Foster + Partners Chosen to Design New Transport System for Jeddah

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Foster + Partners has been appointed through an international competition to develop the “architectural vision” for Jeddah’s city-wide public transport plan. The commission, made official today by the Makkah Province governor, seeks to establish a “long-term, sustainable” city network plan that will foster flexible growth and achieve efficiency through the integration of all modes of transportation, including metro, ferry, bus and cycle.

“The comprehensive plan extends from the design of the stations to the trains and branding,” said Foster + Partners. “In addition, the development of the metro system will create a new urban amenity for the city of at key locations below the elevated track.” The masterplan will also allocate space for public squares and various nodes of development.

SOM Masterplans Egypt’s New Capital City

Courtesy of

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) has released a conceptual  for Egypt’s new capital city following its unveiling at the Egyptian Economic Development Conference. The 700-square-kilometer “Capital Cairo” hopes stimulate Egypt’s ailing economy and alleviate Cairo’s rising population density, while adhering to the cultural and climatic conditions of its site.

All the details, after the break.

Vincent Callebaut Masterplan Predicts Future of Self-Sustaining Cities

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Developed for an international planning and architectural competition, this proposed for the Città della Scienza by Vincent Callebaut Architectures, coffice – studio di architettura e urbanistica, and Studio d’Architettura Briguglio Morales fuses sustainability with history to propose a self-sufficient urban ecosystem in Italy. Operating on the principle of living facades, the Città della Scienza revitalizes the forgotten military district into a vibrant, continually regenerating living city.

Read on after the break for a closer look at the plan.

See BIG & Heatherwick’s Design for Google’s California Headquarters

© Google / BIG /

Images have been unveiled of BIG and Heatherwick Studio’s design for Google’s Mountain View headquarters. The plan, submitted to city council today, proposes to redevelop and expand the company’s home office with a series of lightweight canopy-like structures organized within a flexible landscape of bicycle paths and commercial opportunities for local companies. 

“It’s the first time we’ll design and build offices from scratch and we hope these plans by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working,” says Google. “The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas… Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”

A video about the design and a statement from Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, after the break. 

Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts Reveals Expansion Plans with Buildings by Steven Holl and Lake|Flato

The Fayez S. Sarofim Campus. Image © Steven Holl Architects

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston () has released plans for an ambitious $450 million expansion that will transform it into one of the largest art campuses in the US. The 14-acre will include three new buildings – one by Texas-based Lake|Flato Architects and two others by museum aficionado Steven Holl Architects - connected by a pedestrianized landscape of reflecting pools and gardens.

The first scheduled to break ground (this year) is the Steven Holl-designed, 80,000-square-foot new home for the Glassell School of Art. The L-shaped, pre-cast concrete structure will, as MFAH describes, pride itself as an extension of the campus landscape, featuring a stepped amphitheater that leads up to a walkable, trellised roof garden.

Project Meganom Wins Contest to Transform Moscow Riverfront

Fishing on Kremlin © Courtesy of Project Meganom

Russian practice Project Meganom has been announced as the winner in a competition to drastically transform the Moscow riverfront. Their masterplan proposal aims to create a series of linear green spaces, while also incorporating new cultural and education spaces along the waterfront and improving the surrounding public transport. Announced at the IV annual Moscow Urban Forum which opened earlier today, the goal of the competition was to return the river from a “barrier” into a “link” in the city, restoring its historical status as the city’s heart and most important transportation route.

Read on after the break for more details of Project Meganom’s masterplan

Foster + Partners Reveals Cardiff Central Square Masterplan

Millennium Walkway. Image Courtesy of Cardiff City Council

The City of Cardiff has unveiled plans by Foster + Partners to redesign the city’s Central Square, close to the Millennium Stadium, adding over a million square feet of office, retail and residential buildings organized around a new civic square. Explaining that it is “the key gateway to Cardiff” for many visitors, City Council leader Phil Bale said that Central Square’s ”role in providing a positive image for Cardiff and cannot be underestimated,” adding that Foster + Partners’ design is “reflective of the City’s ambition to be amongst the most ‘liveable’ in the world.”

More on the plan after the break

SCAPE Wins 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge with Climate Change Adaptation Plan

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“Don’t fight forces, use them.” - R. Buckminster Fuller

SCAPE’s comprehensive climate change adaptation and community development project, Living Breakwaters has been announced as winner of the 2014 Fuller Challenge, “socially responsible design’s highest award.” Announced by the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), the proposal was selected over seven shortlisted humanitarian initiatives and will receive a $100,000 prize for their innovative solution to solve one of humanity’s most pressing problems.

“Living Breakwaters is about dissipating and working with natural energy rather than fighting it. It is on the one hand an engineering and infrastructure-related intervention, but it also has a unique biological function as well. The project team understand that you cannot keep back coastal flooding in the context of climate change, but what you can do is ameliorate the force and impact of 100 and 500 year storm surges to diminish the damage through ecological interventions, while simultaneously catalyzing dialog to nurture future stewards of the built environment,” said Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green, a 2014 senior advisor and jury member.

More on Living Breakwaters, after the break.

