Just last week, DesignBoom brought us news of this cactus-inspired design for the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture building in Doha, Qatar. It's a fascinating example of biomimicry — the skin of one of the hardiest plants of the desert is applied to the design of the facade of a desert building — with hundreds of smart shades that open and close depending on the strength of the sun.
If you've ever been to Taiwan, you'll probably agree that this design for Chinatrust Bank's headquarters is spot on for the region. Taiwan is so lush and green — the extensive allowance for green roofs, vertical courtyards, and open space in the central plaza likely blends right in to the terrain. Designed by the LA office of NBBJ, with the assistance of local firm Fei & Cheng Associates, the development includes a 30-story headquarters building, 21-story commercial office building, 10-story hotel, and four-level retail center. The development just broke ground earlier this month and will end up with 2.5 million square feet by about 2012.
This is Gwanggyo Power Centre, a concept design for a new town located roughly 20 miles south of Seoul, South Korea. MVRDV won a competition with this design, which consists of skinny, hill-shaped buildings that contain housing, offices, parking, retail, leisure, and educational spaces. Although the concept plan is currently under review for feasibility and cost estimations, if everything moves forward, Gwanggyo Power Centre will become a self-sustaining town of 77,000 inhabitants.