Pushing Boundaries & Testing Limits

Architects have been pushing the boundaries for years, testing the limits of structure and design; similar to the way our engineers at VAIO pushed the boundaries on size and configuration of our laptops. The architects that designed the office buildings to follow have taken their craft to the next level.

72 Screens

The 6 level office building is completely enveloped in intricately folded planes of perforated screens, it certainly has a sculptural presence. 72 Screens is located in Jaipur, India. The desert climate has average temperatures ranging from 85 to 120 degrees fahrenheit for the majority of the year, thus the creative response in design.

72 Screens
Image via architizer.com/projects/72-screens/

The glass reinforced concrete screens take their inspiration from the traditional “jali” screens of the architectural heritage of the region. They cover the building on all sides, thus reducing heat gain and making the building energy efficient in its entirety. The architects who designed 72 Screens recreated function in one of the most beautiful ways yet.

Al Bahr Towers

Culturally relevant, aesthetically intriguing, technology advanced and a unique contextually relevant identity- just a handful of phrases that have been used to describe the world’s largest computerized dynamic facade. The Al Bahr towers have truly become a landmark for the city of Abu Dhabi.

Al Bahr Towers
Image via www.ahr-global.com/Al-Bahr-Towers

Even with the unique state of the art design the towers still pay tribute to the history, culture and natural environment of the region. The concept was born out of the idea of adaptive flowers and the “mashrabiya” – a wooden lattice shading screen. Traditionally these were used for privacy as well as reducing glare and solar gain. The geometry of the shading screen will fold and unfold in response to the sun’s movement. As you can imagine this type of technology on a building can reduce energy use substantially. The dynamic units alleviated the need for heavy treated glass, thus reducing the need for air conditioning and artificial lighting. The Al Bahr towers are truly a remarkable sight to behold not only from an architectural standpoint but a technological one as well. 

Siemens Middle East Headquarters

A building raising the bar on what it means to be a sustainable office space, the Siemens Middle East Headquarters is located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi and was conceived as a box within a box. Sheppard Robson created a building that was completely optimized for its purpose, they delivered a sustainable structure for the same cost per square foot as a standard building in the UAE.

Siemens Middle East Headquarters
Image via www.archdaily.com

The inner section of the space is highly-insulated with an airtight facade designed to reduce thermal conductivity. A lightweight aluminium external shading system surrounds the inner section minimizing solar gain while maximizing natural lighting. The aluminum fins that make up the outer facade of the building provide a shading system as well as the aesthetic appeal. Bonus feature of the fins- their each tailored to suit its own solar orientation, thus optimizing the buildings energy efficiency. The floor plates are punctuated by nine atria, all of which are column-free. This kind of structure system reduced the materials used during construction by roughly 60% while also allowing for flexibility when planning office spaces. Accommodating, sustainable and beautiful, what’s not to love about this building.

The Capital Building

Completely unique, The Capital Building is made up of a massive steel frame with fantastic views of the region of Mumbai. It’s bold and innovative structure earned the LEED Gold Certification, this building is highly energy efficient as well as environmentally conscious and resourceful. The core and shell collect rainwater which is then reused for multiple purposes.

The Capital Building
Image via indiainfoline.com

The large oval shape in the front of the building not only serves as an aesthetic feature, but also has a large LED screen inside that projects news to a passersby. Inside you’ll discover an entirely different world, gardens run throughout the lobby while natural indoor waterfalls help to cool the air. The Capital Building is bringing natural elements into a modern workspace.

Arctia Headquarters

K2S Architects really took this office space to the next level. The Arctia Shipping Company located in Helsinki, Finland needed an office space constructed and what’s more befitting for a shipping company than an office on the water? Construction of the structure was completed in a shipyard in Western Finland and was towed to the space for her maiden/final voyage. The floating, two-story building had a timeless and minimal design, fitting in perfectly with the surrounding environment.

Arctia Headquarters
Image via dabus.com

The building offers a simple and understated design, while never skimping on sophistication of the entire look. Featuring long facades made out of black perforated and profiled aluminium plate, they relate to the black hulls of the adjacent ice breaker ships.

Huaxin Business Center

From treehouse to tree-office, the Huaxin Business Center is an office building living among the trees, located west of Guilin Road in Tianlin, Xuhui, China. The land the building is situated on owns 6 old camphor trees and opens up to an urban main road. With these two things in mind a design concept was born.

Huaxin Business Center
Image via formakers.eu

In an effort to keep as much greenery as possible, architects decided to lift the building off of the ground and place it up among the trees. The idea is that it would maximize ground space while establishing an intimate and interactive relationship with the 6 trees as well as provide them with protection. The completed building is made up of four independently suspended structures all linked by bridges. The office building is absolutely stunning, connecting modern architecture with natural elements.

Federal Center South Building 1202

Warehouse turned architecturally sound office space? We’re listening. The Federal Center South Building 1202 is located in Seattle, the project was actually a redevelopment of the existing warehouse thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The idea was to improve our nation’s infrastructure, create jobs and push boundaries in innovation and design of our nation’s federal spaces. Taking a preexisting structure and optimizing its functionality in an innovative and efficient way is a concept VAIO can relate to.

Federal Center South Building 1202
Image via aiatopten.org

Impressively the project was planned and designed in under 18 weeks. The”oxbow” shape encourages a collaborative workplace, emblematic of their mission to “Build Strong”, while the indoor “campus environment” enhances the collective community even further. The buildings focal points are made from wood reclaimed from the original structure rooting the space in its own past. The Federal Center South Building led with sustainable intentions and that’s exactly what they created, bringing innovation to previously established structures.

As spaces continue to evolve we’re going to see a shift in priorities. Not only are the buildings above gorgeous, but they have all encompassed some capacity of sustainability in their construction or revitalization. With our own rooted passion for change VAIO wants to commend these buildings and their architects. Be sure to take a look at some of the innovative machinery VAIO is bringing to our own industry as we look towards the future.