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Choose your favorite building: Norman Foster Edition

Choose your favorite building: Norman Foster Edition

This week’s theme (on 17th of August 2021) is a Special Edition. Of all the buildings we know, great architects are behind them. Therefore, we are thrilled to present three different buildings from the same Architect, here Norman Foster. It is not that easy to choose one favorite between all his fabulous works. Apple Park, Galeries Lafayette, Samba Headquarters… Discover now three of the latest works of Norman and Foster + Partners.

1. Apple Park (USA)

Apple Park building
Source photo: By Arne Müseler / www.arne-mueseler.com, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Link

The Apple Park is the corporate headquarters of Apple Inc., located at One Apple Park Way in California, USA. The campus construction started in November 2013 and were completed in 2018. It was however already opened to employees in April 2017, while still being under construction.

This is not the first collaboration between Foster + Partners and Apple Inc.. Indeed, the architectural firm is the driving force behind the creation of many innovative Apple Stores around the world. We will have the occasion to come back and write about many of these buildings in another article in the future.

The main building’s scale and circular ground scraper designed by Norman Foster got its name from its Spaceship shape.

Reported by BIM CommunityBIM and the Bentley software has been used for this futuristic-looking structure. The responsible for the building shell and core were Skanksa and DPR, with the help of Arup as scheme’s engineers.

Foster + Partners mentioned the campus as Californian in spirit: open, connected to nature and the product of a remarkable collaboration.

Finally, about the style of the campus, it takes its architectural style from Neo-futurism.

The Apple Park remains one of the most innovative places in the world, containing all the secrets of the Applecompany. It replaced the former Infinity Loop (which opened in 1993) in 2017 to create an ever-more creative environment as envisioned by Steve Jobs (who unfortunately could not see it, passed away shortly after the agreement given by the city of San Francisco.). He wanted the campus to look less like a business park and more like a nature refuge. And, thus, 80% of the site consists of green space planted with drought-resistant trees and plants indigenous to the Cupertino area, and the center courtyard of the main building features an artificial pond (VentureBeat – Check the Information Source).

Information source:
– 7 things you don’t know about Apple Park: https://www.admagazine.fr/architecture/balade/diaporama/7-choses-que-vous-ne-saviez-pas-sur-le-siege-dapple/60812
– VentureBeat: https://venturebeat.com/2016/06/04/a-look-at-apples-insanely-ambitious-tree-planting-plans-for-its-new-spaceship-campus/
– Foster + Partners Project Page: https://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/apple-park/

2. Galeries Lafayette (Luxembourg)

galeries Lafayette building
Source photo: Nigel Young

YES! Norman Foster has designed one of the most famous luxury department store brands in our country. The Galeries Lafayette is positioned at the end of Grand Rue and Rue Aldringen, in the heart of Luxembourg City. The project, completed in 2019, is conducted by Foster + Partners, in collaboration with Luxembourg studio Tetra Kayser Associés.

The elaboration of the 6-storey building’s design took several studies to establish a timeless yet contemporary addition to the rich mix of existing buildings. (We will soon publish an article on the variety of architecture that exists in Luxembourg, this building will be part of it) The idea in this design is to create an attractive, enjoyable, and dynamic retail experience for customers.

The creative and original concept mix architecture, fashion, and applied art. The exterior facades, entirely glazed and transparent, complements and blend into the existing building and fabric of the historic city.

Information source:
– Foster + Partners Project Page: https://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/galeries-lafayette/
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c331d9550a54f7640c7d2af/t/5ddfae0ff26533387ad7b0a1/1574940181768/Dossier+de+presse_Galeries+Lafayette+Luxembourg_Novembre+2019.pdf

3. Samba Headquarters (Saudi Arabia)

Samba Headquarters building
Source photo: Foster + Partners website

The Samba bank and financial services group new headquarters is located at the heart of FinancialPlaza, the centerpiece of Riyadh’s new King Abdullah Financial District in Saudi Arabia. The construction started in 2011 and were completed in 2020.

Among the stakeholders of the project, we have Buro Happold as the Structural Engineer, Aecom as Quantity Surveyor, Charles Funke Associates as Landscape Architect, and Claude Engle as lighting Engineer. All these stakeholders worked together with Foster + Partners.

This new headquarters provides a bold symbol for the bank and a highly flexible design to enable future expansion. The structure is diamond-shaped on a plan and centered on a top-lit. An innovative three-dimensional façade gives the building a distinctive presence while reducing energy and maintenance demands.

Information source:
– Foster + Partners Project Page : https://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/samba-headquarters/

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