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Somehow I ended up today on a website called Tropolism, this site created a photography competition (cleverly using flickr) themed “Your Hidden City” and there were several sub-themes dividing the main competition pool of photos. I was impressed by the winner photo of the sub-theme: Best Building, or more by the building itself. The photo is competent, I like the balance of the colors in the facades and the overexposed sky. You can see it here>>, but the architecture is just stunning. A modern 70’s design that catches so well the french fascination for the technological and futuristic aesthetic but with a strong organic component. The buildings were designed by the architect Gérard Grandval and built 30 years ago, between 1972-75. I would say that projects looking like it could easily be found in architecture schools at the moment.
The description of the photo gives a hint to the project’s location and invites people to look for it in GE so of course I had to oblige.

  • Fly to the suburb of Créteil in Paris, to the Cité des «Choux»
  • .

    This is starting to look like a motorsport blog rather than an architecture one, with three F1 posts in a row but that is just how things have worked out lately. Anyhow, the Australian Grand Prix was raced in Melbourne. This is a special circuit because it is built on the roads of Albert Park, an inner city green space surrounding a lake. When the cameras follow the cars you can get some peeks of the city skyline and some familiar buildings appear.
    Federation Square situated 2KM north of Albert Park, its a very lage arts and media complex, that houses the ACMI - Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the National Design Centre and other institutions. This building designed by LAB architecture Studio with Bates & Smart contains a very large concrete “Labyrinth” sandwiched between the rail lines that cross underneath the building and the main open square space. So called “Labyrinths” are passive ventilation features that work by taking advantage of the fairly even temperatures of the ground during the whole year. Outside air flows through the labyrinth (which has a labyrinthic shape to maximise contact with the air that flows between its walls) and picks up the temperature of the ground making it easier to either cool it mechanically during the summer months or heat it during the winter period thus providing a saving in energy use.
    atelier ten - environmental designers and service engineers designed Federation Square’s Labyrinth, you can see some pictures of it on their website. Atelier ten also designed Labyrinths for the Earth Centre’s Planet Earth Gallery in Doncaster and the New Alpine House for Kew Gardens, both in the UK.

  • Fly again to:Federation Square by LAB, Melbourne Australia.
  • Fly to: Planet Earth Gallery - Earth Centre by Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects.
  • and hop to: The location of Wilkinson Eyre’s new Alpine House in Kew Gardens
  • F1 - Malaysia

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    Between the city of Kuala Lumpur and Sepang, where the F1 race course and the International Airport are located, malaysian planners are developing what they call the MSC or Multimedia Super Corridor. This urban development region contains the cyber city of Cyberjaya and the seat of the federal government administration, another city that is called Putrajaya. Putrajaya is also a Federal Territory. The new city is still under development, but in Google earth we can already see its overall form. There is a central spine / ceremonial route, connecting 5 precincts that conform a central core area which houses all the governmental buildings and religious uses as well. These precincts are surrounded by water in the form of lakes and canals on the other side of the water, further out, there are 15 peripheral precincts that will contain housing and other civil uses. I dont have much information about the design of the buildings in the core area of Putrajaya, they seem to be inpired by traditional Muslim themes, however I found some pages about the 8 bridges that connect the core with the periphery.

  • Fly to the 8 bridges of Putrajaya in Malaysia
  • F1 - Bahrain

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    Last year I used the Brazilian Grand Prix as an excuse to find buildings in Sao Paolo. That was a very succesful post, so I will try to mashup this year’s season with some architectural highlights as well. Starting with Bahrain, the task seems pretty difficult, contemporary architecture in the Emirates is in general pretty crap, although some projects can provide plenty of amusement and Wow/Shock factor but then there is another hurdle to get by, that region is still poorly covered in Google earth. So unable to find anything decent in Bahrain itself, today I want to point you to a pretty neat model of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai built by Pivnice LTD (the model that is), you can also find other 3D models in their blog ZNO. I found this model via Google Earth Blog

  • Go to ZNO blog post of Al Arab Hotel and fly from there.
  • Since this is not my own GE KLM file I have to add the link to image galleries from here. Go to photos of the building in Flickr.
  • AVEs

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    AVE means ‘Bird’ in Spanish, it also stands for Alta Velocidad Española which means literally Spanish High Speed. This is the name of the High speed train system inaugurated in Spain back in 1992 for the opening of the World Expo in Sevilla when large amounts of people had to be transported from Madrid to Sevilla almost 500 Km away.
    In this post we will visit 3 AVE stations:

  • Estacion de Atocha, the main station in the country, located in Madrid and designed by Rafael Moneo
  • Santa Justa the original final destination of the AVE, in Sevilla, a building designed by the architects Cruz & Ortiz.
  • Las Delicias a new station in Zaragoza, its the latest addition to the AVE network and designed by the Carlos Ferrater Partnership. This station forms part of the route that eventually will link Madrid with Barcelona.
  • I just received my copy of Icon magazine #32 for February 2006, the “jet-lag issue”. Icon magazine is one of only two subscriptions that I maintain nowadays. I am getting most information from the internet but Icon is just so beautiful and well designed that I have to collect it. This month the magazine is mostly dedicated to Tokyo. Inside, there is a map pinpointing the architectural highlights in the city quarters of Aoyama and Harayuku. As an architect travelling to Tokyo you must not miss a visit to these places. The density of “starchitecture”, the social buzz and the contrast of a walk through the quiet residential streets would be a great experience. Therefore I am making a Google Earth version of icon’s architectural trail.

