MCHAP Shortlists the 36 Most “Outstanding Projects” in the Americas

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology () and Dirk Denison, Director of the (MCHAP), have announced the inaugural MCHAP shortlist – 36 “Outstanding Projects” selected from the 225 MCHAP nominees.

“The rich diversity of these built works is a testament to the creative energy at work in the Americas today,” said Arets. “When viewed alongside the innovative work by the MCHAP.emerge finalists and winner, Poli House by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen which we honored in May, we see the evolution of a distinctly American conversation about creating livable space.” See all 36 winners after the break.

Presidio Trust Enlists 5 to Envision New Schemes for Crissy Field

Presidio From Southeast. Image © Robert Campbell

’s Presidio Trust isn’t giving up. After rejecting three shortlisted schemes earlier this year that envisioned a “cultural institution of distinction” for the underdeveloped Crissy Field, the Trust has now invited five new teams to envision “kid-friendly” plans for a 13 acre portion of the site.

The five teams, which include James Corner Field Operations, and Snøhetta, are expected to present their ideas publicly in just three months. A winner will not be selected, though each team will receive $25,000 for their efforts. However, the Trust will be inclined to work with one of the teams should their concepts “dazzle” the audience.

A complete list of the five teams and more project information, after the break…

VIDEO: Liz Diller on the High Line, A Mile of Respite in the City that Never Sleeps

Liz Diller, one of the three partners of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, discusses the history of the High Line and the active design decisions which led to its success.

The elevated railroad, which was designed to penetrate city blocks rather than parallel an avenue, saw its last delivery (of frozen turkeys) in 1980. By 1999, a “very strange landscape had formed, with a whole eco system around it,” says Diller. Advocacy for the site’s preservation began with two local residents, and culminated in its reclamation with the multidisciplinary collaboration of city officials and impassioned designers (namely James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf). “The High Line project couldn’t have happened without the right people, the right time and the right administration.”

Today, thirty-feet above the hardscape in the canopy of the New York City jungle, the High Line pauses for a meditative mile. “The high line, if it’s about anything, it’s about nothing, about doing nothing. You can walk and sit, but you can’t be productive,” comments Diller.

New Images Unveiled of Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island Campus

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New information has been released — along with a series of renders — seven months after the New York City Council approved Cornell University’s two million square foot technology campus in Roosevelt Island. Envisioned as “a campus built for the next century,” Cornell Tech’s first set of buildings has tapped into the talent of some of the most respected architecture firms in the city: Morphosis‘ Pritzker Prize-winning Thom Mayne, Weiss/Manfredi Architecture, Handel Architects, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

New images of the buildings, after the break…

“Immersive Bowl-Shaped Structure” Proposed to be High Line’s Final Gateway

© James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of

Friends of the , along side James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, have unveiled what could possibly be the gateway into the third and final stretch of New York’s most prized parkway. Planned to mark the northeast terminus of the High Line at Rail Yards on 10th Avenue at West 30th Street, the “immersive bowl-shaped structure,” known as “The Spur,” hopes to bring a pocket of New York’s lush woodlands to the heart of the city.

Updated Plans Released for Chicago’s Navy Pier

Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations, / Pierscape Team

James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) and nARCHITECTS have released updated renderings for their competition-winning redesign of Chicago’s 3,300 foot long . The slightly scaled-back, revised plans seemed to have dismissed the more “dramatic” and costly facets reviewed in last years’ submittal, such as the floating pool and sand beach, to depict a contemporary “park-like feel.” Highlighted features include the south-facing Wave Wall and grand stairway, inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome, along with an interactive splash fountain-turned-winter ice skating rink at the beginning of a heavily vegetated promenade.

These updated plans for phase-one of the Navy Pier redesign were released alongside an announcement by the Chicago Mayor’s office that confirmed the project will receive $55 million in public funding.

