Architecture today has reached places that only existed in our wildest science fiction stories just a few decades ago. The speed of advancement and span of coverage that technology has in our everyday life is amazing and is giving us a better quality of life and an enhanced appreciation for our environment and the impact we have upon it. Modern architects are finding ways to make buildings smarter, more sustainable and with features that not only care about what is outside but with special attention of what truly matters, those who dwell inside their structures.
Today in Kenny Slaught’s blog, we will take a look at some of the most amazing technologically advanced buildings in the world. These places are truly works of art in the form, structure and also their useful purpose.
The Water Discus Underwater Hotel – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Also known as Hydropolis, The Water Discus Underwater Hotel when completed will be the first multi-room underwater hotel in the world. The hotel will be made of three different environments: a land station, a train and the underwater area where the rooms will be located. The designer’s idea was to create upon the relationship humans have with water, as we are all most made of the substance and our proximity to it has always been a source of sustainability. The project is currently under construction with the hopes that it will be completed soon.
Taipei 101 – Taipei, Taiwan
The Taipei World Financial Center was officially considered the world’s tallest building when it was completed in 2004, a titled that it held for five years until Burj Khalifa surpassed the super tall skyscraper. Taipei 101’s height is just one of the things that makes it amazing but definitely not its most important feature. The structured is famous for being the largest green building in the world, and in 2011 it was awarded the LEED platinum certification, the highest award given by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
Apple Campus 2 – Cupertino, USA
The future headquarters of Apple is scheduled to open sometime this year looks more like a spaceship than a building. We are talking about a perfectly circular structure with a diameter of 461 meters and a circumference of a mile. The facility will be four stories tall with three more levels located underground and house up to 13,000 employees. DPR/Skanska built the building core and shell, while Rudolph & Sletten and Holder Construction completed the interiors. 75% of the energy used inside the building will be powered by solar panels and Bloom Energy Fuel Cells will generate the rest.
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy – Toronto, Canada
Moffat Kinoshita Architects, a Toronto-based architecture firm along with Foster and Partners won a competition back in 2002 to build this exceptional building. The structure looks like a box sitting on top of a smaller box with several columns holding it up. The building has several voids in between its glass structures that allow the light to pass through in order to illuminate the inside and reduce the need for artificial lighting. This building is by no means an eco friendly construction, as it consumes almost twice as much energy as a building of its capacity.
Incheon Airport – Jung District, Incheon, South Korea
The largest airport of Korea it has also been rated the best in the world since 2005. The airport’s amenities include a golf course, spa, sleeping rooms, an ice-skating rink, a casino, indoor gardens and a Museum of Korean Culture. One of the greatest advances to technology that the airport offers is an ILS CAT-III B System that provides precision guided landing for planes when visibility is as los as 150 feet.
Hearst Tower – New York City, USA
The Hearst Tower has a very interesting story spanning a gap of around 80 years before its construction was continued and finished by Norman Foster and WSP Cantor Seinuk. The base of the building was built back in 1928 but construction halted due to the Great Depression. The Hearst Tower is the first “green” high-rise office building in New York City. The structure has a cooling system that works through a network of tubes that move water collected from rain and used also to irrigate plants and the water sculpture located in the main lobby.
Torre Agbar – Barcelona, Spain
This 38-story skyscraper designed by French architect Jean Nouvel is located in the technological district of Barcelona. It has received awards for its energy efficiency and low CO2 emissions. One of the most amazing features of the building is the ability that it has to regulate its own internal temperature through sensors that operate blinds that can open and close depending on the weather. The imposing structure resembles a geyser spouting from the surrounding landscape, something that goes well with the fact that the company that owns it also owns Aigües de Barcelona, a local water company.