Star Architect Zaha Hadid passed away. A great loss in the world of architecture.

I was in shock last night when my Facebook page was suddenly flooded with news of Zaha Hadid who passed away yesterday on the last day of March 2016. She died of heart attack at the age of 65. Zaha Hadid is a name everyone in architecture field recognizes. She played a very huge role in shaping what contemporary architecture is today from her many prominent design works across the world. She was also regarded as being the most famous architect of our generation.

Zaha Hadid Architect

If you didn’t know anything about her, here below is some brief background of this talented woman. Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect born on 31st October 1950. She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where she met Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, and Bernard Tschumi. She worked for her former professors, Koolhaas and Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and she became a partner in 1977. In 1980, she established her own London-based practice. During the 1980s, she also taught at the Architectural Association, an architecture school which is one of the best in the world.

She became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004), the highest architectural prize presented for an individual annually. She also received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011, another prestigious award in architecture field. In 2012, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services in architecture and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal. In 2008, she ranked 69th on the Forbes list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”.

Her contribution in architecture spanned almost four decades with countless of her completed projects across the world. She was famously known for producing curvy and fluid forms in her designs. Her buildings are distinctively neofuturistic, characterised by curving forms with “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”. When you saw a building that was designed by her, you can instantly recognize it.

I do find some of her projects particularly interesting eventhough I’m not that fond of her works at times too. However, it is no doubt that she successfully created some of the most iconic architectural masterpieces of our generation. Here below are some of her prominent works in the past:


IBA Housing, Germany (1993) – Zaha Hadid’s first realised project.


Vitra Fire Station, Germany (1994).


Bergisel Ski Jump, Austria (2002).


BMW Central Building, Germany (2005).


Bridge Pavilion, Spain (2008).


Guangzhou Opera House, China (2010).



London Aquatics Centre, United Kingdom (2011) – Venue for aquatic events for London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The building is modified after the games. (two images showing before and after above)


Riverside Museum, Scotland (2011).


Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Azerbaijan (2012).


Innovation Tower, Hong Kong (2013).


Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park, South Korea (2014).


Wangjing SOHO, China (2014).

She truly had crafted some of the most beautiful and groundbreaking designs in the world. From small humble structures to impressive magnificent landmarks, her contribution and dedication in architecture was priceless. She truly was one of the greatest architects of our generation who had inspired and influenced a lot of us. A wonderful architect, an inspiring legend. Rest in Peace, Zaha Hadid. We have lost a giant in architectural world.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)




15 Most Stunning Completed Architectural Projects in Singapore

In conjunction with Singapore’s 50th National Day celebration today, I would like to share with you my selection of 15 most beautiful modern architectural projects that are completed in the city-state. Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world, and hence the biggest issue for the nation in architectural perspective is space (land). However, that limitation did not prevent the country from constructing many impressive buildings whether they are office, residences, bridges, campuses or public structures. I have been to Singapore twice since it is so near to Malaysia, and I always admire the built environment the island offers.


Without going any further in words, here are my list of 15 most stunning completed architectural projects in Singapore:

Marina Bay Sands



Gardens By The Bay


The Interlace


Reflections at Keppel Bay


Henderson Waves


ArtScience Museum


Changi Airport


The Pinnacle @ Duxton


National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub


School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University


Learning Hub, Nanyang Technological University

Singapore University of Technology and Design


Lasalle College of the Arts Singapore


The Helix Bridge


Wonderful architecture, aren’t they? If you are curious on any of those projects above, you can search easily for their more information by Google. A small country but with impressive city skyline and great taste in architecture. Are they anymore fantastic architectural projects that you know and I have missed on this list? If yes, do tell me.


(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Winners of the Archdaily’s 2015 Building of the Year Awards

Archdaily is one of the architectural websites that I’m constantly checking on when I’m free. I get to know many interesting designs from articles published in that particular site. Every year, the website would select buildings featured in their Archdaily website for the past year as winners in several categories from their collective intelligence of over 31 000 architects across the world. These winners are picked from over 3 000 entries (projects) featured in the site in the year 2014.


