You don't need a lecture from Jean Nouvel to know that it's hard getting something truly avant-garde built in New York City, so our best and brightest have to trot the globe looking for work. For example, check out the new Botswana Innovation Hub in Gabarone, Botswana, just north of South Africa. The newly unveiled 275,000-square-foot office building and lab space aimed at technology companies was designed by our very own SHoP Architects, last seen pissing off most of Brooklyn. SHoP beat out such firms as Foster + Partners and Gensler to design the eco-friendly building, which looks mostly hidden below ground (the better to shade all those Botswanans. Botswanians? Bots?). So who else has been looking for work outside our cozy confines?
Why, it's Axis Mundi, the firm last seen going toe-to-toe with Nouvel over the Tower Verre after dropping this insanity on our brains. In Barcelona, Axis Mundi has designed a new façade for an old office building that replicates rippling water. It's for a bottled water company ('natch) and the facade will be made of a polymer composite suspended on a steel truss attached to the building. You know, the type of stuff that NIMBYs don't really go gaga over.
· SHoP Wins International Competition for Botswana Innovation Hub [SHoP]
· H2O by Axis Mundi [Dezeen]