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West 8 and Snoeck Win Competition to Redesign Het Zand Square in Bruges

The Bruges City Council has selected West 8 + Snoeck & Partners, in partnership with Atelier Roland-Jéol, as the winners of a competition to design the ‘t Zand, also known as Het Zand Square, in Bruges, Belgium.

The 8,500-square-meter historic square has remained unchanged for the past 30 years, and the Council felt that an update was duly needed. In January, five out of 20 designs were shortlisted, and on June 16, the winner was chosen at a presentation before a jury of City Council representatives and external experts.

Atelier YokYok Designs an Enchanting String Installation in Cahors

Atelier YokYok has created an immersive experience of string and light for their "Shooting Vaults” installation at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Cahors, France. Created in collaboration with Ulysse Lacoste and Laure Qaremy, the project will be on display through the month of June.

In the Center of the Volume. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste Installation in Cloister. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste Centroid of Courtyard. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste Visitor within Installation. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste

Zeller & Moye Designs "Flower Terraces" Housing in Ruichang

Mexico City and Berlin-based Zeller & Moye has won the international competition MOLEWA (Mount Lu Estate of World Architecture) to design new housing in Ruichang. Organized by UIA (Unión Internacional de Arquitectos) and Hua Yan Group, the competition received entries from more than 40 countries. 

With an "innovative housing design that sets new standards in low-energy use," Zeller & Moye's "Flower Terraces" will be built in the heart of the circular Chinese city by 2016.

Read on to learn more about the competition-winning project. 

Courtesy of Zeller & Moye Courtesy of Zeller & Moye Courtesy of Zeller & Moye Courtesy of Zeller & Moye

First Images Revealed of SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion In Progress

With this year's Serpentine Pavilion in London scheduled to open next week, the Serpentine Gallery has released construction images of SelgasCano's multi-colored plastic shelter. The images by NAARO show the double-skinned ETFE-coated structure taking shape, and give an impression of the spatial experience offered by the "secret corridors" which circumnavigate and provide access to the interior space.

© NAARO © NAARO © NAARO © NAARO

MAD Architects Unveil Their First US Residential Project

MAD Architects has unveiled what will be their first US residential project, 8600 Wilshire. Planned to be built in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, the 18-unit "hillside village" will be perched atop commercial space and united by a water-efficient "living wall" that was inspired by the local flora.

As MAD says, the project "demonstrates founder Ma Yansong’s core design philosophy: to coalesce nature and community into a living environment among high-density cities." It is expected to break ground this October, and complete in 2016. 

Hawkins\Brown Selected to Design the University of Reading's New School of Architecture

Hawkins\Brown has been chosen to design the new School of Architecture for the University of Reading in Reading, Berkshire, in the United Kingdom. The new School “will be housed in a retrofitted 1970’s concrete brutalist building originally designed by Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis,” which is currently the University’s School of Construction Management and Engineering. Brutalist buildings, like the Prentice Women’s Hospital and the Preston Bus Station are continuously at risk of being demolished, which makes this retrofit all the more valuable. While the University seeks to modernize the building and improve efficiency, they also plan to respect the original design. Construction is set to begin in January 2017 and wrap up by December 2018.  Learn more about the project here.

Monocle 24 Investigates Playful Design and the Role of Luck in Shaping our Cities

For this week's editions of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, and The Urbanist, their weekly "guide to making better cities," the Monocle team investigate the how the act of playing can shape design and the role of luck in our cities.

In Section D, David Plaisant meets artist Simon Terrill at the new Brutalist Playground, currently on display at the RIBA in London. Terrill, along with Assemble, have reimagined a concrete childrens' playground from one of the UK's Brutalist housing estates, in foam – plus more. In this week's edition of The Urbanist, Andrew Tuck explores the role of luck (and misfortune) in our cities, from how architects apply the philosophy of feng shui to their work to a Brazilian district that it was given the name of Boa Sorte ('good luck' in Portuguese). The show also visits Moore – the city dubbed as "tornado alley of Tornado Alley" – in Oklahoma, US, to understand how best to build in such intense climactic environments.

Listen to both episodes after the break.

gmp Architekten Wins Competition to Design Guangzhou City Museum

A competition entry by the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) has been awarded first prize for the new Guangzhou City Museum. The commission was announced at the same time as Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos' selection for the Guangzhou Science Museum, both of which will join the city's new Art Museum by Thomas Herzog Architects to form the central cultural precinct of Guangzhou - China's third largest city. 

HPP Selected to Redesign Cologne's University of Music and Dance

HPP Architects has won a competition to extend the campus of Cologne's University of Music and Dance. Chosen over 13 entries, the winning design will enclose a site in the Kunibertsviertel, close to Cologne’s railway station, and transform it into an "attractive" urban area. The plan, deemed by the jury to be a "clear example of a successful urban remedy," also calls for the conversion of an existing building into an animated concert and dance hall. 

