Widening the debate on whether or not Paris should preserve its 19-century skyline or “embrace innovation,” Parisian city council members have rejected the controversial, 180-meter “Triangle Tower” designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Despite the 83-78 vote, the fight carries on; Mayor Anne Hidalgo has declared the veto to be invalid and hopes a new round of balloting will rule in favor of the tower. Though, in a city that fears of loosing its “existing urban fabric to skyscrapers,” it seems unlikely that the tower will be built.
Billionaire Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and former head of Paramount Pictures and Fox, has commissioned Thomas Heatherwick to design a $170 million “futuristic park” on Manhattan’s lower west side. Replacing the deteriorated Pier 54, the new “Pier55” will be a lush undulating landscape, raised atop 300 mushroom-shaped concrete columns placed 186 feet off of the Hudson River shoreline, that will host outdoor performances, act as a marine sanctuary for striped bass and guard the city against storms.
Heatherwick will be collaborating with landscape architect Mathews Nielson. Read on to learn more about the project.
Encouraging young designers and architects to create and design innovative, sustainable solutions for the bathroom, the sixth edition of the international design contest jumpthegap, organized by Roca and the Barcelona Design Centre (BCD), has been launched at the Roca London Gallery with a presentation from the contest’s UK judge Tom Dyckhoff. An ideal platform for new generations to show their talent and visions for the bathroom of the future, jumpthegap is aimed at young professionals and students of architecture and design under 35. Registration closes February 2015. The jury, which will be led by MAD principle Ma Yansong, is expected to announce the winner in October 2015.
The January 8th Memorial Foundation has selected four finalists out of the 60 practices and artists, both national and international, who submitted applications to create a permanent memorial and master plan concept for the El Presidio Park in Tucson, Arizona. The permanent memorial would commemorate the January 8, 2011, mass shooting that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, killed six people and injured 12 others. The memorial is also intended to honor the spirit of the Tucson community in its responses to the tragedy and to inspire future generations to work together on community issues. The four finalists are:
RAW Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio have launched Winter Stations, an open international design competition challenging artists, designers, architects and landscape architects re-imagine the life guard stands on Toronto’s waterfront as “temporary wintertime installations” that “inject color, movement, humor and more into the landscape.” The theme is “Warmth,” and there is no limit to the size of the installation, but the jurors will take durability and constructibility into account. The selected installations will be built in February 2015. Registration is now open and submissions are due December 5, 2014 with winners announced in early January 2015. All the details can be found, here.
Mikolai Adamus has shared with us his proposal for a “New Aquarium” to activate the Southern Pier in Gdynia, Poland. Using the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence to guide the design, the rectangular structure burrows into the pier, becoming secondary to the surrounding landscape. As Adamus describes, the aquarium is designed to transparent and “a place where architecture is subordinated to function, devoid of unnecessary detail.” More details, after the break.
Fifteen Central Park West, what many know to be the “world’s most powerful address,” was designed by Stern with one intention: to fill in the wall of Central Park West with a single, well articulated “background building” rather than a “twisting and turning isolated” structure. As Stern describes in the video above, the building, known as the “Limestone Jesus,” is praised in the real estate world for it’s high-priced apartments.
“Almost every building that is new has a built-in history. We are architects that build on the shoulders of the past. I think is is much more exciting to enter into a dialogue with the past and also to take things from the past and restudy them, their theme and variation. Architecture is made up of many languages in my view and if we have a modern language that is evolved but it doesn’t mean that the other languages can’t also continue to be spoken.”
Eastbanc has tapped Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura to transform a former “Four Seasons gas station” site into a mixed-use condo. According to a report on the Georgetowner, the developer has asked residents to have “an open mind” for the design, which, as Urban Turf points out, is likely to stand out in the historic Washington D.C. district. Little details have been released. “We are considering all options, from condo to rental to hotel,” Eastbanc President Anthony Lanier stated. “It’s early in the design phase.”
COBE, DISSING+WEITLING and COWI have been announced as winners of an international competition to design a 225-meter-long pedestrian bridge, station, 32,000-square-meter park and associated park-and-ride facility for the Danish city of Køge. The winning design, selected over three other invited submissions, will stretch across a unique traffic “hot-spot” where Denmark’s most trafficked freeway, an existing train line and a planned double-tracked high-speed rail line meet.
More about the Køge North Station, which is expected serve 90,000 people daily as a “new gateway to Copenhagen” by 2018, after the break.
