Winners announced for the National Mall Redesign Competition

& Weiss / Manfredi Via the Trust for the National Mall

After an intense and highly publicized competition, the Trust for the National Mall has announced the three winning teams selected to redesign the neglected sites of America’s front yard. As reported by the Washington Post, Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners will redesign Constitution Gardens east of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, while Weiss/Manfredi & OLIN will bring new life to the Sylvan Theater, southeast of the Washington Monument. The Union Square will be forwarded to the Architect of the Capitol and transformed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol & Davis Brody Bond.

Continue reading for more on the winning proposals. (more…)

Architect Rem Koolhaas in The Simpsons

As seen in The Simpons, Season 23, Episode 19. April 29, 2012.

In last episode, Rem Koolhaas made a brief appearance where he is shown teaching to a group of students.

As Metropolitan Monk noted in Archinect.com, to appear in The Simpsons episode is the most unchallengeable proof that you have achieved Starchitect status.

The Scene, described by Archinect.com: “Rem Koolhaas is working – on a cruise ship notabene – as an instructor – probably in iconographic buildings – in KIDZONE ELITE. The ship, just like CCTV, is an emblem of closure. The architect is holding a couple of lego-bricks in his left hand while seeming to fix something to the back of the tower”.

With the excitement of seeing Koolhaas on television, which architect would you like to see on a future episode?

Via www.archinect.com. See the full post here.

 

Princeton Students win National Competition with ‘Power in a Box’ Invention

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

An interdisciplinary team of Princeton University students have been awarded top honors, along with 14 other collegiate teams, for their ‘Power in a Box’ invention that converted a standard shipping container into a sustainable source of energy for remote or disaster-torn regions. The 18-month national competition, known as the “P3: People, Prosperity and the Plant Student Design Competition for Sustainability”, began in the fall of 2010 with 165 competitor and culminated April 21 and 22 on the Washington, D.C. Mall. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency has awarded the students with a $90,000 grant to further develop and implement their project.

Continue reading for more information on ‘Power in a Box’. (more…)

OMA to design new home for Garage in Moscow

Garage Gorky Park - Image Courtesy of OMA

The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture – a non-profit international arts space based in Moscow founded by Daria Zhukova – has unveiled plans for a new building in Gorky Park. Designed by OMA, Garage Gorky Park will renovate the famous 1960s Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant, a prefabricated concrete structure that has been derelict for more than two decades. Garage is expected to complete and occupy this 5,400-square-meter building sometime next year, with plans to later expand to the nearby Hexagon pavilion (or Machine Pavilion).

: “We were able, with our client and her team, to explore the qualities of generosity, dimension, openness, and transparency of the Soviet wreckage and find new uses and interpretations for them; it also enabled us to avoid the exaggeration of standards and scale that is becoming an aspect of contemporary art spaces.”

Continue after the break for more.

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Six Visions for the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan

Grimshaw / Gruen Via The Source

Metro officials have released six conceptual visions that suggest how the historic Los Angeles Union Station could be transformed by 2050. Preliminary “Vision Boards” were released in a public forum at Union Station last week, and although they are not part of the formal evaluation process, they have ignited an immense amount of public interest in the competition.

In an article posted on The Source, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa described that this competition is “about preparing for the future.” As plans for the California High-Speed Rail System evolve, it is imperative that Union Station is redeveloped to meet the standards of a 21st century transportation hub.

Continue after the break to view each Vision Board provided by the six well-known practices shortlisted for the competition. (more…)

One World Trade Center dominates the NYC Skyline

© EJP Photo

With the installation of a girder on the 100th floor, the One World Trade Center has become the tallest building in . Currently standing at 1,271 feet (387m) tall, the “Freedom Tower” has surpassed the 1,250 foot Empire State Building. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the One World Trade Center will become the tallest building in the US and the third tallest in the world upon completion.

Continue after the break for more. (more…)

SADAR + VUGA wins first prize in University College Ghent Competition

SOAG Building - Courtesy of SADAR + VUGA

SADAR + VUGA, in collaboration with LENS°ASS Architecten, has been selected as winner of an invited competition to design three new buildings on the Campus Schoonmeersen of the University College Ghent in Belgium. The campus development master plan will include a new building for the Study of Social Work (SOAG), a Sports Hall Extension and the Renovation of Building B that includes the adjoining Student Plaza. This highly anticipated project is expected to commence in late May. Continue after the break to learn more about each new facility.

