PAKISTAN Supporting local economies
A new ‘Technical Support Centre’ to be built in the Daska, has received the blessing of the Punjab Government. The project costing Pak. Rs. 300 million (US$5 million), occupying a site measuring 26 Kanals (13,159 sq. metres) will be supervised by Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC).
The Centre will spread over 20 Kanals (10,120 sq. metres) of land and an administration block and hostels will be constructed on the remainder. Pak. Rs 120 million (US$2 million) has been allocated for the construction of the Centre and Pak. Rs. 60 million (US$1 million) is reserved for the purchase of machinery.
The new project is part of the government’s drive to eradicate poverty across Pakistan and will create job opportunities for 200 local educated and skilled workers.
PAKISTAN To be or not to be
The World Bank has awarded India more time to study Pakistan’s alternative design proposal for a dam currently under construction by India in violation of the Indus Basin Treaty of 1960 near Jammu in the southern part of occupied Kashmir.
May 24th is the new date set by the World Bank for the final hearing in the regional office of the World Bank in London whereas previous talks were held in Paris and Geneva. Pakistan is accusing India of delay tactics so that it can complete the critical portion of the contentious 450-megawatt power project on the Chenab River that will deprive Pakistan of its share of water under the Indus Basin Treaty brokered by the World Bank in 1960.
Nevertheless, the World Bank has promised that it will not hesitate to order the demolition of the constructed project entirely or parts of it, should it find India in violation of the 1960 treaty. India is racing ahead with the project despite Pakistan’s objections, at a cost surplus of US$1 billion and will be complete by December 2007.
UAE Lights, camera, action!
Dubai Studio City (DSC) is Dubai’s latest addition to the sea of ‘cities’ within this city of the gulf. Spread over an area of 22 million sq. ft. (2 million sq. metres), the DSC promises to provide an environment for film professionals to maximise their creative and technical potential.
The main components of the DSC master plan include studio complexes, a social centre, a commercial zone, a residential district and a film academy. The hub of activity in the DSC cluster will be a world-class film studio complex. It will house film, television and audio production and related facilities, including sound stages, warehouses, production support spaces and backlot facilities.
The core production area of the complex will accommodate 14 sound stages (1,400 sq. metres to 3,700 sq. metres), support facilities and a backlot area of 300,000 sq. metres within a walled campus. The infrastructure is claimed to meet the needs of any major Hollywood film and television production. The core production area will be built in a number of phases of which the first (three sound stages, warehouses and support offices) will be complete by early 2007.
Additional boutique studios in the form of completely customisable small independent buildings will also be constructed. The first phase of 20 boutique studios is scheduled for completion by January 2007.
And, like Dubai’s other cities, the project will also have office, commercial and residential components. Somehow, I don’t think that’s a wrap yet folks!
PERU Simply the best
Arquitectum announced on February 28th, the winning projects in their Chan Chan 2006 international competition that drew 237 entries from across the world. The competition was intended to celebrate the Chan Chan Citadel through the construction of a beach lodge, a new style of accommodation, differing from the classic folkloric resort/theme hotel that would celebrate the natural beauty of this location, embrace the spirit of the time and demonstrate sensitivity to the surrounding landscape, the environment, local materials and cost.
The winners include: Armel Neouze, Olivier Charles, Antoine Cordier, Jacques Gelez from France (1st Prize), Charles Carré and Eric De Rengerve also from France (2nd Prize) and a team of architects from Portugal comprising Joao Caria Lopes, Carlos Sequeira, Tiago Santos were awarded 3rd Prize. Additionally, nine more teams received honorary mentions and the winning three shared a cash prize of US$8,500.
Arquitectum is the first International Agency dedicated to organise the best competitions in the best places of the world. Images: Arquitectum
USA A treat for all Harley enthusiasts
After a year of development by an international team of designers including lead architects, New York based Pentagram (lead architects), supported by local architects HGA appointed as Architect of Record, landscape architects OAM, design of the new Harley Davidson Museum was unveiled in February this year.
The development on 20 acres at the corner of Sixth and Canal Streets near downtown Milwaukee, “incorporates striking urban design elements and engages the surrounding water and green spaces”, said Museum Director Stacey Watson.
