Oasia Hotel Downtown won ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ at 16th CTBUH Awards.


Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore has been selected by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) end of last month as the winner of ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ in its 16th Annual CTBUH Awards. Oasia Hotel Downtown was chosen from among the four regional Best Tall Building winners.

American Copper Buildings won for Best Tall Building Americas, Oasia Hotel Downtown is named the Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia; Best Tall Building Europe went to The Silo; and Zeitz MOCAA for Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa.

The visually-striking Oasia Hotel Downtown stands out amongst the gray and blue high-rises of Singapore with its plant-covered façade of red and green, which connects to the green of the cityscape. Landscaping is used extensively as an architectural surface treatment, and forms a major part of the development’s material palette, with a total of 54 species of plants climbing along the aluminum mesh façade screen. With a substantial commitment to outdoor communal space through the incorporation of “skyspaces” along its height, the tower provides respite and relief to its occupants, neighbors, and city. “This project won not only because it incorporates 60 stories of green walls along the exterior,” said CTBUH Executive Director and Awards Juror Antony Wood, “but because of its significant commitment to communal space. The tower has given over 40 percent of its volume to open air communal terraces in the sky.”

I have the opportunity to view this building a couple of times as it is located right at the downtown of Singapore. Although it is not as tall as some of its neighbouring buildings, but it stood out from its distinctive red-coloured aluminium mesh facade coupled with greens all over the four sides of the building. The appearance breaks away from typical glass tower block or monstrous solid mass while the detailed design thought to the communal spaces is a plus point.

American Copper Buildings is a dual-tower residential skyscraper in New York City, USA. It is a venturesome and highly visible architectural statement clad in copper that addresses the area’s dual need for affordable housing and climate resiliency. The two towers are designed such that they appear to “dance” with each other. They are also connected by a bridge approximately 300 feet from the ground, which will be three levels in height.

The Silo in Copenhagen, Denmark is a 17-storey former grain silo that is now turned into a residential apartment. Exterior of the existing silo is reclad, while its interior has been preserved as raw and untouched as possible. An angular faceted exterior facade made of galvanized steel has been installed to serve as a limate shield. This has allowed the building’s characteristic slender tall shape to be maintained.

Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa underwent a similar approach with The Silo in Copenhagen. Zeitz MOCAA is formerly a grain silo building too and is now trasnformed into a contemporary art museum. Using a variety of concrete-cutting techniques, the interior of the building was carved out to create a number of galleries and a large central atrium. The remaining concrete shafts were capped with strengthened glass in order to allow natural light to enter and create a “cathedral-like” interior. I am in awe of the result of this concrete-cutting design approach. The space created looks awesome and I personally find that this is more deserving to win Best Tall Building Worldwide.

In addition to the regional and overall Best Tall Building winners, a number of other award recipients were recognized at the conference, including the World Trade Center Master Plan for the Urban Habitat Award; MULTI for the Innovation Award; The EY Centre for the Construction Award; New York Times Tower for the 10 Year Award (2007 Completions); and Shanghai World Financial Center for the 10 Year Award (2008 Completions). In all, the 10 awards winners were chosen from a group of 48 Finalist projects representing 28 countries.

Reference:

http://tallinnovation2018.com/winners/

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

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ crosses US$ 1 billion in record time.


You must be joking if you told me that you haven’t watch the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. You must be belong to the 1% of the world population if you haven’t and didn’t plan to watch it, or you are in China where the movie will only be released this coming week. It is the biggest movie of the year so far and is expected to remain so despite some upcoming major releases like ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’. You can check out my review for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is my previous post.

As predicted, this particular movie that saw Marvel superheroes assembled together to take on Thanos broke multiple box office records. It has the biggest worldwide opening at US$ 640.5 million, easily dethroning the previous champion in this record; ‘Fate of the Furious’ that gained US$ 541.9 million in its worldwide debut. The 640.5 million does not even includes China, the second largest market in box office as the movie will only has its premiere in that country on May 11th if I’m not mistaken.

