Learning from Seeing
URBAN AGENCY together with Henchion+Reuter, Transsolar, Hosper, Haley Sharpe and with Planning Partnership have developed a new masterplan and initial design for a Visitor Discovery Centre on North Bull Island, a 400 Ha internationally important conservation area as recognised by multiple national and international environmental designations The Masterplan Bull Island has the most designations of any site in the country, as a National Bird Sanctuary, a biosphere reserve, a National Nature Reserve, a Special Protection Area under the EU Birds Directive and a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive, while also being the subject of a Special Amenity Area Order. The proximity of the site to a large urban centre creates significant pressures on its ecology, as
The big hut and the rock
The project intertwines the urban with the natural landscape in this unique context. In fact, the primary aim is to ‘flood’ the site with nature – an ‘urban forest’ extending from the park in the south – creating a north-western African plain filled with vegetation, basins, animals and bio-dome as well as an extension to the park’s existing flora and fauna in the south-west. The new entrance building forms part of the rich landscape ensemble in the shape of a ‘big hut’ emerging from the clearing which one discovers suddenly through a pedestrian bridge when arriving from the park and from the Esplanade de la Hotoie or gradually when walking along the Rue Faubourg de Hem. THE BIG HUT The
COLD HAWAII INLAND
NATIONAL WATER SPORTS CENTER
Thy is a region on the west coast of Jutland, Denmark that is famous for its scenic fjord landscape. It is also the home of Cold Hawaii, a branded concept for 31 different locations along the coastline which are ideal for surfing. Together with Møller Grønborg and SlotherMøller, URBAN AGENCY has been invited to design Cold Hawaii Inland, a complementary network of water sports facilities along the fjord. All 10 Cold Hawaii Inland locations act as hinges between water and land. They bind those elements together, with comfortable spaces for activity and leisure. Each of the new locations has a unique natural characteristics and a variety of programs, but the entire network also represents a common ideology, which should be
NEW URBAN MAGNET ON YEOUIDO ISLAND
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is one of the leading television and radio networks in South Korea. As the company increasingly expands, MBC decided to relocate the company to the outskirts of Seoul. The old broadcasting building which has performed as a key station during the last 40 years has become obsolete and requires conversion to allow more profitable and beneficial development. The ambitious urban and architectural idea proposed for the former site sets itself the challenge to bring back ‘cultural activities’ into the area and create an authentic and local Yeouido. The site will comprise of buildings falling under three principal programmes: residential, offices, and commercial.Instead of competing for commercial supremacy with other major venues around the MBC, the proposal
The proposal for the Foum El Oued Technopole in Morocco can be seen not only as an opportunity to design a new campus of innovative architecture, technological innovation and merit but equally an opportunity to rethink the campus typology and carefully examine the ways it should perform for the sake of its multiple users and in a climatically intense environment. The new campus is devoted to research, innovation and training in the fields of science and technology with intent also to encourage sustainable development of the local population and environment through meticulous and thoughtful design choices. This proposal’s ambition, in terms of its architecture, is to reflect the philosophy of the technopole: establishing a dynamic centre and reference point that
Slagelse, a city strategically located at the point between Copenhagen and rest of Denmark, continues to undergo major transformations: Initially residing with the typical medieval city’s urban and street structure, then evolving through increased industrialisation supported by the railway development and further advancing with the establishment of shopping center in the 1970’s – each of these periods left a stamp in the city’s structure. The old town, train station and shopping mall are all located within a one-kilometre radius and can all be interpreted as an anchor in the town, each acting as main focal points of the city. Unfortunately, the area inbetween does not provide them with proper connections so they do not support each other and are forced
SCHOOL IN LURUP
NEW HEART OF THE DISTRICT
TThe aim of the competition for a school for 900 pupils in Lurup, one of Hamburg’s districts, was designing a stimulating and comfortable education venue for students, faculty and the surrounding community alike. Given the vast cultural programme proposed such as a community center, library, small theater, auditorium and sports hall, the project is set to become the focal point of the entire district, despite it’s central but hidden location in the “second row” – striving to create a neighbourhood magnet luring residents all day long. The school will have two entrances; the first in direct contact with the existing building and the second leading to the only road from which the building can be directly visible in the urban
NEW HARBOUR BATH
With the opening of the Harbour Bath, the inner-city waterfront of Faaborg has finally opened for bathing and recreation / public activity. This new public space on the water adds a new dimension of recreational activity to the beautiful South Funen Archipelago. The Harbour Bath is designed to tie a closer link between the city and the sea. Three thematic piers give room for everyone: Toddlers, children and young people can go wild while others enjoy the view of Faaborg Fjord. The “finger plan” with open basins between the three piers, offers multiple ways to approach the water. The wooden piers form ramps, stairs, sitting opportunities and small pools for children. The new development invites to take a bath,
Qianhai Exchange Plaza - More than trade!
