Architecturex: Distributor of the worlds best brands

Architecturex is a leading importer and distributor of the worlds best building products. With 30 years experience in the architecture and building industry, they pride themselves on providing excellent service and quality assurance through their team of experts. Through representing brands with a global reputation they are able to provide their clients with the best possible solutions to meet their design specifications.

Originally stemming from a media company they have been talking with architects and designers in one form or the other for many years and are able to use this connection to form a strong platform to reach specifiers easier than other distributors may do.

THEIR PHILOSOPHY

Architecturex recognises innovative products and companies who are leaders in their field and understands the need to develop strong relationships with both the clients and suppliers. It is crucial for architecturex’s objective to represent companies with high integrity, environmentally friendly processes and who are tried and tested through internationally recognised certifications. They pride themselves on their reputation amongst architects, designers and within the building industry delivering the best products in terms of quality, design, colour and value.

THEIR EXPERTISE

Architecturex’s work with clients has always been at the intersection of industry expertise and exceptional customer service. They aim to provide a comfortable, stress free process and ensure all products are successfully delivered on time. Through first hand experience on world class projects, they understand the needs and expectations of our clients.

 

ARCHITECTUREX’s CLIENTS:

Nora:

Nora is a high quality rubber flooring company headquartered in Germany, which has been designing and manufacturing premium flooring for more than 65 years for a number of different markets, including healthcare, education, industry and public buildings. With a market share of more 50 percent worldwide, Nora systems are now the world’s market leader in rubber floor coverings.

 

Up to 30 raw materials are mixed together, compressed and then vulcanized under heat and high pressure to produce the flooring. This process gives the coverings their permanently resilient qualities and resistant surface. Nora floorings are practically indestructible, displaying scarcely any signs of wear even after years of intensive use. Other benefits are acoustic control, ergonomic comfort, excellent hygienic properties as well as stain and slip resistance.Because rubber flooring does not contain PVC, it does not generate any hydrochloric acid, dioxins or furans, contributing to healthy indoor air quality. Nor do Nora rubber floors contain plasticizers (phthalate) or halogens (e.g., chlorine), and some are GREENGUARD Gold Certified for low VOC emissions.

NORA’s RANGE:

NORAPLAN

noraplan® Floor coverings are available in either rolls or tiles and offer unlimited design options due to the varied patterns with smooth surfaces and a harmonized color range. The functional properties make this product suitable for a wide range of needs. noraplan® rubber floors have been used around the world in some of the most demanding spaces  including transport facilities, airports, railways, hospitals and clinics, educational facilities, office spaces and retail stores. Furthermore, nora inlays allow the integration of corporate design elements such as logos and colors. They can also be used to represent orientation systems with navigation routes and meeting points.

Noraplan® floorings are practically indestructible; displaying scarcely any signs of wear even after years of intensive use. Other benefits are acoustic control, ergonomic comfort, excellent hygienic properties, stain and slip resistance as well as oil and grease resistance. They are resilient and durable. In addition, rubber is PVC free so Noraplan® achieves a Green Tag Green Rate Level. A.

NORAMENT

Norament® tiles are the best choice wherever floors have to cope with the toughest conditions requiring utmost durability and wear resistance. Due to their wide variety of surface structures – from the classic round pastille and hammerblow surfaces through to relief structure surfaces – rubber tiles are also popular with customers who want an especially exclusive appearance. Representative office buildings, museums, showrooms and sports arenas are just some of the places where Norament® floor coverings are frequently encountered.

Norament® floorings are practically indestructible, displaying scarcely any signs of wear even after years of intensive use. Other benefits include acoustic control, ergonomic comfort, excellent hygienic properties as well as stain and slip resistance. Norament® is manufactured in metre-square tiles, usually offered in a thickness of 3.5 or 4mm. 9mm thick norament tiles are also available for buildings where extreme floor conditions prevail such as ice rinks, golf club premises or horse stables.

