Monday, January 18, 2021



This is a structure which literally floors the visitor with its architectural fluidity akin to the rise and fall of music the moment they enter London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It is therefore no wonder that the Zaha Hadid Architects designed London Aquatics Centre, dubbed the 2012 Olympics’ ‘most majestic space’ finds mention in this year’s Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize Shortlist and is a favourite.  The fluid form provided additional seating during the London Olympic Games by incorporating two temporary ‘wings’, which have since been removed and the space opened for public use and can still host international sporting events. The great concrete volume now rid of its seating wings is able to glide freely and has been replaced by extensive glazing which gently ushers sunlight inside. The London Aquatics Centre comprises a 50m, ten lane competition pool; a 50m, eight-lane training pool; a diving pool and dry diving facilities; a gym; a café; and a crèche.




It is not for nothing that South Korea’s Songdo International Business District is regarded as a model of everything that is smart internationally.  The much awaited Northeast Asia Trade Tower (NEATT), a 308 m high mixed use skyscorcher designed by KPF and Heerim Architects & Planners in New Songdo has now opened for business. The 68 storey tower, the tallest building in the country located on a 607-hectare masterplanned waterfront development embodies the tenants of an international business hub in a free-trade zone. This is an architectural masterpiece with the external tapering shape of the building matching its internal workings, referencing the changing programmatic needs of the interior. While the lower sections of the tower contain 26 floors of office accommodation thus necessitating large floor plates, as the building rises in height the floor plates reduce in size – here there are 21 floors for residences and 15 storeys for hotel facilities. The highly reflective tower features high-performance glazing coupled with exterior shading devices to limit solar heat gain and reduce cooling loads. The top of the structure contains a skylounge and a heliport. 

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