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Michael Maltzan Architecture Designs Dynamic Public Plaza for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Michael Maltzan Architecture has been selected to renovate the outdoor space at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California to create the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. In hopes of transforming the site into more of a “dynamic town square,” the new plaza design will be centered on a multipurpose outdoor stage, which will act as a “site for visitor engagement.”

Five Practices Compete to Design Los Angeles LGBT Center

Michael Maltzan, Frederick Fisher, Predock Frane, MAD and Leong Leong have been shortlisted in a limited competition to design a new Los Angeles LGBT Center (formerly called LA Gay and Lesbian Center). Each have received a stipend of $20,000 to develop proposals for the new campus, which will include arts, educational and affordable housing programs on more than an entire city block in Hollywood. Once complete, the center hopes to serve LGBT community members of all ages by providing access to multigenerational affordable housing, healthcare, senior care and family services. You can learn more on KCRW here

St. Petersburg Calls for New Pier Design Submissions

The city of St. Petersburg, Florida is once more seeking candidates for the design of its new pier. The call comes two years after a pier design by Michael Maltzan Architecture was selected over rival schemes by BIG and West 8, but was eventually turned down after significant public criticism. To avoid a repeat of that incident, the current selection process for candidates and their subsequent proposals will incorporate more community input.

More on the competition after the break

Despite Controversy, Michael Maltzan Architecture's "Lens" Will Go On

© Michael Maltzan Architecture
© Michael Maltzan Architecture

Despite petitions and pending lawsuits against the project, the St. Petersburg City Council declared last night that Michael Maltzan Architecture's $50 million re-design of the city pier will go on. 

The project, known as "The Lens," has hit speed-bumps due to local dissidents, who have been vocally wary of the new Pier's price-tag/design and have called for a voter referendum. However, the architects have been sensitive to the process; since first winning the competition in January (beating out both BIG and West 8), the firm has taken part in local workshops in order to get community input, making some significant changes to the original design. 

After receiving local criticism that the Pier include more things "to do" and more shading, the firm has adjusted the design to include two restaurants, shaded balconies, and - in order to improve access - a road that can support service vehicles and a tram. Most noticeably, the plan for an underwater reef garden, the signature feature which gave the project its name, has had to be scratched: scientists have determined that a reef garden would be unrealistic with Tampa Bay's dark water

Last night's 7-1 vote determined that the project will now receive funding in smaller, pre-approved increments in order to safeguard against potential legal complications. However, no mater the outcome, the closure and the demolition of the current St. Petersburg Pier will take place between May and August 2013; if all goes to plan for Michael Maltzan Architecture, "The Lens" will open in summer 2015.

See updated Renderings for "The Lens," and a really cool video, after the break...

© Michael Maltzan Architecture According to, "Adjacent to parking facilities and located on land at the base of the Pier, the Hub will be the primary retail and restaurant destination for the new Pier. An elevated walkway along the water’s edge will offer unparalleled views of the dramatic Pier canopy, and space will be provided for retail, restaurant and other concessions." Photo © Michael Maltzan Architecture. © Michael Maltzan Architecture © Michael Maltzan Architecture

HNTB's winning concept for LA's 6th Street Viaduct Replacement Project

HNTB winning proposal via Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project
HNTB winning proposal via Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project

In April, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council Member Huizar announced an international design competition to redesign the historic, 80-year-old Sixth Street Bridge in Los Angeles. The decision to launch the competition came after engineers warned that the bridge was at risk of failing during a major earthquake due to a degenerative structural problem known as “concrete cancer”. After careful consideration and entertaining the idea of constructing a replica of the 1932 icon, the city committed to moving forward with a major redesign. In mid-October, the national infrastructure firm HNTB, along with team members Michael Maltzan Architecture and AC Martin Partners, were announced as winners of the international competition.

Continue reading to learn more…

National Mall Finalists Exhibit Designs

Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects
Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects

The ten finalists competing in the final phase of the National Mall Design Competition are dreaming big. Proposals to restore the National Mall include flourishing lakeside gardens, contemporary cafés hovering over water, grassy new amphitheaters and underground pavilions exposed at the foot of the Washington Monument. Since the announcement of the finalists, the teams have been refining there proposals behind closed doors.