NORA STAIRTREADS

Norament® stairtread has solutions for individual requirements in stairwells across all applications. It is a one-piece nosing-tread-riser that is an enduring solution. Additionally, they are also cost-effective, for all types of projects, whether in a new building or a renovation. norament® stairtreads offers a wide choice of covering options that will complete any design.

Nora stairtreads are offered in either round or hammerblow shapes as well as in various colors with matching accessories to provide an array of options depending on the look that is required. Installation and maintenance is a quick and clean process.

A variety of widths are available with visible seams or joint sealing (using cold weld tubes). The Stepfix 240 that nora provides is ideal for the installation of stairtreads. The double sided adhesive tape is five times more durable and longer-lasting than conventional adhesive variants.

Founded in 1971, Rodeca was the first inventor and producer of translucent building elements with integrated coupling for glazings in industrial and sports halls.

 

Today, Rodeca is the market leader for thermoplastic facade design. The company is constantly creating new perspectives for their customers and their recent patents and current certifications give proof of further innovations. With production facilities in Germany and Brazil, annual production is approximately 2,000,000 m².

RODECA is shaped and can be manufactured in lengths of 20-meters. The length will be dependent on any shipping constraints. The manufacturing allows for seamless facades both horizontally and vertically. It is lightweight and can span up to 3-meters within the 60mm wall panel system depending on wind load. There are over 30 standard colors and custom colors also available. Rodeca panels can suit any design giving great flexibility for customers. It has a number of applications including, walls, roofs, skylights, canopies

Rodeca’s Benefits:

  • Natural Light: 

Rodeca polycarbonate sheets consist of multi-cell layers which diffuse light and allows for a smooth, and glare-free, light transmission. This also reduces the use of artificial lighting within the building and hence, reducing energy consumption costs.

  • Thermal Resistance:

An R Values of R 1.42 is one of the highest available in the polycarbonate market ensuring that heat gain /loss is minimized (this also creates better climate control)

  • Impact resistance:

RODECA has a high-impact range and offers a thicker-face sheet to give greater impact resistance especially in buildings such as sports halls and areas with higher traffic areas. It also offers excellent resistance to extreme weather especially hail storms.

 

Rodeca cladding was used by the famous architectural office Herzog & de Meuron to create the LABAN-Centre in London, which was awarded the prestigious STIRLING AWARD in October 2003. It was one of the first buildings to experiment with translucent plastic as an exterior surface and glows brightly after dark. The clear colour on the outer wall and inner wall coloured creates an amazing 3-dimensional effect.


For more information about Architecturex, Nora or Rodeca visit: architecturex.com.au

Or email them at: [email protected]

For project specific recommendations call:  0401 192 175

Huangshan Mountain Village, by MAD Architects

Huangshan Mountain Village
Huangshan, China 
2009-2017


Huangshan, located near the ancient villages of Hongcun and Xidi in China’s Anhui province, is home to one of the country’s most beautiful mountains. Known for its rich verdant scenery and distinct granite peaks, the beloved landscape has long inspired artists, offering them sheltered spaces for contemplation and reflection. As a UNESCO Heritage Site, the humanistic atmosphere and beautiful, tranquil environment has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. It is here that MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, has realized “Huangshan Mountain Village”.

MAD’s scheme is part of a larger tourism masterplan for Huangshan Taiping Lake. While providing the conveniences of modern living, the design affirms the significance of this culturally important mountain range. Composed in deference to the local topography, each of the buildings are diverse in height and appearance, and have been conceived to ensure that the original mountain levels are maintained. Organized in a link configuration across the southern slope of Taiping Lake, the dynamic relationship that is created among the ten buildings establishes a new type of village landscape: one where architecture becomes nature, and nature dissolves into architecture.

The apartments that comprise “Huangshan Mountain Village” have all been envisioned as quiet retreats. Each one boasts an expansive balcony whose organic lines respond to the topographic contours of the immediate mountainous terrain. With their shape informed by the tea fields nearby, they appear as if they have been sculpted by wind and water, with no two the same. Extending the interior to the exterior, they provide plenty of outdoor space, giving residents the feeling that they are not just observers of the scenery that surrounds them, but actually immersed within it ─creating a dialogue with the mountains, lake, and sky. Pathways have been determined by the landscape, so that they naturally meander through the trees and between the architecture, offering unique access to the treasured site.

