View of damage following the 1994 Northridge earthquake that struck Los Angeles. Image courtesy of FEMA.
With earthquakes in the news following a pair of recent tremors in California, it’s important to remember that seismic design is an integral and increasingly complex aspect of building design architects work hard to address. An ever-improving standard, seismic codes not only save lives, but also help to shape the built environment, and in places like California, play a large role in terms of building design, overall.
Below is a round-up of some of Archinect’s recent earthquake-related coverage.
Changing seismic codes and other earthquake-related issues are currently coming online in many American cities, including in Seattle, where new seismic standards for tall buildings have prompted worries about the safety of certain types of existing buildings.
In San Francisco, seismic concerns run deeper than meets the eye. There, much of the city’s downtown is built atop landfill areas prone to liquefaction, with many of the city’s tallest buildings designed with obsolete structural designs.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, has embarked on a long-term plan to retrofit its massive stock of “soft-story” structures, buildings that are constructed without enough shear wall protection and are therefore likely to collapse whenever the “Big One” strikes.
Internationally, earthquakes have wrought extensive damage to many regions over the last decade, including in Taiwan, where a 6.4-magnitude earthquake toppled many buildings and killed hundreds of people in 2018.
A 2017 earthquake that hit Mexico City prompted some soul-searching in California, where thousands of existing concrete frame buildings, like many of those damaged in the Mexico City quake, await retrofitting despite the existence of new, more stringent seismic codes.
This is just a small sample of how the design of seismic codes is being felt around the world’s earthquake-prone regions. Not only can adequate seismic design and proper retrofitting be a matter of life and death during a seismic event, its one area of design where architects can have a profound impact on the health and safety of the people who occupy the buildings they design.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the changing nature of seismic codes.
Any list of the most significant architecture projects of the coming year will inevitably feature an abundance of superlatives. We can look forward to the world’s largest airport terminal in Turkey, Europe’s tallest building, and, perhaps more modestly, Scotland’s first dedicated design museum, which also happens to be architect Kengo Kuma’s first building in the United Kingdom.
Skyscrapers are set to dominate the architectural agenda in 2018, with the offices of architects Renzo Pianoand Richard Rogers completing significant towers in New York. The world’s tallest residential tower in Mumbai, India, will also welcome its first residents, while several skyscrapers under construction in China could end the year among the world’s top ten tallest buildings.
Architecture fans will converge on Venice for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, which will be curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Irish firm Grafton Architects. Several innovative stadiums should be completed in time to host the world’s top soccer stars during the FIFA World Cup, and London is preparing for the first trains to roll into ten stations constructed along the route of the new Crossrail railway. Keep reading for a look at some of the key projects due to launch over the next 12 months.
The opening of a new Victoria and Albert museum outpost is set to reactivate the Scottish city’s waterfront by attracting up to 350,000 visitors a year to the country’s first design museum. The building’s inclined stone-clad facades are intended to resemble a cliff face emerging from the sea.
Following the completion of his Whitney Museum of American Art last year, Renzo Piano’s first residential project in New York is rising above the Freeman Plaza approach to the Holland Tunnel. Two 30-story towers will accommodate 115 apartments starting at $970,000 for a studio.
Set to become the largest archaeological museum in the world, the Grand Egyptian Museum will partially open in 2018 after years of delays that have seen costs spiral to more than $1 billion. A triangular motif repeated throughout the design echoes the forms of the nearby pyramids.
Described by its developers as the “world’s first free-form exoskeleton high rise,” this sculptural hotel in Macau’s City of Dreams complex features large voids carved into its monolithic form. The exoskeleton mesh embraces a reinforced-concrete core to provide lateral stability.
Scheduled to open officially on Turkey’s Republic Day on October 29, 2018, Istanbul New Airport will handle more passengers than any other airport in the world once fully operational. The world’s largest terminal under one roof will feature vaulted ceilings and references to Istanbul’s architectural heritage.
The pixelated volumes forming the base of Büro Ole Scheeren’s Guardian Art Center in Beijing are informed by its context in close proximity to the historic Forbidden City. The plinth supports a monolithic hollowed-out volume that allows light to flood into the museum, event space, and lifestyle center.
