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Public Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

New Pavilion in Rotterdam's Leuvehaven Port Brings High-Tech Design to a Historical Context

A new public pavilion from MoedersheimMoonen Architects is set to be built in the old 'Leuvehaven' port in Rotterdam. Located near the Erasmus Bridge, the pavilion intends to bring new life to the historic port of Rotterdam. The municipality of Rotterdam is also set to invest in a bustling residential climate, with this new pavilion housing multiple programs that will contribute to a "lively" and "greener" Maritime District.

The building will replace three existing pavilions, providing a new perspective for visitors to the Leuvehaven. Much of the structure and foundation from the existing buildings are reused in the new design, promoting sustainability, honoring the present conditions of the site, and bringing high-tech design elements to the historical context.

The various programs for the Pavilion will include "the Port Information Point of the Port of Rotterdam, two publicly accessible workshops from the Maritime Museum Rotterdam and two catering establishments with terraces by the water," with the surrounding exteriors space also to be renewed in phases.

Render. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen ArchitectsRender. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen ArchitectsRender. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen ArchitectsRender. Image Courtesy of MoederscheimMoonen Architects+ 11

Gansu Provincial Superior People’s Court / BIAD

© Chaoying Zhao
© Chaoying Zhao

© Chaoying Zhao© Chaoying Zhao© Chaoying Zhao© Chaoying Zhao+ 29

Lanzhou, China

Studio Gang's Innovative Fire Department Training Facility Tops Out in Brooklyn

Studio Gang’s innovative fire station and training facility Fire Rescue 2 has topped out in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville. A little more than year since construction on the 21,000-square-foot facility began, all of its major concrete elements are now in place, with the red glazed terracotta panels surrounding the building’s opening next to be installed.

© Studio Gang Architects© Studio Gang Architects© Studio Gang Architects© Studio Gang Architects+ 7

Mecanoo Envisages Cubic Cultural Center With Third-Place Proposal

Placing third place out of 69 entries in an international competition for a new cultural building in Shenzhen, China, Mecanoo’s proposal for the Bao’an Public Culture and Art Center aiming to re-evaluate the “inwardly focused identity of cultural facilities in Hong Kong," through the form of an elevated cube. Situated near the Bao’an Metro Station and the Binhai School, the Dutch firm responds to the site’s challenges by reconnecting the center with its adjacent infrastructure.

The metro station and cultural center are united by the large masses of people that are channeled by the former and engaged but the latter. In order to capitalize on this condition, the design combines the metro entrance with that of the museum, thereby connecting the wider community with the arts and creating a more appealing public network.

© Mecanoo Architecten© Mecanoo Architecten© Mecanoo Architecten© Mecanoo Architecten+ 8

Adjaye Associates to Design New Public Library and Civic Centre in Florida

Adjaye Associates have announced the design of a new 50,000 square foot library and event center in Winter Park, Florida, which will serve as a new civic hub and will compliment the nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The $30 million building also includes an 8,500 square foot civic center, combining as a manifestation of the city’s aspirations for library services.

“Winter Park’s vision for this project truly embraces the continued evolution of the library in the 21st century,” said Sir David Adjaye. “With a diverse program that recognizes it as a critical piece of cultural infrastructure, this will be a dynamic space for shared education, recreation, and interaction.”

RIBA’s New National Architecture Centre Will Celebrate Liverpool’s Architectural History

Liverpool will soon be home to the Royal Institute of British Architect’s (RIBA) new national centre for architecture, RIBA North, which will be a new focal point for visitors to learn about architecture, as well as the culture and history behind Liverpool’s built environment. Occupying a part of the Mann Island Buildings designed by Broadway Malyan in 2013, RIBA North will offer a host of new opportunities for architectural discovery and education, including exhibitions, lectures, tours, and a digital model of the city.

“At RIBA North, we have a building with museum conditions which will offer a magnificent opportunity to view RIBA’s world-renowned historic collections showing hundreds of years of the UK’s extraordinary architectural history,” explained RIBA President Jane Duncan. “We are particularly proud to strengthen our cultural and creative offering in the north of England, and to enable many more people to explore and understand the enormous impact that architecture and design has on all our lives.”

© Edmund Sumner© McCoy Wynne© Web Aviation UK© Web Aviation UK+ 5

Openact Architecture Envisages Ecologically-Driven Research Park As Bandirma's Future Hub

Emphasizing a diverse combination of ecological, infrastructural and urban programs in their envisioned design, Istanbul and Madrid-based design practice Openact Architecture has been named the winner of the Bandirma Park Competition, which invited ideas to “introduce Bandirma to the world."