 “The impression we have of Taiping Lake in Huangshan is vague: each visit to this place yields different views, different impressions. It is a bit mysterious, like ancient Shanshui landscape paintings that are never based on realism, but rather, the imagination. This inexplicable feeling is always poetic; it is obscure and indistinct. This is the basic idea: we hope that residents will not just look at the scenery, but see themselves in relation to this environment, attention that is brought inward. In observing oneself, one perhaps begins to notice a different self than the one present in the city.” – Ma Yansong

Instinctively growing out of the mountainous landscape, the serene design sensibility of the village is reflected in its natural setting. It offers a new type of vertical living that while architecturally complimenting the surrounding forest, also enhances the levels of comfort and well-being of its inhabitants, establishing a synergy between humans, nature, and the local culture.

In its completion, “Huangshan Mountain Village” is a true expression of Ma Yansong’s “Shanshui City” philosophy. The intention has not been to create architecture that references forms of nature, such as mountains and water, but instead to establish a space where people can reconnect with nature on a spiritual level ─ to create architecture that evokes emotion and that embodies humanity’s pursuit for inner fulfilment.


Further information:
Huangshan Taiping Lake Masterplan
Site Area: 1,186,520 sqm
Building Area: 613,200 sqm

Huangshan Mountain Village (Phase One)
Site Area: 189,882 sqm
Building Area: 69,586 sqm

Typology: Residential
Principals in Charge: Ma Yansong, Qun Dang, Yosuke Hayano
Associate in Charge: LIU Huiying
Team: ZHAO Wei, LI Guangchong, WANG Deyuan, Andrea D’Antrassi, FU Xiaoyi, Tiffany Masako Dahlen, XUE Yan, Philippe Brysse, Kayla Lee, Geraldine Lo, Alejandra Obregon, Luke Lu, Jakob Beer, Zeng Lingdong, Achille Tortini, Matthew Rosen, Gustavo Maya, ZHENG Fang, Sarita Tejasmit, Augustus Chan, Jeong-Eun Lee

Clients: Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Limited
Grade A Architecture Design Institute: HSarchitects
Interior Design: Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration
Landscape Design: Broadacre Source Landscape
Curtain Wall Design: Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Decoration Engineering Co., Ltd
Lighting Design: Shanghai Mofo Lighting

Construction commences at Bora Residential Tower, Mexico

Zaha Hadid Architects begin work on Mexico City’s highest residential tower



Construction works have begun on the Bora Residential Tower in Mexico City. Commissioned in 2015 by Nemesis Capital, a Mexican company committed to building new communities of the highest standards, the tower is within Santa Fe, an important business district in the west of Mexico City with a rapidly growing community that includes 3 universities and the regional offices of Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Roche and Amazon.

The Bora Residential Tower is a short walk from local schools, theatres, cafes and restaurants, as well as the new Santa Fe Transit Hub that will offer a 5-minute train journey into Observatorio Station, connecting with the city’s metro network when the Toluca commuter rail line opens next year.

Being adjacent to the 28 hectare parklands, lakes, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts of La Mexicana park, the largest new public space created in Mexico City for 50 years, the tower has been designed to provide excellent levels of natural light and ventilation, with the apartments optimising Santa Fe’s extremely comfortable environmental conditions of prevailing winds and mild annual temperatures.

With more than 50 floors, Bora will be the highest residential tower in Mexico City and incorporates over 220 apartments of one, two and three bedrooms. Each floor houses a variety of unit sizes to create an integrated and diverse community of families, first-time homeowners, professionals and retirees.

The arrangement and layout of the apartments maximises natural light, ensures privacy and offers panoramic, double-aspect views from all units that are also surrounded by balconies, providing residents with outdoor living areas to enjoy Santa Fe’s mild, elevated subtropical climate.

