2014 Canadian Urban Design Award Winners

Jiigew – By the Water, Thunder Bay, Ontario, by Brook McIllroy Architects and SPMB. Image © David Whittaker

The winners of the 2014 Canadian Urban Design Awards, a biennial competition recognizing projects that contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Canadian cities, were recently announced by the Royal Institute of Canada (RAIC), Canadian Institute of Planners, and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. Eight individuals, organizations, and firms – including Perkins + Will for a masterplan in Edmonton - were recognized for their efforts in categories such as Community Initiatives and Civic Design. For information and images on the winning entries, read on after the break.

Construction Begins on UDG China’s Nanjing Office Tower

Aerial. Image © Luxigon

Construction has begun on the new Jianye District office tower in . Designed by UDG China, the multi-level complex will house hundreds of government workers throughout almost 100,000 square meters of office space.

Maison Edouard François Designs Luxurious Skyscraper Trio in India

© Luxigon

Sector 66 of Gurgaon, India will be the site of Maison Edouard François’ newest project: a massive luxury complex crowned by three stainless steel-clad skyscrapers. Given over entirely to opulence, Guragon 66 will house a hotel, a multiplex cinema, and an apartment complex. Yet its most defining feature may be its shopping mall, which covers most of the ground floor. This glass-canopied commercial center will host internationally known brands, such as Fendi and Chanel, in independent marble buildings within the main structure.

LITTLE Designs Locally-Inspired Cultural Campus for Anqiu

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The fertile Anqiu region of China’s Shangdong Province is known locally as the land of “cultivation, stone hills, and creeks.” Thus, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting’s (LITTLE) design for Anqiu’s new cultural campus and fitness center is based upon these very elements.

The campus will host five buildings raised on a plinth: a multi-functional citizen’s center, a 10,000 square meter performing arts building, a central public library, and two museums devoted to Anqiu’s history and urban development. Each of these buildings will be clad in a thin veneer of local stone, transforming them into rocky outcrops that reference the local hills.

AMLGM Proposes to Top New York Transportation Hubs with Sprawling Tower

Train View. Image ©

Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles of AMLGM have envisioned a new residential tower typology for New York that can connect and transform unused space surrounding various transportation hubs into a dense, mixed-use housing tower. 

The proposal, dubbed Urban Alloy, which won first in Living Cities Residential Tower Competition and received honorable mention in Evolo Skyscrapers 2014, is capable of responding to a number of unique spacial and environmental situations, providing a new way for the city to grow “organically” and provide adequate housing for the expanding population. 

Read on for the architect’s description

Sasanbell to Design £200m Exhibition Center in Aberdeen

© Sasanbell and , via BDOnline

Sasanbell has been chosen to design the UK’s “most sustainable facility:” the £200 million Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC). The Glasgow-based company will provide a new home for the city’s existing exhibition and conference center, which will be redeveloped by Cooper Cromar, freeing up space for future development and providing a sizable venue that can accommodate ”large and popular events.” 

Rafael de La-Hoz Unveils TEDA Monument in Tianjin

Day 1. Image Courtesy of

Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz has designed a mirrored, 60-meter monument to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). The design, titled “A Cut between heaven and earth”, was “driven by an effort to analyze the process of abstraction and reinterpretation of the site.”

Zaha Hadid Designs “City of Dreams” Hotel Tower in Macau

North Elevation. Image © ; 2014 Melco Crown Entertainment Limited

Zaha Hadid Architects has designed a 40-story luxury hotel for ’s premier leisure and entertainment destination known as “City of Dreams.” Perceived as a single “sculptural element” united by an exposed exoskeleton mesh structure, the “simple volume” was extruded from its rectangular site as two towers connected at the podium and roof levels, with two organically-shaped bridges punctuating the tower’s center external void. This central void is then celebrated by a 40-meter tall, “grandiose atrium” that greets visitors as they enter the hotel.

Take a digital tour through the building and into the atrium via a newly released video, after the break…

Daniel Libeskind on Italy, Design, & the State of Architecture Today

Rendering of the CHAU 43 residential project in Berlin, whose facade will be clad in Libeskind’s titanium ceramic porcelain tile.. Image Courtesy of Studio Daniel Libeskind

In this interview with Daniel Libeskind, originally featured on as Q&A: Daniel Libeskind on Italy, Product Design, and the State of Architecture Today, Paul Clemence talks to Libeskind about his perspective on Italian culture, its influence on his career, and his most recent foray into product design.

When you talk to Daniel Libeskind, no single question has a simple answer. From his days as a young musical prodigy (he played the accordion) to his directorship at Cranbrook Academy, not to mention his voracious passion for literature, the fascinating episodes of his life all come together, informing his approach to design and architecture. His career path is an unusual one. And while that is true for many architects, his is particularly interesting, where each twist and turn, no matter how ostensibly disconnected, seem to have always prepared him for his next step. Take his two highest profile jobs, the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the master plan for Ground Zero. The two are intrinsically linked—the museum’s official opening to the public in 2001 was originally scheduled on September 11. The project had taken 13 years of political maneuvering to realize. Similarly, Libeskind’s World Trade Center site master plan was marred by a decade of delays and alterations, which threatened to blot out his original design intentions. One monumental task after the , eerily similar in challenging circumstances, both offering the architect a rare opportunity to helm projects richly entrenched in emotion, symbolism, and historical significance.

Now as his career moves beyond these two important projects, the architect’s connection to Italy is beginning to play a pivotal role in his work. He moved there after his time at Cranbrook, when he was looking for new career challenges. Libeskind has been back in America since he was commissioned the Ground Zero project, but he recently opened up a studio in Milan, where he, his wife, and son oversee the firm’s forays in product design.