Preservationists are in a race to document and preserve some of Yangon’s most admired cultural icons. Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon is experiencing an all to familiar story: rapid development taking precedence over preservation. As the National Geographic reports, “Hulking monoliths of concrete and blue-plated glass are replacing fine old residential and government buildings…Although much has already been lost, many architecturally or esthetically significant structures have hung on. The question now is how long they will last.” Read the complete story, here.
Nearly a year-and-a-half since the announcement of their selection, BIG has unveiled plans for a massive, 20-year-long overhaul for the Smithsonian’s southern campus in the center of Washington DC. With an overarching goal to unite the site by dissolving the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plague the area, BIG plans to also expand visitor, education and gallery spaces, while updating aging and inefficient building systems.
“Where today each museum is almost like a separate entity, in the future, it’s going to be a much more open, intuitive and inviting campus to meander around,” Bjarke Ingels explained.
MoMA P.S.1 has announced five finalists to compete in the 2015 Young Architects Program (YAP). Now in it’s 16th edition, the competition will challenge a group of emerging architects to design a temporary installation within the walls of the P.S.1 courtyard for MoMA’s annual summer “Warm-Up” series.
The 2015 shortlist includes Office for Political Innovation (Andres Jaque; NY), brillhart architecture (Jacob Brillhart; Miami, FL), Erin Besler (LA, CA), The Bittertang Farm (Michael Loverich; NY), Studio Benjamin Dillenburger (Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer; ONT, Canada). The winners will be announced in early 2015.
As the culmination of a 14-month initiative to examine new architectural possibilities for rapid growth in six megalopolises – Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro – the Museum of Modern Art is preparing to open Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities on November 22. The exhibition will present mappings of emergent modes of tactical urbanism from around the globe alongside proposals for a bottom-up approach to urban growth in the highlighted cities by six interdisciplinary teams made up of local practitioners and international architecture and urbanism experts.
Curator Pedro Gadanho, in collaboration with the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), states:
“The exhibition features design scenarios for future developments that simultaneously raise awareness of the prevailing inequalities in specific urban areas and confront the changing roles of architects vis-à-vis ever-increasing urbanization. Each team in the exhibition was asked to consider how emergent forms of tactical urbanism can respond to alterations in the nature of public space, housing, mobility, spatial justice, environmental conditions, and other major issues in near-future urban contexts.”
A synopsis of each team’s work, after the break.
Portuguese architect Andre Chiote has shared with us his latest illustration series, this time exploring the graphic potential of surface’s patterns from some of architecture’s most iconic structures.
“Each building holds an aesthetic essence by which it stands recognizable. Some stand out for its volumetric expression while others remain in our memory because of their skin, the texture which builds its surface,” describes Chiote. “The universe of those textures is extremely rich and plays with different elements which alone or combined create expressive compositions. Colors, materials of diverse nature, light and shadow set in a random way or organized according to geometric rules, form patterns with such a visual impact that allows them to stand as icons themselves.”
The complete collection, after the break.
BIG is set to make its UK debut. As reported by the Architect’s Journal, the Danish practice has been selected from an international shortlist to design a public square for Battersea Power Station. Though no formal announcement has been made, the “Malaysia Square” scheme will be a key element in the Wilkinson Eyre-designed masterplan, serving as the development’s “front door.” It will connect the masterplan’s first three phases, just south of the listed landmark, which include Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners’ proposed “Electric Boulevard.”
Karim Rashid, internationally renowned for his work in industrial design, has recently shifted his focus towards real estate. Alongside his team of nine architects, the New York-based designer is currently working on 11 buildings worldwide, including four in New York. With extensive knowledge in product design and no formal architectural education, Rashid believes designing architecture isn’t out of his realm:
“I have to say, and I don’t mean this in a pejorative way, that architecture, in a sense the more pedestrian architecture, is generally quite simple compared to industrial design. In other words, it’s far more sophisticated to do something like a mobile phone than it is to do an average building.” Read the full interview, here.
The city of Esbjerg has selected Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter through a competition to extend and refurbish the Wadden Sea Center in Vester Vedsted. A UNESCO World Heritage area, the Wadden Sea is Denmark’s largest National park. The new center aims to “create awareness and understanding for the marshland and the Wadden Sea,” as jury member and leader of the center Klaus Melbye explains. “The architecture is sustainable, visionary and bold and brings forth the Centre as an didactic information centre of the future.”
More about Dorte Mandrup’s winning design, after the break.