Titled ‘A Path of the Fields’, the winning proposal presents a layered approach to the revitalisation of a former military and industrial brownfield in the industrial Turkish city of Bandirma.

The area is defined by Openact as both “an open, interactive, collective and productive focal point locally and regionally” and “an idea factory in the city of factories”, allowing for the exchange of ideas between the public and professionals. By centering the park around a Design and Research Institute, the intent is to create an environment that will strengthen Bandirma’s socio-economic standing, and offer a new hub for the city’s future, while seamlessly integrating into the natural ecological identity.

© Openact Architecture© Openact Architecture© Openact Architecture© Openact Architecture+ 16

Morphosis Architects' U.S. Embassy in Beirut Gets 2023 Completion Date

The U.S. State Department is moving forward with plans for a new Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. After awarding the commission to California architects Morphosis in 2013, the government has now granted the construction contract to to B.L. Harbert of Birmingham, Alabama, willing allow the project to get underway.

Institute for Public Architecture 3rd Annual Fall Fete


Shola Olatoye
Chair and Chief Executive Officer,
New York City Housing Authority


Richard Baron
Chair and Chief Executive Officer,
McCormack Baron and Salazar

Third Annual Fall Fete
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Benefactors Reception, 6 to 8 pm
Neue Galerie
1048 5th Avenue, New York

Friends Party, 8:30 to midnight
St. George Church Choir Crypt
209 E.16th St., Stuyvesant Square, New York

The Benefactors Reception will be held at the Neue Galerie New York, located in a landmark turn-of-the-century Carrere & Hastings building on Museum Mile. Benefactors will enjoy light Austrian fare and wine in the elegant Cafe Sabarsky and meet our honorees.

The Friends Party will bring together a lively group of architects, developers, artists,

Atelier King Kong Unveils Designs for Grand Paris Express Metro Station

Atelier King Kong has unveiled the design of the new Vitry-Centre metro station in Vitry-sur-Seine, part of the Grand Paris public transport network. The station, located in the southeast portion of the red line of the Grand Paris Express, is a town center station that provides access to the Town Hall and sports and cultural facilities, “links to existing above-ground transport networks (buses) and services to come (tramway), and connects with the RD5, one of the main north-south highways of the southeastern Paris region." Learn more about the design after the break.

London Calling: Public Architecture, Inside Out

By its very nature, architecture has an obvious, and powerful, public presence. No matter who commissions buildings, they form the material backdrop of public life; the design of every building impacts towns and cities and the experience of those living and working in them. Architecture, though, is more than a stage-set. While, all too often, designed “iconic” buildings are indeed objects, and often vanity projects designed to show off the aspirations and egos of certain clients and architects, the space both inside and around these buildings, like most others, is public space: shared space, space used by communities of people, and space that often has psychological and emotional effects on very many of us. Think of shops, department stores, banks, offices and the many other buildings that, privately owned, play important roles in everyday public life.

It’s this internal aspect of public buildings that has been increasingly marginalized as architects and clients work together to maximize the external impact and character of buildings.  After all, the public life of a public building, be it a court house or shopping-mall, does not cease once you are inside.

Design Excellence of US Embassies: Openness and Security

"The works of our artists, architects, and preservationists provide us with another language of diplomacy. A transcendent language that allows us to convey values that are at once uniquely American yet speak to all of humanity.  Increasingly in this world, art and architecture help us maintain our sense of openness and liberation." -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, April 12, 2010 

An embassy is much more than a building or a work of architecture; it functions as a symbolic representation of countries' relationships to one another. It represents the universal language of diplomacy - "communicating values and ideals, extending well beyond any moment in time". An embassy has the difficult task of representing two diametrically opposed concepts: security and openness. The former typically overpowers the latter in importance, which is most probably why when we think of foreign embassies, it conjures up images of stately monolithic buildings surrounded by tall fences and menacing guards or "bunkers, bland cubes, lifeless compounds", according to Tanya Ballard Brown of NPR's All Things Considered.

More after the break...

Public Architecture's 1% Program Provides Projects for Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity; el dorado architects
Habitat for Humanity; el dorado architects

Public Architecture is an organization with a simple goal: to address public interest through architecture and solve problems of human interaction within the built environment. The San Francisco based non-profit was established in 2002 and in its past ten years it has served as a forum for public discourse, education and advocacy for the design of public spaces and amenities. In 2005 it launched its 1% program, a now nationally recognized portfolio of pro-bono work by architects and firms ready to donate 1% of their year's billable hours to provide work for nonprofit organizations requesting a variety of services that strengthen their architectural identity and community impact. To date, there are 1100 firms registered with the 1% program.