The prognosis does not look good for Foster + Partners’ plan for an airport hub in the Thames Estuary. The Guardian reports that the Independent Airports Commission has released an interim report, revealing a shortlist of potential options for the UK – and the Thames Hub (with an estimated price tag of £112bn) isn’t on it. Yet hope (however slim) does remain for the proposal, as its persistent defender, London mayor Boris Johnson, has managed to convince the commission to revisit the idea in early 2014. Get the whole story at The Guardian.
In a city known for its sprawl, things are about to get a lot greener. The City of West Hollywood recently unveiled the three finalists for the West Hollywood Park Project, including entries from LPA (with Rios Clementi Hale), Frederick Fisher and Partners (with CMG) and Langdon Wilson.
The park will cover over 5 acres of (soon to be) green space in the middle of Los Angeles, although at a slight cost. A number of existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the park, including a library, office park, and swimming pool complex. New structures will likely include a recreation and community centre, as well as various playground facilities scattered around the park.
UPDATE: OMA has reportedly withdrawn from the competition.
The city of Arnhem, the Netherlands, has revealed an impressive shortlist of five firms who will compete to design a new cultural building for the city, The Arts Cluster, which will combine the Museum Arnhem and Focus Filmtheater Arnhem.
The five firms selected from 44 entries are: Architecture Studio HH with SO-IL (United States); ABT with the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG, Denmark) with Allard Architecture; Kengo Kuma & Associates(Japan); NL Architects; and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).
OMA has won an international competition to design Pont Jean-Jacques Bosc, a bridge across the river Garonne in Bordeaux, France, that will link the municipalities of Bègles and Floriac. The 44m by 545m bridge, which will act as “a generous new public space” and “an urban planning intervention” for the city, giving priority to pedestrian traffic, is the first to be realized by OMA. It is scheduled for completion in 2018.
According to Clément Blanchet, director of OMA France, the bridge ”is not the ‘event’ in the city, but a platform that can accommodate events of the city [...it] may be the least technical, least lyrical, but [it is] the most concise and effective structural solution.”
The architect’s description of the project, after the break…
After a tortuous 21-year process Stonehenge, the stone circle that is one of the world’s most important neolithic artifacts, finally has the visitor centre it deserves. Denton Corker Marshall‘s design, situated 2.5 km (1.5 miles) to the west of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, has opened its doors and is preparing to deal with the site’s nearly 1 million annual visitors.
The new design features a museum, educational facilities, a cafe, shop and a ticket office. These spaces are brought together by a perforated oversailing roof supported on 211 narrow angled columns.
Read on for more about the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre
German architecture firm, GRAFT, has been selected as the winner of the “Apassionata” competition. Tasked with designing a temporary structure for the exhibition of horses, GRAFT proposed a complete wooden building that could be assembled, dismounted and reassembled at the convenience of the company.
Learn more after the break…
Investigation of contextual, cultural, and life cycle flows offers a critical filter for visualizing innovative future housing strategies. Established in 2010, the annual d3 Housing Tomorrow competition has grown to become a leading voice in alternative residential architecture and one of the most notable awards in speculative, performance-based housing design.
The d3 Housing Tomorrow competition for 2014 invites architects, designers, engineers, and students to collectively explore, document, analyze, transform, and deploy innovative approaches to residential urbanism, architecture, interiors, and designed objects.
The registration deadline is January 15. You can find all the details in the competition’s official website.
The Parramatta City Council has announced Sydney firm Johnson Pilton Walker as the unanimous winner of the Parramatta Square Design Competition, beating a shortlist (curated from 73 submissions) that included Sydney based Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Bates Smart, and Italian practice Mario Cucinella Architects.
The 53-storey commercial towers will provide up to 140,000 square metres of office space to Parramatta’s central business district as well as act as centrepieces for the future Parramatta Square, in the heart of the CBD.
See images of the towers, which feature a unique floating “public space in the sky,” after the break…
UPDATE: OMA has provided more images and information on their proposal, after the break.
BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA have been announced as the three finalists in the competition to design the new Media Campus for AXEL SPRINGER SE in Berlin, Germany, beating out Kuehn Malvezzi and SANAA. The final ranking will be released in January.
The new campus will be located on the historic site of the former Berlin Wall, what was once a no-man’s land. All three proposals address this contentious history as well as the demands of a 21st century workplace. President of the jury, Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries, proclaimed that: “All three projects show how fascinating architecture can be today. No matter which of the three proposals will be realised: The competition is already an enrichment of Berlin’s building culture.” See all three proposals, after the break…
Despite six months of steady increase, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for November revealed a slight decrease in demand for design services. The November ABI score was 49.8, down from 51.6 in October (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.8, down from 61.5 the previous month.
“This slight dip is likely just a minor, and hopefully temporary, lull in the progress of current design projects,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “But there is a continued uneasiness in the marketplace as businesses attempt to determine the future direction of demand for commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings.”
More highlights from the November ABI, after the break…
The academic and critic Kenneth Frampton, who in the 1980s was instrumental in disseminating Portuguese architecture, as well as the idea of ”critical regionalism,” around the world, has won the third ever Lisbon Triennale Millenium BCP Lifetime Achievement Award, which distinguishes a person or practice whose work and ideas have been influential and continue to have a profound effect on architectural thinking and practice today.
“It is an excellent ending to this year’s triennale, to give the Career Award to someone who has devoted his life to thought and architectural culture, demonstrating once again that architecture does not live only as built works,” says André Tavares, director of the Architect’s Journal and coordinator of the publisher Dafne.
French developer Christian Bourdais has enlisted eight architects to develop vacation homes on a 50-hectare nature reserve about two hours south of Barcelona. So far, so normal. However, each participant in the “Solo Houses” experiment was given what every architect dreams of (and hardly ever receives): carte blanche. The results, from the likes of Sou Fujimoto, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, and more, are stunning. See them all after the break…
December has been a month of disappointment for fans of Frank Lloyd Wright: first, a plan to build a house designed by Wright and adapted for the English countryside has been rejected by Wraxall Councillors (Bristol Post), who believe that Frank Lloyd Wright “can’t be that influential”. This was followed by the news that SC Johnson, the company for whom Wright designed the famous Johnson Administration Building, is trying to stop the high profile Sotheby’s auction (ArtInfo) of a desk and chair designed for their building – claiming that the items were in fact stolen from them way back in the 1950s. More on the Bristol rejection here and the Sotheby”s controversy here.
Earlier this month, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios released new images of the Southbank Centre, the most detailed renderings yet of the highly controversial redevelopment. Among the most significant alterations are a change to the exterior of the crowning glass box, a slight reduction in the size of the “liner” building (to preserve views of the Houses of Parliament from the neighboring National Theatre), and adjustments to various columns to preserve routes through the site.
Read on to find out more about the changes to the design..
The Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation has unveiled three shortlisted proposals for Moscow’s National Centre of Contemporary Arts (NCCA). The competition, now in its second and final stage, has selected these finalists from a longlist of ten, leaving behind proposals from Steven Holl Architects and other well-respected practices.
Planned to become Russia’s main national institution for contemporary arts, the NCCA will host a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as lectures, professional conferences, concerts, performances, studios, art education facilities and more.
The three shortlisted finalists (and projects) are: