UrbanCollective Modular Building Design Challenge 2012

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Launched just last week, the UrbanCollective Modular Building Design Challenge 2012, open to all architects, engineers, designers and students – individually or in groups, challenges participants to design a contemporary modular home. throughout the world. The competition aims to further dialogue within the design community and build interest about prefabrication and modular design but also to create contemporary and affordable modular designs to aid in combating the widely discussed housing affordability crisis in . Submissions close April 20th and the winner will be awarded $2,000.00USD in cash. For more information, please visit here.

SOM Wins Master Plan Competition for Beijing Bohai Innovation City

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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has been selected as winner of an international design competition with its Beijing Bohai Innovation City master plan that illustrates a new model of compact, environmentally enhanced urban design.

The winning proposal centers a new environmentally friendly district along the high-speed rail line, linking the national capital to the port city of Tianjin while leveraging the economic and lifestyle assets of the Beijing-Tianjin corridor. The city expansion will bring 17.6 million square meters of mixed-use development, with a focus on providing a premier headquarters location for advanced industries in the dynamically growing Bohai Rim, a region that already accounts for more than a quarter of ’s GDP.

Continue reading for more.


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Call for Proposals: Completed Building Projects & Research that Engage Innovative Approach to Seismic Design

Courtesy of + McGill University

Curators Dr. Effie Bouras and Professor Ghyslaine McClure of McGill University, Department of Civil Engineering, are seeking completed building projects and research that engage innovative approach to seismic design for an exhibit that will be held at the internationally renowned Design Exchange in downtown Toronto Canada during the months of September – October 2012. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2012, however they do encourage firms to submit earlier. More information on the competition after the break. (more…)

‘What Makes it GREEN?’ Call for Entries

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Designers in the Northwest and Pacific Region create some of the world’s most sustainable buildings. What Makes it GREEN? (WMIG?) celebrates your achievements and the interdisciplinary teamwork required to meet the 2030 Challenge. Through live interviews with shortlisted project teams on April 18, WMIG? will educate and inspire the larger design community with creative solutions for sustainability.

The submittal process is planned as a companion to AIA National COTE’s Top Ten Green Projects Awards so you can leverage one submittal for both programs to simultaneously showcase your expertise regionally and nationally. The registration deadline is February 27th and submissions are due no later than March 7th. To register and for more information, visit here.

Flashback: Glen Murcutt on Sustainability

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In reference to Living Steel‘s 3rd International Architecture Competition for Sustainable Housing,  discusses his ideas surrounding the issue of . He emphasizes the strategies employed by the top contenders such as the planning of orientation, thermal performance, and human effort in addition to other variables involved in sustainable architecture. One particular method that Murcutt stresses is using materials that can dissolve back into the earth, citing earth walls as an excellent medium to build with and their inherent thermal mass qualities. Each team was invited to present their ideas in person, a variation from previous years which Murcutt believes led to the highest quality of work and diversity of the competition series.

Call for Applicants: A.E. Bye Archive Research Fellow Position

Courtesy of State University School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

The Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State is announcing a call for the inaugural A.E. Bye / Landscape Architecture Archives Research Fellow for the calendar year 2012. The Fellowship provides a $2,500 stipend for a minimum of one week of archival research in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State’s University Park campus in , Pennsylvania. The records (drawings, papers, photographs, and videos) of the celebrated twentieth-century American landscape architect A. E. Bye ( as well as those of landscape architects John Bracken and Stuart Mertz) are held at Penn State and the deadline is March 7th, 2012. More information after the break. (more…)

Great Pier / !melk + UrbanLab + HOK

Courtesy of !melk

The competition for re-imagining Chicago’s historic Navy Pier has produced some ambitious examples of design ingenuity and innovation.  Feeding off of Daniel Burnham’s memorable quote “make no little plans”, this proposal comes from a design team led by !melkprinciple Jerry Van Eyck, UrbanLab and HOK - a series of “dramatic ideas to  reconceptualize Chicago’s preeminent exclamation point extending from the Great Lakes to the world”.  The intention behind this proposal is to provide a dynamic place in a historic area that provides a cultural landmark as well as a world-wide attraction that stems from the geological history of the site itself.

Follow us after the break for a more in-depth look at this project.

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Pierscape / James Corner Field Operations Team

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James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) is one of five shortlisted teams invited to participate in an international design competition to renovate and reactivate ’s landmark Navy Pier. Unveiled to the public last month, the goal of the intervention is to refocus the experience of the pier to the lakeside. This is an opportunity for the city to reassess what the waterfront means to an urban center and the character of its identity.

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Chicago Navy Pier / Team X, led by Xavier Vendrell Studio

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Led by -based Xavier Vendrell Studio, Team X seeks to respect, reveal and amplify the physical and experiential qualities of the authentic Navy Pier. Team X rejuvenates the Pier with a unifying system capable of evolving and changing over time, understanding that “the transformation of an existing place, done well, is responsive, organic and flexible”. A lush landscape contrasts the hardscape of Chicago, creating an urban park that functions like a plaza. Circular disks of varying circumferences puncture the landscape with various types of program and natural growth, accompanied by pocket parks, terraces and kiosks. “Horizon walk” platform attracts people to the Pier’s edge, as it the final destination that offers unobstructed views of Lake Michigan.

