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Who is your favourite high-rise architect / project, and why?

Bilby's picture
#1

I'll start this off with Steven Holl Architects, 'Sliced Porosity Block' in Chengdu, China. The whole mixed use residential complex forms a grand and poetic public gesture and brings light and air into the centre of the project rather than using the usual podium and tower typology. The use of deep well geothermal energy is progressive too. Every large building going up today that hasn't made use of this technology is really wasting an opportunity in sustainability and energy cost control, as it is very hard (impossible?) to retrofit the deep ground loops.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPfxCH1ZEKI

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Mark Baljak's picture

there's so many decent architects around, I'm be inclined to go project by project rather than a specific architect

anything with flowing form will do me

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3000's picture

That second picture is amazing.

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Bilby's picture

Isn't it a bit odd evaluating buildings as objects at a distance, though? Hence my 'why' question ... what makes this project good, as opposed to 'good looking'?

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Mark Baljak's picture

what makes this project good....in the truest sense the answer is personal taste

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Bilby's picture

So, then you accept that my views are as equally valid as yours in terms of what makes a great city?

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Peter Maltezos's picture

The architect synonymous with what a lot of people think is Melbourne style is Nondas Katsalidis.

I like the buildings he has designed on his own and as part of Fender Katsalidis architects.

Why do you ask?

Because they are often a symphony of interesting shapes from a distance, at the top and at street level.

Quality landmark buildings that work!

Function and beauty in spades!

I like them so much, that I choose to live in one of them.

Three of his projects that exemplify what I'm on about:

The Republic (brutalism at its best).

Melbourne Terrace (post-modern masterpiece)

 

Eureka (iconic modern landmark)

 

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Bilby's picture

You have picked two of my favourites there, Peter - Republic and Melbourne Terrace are both classics (and I suppose many would say the same for Eureka, although I don't find that it works as well as a composition and at street level as the first two). If all our towers were as good as Republic, we would have a very interesting and inspiring high rise city. I say inspiring, because good buildings do influence the next generation of architects. For example, something of Melbourne Terrace seems to have influenced this new project near Fitzroy Town Hall: http://milieuproperty.com.au/projects/whitlam

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Peter Maltezos's picture

^^ Hey BILBY, I like the Whitlam as well.

LOL, we do have a few things in common as well.

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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Bilby's picture

Yes, I'm sure we do have a few things in common, Peter! I've been following your posts for many years, going way back to Walking Melbourne days. This one is really going to contribute quite a presence to Napier Street.

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Bilby's picture

Herzog de Meuron's 40 Bond Street, New York is quite a wonderful residential building in my view. The amazing cast aluminium front 'fence' and bottle green glass facade is really quite incredible. Although it is glass, this building references the cast iron facades of the old commercial lofts in the nearby SOHO historic district:

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Mark Baljak's picture

when was that in question Bilby?

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Bilby's picture

What I was getting at re: the question of 'taste' is that there is surely more to debates about good cities and urban form than this - or at least that's my view. In other words, like you, I certainly respect anyone's right to comment on these issues, but personally I'm not convinced that all views are equally 'valid'. Some views are better justified than others, especially when it comes to the principles and aims of good design and amenity. For example, it's obvious to me that a good building should do more than merely look good, and likewise, I think few would argue that well designed buildings are simply a matter of taste - there are some fundamentals that make a building better or worse to live in (and live with).

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Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

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Transport & Design

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
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Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
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