The winning buildings represent a diverse group of architects, from Pritzker Prize winners such as Álvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and Shigeru Ban, to up-and-coming practices such as EFFEKT and Building which have so far been less widely covered by the media. In many cases their designs may be the most visually striking, but each also approaches its context and program in a unique way to solve social, environmental or economic challenges in communities around the world. By publishing them on ArchDaily, these buildings have certainly helped to impart inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world.

Here are the complete list of winners of the Archdaily’s 2015 Building of the Year Awards:

Sports Architecture – Project: Arena do Morro. Architect: Herzog & de Meuron.


Offices – Project: The Building on the Water. Architect: Alvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira.


Refurbishment – Project: The Number 6. Architect: Building.


Cultural Architecture – Project: Fogo Natural Park Venue. Architect: OTO.


Healthcare Architecture – Project: Livsrum – Cancer Counseling Center. Architect: EFFEKT.


Religious Architecture – Project: Sancaklar Mosque. Architect: Emre Arolat Architects.


Interior Architecture – Project: Wieden + Kennedy NY. Architect: WORKac.


Industrial Architecture – Project: Carozzi Production and Research Food Center. Architect: GH+A / Guillermo Hevia.


Public Architecture – Project: Twin Stations. Architect: sporaarchitects.


Housing – Project: The Iceberg. Architect: CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects.


Houses – Project: Sambade House. Architect: spaceworkers.


Educational Architecture – Project: Farming Kindergarten. Architect: Vo Trong Nghia Architects.


Commercial Architecture – Project: Cultura Bookstore / Studio MK27. Architect: Marcio Kogan + Diana Radomysler + Luciana Antunes + Marcio Tanaka + Mariana Ruzante.


Hospitality Architecture – Project: Nine Bridges Country Club. Architect: Shigeru Ban Architects.


Total of 14 categories announced. In my personal opinion, I’m suggesting to include one or two more categories ; Skyscraper Architecture, and maybe Bridge Architecture.

To view more details (and of course striking images) of these winning projects, you may go to the original source here: Which of the projects above impress you the most?

(Information and images in this post are from the following source: &

Landmark architecture

There comes a new category of architecture, which can be considered as the highest once, because landmark architecture is those which are famous, and stand out proudly among others. Only famous architects, designers, or artists were able to create such things, that amaze people and easily recognizable around the world.

‘Landmark’ can be defined in many ways; Marker, sight, attraction, sign, pointer, milestone, breakthrough, momentous, revolutionary, innovative, ground-breaking, radical, pioneering historic, significant, icon, image, symbol, logo, representation, famous, popular, celebrated, eminent, recognized, well-known, renowned, prominent. Landmarks are usually easily-noticed and remembered, which are distinguished from the others. The outstanding appearance makes the presence greatly visible.

The factors affecting lamdmark are:

Scale – height, total area?

Design – outstanding?

Location – revealed, view not blocked?

Function – significance, contribution?

Landscape – surrounding area?

Public and People – popular, great advertising, usually visited?

The landmarks range from ancient to modern structures, and inclusive of nature too, which is God-creation.

There can be many types of man-made landmarks:

Buildings (skyscrapers or low-rises, in complex)

– Skyscrapers – Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101, Petronas Twin Towers, Bank of China Tower.

– Low-rises – Pantheon, Parthenon, St. Peter Basilica, Sydney Opera House, White House, United States Capitol Building.

– Complex – Forbidden City, Louvre, Las Vegas Strip (group of hotels and casinos).

Telecommunication/observation towers – Eiffel Tower, CN Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, Guangzhou TV Tower.

Monuments and walls (arch, obelisk, etc) – Great Wall of China, Gateway Arch, Arch de Triomphe, Washington Monument.

