Winners selected for round two of the Moscow City Agglomeration Competition

Photo Credit: RIA Novosti

The international team, lead by well-known Russian urbanist Andrey Chernikhov, and including McAdam Architects, Tower 151, Georgi Stanishev and Ginsburg Architects placed first in round two of the Moscow City Agglomeration Development Concept competition. The winning consortium sparked debate by suggesting officials should consider redeveloping the abundant brown field sites and other available infill spaces within the existing city boundaries before proposing new development. They highlighted vast areas occupied by goods railways and disused industrial sites from Soviet times as prime areas for regeneration and expansion, as well as a re-thinking of transport networks to alleviate pressure on existing systems.

Continue after the break to learn more. (more…)

Transforming Seattle’s 520 Floating Bridge 2012 International Design Ideas Competition

Courtesy of RETHINK REUSE

RETHINK REUSE, an independent group whose goal is to inspire discourse on the topic of reuse is inviting all to participate in their Transforming Seattle’s 520 Floating Bridge 2012 International Design Ideas Competition. The goal is to envision new, innovative reuse strategies. The 520 bridge will be decommissioned in 2014 due to high maintenance costs, damage, and the need for additional lanes. The State Department of Transportation is requiring of the new bridge’s design-build team that it be reused or recycled in a sustainable fashion; current trends for the reuse of pontoons have been floating docks, breakwaters and piers, but what else could be done with such a feat of engineering? More information on the competition after the break. (more…)

Williams Tsien and Davis Brody Bond selected for new U.S. Embassy in Mexico City

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has announced the selection of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Davis Brody Bond to design the New Embassy Compound (NEC) in City, . After an intense round of presentations and interviews, the duo was selected from a talented shortlist of nine architectural/engineering teams. As reported on the Latin American Herald Tribune, the jury believed that “their portfolio of work is compatible to the local culture and shows sensitivity that highlights their connection to the character of the site.”

The project is the first solicited under OBO’s Design Excellence program. It will embody a holistic approach that values the balance of aesthetics, cost, constructability and reliability. The design phase is expected to take place over the next 20 months and a construction contract is expected to be awarded in 2015.

Reference: Latin America Herald Tribune

Grimshaw and Gruen win Union Station commission

Grimshaw / Gruen Via The Source

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has selected L.A.’s Gruen Associates and London’s Grimshaw Architects to design the new master plan for Union Station in . The pair was awarded with the commission over some of the biggest names in the profession, such as Norman Foster and Renzo Piano (view the other five fantastical proposals here). They will transform the historic 1939 station and its surrounding 40 acres into a world-class, 21st century transportation hub that will host the future high-speed rail system that plans to connect L.A. and San Francisco.

The master planning process could take as little as 24 months. No surprise, considering both Gruen and Grimshaw have a great amount of experience with transit related projects. Gruen recently worked with Metro on the first phase of the Expo Line, while Grimshaw has extensive resume in Europe and is involved with the forthcoming Fulton Street Transit Center in Lower Manhattan, which is planned for completion in 2014. (more…)

Top Firms Shortlisted for European Research Centre

An artist’s interpretation of the vision for the whole ESS, MAXIV, Science Village area around 2020 © ESS

Five international consortia of architecture and landscape firms have been shortlisted in a competition to design the future research centre of the European Spallation Source (ESS)- a Partnership of 17 European Nations committed to the goal of collectively building and operating the world’s leading facility for research using neutrons by the second quarter of the 21st Century. The 21st century, large-scale science centre will focus on sustainability, creating an attractive working environment and integrating well into its surroundings. It will be built in southern and is planned to open in 2019.

Continue after the break to view the complete shortlist. (more…)

Take the Mayors Challenge and Improve American City Life

New York Mayor Michael is searching for bold ideas that can “make government work better, solve a serious problem, or improve city life” in the . The Mayors Challenge encourages local architects and professionals to team up with their city officials and propose an innovative local solution that could be applied to a national problem.