Now, the Trust for the National Mall has released the highly anticipated proposals to the public. From now until Sunday, at the Smithsonian Castle and the National Museum of American History, you can view each proposal in its entirety. If you don’t live in the D.C. area, no need to worry. Continue after the break to catch a glimpse of each submission and learn how you can help the jury decided who will revamp America’s “front yard”.

Update: The Lens wins the St. Petersburg Pier Competition

The Lens © Michael Maltzan Architecture
The Lens © Michael Maltzan Architecture

The Lens, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, has been selected as winner of the international competition to redesign the St. Petersburg Pier in Florida. After over a month of debate, a jury of three architects and two elected officials selected the proposal, believing it to be the most practical and cost-effective design. The jury’s decision was consistent with the public’s opinion, as 68% of the public comments supported The Lens, 42% liked The Wave, while only 17% backed the Eye. Next, the St. Petersburg City Council will vote on February 2nd to decide whether or not they will approve the design. If the concept is accepted, the next year will be dedicated to involve the public in the creation of the final design.

Update: National Mall Design Competition Stage II Results

Trust for the National Mall has announced the Stage II results, naming the ten design teams selected to continue in the third and final stage of the National Mall Design Competition. The National Mall will undergo an approximate $700 million restoration in three selected areas – Union Square including the Reflecting Pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardens between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

“We are excited about the teams selected to advance to Stage III and have no doubt each of them will create beautiful, useful and sustainable designs for the National Mall,” said Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall. “We are eager to share their final designs with the public in April.”

Continue reading for more information and the complete list of finalists.

Final Design Proposals for the St. Petersburg Pier Design Competition

The Lens © Michael Maltzan Architecture
The Lens © Michael Maltzan Architecture

The final entries are in for the international redesign competition of the St. Petersburg Pier in Florida. The competition seeks to generate a new identity and iconic landmark that will honor the history and relevance of the Pier for the next generation. Michael Maltzan Architecture, BIG and West 8 Urbaban Design and Landscape Architecture are the three architectural firms selected from the list of nine semi finalists. Continue reading after the break to view the radically different design proposals.

The reef © Michael Maltzan Architecture © BIG © BIG The People's Pier © West 8

National Mall Competition Finalists Announced

Over 1,200 entires from 30 states and 10 countries submitted applications for the National Mall competition. Late last month fifteen design teams were chosen as finalists to advance to the second stage of this prestigious contest.

Hosting 25 million visitors annually, the National Mall will undergo an estimated $700 million restoration beginning in 2012. The competition has been broken down into three areas of restoration: Union Square including the Reflecting Pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardens between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

Among the finalists to move on to stage two of the competition, Diller Scofidio Renfro, Weiss/Manfredi, and Rogers Marvel Architects who are shortlisted for two out of the three areas of restoration, as well as Snohetta, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Ten Arquitectos, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson who are finalists for one area of restoration.

“Entrants were evaluated on past design performance, philosophy, design intent, thoughtfulness, creativity and overall resume,” according to a release from the Trust of the National Mall. The jury, compiled of architects, professors and other members of the architecture community, included Michael Gericke of Pentagram NYC and Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne founder of Morphosis.

The second stage of the competition includes interviews of the teams conducted by the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service, and the last stage will include proposed plans for the restoration. The competition will culminate in May 2012 and the proposed designs from stage three of the competition will be available to the public prior to the winning design being selected.

Follow the break for a complete list of design finalists for the National Mall Competition.

St. Petersburg Pier Design Competition Announces Semi-finalists

Photo by Matthew Paulson
Photo by Matthew Paulson

The St. Petersburg Pier, a long-adored and long-outdated West Florida cultural attraction, has unveiled the semi-finalists in its international redesign competition. Of the twenty-three qualified inquiries received, nine were chosen to move forward in the contest. The competition attracted big names in the architecture world; BIG, West 8 Urban Design, James Corner Field Operations, and HOK Architects were among the participants.

More on the St. Petersburg Pier after the break.