Sculptures and statues – Statue of Liberty, Statue of Christ, the Redeemer, Lincoln Statue, Hollywood Sign.

Stadiums and arenas – Beijing National Stadium, Beijing National Aquatics Center, Wembley Stadium, O2 Arena, Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Square (public areas, etc) – Tiananmen Square, Red Square, Trafalgar Square, New York Times Square.

Bridges and tunnels – Golden Gate Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Seikan Tunnel.

Dams – Hoover Dam, Nurek Dam, Bakun Dam.

Ferris wheels – Singapore Flyers, London Eye, Eye on Malaysia.

‘Centers’ – Hong Kong International Conference and Exhibition Center, Kuala Lumpur International Convention Center, Shanghai International Convention Center.

There are many types of natural landmarks too:

Canyon – Grand Canyon.

Volcanic cliff  – Seongsan Sunrise Peak.

Rocks and stones (man made and natural) – Stonehenge, Dragon Rock.

Bay, beach – Gold Coast Beach.

Forest, natural park – Yellowstone National Park.

Undersea (marine), underground – Great Barrier Reef, Guilin Underground Cave.

Hill, mountain, cave – Niah Cave, Mount Fuji, Mount Everest.

River, sea, stream, valley, falls – Nile River, Niagara Falls, Yellow River, Red Sea, Bermuda Golden Triangle.

desert – Sahara Desert.

Islands (man made or natural) – Penang Island, Palm Islands, World Islands.

The pictures above are not of my own and obtained from internet. These images are just in thumbnail sizes. For more details on each examples given here, you may search for yourself. Maybe you might wish to take a visit to these places some days.

The amazing Shanghai Tower

the upcoming supertall skyscraper, the current second world tallest building that is under construction (just behind the 818m Burj Dubai), is going to be at the famous Lujiazui District, Pudong of Shanghai, China

Shanghai is seen as the most futuristic city in whole China, with superb economic growth and boom, not to mention the country of China that is one of the super nation in the Earth, with great economic development, especially in cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing, Tianjin, etc.

The Shanghai Tower or called as the Shanghai Center will be located right beside the famous Shanghai World Financial Center (current second world tallest completed building, 492m) and Jin Mao Tower (421m), in the area straight axis to the Oriental Pearl Tower (468m).

The tower will be 632m (2073 feet) high with 128 floors. The design is to be based on modernism, sustainability and appropriateness of the form to the built environment of the city.

Construction is now on-going, not affected by recent global economic downturn, and foundation work is started earlier, right after the Shanghai World Financial Center is opened to public, showing;

“One skyscraper completed, another one is going up, in a continuous way, in a city like this, Shanghai.”

The final design of the building will be this: by Marshall Strabala from Gensler. (architecture firm)


Famous architecture companies all around the world and even from local submitted numerous designs for the client and government to approve…

and finally, final design is out and construction began…there are so many different and awesome designs from famous architects, and so, the competition is really great!

Here, are the pictures of different designs for competition of design of Shanghai Tower submitted by different architectural companies all around the world…

By Skidmore, Owings and Merill:

By Kohn Pederson Fox:

Norman Foster:


Various designs by China architects:

(This is pretty bad, who designed such thing here?)

another picture of the design above:

the picture and the design above are great! really awesome and fantastic!

another view of the same design:

so many pictures of great renderings by experts of architects…

What the architect, Marshall Strabala said about the sustainability of the building:

The top of the office building will have a wind farm of 54 vertical-axis wind turbines generating 540,000 kwh of electricity per year—enough to power up to 400 homes. There will also be systems to collect rainwater and condensation. These and other sustainability elements will be computer-controlled and linked through a variety of enterprise and application software that will be controlled by the building’s owner, Shanghai Tower & Construction.

The winning design is chosen in June 2008. The groundbreaking was held on 29th November 2008 and the construction is to be completed in year 2014. (Long way to go, so just wait!)


The design is to be like a coiled dragon, based on the designer.

