Cybertecture, the field that brings together innovation, conventional architectural practices, and technological advancement, has been the niche of Architect James Law. Founder of James Law Cybertecture International, the architect has designed a diverse range and scale of projects from master planning to architecture and multi-media services to industrial products. Beyond his practice, he also founded Cybertecture Academy for design education and Cybertecture for Humanity- a social innovation NGO. His work has been widely accoladed with awards such as the FT Asian Innovation Award, Edison Award for Innovation, Design for Asia Award, HSBC World Architecture Award, to name a few. Take a glimpse into the world of Cybertecture with 15 projects by the architect.
1. OPod Tube Houses
The affordable housing project within an area of 100 square feet, in a 2.5-meter diameter concrete pipe, has been a widely acclaimed design by architect James Law. The idea that struck the architect while observing water pipes in a construction yard, creates spaces for two people. The experimental living space can be locked with a smartphone and has been provided with a fully glazed panel which is used as a door as well as a window for efficient natural lighting. The module weighs 20 tons and can be stacked one above the other. The interiors have a convertible bench that can be used as a bed. Furthermore, it has a provision for cooking space, washroom, and stands for storage. The innovative solution was proposed keeping in view the rising need for residential spaces and escalating rents.
2. Cybertecture Egg, Mumbai
The 32,000 square meters of egg-shaped building encapsulates the sustainable features and eminent use of innovative technology. The 13-floor building with 3 basements was inspired by the natural ecosystems which constantly evolve themselves. On the same lines, the project has been created with wind turbines on the roof, solar panels on the façade, and a series of gardens for natural ventilation and cooling, For reducing the energy consumption, systems for wastewater management, water recycling systems, and groundwater cooling systems. The shape of the building in the form of an egg additionally reduces the total surface area by 10-20%. The interiors have a spacious organization as there are reduced columns with spans up to 30 meters.
3. The Pad, Dubai
Mimicking an iPod as it is rested on the charging dock, the Pad apartment building is tilted at an angle of 6.5 degrees. The building has 26 floors with 256 apartments where the inhabitants have the provision of customizing the software of the building. The façade features nearly 2000 LED panels which are programmable. The smart homes in the apartment have lighting features that change color in response to the activities inside and outside the apartments. Washrooms have been provided mirrors that regulate occupants wights, blood pressure, and other necessary health measurements. Furthermore, the two- and three-bedroom apartments have a view of the Dubai Creek.
4. Aquaria Grande, Mumbai
The two 37 storied luxury residential towers with more than 200 apartments were constructed in the year 2015 with a soaring height of 163.97 meters. Each apartment has a scenic view of the city with efficient natural ventilation created by a strategic 3 leaf configuration plan. The podium level has a clubhouse, landscaped areas for the residents, and extensive space for the parking. In addition to the indoor gym and sauna, the efficient glass facades have been provided for sustainable energy consumption.
5. Bandra Ohm, Mumbai
The luxury condominiums are designed with unique features in the 38 storied building. Each unit has a swimming pool with a balcony with a view of the city. The 140 meters high structure has a clubhouse that hangs in the center, in the shape of an egg. The form of the building replicated the form of a ripple, which gives the pools on each floor the shape of a crescent in the acrylic enclosure.
6. Technosphere, Dubai
The proposed project for the city center of the Technopark in western Dubai was designed by the firm in the year 2009 as a winning entry in an international competition. The iconic sphere-shaped building accommodated an inclusive mixed neighborhood of retail, commercial, and hospitality spaces with high-end energy-efficient systems. The sphere was designed with a diagrid structure supported with perimeter raking columns, shear walls, and steel trusses. The large span floor plate also provided terraces and sky gardens, for commercial spaces and hotels. With the use of solar panels, water recycling systems, thermal break systems, and high-performance laminate glass, highly sustainable functionings of the building were designed.
7. AMC Cinema, Hong Kong
Addressing the technological advancement of the 21st century, the AMC Pacific Cinema is a luxurious cinema designed by the firm. Deriving its inspiration from the ‘art of tree’, the interiors intricately depict the canopy of a tree. The spaces in the cinema include ticketing counters, concessions, bars, lounges, 6 houses, and 800 seats. While explaining the idea behind the project, the architect elaborates, “I have merged art and technology together as architects in the 21st Century have become more focused on the importance of integrating sophisticated lifestyle-touches into their design than ever before. Our aim is to create an environment that works in tandem with delivering end-users with a space that is technologically astute.”
8. HKT Flagship Store, Hong Kong
HKT- Hong Kong Telecom flagship store spanning 2,000 square feet with state of art zones was designed for telecommunication, IoT, lounge, and robots. The store showcases different features such as a model smart home that demonstrates lighting systems, audio controls, gaming systems, and virtual reality.
9. Smart Environmental Lamp Post
The lamp post designed by the firm is a tower that is highly equipped to monitor the environmental conditions for better living. Provided with more than 10 sensors that duly observe parameters such as radiation, humidity, temperature, etc., the tower uses the data to manage indoor environments. The collected data is transmitted to the buildings in the immediate vicinity, which gives the optimized levels in response to be achieved in the indoor environment. The towers are further connected in an array over the larger span in the city, enhancing the control over the indoor environment and making cities smarter.
10. The Capital, Mumbai
The LEED and India Green building Gold rated building located in Mumbai is an astounding amalgamation of innovation and design. The structure spans 1.5 million square feet, with 20 floors shelters offices for MNCs, commercial spaces, restaurants, and lobbies. Some of the remarkable features of the building are stepped-in facade created on the western end, an egg-shaped structure which rests in the sky lobby along the eastern façade, and extensive landscaped areas provided with the sky lobby. Furthermore, for ample natural lighting, diffusers have been provided in the atrium and operable windows for natural ventilation are customized on each floor.
11. Parinee I, Mumbai
The 160-meter-high tower designed for corporate offices as well as for creative professionals in the field of movies, Parinee I presents an iconic design. Among the futuristic elements of the tower, a few are a metallic folding wall for a lobby, flexible spaces for conducting social events, an auditorium with a panoramic view of the city. Additionally, the façade of the tower features four zones aligned at an angle and enhanced with a combination of glazing, LED, louvers, and sky gardens.
12. Delhi Airport Express Terminal, New Delhi
The mixed-use structure primarily functions as a railway terminal with an extensive facility for car parking given the huge influx of users on a day to day basis. The vast 0.5 million square feet project also has retail, commercial, and hospitality areas designed on the upper levels.
13. Noah’s Ark, Hong Kong
Noah’s Ark is a thematic and educational building spread over an area of 1,50,000 square feet in Hong Kong. The design revolves around the demonstration and experience of the story of Noah. The features of the building include a hotel, museum, a landscape park, sculptures, and playgrounds.
14. 6 Wilmer Street, Hong Kong
The 28 storied building in Hong Kong houses nearly 150 offices which are compact and equipped with smart technologies. Each office designed as a work pod functions as an independent unit customized with individual washrooms and pantry area. Furthermore, the façade has been designed with LED lighting features and the building has exclusive spaces for art curated by the architect.
15. One BKC, Mumbai
The commercial building in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai has achieved LEED and India Green Building Gold rating. Constructed with a 2 million square feet area, the building has 20 floors designed for commercial, retail, hospitality spaces. The offices are provided with sky gardens and terraces, along with an automated robotic car parking for 1500 cars.