Besides that, the movie has now accumulated over US$ 1 billion in global box office and is the 34th film in history to do so (unadjusted for inflation). ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is the fastest film to reach the milestone, as it only needs 11 days to do that. This is calculated from April 25th, where the movie had its first ever release to today (May 6th, Sunday). It is the second movie of the year to join the 1 billion dollar club, the other being the ‘Black Panther’ which is also from Marvel. What a successful year for Marvel. Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and ‘Deadpool 2’ will also be released later this year.

Besides than doing well in the box office, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is also getting positive reviews. It currently has 84% rating from critics and 92% audience score in Rotten Tomatoes, 68% in Metacritics and 8.9/10 from IMDB. Well, DC will be very jealous of these achievements. Their previous film ‘Justice League’ (released last year) that saw a similar assembly of superheroes too only raked in US$ 658 million in its final grossing. Very disappointing. DC, ‘in time, you will know what it is like to lose’ (quote from Thanos).

Let’s get back to Marvel. So what do you think ‘Infinity War’ final box office intake would be by studying its current impressive run in the entire world. I think the movie will end at around US$ 1.8 billion and will be the fourth highest grossing film in history (after Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens that have each grossed over US$ 2 billion). I don’t think ‘Infinity War’ is capable of hitting 2-billion. It may have a chance to get near to 1.9 billion. It all depends on whether people will get back to the cinema to watch it the second time or not.

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

Awesome show by Jacky Cheung at his concert ‘A Classic Tour’ in Kuala Lumpur.


I was very excited when my friend successfully helped me to buy tickets for Jacky Cheung’s concert during the ticket launch three months ago while I was in Australia. His tickets are so hard to get. I remembered I did try to buy the tickets myself through online purchase. However, the website kept crashing and the tickets were all sold out in twenty minutes. Fortunately, I have one friend who planned to queue at Quill City Mall for the ticket launch and he decided to help me along. That’s so awesome.

Jacky Cheung is a well-known Hong Kong Cantopop singer and is one of the four ‘Heavenly Kings’ in Cantopop music. He is also being known as the ‘God of Songs’ due to him having a lot of classic songs that won huge number of awards in the past and for having the best singing skill among the four ‘Heavenly Kings’. I have never watched his concert before and so I am very eager to watch it this time. He seldom return to Malaysia to organize one and we may not be able to see more shows from him in Malaysia in the future. So, this is like a golden opportunity for everyone. His ‘A Classic Tour’ in Kuala Lumpur took place for 3 days (26th, 27th and 28th January 2018) at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil and I attended the first one (yesterday’s evening).

Since it’s a Friday evening, quite a number of people were late to the venue due to the rain and traffic congestion. Many were not expecting (me included) that the show will start on-time at 8pm due to Malaysian culture of being late. I was wrong. The show started sharp at 8pm while I (and my parents) had just entered and were queuing to go to the washrooms. A lot of people were still queuing outside to enter the stadium. We rushed inside and had a hard time finding our seats in the fully packed stadium with all the lights already off. Hence, we missed out the first two songs by Jacky unfortunately.

The show was awesome. Jacky put a lot of effort in it. Usually, a singer who is performing oversea will usually slack down and deliver performance of lesser passion and quality. Well, that’s not the case for Jacky. The stage (it’s a four-side stage) is beautifully crafted with all the possible motions to allow for a creative animated display while Jacky is performing. The lights are fantastic and the state-of-the-art technology helped elevate the whole atmosphere into a very exciting and engaging nature. I didn’t expect that the standard of concert’s set design in Hong Kong’s famous Coliseum is brought into Malaysia for the very first time and I’m exceptionally delighted. Every audiences is also given a free light stick to make the whole stadium more electrifying and synchronizing.

