Water scarcity is a profound challenge for designers of the built environment. Beyond looking for water sources and creating sustainable ecosystems, how can we begin to create cities and buildings that will help us to celebrate and mitigate hydro-logical concerns? Hadley and Peter Arnold, co-directors of the Arid Land Institute (ALI) at Woodbury University, have decided to tackle this problem around Los Angeles. With the support of the World Water Forum and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, they recently developed a high-resolution geospatial model to strategically identify and quantify the potential for improving storm water capture within urban areas.
The RIBA Lubetkin Prize, awarded annually to the architects of the best new building outside the European Union, was won this year by Wilkinson Eyre and Grant Associates for Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. The prize, which was also awarded to Wilkinson Eyre in 2012 for the Guangzhou International Finance Centre, is now in its 13th year.
Upon announcing the news, RIBA President Stephen Hodder stated:
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.
WXY Architecture + Urban Design and dlandstudio architecture & landscape have been commissioned to lead a feasibility study and planning for The QueensWay, a 3.5-mile section of abandoned railway tracks in Queens, New York, that will be converted into a High Line-inspired park and recreational pathways. As we reported earlier this year, the elevated railway line has been inactive since 1962 and, if transformed into a public parkway, has the capablitiy of serving more than 250,000 residents that live alongside it.
NYDaily News reports that the New York City Council has allocated $7 million to redevelop a 11,000 square foot swath of forgotten land into a beautiful, sandy beach beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Originally conceived as part of New York’s “Blueway” plan, the waterfront project will grant access to terraced seating, wading pools and fishing areas, along with a kayak launch and concession stand via tree-lined walkways. See what else the “Blueway” entails, here on ArchDaily.
SCAPE and Rogers Marvel have been unanimously selected from 27 international applicants to create a schematic design for one of the most visited destinations on the Mississippi River: Water Works in downtown Minneapolis. The SCAPE-Roger Marvel Team, which also includes New York-based James Lima Planning + Design and Minneapolis-based SRF Consulting, will be responsible for transforming the historically significant Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, within which the Water Works district exists, with a master plan based on a series of “visionary” parks and trails.
In the 20th century, it was going to be the site of the world’s tallest skyscraper, but it became the world’s largest hotel. In 2006, the hotel was replaced with a fence, the largest advertising space in all of Europe, enclosing acres of undeveloped, highly valuable land. In 2014, it will become Moscow’s first – and most important – park in over 50 years.
Zaryadye Park, located on 13 acres of land just a minute’s walk from the Kremlin and the Red Square, will become a gateway to Moscow, one that will “project a new image of Moscow and Russia to the world.” Because of the Park’s significance, the city of Moscow (with aid from the Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design) has decided to host an international competition for its re-design.
The 6 finalists shortlisted for this significant project, after the break…
Stretching beyond the natural constraints of Presqu’ile de Caen and into the neighboring towns of Mondeville and Hérouville Saint Clair, MVRDV’s competition-winning vision will transform 600ha of industrial brown fields into a collection of gardens punctuated by a mosaic of urban settlements. This ambition, titled ‘La Grande Mosaique’, is strongly based on respect for the existing structures and defined by small scale interventions that will result in a large scale structure vision for Greater Caen.
The proposal was selected from three submittals by the public development agency SPLA for being, as Caen Mayor Philippe Duron describes, the “most impressive plan”. It was commended by the jury for its “fresh view” on urbanism.
Chicago is set to be the next U.S. city to park-ify on one of its abandoned rail-lines. First proposed back in 1997, the 2.7 mile, 13-acre Bloomingdale Trail and Park is proposed for a stretch of abandoned railway trestle dating from 1910, which has been lying unused since the turn of the century. And, even though it is already being compared to New-York’s High Line, the planners are adamant that the park will be an entirely different animal to its New York cousin.
Read more about Chicago’s unique proposal after the break…
The City of New York has long awaited renovations to the East River Greenway. Squeezed between the FDR Drive to the west and the river to East, there are a few scattered public parks connected by a path that has been weathered and torn apart over the years. The proposed “Blueway” is a coordinated collaboration – between Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Community Boards 3 and 6, State Assembly Member Brian Kavanaugh, and New York’s WXY architecture and urban design - that takes suggestions from the general public to develop a scheme that works within the framework of the existing Greenway and provides specific sites waterfront access, development of wetlands and greater connectivity to the city and its waterways.
The stretch along the Greenway, which is the focus of WXY’s scheme, runs from Midtown East at 38th street to the Brooklyn Bridge. Running along the FDR, this area expands towards the river and finds its way under the highway’s overpass. Unlike the Hudson River Parkway along the West Side Highway, the East River Greenway has meager waterfront access and few piers to facilitate its development. A study, executed by several city departments in 2011, determined ways to improve amenities along the Greenway and proposed incorporating elements such as ambient lighting and street furniture. Now the focus has shifted to the river itself to determine ways in which to increase its usability and accessibility After Hurricane Sandy revealed the vulnerability of the hard edge of the East River, these same design considerations are now being used to create a resistant and effective buffer against future storm surges.
See what’s happening at the East River Blueway Plan after the break.
After months of debate, the United States Congress has passed a bill that will allocate $51 billion to Hurricane Sandy relief helping the thousands who lost their homes and businesses to the devastating storm last October. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $400 million of the aid will be used to fund New York’s buyout program, an initiative to help address the damaged homes and coastline. The program is two-fold; in part it will help reimburse the property damage caused by the storm, but the initiative has a larger goal, which is to address the nature of coastal flooding and create a barrier that would mitigate the damage created to the coast by storm surges in the future. Since the storm, there have been many suggestions as to how to prepare for the type of damage brought on by Hurricane Sandy of 2012 and Hurricane Irene of 2011. These suggestions range from flood gates to barrier reefs. Cuomo’s buyout program, as reported by the Architect’s Newspaper Blog, hopes to encourage residents along vulnerable flood zones to sell their land to the city for the development of a natural coast that would absorb the impact of strong winds and storm surges.
More after the break…
For the past several years the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago have been working on appropriate uses for Northerly Island, a 91-acre man-made peninsula in Chicago, Illinois. The lakefront site branches off from Museum Campus, a section along Lake Michigan that is home to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. Serving as an expansion to these cultural programs, Studio Gang Architects, in collaboration with SmithGroupJJR, have created an innovative design that integrates educational, cultural, social, and recreational activities into Northerly Island.
Read more about Northerly Island’s future after the break!
PLANT Architecture has recently been recognized with an Honorable Mention in the City of Toronto’s Urban Design Awards. Held every other year, the awards acknowledge the contributions design has on the local milieu. PLANT’s revitalization of the Nathan Phillips Podium Square (part of Toronto’s iconic City Hall by Viljo Revell) introduces a greenscape to the podium previously occupied solely with a vast hardscaped plaza.