BIG and Morphosis Among Six Shortlisted for Des Moines’ Kum & Go Headquarters

Downtown . Image © Flickr CC User Jason Mrachina

Kum & Go has enlisted six internationally renowned practices to compete for design of its new $92 million headquarters planned for Des Moines, : Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Morphosis, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Safdie Architects, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). The 24-hour convenience store chain plans to select an architect by mid-November. The 120,000-square-foot corporate office will be built on the north side of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, between 14th and 15th streets.

Three Finalists to Develop Strategies for Vacant Land Reuse in New Orleans

NOLEX. Image Courtesy of VAI

Three finalists have been selected to move forward in the (VAI) and New Orleans Redevelopment Authority’s (NORA) “Future Ground” open ideas competition. Each will be provided with a $15,000 stipend to investigate and develop long-term design and policy strategies for vacant land reuse in New Orleans.

“Too often, vacant land has been seen only as a remnant of or absence within the 20th century city,” described the VAI. “Today, with a critical mass of designers, policymakers, scholars, artists, activists, and residents creating pilot projects, thoughtful studies, and new kinds of urbanism on abandoned properties, it is possible to imagine this land as an integral part of the future city.”

d3 Natural Systems 2014 Winners Announced

Special Mention for Performative Landscape: Hydrophytic Urban Topography / Dustin Piercy, Xiomara Martinez (USA). Image ©

d3 has announced the winners of its Natural Systems Competition for 2014, an annual competition that offers architects, designers, engineers and students the chance to investigate natural processes from the microscopic to macroscopic scale and propose innovative, nature-based solutions in architecture, urbanism, interiors and product design for sustainable living.

The jury, a panel of architects and designers engaged in sustainable practices and computational explorations, has this year selected a top three as well as eleven special mentions. Join us after the break for images from all 14 designs.

RIBA Launches Centenery Square Regeneration Competition for Birmingham

’s Centenary Square. Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects have announced an international design competition to regenerate Centenary Square, one of Birmingham‘s largest public spaces, and neighbor to Birmingham’s International Convention Centre, the Old Rep Theatre, and the the Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo which was shortlisted for the 2014 Stirling Prize.

See All 1,715 Entries to the Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Online

GH-7128234610. Image Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants

The competition for the new Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki closed last month, becoming the most popular architectural competition in history with 1,715 entries. Now, competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants have made every single one available to view online, with each anonymous proposal presented in a series of two images, and a short description fro the architects. “Since its inception, this competition has been organized to be welcoming, inclusive, and transparent, and the gallery presents a singular opportunity for the public to explore and consider the broad expanse of entries,” says Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Museum and Foundation.

Competition organizer Malcolm Reading added: “For anyone interested in design, the gallery is a tremendous resource that offers rare insight into the design process and further illustrates how the vision for a Guggenheim … [has] captured the imagination of architects around the world.”

And indeed, the website does provide a tremendous tool: with such a huge volume of entries, the database and its associated tagging system offer an interesting way to probe the architectural zeitgeist: for example, it seems ‘curved’ buildings are almost twice as popular as ‘straight’ buildings; and ‘opaque’ buildings are still unpopular, being outpaced by ‘transparent’ buildings by almost five to one, despite the traditionally opaque museum typology.

But when it comes to architectural quality, where do you even begin with 1,715 proposals? The competition’s website has that covered too, with a favorites button, a six-building shortlist tool and a search-by-registration tool. ArchDaily is here to help too: after the break, we’ve hand-picked 50 of the most exciting, unusual, interesting and simply absurd proposals for you to start talking about.

OS31 Designs Pop-Up Restaurant on a Frozen River

Courtesy of

UK architects OS31 have recently won a competition to design RAW:almond, “the first ever outdoor dining restaurant on a frozen body of water.” The temporary restaurant has set up for business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the last two years, and for 2015 the organizers held an international open competition for the winning design. This year’s design establishes itself as an expressive frame that appears to float across the ice like a frozen jetty. Learn more about the winning proposal after the break.

Call For Proposals: Hello Nature!

Competition Site. Image Courtesy of

Combo latest ideas challenge, entitled Hello Nature!, centres on a site located in northern Sweden at the foot of a mountain (Omneberget), sat within an area called the High Coast (Höga Kusten) – which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This competition is looking for ”structures that celebrate nature”, which also involve elements of “both education and recreation, or – if you prefer – business and pleasure.” The wider question the competition poses is whether or not architecture can encourage involvement with nature. Previous Combo Competitions have included the London Cinema Challenge and Faith! A Place of Worship in London, both of which attracted a number of high quality proposals.

Estonia Launches Competition for the Rail Baltic Pärnu Passenger Terminal

The Pärnu Municipal Government (in West-) announces an open architectural competition for the Rail Baltic Pärnu passenger terminal.

The aim of the architectural competition is to find the best comprehensive spatial solution for Pärnu’s Rail Baltic passenger terminal and its immediate surroundings. The hope is to commission the construction design project for the terminal and its immediate surroundings from the winner of the competition, and the intention is to also include the winner in drawing up the detailed master plan for the area.

All individuals or groups where one co-author and representative of the design team has a certificate of professional qualification as an authorized architect can participate in the idea competition.

OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition 2015

River Spree in Berlin. Image © Flickr CC User caribb

The OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition is an international ideas competition, aimed at students and emerging practitioners, which is organized every four years by the Architecture Commission of  (International Organization of Scenographers, Technicians and Theatre Architects). The theme of the 2015 competition will be the design of a floating theatre to be moored at a particular location on the river Spree in Berlin, Germany, but capable of being moved to other sites on the river.

US Department of Agriculture Launches $2 Million Tall Wood Building Prize Competition

Limnologen in Växjö, Sweden. Image Courtesy of Midroc Property Development

Among the changes in material technology that are constantly altering the architectural landscape, one of the most popular – and most dramatic – is the idea of the skyscraper. And with vocal advocates like Benton Johnson of SOM and Michael Green leading the discussion with projects like the Timber Tower Research Project, the wooden highrise is on the verge of becoming a mainstream approach.

To further the conversation in the USA, the US Department of Agriculture, working in partnership with Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), has recently launched the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, an ideas competition with a $2 million prize. To find out more about tall wood buildings, we caught up with Oscar Faoro, Project Manager of the competition. Read on after the Break for our interview and more details on how to enter.

OMA + OLIN Selected to Design D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park

© OMA & Luxigon

The competition jury for Washington D.C.‘s 11th Street Bridge Park has unanimously selected OMA + OLIN‘s design to turn the ageing freeway structure over the Anacostia River into an elevated park and new civic space for the city. With their dynamic intersecting structure, OMA + saw off competition from three other teams composed of: Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), NEXT Architects and Magnusson Klemencic AssociatesStoss Landscape Urbanism and Höweler + Yoon Architecture; and Balmori Associates and Cooper, Robertson & Partners.

Read on after the break for more on the design and a complete set of images.

#FairyTales2015: Blank Space Launches Architecture Storytelling Competition

© 2015

After the record breaking success of Fairy Tales 2014, with over 300 entries from 50 different countries, is excited to announce that the second edition of the competition is now open for registration. The Fairy Tales competition invites architects, designers, writers, artists, engineers, illustrators, students and creatives to submit their own unique architectural fairy tales. The scale, location, and program of the submission is up to each entrant. A successful entry crafts a text narrative, along with 5 images, in the most spectacular way possible.

Call for Ideas: Rome Community Ring

In partnership with La Sapienza University, Progetto Forti and Rome municipality, (YAC) is launching a competition to redesign one of the treasures of Rome: Forte Portuense.

How can former military architecture be transformed into a leisure time and cultural focal point? The aim is to look for ideas worth triggering urban redevelopment, social cooperation and tourism.

This architecture will become part of a network of leisure time facilities a hair’s breadth away from the very core of Rome.

Helsinki Announces Competition for City Centre High Rises

The Pasila district has been marked for development for some time. Above, a model of the area masterplan from 2006. Image © Flickr CC User Darren Webb

The city of Helsinki has announced plans for a design and build competition for a new commercial and residential district in Pasila, near the city centre. The competition, which calls for 8-10 buildings of 15 stories or more, will be part of the city’s drive to make Pasila the “second centre of ,” with a total of 150,000-200,000 square metres of residential and office space planned for the district. Read on after the break to find out more about the competition.

Competition Entry: SCStudio Transforms Budapest Park into “Urban Archipelago”

©

As part of the Liget Competition, SCStudio has shared their entry for the House of Hungarian Music. A transformation of an existing city park, the project is conceived as a sequence of cultural programs – an “urban archipelago” – connected by a “naturalistic promenade” of pathways and landscape within a preserved forested area.

Call for Entries: Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence 2015

RBA 2013 Winner: Via Verde / Dattner Architects + Grimshaw Architects. Image © David Sundberg

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) has opened their 2015 call for applications. The biennial award celebrates urban places that are distinguished by quality design and their social and economic contributions to our nation’s cities. Winners offer creative placemaking solutions that transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design and planning and showcase innovative thinking about American cities. One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 will be awarded. Projects must be a real place, not just a plan or a program, and be located in the 48 contiguous United States. Award winners may use prize money in any way that benefits the project. The deadline for entries is December 9, 2014. Learn how to apply here

Henning Larsen Foundation Launches Architecture and Film Competition

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre / Henning Larsen Architects & Batteriid Architects. Image © Henning Larsen Architects

The is launching an international competition on architecture and film with the intent to “revitalize the use of architecture on film and foster new inspiration to architects and film professionals.” The theme of the competition is the experience of architectural space over time. The task is to create a film sequence of 1-5 minutes which animates architecture by embracing time as the primary dimension. Up to €18,000 in prizes will be awarded to entrants who inspire a new approach to architecture and the film media. Submissions are due by March 15, 2015. A winner will be announced on April 20, Henning Larsen’s birthday. More information can be found here.

Five Shortlisted for Marlborough College Science Building

Marlborough College via Wikipedia

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Nicholas Hare Architects, Orms, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Tim Ronalds Architects have been shortlisted in a competition to expand and develop the Marlborough College science building in , . “The current Science Block has a fascinating heritage but needs a new life to accommodate new teaching methods,” explained Malcolm Reading, the competition’s organizer. “The competition is all about finding a balance between the architectural grain of the existing eclectic campus and a confident and exciting piece of contemporary architecture.” The teams will now develop proposals. A winner will be announced in December.