Forty years ago, the Expo ’74 World’s Fair opened in Spokane, Washington to great fanfare as the world’s first environmentally themed Expo. Perhaps equally as momentous, the former Soviet Union participated for the first time since World War II, and 5.6 million people attended throughout the course of the six month long Fair. This year, Olson Kundig Architects, led by design principal Tom Kundig, partnered with the City of Spokane to reinvent the original park with new concept designs for its structures, program, and facilities.
Holm Architecture Office and AI - along with landscape architects Kragh Berglund – have been named shared winners of the Eco City Binhai Master Plan. Located outside Tianjin in Northern China, the project will consist of a new Central Business District and five new cultural buildings. Learn more about this plan after the break.
In Borders: A Very Short Introduction, Hagan Diener writes, “…every border has a story. Every line on a map, every maker in the landscape, was derived from some complex negation of power and culture.” It is this potency of meaning that makes the physical and conceptual border such a fascinating site. The 2013-2014 ACSA administered and AISC sponsored Steel Design Student Competition challenged students to design a border crossing station addressing the complex factors of cross-border relationships, using structural steel as the primary material. Learn more about the competition and the winning projects after the break.
Broadway Malyan has been awarded a commission to design the initial phase of a new, iconic urban district in Chengdu in Western China. The Chengdu Creative Centre will be the first landmark in a larger master plan for a high-tech mixed use and business park, set to be called Tianfu New Town.
Committed to setting a high standard of environmentally conscious and sustainable design for the region, Chengdu Creative Centre and the future Tianfu New Town district aim to cut current energy consumption standards in half. The entire complex will be composed of interconnected office, retail, and public green space anchored by a striking central retail tower, 110 meters tall.
Drawing both literal and theoretical inspiration from the Islamic Holy Book, Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos earned an Honourable Mention for their design proposal of a habitable natural oasis for the Noble Quran International Competition in Saudi Arabia.
Understanding the significance of the location’s proximity to Islam’s second holiest city and the Capital of Islamic Culture, Rafael de La-Hoz aimed to create a memorable and iconic Islamic Landmark. Therefore, the Quran itself was chosen as the primary source of physical and contextual understanding, the most significant vessel of knowledge for the people and the location.
The Atelier of the Future competition asked entrants to design a “creative and artistic vision of an atelier.” Having been organised by FAKRO, in conjunction with A10 New European Architecture magazine, the proposals also were required to feature at least three FAKRO products (roof lights and windows) as part of a space which is functional, technologically astute, and able to “create the appropriate mood to stimulate creative visions.”
With sixty two entries in total, a third of which were from Poland and 90% of which were from within Europe, the jury deliberated entries that “stimulated [their] imaginations and provoked a set of reflections about the possible futures of architecture and its fields for action.” Divided among themes which ranged from projects associated with Industry, to Nature, to Water, entrants proposed solutions for “underwater resorts, skylofts, subterranean spaces, derelict areas, wheels of fortune and metabolist towers.”
See the winning entries after the break.
London based firm McDowell+Benedetti has recently announced that their design for a new 180 metre footbridge and improved rail station in Terni, Italy, has begun work on the site. A future landmark for the town, the £3.5 million (€4.4 million) project promises to provide an expanded commuter hub for the area with connections to fast trains to Rome. Learn more about this project after the break.
Birmingham City Council has approved Make Architects‘ designs for the first commercial building of the city’s Arena Central masterplan. Located on Broad Street and overlooking the historic Centenary Square, 1 Arena Central is set to be the first step in the master plan for the 9.2 acre site at the heart of Birmingham City Center Enterprise Zone. The eight story building, which will feature 135,000 square feet of Grade A office space, with 5,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, is emblematic of the flagship development of the overall master plan.
The terms “public toilet” and “seaside periscope” don’t usually go hand in hand. However, Adam Wiercinski has drawn inspiration from the location of his project in Gdynia, Poland, on the coast of the Baltic Sea to create a concept for a building that both mimics and observes. Choosing to focus on extensive views over the sea front, Wiercinski aimed to imbue users with a sense of tranquility by designing a serene public facility embodying the powerful, elemental nature of the sea.