The distribution of varied apartments across each floor defines the formal composition of the tower. The six apartment layouts surround a central core and are extruded vertically, with the tower’s façade articulating the folds and pleats created from the juxtaposition of these six volumes. A sense of dynamism is introduced by the geometric configuration of the balconies which follow a harmonic variation that is optimised to ensure the best use of these outdoor living areas.

The tower tapers inwards at its base to increase the areas for leisure, recreation and entertainment located beneath ‘swirling’ canopies that transfer the surrounding streetscape vertically, echoing the dynamism expressed throughout the façade. Civic spaces with restaurants and shops at street level will enhance the growing Santa Fe community.

The tower’s structure has also been designed for optimum flexibility and ductility, as well as an overall reduction in its weight, to best respond in seismic conditions, with the ten-storey canopies at its base providing additional lateral stability.



 

Chapel at Murcia

Architect: Sanjay Puri
Location: Spain
Type: Religion Building [Chapel / Church] Designed: 2011
Awarded the World Architecture 2011 prize


In 2011, a small chapel was built on top of a 90m steeply sloping hill. It is framed with the undulating landscape and a view of the ocean so visitors who approach the chapel from the road leading up the hill will see a small doorway that is nestled amidst the landscape. As the visitors enter, the volume gradually increases. The doorway widens up to a cavernous space that is structured by a large cantilevered concrete roof.

In the interior, the cross sits on the edge of a rectilinear water pool with an infinity edge, merging with the ocean in the horizon. The water from the pool descends into a lower trough that creates a waterfall with the mist. This creates a blur of the floor level of the chapel and makes it seem as though it is floating above the hill. With minimal interruption of the structural elements involved in the build, space is accentuated with the natural beauty of the site and its panoramic ocean views.

Furthermore, the design celebrates simplicity with the integration of the internal volume and its open landscape. The orientation faces the north and will remain cool throughout the year as it is sheltered from the southern sun. A natural green cover is placed on the south of the design and facilitates complete cross ventilation so it is equipped without any need of a mechanical air-conditioning system. This chapel was intended to respond to the climate of Spain and creates a unique space with its sculptural qualities.



University of Sydney’s new Health Precinct


A partnership between a New York-based designer and an Australian architectural practice (Scofidio and Renfro with Billard Leece) has resulted in the design of a new main building in the University of Sydney’s proposed health precinct. This project was part of the university’s additional $1.4 billion Campus Improvement Plan, which was approved by the council and government back in 2015.

The proposed health precinct is situated adjacent to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and will accommodate for the faculties of health science, nursing, midwifery and the central clinic school. It is only in the first of three stages but the building was conceived as a total health environment that engages both the mind and body. “The building will offer oxygen and sunlight, biophilic spaces, active animates spaces, spaces of community gathering as well as a quiet reflective space,” as written in the architect’s design statement.

As the scheme was developed with landscape architects from Arcadia, it includes a folding ground plane that intersects landscaping with the interior of the building. The entire precinct will include two gardens that are connected to each other; the Lower Wakil Garden acts as a forecourt and main entrance to the building and the Upper Wakil Garden which is located above and connected to the lower ground garden via internal and external stairs. They both will act as the central common-area for the health-education precinct. Additionally, the folding planes will also accommodate for the large and spacious floor plates on the lower levels which can be used for teaching spaces. The upper levels will contain clinics, academic workshops, and teaching and learning spaces arranged side by side.

“The floating boxes [will be] broken into two by the ‘cleave’ to create a central atrium that provides light into the building and breaks down the scale of the building facing the oval,” said the architects.

The building will be tallest at its northeast corner in order to create a visual connection with the historic medical school tower and provide views of the oval. In stage two of the project, a building will be built to face south at St. Andrews Oval. Once this has been built, it will be Diller Scofidio & Renfro’s first in Australia. The design for the health precinct and building were the last to emerge from the university’s complete redevelopment of the master plan. In June 2017, the university had unveiled JPW’s (Johnson Pilton Walker) design for the proposed museum and in January earlier this year, three buildings were approved – a building for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), the Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences building (LESS1) and the Administration building.



