Ballito Lifestyle Centre Extension

As showcased in the Digest of South African Architecture 2012…

Architect: Evolution Architects, Westville, KwaZulu Natal

Structural Engineer: Hatch GOBA

Mechanical Engineer: AURECON

Quantity Surveyor: Schoombie Hartmann

Contractor: Construction ID

Landscape Architect: Uys & White

Facade Engineers: Ness Consulting Engineers

Photography: Dennis Guichard

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Khalifa International Stadium

Below a compilation of images from a larger more extensive portfolio I shot recently of the spectacular Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. This stadium is one of the host venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It has a current seating capacity of 66,00 seats although the venue is due to receive a major upgrade prior to the tournament taking place here.

The stadium was originally built in 1976 but recently received a massive upgrade with practical completion achieved in early 2005. ARUP (the world’s best engineers) were of course involved with the structural design and development of the project and Cox Richardson Architects & Planners were tasked to develop the scheme for the complete stadium expansion, including seating extension, foundations, roof, and private box for the Crown Prince of Qatar.

It’s a wonderful example of exciting modern architecture and engineering and a pleasing portent of the standard of creative design that is being developed here as the country explodes towards 2022…

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Kitchen Classics

This week I had the opportunity to grab some images from the refreshing new Kitchen Classics factory and showroom in the Mount Edgecombe business park whilst the sun was out in Durban – we’ve got rain set in for the next week here so it was a good opportunity to get out and shoot a portfolio of architectural projects for Kevin Lloyd architect whilst the weather was good.

The showroom and factory itself is simply spectacular – nice clean lines, simple architecture and open airy spaces. Two massive timber screens on the front facade provide solar shading and reduce the air-conditioning requirements on the interior space. Internally there is a spectacular use of off-shutter concrete, an exposed concrete ceiling and a polished concrete floor offset with polished stainless steel staircase balustrading and the most beautiful array of kitchen units you have ever seen in your life.

Kitchen Classics fabricate bespoke kitchen units for residential properties supplying most of the new kitchens for properties across Mt Edgecombe, Zimbali and other exclusive residential estates. The kitchen units on display in their showroom are jaw-droppingly beautiful – I think this is the kind of utopia where you choose your kitchen and then design your house around that rather than the other way around…

If you’re looking for a new kitchen be sure to pop in here and investigate the goods on display. If you’re not looking for a new kitchen be sure to pop in anyway and just be blown away by what could be possible…

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World’s Best New Skyscraper 2012

The ‘world’s best new skyscraper 2012’ prize has been awarded to a pair of buildings colloquially known as “Marilyn Monroe“. The curvy, twisting buildings, officially known as Absolute World Towers, located in Ontario, Canada, were designed by Beijing-based MAD architects and Toronto-based Burka Architects“The way the two structures twist organically by up to eight degrees per floor is not just a superb technical achievement, but also a refreshing change to the set forms of high-rise routine,” said an international panel of expert judges when explaining their decision.

The world’s second best new skyscraper award went to the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi, UAE, designed by Aedas Architects. Ironically I was a part of the team that actually bid for the construction contract on this project when I was still living and working in Abu Dhabi myself for Aldar Laing O’Rourke, so it’s a building structure I’m very familiar with having extensively analysed the construction technologies it required (we didn’t win the bid of course and the contract ultimately went to  Al-Futtaim Carillion).

The award for the world’s third best new skyscraper went to the Burj Qatar (also known as the Doha Tower), a 238-meter skyscraper designed by architect Ateliers Jean Nouvel. I have photographed this building extensively as a part of the stock library of images I compiled for the Qatar Financial Centre Authority recently.

Now whilst I can’t get everywhere in the world to photograph every building that’s going to win a prestigious international award I can share some of these wonderful images of the Doha Tower with you… :-D

Read more HERE

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Failure

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.

Given a time machine or a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes. “

An extract from a commencement speech given by author JK Rowling at Harvard in 2008 – http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure.html

Moses gets wet

Moses Mabhida Stadium in the rain…

The weather reports are predicting rain for all of next week here in Durban, so make sure you get out and capitalise on the opportunity this provides for shooting sensational high-impact images with a difference.

Get your brolly out, put your camera on a tripod and shoot long-exposure captures (30 seconds or so) at dusk and into the dark of night. It’s rewarding and you always get the most sensational shots. 

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The Shard

I was in London recently shooting some images on the Qatari-owned ‘The Shard’ for my Qatar image stock collection; the weather was a typical cold grey-sky winters day which is just perfect for grabbing collections of images with white skies that prove very attractive for editorial use as the capture below demonstrates. This particular image appeared as a double-page spread in ‘Funds Global’ magazine, one of Europe’s leading financial publications with a full-page rate of £5,000!

London is of course FULL of wonderful structures to photograph, you could spend a lifetime immersed in the city, and ‘The Shard’ is certainly another exciting addition to its skyline. London is currently embarking on an ambitious growth strategy, under eccentric Mayor Boris Johnson’s leadership, of allowing skyscrapers to creep up all over the place – the latest being the controversial ‘Cheese Grater’ as it has become known…

Along with the ‘Erotic Gherkin’ and the ‘Cheese Grater’ the British certainly have a tremendous sense of humour which I enjoy; at least ‘The Shard’ seems to have managed to retain some level of dignity, for now…?

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