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Smar Architecture Studio: The Latest Architecture and News

SMAR Architecture Studio Selected as Winners of Science Island Design Competition

Kaunas City Municipality has announced SMAR Architecture Studio as the winners of the Science Island International Design Contest for Lithuania's new National Science and Innovation Center. SMAR's design was the highest ranked of three winners in the Design Contest, which was the most popular in Lithuania's history attracting 144 teams from 44 countries.

3 Firms Selected in Competition to Design National "Science Island" in Lithuania

The government of Lithuania announced today the 3 winning architecture firms of a competition to design a new National Science and Innovation Center, to be known colloquially as “Science Island,” in the city of Kaunas, Lithuania. The competition, organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, saw entries from 144 teams, making it the largest design content ever held in Lithuania.

Nestled in the heart of the UNESCO designated and celebrated university city, Kaunas, the science center will be located on a 13,000 square meter (140,000 square foot) site on Nemunas Island in the Neman River, adjacent to the Žalgiris Arena and within short walking distance to Kaunas’ historic Centras district. The new €25M complex will “celebrate recent achievements in science and global technologies with the aim of inspiring visitors to expand their knowledge and support innovation,” and will focus on research on the environment and ecosystems.

Continue reading to see the winners.

6 Final Designs Unveiled for Guggenheim Helsinki

Now for the first time, Guggenheim has unveiled the six fully developed designs competing to become Guggenheim Helsinki. Selected from 1,715 entries in world's the most popular architectural competition, the remaining finalists have spent the past five months refining their designs after being shortlisted by an independent 11-member jury, of which includes Studio Gang's Jeanne Gang and former Columbia University dean Mark Wigley.

The release foreshadows the April 25 opening of Guggenheim Helsinki Now: Six Finalist Designs Unveiled, a free exhibition that will open the projects up to public critique. A winner will be announced on June 23.

All 6 detailed proposals, after the break.

Architecture vs. PR: The Media Motivations of the Guggenheim Helsinki

More than ever, the media shapes architecture. The controversial Helsinki Guggenheim competition is as much about the use and exploitation of contemporary media as it is about design. The competition organisers are hugely proud to have over 1,700 entries to tweet about, but informed critics are less impressed. Has quantity ever guaranteed quality?

The competition has certainly created an impact. Some celebrate this, while others feel it has been detrimental to the profession, with so much unpaid time invested resulting in a low-level contribution to museum design.

Meanwhile, the spectre of Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim, an “iconic” building that gave the American foundation so much positive publicity when it opened in 1997, haunts the Helsinki project. Finnish politicians hope for a similar success, a Sydney Opera postcard effect in this remote corner of the earth.

6 Finalists Revealed in Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

The Guggenheim has announced the finalists in the competition to design Guggenheim Helsinki, whittling down the entrants from a record-breaking 1,715 submissions to just six. Representing both emerging and established practices with offices in seven countries, the shortlisted entries show a variety of responses to the challenge of creating a world-class museum.

The six finalists are:

Read on after the break to see all six designs in detail, as well as the jury's comments on each.