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Urban Planning: The Latest Architecture and News

Carros Parking Lot & Urban Planning / N+B Architectes

00:00 - 3 May, 2010
Carros Parking Lot & Urban Planning / N+B Architectes, © Paul Kozlowski
© Paul Kozlowski

© Paul Kozlowski © Paul Kozlowski © Paul Kozlowski © Paul Kozlowski + 18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Carros, France
  • Category

  • Directors In Charge

    Elodie Nourrigat & Jacques Brion
  • Associate Architect

    François Privat
  • Client

    Communauté des Communes des Coteaux d’azur
  • Budget

    3,700,000 €
  • Area

    4299.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2010
  • Photographs

Beijing Central Business District / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

21:19 - 26 October, 2009
© SOM
© SOM

The Chicago and Shanghai offices of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) won the international design competition to expand the Beijing Central Business District (CBD). This project was also awarded an AIA Honor Award.

Basically, their plan proposes the creation of 3 new districts anchored by parks and green boulevards as you can see on the renderings. But the an important aspects of this project is on the small scale, a network of walkable blocks to offer pedestrian (and bike) friendly scale for development. Because sustainable doesn´t have to mean just “green”, but also to offer an environment on which people can actually establish social relations on a neighborhood scale.

The plan also proposes an express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station. A new streetcar system is proposed to conveniently link all areas of the CBD.

Sometimes, a good transportation system and focusing on the pedestrian scale sound obvious, but they are the foundations to establish neighborhoods that can bring life to parts of the city 24/7, instead of business districts that die at night with dormitory cities with a lack of services.

More images after the break.

Yinzhou Fantasy Island / DeStefano and Partners

13:10 - 16 August, 2009

DeStefano and Partners have created a new commercial center for Ninbgo, China. Extending the existing canal system, the Yinzhou Fantasy Island master plan fuses the current wetlands and parks with the commercial aspects of the city as a way to balance the ecological with the cultural. The plan will not only include retail areas, but also entertainment, business, leisure and cultural facilities placed strategically along pedestrian boulevards in close proximity to mass transit systems.

More about the plan after the break.

Adaptive Formations / Design Studio 4of7

12:15 - 4 August, 2009

Design Studio 4of7 in conjunction with the University of Belgrade’s Graduate Program has spent a year exploring alternatives for the Port of Belgrade, a 110 hectare site on the river Danube bank in Southeast Europe. The port belongs to the central zone of the city and currently, the former industrial riverfront has attracted developers, city authorities, architects and planners to design its future potential. Over the last two academic terms, the Graduate Program has had the opportunity to work with the actual redevelopment of the site and exchange ideas with Daniel Libeskind Studio and Gehl Architects who are both working on the master plan.

More about the design after the break.

Urban Fade / Visiondivision

14:00 - 28 July, 2009

Visiondivison shared their entry for the Koivusaari Idea Competition to create a new city district on an island just outside Helsinki, Finland. The competition asked participants to organize a master plan for the island that would provide the framework for further planning. Visiondivison’s proposal, Urban Fade, is comprised of a highly efficient city grid that allows users the option of moving around the district to interact with the different areas.

More about the proposal after the break.

Urban Oasis / X-Architects

11:57 - 17 July, 2009

Dubai based X-Architects recently unveiled the Urban Oasis, their latest sustainable master plan for Al Ain. The 12-hectare urban development was conceived as a “micro-specific, compact, and passive sustainable urban oasis.” Inspired by the existing natural environment and the traditional dense urban fabric of Islamic cities, the master plan develops an “environmental synergy between landscape and urbanity.” More about the master plan after the break.

Winners Announced for Gotong Royong City

16:03 - 15 July, 2009

The winners of the idea competition for the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) 2009 in collaboration with Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia (Indonesian Institute of Architects Jakarta Chapter) have just been announced. The IABR introduced this competition to ‘explore to what extent architects, with their knowledge, skills, and imaginative powers, can contribute to solving urgent problems in contemporary society. It therefore challenges the design disciplines, using the specific expertise of architecture, to conduct “research by design” and to develop concrete proposals, based on the Biennale’s theme’. The theme of this year’s competition Gotong Royong City (translated to be “mutual assistance”) is took create an “urban condition that enables diverse cultures and lifestyles to coexist….in the context of the extended metropolitan region of Jakarta.”

