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Rafael Viñoly to Add World's Largest Green Roof to Former Shopping Mall in California

Rafael Viñoly and OLIN have unveiled plans to transform Cupertino's Vallco Shopping Mall into a new mixed-use neighborhood that boasts the "world's largest green roof." The current plans call for a 15-block sustainable town center with 625,000-square-feet of retail, two-million-square-feet of office space and 800 residential units. All this, if approved, would be topped by a 30 acre public green space with a 3.8 mile trail network that runs through orchards, vineyards, an amphitheater and play areas.

5 Reasons Frank Gehry Might be the Perfect Choice for the LA River Master Plan

Since the Los Angeles Times broke the news that the LA River Revitalization Corp has enlisted Gehry Partners to lead a new master plan effort for the Los Angeles River, there have been a slew of negative responses: the Friends of the Los Angeles River have refused to endorse the Gehry effort, reactions collected by the Architects Newspaper ranged from skeptical to angry, and Alissa Walker at Gizmodo did not mince words when her headline declared “Frank Gehry is the Wrong Architect to Revitalize the Los Angeles River.” These responses raise real and legitimate concerns - progress on the LA River has been years, if not decades, in the making. There is already a master plan, prepared by Mia Lehrer and Associates, and the US Army Corps of Engineers approved a plan to restore 11 miles of the river, known as Alternative 20, just this past July. There are worries that this new effort could threaten the current approvals and funding.

Frank Gehry is an easy target for criticism. His buildings can be polarizing, and his detractors are quick to seize on any defect. Details are trickling out slowly, but a recent presentation to reporters revealed that the plan would eventually identify locations for parks and real estate developments, as well as establish a unified design theme for future improvements such as pedestrian and bicycle paths. For his part, Gehry has emphasized the water reclamation aspects of the project - an especially timely subject in drought-stricken California. And in an interview with Frances Anderton on KCRW’s “Design and Architecture,” Gehry was quick to clarify, “It’s not a building, I’m not doing a building!”

6 Finalists Announced for ULI’s 2015 Urban Open Space Award

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has selected six finalists for the 2015 Urban Open Space Award competition, which recognizes public spaces that benefit and revitalize their surrounding communities. This was the first year that ULI expanded the program to include global submissions.

“The submissions from this year are representative of how quality urban open space has become more than just an amenity for cities,” said jury chair Michael Covarrubias. “The international diversity of the projects is reflective of how developers continually work to meet global demand by the public for the inclusion of healthy places in cities.” See all of the finalists after the break.

OMA Among 5 Shortlisted for Singapore Rail Corridor

MVRDV, OMA and DP Architects are among five shortlisted teams competing to design the Singapore Rail Corridor. Spanning the island south to north, from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to the Woodlands Checkpoint, the corridor is the site of Singapore’s previous rail link to Malaysia. With this competition, the Singapore government hopes to develop a feasible plan to transform the 24 kilometer stretch into a public greenway that connects four important urban nodes: Buona Vista, the Bukit Timah Railway Station area, the former Bukit Timah Fire Station, and Kranji. 

“The expanse of the corridor running through the centre of the entire country presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop a new typology of landscape with transformative effects for the country as a whole. This is a project that has the potential to improve quality of life for generations to come," says OMA Partner Michael Kokora. 

64 teams responded to the government's call for ideas, and now only five have been selected to move onto the competition's second stage. These five teams are...

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

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 + OLIN 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.

Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA © OMA & Luxigon © OLIN © OLIN Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA Courtesy of OMA + OLIN

4 Visions Released for D.C.’s First Elevated Park

OMA, Höweler + Yoon, NEXT Architects, and Cooper, Robertson & Partners are amongst four interdisciplinary teams competing to design Washington D.C.’s first elevated public park. As part of a six month nationwide competition, the shortlisted teams have just released their preliminary design proposals for what will be known as the 11th Street Bridge Park.

Suspended over the Anacostia River, the multi-use park aims to re-connect two disparate city districts and re-engage residents with the riverfront by offering a 21st century civic “playscape.” Education and performance spaces, as well as a cafe and water sport areas will all be included in the masterplan.

