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Achieving architectural vision

Showcasing structures created through a close collaboration between engineer and architect.

We hope you enjoying reading about all the inspiring projects on this page. If you click or tap on an image, you can read about a project in more detail.
 
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Apple Aventura

Location : Aventura, USA
Submitted by : Foster + Partners

A structure designed to reflect Miami's nautical and architectural roots. It’s glazed façade blurs the boundary between interior and exterior. The structure features an undulating vaulted roof made solely from precast elements. 80ft concrete beams span 60ft between slender columns.

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The inside of an airport terminal. The ceiling drops to the floor in a point.

Beijing Daxing International Airport Terminal

Location : Beijing, China
Submitted by : Beijing Institute of Architectural Design

A project to create the world’s largest airport terminal. A series of key technologies were proposed during the design to realise a fantastic architectural effect. These included a supporting system mainly composed of C-shaped columns, seismic-isolation system of a gigantic planar structure, and vibration control techniques for the high-speed railway passing through the terminal.

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A building built using layers of grey stone. There are doors and windows cut into the stone.

Chapel of Sound

Location : Hebei, China
Submitted by : Arup

Located in a remote valley next to a segment of the Great Wall, this boulder shaped concrete structure contains a semi-outdoor amphitheatre. The geometry and texture of the ambitious structure is engineered with advanced computational technology to create excellent acoustics and thermal comfort. Aggregate from local rock was used to minimise consumption in material transportation.

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A building constructed by stacking a series of cubes and oblongs. A taller building appears in the background.

Cheng Shifa Art Museum

Location : Shanghai, China
Submitted by : Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd

An innovative project that features an isolation structure to protect the building and the collections it houses during an earthquake. An artistic effect of stacking and staggering is achieved by using overlapped structural boxes. The 3rd floor curtain wall columns and the main structure are designed to be integrated. They create a glittering and translucent architectural effect.

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The inside of a large hall with a timber roof. The roof features a series of downward facing points.

Great Northern Golf & Wellness

Location : Kerteminde, Denmark
Submitted by : Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers

A group of buildings created with an emphasis on creating space and a New Nordic aesthetic. The folded timber roof of the clubhouse is composed of non-identical triangular plates. These sculpt the space and meet stringent energy use requirements. The form-finding process and final detailing showcase design sensitivity and a multidisciplinary approach.

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A huge glass roof suspended over a forest area. A waterfall comes down from the middle of the roof.

Jewel Changi Airport

Location : Singapore
Submitted by : Buro Happold

A 200m diameter gridshell that covers an interior forest. The structure is the largest of its kind in the world. It features a 40m indoor waterfall pouring from an opening in the roof. The design of the glass and steel roof responds to the geometrical constraints of the architecture. It also considers fabrication and procurement challenges.

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A glass sided building with a curved roof. The curves in the roof look like waves.

Meeting House

Location : Aspen, USA
Submitted by : AKT II

A geometrically complex stainless-steel structure that achieves extreme creases, curves and folds. The ‘pure form’ of this studio was achieved by using technology and manufacturing skills borrowed from the ship-building industry. Supported on 10 wood columns, its weight was carefully controlled and minimised. Advanced structural design techniques and parametric design tools helped to do this.

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A large overhanging structure viewed from the bottom upwards.

One Hennessy

Location : Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Submitted by : Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd.

A 149m high building narrowed at the base to give an iconic 30m funnel profile. The project redeveloped a site occupied by a neighbourhood-defining 50-year-old structure. Controlling the behaviour of the slender building under lateral load was challenging due to the reduction of bending stiffness at the base. Wind tunnel testing was used to refine design parameters and optimise the core design.

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The front of a shopping centre in an urban area. Thin pillars are in front of a glass face.

Shanghai Shimao International Plaza

Location : Shanghai, China
Submitted by : East China Architectural Design & Research Institute

A series of innovative retrofitting measures are used to achieve the required architectural aesthetics and function. The project introduced energy dissipation devices to avoid having to strengthen most of the structural members. This saved time and construction costs. It also reduced the seismic response of the retrofitted structure back to the original level.

