Denmark’s third largest city, Odense, has a major transformative plan for their city center by 2020. In the 1960s, the Thomas B Thriges Gade allowed Odense to accomodate the demands of growing vehicular traffic, but since then, the city has been hard pressed to break from this defining infrastructure. Utopian City Scape and Entasis have teamed to create a multi-stage development plan for the city center as a way to restore the cohesiveness of a city that has been fragmented by the Thomas B Thriges. The plan sees the introduction of a massive amount of building (more than 55,000 sqm!) that will provide over 300 housing opportunities and 1000 work places. By filling in the street, the smaller networks of secondary streets will be strengthened to create pedestrian passageways and prominades, creating intimate moments that become defined by the edges of the buildings. While we enjoy the light rail system that works its way around the city center, the idea of including a parking lot that accommodates nearly 1000 vehicles seems a bit contradictory. Perhaps, without it, citizens would rely move heavily upon the public infrastructure and the new “connected” feeling of the city to circulate. The absence of cars would further strengthen Odense’s move away from a city defined by the vehicle and would allow the master plan to implement its sustainability theme on a macro level.
Last night, ArchDaily joined the community of Chelsea and Friends of the High Line in the crowded auditorium of PS 11: The William T Harris School eager to see James Corner and Rick Scofidio’s latest ideas for the third installment of the High Line. This last segment of the amazing elevated park project is the designers’ most crucial intervention as it culminates the strategies introduced in Phases 1 and 2 and must adaptively respond to new contextual relationships between 34th and 30th Streets. Corner and Scofidio’s eloquent and coherent presentation very much responded to the community’s input from the last public meeting held in December, as the design addressed the need for a child’s play area with an idea for a section with rubberized beams, a place for spontaneous and planned performances, and more seating. Scofidio kidded, “There are some things we could do better, and that’s exactly why we get to do the third phase.”
More about Phase 3 after the break.
Vishaan Chakrabarti, Director of Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate, will join SHoP Architects as its seventh partner – and only the second partner not related to the firm’s founders by blood or marriage. Chakrabarti’s expertise with large scale urban development projects will allow the firm to expand their urban reach, invigorating their “think-tank” approach to confront larger architectural problems that respond to global issues. “We are thrilled to have Vishaan join the firm. His background and depth of experience allow SHoP to add expertise to our bench while continuing our firm-wide focus on both planning and building,” said William Sharples, SHoP Partner. “Our interests extend beyond building beautiful skyscrapers, museums, university buildings and airport terminals. We want to build in such a way that our buildings give back to our cities and to our clients through use of public space, density, sustainability, and innovative construction methods.”
More about SHoP’s new partner after the break.
Rio de Janeiro will be bustling with activity very quickly, beginning with the World Cup in 2012 to the Summer Olympics in 2016. Earlier, we shared AECOM’s winning master plan for the complex and it was recently announced that American golf architect Gil Hanse was chosen as the designer for the Rio 2016 Course. Hanse’s work has included major courses scattered around the country, from Boston to LA, and now he is bringing his talent to South America. This Olympics will mark the first time golf has been an official sport since the 1904 Games in St. Louis, and thus, Hanse has his work cut out for him in designing not only a top course, but also the first of its kind for such an event. After ousting Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam for the job, Hanse will team with pro-golfer Amy Alcott to design the course in the Barra da Tijuca part of Rio. “We will strive to produce a course that will maximize the benefits of the site while creating an identity that is in keeping with the natural terrain, vegetation and wildlife indigenous to what we believe will be transformed into a “picturesque” landscape which will make the people of Rio proud,” explained Hanse.
More about the course after the break.
We have been following the rising popularity of CLOG, beginning with their inaugural thematic issue on BIG and, their second issue on Apple which highlighted Jobs’ Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino by Foster + Partners. This latest architectural publication seeks to slow the pace at which architectural information is distributed, allowing people to pause and absorb the projects and ideas presented and discuss the topics at hand.