A preview of the four shortlisted schemes, after the break…

Five Proposals Unveiled for Presidio Parklands in San Francisco

Last week, the five teams competing for the Presidio Parkland project in San Francisco unveiled their proposals in a public meeting at the project site. The parkland, made possible by the replacement of an elevated highway by a new tunnel, will command stunning views of the San Francisco bay, including views of the Golden Gate bridge.

"This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create and design new parklands," Executive Director of the Presidio Trust Craig said. "We are extremely pleased with the caliber of the work of the five design teams and look forward to hearing the public’s feedback on these early concepts."

Competing for the prestigious project are James Corner Field Operations, OLIN with Olson Kundig ArchitectsSnøhetta with Hood Design StudioWest 8, and CMG Landscape Architecture. A winner will be announced in January.

Read on after the break to see all five proposals

PresidiO / West 8. Image © Team West 8 Your Gateway Park / OLIN + Olson Kundig Architects. Image © OLIN Courtesy of the Presidio Trust The Observation Post / CMG Landscape Architecture. Image © CMG Landscape Architecture Courtesy of the Presidio Trust Your Gateway Park / OLIN + Olson Kundig Architects. Image © OLIN Courtesy of the Presidio Trust

Presidio Trust Enlists 5 to Envision New Schemes for Crissy Field

San Francisco’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, Olson Kundig Architects 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...

New Video (and Images) Reveal Original Intent Behind Apple Campus 2

UPDATE: Did you know that Apple Campus 2 will be solely powered by renewable energy? Also, 80 percent of its 176-acre campus will be entirely dedicated to green space. Watch the newly released Norman Foster interview (above) to learn more about the project's sustainable features, as well as details about Steve Job's original inspiration. The following news was originally published as "New Images Released of Apple’s Recently Approved Cupertino Campus" on November 13, 2013. 

Shortly after the approval of Apple’s new corporate headquarters in Cupertino, never-before-seen images have emerged to reveal a glimpse into the campus’ massive, 2.8 million square foot “mothership” and its surrounding facilities. 

Provided by the City of Cupertino and released by Wired, the images depict just what Steve Job’s hoped for: a world-class, state-of-the-art office campus that promotes innovation through vibrant communal spaces and healthy employee amenities. From the net-positive main building to a private, subterranean auditorium placed within a forested, California-native landscape by OLIN, the Foster + Partners-designed Apple Campus 2 has the potential to be, as Job’s believed, “the best office building in the world.”

A collection of the newly released renderings, after the break...

A New Series Featuring Laurie Olin, Acclaimed Landscape Architect

The Cultural Landscape Foundation recently launched its newest documentary as part of the ongoing Oral History series, this time focusing on the ideas and career of Laurie Olin, a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and one of the greatest landscape architects of our time. Olin's influential work as a practitioner, educator and author over the past forty years has helped to guide the future of landscape architecture and shape urban life around the world.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Aberdeen Garden City Proposal Nixed

After winning the Aberdeen City Garden competition in early 2012, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro's 'Granite Web' design was rejected over the summer in a 22-20 city council vote for being overly expensive. Despite public approval the proposal, which totaled a whopping £140m, was rejected in favor of a collection of more fiscally responsible city projects, such as refurbishing the Aberdeen Art Gallery and redeveloping the site of the St. Nicholas House. 

Just recently, the City of Aberdeen announced a £300m city-wide plan of improving roads, schools and cultural buildings, with only £20m allotted for the city center, which will be pedestrianized but not much else. Thus, confirming the "final nail in the coffin" for DS+R's ambitious web of lush gardens and cultural landmarks. 

Read more after the break...

OLIN Leads Master Planning for UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium

UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Tim Grifftih
UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Tim Grifftih

In 2005, OLIN - a landscape architecture, urban design and planning studio - developed a master plan for University of California Berkley's southeastern campus  in an effort to unify its distinct elements and strengthen the social spaces of the campus.  HNTB Architects led the renovation of the California Memorial Stadium and worked with STUDIOS Architecture and OLIN to design the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance.  These are unified by OLIN's design of the grounds which are just part of the transformation planned for the campus, which also includes the renovations and landscape design for the Haas School of Business, UC Berkley School of Law and the Piedmont Avenue.

UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Tim Grifftih UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Meg Martin UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Meg Martin UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Meg Martin

Diller Scofidio & Renfro's 'Granite Web' Not Financially Viable for Aberdeen

Proposed Site – Rendering provided by the Diller Scofidio + Renfro submission boardsImages courtesy of Aberdeen City Garden Project
Proposed Site – Rendering provided by the Diller Scofidio + Renfro submission boardsImages courtesy of Aberdeen City Garden Project

The life of a city-funded project is a tumultuous one. After winning a design competition early this year and receiving public support to move forward, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro’sGranite Web” design for the redevelopment of the nineteenth-century Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen, Scotland was recently rejected by the city council in a 22-20 vote.  The project promised to bring a revived pulse to the heart of the city centre with a public space that would bring a year-round civic garden onto the “unattractive” Denburn dual carriageway and railway line.

More after the break.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital / Perkins+Will

Photo: Matt Wargo | Courtesy of Perkins+Will
Photo: Matt Wargo | Courtesy of Perkins+Will

The new facility designed by Perkins+Will for the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland approaches the design as a total experience of healing that includes architecture and urban design.  The project proposes to redefine the hospital experience with The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and the Sheikh Zayed Tower, whose goal is to emphasize transformative patient-centric care.

More after the break.

Photo: Arch Photo, Inc. (Eduard Hueber) | Courtest of Perkins+Will Photo: Arch Photo, Inc. (Eduard Hueber) | Courtesy of Perkins+Will, OLIN (Garden) and Spencer Finch (Facade) Photo: Arch Photo, Inc. (Eduard Hueber) | Courtesy of Perkins+Will Photo: Arch Photo, Inc. (Eduard Hueber) | Courtesy of Perkins+Will

National Mall Winning Design Proposal for Sylvan Theater / Weiss/Manfredi + OLIN

Monument Plaza - Courtesy of Weiss/Manfredi + OLIN
Monument Plaza - Courtesy of Weiss/Manfredi + OLIN

New York-based architects Weiss / Manfredi and Philadelphia-based landscape architects OLIN have been announced as winner of the National Mall Design Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater in Washington, DC. Weiss / Manfredi and OLIN were one of three winning teams selected by the Trust for the National Mall to rejuvenate and transform three neglected sites on the National Mall (read our original announcement here). In the winning proposal for Sylvan Theater, Weiss / Manfredi and OLIN sculpt the ground plan and restore the existing tree canopy to create a new performance landscape that can accommodate a wide variety of events, while permeating the site with critical visitor amenities.

Continue reading for more images, video and the architects’ press release.

Winners announced for the National Mall Redesign Competition

OLIN & Weiss / Manfredi Via the Trust for the National Mall
OLIN & Weiss / Manfredi Via the Trust for the National Mall

After an intense and highly publicized competition, the Trust for the National Mall has announced the three winning teams selected to redesign the neglected sites of America’s front yard. As reported by the Washington Post, Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners will redesign Constitution Gardens east of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, while Weiss/Manfredi & OLIN will bring new life to the Sylvan Theater, southeast of the Washington Monument. The Union Square will be forwarded to the Architect of the Capitol and transformed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol & Davis Brody Bond.

Continue reading for more on the winning proposals.

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”.

Residents vote in favor of Diller, Scofidio & Renfro’s Aberdeen City Garden Redesign

View from Rosemount Viaduct - Rendering provided by the Diller Scofidio + Renfro submission boards
View from Rosemount Viaduct - Rendering provided by the Diller Scofidio + Renfro submission boards

The people of Aberdeen, Scotland have voted in favor of the £140m Aberdeen City Garden redevelopment proposal designed by the New York-based practice Diller, Scofidio & Renfro (DS+R), in collaboration with local architects Keppie Design and Philadelphia landscape architects OLIN.

DS+R plans to redevelop the nineteenth-century Union Terrace Gardens with a Granite Web that intends to “fuse nature and culture into a vital social network at the heart of the city” with an “elastic web of three-dimensional interconnections” that spans across the six-hectare site. Continue reading for more information.