Miami Beach Scraps OMA’s Winning Convention Center Design

Proposed Convention Center Entrance. Image © OMA

Miami Beach city commissioners have unanimously agreed to abandon the $1 billion redevelopment of its 52-acre convention center district, which aimed to radically reinvent the area. This decision comes just six months after the city awarded developer South Beach ACE and OMA the bid after an international, highly-publicized competition that pitted OMA against BIG.

“For the purposes of getting this project done fast, on time, on budget, it’s unfortunate that we’ll have to make a very tough, challenging decision,” said Miami Beach Mayer Philip Levine, “To some people, it’s a little disheartening. To other people, it’s a very fresh start.”

As reported by the Miami Herald, the city plans to reinstate a bid for the renovation of the city-owned convention center as well as another for the development of a nearby hotel. Under the new bid, the city will no longer be required to attain 60 percent of voter approval to build. By doing this, Levine believes the renovation will be expedited.

Impressive Shortlist to Compete for “The Arts Cluster” of Arnhem

© Flickr CC User Marco Derksen

UPDATE: OMA has reportedly withdrawn from the competition. 

The city of Arnhem, the Netherlands, has revealed an impressive shortlist of five firms who will compete to design a new cultural building for the city, The Arts Cluster, which will combine the Museum Arnhem and Focus Filmtheater Arnhem. 

The five firms selected from 44 entries are: Architecture Studio HH with SO-IL (); ABT with the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG, Denmark) with Allard ArchitectureKengo Kuma & Associates(Japan); NL Architects; and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

BIG, OMA, Büro-OS To Compete for New Media Campus in Berlin

Proposal from Büro-OS. Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE

UPDATE: has provided more images and information on their proposal, after the break.

BIG, Büro Ole Scheeren, and OMA have been announced as the three finalists in the competition to design the new Media Campus for AXEL SPRINGER SE in Berlin, Germany, beating out Kuehn Malvezzi and SANAA. The final ranking will be released in January.

The new campus will be located on the historic site of the former Berlin Wall, what was once a no-man’s land. All three proposals address this contentious history as well as the demands of a 21st century workplace. President of the jury, Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries, proclaimed that: “All three projects show how fascinating architecture can be today. No matter which of the three proposals will be realised: The competition is already an enrichment of Berlin’s building culture.” See all three proposals, after the break…

Which Architects Are Most Admired By Other Architects?

Foster + Partner’s Apple Campus II. Image © City of Cupertino

As part of their annual research for the World Architecture Top 100, Building Design (BD) has compiled a list of which architects are most admired by their colleagues from across the globe. Last year’s results were somewhat predictable, with Foster + Partners leading and Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop and Herzog + de Meuron close behind. According to BD, “this year saw a trend towards more commercial names.”

This year’s “most admired” list includes:

BIG Selected to Design Human Body Museum in France

© BIG

BIG has been announced as the winner of an international design competition for the new Cité du Corps Humain (Museum of the Human Body) in . Rooted in the city’s long medical history and world renowned medical school, which dates back to the 10th century, the 7,800 sqm museum will “explore the human body from an artistic, scientific and societal approach through cultural activities, interactive exhibitions, performances and workshops.”

Its design, orchestrated by eight undulating forms which “weave together” to create an underlying continuous space, will serve as a mediator between nature and city – Charpak Park and the Montpellier city hall. Stunning views, access to daylight and critical internal connections will all be revealed by the Museum’s shifting form.

Read on for more from the architect…

BIG Set to Build Blåvand Bunker Museum

Blåvand Bunker Museum. Image ©

BIG’s Blåvand Bunker Museum has secured the necessary funds to move forward. Set to transform a former German WWII bunker carved into the banks of Blåvand, , the 2,500 square meter museum will include four independent institutions: a bunker museum, an amber museum, a history museum and a special exhibitions gallery.

“Contrary to the existing closed concrete lump, the new museum will, in its architecture, function as an open heart integrated into the landscape,” Bjarke Ingels described. “The museum is in every way the opposite of the militant history with its more closed, dark and heavy features.”

Video / Superflex: A Cool Urban Space

“Let’s meet on the red square.” The artists behind Superkilen explain how this colorful wedge shaped public park in Copenhagen, , was a collaboration based on extreme civic participation.

A public park in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, Denmark, Superkilen was developed by artists’ group Superflex in collaboration with architectural firms Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Topotek1. The park was officially opened in June 2012.

In this interview two members of Superflex, Jakob Fenger and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, tell us about the ideas behind the project, and how it came about as an extreme example of citizen inclusion and collaboration: “We found it interesting to look at this very diverse group of people in regard to culture, social standing, nationality, etc., and then see it as a rich and significant foundation for impacting the area these people live in.”

More after the break.

BIG’s Beach + Howe Tower Wins Approval in Vancouver

© Luxigon

Bjarke Ingels Group ()’s 700,000 square foot Beach + Howe development has been approved by the City Council. Though concerns still remain regarding the height of the 52-story tower – which is intended to become the city’s fourth tallest building – an overwhelming majority of the council and public seems to be enthusiastic about the project. 

“It meets the test at every respect — gorgeous architecture, turning a dead space into a vibrant public space with animation and job space. The housing is diverse and much needed… People have used the word iconic – I think it’s remarkable design to combine so many elements on a tough site,” stated Mayor Gregor Robertson before the vote. “It’s an extraordinary project that deserves strong council support.”

