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Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Aberdeen Garden City Proposal Nixed

After winning the Aberdeen City Garden competition in early 2012, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro's 'Granite Web' design was rejected over the summer in a 22-20 city council vote for being overly expensive. Despite public approval the proposal, which totaled a whopping £140m, was rejected in favor of a collection of more fiscally responsible city projects, such as refurbishing the Aberdeen Art Gallery and redeveloping the site of the St. Nicholas House. 

Just recently, the City of Aberdeen announced a £300m city-wide plan of improving roads, schools and cultural buildings, with only £20m allotted for the city center, which will be pedestrianized but not much else. Thus, confirming the "final nail in the coffin" for DS+R's ambitious web of lush gardens and cultural landmarks. 

Read more after the break...

Hörsaalzentrum / HH+F Architekten

© Peter Hinschläger © Peter Hinschläger © Peter Hinschläger © Peter Hinschläger

Water Treatment Station of Benidorm / Otxotorena

  • Architects Office: Otxotorena
  • Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Spain
  • Architects: Juan M. Otxotorena, Mariano González Presencio, Luis Tena Núñez
  • Collaborators: Gloria Herrera, Juan González, Pedro Palencia
  • Area: 8884.0 sqm
  • Year: 2010
  • Photography: Pedro Pegenaute

© Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute © Pedro Pegenaute

Masterplan of Xiasha Wander Bay Second Prize Winning Proposal / FCHA

A unique ecological resource for an otherwise densely-populated urban region, the Xiasha district is a rural, coastal setting outside of Shenzhen. FCHA‘s second prize winning proposal for the masterplan project of Xiasha Wander Bay seeks to strike a balance between the preservation of the site’s pristine ecology and the needs of a four-season tourist town. More images and architects’ description after the break.

New National Contemporary Art Storage of Korea Competition Entry / PWFERRETTO

With the proposal title of ‘Expose the Structural DNA’, PWFERRETTO’s design for a new National Contemporary Art Storage of Korea amplifies the power of the existing structure by revealing its bare structural logic. Their main goals are to create an engaging experience and relate to the visitor in a more raw and immediate way, which makes it different from a museum. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Films & Architecture: "The Cell"

The Cell, by Tarse Singh, is a visually powerful film in which every set is carefully prepared in terms of color, composition and  atmosphere. Ranging from subtle scenes to really baroque ones, the film is loaded with surrealist, sophisticated  imagery that helps the viewer experience the story with the characters.

As usual we invite you to enjoy these films, let us know your comments, and propose more for the list!

Gate 81 Project: Preston Bus Station

The ‘Gate 81′ project has been set up to imagine how Preston Bus Station could be adapted for the future and to strongly encourage all who are interested to develop your ideas using open, shared resources. In December 2012 Preston City Council voted ‘in principle’ to demolish the building and replace it with a surface car park. However, to many, the building is a major cultural landmark and it should be preserved and creatively adapted to serve the city. It should act as a key space to make Preston accessible and temper the decay that is affecting our city, and so many other city centers across the UK. This is a great way to maximize resources and collective intelligence through this very open site. More information after the break.

Piraeus Antiquities Museum Competition Entry / PAR

Conceived through a spatial inversion, the proposal for the new Antiquities Museum of Piraeus is an industrial typology that is reinvented as a cultural destination. Designed by PAR, in collaboration with ARUP, their interest lies not only in the complex program of the museum, but in the site’s unexploited urban potential as a civic link. Transformed into an iconic, world class museum, the building’s openness activates the Cultural Coast District. More images and architects’ description after the break.

