King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre
The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) created great interest when it opened to the public for Saudi Design Week. But for those unable to attend and enjoy the Zaha Hadid Architects’ masterpiece up close and personal, German photographer, Hans Georg Esch, has created a wonderful video for all to enjoy.
Taking us on a journey through the sprawling 17-acre campus, Esch uses wonderful film techniques including sweeping, birds-eye shots to highlight and showcase the exquisite, geometric building.
The institution collaborates with international research centers, public policy organisations, worldwide government institutions and global industry leaders to research into policies that contribute to the most effective use of global energy.
To create a relationship of openness and transparency between the public and the researchers, the building includes open plan spaces with canopied courtyards, split levels for transparency between floors and geometric cutouts to the façade. With a calculated undulating roof, the structure’s modular design easily allows for expansion.
Looking more like a render than a real-life project, the center’s seemingly crystalline-like structures emerge from the desert landscape.
“KAPSARC’s five buildings differ in size and organisation to best suit their use,” explain the architects. “Each building is divided into its component functions and can be adapted to respond to changes in requirements or working methods. Additional cells can readily be introduced by extending KAPSARC’s honeycomb grid for future expansion of the research campus.”
The KAPSARC was one of several designs by Zaha Hadid prior to her passing in 2016 and was Zaha Hadid Architect’s first LEED Platinum building – a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
Located on the shore of a man-made lake near Seinäjoki, western Finland, stands a stunningly simple prefabricated wooden tower offering a spectacular view of the surroundings. But the real beauty of the tower lies in its viewing platform options.
Whether you decide to trek the stairs to the top or stay on the banks of the lake, you are guaranteed the same bird’s eye view thanks to a series of large mirrors forming a periscope.
Tilted at just the right angle, the mirrors transform the tower into a periscope and allow those who are unwilling or unable to climb the opportunity to experience the same perspective.
Designed by Helsinki-based firm, OOPEAA, the tower has an inner core made of cross-laminated timber (CLT) that forms the frame for the extra-large periscope. The staircase spirals up and around its inner core concluding at a balcony deck boasting views out across the lake. Larch battens, spaced apart, frame different snippets of the lake and surrounding landscape as one makes the climb.
The prefabricated lakeside tower forms part of a wider development project for reshaping the lakeshore and will be connected to a network of recreational paths, accessible to everyone. A perfect example of design brilliance breaking down accessibility barriers.