Zaha Hadid Architects to transform Russia's largest port

Sunday, 24 June 2018 0 comments

Following an architectural competition, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has been given the nod to head a 13.9 hectare (34 acre) development of Russia's largest shipping port, Novorossiysk. The project is due to begin construction in the second half of 2019.

ZHA has previously worked on a high-profile port project with its Port House in Antwerp. However, the Admiral Serebryakov Embankment project is on a far bigger scale.

Located on the Black Sea coast, the port city of Novorossiysk connects Russia with the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean and Suez Canal, and is both Russia's largest port and the third-busiest port in Europe by turnover, according to ZHA. The firm's design calls for a new fishing port, marina, hotel and piers, as well as public plazas, gardens and parks. Vehicle access will be restricted and outdoor leisure encouraged.

The project will also include nine buildings, all angled so as to mitigate disruption of existing sea views in the city, and all iterations of the same basic design.

"Applying the concept of 'instancing' in which nine iterations of a single form evolve in a gradient across the site, the configuration of each building is established according its unique function, conditions and requirements," says the firm. "As with time-lapse photography capturing nine instances of its subject over a period of time, this evolution sequence becomes the masterplan itself. The digital computational model developed for this masterplan in Novorossiysk performs as an urban planning tool analyzing many different programmatic, environmental and socio-economic conditions to define the new buildings within the masterplan."

The project also involves Russian firm Pride TPO.

World's largest Shah Faisal Mosque Islamabad - Pakistan

Tuesday, 27 February 2018 1 comments

Faisal Mosque is the mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan. Located on the foothills of Margalla Hills in Islamabad, the mosque features a contemporary design consisting of eight sides of concrete shell and is inspired by a Bedouin tent. The mosque is a major tourist attraction, and is referred as a contemporary and influential feature of Islamic architecture.

Construction of the mosque began in 1976 after a $120 million grant from Saudi King Faisal, whose name the mosque bears. The unconventional design by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay was selected after an international competition. Without a typical dome, the mosque is shaped like a Bedouin tent, surrounded by four 260 feet (79 m) tall minarets. The design features eight-sided shell shaped sloping roofs forming a triangular worship hall which can hold 100,000 worshippers, while the surrounding porticoes and the courtyard up-to 200,000 more.

Combined the structure cover an area of 54,000 square ft, the mosque dominates the landscape of Islamabad. It is situated at the north end of Faisal Avenue, putting it at the northernmost end of the city and at the foot of Margalla Hills, the westernmost foothills of the Himalayas. It is located on an elevated area of land against a picturesque backdrop of the national park. The largest mosque in Pakistan, the Faisal Mosque was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 until 1993, when it was overtaken by mosques in MENA region. Faisal Mosque is now the fourth largest mosque in terms of capacity.


The mosque was named Shah Faisal Mosque due to the late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia who suggested building a national mosque in Islamabad during his visit in 1966 and later largely supported funding for the construction. The government Saudi Arabia provided 130 million Saudi Riyals donation for the mosque. Work on mosque was started in with an international competition held in 1969, in which architects from 17 different countries submitted 43 designs for the Mosque. The accepted design was created by a Turkish architect, Vedat Dalokay who recieved the Agha Khan Architectural Award for this assignment. The construction work for the mosque under supervision of Azam Khan was started by National Construction of Pakistan in 1976. It was completed in 1986 at a cost of 130 million Saudi Riyals and is designed similar to a desert Bedouin’s tent.


The design made by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay not only reflects modern but also the basic Islamic principles of design. This unique mixture of traditional Islamic construction style and modern building principles has made Shah Faisal Mosque very popular throughout the world.

Instead of using traditional domes Vidat Dalokay designed an eight sided main hall that looks like an Arab Bedouin’s desert tent. Additionally he added four minarets all of 90 meters (300 feet) on all four corners of main hall. The main structure of building is a main prayer hall and four minarets. The giant structure of 40 meters (131 feet) high hall is supported by four concrete girders.

At the entrance of mosque there is a small courtyard containing a small round water pond with fountains and introductory plaque inside it. Next to this courtyard, on the left hand are stairs leading to main courtyard of mosque and going straight leads to another but comparatively larger water pond with fountains. On the left side of this pond is ablution place for worshipers. This second water pond looks very beautiful. Stairs goes to main courtyard from all four corners of this pond.

There is an adjoining ground on east of mosque that contains mausoleum of a former president Gen. Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan. Another ground is located at front side of mosque but it is a smaller one. There is also a water pond with fountains at frond side of the building.

Ever wanted to live in an Italian castle? Now's your chance

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 4 comments

If you've ever dreamed of taking up residence in an Italian castle but don't have the deep pockets required, a new scheme by the Italian government may be of interest. It's handing out longterm leases to 103 castles, villas, and other historic buildings free of charge – providing you're willing to roll up your sleeves and do some DIY.

ourism in Italy is often focused on familiar hotspots like Venice and Rome, but the country's new Strategic Tourist Plan aims to introduce visitors to less well-trodden areas. The idea is to promote "slow tourism," or cycling, walking, and the like.

There are a total of 103 properties up for grabs this year and another 200 planned over the next two years. They're located all over Italy in various stages of dilapidation. Many are still very picturesque though and include villas, castles, inns, farmhouses and other buildings.

Standout properties include Serramazzoni's Torre della Bastiglia, a 12th Century tower erected to support the Castle of Monfestino; Torre Angellara in Salerno, a 15th Century military building that was part of Italy's coastal defenses; and Fortilizio dei Mulini, a medieval fort in Spoleto

Before you go packing a drill and phrasebook however, you'll first need to fill out an online application (follow the source link below). You'll also need to commit to renovating a site into a tourist-friendly facility like a hotel, restaurant, or spa. Duties will include promoting local walking tours, cycling, and such. Under 40's are preferred, and the offer is only open until June 26th.

Those given the nod will be granted an initial nine-year period to work on their project, with further nine-year chunks of time then doled out. Up to 50 years is also possible in some cases.

The question remains as to whether the scheme is open to non-Italian citizens. Judging from our rudimentary attempts to translate the Italian text with Google Translate, we'd guess that's the case, though an English-language version of the terms and conditions is on the way, so all should become clearer soon.

5-Step Plan to Reduce Inflammation With a Healthy and Active Lifestyle by Michael Joseph

Sunday, 6 August 2017 1 comments

Chronic inflammation is one of the biggest killers in the world.

It is a growing problem that affects a significant number of people, and it has links to almost every chronic disease.

On the positive side, we can mostly avoid it depending on how we live our life.

This article will explain some simple ways to reduce inflammation through a healthy and active, real food lifestyle.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is supposed to be a natural process that helps our body heal from injury or illness.

During an inflammatory response, macrophages (local immune cells) are the first to defend the body.

Also, chemical messengers known as cytokines warn the immune system about the problem and small white blood cells (lymphocytes) fight the infection/damage.

Key Point: Inflammation is a natural, biological process. However, it is only supposed to last for a short time, and chronic inflammation can cause major health problems.

How to Reduce Inflammation

I’m sorry to all those lists of vegetables that “beat” inflammation, but a kale smoothie does not make up for a poor lifestyle.

Regarding inflammation, it is our whole diet and lifestyle that are important.

Fortunately, living a healthy and active lifestyle can stop inflammation in its tracks.

The following five areas are all essential to our overall health;
Stress/Social Relationships

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