Jacky delivered the songs and dances with huge passion. I can see that he was tired after half of the show (couldn’t blame him as he will be 57 years old this year already) but he insisted on performing with awesome effort and quality. His singing skill is still magnificent and his live performances are brilliant. There are also a lot of dancers and other performers on the stage in some parts, and it means that this is seriously a grand big-budget production. It is certainly worth the money of everyone who has paid to watch his concert. Totally deserving. Furthermore, the show is 3 hours long (started at 8pm and ended exactly at 11pm), which is more than I’m expecting earlier. The only thing that is not the best is that Jacky didn’t perform some of his hit songs. Well, this is forgivable since he has a lot of great songs and it’s impossible to sing all or most of them in a single show. At least, he still did covered most of his classic hits and I got to sing along too, indulging myself into the excitement. I am not his fans (I hardly hear his works) and I’m surprised that I can still remember some of his songs and their lyrics.

So, here’s some of the clips I have taken during the show…just a short clip…enjoy if you are into Jacky Cheung. There is one part when there was someone who is proposing to his girlfriend right near where I was sitting…wow…what a romantic way to propose but it’s really noisy that it’s impossible to hear a word from them:

His concert here for his worldwide ‘A Classic Tour’ (he did mentioned that this is his 132nd stop) is amazing! Now, that’s a top-notch show that other singers can learn from. I had an awesome time watching it and it was certainly a great experience! This is definitely my first highlight event of the year! The next one shall be my graduation early next month! Hopefully I will get to see more great events coming in for the rest of 2018!

(Copyrights reserved to all the images and clip in this post)

‘The Fate of the Furious’ becomes the 30th film in history to cross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office.


‘The Fate of the Furious’ is now officially the 30th film in history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. It is the second film in the ‘Fast and Furious’ film series to accomplish the milestone. The other film is  ‘Furious 7’ that has grossed a total of US$ 1.516 billion worldwide in 2015 which placed it as the world’s 6th highest grossing film. Gaining over US 1 billion in worldwide box office is a no easy feat. A movie has to be a super massive hit in theatres worldwide to join the billion dollar club. It is incredible to see that there are now a total of 30 films that have done that.

As of today, ‘The Fate of the Furious’ has earned US$ 193 million in domestic box office (North America) and US$ 868 million in foreign box office for a total of slightly over US$ 1 billion. Well, this is not the final box office intake yet at the movie is still in its wide release period. Hence, this movie is expected to earn about US$ 1.3 billion in the end. It will be slightly lower than the amount ‘Furious 7’ achieved due to the latter’s extreme popularity back in 2015 after the death of one of its main cast, Paul Walker. Anyway, it is still a huge box office success for this latest 8th installment of the film series. It is doing exceptionally well oversea. You can read my review of this movie in my previous blog post too. It is a good movie (has some crazy stunts as expected) but it is not as fantastic as ‘Furious 7’. I also read news that this film series will end with 10 films. Hence, two more to go. Would you believe it? I think after the 10th film, Hollywood will just replace all the cast and do some sort of spin-off or remake again, not in a single film but setting off another franchise again. Typical Hollywood pattern.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is also the second movie this year to cross the milestone after ‘Beauty and the Beast’, the live-action remake of the animated classic of the same name in 1991. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has now gained over US$ 1.1 billion and its box office intake is still not ending yet. Which movie do you think will be the next film of the year that will cross the 1-billion mark? I think ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II’ has the potential to achieve that. It has already been released here in Australia but I don’t have the time and opportunity to watch it yet. Other potential films released later this year that will have a shot on 1-billion box office are Spiderman: Homecoming, Justice League, Transformers: The Last Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Despicable Me 3 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Unlike last year of which animated movies are doing exceptionally strong in worldwide box office (with 2 animated films grossing over 1 billion respectively), it is likely not the same case for this year. The only animated movie predicted to cross that mark is Despicable Me 3. This year, superhero movies are going to dominate cinemas worldwide. And of course, topping the chart for this year’s movies will be the Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It is almost a 100% confirmation that it will cross 1-billion mark and will go as far as above US$1.5 billion too. However, it is projected to be earning not as much as the Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 which has earned US$ 2.068 billion.

That’s it for my box office analysis in this post.

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

Easter joy for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017) as the movie surpassed 1-billion dollar in worldwide box office. Also movie review for ‘The Fate of the Furious’ and ‘The Boss Baby’ (2017).