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PierESCAPE / Aedas Architects, Davis Brody Bond and Martha Schwarz Partners

Courtesy of Navy Pier

Aedas Architects, Davis Brody Bond and Martha Schwartz Partners proposal PierESCAPE goes beyond the Navy Pier Centennial Vision as it aims to strengthen the connections between water, land, nature, city, culture, civic space and infrastructure with a “series of dock-like extensions”. The proposal respects the history of the Pier while identifying unique opportunities that will them to create a 21st century waterfront experience that is both a historical and contemporary destination.

Continue reading for more information and video of the team’s presentation.

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Pier+ / AECOM and BIG

Pier Park + Boardwalk - Courtesy of

A team led by AECOM and New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is one of five shortlisted teams invited to participate in an international design competition to renovate and reactivate ’s landmark Navy Pier. This is a once-in-a-century opportunity that will redefine the character and focus of ’s waterfront. It is part of an ambitious effort to create a new Navy Pier for the 21st century, and in doing so, to redefine what the pier and the waterfront means to the city.

Unveiled to the public on January 31, 2012 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the AECOM-BIG design vision aims to “re-colonize the people’s pier,” by maximizing opportunity through a holistic approach. The result is Pier+, a vibrant urban destination that creates a new amenity shared by all while making a positive and progressive statement about Chicago to the world.

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Anabatic Office / Betillon/Dorval-Bory

© Betillon/Dorval-Bory

For their honorable mention competition entry, Betillon/Dorval-Bory have attempted to create a new architectural language rooted in climate analysis for Fundecor, a non-governmental organization focused on environmental preservation.  The procedure for creating the project is largely about understanding environmental systems and then allowing the building to respond and support those technical aspects for the desired result.  As such, the architecture is “not trying to hide in a neo-vernacular posture, but celebrates its radicalism in aid of its atmospheric functioning.”

More about the competition entry after the break. (more…)

Update: Navy Pier design teams present to the public

Existing Image of the Navy Pier © Stephen Hanafin via flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanafin/

Starting tomorrow, the five design teams selected to redesign the outdoor spaces of Chicago’s Navy Pier will begin to reveal their schemes to the public. Lead by AECOM, Aedas Architects, James Corner Field Operations, !melk and the Xavier Vendrell Studio, each team will be given thirty minutes to present their ideas, followed by a ten minute question and answer session. The presentations will take place on January 31st and February 1st at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Continue reading for the presentation schedules and more information on the competition. (more…)

Call for Proposals: CTBUH Research Seed Funding

Courtesy of CTBUH

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is pleased to announce a “Call for Proposals” for its 2012 International Research Seed Funding initiative – culminating with an award of US$20,000.

The goal of the seed funding is to assist researchers in developing projects/ideas to a level to secure additional, more significant, funding – in conjunction with the CTBUH. Research proposals should directly relate to the tall building typology and/or urban habitat, but can come from any topic/discipline – including but not limited to: architecture, construction, energy issues, energy harvesting, environmental engineering, policy making, resource management, seismic, social aspects, structural engineering, systems development, urban planning, vertical transportation, wind engineering, etc. There are no institutional or geographic restrictions. Submissions are due May 15th and the winning proposal will be recognized at the CTBUH 9th World Congress to be held in Shanghai, from September 19–21, 2012. For more information, please visit here.

Passive House International Design Competition

Courtesy of Passive House

Passive House Bulgaria recently launched an International Design Competition for a Passive House near , Bulgaria. The main goal with this competition is to challenge the architectural community to design a schematic design proposal for an affordable, low energy, single-family houses, to focus the public attention to this new type of energy efficient buildings, and to promote the design and construction of Passive Houses in Bulgaria. Registration is open until the competition deadline on on March 16. For more information, please visit here.

National and University Library NUK II Competition

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Open to citizens of the Republic of or other EU member states and/or competitors who have a place of business in either, the competition of a solution for the National and University Library NUK II must reflect the period of construction and thus express the autonomy of architecture without attempting to exceed the spatial context by design and dimensions.

The presentation of archaeological remains of Roman Emona on the location of NUK II will constitute an interesting enrichment of the library program and a special challenge for seeking connections between the construction and literary heritage. The open, external space in front of the new library must be designed as a representative public space intended for resting, waiting and relaxing. The submission deadline is March 23. For more information, please visit here.

Update: Zaha Hadid shortlisted for Iraqi parliament

Existing site for Iraqi parliament complex in - Courtesy of Assemblage

It has been confirmed that Zaha Hadid is one of the architects shortlisted for the international competition to design a new, $1 billion Iraqi parliament complex in Baghdad. The full list has yet to be released, but as we have announced earlier, the London-based firm Assemblage has also been shortlisted. Located in the middle of the city, the new complex will be challenged with the remnants of a partially built super mosque planned by Saddam Hussein. Massive 50m reinforced concrete columns tower over the site, as construction was halted by the US-led invasion in 2003. Continue reading after the break for more. (more…)

Zagreb Badel Site Redevelopment Competition

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The Zagreb Society of Architects(DAZ), acting as Organizer and Manager on behalf of The City of Zagreb is launching an open, on-line, one-stage, anonymous, ideas Competition for the urban-architectural conceptual design for the Zagreb Site redevelopment. More information find on the official web site of the Competition. The deadline for submission of competition entries is on Thursday, 5 April 2012 at 12.00 CET. Competitors may make inquiries until Wednesday, 22 February 2012. For more information, please visit their website here. Images of the site can be viewed after the break. (more…)