Danish National Maritime Museum / BIG by George Messaritakis

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Some days ago we featured BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum, the 17,500 sqm below ground museum. We now have more photos taken by photographer George Messaritakis. You can check them all after the break.

BIG’s David Zahle Talks Sustainability

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David Zahle, a partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Lead Architect on the recently opened Danish National Maritime Museum, spoke to Mies. UK earlier this year. The practice, widely known for its creative approach to the issue of sustainability (sustainability should be experienced rather than hidden), recently won an an international competition to design a new Waste-to-Energy plant in Copenhagen.

Read more and watch the interview after the break…

Danish National Maritime Museum / BIG

© Rasmus Hjortshøj

Architects: BIG
Location: Helsingor, Denmark
Architect In Charge: , David Zahle
Project Leader : David Zahle
Area: 17,500 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Rasmus Hjortshøj, Thijs Wolzak, Luca Santiago Mora

BIG Selected to Design Mixed-Use Complex in San Francisco

Section Model. Image ©

In an effort to reestablish Mid-Market as an arts district in , developer Joy Ou has commissioned BIG to design a mixed-use arts, housing and hotel complex on 950 Market St. As the San Francisco Business Times reports, Group I is collaborating with the Thacher family and the nonprofit 950 Center for Art & Education to develop the project, which could potentially include a 250-room hotel, 316 residential units, a 75,000-square-foot arts complex, and 15,000 square feet of retail. The project will be BIG’s first in the Bay Area.

Round-Up: The Towers of BIG

Courtesy of BIG. ImageVancouver Tower

Today’s been shaping up to be quite the day for . Not only does the BIG founder turn 39 today, but he was just announced as a finalist for the second annual FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards for his work on the award-winning urban park Superkilen. For more Bjarke to brighten up your day, we’ve decided to round-up the soaring, twisting and turning towers that BIG has waiting in store for us: from a precariously spiraling observation tower planned for downtown Phoenix, Arizona; to the two high-rise residential towers BIG has in the works for – the seemingly “ruptured” Marina Lofts and the twisting twins of The Grove at Grand Bay; to the headlines-making, mixed-use towers planned for Vancouver and Calgary. Enjoy!

BIG Designs Pier 6 Viewing Platform for Brooklyn’s Waterfront

Courtesy of

Following the news that Studio V Architecture has been commissioned to convert the 19th century Empire Stores, next to Brooklyn Bridge, into 380,000 square-feet of office, restaurant and commercial space,  Group (BIG) has unveiled designs for “a flowering meadow with seasonal grasses, a sprawling field and a triangular wooden viewing platform” close by.

Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland Shortlisted Proposal / BIG

© BIG

As we announced last week, BIG++ has been selected as one of three design teams to participate in the second phase of the design competition for Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland, a 124,000 square meter acute hospital in Hillerød, north of Copenhagen. BIG’s proposal for the new hospital, serving over 300,000 people, seeks to “preserve the site’s existing natural features while optimizing the efficient hospital machine.”

Read on for more from the architect’s description…

BIG Shortlisted In Competition to Design Denmark’s Largest Hospital

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UPDATE: All three shortlisted teams have been announced. Check out there proposals here

BIG, WHR and Arup have been shortlisted alongside two other design teams to participate in the second phase of the design competition for what will be Denmark’s largest hospital. The 124,000 square meter facility, known as the Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland, is planned to be built north of Copenhagen.

According to the jury, “BIG’s ideas, together with the large green spaces and green surfaces, mean that we really can talk about a healing hospital in the best possible interpretation of the concept.”

We will keep you updated as details of the other shortlisted teams emerge.

Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium / BIG

© Jens Lindhe

Architects: BIG
Location: 2900 Hellerup, Denmark
Creative Director: Bjarke Ingels
Partner In Charge: Finn Nørkjær
Project Leader: Ole Schrøder (Concept), Ole Elkjær (Construction)
Project Architect: Frederik Lyng
Project Team: Narisara Ladawal Schröder, Henrick Poulsen, Dennis Rasmussen, Jeppe Ecklon, Rune Hansen, Riccardo Mariano, Christian Alvare Gomez, Xu Li, Jakob Lange, Thomas Juul-Jensen
Area: 1100.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jens Lindhe

OMA Wins Miami Beach Convention Center

Courtesy of OMA

After months of competition, debate, and quite a fair share of controversy (from the Miami politiicans that is), OMA and South Beach ACE have beaten BIG to win the Convention Center masterplan.

Despite the last-ditch efforts of the politicians to keep the drama going (including a presentation on the supposed superiority of the BIG plan, due to time-sensitivity and cost-efficiency) and even the surprising revelation that negotiations with the teams had been taped (we assume to monitor corruption, as accusations of back-handed deals have haunted the vote), the Miami Commissioners approved the South Beach ACE team over the Portman-CMC team (with BIG) in a five to two vote.

The 52 acre mixed-used development will not only include an iconic new convention center and hotel, but will revitalize this underutilized area of Miami Beach with a network of undulating, green spaces that integrate into Miami’s urban fabric. As OMA Partner-in-charge of the project, Shohei Shigematsu, and Rem Koolhaas said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be chosen to develop one of the most significant urban districts in the US. Our design will reintegrate Miami’s vital convention center with its neighbors, offering new facilities as well as amplifying the character of this exciting city.”

Last month we interviewed Shohei Shigematsu about the Miami Project. Check out that interview, as well as a short video of the proposal itself, after the break…