Heatherwick Studio is transforming a pair of disused Victorian warehouses into a new public space and retail destination as part of the ongoing renewal of London’s Kings Cross district. Swooping extensions to the existing gabled roofs will form a canopy over a cobbled yard at the heart of the project.
The latest building to complete at the World Trade Center site will be the 80-story tower designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Richard Rogers‘s London-based firm. The building features a podium dedicated to retail, with offices and trading floors accommodated in stepped volumes that reduce the tower’s mass as it rises.
Located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, this huge mixed-use complex in the Russian city of St. Petersburg will center around Europe’s tallest skyscraper. A free public observation deck at an elevation of almost 1,200 feet will provide panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
Upon its completion, World One will be the tallest building in India and the tallest residential building in the world. The 117-story tower will feature interiors designed by Giorgio Armani and will contain 290 apartments, a swimming pool, gym, health club, and its own cricket pitches.
Ask the average American which city contains nearly half of America’s most expensive buildings and what would they say? New York, perhaps? Or maybe Los Angeles? Chicago, for those who know of the Windy City’s rich architectural history? But alas, none of those answers would be correct. According to a new survey by Emporis (a data website that collects information about buildings around the world), Las Vegas houses nine out of the 20 most expensive buildings in the country. While big-name architects and location both play a part in the final cost, oftentimes it’s the infrastructure that makes a million-dollar design turn into a multimillion-dollar project. Below, ADsurveys the 20 most expensive buildings in the United States.
Building: Millennium Tower Location: Boston, MA Cost: $620 million Year: 2016 Architect: Handel Architects
Building: The Mirage Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $650 million Year: 1989 Architect: Joel Bergman
Building: Palms Place Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $650 million Year: 2008 Architect: KGA Architecture
Belfer Research Building
Building: Belfer Research Building Location: New York, NY Cost: $650 million Year: 2014 Architects: Todd Schliemann, Ennead Architects
Rush Hospital, East Tower
Building: The Rush Hospital, East Tower Location: Chicago, IL Cost: $654 million Year: 2012 Architect: Perkins & Will
7 World Trade Center
Building: 7 World Trade Center Location: New York, NY Cost: $700 million Year: 2006 Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Building: Elara Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $750 million Year: 2009 Architect: Gerald Koi
Devon Energy Center
Building: Devon Energy Center Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Cost: $750 million Year: 2012 Architect: Jon Pickard
Paris Las Vegas
Building: Paris Las Vegas Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $785 million Year: 1999 Architect: Joel Bergman
The New York Times Building
Building: The New York Times Building Location: New York, NY Cost: $850,000,000 Year: 2007 Architect: Renzo Piano
Trump International Hotel & Tower
Building: Trump International Hotel & Tower (center) Location: Chicago, IL Cost: $850 million Year: 2009 Architect: Adrian Smith, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
Building: Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $925 million Year: 2006 Architect: Friedmutter Group
MGM Grand Resort & Casino
Building: MGM Grand Resort & Casino Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $1 billion Year: 1993 Architect: Veldon Simpson
SunTrust Financial Centre
Building: SunTrust Financial Centre Location: Tampa, FL Cost: $1 billion Year: 1992 Architect: Cooper Carry
Bank of America Tower
Building: Bank of America Tower Location: New York, NY Cost: $1 billion Year: 2009 Architects: COOKFOX Architects and Adamson Associates Architects
Wilshire Grand Center
Building: Wilshire Grand Center Location: Los Angeles, CA Cost: $1.2 billion Year: 2017 Architect: AC Martin Partners
Building: The Palazzo Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $1.9 billion Year: 2007 Architect: HKS
Goldman Sachs Headquarters
Building: Goldman Sachs Headquarters Location: New York, NY Cost: $2.1 billion Year: 2010 Architects: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Adamson Associates Architects
Wynn Las Vegas
Building: Wynn Las Vegas Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $2.7 billion Year: 2005 Architect: Marnell Corrao Associates
One World Trade Center
Building: One World Trade Center Location: New York, NY Cost: $3.8 billion Year: 2014 Architects: David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill