Wednesday, 26 November 2014

New contender for Sydney's tallest residential tower

Crone Partners has potentially eclipsed the height of 115 Bathurst Street with their latest Master Plan Design and Planning Proposal for a 260m tall tower at 505 George Street, Sydney. Crone went through a process on 115 Bathurst Street, successfully achieving a Stage 1 Development Application Approval for a 236m tall tower named the Greenland Centre.

The current height controls at 505 George Street limit the height of developments to 150m. Through an intense Design and Analytic process, Crone were able to put forth a compelling argument to Sydney City Council of the many benefits to the city of going taller and thinner. Mirvac and Coombes Property Group have proven a formidable team collaborating with Crone and Sydney City Council to promote innovative urban design solutions for their iconic development at the Greater Union site. We hope for a favorable response to our Planning Proposal over the next few weeks.

A hot topic in Property Circles is Sydney’s need for more Skyscrapers to remain Australia’s Global City and to meet demands of an ever increasing population. Champion of this cause is Chris Johnson CEO of Urban Taskforce Australia helping to drive council into reviewing current height controls and increasing the density of buildings in the city and at major transport hubs.

Articles were published in all 3 Newspapers today, below a link to the Sydney Morning Herald’s article, “New contender for Sydney’s tallest residential tower”;




Wednesday, 12 November 2014

the ideas behind 128 nivel hills | michael banak architect

the ideas behind 128 nivel hills | michael banak architect



The inspiration for the design of 128 Nivel Hills came from its site in Cebu, the largest island in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. Cebu has beautiful natural features – Amazing coastal regions as well as luscious green hillside landscapes surrounding the site – inspiring Crone Partners to create a modern, resort-style environment.
Crone’s 10 years of experience in the Philippines has given the firm a contextual awareness that helps to inform the design. 128 Nivel Hills is located in a prominent position, high in the hills, with the advantage of unobstructed views of Mactan Channel and the Nivel Hills, with sea breezes that naturally cool the buildings and amenity areas.
Crone has created two, iconic elliptical buildings & podium with curvilinear forms that reflect the natural landscape features of Cebu and promote 365 degree views of Mactan Channel and the Nivel Hills countryside.
Through the vision of our client Diamond Hiland Inc., Crone were allowed the freedom to create a new “Cebu Modern” architecture, unique to the Philippines. A Collaborative Design Approach with Nestor Arce-Ignacio as Diamond Hiland’s lead, encouraged both innovative and creative thinking.
Cebu is affected by typhoon and earthquake hazards, Typhoon Yolanda more recently creating havoc in the region. These potential natural risks were a major consideration in the design of the structure and risk assessment. The spherical shape of the towers helped with this solution: a pure form, with good natural rigidity. The length of the building required additional shear walls, placed in the shorter span of the floor plate, to give the building additional strength and reduce torsional rotation. The structure is finely tuned, to allow for good flexibility in apartment design and create passageways that open up to the façade, naturally ventilating lobby spaces and communal areas. Crone worked closely with Wilson Sy of SY2 to come up with the best possible structural solutions.
Using readily available materials in Cebu and local construction techniques, Crone Partners employs pre-cast concrete panels on the façade to express the horizontal banding of the tower. These simple extensions of the floor plates are used to create the “shifting cog” effect on the facades.
These “shifting cogs” of the towers have two primary functions;
1.The extended concrete slab projections act as an important environmental sunshade reducing heat loads on the building and protecting the facades from severe weather conditions, such as intense heat, rain and wind.
2.The shifting cogs create an iconic form on the city skyline easily recognisable from a distance. It is envisioned the building will be seen as far as the bridges crossing Mactan Channel, on route from Mactan International Airport to Cebu City.
The design recalls the optimism of “streamline modern”, “late deco” and “googie” architectural styles (such as in the cartoon The Jetsons), which used curvilinear forms evocative of boat forms and space travel to suggest leisure and a futuristic outlook.
A stone wall to the perimeter of the development was selected from local sources and creates a rusticated base to the buildings and perimeter fencing, grounding the towers and blending in with the natural surrounds. The landscape areas use local indigenous planting to further tie the development into Cebu.
During the Pre-planning Design Phase, Crone reviewed property data showing proposed development in Cebu City. This information indicated the future density of Cebu with over 50 towers planned for construction over the next 10 to 15 years. Due to this growth, congestion in the city will be a major issue for the city. 128 Nivel Hills is unique in this respect, being only 10 minutes away from the central business district yet located in a countryside location. A quiet respite from the traffic and noise of the city centre.
To create a true “work, live and play” environment, this design caters for the modern user with International Premier Grade standards of residential accommodation, high class amenities and 5 star dining opportunities, with magnificent views back towards the city. As we know, people in Cebu love to entertain and to share a meal with family and friends. Therefore the dining experience, being able to be outdoors and providing a variety of entertaining possibilities, was paramount to the design. The amenities include landscaped gardens, pools, shaded decks, gyms, function rooms, pre-function room & social hall, library, business centre, study room, games room, children’s playground and running track, promoting a modern healthy lifestyle.
We’ve created this environment through luscious green landscaping, stunning wet edge pool details, fine dining experiences, and facilities that service both the local community and residents. Everything the resident needs is at their doorstep.
The idea of Environmentally Responsible Design is endemic in the culture at Crone Partners Architects. As members of the Green Building Council of Australia and with registered Green Star Accredited Professionals and Integrated Sustainable Design (ISD) team, we are committed to using this knowledge to inform our designs. Crone has designed the first ever, Green Certified Residential Building in the Philippines, Arya Residences located in Fort Bonifacio Global City. This project targets a dual certification, LEED (US) Gold and BERDE (Philippine) ratings.
128 Nivel Hills uses this valuable knowledge to design an environmentally responsive development with passive design initiatives to maximise the buildings performance. Key factors influencing the design included;
Building Orientation
View Maximisation
Daylighting
Natural Ventilation
Sun Shading
Green landscaped areas
Pools
Protected Internal Balconies
Rooftop Gardens
Security
Privacy
Amenity
Together, all these design considerations create a project tied to its surrounds culturally, aesthetically and environmentally.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

