How Much Power Should The Public Have In Design Competitions?


The ongoing competition for the redevelopment of the landmark Flinders Street Station in ,  has begun to raise some serious questions about the role of the public in architecture. The international competition, which narrowed down a total of 117 applicants to only 6 finalists, is due for completion in mid-2013. Each proposal will be put on display and the public will be invited to vote on their favorite design; what is raising eyebrows, however, is that the result of this public vote will be kept from the jury, who has the final say. The jury will not know what the public likes or dislikes when they place their own votes, and the public preference will only be revealed at the very end along with the jury’s decision. 

Although there are pros and cons for keeping this information from the jury members, some Australians feel very strongly about their station - and you can certainly argue that they should have a greater say in its future.

Read more about public participation in architecture after the break… 

Choonwondang Oriental Clinic & Museum / Doojin Hwang Architects

© Youngchae Park

Architects: Doojin Hwang Architects
Location: , Korea
Design Team: Hajeong Lim, Soohyun Kim, Sun Hur, Euijin Park
Area: 1882.52 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Youngchae Park

AD Architecture School Guide: Birmingham City University’s BIAD

Hayes Bridge, image courtesy Kevin Singh

What are Live Projects? A term, it refers to collaborations between architecture schools and real clients on real projects. In the US, for example, these are merely referred to as industry collaborations. Clients are widely variant, from municipal governments and youth organizations,  as well as galleries and community-based gardens.

There are many iterations of this teaching model in the UK so the issue is, how to determine a good fit for prospective students? One issue that is increasingly at the fore of students’ minds is how to balance idealism with practical skills. At Birmingham City University’sBIAD ( Institute of Art and Design), the program is structured precisely to help students achieve that balance.

Courtesy of gmp Architekten
Courtesy of gmp Architekten

State Fire Brigade School Winning Proposal / gmp Architekten

Upon winning the contract to design the new State Fire Brigade School in Wurzburg, gmp Architekten… recently presented their design which involves a new practice hall on the site of the Fire Brigade School in order to meet the changed requirements

The B-Side: The Zaha/Gaga Divide

Gem Barton, based in Brighton, England, is a writer, academic lecturer, curator and designer. As a regular contributor to journals and magazines such as Mark, Blueprint, Design Bureau and Inhabitat she explores and share her passion for architecture and design. Gem’s column ‘’ will look at the alternatives to architectural traditions and explore what it means to be knee-deep in the 21st century design world. Follow her @gem_shandy

Allow me to make an unlikely comparison of two powerhouses: Zaha Hadid (62) and, bear with me now, Lady Gaga (26). Both are breaking the mold with their unique aesthetics; both are at the top of their respective industries; both are commercial successes. However, there is one undeniable difference: it only took the world a few years to recognize Lady Gaga and for her to skyrocket to fame. It has taken Dame Hadid the better part of three decades to receive a comparative level of acclaim.  Is it fair to compare successful architects and super songstresses? In an architectural world where we are faced daily by terms such as ‘celebrity’ and ‘starchitect’ it may well be time to look deeper into the matter.

Read more about what architecture could learn from the Music Industry, after the break… 

Hovenring, Circular Cycle Bridge / ipv Delft

Courtesy of

Architects: ipv Delft
Location: , Netherlands
Dimensions: Height 70m, Diameter 72m
Client: Municipality of Eindhoven
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of ipv Delft

BUILDING: Louis I. Kahn at Roosevelt Island / Barney Kulok

In September 2011 Barney Kulok  was granted special permission to create photographs at the construction site of Louis I. Kahnʼs Four Freedoms Park in New York City, commissioned in 1970 as a memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The last design Kahn completed before his untimely death in 1974, Four Freedoms Park became widely regarded as one of the great unbuilt masterpieces of twentieth-century architecture. Almost forty years after having been commissioned, it is finally being completed this year, as originally intended. 

Le Temps Machine / Moussafir Architectes Associés

© Hervé Abbadie

Architects: Moussafir Architectes Associés
Location: Joue-Les-tours,
Design Team: Jacques Moussafir with nicolas Hugoo, Alexis duquennoy, narumi Kang, sofie reynaert, Jérôme Hervé and Virginie Prie
Area: 1,753 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Hervé Abbadie, Jérôme Ricolleau, Benoît Faure, Luc Boegly

Courtesy of Treurniet Architectuur and Michiel Clercx Architectuur
Courtesy of Treurniet Architectuur and Michiel Clercx Architectuur

New Ethiopian Parliament Building Complex Winning Proposal / Treurniet Architectuur + Michiel Clercx Architectuur + Addis Mebratu & S7 Architects PLC

A join venture between Treurniet Architectuur, Michiel Clercx Architectuur, Addis Mebratu and S7 Architects PLC… recently won the international design competition for the new building complex for the Ethiopian Parliament. The project represents the wide variety of 85

Les Coccinelles Nursery School / SOA Architectes

© Clément Guillaume

Architects: SOA Architectes
Location: , France
Area: 691 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Clément Guillaume

Courtesy of Salon2
Courtesy of Salon2

‘Haze’ Pavilion Proposal / Salon2

Designed by Salon2…, their ‘Haze’ Pavilion proposal aims to transform Istanbul Modern into a garden of stages while preparing an unexpected architectural condition for the distant relationship of İstanbul and the sea. Through an experiential design, the pavilion shifts the

HomeMade / Bureau de Change Design Office

© Eliot Postma

Architects: Bureau de Change Design Office
Location: , UK
Area: 210 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Eliot Postma

Pride And Glory Office / Morpho Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: Morpho Studio
Location: , Poland
Architect In Charge: Justyna Friedberg
Area: 810 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Morpho Studio

WaterWorks at Arizona Falls, 2003 /  © Bob Rink
WaterWorks at Arizona Falls, 2003 / © Bob Rink

‘Culture as Catalyst: Past, Present, Future’ Event

As part of their Cultural Drivers event series, the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. will be presenting the ‘Culture as Catalyst: Past, Present, Future’ event from 6:30pm-8:00pm on February 25th.  Cities are increasingly defined by their civic spaces such as…

9 Houses on the Water / BLAUW architecten + FARO Architecten

© Jeroen Musch

Architects: BLAUW architecten + FARO Architecten 
Location: Rotterdam,
Design Team: Carin ter Beek, Roel Lichtenberg
Area: 175 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Jeroen Musch

Stade Leo Lagrange / Archi5

© Sergio Grazia

Architects: Archi5, Borja Huidobro
Location: Toulon,
Engineering: Ingérop
Landscape Architects: Michel Desvigne
Client: Toulon Provence Méditerranée
Area: 4,500 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Sergio Grazia

Diageo Concept Store / Fourfoursixsix

Courtesy of Fourfoursixsix

Architects: Fourfoursixsix
Location: ,
Client: Diageo
Budget: $180,000 USD
Area: 150 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Fourfoursixsix

For the Love of Stairs

Apartament P1 / MAP/MX

On this day of love, we bring you a compilation of eye candy capable of meeting or exceeding the specifications of any architect. These seductive staircases demand a double take. From curvaceous to straightforward or no-strings-attached (literally), we’ve got something for everyone.

They’re yours to gaze at after the break.