Daily digest: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects rebrands, ZHA’s looping Infinitus Plaza opens, and more

To ∞ And Beyond

Daily digest: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects rebrands, ZHA’s looping Infinitus Plaza opens, and more

Infinitus Plaza took design inspiration from its name, realizing an ∞-shaped complex where two 8-story towers are connected by a pair of sky bridges (with tunnels running between the pair below ground). (Liang Xue)

Good afternoon and welcome back. There’s plenty going on today, so let’s dive right in.

Here’s what you need to know:

Zaha Hadid Architects inaugurates a looping infinity complex in China

Today marks the inauguration of the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Infinitus Plaza, a “true to its namesake” office campus for herbal health company Infinitus China in Guangzhou. The 2-million-square-foot complex resembles the infinity symbol, with two 8-story ring towers connected by a pair of central sky bridges. Each tower was designed around an atrium, and a central courtyard unites the entire campus. Wrapped in perforated, copper-colored aluminum panels with a tessellating texture, each building is passively shaded—in sunny months, the translucent, double-layered ETFE membrane rooftop of each building is sprayed with recycled water to bring down temperatures.

Aside from office space, conference centers, and a learning center, Infinitus Plaza contains multiple rooftop herbal gardens, safety labs, and herbal research facilities.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is now Pelli Clarke & Partners

The 41-year-old New Haven, Connecticut-based firm formerly known as Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is getting a new lease on life. Today the firm, originally founded by César Pelli and partners Fred Clarke and Diana Balmori, announced that it would be changing its name to Pelli Clarke & Partners. The shift is intended to emphasize the studio’s collaborative nature, and has been in the works since the death of the elder Pelli in 2019.

New York’s High Line-straddling The Standard Hotel stares down foreclosure

The Ennead-designed The Standard, High Line hotel is reportedly in danger of foreclosure. Although the High Line-defying tower is both a party and skyline icon, it too hasn’t been immune from the catastrophic hospitality downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Owned by the Hong Kong Gaw Capital, the hotel stopped paying its mortgage in May of 2020 and owes approximately $187 million to creditors. To add insult to injury (or vice versa), a large piece of the building’s facade fell onto the elevated park below in January.

H/t to Curbed

Turnover at Columbia GSAPP’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture

Reinhold Martin is stepping down as the director of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University after 13 years. The center, part of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), will be led by associate professor Lucia Allais, while Martin will resume teaching full-time.

“I am humbled to be asked to direct the Buell Center,” said Allais in the announcement, “at a moment when American architectural discourse is rich with debates about how human agency permeates the built and natural environments, both in history and in ongoing struggles over the future of design. I am especially excited to be following in the wake of Reinhold Martin’s transformative leadership.”

Arup will begin “whole-life” carbon assessments of its buildings next year

Starting in April of 2022, global planning, architecture, and engineering behemoth Arup will begin conducting whole-life embodied and operational carbon audits for all of its projects, including both new builds and retrofits. In addition, the company has pledged to no longer take on projects related to extracting, refining, or transporting fossil fuels; all of this comes as the company works to hit a 2030 net-zero carbon pledge.

H/t to the Architects’ Journal

Europe’s largest 3D-printed office building is completed in Austria

The largest 3D-printed office building in Europe is now complete in Austria, courtesy of a collaboration between Austrian contractor Strabag and German construction management company Peri. Using a concrete mixture provided by Lafarge and a printer supplied by Danish company Cobod, the 1,345-square-foot building was printed in only 45 hours.

H/t to Global Construction Review