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TVZEB Zero Energy Building / Traverso Vighy

© Francesco Castagna © Francesco Castagna © Alessandra Chemollo © Alessandra Chemollo

Santa Monica Shortlists Three Teams for Mixed-Use Development

Project Site via BING and Architects' Newspaper
Project Site via BING and Architects' Newspaper

Gehry’s chiseled, 244 foot tower is not the only mixed-use proposal currently being considered by the city of Santa Monica, as officials have selected three international teams led by prominent architects to submit proposals for a “significant” and “signature” development on a 2.5 acre site downtown. Located on Arizona Avenue between 4th and 5th streets, the parcel is currently occupied by a parking lot and two banks. Although the city did not specify a size constraint, the proposed designs will be expected to fit within the surrounding context and include an appropriate mix of of retail, office, hotel and residential space. The following teams have been asked to submit proposals in May:

Domino Sugar Factory Master Plan Development / SHoP Architects

© SHoP Architects
© SHoP Architects

Last Summer, Two Trees bought the Domino Sugar Factory site in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn to be developed into a new mix-use master plan. The previously proposed scheme by Rafael Viñoly Architects (seen here) consisted of four large towers along the East River water front, but the design was largely disliked by the community, and as a result Two Trees hired SHoP Architects along with James Corner Field Operations to have a go at the design. The result is a wildly different scheme, consisting of five towers with 60% more open space along the water front, 631,000 square feet of new office space (versus the previous 98,000 square feet), and over two-thousand new apartments. This marks a huge change for what could be considered as the most important waterfront real estate in Brooklyn, and potentially become the new image of Brooklyn for the whole world.

Anatomy of a Chinese City

In cities around the globe, change happens almost instantly. Buildings rise, buildings disappear, and skylines morph before one’s eyes. There is no better example of this, of course, than China. From Ordos to Shanghai, Chinese cities are in a constant state of flux, as the Chinese people willfully abandon signs of the past and embrace the new.

Of course, it’s one thing to know this fact; it’s quite another to witness it firsthand, to experience this urgent impetus to demolish and demolish in order to build, build, build, and build. In the face of such large-scale, exponential urban development, it’s easy to feel powerless to suggest another path.

However, in publishing Anatomy of a Chinese City, that is exactly what two young architects have done. By taking the time to observe the “urban artifacts” that make a Chinese city unique, compiling over 100 drawings of everything from buildings to bicycles, Thomas Batzenschlager and Clémence Pybaro have preserved a piece of Chinese history that is quickly going extinct. 

In a world where, in the race for progress, quotidian realities are erased unthinkingly, Anatomy of a Chinese City is not just a resource, but a call-to-action, reminding us to slow down and observe the very human context that surrounds us.

Read more about Anatomy of a Chinese City, after the break...

British Architects Seek Infrastructure Opportunities in Brazil

Led by UK housing minister Mark Prisk, architects from five high-profile British practices - Haworth Tompkins, Foster & Partners, Amanda Levete Architects, Avanti Architects and de Matos Ryan - have embarked on a week-long visit to Brazil in search of major infrastructure opportunities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. The trip is part of the UKBrasil Season, a six-month series of dynamic and engaging projects designed to showcase the best of British business, culture, science and innovation in Brazil and become the largest post-Olympic legacy project in the world.

Mark Prisk stated: “Brazilian companies in these cities are actively looking for fast-track construction systems, innovative building materials and low carbon solutions to meet current and future demand, not only in preparation for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games but also to compete in the country’s many major infrastructure projects.

More after the break...

Bar Street of Quanzhou / HYHW Architects

  • Architects: HYHW Architects
  • Location: Quanzhou, Fujian, China
  • Design Team: HYHW, ECOLAND Planning and Design Corp.
  • Client: Wanda Group
  • Area: 63000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Shu He Photography

© Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography

AD Round Up: Aires Mateus

AD Round Up: Aires Mateus AD Round Up: Aires Mateus AD Round Up: Aires Mateus AD Round Up: Aires Mateus

Little Emergency Music School in Palaiseau / ARCHICLUB

  • Architects: ARCHICLUB
  • Location: South Paris, France
  • Architect in Charge: Fabien Duchene + Vasily Mels
  • Consultants Fluids / Environnement : IDEEL environnement
  • Consultants Structure: ID+ engineering
  • Consultants acoustics: DOT acoustics
  • Area: 256.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Guillaume Lelasseux

