Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
Construction of the Bank Of China Tower in Hong Kong was begun on April 18, 1985. It was not until May 17, 1990 that the official opening ceremony was held. The building’s shape was achieved by “grouping four triangular glass and aluminum towers of varying heights to form the shape of a granite podium” (Bank of China Tower). The shape of the tower was actually modeled after the structure of bamboo, making it symbolic of strength, vitality, and growth (Bank of China).
At 369 meters tall (1,210.63 feet), the BOC tower was the tallest building in Hong Kong and Asia until 1992. It rises a total of 70 stories and was the first building outside of the United States to break 1,000 feet. It is now the fifth tallest building in the world by height. The tower goes from a square base and changes with use of large triangular pieces (Bank Of China). The architect, I.M. Pei is responsible for creating other buildings such as the East building of Washington’s National Gallery of Art, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the John F. Kennedy Library, and the expansion and modernization of the Louvre Museum. “It is said that I.M Pei designed the Bank of China Tower to ‘represent the aspirations of the Chinese people yet also symbolize good will toward the British Colony’” (Bank Of China Tower). The tower used triangular bracing and step-backs to adapt the building to the high winds caused by Hong Kong typhoons.
This building has an atrium that stretches 14 stories. Visitors can take an elevator up to the 42nd floor to see the view off of the skydeck. This deck can actually be entered without admission, making it a great spot for tourists. The building adds parking in its four basement floors. This is due to the lack of space for parking in the city of Hong Kong. This building could be compared to a gem, because of the way it shines when the sun hits the four prism-shaped shafts of the tower (Introduction).
One thing that I.M. Pei had to grapple with in designing the building was the idea of feng shui. Feng shui means ‘wind and water.’ In Hong Kong, one cannot get away from the idea, because it is a form used in most, if not all, of the city’s buildings. He had to look at the placement of the building on the site and it’s shape. When the idea for this building was first presented, it was looked down upon because many felt that the sharp corners of the structure would bring bad luck to its neighbors. The next challenge was the size of the site. It was extremely small, but did not have any height restrictions because it was out of the airport’s flight path. The final challenge Pei had to consider was making the tower structurally sound. He, however, managed to overcome these challenges in the design and create on of the most popular and amazing buildings of its time (I.M. Pei).
"Bank of China ." Cityscape. Cityscape. 7 Apr 2009. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=120582
"Bank of China Tower." A View on Cities. 2009. 7 Apr 2009. http://www.aviewoncities.com/hongkong/bankofchinatower.htm
"I. M. Pei / Bank of China, Hong Kong." Designboom. 2000-2008. Designboom. 7 Apr 2009. http://www.designboom.com/portrait/pei_bank.html
"Introduction." Bank of China. 2009. Bank of China. 7 Apr 2009. http://www.bochk.com/web/common/multi_section.xml?section=about&level_2=boc_tower&fldr_id=326
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
[re]visions: Revision is going back and looking at the work one has done and changing it and manipulating it to make it better. With architecture, this could mean making something of a different scale or style or simply changing a design for structural purposes.
audience: In design, the building or space needs to fulfill the characteristic of delight. This means that it needs to appeal to its audience. For example, if you were to design a space meant for children, it would need to appeal to them. This could involve things to climb and play on and bright, fun colors. Another example would be Versailles. It was designed to please the King of France and to show that he had the most money and the most fabulous house. It was to be large and elegant to show his power and his royal status.Character: Every piece of architecture has it’s own character. Patrick was talking about how, in France, all the houses in parts of France were connected together and all shared the same basic façade. This was character of the whole complex, but not of each individual house. With houses today, we see a similar case. Many houses, especially in developments, tend to look basically the same as all the others. However, on the insides, each home has it’s own character.
Transition: Throughout time, architecture has been through many transitions. From the early civilizations to modern day, architecture has been revised and changed. Transition is also very important when creating a presentation because you need to be able to move form one thing to another. The project need to be understandable to those who look at it so that the information can be put across in a neat and readable fashion.