First of all, Happy Good Friday and Easter to those who are celebrating! This year’s Easter has been a joyous moment particularly for the movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as it has recently grossed over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. This live-action remake of the original 1991 animated movie that starred Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, etc has become the 29th film in history to cross over the 1-billion milestone. The movie has exceeded expectation in the box office and is also gaining positive reception from critics. It is the first 2017 film to cross that mark and soon, there will be another movie this year joining that prestigious list. And that will be ‘The Fate of the Furious’ which is the 8th film in the popular ‘Fast and Furious’ film series. Besides than being currently the highest grossing film of the year, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ also accomplished another record by being the highest grossing live-action musical film ever.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ sees the return of original cast as well as some new members. This movie reminded me again of the death of Paul Walker several years ago, an actor who has been crucial in this film series but died in a car accident. The previous ‘Furious 7’ film concluded with high note and touching ending and is the first of the film series to gain over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. Hence, I’m expecting this 8th film to cross that milestone too. Back to this latest movie. It tells about an arrival of a mysterious woman who seduces Dom (Vin Diesel) into the world of terrorism and a betrayal to those closest to him. The movie starred Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Luke Evans, etc.

Similarly to the previous movie, this film delivered with some intense, over the top and exhilarating action scenes in a scale that no one has foreseen. Cars raining down to the street and a huge submarine chasing a group of cars and a tank. This film series started with some humble car racing moments to extensive gun fights and attacks of high proportion we saw in recent movies. It is going big. Despite it is already being the 8th film, I find every film has its refreshing storyline and different outtake on its action sequences. I also noticed that Hollywood takes on this approach to find Oscar-winning cool-looking actresses to portray villain in big-budget movies nowadays. Charlize Theron as the villain in this movie and then soon Cate Blanchett will be the villain in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ which will be coming out end of this year. There are some hilarious parts to balance things out (and also some adorable moments from a baby). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Fate of the Furious’ a total of 7.6.

Recently, I also watched another much relaxing movie called ‘The Boss Baby’. It is an animated movie about a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby who pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Corporation. It’s funny to see a baby with an adult mindset on a serious mission to stop an evil plot, and he is joined by a brother who wanted him to be out of the family due to diversion of his parents’ attention to the baby. The movie is highly entertaining. Certain flaws and plot-holes in this movie are forgivable too. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Boss Baby’ a total of 7.0.

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

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016) cross 1-billion mark, movie review for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ (2016), and final thoughts before Oscars’ nominations announcement tomorrow.


‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, the latest film in hugely successful Star Wars film franchise has recently grossed over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office intake. This film that was released on December 2016 has a story that sets before the original 1977 Star Wars film (hence a prequel) and it starred Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, etc. I watched that movie and I did gave a short review for it in my earlier post. As of 23rd January 2017, the film has grossed US$ 1.011 billion. It is now the 28th film in history to cross the 1-billion mark and it is also the 4th film in 2016 that is able to do so. The other three are Captain America: Civil War (US$ 1.153 billion), Finding Dory (US$ 1.027 billion), and Zootopia (US$ 1.023 billion).

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Coincidentally, all the four highest grossing films in 2016 (of which each of them gross over US$ 1 billion) were distributed by Disney. What a huge success for Disney last year then. The 5th film in the list also goes to another movie distributed by Disney, and it is ‘The Jungle Book’, but it could only accumulates US$ 966 million (still a huge box-office hit). Everyone is loving Star Wars (but not me, and I find that the Americans love it very much), hence this box office outcome for ‘Rogue One’ is very much expected. This also comes after the big hit from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in 2015 that managed to gain US$ 2.068 billion, becoming the third movie in history to cross the near-impossible 2-billion mark. The next Star Wars film to be released in cinema is ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ on end of this year and I’m sure it is going to achieve similar success in box office too.

On the other hand, I have watched another new film just now. It’s a 2016 film called ‘Manchester by the Sea’. The reason I watched this movie is because it receives a lot of awards buzz and also overwhelming critical acclaim, with many praising and awarding best actor to the lead of the story, Casey Affleck. I stand with the minority this time. I think this movie is good, but clearly not a masterpiece or a solid top-notch drama as claimed by various critics out there. The movie, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, revolves on an uncle (Casey Affleck) who is tasked to take care of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) after the boy’s father dies.

