Today’s article here in Kenny Slaught’s blog, we want to talk about two buildings that may not be as popular or as renowned as many others worldwide, they are impressive enough to be called true modern wonders of architecture because of the ingenuity and creativity they display. We are talking about projects that were designed with innovative thinking and looking for new ways of utilizing revolutionary materials to make more aerodynamic buildings and structures that help in the conservation of the environment and are overall effective and efficient. The concept of innovation was not something that we used to clearly think about when designing structures, but in today’s world of modern architecture, this concept has become ubiquitous to new creations and everyday we see new ideas and designs that push the boundaries of what we imagine was possible. Here we will take a look at two great examples that have marveled those who gaze upon them and have shown us once again, the power of human ingenuity.
The Volkswagen Autostadt – Wolfsburg, Germany
These amazing towers were designed by a collaboration of more than 400 architects with one thing in mind, automobiles. This is one of the world’s most important and popular branches of the Volkswagen Company. The Autostadt (Automobile City in German) feels more like an amusement park made out of many pavilions where visitors can participate and witness many different types of activity surrounding the automobile industry. There is a tower were activities having to do with branding and construction materials take place while in yet another area, visitors can witness the history and evolution of automobiles all over the world. The site is characteristic for displaying examples of stunning modern architecture, innovative design, and absolutely technological construction features. Two of the towers are 60-meter tall glass silos that take the stage as some of the main attractions feature here. The towers are completely automated and allow visitors to travel within them through a series of automatic ramps. Each of the silos can hold up to 400 vehicles and they are connected with the Volkswagen factory through an underground tunnel that transports the vehicles to this location. The cars are also transported using a conveyor belt that brings them to this final destination. Volkswagen created this site for those customers who want to pick up their brand new car from the Autostadt instead of their local dealership. Customers are invited to spend the day at the park, have a meal on the house and witness the entire process that culminates with their vehicle being delivered right to them on the spot, ready to be driven away from the park.
Inside the Autostadt there are 13 restaurants available for visitors where you can find every imaginable kind of meal for you to enjoy. There is also a Ritz Carlton 5-star hotel where you can find the world-renowned Aqua restaurant. This location has been awarded 3 Michelin stars and has its own sphere-shaped movie screen where featured films are projected.
If you want to enjoy of a hand-on approach to your experience, you can go on board the off-road track available for visitors who want to personally test the features of some of the car models available for customer driving. There is also a small track for children where they can drive small electric cars modeled after some of the most popular models of Volkswagen.
Volkswagen is not the only brand you can see displayed here at the Automobile City, as they are also pavilions dedicated to Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, SEAT and Audi amongst others.
Linked Hybrid – Beijing, China
Located in Beijing, China and designed by Steven Holl with the idea of combining several spaces that at the same time can be integrated with the goal of sharing resources, this amazing building complex is unique in the way of its environmentally conscious design and the way it cools and heats its facilities. The structure has become famous for its novelty use of geothermal wells used for internal temperature regulation and its agro-environmental themed design. Linked Hybrid is made up of eight apartment towers with a surface area of 160,000 square meters and a total of 700 apartments that join together by sky bridges located at the top on the 21st floor. The idea of the complex was inspired by Chinese culture and they millenary practice of Feng Shui, where everything in the structure is carefully located in such was that it is thinking about the needs of every single one of the residents of the complex and how their needs are being met. Green areas cover the ground levels with different functions like a playground for smaller children and a skate park and a sport’s complex for the older ones. Adults can enjoy cafeterias, an area for practicing Tai Chi and even areas to play chess or read. The Linked Hybrid was truly designed to provide a great dwelling space for those who live there.