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Miami Beach Scraps OMA's Winning Convention Center Design

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

UPDATE: OMA has reportedly withdrawn from the competition.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 (United States); 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

UPDATE: OMA has provided more information and images of their proposal, see them 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...

Proposal from Büro-OS. Image Courtesy of Büro Ole Scheeren Proposal from BIG. Image © BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group Proposal from OMA. Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE Proposal from OMA. Image Courtesy of Axel Springer SE

Which Architects Are Most Admired By Other Architects?

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:

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, Denmark, 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

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)’s 700,000 square foot Beach + Howe development has been approved by the Vancouver 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

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.

© George Messaritakis © George Messaritakis © George Messaritakis © George Messaritakis

BIG's David Zahle Talks Sustainability

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...

BIG Selected to Design Mixed-Use Complex in San Francisco

In an effort to reestablish Mid-Market as an arts district in San Francisco, 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

Round-Up: The Towers of BIG Round-Up: The Towers of BIG Round-Up: The Towers of BIG Round-Up: The Towers of BIG

BIG Designs Pier 6 Viewing Platform for Brooklyn's Waterfront

Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG

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, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has unveiled designs for "a flowering meadow with seasonal grasses, a sprawling field and a triangular wooden viewing platform" close by.

BIG Shortlisted In Competition to Design Denmark’s Largest Hospital

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. 

OMA Wins Miami Beach Convention Center

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 Miami Beach Convention Center masterplan. 

Despite the last-ditch efforts of the Miami 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...

Fate Uncertain for Miami Beach Convention Center

OMA, BIG and their partnering developers have until later today to decide whether they want to alter their plans for the Miami Beach Convention Center or walk away from the competition entirely.  

The Prince: Bjarke Ingels's Social Conspiracy

A version of this essay was originally published in Thresholds 40: “Socio-” (2012)

Few architects working today attract as much public acclaim and disciplinary head-scratching as Bjarke Ingels. Having recently arrived in New York, this self-proclaimed futurist is undertaking his own form of Manifest Destiny, reminding American architects how to act in their own country.

While his practice is often branded by the architectural establishment as naïve and opportunistic, such criticism is too quick to conflate Ingels’s outwardly optimistic persona with the brash formal agenda it enables. In the current economic climate, there are any number of gifted purveyors of form languishing in New York City. Despite this, Ingels has somehow managed to get away with proposing a pyramidal perimeter block in midtown New York, a looped pier in St. Petersburg Florida, and an art center in Park City, Utah massed as torqued log cabin while maintaining a straight face. Why, then, is his mode of operation considered unsophisticated by so many within the discipline?

Clearly, Ingels has figured something out about harnessing and transforming “the social” that American architects would do well to identify. So, in the manner of any good conspiracy theorist in search for the hidden method, let’s go to the chalkboard, or rather, the diagram...

Part of the answer may lie with Ingels’s brand of populism, which is as much about being social as it is about the social.

AD Interviews OMA, BIG on their Miami Showdown

Over the last few months, OMA and BIG have been vying for the opportunity to redevelop the 52-acre site home to the convention center in the heart of Miami Beach. With two award-winning, international firms at the center of the showdown, the media frenzy has been intense and the public’s imagination activated. It only remains to be seen if the results, which promise to be visionary, surpass expectation. With so much on the line, we decided to sit down with both OMA and BIG and discuss how their proposals differ.

The BIG LEGO® House Reveal

The design for BIG’s highly anticipated LEGO® “experience center” - a.k.a. The LEGO® House - has been released! Located in the heart of The Lego Group’s birthplace and home town of Billund, Denmark, the 7,600 square-meter building resembles “gigantic LEGO® bricks” that are “combined and stacked in a creative way to create an imaginative experience both outside and inside.”

True to form, the 30 meter-tall structure will feature several exterior and multi-level access points that will remain open year-long to its estimated 250,000 annual visitors. Aside from its roof-top gardens and 1,900 square-meter public square, attractions will include a series of exhibition areas showcasing the “past, present and future of the LEGO® idea”, a cafe and an unique LEGO® store.

Take a video tour through the building after the break...

Who Should Win the OMA vs. BIG Miami Showdown?

The Miami Beach Convention Center, a giant box of a building constructed in 1957, is in desperate need of a makeover and two design teams have bravely accepted the challenge. Team 1 is dubbed South Beach ACE (Arts, Culture, Entertainment District) and is a collaboration between Rem Koolhaas's OMA firm, Tishman, UIA, MVVA, Raymond Jungles and TVS. Team 2 goes by the name of Miami Beach Square and includes BIG, West 8, Fentress, JPA and Portman CMC. Both proposals completely re-imagine 52 acres of prime beach real estate and cost over a billion dollars in public and private funds. So, who does it better? 

Vote for your favorite after the break...