First prize was awarded to Jakarta Bersih!, second place was awarded to Let’s Catch the Water! Jakarta Sponge City, third place for Field Estate: A Platform for Symbiotic Urbanism, and special mentions to Ojek City: Permeable Mobility, Stitching the Strip, and Eco Gate as Border Device.

Winning project descriptions and images after the break.

The New York High Line officially open

14:40 - 9 June, 2009
© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Photos Iwan Baan

In May 2003, James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro competed against 720 teams from 36 countries to win the infrastructure conversion project of the New York City High Line. More than half a decade later, the High Line’s transition to a public park is almost complete. On June 8th, architects, elected officials, and advocates watched as Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ceremonial red ribbon, officially announcing the opening of the first of three sections. The new park offers an alluring break from the chaotic city streets as users have an opportunity to experience an elevated space with uninterrupted views of the Hudson River and the city skyline.

More info about the park, including an incredible set of photos by architecture photographer Iwan Baan and a video by Brooklyn Foundry after the break.

UPDATE: We corrected some credits of this project. You can see the full list here.

The Tolerant City / Adept Architects + Schonherr Landscape

11:44 - 31 May, 2009

The municipality of Helsingborg, in Sweden, chose Schonherr and Adept Architects as winners of the planning competition with their proposal entitled the Tolerant City. Their contextual project will add value to its urban environment by creating a new identity and exploring the future possibilities for Helsingborg.

More on the project after the break.

Incremental Housing Strategy in India / Filipe Balestra & Sara Göransson

18:55 - 8 May, 2009

Aerial collage: the new archipelago of incremented kaccha houses rising from a context of well built permanent homes in a typical slum.

The problem with social housing has been how to give the most with less money. We have very good examples in Europe, but the constrains are way different than the ones in developing countries. In these countries, almost all the constructions are done by anyone but architects. Clearly, in these countries architects can do something way better than just designing or constructing, developing strategies together with communities to achieve housing solutions that not only address today´s necessities, but that can also be extended over time as families grow, once again by themselves and without architects.

A good example on this is Elemental, lead by Alejandro Aravena, which has been changing not only design aspects of social housing, but also public policy. Currently, they have built and on going projects in Chile, Mexico and more countries.

But also, there´s the work that Filipe Balestra and Sara Göransson have been doing in India, invited by Sheela Patel and Jockin Arputham from SPARC to develop an Incremental Housing Strategy that could be implemented anywhere.

Alison Brooks Architects present new buildings for Liverpool

15:56 - 20 July, 2008

Alison Brooks Architects (ABA, previously featured in AD with their award winning Herringbone Houses) designed three buildings for Tribeca, a new development in Liverpool, UK. This three buildings are located on the corner of Great George Street and St James Street.

This buildings will provide 93 apartments and commercial space at street level. The design follows the Liverpool’s gothic architectural tradition, blending with the existing Wedding Shop. I like this new approach to tall buildings, away from the  glazed and lightweight looking contemporary towers.

The stone-clad facades stretch up toward the sky, gradually becoming lighter and more glazed as they increase in height. Within the windows are vertical strips of coloured glass, totally relating to old cathedrals.

By the way, “Tribeca” is a development by Urban Splash that will create over 700 homes. Four practices were invited to design the buildings: Alison Brooks Architects (London, UK), Shedkm (Liverpool, UK), Riches Hawley Mikhail (London, UK) and Querkraft (Vienna, Austria). The site for the project is formed by three triangles, so Urban Splash put the phrase “Triangles Beneath the Cathedral”, then Tribeca. It echoes from the Tribeca area in Manhattan, which consists on a series of triangular sites beneath Canal Street.

More pictures below.