Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dubai 360º view

The photographer Gerald Donovan presented recently his work on the top of the Burj Khalifa. This initiative is integrated on HIPA, a Dubai's photography award named after the emirate's Hereditary Prince Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. This is the most gainful photography contest in the world, with 290.000 € distributed per several prizes. 

To do this work, Gerald Donovan climbed literally to the top of Burj Khalifa - after reaching the 124th floor (the one that is accessible to the public), Donovan went to the building's 160th floor and then climbed the steep stairs for another 200 meters to finally reach the top of the pinnacle. From this privileged place he took 48 photographs with a 80 megapixels resolution each, combining them to make a powerful tool where the user can manipulate the 360º view of Dubai and even apply a very effective zoom to observe all the details. 

Click on the image to access the 360º view of Dubai.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

TECHNICAL FILES: Project Management, Financial Project Management and Quantity Surveying

Our consultancy services are directed to Architecture offices and to Real Estate developers and investors. Safeguarding the project's final quality and the concept drawn by the designer, our goal is to reduce the capital invested on each project and to control all the costs involved, from the design phase to the project's conclusion.

Our three main services are connected between them, making up an integrated consultancy service that begins in the project's quantification and ends in its cost control during all its phases, passing through a consultancy process that takes into account several aspects such as the constructive solutions and the compatibilization between specialties.
Project Management and Financial Project Management

The Project Management applies to all phases of a project life (Conception / Planning, Realization and Utilization/Exploitation), and guarantees that goals are achieved at every stage of the project. The Financial Project Management, which is part of the Project Management applied to the reality of Construction, has as main objectives to ensure the project quality, the optimization of the available capital and the control of all costs stipulated. It represents an added-value for real estate investor in terms of capital savings and reducing the risk associated with budget overruns.

Quantity Surveying

Quantity Surveying is the basis of the work developed on Financial Project Management. The project is quantified and analyzed, aiming to identify inconsistencies and missing information. It is made to reconcile the written and drawn information from all specialties, and made the necessary adjustments in conjunction with the designer. Measurements are formalized through a set of documents that are delivered to the promoter, and which serve as a reference in the context of execution of work. The work on Quantity Surveying phase is reflected throughout the project development, having particular impact in its budgetary aspects.

DIMSCALE's rehabilitation process at the Pombaline zone of Lisbon is an example of a project that has being followed since its design phase. These consultancy services are applicable to projects with different dimensions - they are an added-value either to small and large scale projects.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

ARCHITECTURE REFERENCES - Piratinga São Paulo High-Rise House (proposal), OODA Architects

Piratinga São Paulo High-Rise House (proposal)
São Paulo, Brasil
OODA Architects, Portugal

Project Area: 70.000 sq meters
Completion Year: 2017
Photos: OODA Architects

This is an iconic high-rise with 40 stories. A project merge into an unique design both tourist apartments and luxury residences, in harmony with common spaces, gardens and sightseeing spaces. This project is from the Portuguese Architecture office OODA, that we will continue to follow on our blog.


Friday, 25 January 2013

ARCHITECTURE MIDDLE EAST - Cleveland Clinic, HDR Architecture (work in progress)

Cleveland Clinic (work in progress)
Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
HDR Architecture, United States of America

Client: Mubadala Development

Completion Year: 2013
Photos: HDR Architecture

  • Aldar Properties — Development manager
  • HDR — Design architect through 30%completion of construction documents
  • AEDAS — Architect taking construction documents from 30% completion to 100% completion
  • AEDAS Interiors — Interior design
  • Sixco-Samsung (joint venture) — General contractor
  • AECOM—Building-engineering services

"The HDR-designed Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, one of Abu Dhabi’s flagship healthcare projects, is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2013. The multi-specialty facility extends the U.S.-based Cleveland Clinic model of care, offering a range of tertiary and quaternary medical services that will bring world-class healthcare to Abu Dhabi and the region. Located on Al Maryah Island in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s new central business district, the 364-bed (expandable to 490-bed) facility is organized into five institutes: Digestive Disease; Eye, Heart and Vascular; Neurological; Respiratory; and Critical Care. As in the United States, the hospital will be a physician-led medical facility served by western-trained, board-certified physicians. It will be one of the most advanced, high-tech and luxurious hospitals in the world. 