128 nivel hills to launch soon | michael banak architect

128 nivel hills to launch soon | michael banak architect


A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit our very lovely clients, from Diamond Hiland Inc. and had a look at our site for 128 Nivel Hills in Cebu, Philippines. 128 Nivel Hills is a high end, Premier Grade Residential Project introducing a new “Cebu Modern” architecture to the region. We are very excited the marketing campaign is due to launch in December this year.
You can visit 128 Nivel Hills website below, to get an idea of the grandeur of the spaces;
One of the unique attributes of the design, is the expansive and opulent amenity spaces. The luxurious landscaped areas and quality amenities creates a tranquil, “sense of place” offering, unique to residents of Cebu. 128 Nivel Hills is a quiet respite from the busy and congested Central Business District located only 15 minutes away by car.
The Site photos below give you an idea of the size and scale of this amazing project.





Thursday, 16 October 2014

a big hole in the ground

Standing at the top of a temporary car park in Makati, I look down on our site for the Garden Towers development and am quiet overwhelmed by the enormity of this project, designed over 2 years ago.
Garden Towers is a Residential Condominium project for AYALA Land Inc. located at the heart of the retail district in Makati. It has over 127,000m2 of Gross Floor Area and the 2 Towers range in height from 50 to 60 Levels. The development will house over 650+ Premier Grade Condominiums with the luxury and convenience of quality amenities and shopping at its doorstep.
I cant wait to see the towers pop out of the ground and start to take shape.


http://www.michaelbanakarchitect.com.au/architecture/a-big-hole-in-the-ground-garden-towers-makati/

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

128 Nivel Hills: A Slice of the Sky | Cebu Daily News | michael banak architect

128 Nivel Hills: A Slice of the Sky | Cebu Daily News | michael banak architect



"The true beauty of the structures is found in their innovative functionality. Located 150 meters above sea level, 128 Nivel Hills takes advantage of the cool sea breeze for year-round natural ventilation. To reduce the heat loads in the buildings, extended balconies on each floor act as environmental sunshades. In effect, even if the sun is at its highest peak, each building remains relatively cool. Additionally, the rounded shape and general orientation of the towers protect them from harsh monsoonal winds and rains. This also permits the maximum use of natural lighting, helping to minimize overall consumption of electricity and encourage an ecologically conscious way of life among its residents."



Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Living High | michael banak architect

