Studio Gang reveals design for hotel

American architecture office Studio Gang has unveiled plans for a hotel in Denver with a white facade punctuated with window openings designed to recall the bark of a tree.

Currently named Populus, the plan is to build the hotel on a corner site in downtown Denver.

The 135,000-square-foot (12,542-square-metre) hotel will be 159-foot-tall (48 metres) and have views of the city and the Rocky Mountains visible from its distinctive scallop-shaped windows.

Top: an aerial view of Populus. Above: the hotel will be built on a corner site in downtown Denver


Gang's Studio design for the windows is informed by the eye-shaped patterns found on the bark of Aspen trunks. The hotel will be called Populus after Populus tremuloides, the Latin name for the trees.

Windows at the base of the building will reach up to 30 feet (9 metres) in height, framing the various entrances to the hotel. The ground floor will house the lobby, a restaurant and other amenity spaces.

Further up the building, the facade's windows will appear hooded with "lids" that jut out in their scalloped shapes. The windows vary in size depending on whether they are attached to public or private rooms.

The windows are also designed in this way for an environmental purpose. Their external hoods stretch outwards according to the positioning of the sun so that the rooms that they are attached to will get maximum shade.


Due to the curved shape of the windows, they will also channel rainwater down the building's facade, keeping its appearance clean over time.

These features will improve the building's energy performance in an unpredictable Colorado climate.

From inside the Populus hotel, the scalloped windows will hold impressive views of nearby landmarks such as the Civic Center Park and the State Capitol.

The interior windows will also act as window seats or desks, giving guests the feeling of being outside.

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Little island by Heatherwick Studio

 Thomas Heatherwick's Pier 55 park within New York's Hudson River has been renamed Little Island, as visuals and a video detailing the project's construction are released.

Updated details of the project were revealed today by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, which is funding the project.

Now called Little Island, the project is currently taking shape at 55 Hudson Greenway on the Hudson River, just off the shoreline in New York's Chelsea neighbourhood

“What was in my mind was to build something for the people of New York and for anyone who visits—a space that on first sight was dazzling, and upon use made people happy.”

— Barry Diller


Heatherwick Studio's design comprises a total of 132 planters mushroom-shaped concrete columns that will rise above the water to create a new parkland.

"It's a joyous feeling to see Little Island rise up in the Hudson River, and now I can't wait for New Yorkers and its visitors to cross the bridge, leave the boisterous city behind, and play, lay back and be stimulated every which way by the Island," said media mogul Barry Diller, co-founder of Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation.

New footage captures the cast-in concrete planters being lifted by cranes to sit atop piles in the water. They are designed to look like tulips that rise in varying heights – rising between 15 to 62 feet (4.5 to 18.9 metres) above the river to create a topographical landscape, and enable different views of the city.

Little Island will comprise areas to host community events, including performances, arts and educational programmes.


The British studio has worked with Signe Nielson of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects  to design the 2.4-acre- green space to include lawns, paths and rolling hills. It is also set to be home to 100 species of trees and shrubs.

Renderings show that the park will be accessible from entrances on 13th and 14th Streets via elevated walkways.

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Supertall skyscrapers in Shenzhen

Supertall skyscrapers linked by planted terraces to be built in Shenzhen by Zaha Hadid Architects

A pair of supertall skyscrapers united by planted terraces will define the mixed-use Tower C development, which Zaha Hadid Architects is designing for Shenzhen, China.

Designed for a new financial centre called the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base, Tower C is set to become one of the tallest buildings in the city at nearly 400 metres in height.

Linking its two towers will be a multi-storey podium composed of a series of sinuous terraces, each filled with greenery and aquaponic gardens – a system involving growing plants in water.

This has been developed by Zaha Hadid Architects to form an extension of an adjacent park and offer the city a new public space.


The scheme will be complete with a water-collection and recycling system and photovoltaics that will harvest solar energy to make electricity for the whole district.

A "smart management system" that will monitor the external and interior conditions of the buildings will also be used to automatically adjust heating in the building and minimise its energy consumption.

Tower C is one of several buildings that Zaha Hadid Architects, the studio founded by late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, is currently developing in China under its new director Patrik Schumacher.

Elsewhere in Shenzhen, this includes four interconnected office towers for China's leading smartphone manufacturer OPPO and a pebble-shaped science museum in the city's new Guangming Science City.

Visuals are by Brick Visual, courtesy of Zaha Hadid Archtects.


Cultural centre Zhuhai

A roofscape modelled on patterns of migratory birds will shelter the four wings of the Zhuhai Jinwan Civic Art Centre that Zaha Hadid Architects is developing in southern China.

The cultural building, which is under construction in the Jinwan District in Zhuhai, will be built within a lake and incorporate a 1,200-seat theatre, a multifunctional 500-seat hall, a science centre and an art museum.


According to Zaha Hadid Architects, the goal for the building is for it to become "a hub of contemporary creativity" for the region.

Its site was therefore chosen for its proximity to the new Zhuhai Airport Intercity railway, which connects the city, its airport and Hengqin district to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and Hong Kong.

Once complete, the Zhuhai Jinwan Civic Art Centre will measure 170 metres in width and 270 metres in length, from north to south. It will be divided into two large and two small wings, which will become individual venues for the theatre, multifunctional hall, science centre and art museum.

These four venues will be arranged symmetrically around a central plaza, which will serve as a shared, external foyer. This will be accessed by bridges over the surrounding lake to the banks.


Inside, the interior design for each of the centre's four wings will be unique, which Zaha Hadid Architects says is to ensure "the most engaging visitor experiences".

It is expected that the theatre and art museum will have a light material palette, while the multifunctional hall and science centre will have darker finishes.

The lake surrounding the centre will be introduced as part of the landscaping for the centre, which has been developed to align with Zhuhai's "sponge city" initiative. Sponge cities are being developed in urban areas throughout China to help mitigate flooding, water pollution and water scarcity.

The artificial lake will help to store excess water, and also incorporate aquatic flora and fauna that will naturally filter contaminants.