© Guillaume Lelasseux © Guillaume Lelasseux © Guillaume Lelasseux © Guillaume Lelasseux

Slant Competition 2013: 'Evoking Memories'

Slant is inviting contestants to participate in this year's competition, themed 'Evoking Memories'which calls for a design for a show garden which, if selected will become part of SlantFest, their new on-line garden festival for summer 2013. Open to any global location of your choice, you may choose to represent a memory of a place or event, childhood memories, or opt to commemorate or to celebrate a person or persons, even a nation. It’s up to you to decide, and your inspiration could be either well known, or perhaps just personal to you. The deadline for submissions is May 20. For  more information, please visit here.

Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building / Rafael Viñoly Architects

  • Architects: Rafael Viñoly Architects
  • Location: 505 Parnassus Avenue, University of California San Francisco Medical Center : Dentistry, San Francisco, CA 94131, USA
  • Architect in Charge: Rafael Viñoly
  • Electrical Engineer : Cupertino Electric, Inc
  • Landscape Architect : Carducci & Associates, Inc
  • Civil Engineer: Sandis
 Cahd Browning
  • Structural Engineer (Design): Nabih Youssef Associates Michael Gemmill
  • Structural Engineer (of Record): Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc
  • Area: 6364.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Bruce Damonte

© Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte

Vieux Port Pavilion / Foster + Partners

Saturday in Marseille, France, pedestrians and city officials joined Foster + Partners to celebrate the completion of the Vieux Port Pavilion at the mouth of Marseille’s World Heritage-listed harbor. Minimal, yet effective, this “discreet” intervention provides a new sheltered events space on the eastern edge of the port. With six slender pillars supporting its razor-thin profile, the polished 46 by 22 meter stainless steel canopy amplifies and reflects the surrounding movement, creating a spectacle that encourages pedestrians to linger. 

More on Foster’s Vieux Port Pavilion after the break...

BIG’s Waste-to-Energy Plant Breaks Ground, Breaks Schemas

There are many things that set BIG’s latest project, Amager Bakke, apart. The plant, which broke ground yesterday, will be the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world. It will be the tallest and biggest building in Copenhagen. It will house Denmark’s first ski-slope (on the roof of the plant, no less). It will emit its CO2 emissions - not as a continuous stream of smoke, oh no - but in sudden, bursting smoke rings. 

However, the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy Plant is far more than the sum of its rather remarkable features. As an urban “destination in itself” and a landmark in environmental design, it’s one of the most radical representations of architecture as a means of public engagement of our time. And, what’s more, it’s a signal that BIG has finally reached maturity, truly coming into its own as a firm.

Read more about BIG’s remarkable Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant, after the break....

Buckminster Fuller Challenge: 2013 Search for Solutions Launched

Calling all students, architects, designers, artists, engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs!

'Frank Gehry At Work' Exhibition

On display at Leslie Feely Fine Art in New York from April 11 to June 30, 2013, the Frank Gehry At Work exhibition features a selection of over 30 diverse process models by Gehry, which are drawn from significant constructions and concepts of the architect’s prolific career. These organic forms, which consist of a wide array of materials, stand as testament to Gehry’s tactile approach, enhancing our perception of this sculptural architect and his work,  illuminating the subtleties of Gehry’s thought—and working—process. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.

Development Banks of the Meurthe / Atelier Cite Architecture

  • Architects: Atelier Cite Architecture
  • Location: 9 Rue Alphonse Adam, 88110 Raon-l'Étape, France
  • Landscape: ARPAE
  • Light Designer: Scene Publique (Agathe Argod)
  • Structure: Groupe Alto
  • Hydraulic: SINBIO
  • Area: 20000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Michel Denancé

© Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé © Michel Denancé

Pablo Castro Lecture: Hexameter

As part of Cornell University's Rome 2013 Lecture Series, Pablo Castro, founder of OBRA Architects will be delivering the 'Hexameter' lecture this Thursday, March 7th, at the Palazzo Lazzaroni in Rome at 6:00pm. A 2012 Rome prize winner, Castro's design direction at OBRA has produced a body of award-winning projects including four AIANY Design Awards and two Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards. He is also a 2006 NYFA Fellow in Architecture/Environmental Structures and a 2003 Society of Architectural Historians de Montëquin Senior Fellow, which are just some of the many awards received. For more information on the event, please visit here.