The tower will be organized as nine cylindrical buildings stacked atop each other, enclosed by the glass façade’s inner layer. Between that and the outer layer, which twists as it rises, nine indoor gardens at different levels will provide public space for Shanghai residents. Both layers of the façade will be transparent, and retail and event spaces will be provided at the tower’s base. The tower will feature the world’s highest non-enclosed observation deck.

Director of Design Marshall Strabala of Gensler told architectural news website that Shanghai Tower will represent “China’s dynamic future.” “It will be an impressive building where China looks ahead to both the future of this bustling and ever-changing metropolis, but also to the future of the dynamic Chinese spirit. There will be no other such unique and well-conceived tower in the world,” said Strabala.


The design of the glass façade is described to be able to reduce wind loads on the building by 24%, meaning less construction materials are needed, and the twisting feature will collect rainwater to be used for the tower’s air conditioning and heating systems. Wind turbines will generate power for the building. According to, it will be the first super-tall (300 meters or taller) double-skin building in the world, acting much like a “thermos bottle,” says Strabala, to insulate it and save energy.

The owners of the future Shanghai Tower hope to be awarded certifications from the China Green Building Committee and the U.S. Green Building Council for the building’s sustainable design.

More info here:

Location: Luijiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Pudong district, Shanghai, China
Area: 30,370 square meters

Height: 632 meters
Stories: 128 occupied floors
Area: 380,000 square meters above grade 170,000 square meters below grade
Program: Office, luxury hotel, entertainment, retail and cultural venues

Height: 38 meters
Stories: 5 stories high
Area: 44,000 square meters
Program: Luxury retail, office, hotel lobbies, bank, restaurant, conference, meeting and banquet functions. Lower levels will house retail, parking, service and MEP functions.

Site and Context
• Shanghai Tower is sited in the Luijiazui Finance and Trade Zone of Pudong, a major financial and commercial hub of China. Eighteen years ago, Luijiazui was predominantly farmland. Today, it is set to become a premiere global financial center.
• Shanghai Tower completes a trio of buildings that form China’s first super-tall district. While the Jin Mao Tower pays homage to China’s past and the Shanghai World Financial Center signifies China’s recent economic success, Shanghai Tower signifies the boundless possibilities of China’s future.
• The tower is situated in a public park with an open civic plaza.

Tower Composition
• As a new Shanghai skyline icon, Shanghai Tower presents a constantly changing façade from all directions.
• The building’s form is a metaphor for the spirit and philosophy of China. Referencing the spiral as a symbol of the cosmos in Chinese culture, the tower’s form symbolizes China’s connection with the world, space and time. Additionally, the tower’s triangular plan relates to the site’s harmonious trio of buildings.
• Shanghai Tower is organized internally as a series of nine cylindrical buildings stacked one atop the other, with nine atria encircling them. The inner layer of the tower’s doubleskin façade encloses the vertically arranged interior buildings, while a triangular exterior layer creates the second skin or building envelope. The spaces between the building’s external façade and its internal façade create the atria.
• With sky gardens lining the building’s perimeter, Shanghai Tower is literally wrapped in public spaces. Both interior and exterior skins are transparent, establishing a visual connection between the tower’s interior spaces and Shanghai’s urban fabric. At night the building’s glowing translucent form further joins city and tower.
• As plazas and civic squares create gathering spaces in traditional cities, the nine atria offer gathering spaces within Shanghai Tower.
• On the ground level, retail and event spaces in tandem with abundant entrances on the site further the physical and visual connections between the tower and city.

