Tag Archives: Renzo Piano

A quick refresher on architecture’s continuing battle with earthquakes

Antonio Pacheco

Jul 9, ’19 12:45 PM EST
View of damage following the 1994 Northridge earthquake that struck Los Angeles. Image courtesy of FEMA.

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. 

Seattle boosts seismic construction standards for new skyscrapers, but older high-rises are biggest concern

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. 

The town center of Amatrice in Italy was destroyed during a 2016 earthquake. Image courtesy of Leggier il Firenzepost.

Are San Francisco skyscrapers prepared for the next big earthquake?

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. 

Twenty-four years after the Northridge quake, Los Angeles still has thousands of ‘soft-story’ buildings to retrofit

As part of a ten year plan, the Los Angeles City Council agreed to allow landlords and tenants of the city’s 15,000 soft-story apartment complexes to share the costs for upgrading the structures. 

In Los Angeles, landlords and tenants will share seismic retrofit costs

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.  

Five buildings tilt dangerously after magnitude 6.4 Taiwan quake

In Italy, architect Renzo Piano was called upon by the national government to help develop a plan for reconstruction efforts following a disastrous 2016 earthquake.

Faulty seismic design resulted in the collapse of many buildings during a 2017 earthquake that hit Mexico City and Puebla. Image courtesy of Wikimedia user AntoFran.

In wake of deadly earthquake, Italy’s prime minister calls on Renzo Piano to help reconstruction effort

In Chile, meanwhile, the country’s strict building codes helped reduce earthquake casualties during a sizable 2015 earthquake. 

 How Chile’s strict building codes help reduce the country’s earthquake casualties

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. 

Mexico Earthquake reminds that California architecture is vulnerable, with 1,500 at-risk buildings in LA

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. 

Continue reading A quick refresher on architecture’s continuing battle with earthquakes

Here Are the 5 Best Places for Art and Design Lovers to Travel in April

Covering everything from major design fairs in Europe and New England to must-see art, home, and garden festivals and exhibitions.


Continue reading Here Are the 5 Best Places for Art and Design Lovers to Travel in April

10 Most Anticipated New Builds of 2018

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.

1. Kengo Kuma & Associates

Project: V&A Museum of Design Dundee

Site: Dundee

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.

Firm: Kengo Kuma & Associates. Project: V&A Museum of Design Dundee. Site: Dundee.

2. Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Project: 565 Broome Soho

Site: New York

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.

Firm: Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Project: 565 Broome Soho. Site: New York. Image by Noe & Associates.

3. Heneghan Peng Architects

Project: Grand Egyptian Museum

Site: Giza

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.

Firm: Heneghan Peng. Project: Grand Egyptian Museum. Site: Giza. Image by Archimation. 

4. Zaha Hadid Architects

Project: Morpheus Hotel

Site: Macau

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.

Firm Zaha Hadid Architects. Project: Morpheus Hotel. Site: Macau. Image by Zaha Hadid Architects.

5. Concept Design: Grimshaw ArchitectsNordic Office of Architecture, Haptic Architects

Lead Delivery Architect and Interior Concept Designer: Scott Brownrigg

Project: Istanbul New Airport

Site: Istanbul

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.

Firms: Grimshaw, Nordic Office of Architecture, Haptic, and Scott Brownrigg. Project: Istanbul New Airport. Site: Istanbul.

6. Büro Ole Scheeren

Project: Guardian Art Center

Site: Beijing

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.

Firm: Büro Ole Scheeren. Project: Guardian Art Center. Site: Beijing. Image by Büro Ole Scheeren.

7. Heatherwick Studio

Project: Coal Drops Yard

Site: London

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.

Firm: Heatherwick Studio. Project: Coal Drops Yard. Site: London. Image courtesy of Coal Drops Yard.

8. Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners

Project: 3 World Trade Center

Site: New York

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.

Firm: Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners. Project: 3 World Trade Center. Site: New York.

9. Kettle Collective

Project: Lakhta Center

Site: St. Petersburg

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.

 Firm: Kettle Collective. Project: Lakhta Center. Site: St. Petersburg.

10. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Project: World One

Site: Mumbai

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.

Firm: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Project: World One. Site: Mumbai. Image by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

For More Information About This Blog, Click Here! 

The Most Expensive Buildings in the U.S.

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.


Millennium Tower

Building: Millennium Tower
Location: Boston, MA
Cost: $620 million
Year: 2016
Architect: Handel Architects

The Mirage

Building: The Mirage
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Cost: $650 million
Year: 1989
Architect: Joel Bergman

Palms Place

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

The Palazzo

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

For More Information About This Blog, Click Here!

%d bloggers like this: