Curvaceous algae-covered towers proposed for Hangzhou

Paris-based studio XTU Architects recently unveiled designs for a futuristic high-rise in Hangzhou that blends sustainable technologies into an organic, sculptural design. Cloaked in a “bio facade” of micro algae-covered panels, the curvaceous towers can produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Dubbed French Dream Towers, the mixed-use complex would also incorporate rainwater harvesting, a greenhouse, and an aquaponics system.


Currently under review, French Dream Towers comprises four buildings clustered around a central water body. The towers feature sloped facades that give the project its organic shape and help facilitate rainwater collection. The mixed-use complex includes a French Tech Hub with offices and co-working spaces; an Art Center comprising galleries, artist residences, and market space; a hotel with wellness facilities; and a luxury restaurant with French fusion cuisine and a bar.

“The culture of micro-algae on the building facade is a process developed by XTU for several years,” said the architects of their patent-pending micro-algae panels. “It allows the symbiosis: the bio facade uses the thermal building to regulate the culture temperature of algae and at the same time these facades allow a much better  insulation of buildings.”

Yenikapi archaeological Museum and Archeo park

Architect of Record: Aytaç Arhcitects

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Year: 2012


The Yenikapi project originates from an exceptional archaeological finding. In 2004, during the construction of an undersea tunnel planned to connect the Asian and the European sides of Istanbul, an outstanding archaeological site emerged from the mud. The archaeological artifacts discovered include remains that date back to the Neolithic age, a Byzantine harbor, Ottoman structures, and 35 shipwrecks. An international architecture competition was organized in 2012 so to identify a proper design for the entire site. Eventually, the proposal by Peter Eisenman and Aytac architects was selected as the winner. The project is rather complex, it deals with the site at different scales, the urban scale, the site scale, and the architectural scale, and includes an archeo-park, a public transport transfer point and a large archaeological museum.

An interesting aspect of the design is the capability to deal with very different scales, from the archaeological artifacts housed inside the museum galleries up to the urban scale and even further on.
We asked Peter Eisenman his idea of what a visitor should perceive such different horizons from the inside of the museum, and how he imagined this system of perceptions.


Peter Eisenman: “That’s a very interesting question. I would like the visitors to see the world outside from inside the museum as they were outside and when outside to see the inside like being inside; so thinking somehow in reverse.” … “I tried to apply the same approach to this exhibition as well”


View of the gallery of the wrecks, Building B of the museum, facing North towards the Archaeopark. Image by Parsa Khalili. Courtesy Eisenman Architects and Aytac Archite

Rose Museum In Beijing

The World’s First Rose Museum Has Opened In Beijing

The world’s first Rose Museum has recently been completed in Beijing, China, and it’s now open to the public. The museum, designed by NEXT Architects, aims to blend history and modernity with art and architecture.


The building is covered by a distinctive stainless steel facade that’s perforated by a rose-shaped pattern.


The stainless steel facade is detached from the main building, creating courtyards between the facade and the main museum building. Inside, light is able to enter through to the courtyards creating patterned shadows.


Here’s a close up look at the perforated pattern that has been cut into the stainless steel facade.

Dundee Museum , UNITED KINGDOM

Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates

Year: 2018

Text description provided by the architects. Located along the waterfront in the city of  Dundee in the northern part of  Scotland, this museum is a branch of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

In addition to exhibits of artwork in the V&A collection, contemporary Scottish art and product design from the area are on display, making it a facility that is expected to become a new cultural centre in Scotland.


The site faces the River Tay, and the architecture proposes a new integrated way to achieve harmony with the environment. The façade has a variety of shadows and changes created with multiple horizontal layers of precast concrete as a way to express the beautiful cliffs of  Scotland with architecture.

A large horizontal “hole” was provided in the centre of the building. This “hole” represents an attempt to connect Union Street which runs through the centre of  Dundee with the beautiful natural scenery of the River Tay. This feature was adopted in order to create a 21st century type cultural facility that is an integral part of the environment and community which replaces 20th century type art museums that were cut off from the environment.

The foyer was designed as a large void that is covered with locally available wood that has a soft texture with the intention that it be used as a “Living Room” capable of revitalizing the community by providing a venue where various concerts and performances are held.