schmidt hammer lassen architects, in collaboration with Thomas Chow Architects, has won a commission to design a new Island School in Hong Kong. Envisioned as a “sustainable learning landscape,” the 28,000-square-meter, state-of-the-art facility aims to promote optimal learning through flexible classroom spaces and by establishing a deep connection with the surrounding landscape and local community.
Following consistently increasing demand for design services throughout most of 2013, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has posted its first consecutive months of contraction since May and June of 2012. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 48.5, down from a mark of 49.8 in November. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.2, up from the reading of 57.8 the previous month.
More highlights from the December ABI, after the break…
The Mayor of Lyon, France, has unveiled plans for a dense, mixed-use district planned for the Lyon Confluence. Masterplanned by Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with landscapist Michel Desvigne, the 35-hectare scheme will be the first plot developed in the second phase of a larger regeneration initiative that aims to “double the city-center” by reclaiming a massive, post-industrial site on the city’s central peninsula. Once complete, the second phase, known as “Ilot A3”, will provide more than 2,000 homes in a lush residential park and vibrant “market quarter.”
d3 has unveiled the 2013 winners of Unbuilt Visions, a competition designed to “promote critical debate about architecture and design by acknowledging excellence in unbuilt projects.” Get a glimpse of the four grand prize projects, which were awarded $750 each for their winning contributions, and the eleven special mentions after the break.
“A New Online Marketplace for Mobility,” an innovative proposal by city planner Philip Parsons and mobility expert Federico Parolotto that aims to optimize mobility in megacities, has been named the first participant in the Audi Urban Future Award 2014. Selected from a shortlist of three, the winners will now assemble a team of urban designers in order to pursue their visionary idea. Read more about their winning proposal, here.
Naqsh,E,Jahan-Pars (NJP), in collaboration with the Laboratorio di Architettura e Design (LAD), has been named winner of an international competition for the Iranian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Based on “a living process narrative in the central plateau of Iran,” the winning scheme responds to the Expo’s “Feeding the Planet” theme by exposing the underground channels of water that give life to Iran’s many desert cities.
This proposal by architects Bence Pap and Mario Gasser of Studio Greg Lynn / University of Applied Arts Vienna has been ranked fourth in an international competition for the Austrian Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Inspired by the Expo’s theme, “We feed the World – Energy for Life,” the pavilion aims to highlight Austria’s rich culture of craft and agriculture by offering a two-story experience that exhibits goods unique to the country.
Six US projects have been selected by the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) for honorably expanding the role of the architect beyond the building and into the realms of urban design, regional and city planning, and community development. These projects will be honored with the AIA’s Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design at the 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.
After being rejected for appearing too “boxy” and not appealing enough to pedestrians, Related Companies’ revamped Grand Avenue vision has finally won unanimous approval from county supervisors. The $750-million plan, which was abruptly halted back in September when Gensler’s toned-down version was deemed greatly “disappointing” by the city, will now move forward with a more playful (and pricey) design by the project’s original architect, Frank Gehry.
Miami Beach city commissioners have unanimously agreed to abandon the $1 billion redevelopment of its 52-acre convention center district, which aimed to radically reinvent the area. This decision comes just six months after the city awarded developer South Beach ACE and OMA the bid after an international, highly-publicized competition that pitted OMA against BIG.
“For the purposes of getting this project done fast, on time, on budget, it’s unfortunate that we’ll have to make a very tough, challenging decision,” said Miami Beach Mayer Philip Levine, “To some people, it’s a little disheartening. To other people, it’s a very fresh start.”
As reported by the Miami Herald, the city plans to reinstate a bid for the renovation of the city-owned convention center as well as another for the development of a nearby hotel. Under the new bid, the city will no longer be required to attain 60 percent of voter approval to build. By doing this, Levine believes the renovation will be expedited.
Comcast Corporation and Liberty Property Trust has commissioned Foster + Partners to design a 59-story, $1.2 billion mixed-use tower planned to neighbor Comcast’s existing global headquarter in Philadelphia. The 1,121-foot glass and stainless steel building is expected to be the tallest in the United States, outside of New York and Chicago, and the largest private development project in the history of Pennsylvania.
The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) have selected nine projects for the 2014 Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture. Recognized as some of the most “outstanding building interiors created by architects licensed in the United States,” these projects will be honored at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.
Sellar Property Group has announced plans to commission yet another Renzo Piano-designed tower in London at the base of The Shard. Replacing the current Fielden House, a 1970s office building located on London Bridge Street, the new 27-story residential tower plans to provide 150 apartments, retail space and roof garden. As part of the area’s regeneration plan, the project will be the third Piano-designed building on the block.
A team led by London-based masterplanners Gillespies has been announced as the winner of an international competition to design the largest theme park in Europe. Planned for a 1,000-hectare site in the Domodevdovo district of Moscow, “Park Russia” aims to merge concepts of healthy living, entertainment and education into one commercially attractive tourist destination.
The winning Cushman & Wakefield-led UK consortium includes architectural design firm Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, engineer Buro Happold, cost consultant Rider Levett Bucknall and place makers Fourth Street.
Daniel Libeskind has released images of a new “landmark” building planned for Durham University’s Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics in England. The £10 million facility, which will house the industry-leading Institute for Computational Cosmology and Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, was awarded to Libeskind after the New York-based architect won a competition for the project last July. When completed in 2015, the timber building is expected to “complement” the traditional buildings that surround it while serving as an exemplar for sustainable design.
Foster + Partners have unveiled the design for the United Arab Emirates pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Designed to evoke the experience of walking through UAE’s ancient communities, the elongated site will be transformed into a contemporary reinterpretation of a desert city. Passive principles, such as rainwater harvesting and the integration of photovoltaic cells, are targeted to achieve LEED Platinum certification. These strategies are all designed to support the pavilion’s many dining areas, which embrace the Expo’s overarching theme “Feeding the Planet” by serving a taste of modern Emirarti cuisine.
“We are very proud to be chosen again to create the national pavilion for the UAE,” stated Norman Foster. “Our challenge has been to design for two climates – to create a naturally cool, comfortable space for visitors in Milan, while considering the pavilion’s ultimate reconstruction in the Emirates, where there is a need to provide shade from the intense sun.”