The ‘Green Bridge’ design by biomorphis in Leith Walk, one of the key thoroughfares in Edinburgh, Scotland, aims at bringing a lightweight structure with low embodied energy. Construction materials based on plant products represent the way forward in terms of diminishing our dependence on hydrocarbons. Leith Walk, which unfortunately acts as a major divider, needs a bridge which would link the East cycle paths to the West of the city. It would redirect the ever-growing flows of bikes and pedestrians and also become a landmark for the community. More images and architects’ description after the break.
TEX-FAB recently announced that the APPLIED Research Through Fabrication competition completed its first round at the beginning of the week. A total of 68 entries from 13 countries on 4 Continents in the Continuing and Speculative Research categories with roughly…
Architects: Foster and Partners
Location: Turin, Italy
Design Group: MAIRE Engineering (agent), Foster and Partners, Ltd. ICIS, Giugiaro, Arch CAMERANA Benedict, Studio Ass Mellano, Buonomo Vigil Studio, Studio Ass CO.PA.CO, Prof. G. Garzino, Studio A. Lazzerini, M. Arch Luciani, Prof. Ing Ossola, POLIEDRA S.P.A. and TEKSYSTEM
New building gross area: 36,232 sqm.
Photographs: Courtesy of comunicarch
Organized by the Institute for Urban Design, the American Pavilion for the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale is devoted to the theme Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. The installation will feature 124 urban interventions initiated by architects, designers, planners, artists, and everyday citizens that bring positive change to their neighborhoods and cities. The selection was narrowed down after a nationwide open call for projects, which yielded over 450 submissions.
Designed by the Brooklyn creative studio Freecell, the space will feature a lively system of banners that will frame an archive of the urban interventions. Collaborating with Sausalito-based communication design studio M-A-D, the installation will also feature a supergraphic that serves as a bold counterpoint to the banners and act as an installation in and of itself. This will all be presented in an enveloping environment to put Spontaneous Interventions into a broader historical and cultural context. Continuing into the courtyard, a NYC-based studio Interboro (winner of the 2011 MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program) designed “outdoor living room” will serve as the pavilion’s hang-out and workshop space during the three months of the Biennale.
Continue after the break to review the selected projects and participants.
New York City-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro has been chosen to design the gallery and visitor experience at the historic Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum – the only museum in the United States that is exclusively devoted to historic and contemporary design. The New York City landmark is currently under undergoing an extensive, $64 million transformation that will expand gallery space by sixty-percent. The new environment will be laced with interactive elements in which Local Projects will help integrate into the gallery space as they have been selected as participatory media designer.
The contemporary vision of the re:design aims to become a modern exemplar for museum design, while still preserving the historic Carnegie mansion. The renovation is led by Gluckman Mayner Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle. It will achieve LEED certification and is scheduled to be complete by 2014.
“It is because of their keen abilities to translate ideas and concepts into boundary-stretching design that Cooper-Hewitt selected DS+R and Local Projects as the ideal partners to help re-envision the design of its gallery, visitor and participatory digital experiences,” explained Bill Moggridge, director of the museum.
In a word, yes.
The Report, a consolidation of 15 years of research involving over 800 building projects and 500 organizations, gathered hard evidence to find out: what influences a cultural building’s success or failure? The question is a relevant one: between 1994 and 2008 there has been a building boom of performing arts centers, museums, and theaters in the U.S., costing cities billions of dollars. And unfortunately, supply has outrun demand.
The biggest problem the Report identifies is that cities and towns, many of which have recently experienced improved education/income and enthusiastically undertake these projects, often overestimate the actual need for these centers in their communities. Thus, when they run into financial difficulties (most do: over 80% of the projects surveyed ran over-budget, some up to 200%), the centers become economic drains rather than cultural boons.
In other words: Just because you build it, it doesn’t mean they will come.
So what does make for a successful Cultural Center? More after the break…
At the University of Minnesota’s College of Design several projects have been developed to advance more cost-effective, more environmentally aware buildings, infrastructure, and even communities. One very useful program they’ve developed falls under the Building Evaluation category. It’s called the CBSR Site and Building Design Carbon Calculator. What does it do? It measures the carbon footprint of any building or site. In other words, it measures greenhouse gas emissions from sites and from building development. Even better, it can be used by both professionals and the general public alike, for either existing or future structures. Indeed, after downloading the calculator, which is very well-researched and comprehensive, it is clear that this tool is self-explanatory and very easy-to-use.
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 Moscow 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.
Is it the perfect blend of sculpture and engineering, or it is a twisted form of nonsense? Opinions are quite varied on the subject of Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond’s observation tower, ArcelorMittal Orbit, which will serve as a permanent reminder of London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games. The red steel structure will rise close to 400 feet – taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty and London’s Big Ben – to be Britain’s largest piece of public art. Criticized for undertaking such a massively expensive project during the country’s recession, London Mayor Boris Johnson has claimed that the Orbit will not only enhance visitors’ experiences at the Olympic Games but will also be “the right thing for the Stratford site” beyond the summer time, calling on its potential to become ”the perfect iconic cultural legacy”.
More about the Observation Tower after the break.
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