De Bron Church Renovation / Bureau MT

© Dirk Verwoerd
© Dirk Verwoerd
  • Architects: Bureau MT
  • Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands
  • Architect in Charge: Marco Tavenier
  • Co Designer: Gerlof van der Veen (ir. G. van der Veen, architect) Irene van den Brink (Bureau Knipoog)
  • Contractor: bouwonderneming Van Bekkum
  • Construction Engineer: Pieters bouwtechniek, Utrecht/Eindhoven
  • Mechanical Engineering: WTB-buro, adviseurs installatietechniek
  • Area: 1030.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Dirk Verwoerd

© Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd

Irène / KANVA

© Jimmy Hamelin
© Jimmy Hamelin

© Marc Cramer © Marc Cramer © Marc Cramer © Marc Cramer

New York Firm Designs 'Cloud' of Recycled Plastic Bottles

Non-profit art organization FIGMENT asked the question “What would an art pavilion made out of recycled materials and based around the idea of "The City of Dreams" look like to you?"  STUDIOKCA decided that it looks like an earthly cloud made of recycled water bottles; "A place to dream, in the 'city of dreams'."

This competition-winning cumulus, entitled 'Head In The Clouds' is campaigning to be the central pavilion at FIGMENT’s free art festival on Governor’s island in NYC this summer. The cloudy-centerpiece will contain a stage for events and provide a place for the 200,000 festival-goers to dream and contemplate the changing light.

More info on 'Head In the Clouds' after the break...

Schoolhouse Grono /

  • Architects: Raphael Zuber
  • Location: Grono, Switzerland
  • Project Management: Thomas Melliger - Bauplanung, Zürich
  • Collaborators: David Gianinazzi, Kosuke Yutani
  • Construction Supervision: Devis Bruni and Giulio Cereghetti, Mesocco
  • Structural Engineering: Patrick Gartmann (Conzett Bronzini Gartmann AG, Chur)
  • Landscape Architects: 4D AG Landschaftsarchitekten, Bern
  • Clent: Comune politico di 6537 Grono
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Javier Miguel Verme

© Javier Miguel Verme © Javier Miguel Verme © Javier Miguel Verme © Javier Miguel Verme

Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Practices in Architecture

Fast Company has released a list of what they believe to be the world’s top ten most innovative companies in architecture. From applauding Wang Shu’s abstinence from westernization to honoring Mazzanti Arquitectos for transforming impoverished areas of crime into community hubs, this compilation honors some of the world’s most influential practices, regardless of their size. 

Review the complete list after the break and share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

The World's Largest Firms Have Been Ranked...But Does It Matter?

Rendering for the Shanghai Tower, by Gensler. Gensler was the only firm to rank in the Top 5 largest firms and the Top 5 Most Admired firms. Image courtesy of Gensler.
Rendering for the Shanghai Tower, by Gensler. Gensler was the only firm to rank in the Top 5 largest firms and the Top 5 Most Admired firms. Image courtesy of Gensler.

Yesterday, we published The WA100, Building Design’s ranking of the world’s largest architecture firms’ physical and financial growth for 2013. The ranking is - although not by any fault of its own - inherently misleading.

Why? Because we’re wired to read a ranking subjectively, looking to #1 as the best in some capacity, and then to compare other entries, with higher or lower rankings, as somehow better/worse than their neighbors.

But this list is objectively ordered by size (a.k.a the number of employees). Not by the amount of money earned. Not by the number of projects completed. Not by the prestige of those projects, or even the quality of the work.

So what does it mean to be in the Top 5 of this ranking? Qualitatively, not very much.

Which is not to say that the list isn't worth a longer look...

Check out the Top 5 Most Admired Firms of 2012 (and other ways we should be evaluating the world’s largest firms), after the break...

253 Pacific Street / James Cleary Architecture

  • Architects: James Cleary Architecture
  • Location: 253 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
  • Area: 9170.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: James Cleary Architecture

© James Cleary Architecture © James Cleary Architecture © James Cleary Architecture © James Cleary Architecture

Cathedral of the Northern Lights / SHL Architects + LINK arkitektur

© Adam Mørk
© Adam Mørk

© Adam Mørk © Adam Mørk © Adam Mørk © Adam Mørk