For CLOG’s Apple issue, the publication included over 50 international multidisciplinary contributors and discussed topics from ranging an interview with one of Apple Computer’s original three founders, Ronald Wayne, to articles about the innovative glass engineering, and design critique of the project. After the large success of both issues, CLOG is gearing up for their next issue and calling for submissions about renderings. For this addition, the team will address the persuasive power of renderings and their important, and perhaps dominant, role in project presentations.
More about CLOG after the break.
We have been sharing short clips from Great Spaces that offer a new spin on reviewing contemporary spaces ranging from SANAA’s latest art museum in the Bowery to UNStudio’s New Amsterdam Pavilion by South Ferry. This clip features the review of Piada Cafe, an Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan at the base of the Citigroup Building. Designed by Fieldlines Architecture, the 900 sqf cafe situated on the corner of 53rd and Lex offers a sleek setting for its customers with a handsome curving central counter and a community table that shapes the main circulation path. Have you had the chance to snack on some delicious Italian food and enjoy the architectural ambiance? Let us know in the comments below.
Would you live here? Designed by Seoul-based practice Moon Hoon, this single family residence for Giheung-Gu, Korea is organized around a central stair that branches to seven different living levels. Wrapped in a colorful facade of metal panels, the coloring choice provides a strong statement for the unusual residence along with conjuring images of a child’s favorite treat. The clients urged Moon Hoon to explore the idea of multiple living planes which has resulted in a skip floor setup with a study, living area, kitchen and dining area, master bedroom, children’s bedroom, attic playroom and upper level room, stemming from the circulation core. An atrium runs the height of the house and allows natural light to illuminate the interiors.
More images and drawings after the break.
After winning the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship in 2011, Sahil Despande of the Rizvi College of Architecture in Mumbai has focused his research on understanding an urban planning scheme that would look beyond the typical architectural desires of constructing houses and public spaces, to the broader problem of providing proper sanitation. Proper sanitation is not a necessity most can afford; in fact, over 2.5 billion people have poor access to proper sanitation and for 1.5 billion, access is seemingly impossible. Without such a basic amenity, a city or settlement’s economic and health structure are often jeopardized. Despande feels the issue of providing proper sanitation is one in which architects often shy away from, as master plans focus on spatial aspects of the formation of a city rather than trying to install the proper infrastructure necessary for its citizens. In his research, Despande traveled to thirteen vastly different cities – ranging from the poorest informal settlement, Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya to places such as Zurich, Beijing and Delhi – in an effort to study the existing sanitation systems and understand the cultural context in which they reside. Despande’s research is bringing sanitation to the forefront to generate awareness about its inherent linkage with public health, and urge architects to tackle the issue to improve the conditions for billions of people. Check out his presentation and let us know what you think of his research findings.
China must be going crazy.
In recent years, the growth of China has been incredible. We have often likened the massive surge of projects in the country to the explosive levels of architectural experimentation in Dubai. OMA, Hadid, Holl, Foster, Morphosis – strong powerhouses of architecture – all seeking to help China meet the demands of its emerging world power position by springing from the basis of a historically isolated culture and leaping to craft a more globalized image for the country. Such an image creates the desire for an architecture which can continually out shine itself as it challenges traditional materiality, scale and contextual relationships in China’s modern cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, Hangzhou and West Kowloon.
Perhaps, that is precisely why many have not heard of Wang Shu and Amateur Architecture Studio. And, perhaps, that is precisely why this Pritzker award carries such weight.
We’ve been following the progress of Herzog and de Meuron’s recent projects, such as the construction stages of the Elbe Philharmonic and the design of the Museum der Kulturen Basel. Yet, every so often, it is interesting to view some of the firm’s older projects to see the common line of thought running throughout their portfolio and examine how their design process has evolved throughout the years to respond to newer technologies, materials and environmental concerns. Although the Sammlung Goetz Museum in Munich was designed and constructed nearly two decades ago, the project illustrates the firm’s obsession with the building’s outer treatment. Material selection and facade design is an important facet of the firm’s identity, but we noticed another common thread between this project and their future works – the fascination with the floating volume.
More about the museum, including more photos, after the break.