Apple’s Waterfront store in Chicago

Chicago, in the architecture world, has always known to be trend-setting. This is based on the amount of skyscrapers and greystone structures that fill the skyline. On Michigan Avenue, or otherwise known to be a rather history area, a new landmark has opened and fits in perfectly with the design legacy of both the area and the company that commissioned its construction.

On October 20th, Apple at Michigan Avenue opened its doors to the public. Foster + Partner, a Pritzker Prize winner and architects behind Apple’s space-age Cupertino headquarters as well as the new Apple store in Singapore, designed the structure. The place boasts with hyper-minimalism as it is comprised of four glass walls that are supported by concrete pillars and an ultrathin carbon-fibre roof that is specifically manufactured to withstand the rough winter weather. The location creates a great nexus point by linking the North Michigan Avenue with the Pioneer Court and the Chicago River. Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer states that “Apple Michigan Avenue is about removing boundaries between the inside and outside while reviving important urban connections within the city. It unites a historic city plaza that has been cut off from the water, giving Chicago a dynamic new arena that flows effortlessly down to the river.”

Apple has been a part of the Michigan Avenue since its opening back in 2003 but this new location aims to both reimagine the Apple Store concept as revitalize Chicago’s Riverwalk area. Instead of just being a place that someone visits to buy or fix an iPhone, Apple’s idea was to design a space where the community could “hang-out” in a culturally rich environment. In order to create some traffic in the new space, Apple is hosting “The Chicago Series”, which is a series of events that focuses the attention on the intersection of technology and community programming beginning the 23rd of October. At least the design of the store is aesthetically pleasing! – it makes waiting for the new iPhone X a little more tolerable.


Coogee House by Chenchow Little


The new home that emerges from the sloping terrains of Sydney’s suburb, Coogee, is a private sanctuary that maximises the panoramic of the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival of the site, it becomes obvious that behind the dark bronze anodized aluminium screen, there are three flights of a finely detailed concrete stairs. Although from the streetscape point of view, the screen seems a bit foreign, it actually acts as a veil to the private home. The “veil”, which is retractable in different places, continues around the perimeter of the building with a combination of external living areas and decks, it constantly intrigues the locals and visitors that pass by.

Interestingly, before this renovation, the owners had lived on site for a number of years. During this time they wanted to develop a deep understanding of the environment, considering the weather patterns and the need for privacy from their neighbours. The owners had then approached Stephanie Little and Tony Chenchow (who are co-directors of the practice), to solve the difficult contradictions that constantly arise between designing for privacy and openness in residential projects. This is dealt directly by the veil but also the arrangement of the interior spaces. Although the home has an “open-plan”, the entire living area is not visible at any one time. There are zones that break down the main volume, and the kitchen had been situated within the public area of the home. It offers views of the Pacific Ocean.

Additionally, the shape of the building was constructed based on the site’s topography. The building is dark bronze, which, according to Chenchow “allows the house to recede and announce itself at the same time. Because there is a lot of this colour [dark bronze] in the natural Australian landscape, it works very well in our environment”. This is a residential project that responds to its landscape instead of merely relying on it. Although the main living area is the portal to the external views, the visual interest within the home itself is strong and obvious. The layered structure is refined but causes curiosity to those who might be curious.


Perth’s new Airport Link Rail Stations

Opening in: 2020
Images: courtesy of ArchitectureAU

A UK-based transport specialist (Weston Williamson and Partners) along with a local architecture company, GHD Woodhead, is in the process of designing three new stations (named Airport Central, Belmont, and Forrestfield) for the rail line that will link Perth’s airport with its city centre.

All three stations are situated at sites with a different contextual background but still have a common thread – the use of commissioned art works at a high level of transparency and will be tailored to each train station depending on its location. As an example, the Forrestfield train station will be designed keeping in mind the potential of growth of the surrounding area.

The principle of design at Weston Williamson and Partners, Gennaro Di Dato, stated that the station will be a catalyst for the future development of the area. “The station will be the first in the area, and then there will be a mixed-use masterplan that fills in the area later on, perhaps 10 to 15 years”. It is a similar model evident in the last century that has been adapted from Europe. The belief is that by building a big infrastructure that will prompt a masterplan to be developed, resulting in the possibility of creating a community.

