and the hotel’s bedrooms incorporate the ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection, designed by Hadid in 2015 for Porcelanosa, continuing her fluid architectural language throughout the hotel’s interiors.

One Thousand Museum’s 62-storey concrete exoskeleton – a web of flowing lines integrating structural support with lateral bracing – reads from top to bottom as one continuous frame. Columns at its base fan out as the tower rises to meet at the corners, forming a rigid tube highly resistant to Miami’s demanding wind loads; its curved supports creating hurricane resistant diagonal bracketing. “The design expresses a fluidity that is both structural and architectural,” explains project director Chris Lepine. “The structure gets thicker and thinner as required, bringing a continuity between the architecture and engineering.” The design incorporates GFRC form-work which remains in place as construction progresses up the tower. This permanent concrete form-work also provides the architectural finish that requires minimal maintenance. Behind the exoskeleton, the faceted, crystal-like façade contrasts with the solidity of the structure. With its frame at the perimeter, the tower’s interior floor plates are almost column free; the exoskeleton’s curvature creating slightly different plans on each floor. On the lower floors, terraces cantilever from the corners, while on the upper floors, the terraces are incorporated behind the structure.

The Niederhafen River Promenade in Hamburg by ZHA is integral to the modernisation and reinforcement of the city’s flood protection system and incorporates the city’s riverside walkway providing panoramic views of the Elbe and its historic port, reconnecting its river promenade with the surrounding urban fabric by creating links with adjacent neighbourhoods. Wide staircases resembling small amphitheatres are carved within the flood protection barrier at points where streets from the adjacent neighbourhoods meet the structure; giving passers-by at street level views of the people strolling along the promenade at the top of the barrier and views of the masts & superstructures of ships in the Elbe.

Readers can now vote for the Community Wish List Special Prize.

Vote for Opus here

Vote for One Thousand Museum here

Vote for Niederhafen River Promenade here

Source: zaha hadid

Sphereing: A Novel Framework for Real-time Collaboration and Co-presence in VR

Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Group (ZHVR) has published a new research paper: ‘Sphereing: A Novel Framework for Real-time Collaboration and Co-presence in VR’.

While ZHVR’s own research is aimed at the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, this framework is envisioned for broader, persistent use in cybernetic commercial and public domains. Through their research into the requirements for an immersive collective collaborative environment, ZHVR has come to see that a unified information space is essential for effective knowledge exchange, and for creating and hosting holistic, multi-author constructs. This raises questions of authorship, IP, and access privileges within the singular space, which ZHVR addresses through their Sphereing approach to unified data.

This research paper stems out of ZHVR’s contribution to the collaborative research project called PrismArch, a cross-disciplinary immersive technology research project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The main objective of PrismArch is to achieve a “prismatic blend” between aesthetics, simulation models and meta-information that can be presented in a contextualized and comprehensive manner in Virtual Reality (VR) in order to allow collaborative manipulation of the design and accurate assessment of new design decisions.

Download ‘Sphereing: A Novel Framework for Real-time Collaboration and Co-presence in VR’  

ZHVR Group: Helmut Kinzler, Risa Tadauchi, Daria Zolotareva and Aleksandra Mnich-Spraiter

ZHVR Group website  

PrismArch website

Source: zaha hadid

Zaha Hadid Architects collaborates with PUBG MOBILE

Zaha Hadid Architects is partnering with PUGB Mobile in an upcoming collaboration that will enable players around the world to experience innovative architecture in the virtual world.

PUBG MOBILE is based on PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, the phenomenon that took the world of interactive entertainment by storm in 2017. Up to 100 players parachute onto a remote island to battle in a winner-takes-all showdown. Players must locate and scavenge their own weapons, vehicles and supplies, and defeat every player in a visually and tactically rich battleground that forces players into a shrinking play zone.

PUBG MOBILE website

Source: zaha hadid

Two projects by ZHA finalists for the SBID International Design Awards 2021

Two projects by Zaha Hadid Architects are finalists for the Society of British and International Interior Design (SBID) International Design Awards 2021; Beijing Daxing International Airport in the Public Space Design category & One Thousand Museum, Miami in the Healthcare & Wellness Design category.

The SBID International Design Awards recognise, reward and celebrate design excellence across a broad range of categories, judged on their technical content and aesthetic creativity by leading industry experts as well as the public.

