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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
When one of the world's richest states decided to build the world's rst carbon-neutral city, they turned to an accomplished Australian designer. Chris Bosse is considered by his peers to be something of a visionary. At the age of 38, he has already produced a number of landmarks, including the so- called Water Cube, or Beijing National Aquatics Center for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in a consortium with the Australian architectural rm PTW, engineers Arup and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation. e design, based on the geometric arrangement of soap bubbles, won global praise. His latest feat, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi -- a completely new residential and commercial develop- ment for 40,000 residents and 1500 'cleantech' companies -- is a new career high for the architect and his fellow directors Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck. Together they beat out hundreds of global rms to design the urban centre of Masdar, the US$22 billion carbon-neutral city on the outskirts of the emirate. "Masdar should be the benchmark for future architectural generations. e city will stand in a role-model position, worldwide, for renewable design,'' says Bosse from Shanghai, where he is working on new projects. Leading the movement away from traditional architecture, Bosse and his company, Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) -- though relatively new at just two years old -- have car ved out a reputation for delivering bold projects. Bosse is one of a fresh generation of Australian architects pioneering a creative reputation for Australia around the world. Just as companies like Lend Lease and Multiplex have taken Australian construction global, so have design companies like Bosse's LAVA blazed a trail for style and technique. "Our inspiration at LAVA is a merger of nature and technology. Australia's highly diverse ecosystems, such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, or the outback desert, give us endless inspiration in our architecture. e evolution and coexistence of thousands of species in a symbiotic environment acts as role model for future architecture and urbanism. "Australia's leading role in solar technologies and digital urban design, along with technology transfer from aviation and marine architecture puts us in a unique position to design the future of the planet." Due for completion in 2016, LAVA is responsible for implementing the dramatic solar powered "sun ower" umbrellas that shade the public piazza at the centre of Masdar by day, capturing the heat, and retracting in the evening, releasing the warmth. " e sun ower principle is eco- friendly and can be adapted to anywhere in the world -- it opens opportunities for outside living, even in the desert," says Bosse. creative designs 91 AUSTRALIAN DESIGNERS HAVE DEVELOPED A STYLE ALL THEIR OWN AND THE WORLD IS TAKING NOTE. CHRIS BOSSE IS ONE OF THE INNOVATORS MAKING A MARK. BY JESS NOBLE the world In the crossroads of the world some Australians are leaving a lasting footprint. In 2000, Sydney based architects John Choi and Tai Ropiha won the international design competition to redesign Broadway's Theatre Ticketing Booth (TKTS Booth) in the famous square. "Australia has an international reputation that is coloured by our remoteness so it is a buzz to say we're from Australia on the other side of the world," says Tai Ropiha. "We developed a scheme that terraced public space up and over the building forming both a roof to the booth, and an inclined seating area for the public to take in the theatre of Times Square. This was done with a coloured translucent glass and then lit from below to give the luminescent effect." Beating 693 firms globally for the win, the pair's firm Choi Ropiha has since gone on to accept a large number of awards, including the 2009 Australian Institute of Architects Jorn Utzon Award for International Architecture. Their design for the US$25 million redevelopment has created a new focal point. The fluorescent red staircase-come-centerpiece provides public and private functions, while intensifying the character of Times Square. "The brief was simple in itself -- a small building with 12 ticket counters. The energy and ephemeral quality of the lights was an inspiring starting point and this certainly pushed us toward creating a luminescent object, but we were driven more by the potential for this project to make Times Square a better public space." the modern landmark makers the sunfloWer principle Technology for the public spaces at Masdar will transform outdoor living in the desert. Courtesy of PKSB Architects Courtesy of Chris Bosse