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What’s good from this movie is the acting. I find that Casey Affleck did well for his performance here. He nailed all the scenes when he has to convey subtle emotions and expressions. It’s not easy to do that and yet he did it. In past years, we always see showy and dramatic performances that got the actors and actresses winning awards. This year, it’s time to recognize subtle performances. This is one great example and it’s not easy to be done. Hence, I have no issue with Casey being nominated for best actor in Academy Awards and even winning it next month. However, I still think that his performance here in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ to be not perfect yet, as I find some of his scenes are a bit over wooden and pale. Lucas Hedges is great as the teenage boy in the movie and he should get a best supporting actor’s nomination. Same goes to Michelle Williams as Casey’s ex-wife in the movie. Her screen-time is very little and yet she manages to conquer those emotional scenes very well. A best supporting actress nomination for her. Other than acting, there is actually nothing else great about this film. It has a plain story, poor editing, and unsuitable background score too. It’s supposed to be a dramatic and a moving film, but in the end, I don’t feel anything. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Manchester by the Sea’ a total of 7.0. And all those points are mostly from acting only. This is one over-rated 2016 film.

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The nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced tomorrow. Me, as one of the moviegoers who also loves watching Oscar-type movies are quite excited for it. Who will be snubbed this year? Who get to sneak in? Which film gets the most love? And which film gets forgotten? All will be revealed tomorrow.

As for my final thoughts before the nomination list’s announcement tomorrow, I think there would be a few surprises in the nomination list as expected since Academy loves to give us some shock and surprise every year. ‘La La Land’ is expected to get the most nominations, and together with ‘Manchester by the Sea’, ‘Moonlight’, ‘Fences’, and ‘Arrival’, these 5 films look like they are a lock-in for the best picture nominees. There are 3 or 4 more slots in that category and all the other potential films are trying to squeeze in. Best actor race is not that interesting this year and it looks like Casey Affleck is going to take the Oscar home. On the other hand, best actress race is very competitive this year. It’s like anyone can win it this year with no clear favourite and that makes this category intense and exciting. Alright. I will leave more of my opinions when I published the nomination list in my blog here as soon as it is revealed tomorrow.

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

 

Shanghai Tower named CTBUH’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 and won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015


Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China and is currently the second tallest building in the world. Completed in 2015, it is also the tallest building in China, a country that has been actively building supertalls in recent decades. Designed by Gensler Architects, Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and is one of the three supertall buildings in the prime area in Pudong. The other two are the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres high) and Jin Mao Tower (421 metres high).

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Recently, the tower is named Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Besides that, the tower has also won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015. It’s a double joy for the tower. Shanghai Tower has accomplished such level of recognition due to many reasons. Some of them are its elegant spiraling cylindrical form, energy-efficient performance of the building, extraordinary double-skin facade, world’s fastest elevator, etc.

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Shanghai Tower prevailed over other winners in smaller categories in CTBUH Best Tall Buildings selection to take the top prize after winning the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia. Best Tall Building Americas goes to VIA 57 West, Best Tall Building Europe goes to The White Walls and Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa goes to The Cube. As for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, Shanghai Tower topped the list of their 10 finalist selection. The other 9 in order from top to bottom are Evolution Tower in Russia (no.2), II Dritto in Italy (no.3), Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in China (no.4), ABODE 318 in Australia (no.5), Icon Bay in United States of America (no.6), D1 Tower in United Arab Emirates (no.7), 432 Park Avenue in United States of America (no.8), Citygate in Austria (no.9) and ICE II in Canada (no.10).

I would love to visit Shanghai Tower and goes up to its observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and to purchase a replica model of the skyscraper. If you know me well, one of my hobbies is to collect replica models of famous buildings and towers around the world. This hobby is actually very costly, but what can I do since it’s my interest. I have not visited Shanghai before and I am looking forward for a trip to that city in near future. I think I would be very impressed not only by the supertalls in that city, but also by the overall magnificent skyline of the city.

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