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Zaha Hadid’s Maxxi Museum faces Closure

Via marvelfrance on Flickr

Just two years after its opening, the Maxxi Museum in Rome is threatened with closure. The country’s current economic crisis has resulted in major cuts in cultural funding, causing a great deal of stress on the arts. As BD reports, earlier this month the museum was told that the government’s contribution to its €11 million budget would fall to less than €2 million for 2012. Now, as the museum officials failed to set a budget for 2013, the government has reportedly begun proceedings to put the high-profile museum under special administration.

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the 2010 Stirling Prize winning national art and architecture museum has attracted more than 450,000 visitors per year. Hadid has described the museum’s success as “remarkable”, as it quickly built a prestigious, international reputation within the world of contemporary art. (more…)

OMA wins first round of the Moscow City Agglomeration Development Concept Competition

Phase 1 Submission - Courtesy of

In 2011, the Russian Federation Council confirmed that the city of will annex 150,000 hectares to the southwest in order to overcome its chronic space problems, making 2.4 times larger than its current size. The expansion is designed to relieve pressure on the over-populated, historic city center by redistributing the working places to the annexed part of the Oblast, thus addressing transport, ecological and social issues that result from high levels of commuting.

Before Moscow’s new administrative borders come into force this July, the Council invited 10 teams to develop the concept of the Moscow Agglomeration. OMA has been announced as winner of the competition’s first round that focused on a plan for the Moscow Agglomeration as a whole.

Continue reading for more on OMA’s Moscow City Agglomeration Development Concept. (more…)

Steven Holl Architects Unveils VCU Institute for Cotemporary Art at Meulensteen Gallery

Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl Architects have just unveiled Commonwealth University’s new Institute for Contemporary Art. With an inviting sense of openness, the building will form a gateway into the University, linking the city of Richmond to the campus. A dynamic architectural promenade will connect the building’s most important spaces, engaging visitors in a variety of changing perspectives. Flexible spaces throughout the building will be capable of accommodating a vast assortment of exhibitions and performances.

Continue after the break for more images and the architect’s project description.

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Datong Art Museum design revealed by Foster + Partners

© Foster + Partners

Construction is underway for the new Art Museum in , designed by Foster + Partners. Referred to as China’s ‘Museum of the 21st Century’, the 32,000-square-meter venue will be one of four major new buildings within Datong New City’s cultural plaza. The museum will open in 2013 and represent China in the ‘Beyond the Building’ Basel Art international tour.

Luke Fox, a senior partner at Foster + Partners stated, “We are delighted to reveal designs for the new museum and look forward to working with the city to take the project to the next stage. When complete, Datong’s new quarter will be the center of the city’s cultural life, with the new museum as its ‘urban room’ – a dynamic space, open to everyone to meet and enjoy its different displays and activities.”

Continue after the break for more on the Datong Art Museum. (more…)

Reimagining the Waterfront Ideas Competition

First Place / Joseph Wood; Courtesy of Civitas - Reimagining the Waterfront

CIVITAS, the organizer of the Reimagining the Waterfront, has announced the winners of the ideas competition for the design of the East River Esplanade between 60th and 125th in New York City bound by the East River to the East and the FDR Drive to the west.  Joseph Wood of New Jersey, USA;  Takuma Ono and Darina Zlateva of New York City, USA and Matteo Rossetti of Italy claimed first, second and third prize respectively.  The competition aspires to bring to new and fresh ideas to the conversation about this waterfront, which over the years has had many issues of disrepair.  Anyone who has attempted to bike down this path can appeal to just how unpleasant it can be – massive potholes that take up the whole path, traffic rushing by just a foot away just beyond a shoulder (which is not provided everywhere) and cobbled paths that create a bumpy ride.  The proximity to the East River, and the views of Randall’s Island, Queens, Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge are its saving grace.

There have already been many talks about the state of the East River Esplanade, particularly that it stops abruptly at East 53rd street at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge and starts up again around East 38th street.  Last summer MAS, an organization in NYC that advocates for intelligent urban planning, design and , hosted a day-long charette to design an esplanade along the ConEd piers located between East 38th and East 41st Streets. MAS appealed to the community for ideas for “The Next Great NYC Waterfront” and worked alongside W Architecture and Landscape Architecture to produce a report, which can be found here.  With CIVITAS’s competition, the issues are again acknowledged to continue brainstorming the future of the waterfront.