The term ‘hospital of the future’ is used quite often, but I can’t imagine another facility that reflects that phrase more than the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi,” says Mohammed Ayoub, lead HDR designer for the project. “It’s a building that blends cutting-edge technology, evidence-based design, world-class care, and Arabic culture with elegant architecture—creating a facility that looks more like a seven-star hotel than a hospital. The image of the campus, with its verdant gardens, glowing double-skinned patient tower, distinctive diamond-glazing, modern interiors and colorful massing exemplifies the best of what medical care can be. The design is overlaid with a suite of cultural references that ground the project firmly in Abu Dhabi. The color palette represents surrounding natural elements, such as the turquoise of the Gulf waters and the array of neutrals of the desert, and interior patterns and motifs reflect the local vernacular, as seen in Arabesque patterned screen elements throughout the building.

To avoid the characteristic maze of many hospitals, each healthcare component is expressed in an individual architecture form, arranged to express the continuum of healthcare— the Cleveland Clinic model. The blocks are elegantly stacked around a central reflecting pool; the entire design literally and figuratively founded on water, a universally recognized source and symbol of serenity and healing. This grouping of blocks creates efficiencies for the staff and obvious wayfinding for visitors, replacing winding hallways with sleek glass walkways that connect the inpatient spaces with the 340-exam room outpatient clinic, 210 faculty offices, conference center, simulation center and administrative building.

The interior concept is based on blurring the lines between hospital and hospitality. The interior materials—glistening onyx and warm, rich wood tones—soften, and, at the same time, anchor the interior to the exterior. Indoor water elements impart white noise to calm patients and provide a sense of tranquility, while green spaces boost mental alertness and create gathering areas that reinforce the hospital’s sense of community. The patient rooms are intentionally designed with large family spaces and amenities to involve the family in the healing process. Abundant windows with views of lush rooftop gardens and the Arabian Sea provide a soothing atmosphere that advances wellness and recovery.

Although the entire facility is designed following LEED Gold principles, the most notable sustainable design feature is the double-glass curtain wall, perhaps the first-ever utilized in a hospital. The curtain wall creates a stack or “lung” effect, allowing the building to “breathe.” The process works by strategically placing the mechanical floor at the bottom of the hospital tower, exhausting cool air previously used within the hospital from the bottom of the tower to the stack between the double curtain wall and eventually out through the roof. This exhaust creates a protective buffer between outside air and the interior of the building. Moreover, air is cooled in a tripartite approach using sea water, heat reclamation, and used cool air exhausted through the five-foot-wide space between the two glass curtains walls.

“Our goal with this project is to deliver a building that is beyond state of the art,” adds Ayoub. “It will provide a standard of care and service that is simply not available anywhere in the region. And it will do so in an iconic facility that is sure to stop people in their tracks.”

- text from

Thursday, 24 January 2013

ARCHITECTURE REFERENCES - Pedras Salgadas Eco-Resort, Luís Rebelo de Andrade & Diogo Aguiar

Pedras Salgadas Eco-Resort
Pedras Salgadas, Portugal
Luis Rebelo de Andrade & Diogo Aguiar, Portugal

Project Area: 687 sq m
Year: 2012
Photos: FG + SG

"The new eco-resort of Parque de Pedras Salgadas, Portugal, consists of a set of seven small houses in perfect harmony with the surrounding outstanding nature.

Designed in a modular prefabrication system but flexible to adapt to the specific places within the park, these houses result in several different combinations of the same three modules (entrance/bathing – living – sleeping) creating different morphologies and different dialogues with the surrounding nature, wisely occupying the empty spaces between the trunksof large trees and, at the same time, allowing each home to be unique, special and worth visiting.The pitched roofs that caracterize the intervention redefine the contours of the park boundary and result, within the housesin comfortable but dynamic spaces. The vain corner contradicts the structural logic of the house but creates the ilusion that the park is inside the house framing living nature pictures. The outer coating in slate tile reffers to the local contruction traditions and the slatted wood used when there is a balcony creates the perfect resting spaces."

- text from