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The front of a building with a curved canopy roof. The building is reflected in a large body of water.

Shijiazhuang International Convention and Exhibition Center

Location : Shijiazhuang, China
Submitted by : Architecture Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University

A vast two-way cable structure used to construct a series of exhibition halls. The area covered by the bidirectional cable roof reaches 288m by 105m. This makes it one of the largest structures of this type in the world. The project combines the natural arc of the cable with the sloping roof of classical Chinese buildings. It creates a traditional and graceful architectural appearance.

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A building on a mountain ridge. One side of the building projects out into open space.

Skyboat

Location : Guangxi, China
Submitted by : XinY Structural Consultants

A two-storey hotel, café and glass viewing platform located in the world heritage site of Dashiwei Sinkhole. It juts out over a deep canyon. Engineers and architects worked closely to find solutions using innovative structural forms. By doing this, they were able to minimise interface with the environment. It also allowed them to improve stability and achieve an elegant cantilever.

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A footbridge spanning a river. One river bank is higher than the other.

St Philips Footbridge

Location : Bristol, UK
Submitted by : Knight Architects

A 50m span footbridge on the River Avon connecting two banks with a significant difference in levels. A collaborative architectural, functional and structural approach was used to resolve a complex crossing problem. The result is a bridge that is both practical and architecturally distinctive.

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A structure crossing a river in a remote forest area. The structure twists in the middle.

The Twist

Location : Kistefos, Norway
Submitted by : AKT II

A sculptural structure torqueing out over a river. This bridge twists for 87m adjoining two embankments at different levels. Integrated parametric workflow adopted early in the project meant the architect and engineer were able to exchange data and geometry. Optimisation techniques minimised the amount of steel used and connections needed. This reduced the welding time and material waste.

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Two high-rise buildings linked at the top.

The Address Residence Sky Views

Location : Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Submitted by : NORR Group Consultants International Limited

A 60-storey twin-tower complex standing over 260m tall. The development features a dramatic Sky Bridge and Portal Frame (a common structural stability system used on a mega scale for this project). During the design and construction of this project, structural engineers successfully addressed the challenges of gravity, wind and seismic design, temporary work and construction methodology.

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A tall slim tower stands between smaller highrise buildings.

Tianjin CTF Finance Centre

Location : Tianjin, China
Submitted by : Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

A dramatic, undulating profile makes this 530m tall tower a new landmark in the area. The design is a synthesis of architectural, structural, and functional requirements. The primary structural innovation was the use of a system of “soft-braces”. These consist of variable sloped columns configured to optimise the structural performance for seismic events.

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The inside of a large airport terminal.

Tocumen International Airport

Location : Panama City, Panama
Submitted by : Foster + Partners

An airport expansion project where engineering and architecture were conceived together. The result was a comprehensive environmental strategy that balanced active and passive measures. The structure was carefully designed to enable a fast-track schedule in tropical conditions. Work was phased to allow the airport to operate during construction

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A three floor building with a very large circular canopy in front of it.

Zhangjiang International Brain Imaging Centre

Location : Shanghai, China
Submitted by : Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd

A project with a total area of 2700sq.m, mainly constructed underground. A canopy is located at the top of the atrium and is the main structure on the ground. It shelters the sunken atrium and carries the main access from top to bottom. The image of a tree is adopted to imply the birth, spread and development of knowledge.

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Two highrise buildings stand next to each other. They are surrounded by smaller buildings.

Zhengzhou Greenland Central Plaza

Location : Zhengzhou, China
Submitted by : Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd

A pair of twin high-rise towers, with an identical height of 284m. They create a striking addition to the skyline of Zhengzhou. Unique architectural features include opening slots in the façade profile and a windmill-shaped architectural plane layout. These result in four large cantilever regions in the corners that posed significant challenges to the structural design.

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Image credits

Ma Mingsi, Chapel of Sound; Safdie Architects, Jewel Changi Airport; CIG Architecture, Meeting House; Lance McNulty, St Philips Footbridge; Laurian Ghinitoiu, The Twist; Seth Powers, Tianjin CTF Finance Centre.

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