Richard Rogers Appeals for Public Support to Save Robin Hood Gardens from Demolition

When it was announced in 2012 that London's Robin Hood Gardens – Alison and Peter Smithson's world-famous Brutalist housing estate – was to be demolished, there was outrage among the architectural community. Since then, many have called for the profession to act in order to protect "one of Britain’s most important post-war housing projects," which led to a fresh bid to save the scheme in March of this year. Richard Rogers, Simon Smithson (a partner at RSHP and son of Alison and Peter Smithson), and academic Dirk van den Heuvel have now called upon members of the public to voice their concerns to the UK Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport, before the end of the week:

"Previous efforts in 2009 to have the building listed failed, but the case has now been re-opened and we understand that the new Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage will be reviewing the arguments at the end of this week [w/c 15th June 2015]."

Critical Round Up: OMA's Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Founded in 2008 and named after the constructivist bus shelter that was its first, temporary home, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is Russia's first private, non-profit art foundation. Relocating from a semi-industrial neighborhood on the northern edge of Moscow to Gorky Park, the Garage Museum's conversion of a Soviet era canteen and social club into Museum of Contemporary Art by OMA has so far been overshadowed by its more glamorous OMA counterpart which opened last month, the Milanese distillery conversion for Prada. Nevertheless, since opening last Friday the Garage Museum has attracted attention for Rem Koolhaas' shift towards preservation, something that has startled the critics. Find out more about what they thought after the break.

Yuri Palmin. Image © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Yuri Palmin. Image © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Yuri Palmin. Image © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art David X Prutting. Image © BFA.com

2015 Norden Fund Winner to Study “Ecologies of War and Recovery” in Vietnam

The Architectural League has named Ylan Vo the winner of this year’s Deborah J. Norden Fund travel grant for her project entitled Ecologies of War and Recovery: A Case Study in Vietnam’s A Luoi Valley.

Vo’s project explores the A Luoi Valley “as an example of the post-conflict landscape of Vietnam, with particular emphasis on understanding the ecological and social conditions surrounding toxic Agent Orange hotspots that mark the valley.” Agent Orange, also called Dioxin, is the most potent carcinogen in existence, and poses major threats to environmental health and sustainability.

Call for Submissions: New Ideas for Housing London

New London Architecture have launched an international ideas competition to tackle the ongoing demands of London's growing housing shortage, in partnership with the office of the Mayor of London. They envisage that New Ideas for Housing London will provide opportunities for any level of designer, "be they a large organisation or just one person with a big idea," to submit a proposal "that could help shape the future of the UK capital." Selected entrants will work alongside the Greater London Authority to explore how the ideas could be put into practice. The organisers state that "no idea is too big or too small, as long as it can be applied to the capital."

AS+GG, Burj Khalifa Architect to Design World's Tallest Commercial Tower

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has been commissioned by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) to design the world's tallest commercial tower, "Burj 2020." As Emirates 24/7 reports, AS+GG will work with WATG, a "top destination creation consultancy" who's been appointed to envision the Burj 2020 District's masterplan, to realize a "world-class destination" that will "set new levels of efficiency and urban sustainability."

WEISS/MANFREDI Break Ground on "The Bridge" at Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island Campus

WEISS/MANFREDI broke ground yesterday on Cornell Tech's pioneering building, "The Bridge." Spearheading the first phase of the $2 billion Roosevelt Island tech campus, the new building will "bridge" the gap between academia and industry, providing a seven-story "corporate co-location" loft where students and industry leaders will collaborate.  

“The Bridge is a crystalline incubator with river-to-river views and creates a three-dimensional crossroads, an ecosystem of innovation to catalyze collaboration between academics and entrepreneurs,” say design partners Marion Weiss and Michael A. Manfredi.

ARCHIDIRECTOR: A Fantastical City Inspired by Famous Directors by Federico Babina

"Directors are like the architects of cinema," says Federico Babina, an Italian architect known for his imaginative architecture-inspired illustrations. In his latest, Babina envisions a fictional city of 27 houses inspired by film's most celebrated directors, including George Lucas, Charles Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Wim Wenders and many others.

"The architecture is like a scene from a movie where the story is the life, the script is dictated by the use of the building and where the actors are the residents. A labyrinth where all - characters, director, audience –are lost and found in the intensity of their emotions," Babina adds. 

Tour through the entire city, after the break. 

© Federico Babina © Federico Babina © Federico Babina © Federico Babina

LEGO Invests $150 Million in Sustainable Materials Research

LEGO recently made architecture news with their BIG-designed "LEGO House," a museum and "experience center". Image Courtesy of LEGO Group
LEGO recently made architecture news with their BIG-designed "LEGO House," a museum and "experience center". Image Courtesy of LEGO Group

LEGO has long been recognized by architects as a key inspiration in the world of creative building - but the Danish toy company's influence over the construction industry may be about to get a whole lot more direct. Yesterday, LEGO announced the establishment of its own sustainable materials research center, with an investment of 1 billion Danish Krone ($150 million US), which will search to find sustainable alternatives to the plastic used in their products and packaging.

Olson Kundig’s “Outpost Basel” Lounge Opens at Design Miami/Basel

Seattle-based architects Olson Kundig have opened their "Outpost Basel" pavilion for the Collectors Lounge at Design Miami/Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Incorporating materials and cultural elements from America, Japan, Austria, and Romania, the pavilion is a “high-design space made from everyday materials,” with a design centered on the idea of contrast, much like the concept of yin-yang. Different levels of lighting, material colors, and uses of space are contrasted with balance in order to create a functional, flexible meeting and gathering space.

© Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott © Kevin Scott