As development progresses at a rapid rate in Hanoi, the city’s heritage buildings are fighting demolition. The juxtaposition between old and new is not always successful, but in this example, the glass box neighbour to the heritage facade is complimentary.
American Starchitect Frank Gehry has “graced” Australia with his presence with the new business school at the University of Sydney. Reminiscent of Gehry’s Fred and Ginger building in Prague, the building blends surprisingly well into the surrounding brick streetscape of Ultimo. In fact, if it was not for the custom shaped bricks made by Austral bricks for the project to achieve the sinuous curves, the building might have been somewhat underwhelming. The devil is really in the detail.
Our nation’s capital has some of the most elegant examples of public architecture in Australia. Commonwealth Place, designed by Durbach Block Jaggers in 2002 is a timeless example of building as landscape. Robust, beautifully detailed and timeless, the building grows from the banks of Lake Burley Griffin to frame Parliament House beyond.
Most people would think of Machu Picchu when asked about ancient architecture in Peru, however Sacsayhuaman predates the Inca civilization. The complex an amazing example of engineering and stonemason skill. Located on the outskirts of Cuzco, the atmosphere is mesmerizing for its craftsmanship, its commanding location overlooking the ancient city and the Andes and the occasional visiting llama.
Imagine gazing out the window each day over the roof tops of this ancient Royal city. Patan’s Durbar Square in Nepal is one of seven groups of monuments in the Kathmandu Valley recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage list for their cultural significance. Architecturally, the striking forms are complemented by rich terracotta tiles, bricks and elaborate wood carvings. The square has a vibrant atmosphere frequented by tourists and locals alike.
Every even numbered year La Biennale di Architettura is held in Venezia and draws thousands of international visitors to the mystical city. In 2012 Irish architects O’Donnell and Tuomey created an installation made from timber planks, designed to speak to the brickwork of the historic building in which it was positioned.
In 2007, Palazzo Grassi won a contest held by the City of Venice to transform Punta della Dogana (the historic customs house) into a centre of contemporary art. Tadao Ando was engaged to design and document the restoration and adaptive reuse of the building to accommodate part of the Francios Pinault Foundation collection of art.
Opened in 2009, the building is a must see for lovers of Ando, contemporary art or historic buildings.