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has clocked in at a positive 50.9 for January. Although the score brings the ABI into positive territories for the past three months, 50.9 is slightly over the positive measuring marker and actually, just under December’s mark of 51.0. Regional averages place the Midwest as the leading area with 53.7; followed by the South (51.6), Northeast (50.7), and West (45.6). AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA explained that even though the index is showing a similar upturn in design billings to the late 2010 and early 2011, firms are still having a hard time staying on their feet. “We still continue to hear about struggling firms and some continued uncertainly in the market, we expect that overall economic improvements in the design and construction sector to be modest in the coming months.”
We want to know if you are seeing positive effects of an increased ABI over the past three months. Are your offices acquiring more projects? Hiring new people? Or, has the situation remained similar over the past months?
Are you an avid lover of the High Line? If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage of the project by James Corner Field Operations and DS+R, then you have been following the development of the High Line’s different sections – such as the early stages for a the design of the Gansevoort entrance and elevated street ampitheater of Stage One, and the picture frame and tree fly over of Stage Two. And, yet the amazing public space is still developing further. Friends of the High Line are presenting initial design concepts for the rail yards section of the High Line, which requires new zoning that would preserve the entire rail yards section, including the Spur, as public open space. At a community input meeting on Monday, March 12, the High Line design team will share their visions and answer questions about the soon-to-be newest part of the project.
More information about the meeting after the break.
Newark-native Richard Meier has not forgotten his roots. Established by the Puritans as a colony to follow the rules of the church in the 17th century, Newark evolved into a prosperous industrial center during the 19th century, experienced a harsh period of industrial and social decline after WWII, and is currently seeking to reestablish its reputation as a renewed urban metropolis. Meier has supported such efforts to restore the city’s vitality, including chairing an international design competition for the creation of a Visitors’ Center for Newark (check out some proposals we’ve previously featured here). Back in 2010, Meier & Partners shared their vision for a new Teachers Village for the city – a four block-long mixed-use development aimed at attracting young professionals who work in the educational system to reside in the downtown area. This past week, we are happy to share that the Village, which includes two school buildings with three charter schools and a daycare center, 70,000 sqf for retail space, in addition to the rental apartments for Newark teachers, has broken ground.
More about the project after the break.
For their new library and community center in Vennesla, Norwegian architects Helen & Hard bring a sophisticated elegance to the public facility in Norway. The project links an existing community house and learning center, and seeks to become an extension of the main city square with its transparent facade and urban loggia. The expressive ribs combine structure, technical infrastructure, and functionality into one architectonic element that creates a dynamic aesthetic identity for the project to meet the client’s original intent to mark the city’s cultural center.
More about the project after the break.
Last September, we attended MoMA’s PS 1 Open Studio event to catch a glimpse of the collaborative projects of five multidisciplinary teams focusing on how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. When we visited, the teams were in the final stages of their designs and preparing to send their visions to the Museum of Modern Art for the exhibition “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. One of the team’s we talked with was WORK Architecture Company about their Nature-City proposal, an extension of the suburb whichhas been designed in an abstracted way to serve as a plug in model to create cities elsewhere.
More about Nature-City after the break.
Weiss/Manfredi has just been selected to transform the urban campus of the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. following a competition among top firms such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Diamond Schmitt Architects, and Steven Holl Architects. The project will establish new connections among the diverse collection of buildings that span more than a century on the Washington D.C. site and create a new expression for National Geographic’s international programs, museum, media, and research activities.
More after the break.
Landscape architect, James Corner, has a way of not only designing captivating landscapes, but making places where people want to be. While thousands have experienced his transformation of New York’s industrial rail line, Corner’s impact is also evident in major metropolises on an international level as his competition entries and built work inspire a sense of urban renewal and restore confidence in their settings. In fact, Fast Company has recently named James Corner Field Operations as one of 50 most innovative companies of the world for “creating intimate green spaces out of industrial urban blight.”
More about JCFO after the break.
Check out Great Spaces’ clip on the Brooklyn Bridge, one of New York’s amazing infrastructure feats. The construction of the bridge was a family affair as it was designed by John Roebling in the late 1860s and then completed by his son and daughter-in-law. One must imagine New York’s “skyline” of the 1800s to fully understand the innovation and the magnitude of such a massive project. For more about Roebling’s bridge, be sure to view our AD Classics coverage.