With an anticipated opening date of 2008, the 130,000 sq. ft. (12,000 sq. metres) Museum development will feature exhibit space as well as a restaurant, café, retail shop, meeting space, special event facilities and the Harley-Davidson corporate archives. Harley-Davidson plans to break ground for the Museum later in the first half of 2006. When completed, the Museum is expected to attract an estimated 350,000 visitors each year from around the world. Images: Harley Davidson
USA Mies’ new neighbour
If RFR Holdings and Lord Foster’s new skyscraper gets the go ahead, Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building could be looking at a new neighbour 60 metres taller than itself.
The site of an old YWCA, 610 Lexington Avenue at the corner of 53rd Street in New York is awaiting approval from a rather unusual proposal: the Seagram Building (also owned by RFR), built in 1957 is not built to its maximum allowable height; the developers have applied the right to add this unused height to that currently allowed on the adjacent 610 Lexington Avenue site, and thus enabling the new tower to reach its proposed height of 215 metres.
Though the project has won approval from the Landmark Preservation Commission, the developers are still waiting to see if the Department of City Planning will waive a setback rule so that the tower can rise as one continuous slab, set back 10 feet from the street. A key issue under consideration is that the new tower will overshadow the 1957 modernist icon.
CHINA Centre court
The Committee of Guangzhou Economic & Technological Development District (GETDD) has awarded British firm BDP permission to develop an international tennis centre in Guangzhou, southern China. Developed in collaboration with the local Shenzhen Design Institute, the winning design demonstrates a ground hugging centre court and a “spectacular four-bladed roof whose shape echoes the strokes used in oriental calligraphy and forms the centrepiece”. The hilly nature of the site is integrated into the design allowing visitors to enter at the base of the site and meander up to the tennis complex.
Construction is due to start on site in May 2006 and the centre is expected to form the showcase for the Asian Games and to host ATP Tour events in the future. Images: BDP
SOUTH AFRICA Back to Sabi
South Africa’s famous Sabi Sabi private game resort’s final phase of refurbishment is complete and includes the redecoration of the main lodge and further expansion.
The 25-suite resort now boasts large wooden viewing decks complete with sofas and armchairs for guests to watch animals at a nearby waterhole, a new swimming pool to extend the outdoor relaxation area and a revamp of the reception and welcome areas. Images: Sabi Sabi
UK London shed
Shedz is a new exclusive Private Members Club in London employing a very simple philosophy: a contemporary space that provides members with a venue to meet, do business and socialise. The club also offers a private space where members can relax and feel at home. Open from breakfast to late evening, the club is complete with meeting rooms, a completely wi-fi environment, private rooms with beds and showers should you want to take a nap in the afternoon or a shower before breakfast when away from home and in the city. Images: Shedz
SOUTH AFRICA Five star golf
The multi-award winning five-star Pezula hotel resort and spa now boasts a new addition to the development – one of South Africa’s finest golf courses.
The new complex comprises clubhouse facilities that include a terrace, restaurant, bar, private lounge and library, pro shop and a short game practice area. Golf carts come with GPS and computerised scoring and an 18-hole Pezula championship golf course designed by Golfplan USA’s Ron Fream and David Dale.
The new development is in keeping with the 78-room hotel and award-winning spa. Complete Golfer rated Pezula a Five Star Golf Experience. Images: Pezula
SPAIN Spanish Hesperia
Designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership and Spain’s Alonso Balaguer Architects, the new Hesperia Tower Hotel & Convention Centre in Barcelona, Spain, has opened.
Built at a cost of 73 million euros (US$87.5 million), the 105-metre tall, 27-storey tower boasts an avant-garde design made more unique by its dome-shaped glazed restaurant at the top. The hotel comprises 280 luxury rooms, 12 duplex suites with jacuzzi in the bedrooms, seven executive suites and a presidential suite. In addition, it will have a 5000-sq. metre Congress and Convention Centre, a sophisticated ultra-modern Sports Centre and Urban Spa – the Metropolitan Club – as well as the new central offices of the Hesperia Hotel Group in a building annexe.
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