Sustainable Highlights
• The twisting, asymmetrical shape of the tower reduces wind loads on the building by 24 percent, reducing the structural load on the building.
• Innovative skin technology is one of many sustainable design and renewable energy systems in the tower. The circular inner glass skin uses 14 percent less glass than a square building of the same area, and minimizes energy consumption.
• The double–skin façade’s vertical atria create thermal buffer zones. It also improves indoor air quality while creating desirable places for people to linger. These public amenity floors also reduce the number of vertical trips each building occupant mustmake.
• The building’s spiraling parapet collects rainwater, which is used for the tower’s heating and air conditioning systems. The spiral shape facilitates vortex shedding and creates an asymmetrical surface to reduce wind loads on the building. Wind turbines located directly beneath the parapet generate on-site power.
• Shanghai Tower’s owners aim to register for a high level of building certification from the China Green Building Committee and the US Green Building Council.

Retail Podium
• The retail podium is a multi-story, luxury retail experience that incorporates an ambitious mix of premium luxury brand fl agships, one-of-a-kind specialty retailers, and high-concept dining.
• The dynamic metropolitan feel of the retail podium is designed to enhance the experiential quality for a mix of visitors, tourists and tower inhabitants. Upscale retail facilities, restaurants, cafés and bars combine to provide the ultimate urban leisure destination in Shanghai.
• Acting as a weather barrier, the curved podium façade is glazed to merge inside with outside, allowing daylight to penetrate the space and to form a connection between the approaching visitor to the Shanghai Tower and the stores and restaurants within it.
• A series of multi-level branded retail stores located on the ground level offer uninterrupted visibility from the exterior to their storefronts. Lower-level retail provides direct access from the street level and the mass transit promenade.

Tower Pinnacle
• The tower’s pinnacle features the world’s highest non-enclosed observation deck.

Global Collaboration
• The core Shanghai Tower design team is located in Gensler’s Shanghai office and includes more than 80 design professionals from Shanghai and abroad.
• To design an innovative tower that met the client’s sustainability and performance goals, Gensler called on talent from its global network, including the firm’s offices in Shanghai, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

The construction site: (all three supertalls next to each other, great idea)

The plan of the three supertalls:


Design development:

The detail interior and exterior:



A new cool video from Gensler (the architecture firm) on the tower:

The recent situation of the construction site:

For more info regarding the updates on the tower especially on its construction, can go to and go to its supertall constructions forum.

Do you like this building? It’s architecture, it’s design, it’s sustainability concepts, it’s location, it’s main idea, it’s form, or even it’s height? Feel free to reply here too…


How ideas started in architecture?

What is the most important thing for an architect?

It is the idea, the thinking of the architects, and the brains play significant role here…an architect can’t have his or her brain empty with no idea for even a single day…no matter the same idea for a specific design or a different ones, which is way better.

Other skills might be important, like craftmanship, drawing, rendering, software usage, etc…but there are actually specialized professions for them; model makers, draftsmans, IT expert, etc…. but the most important, the key for an architect is still the idea and the creativity behind the idea…

As we are learning to become professional architect in the future, get our approach to famous buildings around the world and learn about the idea behind the design that turned from drawings to reality buildings.

Some examples below are of big and tall buildings which I loved the most, but currently I am reading a book entitled (Small Building, Extreme Idea) which is quite a good book on idea behind the designs too…no matter small or big structures, there must be an idea lies behind it that only architects will know, it is hardly to be understand by ordinary people, this is how special architects are!


Idea from surrounding:

– related to the city, skyline and its architecture that defines the city.

– related to the background, landscape, surrounding built environment or nature.

Example: Petronas Twin Towers.

– located in the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

– the main religion in the country is Islam, hence the design would be based on Islamic principles.

– KL has a variety of different types of architecture, but in putting KL forward, Cesar Pelli, the architect is designing the buildings based on modernism.

– he designed the buildings to be striking(of glass and steel)  to put it as the contrast and main landmark of not only the city but as well as the country, giving great impact towards the surrounding built environment.

– he designed the buildings that suit perfectly with the surrounding cityscape, skyline and the natural background.


– 452m in height, 88 floors, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, connected by the world tallest skybridge 170m above ground, designed by Cesar Pelli, current world tallest twin buildings, first Asia’s world tallest buildings.