I caught up with Libeskind at his Lower Manhattan office overlooking Ground Zero to talk about Italy and his involvement in upcoming design fairs there, Milan Design Week and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Details Emerge on World’s Largest Airport Terminal in Istanbul

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Grimshaw, Nordic Office of Architecture (Oslo) and Haptic Architects (London) have released details on what is expected to be the world’s busiest airport terminal: Istanbul Grand Airport. Planned for the Black Sea coast, just 35 kilometers outside the city, the six-runway development, masterplanned by Arup, will serve as a modern gateway to Istanbul and .

The first of the project’s four phases is slated for completion in 2018 and will serve 90 million passengers per year. Once all phases are complete, the airport’s capacity will expand to over 150 million annual passengers, making it the world’s largest airport terminal under a single roof.

“The Istanbul Grand Airport will be a modern, highly functional airport, with a unique sense of space,” described Nordic. “The airport is inspired by what makes Istanbul great: a large-scale, heaving metropolis with millennia of history, stunning architecture, both new and old, and a richness in color, patterns and quality of light.”

Dwell on Design Convention To Showcase Modern Living

Google Glasses DOD LA. Image Courtesy of Media LLC – PST

Dwell on Design, an immersive 3-day design at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 20-22, will feature over 400 exhibitors and 90 presentations on ‘new ideas for modern living.’

Brooks + Scarpa Design Park-And-Ride Plaza for Seattle Rail Station

© Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks + Scarpa has won a competition to design a new park-and-ride plaza for the future Angle Lake light rail station in . As part of the 1.6-mile South 200th Link Extension, which will connect Angle Lake to the airport and downtown area by 2016, the $30 million complex will provide the station’s anticipated 5,400 passengers with a pedestrianized plaza, drop-off and retail area, as well as a 1,050-stall parking garage and 35,000 square feet of reserved space for future transit-oriented development.

Buy a Piece of the Royal Academy’s Sensing Spaces Exhibition

Eduardo Souto de Moura’s Square Arch. Image © James Taylor-Foster

London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is selling off parts of their blockbuster architectural , Sensing Spaces. The Great Architecture Fair will see the seven practices behind the enormous installations select objects and materials from the exhibition to be repurposed as beautiful, unique items available to buy. In addition to these, the RA are offering members of the public the chance to experience the spaces out-of-hours “to give you your own exclusive moment in the exhibition.” 

Ranging from a top step from Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen’s gargantuan installation for £450, to a bag of pebbles (plus certificate) from Li Xiaodong’s Zen Garden for £10, slices of one of the world’s most accessible architecture exhibitions in recent years are up for grabs.

Richter Dahl Rocha Develops Innovative Façade for SwissTech Convention Center

Grätzel façade. Image Courtesy of SwissTech Convention Center and Northern District

Richter Dahl Rocha & Associés’ ”ultramodern” SwissTech Convention Center opened its doors today. Housing a 3,000-seat modular amphitheater which can be converted from conference auditorium, to hall, to banquet room in only fifteen minutes, the convention center is the first large-scale convention hall to use EPFL‘s dye-sensitized solar cells (also known as Grätzel Cells). 

This latest addition to the campus’s northern quarter already contains a collection of commercial stores and over 500 housing units. Its construction puts the finishing touch too what has been described as a “living campus where students can now stay on campus both night and day.”

eVolo Skyscraper Winner 2014 Transforms Korean ‘Hanok’ Into Impressive High-Rise

Visualisation. Image © Yong Ju Lee

Vernacular Versatility, recently awarded first place in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, seeks to adapt traditional Korean architecture into a contemporary mixed-use high-rise. The vernacular design of the Hanok, the “antonym of a western house” and epitome of the Korean style, has disappeared from every town. Extensive urban development in the 1970s led to a boom in modern apartment dwellings and, consequently, a loss of established Korean vernacular architecture. Yong Ju Lee’s proposal aims to reimagine the Hanok in one of the country’s busiest districts, drawing people’s attention to and stimulating their interest in traditional architecture with the intention that “it will eventually be absorbed into people’s everyday lives”

Cool Spaces! Premiers Tomorrow, Puts Architecture in the Spotlight

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts / Moshe Safdie. Image © Tim Hursley

Stephen Chung‘s new PBS show Cool Spaces! hopes to engage the general public’s perception of design by “demystifying” contemporary architectural practice. You can tune in to the hour-long premier tomorrow (April 1) as Chung investigates the sports and performing arts spaces of Moshe Safdie (Kauffman Center for Performing Arts), HKS (Dallas Cowboys Stadium), and SHoP (Barclays Center).

RIBA Future Trends Survey Indicates An “All-Time High” for Workloads

Courtesy of

The latest Future Trends Survey, published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), indicates an “all-time high” for architects’ workload with “confidence levels about future workloads continuing to rise.” The February report shows +41 in the Future Trends Workload Index, up from +35 in January, with the highest balance figures coming from (+54) and Scotland (+60). The optimistic report suggests that there “still appears to be significant spare capacity within the profession,” noting that many practices actually under-employed in the last month.

Happy Birthday Hans Hollein!

Mobiles Büro, aufblasbares Bürogebäude, 1969 . Image © Gino Molin-Pradl

Austrian artist, architect, designer, theoretician and Pritzker Prize laureate Hans Hollein turns 80 today. Described by Richard Meier as an architect whose “groundbreaking ideas” have “had a major impact on the thinking of designers and architects,” Hollein has worked in all aspects of design, from architecture to furniture, jewelry, glasses, lamps — even door handles. Known in particular for his museum designs, from the Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt to Vienna’s Haas House, Hollein’s work manifests a unique, fascinating take on 1950s Modernism.