Zaha Hadid Architects to design concert hall

Zaha Hadid Architects to design concert hall for Ural Philharmonic Orchestra

Zaha Hadid Architects has won a competition to design the Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Designed as a new home for the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, the venue will contain a 1,600-seat concert hall and a smaller 400-seat chamber-music hall.

The two concert halls will be suspended within the steel structure of the building's roof, which takes its form from the shape of sound waves.

"Echoing the physical aspects of sound waves, the design of the new philharmonic concert hall is based on the properties of musical sound resonance creating wave vibrations in a continuous smooth surface," said Zaha Hadid Architects.

"The design re-interprets these physical acoustic properties to define spaces for the auditoria that are suspended within the canopy, appearing to float above the new civic plaza that is both the lobby of the Philharmonic Concert Hall and an enclosed urban square."

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Julia Lohmann brings seaweed pavilion to Davos

Designer Julia Lohmann's Department of Seaweed is showing a pavilion made of kelp and rattan at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, where world leaders have met this week.


Called Hidaka Ohmu, the organically shaped pavilion is formed from semi-translucent panels of a large seaweed – or macroalgae – called kelp, laid over a rattan frame.

The kelp is treated to remain flexible so that it can be stretched like leather.

It is installed against a window in the conference centre, and is designed to appears like it is growing out of it. A series of nodules protrude from its roof, with others attached further along the glass window.

The Davos pavilion draws on the sinuous Oki Naganode work that Lohmann installed at London's V&A Museum in 2013, which was also made from seaweed panels stretched over a rattan structure.

Visitors can enter the Davos pavilion through an opening in its side, to sit on a bench inside that has views of the snowy Swiss landscape outside.



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Hutong Bubble 218 by MAD gives “new life” to ageing Beijing hutong

MAD has transformed a vacant courtyard house in one of Beijing's ancient hutongs by adding two bubble-like workspaces to its roof.


Named Hutong Bubble 218, the overhaul is hoped to revive the hutong – a type of alley formed by lines of traditional courtyard residences – and attract more people to the neighbourhood in the Qianmen East area.

It forms part of MAD's ongoing project that spotlights the potential of these ancient neighbourhoods in the Chinese capital, which are continually being damaged and demolished due to rapid urban development.

"This is a micro-utopian ideal,"said Ma Yansong, the studio's founder. "I hope that these bubbles will serve as vital newborn cells, giving the traditional hutong new life, and revitalising the community."

MAD's first overhaul of one of Beijing's historic courtyard houses, Hutong Bubble 32, was carried out in 2009 and involved the installation of one mirrored bubble that contains a bathroom and staircase.

Its latest intervention, Hutong Bubble 218, is based in a dwelling near the Forbidden City palace that was built in the late 1800s to house Beijing's first international hospital.

The building was later transformed into a residence for more than 20 families, but left abandoned after several structural interventions led to its dilapidation.

MAD has added two sculptural "bubbles" to the rooftop of the old courtyard house, which are not visible from the outside the hutong.