Living High | michael banak architect



Living High
August 11, 2014 | 0 comment
AT least three things will tell you that 128 Nivel Hills is unlike anything that Cebu has ever seen in the history of its real estate industry.
First, its unmatched design and form. It’s the type of structure that strikes awe and admiration at first look. Deriving inspiration from the natural landscape of Cebu’s sweeping coastlines, the shape of its towers – seemingly displacing strata of oval floor plates – has both aesthetic and practical functions. This design promotes 360-degree breathtaking views of Mactan Channel and the surrounding cityscape that its residents can enjoy on a daily basis. Soaring 150 meters above sea level, the buildings will be unmistakable even from a great distance as they stand clear-cut from a backdrop of sky and rolling terrain. Structure-wise, the pure, continuous spherical form of the towers gives good natural rigidity to their makeup. Together with additional shear walls, the resulting frameworks are stronger and able to withstand more wear and tear.
In the afternoon when the sun is at its peak, passive solar control design will take center stage. Extended balconies that project at the surrounding edges of the towers “will act as an important environmental sunshade that reduces heat loads in each building,” says Design Consultant Michael Banak.
128 Nivel Hills is designed to strategically channel high-altitude breezes to allow for natural ventilation throughout every building. This further permits the maximum use of natural lighting, in effect helping to minimize consumption of electricity and reduce carbon footprint. The rounded shape of the towers, along with their general orientation, further protects the buildings from harsh monsoonal winds and rains.
The exclusive development is designed by Crone Partners, an Australia-based architectural firm known the world over for their cutting-edge projects including the “Good House” in Melbourne, Australia; the Jumeirah Beach Residences in Dubai; and the upcoming Dubai Festival City, to name a few. With a celebrated architect at the helm of the project, 128 Nivel Hills is poised to become a sterling addition to some of the world’s notable modern architecture.
“The density of high-rise structures in Cebu is seen to dramatically increase in 10 to 15 years, but we see no other structure that will have the same form and siting as 128 Nivel Hills,” says Crone Partners’ Michael Banak, the project’s principal architect.
Second, its location. The address speaks for itself. 128 Nivel Hills is set to rise on the former site of Casino Filipino on Veterans Drive in Lahug. Tucked away in a quiet and well-elevated corner of the city, it remains within just the right distance from the buzz of the city. It is the flagship project of Diamond Hiland, Inc., a joint-venture firm by Cebu-based conglomerates owned by the Lhuilliers and the Yeungs. By way of its homegrown developers and location, it refuses to be just another addition to the growing list of high-end residential condominiums in Cebu.
Third but not the last, its features and amenities. In partnership with renowned architect-interior designer Manny Samson whose portfolio includes the St. Regis Bali Resort, the upcoming Shangri-La Resort Hotel at The Fort, and several of the Four Seasons Hotel, 128 Nivel Hills will deliver a carefully curated lifestyle to its residents.
In every sense of the word, 128 Nivel Hills is a tour de force teeming with countless reasons that make it the ultimate private paradise. Envisioned to become a true architectural masterpiece, it exemplifies an innovation that its creators believe Cebu is ready for. Beyond doubt, to be part of this 128 Nivel Hills is to see the world in a new perspective and to truly live large and live high.



Sunday, 17 August 2014

Modern Living TV: Episode 4 (Segment 4)




Innovative design by Crone Partners Architects, Sydney in collaboration with the very talented AYALA Land team. Great interview Manny!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

the butterfly scheme won in the end | michael banak architect

During our Concept Master Plan Design Phase, we presented a multitude of Design Options to our friends at Filinvest Land Inc. including; Central Park, The Cross, The Spine, Pinwheel, Blades, Fingers, Butterfly, Wiggles, Cut Sandwich, The Great Wall and Rotunda. Though everyone was amused by the name "Cut Sandwich", down deep, we new this wouldn't fly. My favourite schemes were Fingers and Butterfly. In the end there was unanimous support for the "Butterfly" scheme.

Megablock is a commercial office development located in the Northgate precinct of Filinvest City, Alabang, Philippines. It targets a LEED Silver environmental rating, illustrating the collaborative Design Team's commitment to Sustainable Design. The “Butterfly” arrangement of buildings, consists of 4 commercial office towers, 25 levels in height, with a total GFA of over 180,000m2. It was designed for our client Filinvest Land Inc., to cater for the BPO market which works both day and night/ "graveyard" shifts.

In-between the butterfly wings is a luscious green landscaped park and retail centre. These spaces can be used for seasonal events or simply to relax in the pleasant garden surrounds.The public Park is an amenity to be shared by the Northgate Community and gently ramps up above the retail spaces creating a natural amphitheater. Bridge links connecting the towers at high level act as break-out spaces and informal meeting rooms promoting interaction.

the butterfly scheme won in the end | michael banak architect



Monday, 4 August 2014

elm apartments cebu | michael banak architect

"Elm apartments" isn't the real name of this project, but I call it this because of 2 beautiful old elm trees, located at the main entry to the development. These giant trees we looked to retain, shaping the building and drop-off areas around them, using them as a key feature of the development, symbolizing the "green" building we collaboratively designed with our Philippine clients. 

