Citiscape Consulting has just revealed the first-look renderings of their latest architectural venture, and it’s stunning. This tower which looks like it came straight out from a science fiction novel is going to be a long-term care facility in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.The design, which looks like a futuristic tower of cubes and hexagons, was inspired by an architectural movement from post-war Japan, called Metabolism. In Japan they called it “shinchintaisha”, a literal translation of metabolism in a biological sense. But for a country still struggling to make sense of the tragedies of war, the word meant something else. Regeneration. That from the ashes of yesterday, they will create living structures that are capable of organically growing and adapting as symbols of resilience…. So how will these ideas translate into a 16-storey medical structure? The building which will be located at 1508 Avenue Z, will have a crown of vegetation, and each of the building’s hexagonical shell will carefully integrate organic elements such as live plant walls and wood. Staying true to its green theme is a special rainwater capture system, making sure that the building’s plumbing and its greenery’s maintenance are low-cost and highly sustainable. Aside from that, the building will also have a CO2-cleaning organic material which seeks to help lessen air pollution. And finally, the structure will be equipped with sun-responsive panels designed to keep the building cool and comfortable for its inhabitants. When done, the building will dedicate more than 3000 square feet to its medical facilities, almost 4000 square feet for retail, and 42,000 square feet for residential units. What’s even more exciting is the fact that metabolist architecture seeks to create structures that are meant to change through time—something that grows. This is reminiscent of one of the most iconic works in the movement, the Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurakawa. It is a modular capsule building, which meant that each of the units, or rather, “capsules” of the building can be moved, removed, and changed. How will this concept work on this building, we wonder? Will it also be able to change its appearance and adapt accordingly? Only time will tell.
(h/t, images: archpaper.com, inhabitat.com, newyorkyimby.com)
The world is filled with many wondrous places that have a history we don’t yet fully understand. Locations such as Stonehenge and Easter Island draw people from all over the globe, all claiming to feel some sort of spiritual pull towards those places. While we may never know all the details of these ancient wonders, there are some newer spiritual locations whose history is very clear. That knowledge does little to deter those folks who feel as though they need a little magic in their lives. One such place is the Integratron, which can be found in a small town near Joshua Tree in California.Seemingly stuck in the middle of nowhere, the Integratron is a dome shaped building that, at first glance, looks a whole lot like an observatory. Given the history of the building, it is perhaps no real surprise that it looks the way it does. There is an alien connection to this place, and while it is not used for such purposes nowadays, we do know the reasons why it was built.The history of the Integratron goes all the way back to the 1950’s, when former aircraft mechanic named George Van Tassel moved to the area with the intention of opening a small hotel. Shortly after moving there, George would spend a lot of time at Big Rock, a spiritual destination for Native Americans. It was during one of his moments of quiet solitude that Van Tassel claims he received messages form intelligent beings beyond the stars. The idea of the hotel was put on the back burner in favor of what was to become the Integratron.George hosted many successful UFO conventions in the area, the proceeds of which he used to build his masterpiece. More than just a simple building, George intended the Integratron to work like a massive battery that he claimed could recharge the cells in the human body. The main construction was finished in 1959, but George continued to make changes all the way up to 1973, which was when he passed. Rather than slipping into obscurity and falling into ruin, the Integratron continued to thrive, albeit under several different guises.The building was used for a variety of different purposes, and at one point came very close to being turned into a disco. Despite all the changes over the years, the Integratron has come full circle, and is now used for the purposes that Van Tassel initially intended. This is the place to go for a full body regeneration, which is delivered via sound baths. Essentially, you get to lay back and relax for an hour while the session leader created music through a series of different vessels.The acoustics of the building make this experience something quite magical. Several musicians have visited over the years, testing the sounds and sonics that the interior of the Integratron creates. The building is open to the public, so it’s certainly a place to visit if you feel as though your energy is waning and you need a little recharging.
Dusseldorf, Germany. A typical German city, with typical squares and buildings, and with Baroque and Gothic styles all over the place. The Old City and the Rhine offer colorful and picturesque landscapes, but there is something else amazing in Dusseldorf: the Gehry Buildings.Built in 1999, based on a design made by the American architect Frank O. Gehry, the Gehry Buildings are three buildings which look like a huge sculpture. One is covered in white plastic, one is covered in stainless steel, and one is covered in red brick. The stunning trio are curved and all lean. Round shapes and metallic exteriors put Gehry within the Deconstructivism architectural style. These buildings are Gehry’s masterpiece. Even if the exterior is unusual and strange, the interior is designed perfectly as office space and not a single inch is wasted.Situated in the new harbor of Dusseldorf (Media Harbour), the Gehry Buildings attract architects and photographers from all over the world. When you see a building made of cylinders of different heights, with protruding window frames which seem arbitrary distributed around the building (there are more than 1, 500 of them with individual design), and totally different from anything you’ve seen, you think it would be hard to find a good place for it. But the German harbor adopted the buildings so well that they became the modern landmark of Dusseldorf, the first step to urban development in the 21st century.What is even more amazing is the fact that the Gehry Buildings look so awesome together, even if they are so different. The shapes and glaze, the colors and glamour give the impression of a very photogenic jewelry. Modern and romantic, rough and sweet, these buildings will still look perfect in 100 years and will always be the pride of Dusseldorf.