More images and information after the break…

Landfill Reclamation: Fresh Kills Park Develops as a Natural Coastal Buffer and Parkland for Staten Island

Courtesy of Department of Parks and Recreation – Draft Master Plan

Every natural disaster has an “aftershock” in which we realize the fragility of our planet and the vulnerability of what we have built and created.  We realize the threat to our lifestyles and the flaws in our design choices.  The response to in October 2012 was no different than the response to every other hurricane, earthquake, tornado , tsunami or monsoon that has wrought devastation in different parts of the world.  We recognize our impact on the climate and promise to address how our development has caused severe disruptions in the planet’s self-regulating processes.   We acknowledge how outdated our systems of design have become in light of these damaging weather patterns and promise to change the way we design cities, coastlines and parks.  We gradually learn from our mistakes and attempt to redress them with smarter choices for more sustainable and resilient design.  Most importantly, we realize that we must learn from how natural processes self-regulate and apply these conditions to the way in which we design and build our urban spaces.

Since Hurricane Sandy, early considerations of environmentalists, planners and designers have entered the colloquial vocabulary of politicians in addressing the issues of the ’ North Atlantic Coast.  There are many issues that need to be tackled in regards to environmental development and urban design.  One of the most prominent forces of Hurricane Sandy was the storm surge that pushed an enormous amount of ocean salt water far inland, flooding whole neighborhoods in New Jersey, submerging most of Manhattan’s southern half, destroying coastal homes along Long Island and the Rockaways, and sweeping away parts of Staten Island.  Yet, despite the tremendous damage, there was a lot that we learned from the areas that resisted the hurricane’s forces and within those areas are the applications that we must address for the rehabilitation and future development of these vulnerable conditions. Ironically, one of the answers lies within Fresh Kills – Staten Island’s out-of-commission landfill, which was the largest landfill in the United States until it was shutdown in 2001.  Find out how after the break.

LA’s Millennium Hollywood Project

Millennium Hollywood Project via Millennium Partners

Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures are moving forward with their plan to transform 4.47 acres of vacant parking lots surrounding Hollywood’s iconic, mid-century Capitol Records Building into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development. Located on the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Millennium Hollywood Project will feature two residential buildings reaching heights up to 585 feet, designed by Handel Architects, that are grounded by a High Line-inspired public space by .

With the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) currently on public review, the -based developers are hoping to get city approvals underway in early 2013.

Continue reading to learn more…

James Corner Field Operations Team Wins Navy Pier Competition

Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations

Today, the Chicago Tribune has reported James Corner Field Operations Team has been selected to redesign the 3,000 foot-long Chicago landmark, . Blair Kamin stated that the pier’s governing board approved the recommendation from the pier’s strategic planning committee to hire the JFCO team as they favored the team’s practical, yet still creative approach over the other, somewhat grandiose, schemes. It has been a big week for JCFO, as James Corner and Rich Scofidio’s latest ideas for the third section of the High Line were released on Tuesday. Continue reading for more information on the latest news regarding the winners of the international Navy Pier redesign competition.

Update: Community Meeting / Friends of the High Line

Interim Walkway at the Western Rail Yards. James Corner Field Operations and . Courtesy City of New York and Friends of the High Line

Last night, ArchDaily joined the community of Chelsea and Friends of the High Line in the crowded auditorium of PS 11: The William T Harris School eager to see James Corner and Rick Scofidio’s latest ideas for the third installment of the High Line.  This last segment of the amazing elevated park project is the designers’ most crucial intervention as it culminates the strategies introduced in Phases 1 and 2 and must adaptively respond to new contextual relationships between 34th and 30th Streets.   Corner and Scofidio’s eloquent and coherent presentation very much responded to the community’s input from the last public meeting held in December, as the design addressed the need for a child’s play area with an idea for a section with rubberized beams, a place for spontaneous and planned performances, and more seating.  Scofidio kidded, “There are some things we could do better, and that’s exactly why we get to do the third phase.”

More about Phase 3 after the break.

Fast Company 50 Most Innovative Companies: James Corner Field Operations

Photo via Inhabitat

 Landscape architect, James Corner, has a way of not only designing captivating landscapes, but making places where people want to be. While thousands have experienced his transformation of ’s industrial rail line, Corner’s impact is also evident in major metropolises on an international level as his competition entries and built work inspire a sense of urban renewal and restore confidence in their settings. In fact, Fast Company has recently named James Corner Field Operations as one of 50 most innovative companies of the  world for “creating intimate green spaces out of industrial urban blight.”