Prodigy Network have selected the winners of the crowdsourcing design competitions for their 17John ‘Cotel’ in New York, including winners for the design of the public interior spaces and the private rooms. The Cotel concept is intended to meet the changing needs of the modern business traveler; providing living spaces somewhere between a long-term apartment and a short term hotel, but also flexible spaces that can be used for work and meetings.
The crowdsourced competitions were run via Prodigy Network’s Design Lab website, and judging was conducted with a mixture of public voting and jury selection. “The winners of the 17John competition were intuitive to the needs of travelers, creative in the interactive spaces and understood the function of extended stay residences,” said Prodigy Network Founder Rodrigo Nino. Read on after the break to see the winning proposals.
Swedish based Mandaworks + Hosper Sweden have recently won an international competition to find the “best comprehensive urbanistic proposals for connecting the city centre of Trenčín with both waterfronts of the River Váh.” The winning scheme – Tracing Trenčín – “is not a proposal which is noticeably stunning” but is, according to Thomas Matta, deputy chair of the jury, “considerate to the existing structure of the historic core of the city.”
In 2010, the town of Gramalote in Colombia was destroyed by a catastrophic mudslide, triggered by heavy rainfall and a series of small earthquakes. Now the town is being rebuilt from scratch in a new location, and the government has introduced architectural competitions for the town’s major public buildings, including a high school, sports center, a cultural center, a public market, an elderly home and a farmer center.
Architects Rodrigo Chain and Jheny Nieto have shared their winning design for the New Gramalote Market Plaza with us, a structure of 15 concrete modules that occupies a steeply sloping site. Read on after the break for more on the design.
The shortlist for the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize has been announced, rewarding five teams who rose to the challenge to design new garden cities which address the UK‘s growing housing shortage. The topic of garden cities is becoming a major focus for the UK’s planners and architects, with proposals by the government for a new garden town of 15,000 homes at Ebbsfleet providing the starting point for debate.
However despite the debate within the built environment professions, with some arguing that garden cities are best left in the past, a survey commissioned by the Wolfson Economics Prize in conjunction with the award found that 72% of the British public believed there was a serious shortage of housing in the UK, and 70% believed that garden cities were a better way of delivering this housing compared to how – and where – housing is currently delivered. The five shortlisted teams will receive £10,000 to further develop their proposals and aim for the grand prize of £250,000.
Read on after the break for the list of proposals
John McAslan + Partners has been selected to design a Botanical Gardens and Research Center in Dongguan, China. The scheme features a large gridshell biodome which engages with landscaped mounds both inside and outside the structure. Around the base of the roof structure, a ribbon of glass will provide views which connect these interior and exterior landscapes.
Read on for more detail on the design
The Hamedanian, a proposal by CAAT Architecture Studio in collaboration with TTBP, seeks to design a large scale commercial complex in the centre of one of the oldest streets in the Iranian city of Isfahan. If built, the mixed use development, half which is parking facilities, would feature commercial and office space.
The winners of the international competition to design Berlin’s new Natural Science Museum have been announced. The brief, which called for a large scale iconic building in the heart of the German capital, offered the opportunity for architects and students to design in a city founded in the 13th century.
Understanding that natural science museums are often simply seen as places for public spectacle, the organization behind the competition wanted to ensure that the “importance of the museum’s specimen collections for documenting historical and present-day patterns of biological diversity cannot be overstated.”
See the winning entry, along with the runners up, after the break…
Architects in Mission (AIM) recently announced the winners for their 2013 competition with the topic, Post Earthquake Reconstruction, Ya’an Sichuan – Rebuild Panda’s Hometown from the Earthquake. The Ya’an Earthquake occurred at 08:02 Beijing Time on the 20th April 2013. The epicenter was located in Lushan County, Ya’an, Sichuan, about 116km (or 72 miles) from Chengdu (along the Longmenshan Fault) in the same province that was hit heavily by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. For this year’s competition, AIM asked participants to pay particular attention to the master planning of the Snow Mountain Village, whilst developing new business models to encourage economic growth for local villagers. See the four winning entries after the break.