Each city of 30,000 or more residents can submit one innovative idea under the direction of the mayor. As Architectural Record points out, there is nothing preventing architects from proposing a concept to their city leaders and working out a deal with them to prepare a submission. They can even negotiate some type of bonus if that idea wins! Those details will be left completely up to you.

However, the goal of the competition is to identify a need, solve a problem and share your knowledge so that other cities and citizens may benefit. Five boldest ideas with the greatest potential for impact will win funding as well as national and local recognition. The winning city will receive a $5,000,000 grand prize and four other cities will receive $1,000,000 to help implement their ideas.

Submit your RSVP by July 16th, 2012 and apply by September 14th, 2012. Find more information on mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org.

Think Space: ‘Alejandro Zaera-Polo Never Planned to Win Yokohama Port Terminal’ Competition

Courtesy of

As part of the 2012 cycle of competitions curated by Adrian Lahoud, Think Space is calling for entries in its Yokohama Port Terminal competition. Simply put, the Yokohama project actually started around the possibility of generating organization from a circulation pattern, which is basically a hybridization between a shed – a more or less undetermined container – and a ground, thus inventing a unique architectural/urban typology, one that would go on to influence a generation of architects. More images and information on the competition after the break. (more…)

AECOM’s Urban SOS Student Competition

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AECOM recently shared with us their 4th annual Urban SOS student competition brief. Created to engage students in urban planning and design, architecture, landscape architecture, environmental restoration, and engineering and allow them to propose solutions for the issues that are confronting modern cities, and viewed by established professionals in their field. The theme for this current year is Frontiers. AECOM is seeking proposals that engage urban sites that are currently facing chronic liveability challenges that are largely the result of a city’s location on a natural, political, cultural or economic border. Submitted proposals should fall under at least one of the following criteria; “On a political border,” Ports and trade,” Migration and population shift,” Transnational destinations,” and “Shifting geo-political conditions.” The winners have the potential for their project to be engaged by a local organization to assist in advancing the project.

Unlike many international competitions, there is no entry fee. There is, however, a sizable cash prize! The final deadline for submission is August 31, 2012. For more information regarding the details and competition brief visit AECOM’s site here.

Design Competition: Floating Cinema 2013

Courtesy of Nina Pope

UP Projects and The Architecture Foundation have announced an Open Call to architects and designers for the 2013 design of the Floating Cinema Project that will cruise the waterways of East London.  The design is a followup to the Floating Cinema project of 2011, designed by Studio Weave, a scheme launched by UP Project’s Portavilion series for innovative temporary public art spaces with artists Somewhere (Nina Pope, and Karen Guthrie).  The competition will be held in two stages. A pre-qualification questionnaire should be submitted by each entrants (or group), due by 4pm on June 26th.  UP Projects and will then select four practices to develop and design the Floating Cinema in response to a brief. More on the competition after the break.

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‘Designing Action’ Competition

Courtesy of Civic Design Center

Designing Action, an international design competition, was recently launched by the Nashville Civic Design Center to re-imagine an industrial site along Downtown Nashville’s Cumberland River. With emphasis on creating active spaces for healthy citizens, and highlighting alternative sports and related activities, the 75 acre site has many variables to entice creative solutions. It is a brownfield site disconnected from the neighborhoods of East Nashville by an elevated interstate. The goal is to generate innovative ideas and concepts that could enhance the future redevelopment of riverfront property, promote active lifestyles and increase the quality of life for its citizens.

The registration deadline is July 27 and submissions are due August 13. For more information, please visit here.

Well Building 2050 Competition

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The Well building 2050, an international design contest for housing in the strategic area of “La défense” , is giving additional time to apply until Wednesday, June 13 at 12h00 GMT . The competition challenges students worldwide to place quality of life and energy efficiency at the heart of urban housing in 2050. We need to consider housing from a new perspective, to bring about changes and improvements to the skills and jobs related to designing, constructing and using tomorrow’s place to live in. For more information on the competition, please visit here.