More about JCFO after the break.

Pierscape / James Corner Field Operations Team

Courtesy of

James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) is one of five shortlisted teams invited to participate in an international design competition to renovate and reactivate Chicago’s landmark . Unveiled to the public last month, the goal of the intervention is to refocus the experience of the pier to the lakeside. This is an opportunity for the city to reassess what the waterfront means to an urban center and the character of its identity.

Update: Navy Pier design teams present to the public

Existing Image of the Navy Pier © Stephen Hanafin via flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanafin/

Starting tomorrow, the five design teams selected to redesign the outdoor spaces of ’s Navy Pier will begin to reveal their schemes to the public. Lead by AECOM, Aedas Architects, James Corner Field Operations, !melk and the Xavier Vendrell Studio, each team will be given thirty minutes to present their ideas, followed by a ten minute question and answer session. The presentations will take place on January 31st and February 1st at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Continue reading for the presentation schedules and more information on the competition.

Video: James Corner / TIME Magazine Game Changers

Check out this great video on one of our favorite architects, James Corner.  Named one of Time Magazine’s Game Changers - “innovators and problem-solvers that are inspiring change in America” – thousands have enjoyed Corner’s work on the , and we are excited to monitor the progress of Corner’s recent joint win with SOM on Cornell’s NYC Tech Campus.  The video sheds light upon Corner’s philosophy on landscape and how public spaces are a defining component of urban spaces.   “…As designers, you bring an incredible sense of optimism and faith….and the capacity of good design to transform what may be perceived as negative to something very positive,” explained Corner.  Overall, we found the video inspiring and we hope you enjoy it!

Cornell’s NYC Tech Campus Wins Competition

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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is set to announce Cornell University and its partner, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, winner of the intense, yearlong competition to build a New York City Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island. The announcement follows Stanford University’s unexpected withdraw from the competition after tense negotiations with the Bloomberg administration. Meanwhile, last Friday Cornell received a $350 million donation in support of their proposal, being the largest gift the University has ever received.

Design Teams Announced to create New Public Spaces for London’s Olympic Park

South Plaza Proposal via Olympic Park Legacy Company

Olympic Park Legacy Company has announced the winners of two that will transform the north park and south plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in . New York-based James Corner Field Operations’ proposal for a 50 acre urban landscape consisting of a tree-lined promenade connecting flexible event and cultural spaces was selected as the winning entry for the south plaza.

The north park winning proposal by London-based firm erect architecture consists of an imaginative community hub building that is integrated within the parkland and river valley. Along with community hub, the design proposes an interactive playground that inspires children to “climb trees, build dens and have everyday adventures in nature.”

Continue reading for the complete team list and their design proposal boards.

Update: Navy Pier Competition Shortlist

© 2011 , Inc.

Navy Pier officials listed the five design teams selected to compete in the final phase of the Navy Pier competition. Each international design team, consisting of architects, urban designers, landscape architects and many other design professionals, is required to submit design proposals for the Chicago Pierscape and undergo an oral interview with officials. The schematic designs will be exhibited to the public in early February and the winning proposal will be announced later that month.

The five teams selected are lead by AECOM, Aedas Architects, James Corner Field Operations, !melk and the Xavier Vendrell Studio – the only team lead by a Chicagoan. Continue reading after the break for the complete list of the teams.

Cornell’s NYC Tech Campus drives towards “Net-Zero Energy” / SOM

Copyright Cornell University

Cornell University’s proposed City Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island plans to become a sustainable landmark. Oriented by the sun, the 10-acre campus encompasses the largest solar array in City, four acres of geothermal wells, and 500,000 square-feet of open green space dedicated to the public. If built today, the campus’s 150,000 square-foot main academic building would be the largest net-zero energy building in the eastern United States.

The proposed campus is designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (). Landscape will be designed by James Corner Field Operations. Cornell teamed up with alumnus and managing director of Distributed Sun, Jeff Weiss, to help build a comprehensive energy solution. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) also participated in the conceptualization of the proposed renewable energy and energy efficient aspects.

Continue reading for more images and detailed information.