  • Download and fly to:
  • Herzog and de Meuron’s Prada Epicenter in Aoyama, Kengo Kuma’s One Omotesando, SANAA’s Dior and HHstyle, Jun Aoki’s Louis Vuitton, Ando’s Collezione, HHStyle and Omotesando Hills buildings, Ito’s Tod’s and F-building, Rossi’s Asaba Design Studio, Future Systems’ Comme de Garcons, Tange’s United Nations university building and the 1964 National Gymnasiums. Also Fumihiko Maki’s Spiral building, remember the beginnings of Decon? The Brazilian embassy by Ruy Ohtake and the Tokyo Hipster’s Club by non-architect Tom Dixon.

    We kick start 2006 with a Golden Oldie: Coop Himmelb(l)au. The studio founded by Wolf D. Prix and Helmut Swiczinsky in the late 60s should be finishing a number of large scale public projects around the world in the next couple of years. The Musée des Confluences in Lyon; JVC Entertainment and Commercial Center in Guadalajara, Mexico; the 73.000 m² BMW Welt (BMW world) in Munich; the Akron Art Museum, Ohio, USA, just to name a few. These massive projects, together with the already built UfA Palast Kino in Dresden finally bring to the reality of the city the architects’ ideas of gravity defying buildings, hovering, shifting, carving out positive public space out of the built mass.
    Two decades ago however Coop Himmelb(l)au concepts could only find smaller projects as means to be tested. This post is about five of those old Viennese projects, five interiors. As such, you wont be able to see much in the Googleearth screen itself, however each pinpoint is as always linking to our image galleries and other resorcues on the web. enjoy.
    Fly to Vienna and discover the location of:

  • The most publicised of these projects, the Falkestrasse glass Rooftop extension
  • Wahliss Passage right in the center of town.
  • Projecting out of the historic shell, Baumann Studio
  • Go for a Pre-opera drink at the Reiss Champagne Bar
  • And after midnight, get lost in Vienna’s Bermuda triangle, Roter Engel Bar.
  • Rotterdam landmarks

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    I found a link in the Google earth blog to a placemark file created by students from the Hogeschool Rotterdam. This placemark contains 3d models made using Sketchup of a number of building landmarks from the city of Rotterdam. I have to say, having never been in that city, most of those buildings are pretty new and look pretty ugly as well. Nevertheless the models are great, good effort, so I recommend you to chek them out. I also created my own pointingit placemarks to some of the buildings that might be of interest because of the architect or because I did like them. Here we go:

  • Wiel Arets - Hoge Heren I & II
  • Foster and Partners - World Port Center
  • Murphy/Jahn - Fortis Bank Blaak
  • Piano Building Workshop - KPN Telecom tower
  • Van Berkel & Bos Architecten - Erasmus bridge
  • Follow this link to download the 3D models of Rotterdam landmarks

    John from Archidose left a comment on the previous Vitra post and a placemark for the Landscape Formation One building by Zaha Hadid. LF-one, known as the Hadid Bau by the locals, is also located in Wiel-am-Rhein, nearby the Vitra factory complex and was built in the occasion of the Grün 99, Landesgartenschau - Gardening and flower show that is held annually at different German towns.
    Coincidentally I also got other news about Zaha Hadid so I decided to make this a full Hadid post. The Phæno building “landscape for experimentation” is opening to the public tomorrow, November 25th.
    Phæno was created under a public private partnership between the city of Wolfsburg and large private companies lead by Wolkswagen. It is the largest science centre in Germany and it exhibits 250 ‘hands on’ installations like crash testing with your own body.
    We will fly to the French/German border, where in the city of Strasbourg we will find the Hoenheim-Nord terminus and car park and an excellent set of photographs of this project via Kultureflash. Further east in Innsbruck, Austria, the Bergisel ski jump and up north in Denmark the Ordrupgaard museum extension with photos form Archinect’s image gallery.
    Last but not least Hadid’s first American building the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art with reviews from Danda and Galinsky.
    In this post I am breaking a rule of pointingit I will link to the site of a building rather than the building itself, simply because the satellite imagery for some parts of the world is not up to date, but I am pretty sure to be marking the right spot so in future versions of GE the building should be properly flagged. To find the site/building I am talking about check the pointers below.

  • Fly to Bergisel Ski Jump. Innsbruck, Austria. Make sure you have the TERRAIN feature active in GE for this one.
  • Visit the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, in the USA.
  • Back to Europe and to the Ordrupgaard museum extension site.
  • In Germany: The Landscape Formation One, Wiel-am-rhein.
  • and site for the landscape for experimentation, Phæno building.
  • Hoenheim-Nord terminus and car park, Strasbourg, France.
  • Vitra factory

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    Two posts ago I showed buildings that not only by their sheer size but by the variety of themes running within their design would work well as one stop destination for ‘archi-fans’ of the respective architects who designed those buildings. This time I am going to point you to a somehow similar scenario: A single site with plenty of architecture to see, however this time all the buildings in the site are designed by different ’star-architects’.
    The Vitra complex in Weil-am-Rhein near Basel, in the German side of the Rhein is not only a factory but an architectural showcase with buildings by Ghery, Hadid, Ando, Siza, Grimshaw and Buckminster Fuller.

  • Visit Vitra Factory in Weil-am-Rhein. download all building locations with one click.
  • On another note: Last week Pointingit was reviewed in The New York Times Arts section. The article: Where to Play Superman and See Architecture, Too gave Pointingit and 0lll a good review although I think that the journalist confused one or two concepts, but it was very positive description in general and stressed the fun aspect of GE. It certainly brought a lot of new traffic to this site which is great and I appreciate it.


    Finding architecture with google earth.
    To catch all the locations at once, download the Pointingit NETWORK LINK file