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BIG, Kengo Kuma Among Four Visions Unveiled for ARTA Cultural Center in Arnhem

Four international teams have unveiled their shortlisted proposals in the final leg of a highly anticipated competition to design a new “cultural hotspot” on the edge of the Rhine. ArtA, the “catchy” new name of what was previously known as “The Arts Cluster,” is part of a larger redevelopment project for the City of Arnhem which aims to reconnect the southern district of Rijnboog with its waterfront and establish a new home for the Focus Film Theatre and Museum Arnhem. 

A sneak peak of the shortlisted proposals, after the break...

Smiljan Radic Wins Competition to Design Landmark for Santiago

Smiljan Radic has been announced as the winner of the competition to design a landmark on San Cristobal Hill, in the heart of Santiago, Chile, that consolidates the hill's numerous antennas into a single infrastructure.

According to the Contest Director, Luis Eduardo L. Bresciani, the purpose of this competition was to generate an innovative structure of iconic character, an architectural work of outstanding quality that would differ from other towers in other cities and give an identity not just to the hill, but to the city of Santiago. The jury also took into account the landscape of the site, particularly the care with which the park would be treated, as well as the tower's relationship with the statue of the Virgin and the hilltop in general. Finally, the functionality of the infrastructure, which should act as both a telecommunications tower as well as a public space with panoramic views, was considered. See the six shortlisted proposals, after the break.

Mención Honrosa: Soza_Atanacio + Aguirre_Castro Arquitectos. Image  Mención Honrosa: GmasP + Saez Joannon Arquitectos. Image Courtesy of Minvu Tercer Lugar: Architects of Invention. Image  Segundo Lugar: Tomás Folch y equipo. Image

Carlos Marín and José Muñoz-Villers Claim First Prize in Mexico City Urban Planning Competition

A design team led by Carlos Marín and José Muñoz-Villers has claimed first prize in Mexico City’s "La Merced" competition for their masterplan proposal to re-conceive the popular marketplace, Plaza Central La Merced. The team’s design, which beat out about 100 other entries, proposed the realization of a new public square to centralize pedestrian activity and to anchor strategies for urban revitalization, such as the reclamation of local heritage sites, the careful manipulation of natural elements, and the installation of urban furniture as a means for placemaking.

Competition Entry: Moscow's National Centre for Contemporary Arts / UNK Project Architects

Courtesy of UNK Project Architects
Courtesy of UNK Project Architects

UNK Project Architects' entry for the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation's National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) competition centres around the interplay between art and architecture: "It’s what touches our soul and motivates us to pursue radical new ideas." Reaching the second stage of the international competition, which has been won by Heneghan Peng Architects, UNK Project Architect's proposal offers an intriguing, "almost airtight" space veiled by a monolithic façade facing landscaped urban space in the centre of Russia's capital.

Emerging Visions Portfolio Competition 2014

The Chicago Architectural Club, with the support of AIA Chicago and the Graham Foundation, today announced the launch of the 2014 Emerging Visions portfolio competition. This competition seeks to provide a forum for young designers to be recognized and to share their visions, inventions and ideas. The award promotes significant architectural endeavors by young architects, designers and new practices yet to be acknowledged. 

J. Mayer H. Designs 70-Meter Tower for Duesseldorf

J. Mayer H. has been crowned as winner of an invited competition to design a 19-story medical services and residential high-rise in the center of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. The “sculptural” tower, which is defined by the horizontal “cloud-shaped” aluminum strips that cloak its facade, is designed to “provide a natural atmosphere” enhanced by planted terraces and balconies overlooking the adjacent landscape of the Rheinaue and views of Duesseldorf. 

Farrells Selected to Masterplan Two Sites in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Financial District

Farrells has been announced as winner of an international competition to masterplan two prominent commercial zones in Shenzhen’s Qianhai financial district. Adjacent to the district’s Qianhaiwan metro station, the two districts are expected to boost cross-border trade between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The first, 460,000-square-meter masterplan will feature a 320-meter-tall skyscraper and two 185-meter gateway towers, providing high-end office, residential and retail space, as well as serviced apartments. 

20 Teams to Compete in 2015 U.S. Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected 20 collegiate teams to participate in the 2015 Solar Decathlon at Irvine, California’s Orange County Great Park. The eight returning teams will compete against 12 new teams, with partners from four international schools, to build “solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence” within the allotted two-year period. View the full list of competitors, after the break. 

Winning Submissions Envision Gateway for Abandoned Railway in Queens

The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee of the AIA New York Chapter has announced the winners of its 2014 biennial design ideas competition, QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm. In an effort to imagine the ways in which The Trust for Public Land and Friends of the Queensway could transform an abandoned railway in Central Queens into a vibrant urban greenway, entrants were challenged to design a vertical gateway for the elevated viaduct portion of a 3.5 mile stretch along the rail. 