Idea in collaboration with other profession:

– cooperation with artists, engineers, urban planners, or others.

– works together to solve several related issues.

Example: Beijing National Stadium.

– foreign architects (Jacquez Herzog and Pierre de Meuron) came from Swiss to China for the design with new experience.

– they went for research on cultures, traditions, beliefs and history of Chinese people.

– they met with a famous Chinese artist, Ai WeiWei.

– the artist helped them to find a suitable form for the design of the stadium.

– the stadium is to be of complex structure as Chinese people love complex thing.

– then, they thought of bird nest, a suitable form for their design.

– Bird nests are found a lot on trees and can be seen easily especially during winter season when all the trees had no leaves at all!

– they got the idea as soon as they observe the bird nest, a very potential structure for their stadium, even birds can build it, why not people?


– main stadium for Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games, located in Olympic Green, Beijing, China, capacity of 80 000 seatings, architects: Jacquez Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, world largest steel construction.


Idea with traditional elements:

– basically related to the origins of place; culture, religion, tradition, history, or even ways of life.

– can be incorporated in traditional as well as modern designs.

Example: Taipei 101

– design of the body based on bamboo plants ( bamboo is seen as a plant that is harmonious with the wind based on Chinese beliefs)

– there are 8 boxes in the body, each with 8 floors (8 is a prosperous number based on Chinese beliefs too)

– there are structures of dragon head (Chinese legendary belief that it will helps protect the building) on each corner of the top of boxes that produces a sawtooth corner to ease the wind pressure on the building.

– there are structures of ancient Chinese coin on the center of the  four side at the top of the base of the building.

– there are structures of wind figure based on Chinese tradition on the center of each facade on the top of each boxes.

– as you viewed the building from above, it is seen as a combination of square and circle (In Chinese belief, these two shapes stay harmonious and balanced together; circle represents the sky while square represents the earth).

– the great thing is that so many traditional elements are incorporated into the modern-looking building of Taipei 101..great..


– 509m in height, 101 floors, located in Taipei, Taiwan, designed by C.Y.Lee and Partners, current world tallest completed building to top of spire (architectural detail).


Idea with the form:

– Main point in design of specific structure is within its form.

– Playing of form through transformation or even a simple form projected from plan to create an elegant design.

Example: Shanghai World Financial Center

– the plan is a square shape area.

– basic form is a square prism.

– it is then intersected by two swiping arch to form a vertically evolving six-sided shape in plan.

– then, it tapers off into a single diagonal line on the apex of the building.

– a trapezoidal aperture is added to allow wind to pass through, to enhance the design of the building and to give an exciting  feeling to visitors at the  world highest observation deck (474m) to enjoy the view with a feeling of floating on air.


– 492m in height, 101 floors, located in Shanghai, China, designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, world tallest completed building to top of roof and highest occupied floor, world highest observation deck (474m).


Idea with extreme actions:

– with the aid of technology and modern engineering, any extreme actions can be done on a design of specific structure.

– give people a “OMG” feeling when looking at the specific structure.

– actions on design like rotating, twisting or even hanging are now made possible.

Example: CCTV Headquarters Tower.

– two separate towers sliding towards the central point but did not met together directly.

– The new CCTV building is not a traditional structure, but in the form of a three-dimensional continuous cranked loop formed by a 9-storey podium joining two 50-storey high leaning towers, which are linked at the top via a 13-storey cantilevered “overhang” structure at 36 storeys above the ground. The irregular grid on the building’s facades is an expression of the forces travelling throughout its structure.


– 234m, 50 floors, designed by Rem Koolhaas, located in Beijing, China, great structural challenge especially on its location at the seismic zone.


There are many other prominent examples and many other ideas, there you have to check it out yourself, you may share your brilliant ideas or thoughts with me as well, or you may want to ask some questions, i would be very grateful to hear your response too..very simple, just leave a comment, and I wil lbe surely replying to ur questions….