Di Dato also suggested, as mentioned earlier, that each station design has been heavily influenced by the nearby landscapes. “The site is quite beautiful, it is very close to the Darling Scarp mountain ranges and the landscape is predominantly there”. The way that the design references the surroundings is depicted in the shape of the roof by creating a fragment that mimics the mountain range.

Conversely, the Airport Central station is surrounded by the existing airport infrastructure. “We wanted to create something that is iconic,” said Di Dato. “It is the first station of its kind in Perth and we also wanted to have something that resembles the idea of travel and the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft and the airport”. For this particular design, there are many references to the subject of travelling. As an example, there will be a sculpture that hangs from the roof of the ground-level atrium. It resembles a flock of birds, while the mural at the concourse level “resembles the journey of [Indigenous] people].

The feeling of warmth and a sense of calm is created throughout the space through the gulp of natural light and is possible because of the glazed walls on three sides of the triple height forecourt, and descends 25-metres to the platform level.

Additionally, the Belmont station will fit into the masterplan and make the area more dense. “The idea is to intensify around the station at a medium to high density. We’re talking about some buildings [that can] reach ten-story heights,” said Di Dato. In this case, it is evident that the design is quite subtle and does not have the same presence that the Airport Central or Forrestfield station has. The design for the Belmont station is trying to blend into the masterplan’s “vision for the future”.

Weston Williamson and Partners specifically specialise in transportation projects and has been actively involved in the development of London’s new rail system. GDH Woodhead has worked on a number of transport projects including the masterplanning of the Perth Station as part of the new Metrorail project.


Canada’s National Holocaust Monument designed by Studio Libeskind, opens in Ottawa

It is extremely meaningful to have been able to design and realise this monument with an incredible team,” said architect Daniel Libeskind. Studio Libeskind was selected to design the project in an international competition between top architecture firms from all around the world.



The Canadian National Holocaust Monument was opened to the public in the early days of October this year to honour the “millions of innocent men, women, and children who were murdered under the Nazi regime and to recognise the survivors who were able to make Canada their home”.

The monument, made out of casted concrete, conjures up the form of the 6-pointed star of David. The intention was to deconstruct the star and create an experiential environment that is laced with symbolism throughout. The architects explain that “the star remains the visual symbol of the Holocaust – a symbol that millions of Jews were forced to wear by the Nazi’s to identify them as Jews, exclude them from humanity and mark them for extermination.” It is then evident that the triangular spaces are a representation of the badges that the Nazi’s and their collaborators used to label different prisoners for murder.

There are two distinctive ground planes that establish symbolic and circular paths around and through the structure. The first is an ascending plane that “points to the future” and the second is a descending plane that leads towards more contemplative interior spaces. There are specific program pieces that have been integrated within six concrete triangles. This includes an educational interpretation space that describes the history and relationship between Canada and the Holocaust, three individual spaces for contemplation and reflection, a central congregating space, as well as a cathedral-like void that contains the “Flame of Remembrance”.

Additionally, murals by Edward Burtynsky are featured on the walls of each triangular face. This transports visitors to the emotive landscapes of the Holocaust sites. In the direction of the Parliament Buildings, the “Stair of Hope” takes visitors directly from the central gathering space towards the plaza on the upper levels.

Encircling the structure is a rocky landscape that permeated with coniferous trees (a tree which bears cones and needle-like like leaves) that will gradually mature as the monument ages. This acts as a beautiful reference and representation of the passing of time and the contribution of Canadian survivors in the modern-day society.

Daniel Libeskind also added, “This monument not only creates a very important public space for the remembrance of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, but it also serves as a constant reminder that today’s world is threatened by anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry. Canada has upheld the fundamental democratic values of people regardless of race, class or creed, and this national monument is the expression of those principles and of the future.”


 

Canada was the only allied nation without a Holocaust monument in its capital – that has now changed. See more information on the National Holocaust Museum here.