elm apartments cebu | michael banak architect



Monday, 28 July 2014

manila bay hotel | michael banak architect


The Manila Bay development includes 2 Hotel types in the Carlson portfolio of hotels. The 5 star Radisson Blu and 3.5 star Park Inn brands. A unique feature of the design is the Radisson Blu façade overlooking Manila Bay. The sites orientation towards Manila Bay created great opportunities for hotel guests to view “post card” sunsets over the water. The design looked at maximizing the views to Manila Bay, whilst minimizing westerly sun impact on hotel rooms. A pixelated façade screen was developed, mimicking the colours of Manila Bay and acting as a sun screen to reduce the heat loads on the building. The buildings long wavy facade, optimized the number of hotel keys with direct views of the harbour, reflecting the nautical theme of the development.
Client – SM Properties
Location – Manila Bay, The Philippines
Status – Schematic Design 2011
Site Area – 21,228m2
GFA – 40,000m2 (Radisson Blue)
GFA – 14,500m2 (Park Inn)
Keys – 276 (Radisson Blue)
Keys – 344 (Park Inn)
Heights – 9 to 12 levels



Sunday, 13 July 2014

Zaha Hadid Officially Signed Up For Iraq Parliament Job | ArchDaily

Zaha Hadid Officially Signed Up For Iraq Parliament Job | ArchDaily

Aedas Announces Demerger Into Two Separate Companies | ArchDaily

Aedas Announces Demerger Into Two Separate Companies | ArchDaily

425 Park Avenue / Foster + Partners | ArchDaily

425 Park Avenue / Foster + Partners | ArchDaily

Foster + Partners Unveils New Images of 425 Park Avenue | ArchDaily

Foster + Partners Unveils New Images of 425 Park Avenue | ArchDaily






Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music / Kengo Kuma and Associates | ArchDaily

Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music / Kengo Kuma and Associates | ArchDaily

GL Events Headquarters / Studio Odile Decq | ArchDaily

GL Events Headquarters / Studio Odile Decq | ArchDaily




Thursday, 19 June 2014

the gherkin facade | michaelbanak

Norman Foster's Gherkin tower in London, is an iconic form on the city skyline. The first of a number of "named" buildings in London such as the Cheese Grater, Shard and Walkie Talkie buildings it has a visually striking facade pattern that curves around the elevations of the building. The dark band of glass on the facade highlights atrium spaces that rotate around the building every 3 floors.

the gherkin facade | michaelbanak




Monday, 2 June 2014


Vivid 2014 is here in all its illuminating magnificence. Over 100,000 people visit the show in Sydney held every year in May. Sculptural lighting installations as well as projection art adorn the cities landmark buildings and streets creating a buzz in the city. Martin Place is a fairly new addition to Vivid sites traditionally located around Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. Make sure you get out there and have a look the cities are awash the light, music and people.

This shot is of Crone Partners designed 20 Martin Place commercial office building whereby the lighting design brief was to showcase the amazing existing steel structure of the building re-used in the project.

I'm looking forward to seeing more on Thursday down at Circular Quay.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Monday, 21 April 2014

vertical garden living in the heart of ayala centre

http://www.michaelbanakarchitect.com.au/architecture/vertical-garden-living-in-the-heart-of-ayala-centre-2/

Ayala Land Premier’s Garden Towers Residential Development lives in the heart of Makati’s retail district. Crone Partners design for 2 towers, 61 and 53 levels respectively and housing approximately 680 residences in 2012.
Key environmental features of the design, endemic to the Crone Design Methodology include; Flexible sun rooms, sky gardens, green walls, extensive landscaped amenity areas and spectacular Garden Lobby Drop-off.
The photograph below shows early ground works on site, due for completion 2017. The first phase of the development will see Tower 1 and podium built, with a total GFA of 60,000m2 and 320 apartments.


 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

modern frankfurt

Frankfurt is a city with a mixture of modern and historic buildings woven into the urban fabric. Pummelled by WW2 the city has re birthed with modern architectural buildings of a very high standard of design. 


Below are images of some of these buildings I stumbled upon last week, including Studio Fuksas designed, My Zeil shopping mall and it's stunning amorphic  glass spine.


Massimiliano Fuksas is a Roman architect also famous for the New Trade Fair building in Milano. 


Check out their website;

http://fuksas.com/m/






Friday, 4 April 2014

Saint Exupery Airport, France

Santiago Calatrava, is an amazing structural engineer/architect. His designs are true creations of beauty that are more like pieces of art than structural solutions.

I stumbled on this building on my travels from Lyon to London this morning.

I wish I had longer to dwell in the beauty of Calatrava's magic.

Thursday, 3 April 2014