The Architect’s Newspaper reviewed the competition winners in an article by Tom Stoelker, which are imaginative and considered.  The proposals of the winners and honorable mentions will be exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York between June 6th and September 2012 which will give the public access to some possibilities for the future of the East River Esplanade.

Join us after the break for more on the proposals. (more…)

West 8 + IROJE wins Yongsan Park competition in Seoul

© West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Rotterdam-based practice WEST 8, together with the local architects of IROJE, have been announced winner of the International Competition for Master Plan of Yongsan Park, Korea. The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of the Republic of organized the competition with the intention to create a “national park in which nature, culture, history and the future come in harmony.” Located in a large area in the center of Seoul, the circa 243 ha site has been in use as a military base for an extensive period both during the Japanese occupation and under post-war American protection.

Continue reading for more information on the Yongsan Park competition.

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Pro Bono Work in Exchange for Loan Relief?

Just as NPR reported yesterday that the Nation’s student loan debt has exceeded one trillion dollars, the American Institute of Architects () and the American Institute of Architecture Students () called for Congress to pass legislation that will allow architecture school graduates loan debt assistance through pro bono work. This news comes as both President Obama this past weekend and likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney yesterday urged Congress to head off a scheduled increase in student loan interest rates this July.

Continue reading for more. (more…)

Developer Plans for New York’s Next Iconic Building

425 Park Ave. © John W. Cahill / CTBUH

Boxy replicas of high-end offices dominate New York’s Park Avenue skyline, with only two modernist exceptions breaking the mold – Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Lever House. As the static skyline has remained largely untouched for nearly four decades, developer L&L Holding Co. has announced plans to replace the aging tower of 425 Park Avenue with a new state-of-the-art, LEED-certified skyscraper. Norman Foster, , Zaha Hadid and Richard Meier are just a few of the eleven distinguished architects that L&L has invited to join in a competition for the redevelopment of the 65 year-old tower.

Continue reading for more. (more…)

AIA Selects the 2012 COTE Top Ten Green Projects

University of Minnesota Duluth – Bagley Classroom Building / Salmela Architect © Paul Crosby

The American Institute of Architects () and its Committee on the Environment () have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions. Now in its 16th year, the Top Ten Green Projects program is one of the profession’s best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence.

The highlighted projects are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They have made a positive contribution to their communities, improved comfort for building occupants and reduced environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

All the projects will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition, next month in Washington, D.C. Continue after the break to review the top ten green projects. (more…)

“Lost” Le Corbusier Building Sparks Preservation Movement in Iraq

Gymnasium in Baghdad, Sketch by . ©SketchPlanet

In Upstate New York, residents are clamoring to raze down their Government Center, Paul Rudolph’s classic 1970 example of brutalist design. Ostensibly, this is due to flood-damage. But it can’t hurt that, as one resident was quoted in The New York Times as saying, it’s “a big ugly building.”

In Minnesota, city officials would rather tear down M. Paul Fiedberg’s Peavey Plaza, a “Modernist gem” completed in ’73, than spend the time, money, and effort to revitalize it.

In Baghdad, on the other hand, a gymnasium completed in 1982, suffering the signs of decades of violence, poverty, and ill-executed renovation, has sparked a small movement, reawakening a country to its neglected cultural heritage.

The architect behind this Iraqi endeavor? None other than Le Corbusier himself.

Read More on the “forgotten” Le corbusier in Baghdad, after the break…

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19th Annual Canstruction® Raises Hunger Awareness with Food Drive Exhibit

Courtesy of World Financial Center

At this year’s 19th annual Canstruction: Exhibition, a Food Drive and Design Contest at the World Financial Center in , 26 design and architecture firms have built gigantic, gravity-defying sculptures from thousands of cans of food. Over 100,000 cans were turned into works of art to help City Harvest feed hungry New Yorkers. The exhibition, free to the public, is up now until November 21, and encourages visitors to donate high-quality non-perishable foods, such as tuna, beans, and canned vegetables. More information on the exhibition can be found here. More images after the break. (more…)