Qianhai Exchange Plaza will be a place for economic exchange. But it has the potential for much more. It can become the place for exchange on many different levels – a place of a holistic identity of what exchange means in the 21st century. Social Exchange: Economic exchange is based on people interacting. This needs places where people can meet in a formal or informal way – places where social exchange in the context of business and outside it can take place. Cultural exchange: Qianhai and the exchange plaza are the heart of a new place that is supposed to foster exchange between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and between China and the world. Where people from everywhere meet it would
MAKEOVER FOR ICONS
The ESB’s recent controversial proposal to demolish the redundant but iconic Poolbeg Lighthouses provoked much opposition from Dublin citizens, including Dublin City Councillor and historian Dermot Lacey. URBAN AGENCY’s proposal aims to celebrate the unique identity and character of the Poolbeg Chimneys by giving them a new life and converting them into a new city destination: The Twin Observation Towers. The proposal includes glass bubble-like structures, one on 180-metre-high observation deck in one chimney and in the other, a 160-metre-high restaurant and venue for fundraising events, product launches, meetings, press conferences, receptions, and corporate parties. At the foot of the towers, a publicly accessible building comprising of an energy museum/education centre, a shop, a cafe and toilet facilities is proposed.
New Tent Structure
The Fringe Festival tent is a structure which is at the same time a spectacle. The brief is simple: A tent structure which can be erected in 24 hours, stand for one month for the duration of the festival and then be disassembled and stored until the following year. The project is five small domes all interconnected in a complex series of curves like the belly of a whale. A LED skin powered by embedded photovoltaic cells brings the pavilion alive during festival time. The containers that the pavilion is stored in become ticket booths, wardrobes, bars and VIP areas spread throughout the docks during the festival.
Wood Experience Center
Jeju Island is the most natural tourist attraction in South Korea. The centre is situated in the most untouched forest area in Jeju called ‘Redorum.’ One of the main challenges was to design a building that respects the existing forest as well being iconic in its own right as a tourist attraction. The roof covers the whole space of the building, which accommodates an exhibition hall, workshop and library.
School of music
The major challenge of our design proposal is to enhance the area around the train station as a new gate to the city of Kronberg, Germany. The new ensemble of chamber music hall, Kronberg Academy and Hotel has been carefully designed to blend in with the station’s forecourt. The unique design of the chamber music hall has evolved from the unique characteristics of the landscape, the idea of ”flow” is to allow the landscape by means of a set-through foyer through the building. The building itself receives its special sculptural form through the curved design of the building’s envelope. Curved wall cutouts allow large-scale, column-free openings, theses characteristics shape the halls and also the exterior facades form.
The design for the Yuseong youth centre envisaged the building not just as an entity but as a composition of different identities. This vision involved devising seven programmatic volumes and lending them all a different architectural language to distinguish and characterise each function. We carefully recomposed the volumes to enhance their spatial and visual inter-relationships. We believe this process creates not only the appropriate context for youth to develop their individual interests but also to allow them communicate among different groups. The site is complex, having a green field and lake on the south-east side and a 50m road on north-west side. We started with an L-shaped layout to create a cozy and active urban backyard embraced both by our
Future of Copenhagen
In 2008 URBAN AGENCY, together with Vandkunsten Architects, won a two-stage urban planning competition for the development of the “Kløvermarken” quarter in Copenhagen. The project comprised the development of a new urban district with about 900,000 m2 of floor-area for housing, public and commercial use. Organised around the existing football fields, the project was designed with a focus on public health and sustainable living. URBAN AGENCY has worked on the project from inception to development plan and has been responsible for the development of a design manual for landscape architecture and public space.
TV Studio on DR2
Urban Agency was commissioned to design the TV studio for a new TV show called Vogternes Råd on Danish national TV channel. In the weekly show, four panels including MC, Ane Cortzen, and hosts deal with polemic issues about Danish media with a critical and humorous point of view. We got inspired by a Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s work, ‘Gleaming lights of the souls’ and introduced it to our TV studio design. Our design seeks to create an infinite spatial sense in TV studio’s limited space by reflection with 35 mirror walls and LED lights. The studio surrounded by mirror walls contains innumerable reflections of colorful LED lights so it implies the infinite media production process between reality and fiction.
The building, an artist’s studio, consists of a 5x5m singular room set back from the lane and mediated between two new outdoor rooms – a patio and a garden. The finished floor level is sunk 750mm below ground level. The modest-height ceiling at the entrance level increases gradually when descending to the centre of the room. A folding polished concrete ribbon runs around the room, up and down, becoming stairs, desks and a day bed before returning to its normal position. Internally, board-marked concrete walls and roof form a textured cube underscored by two long strip roof lights marking the daily passage of light on walls. Externally, a smooth, sandblasted concrete finish contrasts with the internal textural opulence. The space