Herzog & de Meuron Designs 205-Meter Tower and Research Center for Swiss Pharmaceutical Company

© Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled plans for the modernization of the Roche pharmaceutical company’s headquarters. With the first tower already under construction, the overall vision is to consolidate and update all existing facilities, including a historic Otto R. Salvisberg-designed office building, as well as construct a new, four-tower research center and 205-meter tall office tower by 2022.

“The planned consolidation of the existing industrial site will eliminate the need to build over green zones”, emphasizes Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. “Instead, Roche will be making more efficient use of those parts of the site that have already been developed but cannot be expanded.”

Rogers Partners and PWP’s Constitution Gardens Redesign Approved for National Mall

Events Plaza. Image © PWP Architecture and

Rogers Partners (formally known as Rogers Marvel Architects) and PWP Landscape Architecture’s redesign for the National Mall’s neglected Constitution Gardens has received unanimous approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). The 50-acre project, which was originally won through a competition in 2012, will now move forward with its first phase. 

7N Architects Reveal Glasgow Masterplan

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Edinburgh-based 7N Architects has revealed their masterplan for Shawfield in Glasgow, a development containing 1.2 million square feet of “flexible business space” next to the River Clyde. Produced for the Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company, the scheme aims to capitalize on the growth and investment that was brought to by this summer’s Commonwealth Games by providing “a nationally significant business district which will play a strong role in contributing to growth in Scotland‘s economy.”

New Images Released of Foster and Gehry’s Battersea Power Station Designs

Gehry Partners

The Battersea Power Station Development Company has revealed new images of the buildings on “Electric Boulevard,” designed by Foster + Partners and Gehry Partners. As phase three in the development of the Grade-II* power station and its surroundings, the buildings will form the primary entrance to the site, connecting the planned Battersea Underground station with the power station and forming one of London‘s most distinguished high streets.

The released images show both the exterior and interior features of Foster’s “Battersea Roof Gardens” Building (formerly called “The Skyline”) and Gehry’s “Prospect Place” and “Flower” buildings. Read on after the break to see all the images.

HOK Selected for Redevelopment of St Helier’s Fort Regent

Courtesy of HOK

Global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK has recently been selected as lead designer and masterplanner for the of Fort Regent, a former fortress turned community center in St. Helier on Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands of the English Channel.

The redevelopment of the 22-acre (9-hectares) site will make Jersey’s largest leisure and entertainment venue a premiere destination, and includes a that aims to strengthen the economic value of the site and encourage public funding for the redevelopment.

ASTOC and HPP Selected to Masterplan Moscow’s New Finance Center

© Team Moscow: ASTOC / HPP

ASTOC and HPP have been announced as winners of a two-stage competition to masterplan “’s” International Financial Center (IFC) in Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye. The phased, 460 hectare development will capitalize on the Moscow River’s greenbelt by extending the river throughout the IFC to achieve a balance between nature and city.

More information, images and a video about the winning proposal, after the break…

URBED’s Bold Proposal to Reinvigorate the Garden City Movement

Courtesy of URBED

British urban design consultancy URBED (Urbanism, Environment, Design) have been announced as the winners of the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize for their proposal to reenergise the Garden City (GC) movement, first conceived by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1898. and ’s submission argues that forty cities in England, including Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Rugby, Reading and Stafford, could benefit from ‘GC status’. The award comes in the wake of polling conducted for the prize showing that 68% of the 6,166 Britons polled thought that garden cities would protect more countryside than the alternatives for delivering the housing we need.

Read about URBED’s submission, and the fictional town of Uxcester, after the break.

BDP & SOM Reveal Plans For New Covent Garden Market

Courtesy of BDP

BDP and SOM have submitted plans for ‘The Garden’ a new market which will be the largest new development in the Nine Elms area around Battersea Power Station in London. The £2 billion plans replace the existing New Covent Garden Market, the UK‘s largest fruit, vegetable and flower market, in addition to adding a mixed-use neighborhood of 3,000 homes and over 200,000 square feet of office and retail space.

Working together, BDP and SOM have created a “seamless masterplan” which extends from the detailed design of the new market structure through to a new riverside park connecting to Kieran Timberlake‘s US Embassy building.

Read on for more on the design

HTA Design to Lead Regeneration of Aylesbury Estate in London

View of the first phase of the development. Image Courtesy of HTA Design

Developer Notting Hill Housing Trust have selected HTA Design to lead the regeneration of London‘s infamous Aylesbury Estate. HTA will work on the masterplan for the entire site, and have also been selected as the lead architects for the first stage of the , working alongside Hawkins Brown and Mae Architects.

The £1.5 billion will see the iconic post-war estate torn down and reconstructed in stages over the next 20 years, with different architects working on the detail design for each stage. In total the masterplan provides for 4,200 homes, a significant increase over the 2,704 in the existing estate.

Read on for more on the Aylesbury Estate and its regeneration

MVRDV Wins Competition to Convert Russian Steel Factory Into Mixed-Use Neighborhood

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Chief Architect of Moscow Sergei Kuznetsov yesterday announced MVRDV as the winners in the competition for the refurbishment of the Serp & Molot (Hammer & Sickle) factory in Eastern . The design by MVRDV is respectful of the history of the 19th-century steel factory, reinterpreting the existing fabric of the site into 1.8 million square meters of mixed-use space, including housing, offices, retail, schools and a local hospital.

Read on after the break for more project description