Eliminating Obstacles for Architects in Government Contracts

Today, Krueck+Sexton Architects principle Thomas Jacobs, , testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce in an effort to urge Congress to eliminate two impediments facing small architecture firms as they compete for government contracts. Jacobs argues that high design-build fees and lengthy “final teams lists” are prohibiting small firms from competing.

Continue after the break to read more. (more…)

Think Space: ‘Look what Charles Renfro of DS+R has to say on Blur Building project after a decade or so’ Competition

Courtesy of

As part of the cycle of competitions, Think Space is calling for entries in its Blur Building themed competition. “It is too soon to know whether Blur was a barometer of early 21st Century sentiment or a neutral response to the conditions of the site. The lack of program allowed us to make our own which had nothing to do with a World’s Fair and everything to do with our own practice. It allowed Diller and Scofidio to bridge the worlds of high art, installation art, and architecture, continue to research threads significant to the practice at the same time it presaged the change of the firm name from D+S to DS+R.” – Charles Renfro. More on the juror’s description of the project for the competition after the break. (more…)

Architecture at Zero 2012 Competition

Courtesy of San Francisco, PG&E, ZNE Pilot Program, and UC

Open to students and professionals worldwide in architecture, planning and urban design studios, the Architecture at Zero 2012 challenges participants to design a zero net energy (ZNE) student housing or administrative office building design for the University of California Merced in Merced, California. As part of the challenge, entrants will also be asked to create a diagrammatic district energy plan for the Bellevue Gateway development. Organized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) San Francisco chapter and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Pilot Program, in partnership with the University of California, Merced, this unique event explores the cutting edge of energy efficient design. The deadline for submissions is October 1. For more information, please visit here.

ReSpace Design Competition

Courtesy of ReSpace

The ReSpace Design Competition: ‘You Design It! We Build It!’, which focuses on small space design, green building, and sustainability, is currently accepting entries. They are on the hunt for talented architects, artists, builders, and dreamers with a knack for innovation. The challenge: Design a small, unique, and transportable structure that can be built with reuse materials. The grand prize winner receives $1,000 and a chance to see their design come to life. The winning design will be constructed in a 48 hour build overseen by Habitat for Humanity Wake County using materials from their Raleigh, ReStore. A total of $3,000 in awards will be presented to multiple winners. Registration ends June 15 with the deadline of submissions August 15. For more information, please visit here.

‘Made-In’ Guimarães 2012 Competition to Transform Public Washhouses

wash house 01 - Courtesy of Made-In

Made-In, an international competition of ideas for public artworks, is destined to reconfigure 5 public spaces in the city of , beyond 2012. This competition is aimed towards art and architecture professionals, to present ideas for 5 specific sites, 4 existing Wash Houses and a proposed new one. The proposed ideas should comply with quality, maintenance and accessibility requirements considering public of all ages and the specific use of the proposed sites. Registration is open until July 15. More information on the competition after the break. (more…)

Finalists of the 100 Mile House Competition

3rd Prize: Won Jin Park (New York, USA) - Courtesy of the Architectural Foundation of British Columbia

The Architectural Foundation of British Columbia (BC) has announced the five finalists of the Competition. Similar to the well-known 100 Mile Diet, the challenges participants to design a 1200-square-foot home using only materials and systems that are made, manufactured and/or recycled within 100 miles of the City of . Many have questioned whether the is a plausible solution in today’s modern cities (check out: The 100 Mile House: Innovative ‘Locatat’ or Just Plain Loca?). Be your own judge and review the finalists after the break. (more…)

Winner announced for Seattle’s Urban Intervention Competition

A jury of internationally recognized design professionals and Seattle civic leaders has declared a winner among three semi-finalists in Urban Intervention: The Howard S. Wright Design Ideas Competition for Public Space. The winner is ABF, of , , for its design, In-Closure, which envisions an interactive wall around a forested landscape that is both flexible and dynamic, embracing social life in the city at multiple scales.

The ABF team consists of Etienne Feher, architect; Paul Azzopardi, urban engineer; and Noé Basch, climate engineer. Continue reading after the break for more details. (more…)