All posts by Tokunbo Fashanu

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU – Apartment and Office Building Schlachthausgasse

The complex is located in Schlachthausgasse, the central third district of the city of Vienna.

At the end of 1998, the Mautner-Markhof Children’s Hospital in the 3rd district of Vienna was closed. In 1999 the municipality explored alternative development possibilities for the vacant area. A limited design competition was held, from which Coop Himmelb(l)au emerged as the winner.

The 6+1-storey building is individually differentiated by sculpturally protruding building components.

Together with neighboring buildings, the design closed the gap in the urban space of the perimeter block. At the same time, it left untouched the area of the property oriented along the Kleingasse, while acoustically separating that area from the high-traffic Schlachthausgasse. This allowed for the preservation of valuable pre-existing trees.

If I lived in this building, I’d be happy to come home after work or school. It’s such a beautiful design

Coop Himmelblau – BMW Welt

BMW Welt (English – BMW World) is a multi-functional customer experience and exhibition facility of the BMW AG, located in Munich, Germany.

In 2001 an international architectural design competition was sponsored by BMW AG. The contract was awarded to COOP HIMMELB(L)AU and the facility was constructed from August 2003 through summer 2007.

It was designed with an 800 kW solar plant on its roof. A natural air supply is generated by thermal currents, wind pressure and turbulences when air accumulates in the area of the facade and roof projection.

For the fact that it’s a customer service building it really invites it’s customers in. The uniqueness of the building alone would make me want to go in even if I don’t own a BMW.

Coop Himmelblau – Busan Cinema Center / Busan International Film Festival

Busan Cinema center in Busan, South Korea, was designed by Wolf D. Prix/COOP HIMMELB(L)AU and was completedin 2011.

For the building, Wolf D. Prix, the co-founder of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU received as the first architect in South Korea the honorary citizenship of the city of Busan from the hands of Mayor Hur Nam-sik. The award is the highest recognition conferred by the city to personalities who have promoted Busan’s standing in Korea or abroad.

It has the longest free cantilever in the world with a span of 85 meters for a roof surface of 60 x 160 meters, the three-dimensional steel space frame is connected to a single large cone-shaped column which also houses a café and entrance.

LED saturated outdoor roof elements acting as a virtual sky connect building-objects and plaza-zones into a continuous, multifunctional public urban space.

The building is one I won’t mind visiting one day.

Coop Himmelb(l)au – Dalian International Conference Center

Dalian is an important seaport, industrial, trade, and tourism center, located in the southernmost part of the Liaodong Peninsula in the Chinese Liaoning Province.

Mayor of the Chinese city of Dalian headquarters met BMW, whose cornerstone is a monumental ramp rotating when you touch the soil looks like a hurricane. The mayor wanted such a building for your city.

The architects were Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf D. Prix, Alexander Ott

The urban design task of the Dalian International Conference Center is to create an instantly recognizable landmark at the terminal point of the future extension of the main city axis. As its focal point the building will be anchored in the mental landscape of the population and the international community.

I think the concept of the building is really cool, for it to look like a hurricane is something I would never have thought of.

Coop Himmelblau – The Akron Art Museum

The Akron Art Museum is an art museum in Akron, Ohio, USA.

John S. and James L. Knight Building was designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au following an international competition. The Knight Building is the firm’s first project in the Americas. Coop Himmelb(l)au’s design integrates additional gallery space, an auditorium and café with the museum’s 1899 building. The building to me is itself a work of art. Seeing the pictures alone makes me want to visit the Museum. I think it’s amazing how the firm incorporated the buildings original design and modernized it.

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU – Apartment Building Gasometer B

Apartment Building Gasometer B is located in Vienna, Austria. It was completed in 2001.

The Gasometers are old deposits of gas supplied to the city of Vienna. The four historical Gasometers originally housed the tanks for the gas supply of Vienna. After the closure of these Gasometers the interior elements were dismantled, leaving the classical facades.

The concept of the COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Gasometer B adds three new volumes to the existing facade: The cylinder inside the Gasometer, the striking addition of the shield that is visible from outside, and the multifunctional event hall situated in the base of the Gasometer..

I think it’s a weirdly beautiful structure; the way the building slants but still holds is amazing to me.

Bizzell Memorial Library

Bizzell Memorial Library is located in the heart of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, just east of the iconic clock tower. It was designed by the architecture firm Layton Hicks & Forsyth and constructed in 1929.

Much like majority of the buildings on campus it is a Collegiate Gothic building. I love the sculptures at the entrance of the library, the gargoyles and human sculptures; they are hardly noticeable but when you do notice them you won’t take your eyes off them. The reason this building is significant to me is because as a student I spend a lot of time there studying and the environment is great for that.

My favorite spot in the library is the Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center; I love the technology and set up.

The Art Institute of Chicago

I have had the pleasure of visiting the Art Institute of Chicago; I always wanted to visit it for the artworks. From the outside the Institute does a good job of hiding just how big the inside of the building is (reminds me of Doctor who’s tardis). Two lion statues guard the entrance, which reminds me of the lion statues in Buckingham Palace.

Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge of Boston for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition as the World’s Congress Auxiliary Building with the intent that the Art Institute occupies the space after the fair closed designed it in the Beaux-Arts style. The stone arch entrance to the old Chicago Stock Exchange marks the east entrance of the museum.

When you visit the museum you can’t but help to be inspired by the artworks, the creativity and talent put into each piece if work is incredible. There are so many works of art in the institute that I wasn’t able to see all of them. I hope to visit the museum again when I get the chance.

Akwa Ibom National Stadium

In Nigerian there are a few stadiums but the grandest of them all is the Akwa Ibom National Stadium in Uyo. The stadium is the home of Nigeria’s soccer team, Nigerian Super Eagles, as well as a center for various social, cultural, and religious events.

The contract for the design of the stadium was awarded to Julius Berger, a structural engineering firm based in Nigeria. It was completed last year, 2014.

I personally believe it is one of Nigeria’s most beautiful structures, I have not had the pleasure of visiting the stadium but I have driven past it at Night and it is truly mesmerizing.

Cathedral Church of Christ

The Cathedral, which is the oldest Anglican cathedral in the Church of Nigeria, was established in 1869. Architect Benjamin Bagandogi designed it in a Norman Gothic style. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) laid the foundation stone on 21 April 1925. It was completed in 1946.

It is popularly known as the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina. At various times in its history, the cathedral was the seat of the archbishop of the Province of West Africa, the seat of the archbishop and primate of All Nigeria and the seat of the archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos. It is currently the seat of the Bishop of Lagos. The church stands on a prominent position on the CMS suburb of the Marina, of the Lagos Island, overlooking the Lagos lagoon.

The building is significant to me because it is such a beautiful structure amongst the chaos around it. It stands strong in the center of a very busy Lagos street. I remember passing the building often and just staring in awe of its beauty. In Lagos there are very few buildings constructed in a Gothic style so it really stands out. Till date I have never visited the church I have just admired from afar but hopefully in the near future I will visit it.