Linked Hybrid (China) – a “green” complex of 750 apartments in Beijing. It features geothermal heating and cooling systems and recycled grey water designed by Steven Holl.
Shanghai World Financial Center (CHINA) – Rising in the Lujiazhui financial district in Pudong, the Shanghai World Financial Center is a tower among towers. The elegant 101-story skyscraper will be (for a moment, at least) the world’s tallest when completed in early 2008
Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt) – Because of its proximity to the sea, the architects and engineers had to deal with saline-infused ground which called for sophisticated geotechnical analyses and an intricately designed foundation and structural design. Four levels of the building are below ground, while the remaining seven floors of the disk-shaped building soar into the air. The exterior wall is clad in 4,000 granite blocks, carved with text and letters, and the roof is topped with solar sails that can be adjusted to allow sunlight inside.
Seattle Public Library (USA) – The resulting 11-floor, 362,987-sq.-ft. library is a dazzling display of glass and steel. In all, 4,644 tons of steel were used in the building, the equivalent of 20 Statues of Liberty, while the outstanding engineering of the building’s grid system is designed to withstand high winds or earthquakes. Inside, the building houses a 275-seat auditorium, a 50-foot living room, and an instantly legendary Book Spiral in a continuous run of books, organized by Dewey decimal number, that has room for the collection to expand.
Central Chinese Television (China) – The design of the new Central Chinese Television (CCTV) headquarters defies the popular conception of a skyscraper — and it broke Beijing’s building codes and required approval by a special review panel. The standard systems for engineering gravity and lateral loads in buildings didn’t apply to the CCTV building, which is formed by two leaning towers, each bent 90 degrees at the top and bottom to form a continuous loop.
Ski Dubai (UAE) – When one thinks of a vacation in Dubai, the first images that might to come to mind are sun and sand. Now add snow. Two feet of snow, topped with a daily layer of fresh powder, to be exact — thanks to the system of 23 blast coolers and snow guns inside Ski Dubai. It might be 135 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors, but inside the 32,290 square-foot, $275 million structure, visitors ski and snowboard. The heavily insulated facility also includes the world’s largest indoor snow park, offering 9,842 square feet for sledding or bobsledding.
Fiera de Milano (Italy) – An international consortium of marquee-name architects — London’s Hadid, Tokyo’s Isozaki, New York and Zurich-based Libeskind, and Torino’s Maggiora — was chosen to redesign the trade-fair district of Milan. The quartet’s joint concept for updating the area of the gritty Northern Italian city centers around an “archipelago”-style layout that the architects say doesn’t duplicate any existing urban plans. The collaboration promises to produce an intentionally varied set of neighborhoods-within-a-neighborhood. The plan calls for a central park area, and clusters of commercial high-rises that are designed not only to reflect the signature styles of the four architects involved, but carefully proportioned and positioned to provide shade for pedestrians.