Of the 120 submitted proposals from 28 countries, the jury selected the following winners to represent the diverse array of ideas generated:

Shortlisted Concepts Unveiled for MLK Jr. Memorial Library Renovation

Preliminary designs have been released by three shortlisted teams competing to renovate Mies van der Rohe’s historic Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. - the only library and D.C. building ever designed by the legendary architect. Preview each proposal and learn how you can submit your feedback to the D.C. Public Library before they make their decision, after the break. 

Young Projects Play “Match-Maker” in Times Square

Young Projects will be spending the week playing “Match-Maker” in New York City, as the Brooklyn-based studio has debuted their interactive Valentine’s Day installation in the heart of Times Square. Made in collaboration with fabricator Kammetal, as part of Times Square Alliance’s sixth annual heart design competition, the interactive heart-shaped sculpture is designed to cosmically connect people based on their zodiac signs by arranging curious passerby's at twelve points surrounding the installation.  

As Young Projects describes, “Peering through colorful, interwoven periscopes provides glimpses of each viewer's four most ideal astrological mates, offering potentially novel connections between lonely souls or settled lovers.”

RAW Design Warms Canadian Skaters with Fur-Inspired “Nuzzles”

Toronto-based RAW Design has been crowned winner of the annual Warming Huts competition, which is intended to “push the envelop of design, craft and art” by encouraging architects to design innovative warming shelters along the frozen Red River Mutual Trail in Winnipeg, Canada. 

Moving away from the traditional notion of an enclosed shelter, the firm’s winning proposal “Nuzzles” engages skaters with a playful arrangement of “insulated appendages” (a.k.a. pool noodles) supported by a geodesic lattice structure that is illuminated and heated from within. Users are encouraged to “nestle into the structure” and manipulate its fur-like exterior into informal resting areas. 

Ziya Imren Wins Competition for Instanbul's Beykoz School Complex

Ziya İmren Architects has recently won an invited competition for the design of the Beykoz School complex in Istanbul. The firm’s winning proposal distinguished itself by embedding its layout within the steep site’s natural surrounding and organizing school as a “cascading” hierarchy of spaces. 

Barkow Leibinger Places Third in Berlin’s Tallest Tower Competition

In a competition that ultimately crowned Frank Gehry as winner, Berlin’s Barkow Leibinger placed third with their 150-meter “faceted stacked building” proposal clad in glass. Aimed to be Berlin’s tallest building, the apartment and hotel tower is planned to be the city’s first high-rise residential development since the 1970s. 

2013 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Award Winners

UPDATE: The winning images will go on show February 28th in London at the "Building Images: The Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards 2013" exhibition. They will remain on view through April 25th inside a renovated factory on 7–9 Woodbridge Street.

The Architectural Photography Awards, hosted by Arcaid Images, have announced the winner, runner-up and shortlisted images for this year's best architecture photos. A distinguished panel architects and editors that included Catherine Slessor, Eva Jiricna, Zaha Hadid, Ivan Harbour and Graham Stirk were asked to look beyond architecture and into composition, atmosphere and scale to ultimately judge four categories of images: Interiors, Exteriors, Sense of Place and Building In Use. Their selections reflect this vision admirably. 

Presido Trust Rejects Shortlisted Proposals, Calls Off Competition

This week, just two weeks after the three shortlisted teams submitted their revised proposals for Crissy Field, San Francisco’s Presidio Trust unanimously decided to end the competition. Though the competition raised high hopes over its 14-month duration that the Trust would transform the prominent 8-acre site into a "cultural institution of distinction," its fate has been left to the “wind,” as the SFGate’s John King reports. This means, neither George Lucas’ self-titled cultural arts museum, WRNS Studio and the Chora Group’s sustainability institute, or the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s  “park-based” cultural center will be realized. You can view each of the rejected proposals here and more details on the cancelation here

European Prize of Architecture Philippe Rotthier

Established in 1982 by the architect Philippe Rotthier, this triennial prize rewards works of collective and cultural value with regional roots and using natural and sustainable materials that draw on the genius of the European town and a dialogue with the past and with history.

Four Practices Re-Envision Parking in Long Island Downtowns

Parks and Rides. Image © Roger Sherman Architecture + Urban Design and the Long Island Index
Parks and Rides. Image © Roger Sherman Architecture + Urban Design and the Long Island Index

Long Island’s downtowns have more than 4,000 acres of surface area dedicated to parking lots. That’s roughly 6.5 square miles of prime real estate, a phenomenon quite common in most American cities. When necessary, these lots are often exchanged for a standard “set of concrete shelves” that share little to no connection with their surroundings. This leads to the question, why must parking garages be so monofunctional and, well, ugly?

To help solve this nationwide issue, the Long Island Index challenged four leading architectural firms to envision a more innovative way to free up surface lot space in four Long Island communities. 

See what they came up with, after the break...