Beijing Daxing International Airport is 46km south of the city (20 mins by express train). Its 700,000m² passenger terminal includes a ground transportation centre offering direct connections with the national high-speed rail network and local train services. Echoing principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organise interconnected spaces around a central courtyard, the design guides all passengers seamlessly through the relevant departure, arrival or transfer zones towards the courtyard at its centre. 6 flowing forms within the terminal’s vaulted roof reach to the ground to support the structure and bring natural light within, directing all passengers towards the central court. Linear skylights provide an intuitive system of navigation throughout the building, guiding passengers to and from their departure gates.

One Thousand Museum’s 62-storey concrete exoskeleton – a web of flowing lines integrating structural support with lateral bracing – reads from top to bottom as one continuous frame. Columns at its base fan out as the tower rises to meet at the corners, forming a rigid tube highly resistant to Miami’s demanding wind loads; its curved supports creating hurricane resistant diagonal bracketing. “The design expresses a fluidity that is both structural and architectural,” explains project director Chris Lepine. “The structure gets thicker and thinner as required, bringing a continuity between the architecture and engineering.” The design incorporates GFRC form-work which remains in place as construction progresses up the tower. This permanent concrete form-work also provides the architectural finish that requires minimal maintenance. Behind the exoskeleton, the faceted, crystal-like facade contrasts with the solidity of the structure. With its frame at the perimeter, the tower’s interior floor plates are almost column free; the exoskeleton’s curvature creating slightly different plans on each floor. On the lower floors, terraces cantilever from the corners, while on the upper floors, the terraces are incorporated behind the structure.

Public voting is now open until Friday 10th September at 5pm (BST).

Vote for Beijing Daxing International Airport here

Vote for One Thousand Museum here

Source: zaha hadid

Four projects by ZHA shortlisted for ABB LEAF Awards 2020/2021

Four projects by Zaha Hadid Architects are shortlisted for the ABB LEAF Awards 2020/2021; Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre, Changsha for ‘ Best Arts & Culture Building Project’; Opus, Dubai for ‘Best Mixed Use Building Project’; Leeza SOHO, Beijing for ‘Best Tall Building Project’; Niederhafen River Promenade, Hamburg for ‘Best Urban Design Project’.

The ABB LEAF Awards has been running for over 18 years, with all shortlisted entries and winning projects celebrated for their contribution to the international architectural design industry.

The Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Art Centre’s organic architectural language is defined by pedestrian routes that weave through the site to connect with neighbouring streets. Providing views of the adjacent Meixi Lake from the city and giving access to the parks and walking trails on Festival Island, this ensemble of three separate institutions is the largest cultural centre in Hunan province and connects directly with its station on Line 2 of Changsha’s new Metro System.

Home to the new ME Dubai hotel, the Opus for Omniyat was designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole—taking the form of a cube. The cube has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric bridge 71 metres above the ground. The cube’s double-glazed insulating facades incorporate a UV coating and a mirrored frit pattern to reduce solar gain, while the void is created from 4,300 individual units of flat, single-curved or double-curved glass. The high-efficiency glazing units are comprised of 8mm Low-E glass (coated on the inside), a 16mm cavity between the panes and 2 layers of 6mm clear glass with a 1.52mm PVB resin laminate. During the day, the cube’s facade reflects the sky, the sun and the surrounding city; whilst at night, the void is illuminated by a dynamic light installation of individually controllable LEDs within each glass panel. Furniture by Zaha Hadid Design is installed throughout the hotel, and the hotel’s bedrooms incorporate the ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection, designed by Hadid in 2015 for Porcelanosa, continuing her fluid architectural language throughout the hotel’s interiors.

Leeza SOHO’s Beijing site is diagonally dissected by an underground subway service tunnel at the intersection of five new lines currently under construction on Beijing’s Subway network. Straddling this tunnel, the tower’s design divides its volume into two halves enclosed by a single facade. The space between these two halves extends the full height of the tower, creating the world’s tallest atrium at 194m which rotates as the tower rises to realign the upper floors with Lize road to the north.

The Niederhafen River Promenade in Hamburg by ZHA is integral to the modernisation and reinforcement of the city’s flood protection system and incorporates the city’s riverside walkway providing panoramic views of the Elbe and its historic port, reconnecting its river promenade with the surrounding urban fabric by creating links with adjacent neighbourhoods. Wide staircases resembling small amphitheatres are carved within the flood protection barrier at points where streets from the adjacent neighbourhoods meet the structure; giving passers-by at street level views of the people strolling along the promenade at the top of the barrier and views of the masts & superstructures of ships in the Elbe.

ABB LEAF Awards website

Source: zaha hadid