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Urban Renewal: The Latest Architecture and News

Goettsch Partners Wins Urban Renewal Design Competition in Jinan, China

Goettsch Partners has recently won a design competition for an expansive urban renewal initiative in Jinan, China. Spanning three parcels, encompassing a total area of 111,500 sqm, the scheme is situated alongside the infamous Honglou Plaza. Positioned at the city’s center, Honglou Plaza holds historical significance as home to one of the region’s oldest cathedrals. The competition aimed to introduce concepts that would re-energize the regional core, through a design centered on pedestrian engagement.

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San Francisco’s Love Affair With the Ferry Building

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Can telling the story of one building tell a larger story about the city it’s a part of? That’s the central premise of John King’s engaging new book, Portal: San Francisco’s Ferry Building and the Reinvention of American Cities (W.W. Norton). The long-time urban design critic for the San Francisco Chronicle has written a brisk, lively history of this beloved edifice, which opened in 1898 and served as the principal gateway to the city until the emergence of the automobile (and the bridges that served them).

For decades it sat largely empty and neglected, cordoned off by the Embarcadero Freeway. After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the damaged highway was eventually removed, freeing up the Ferry Building, which was given new life as a transportation hub, food hall, and office building. Last week I talked to King about the genesis for the book, the terminal’s seminal importance to the city of San Francisco, and the threat it faces from rising sea levels.

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A Central Square in Greece and a Giant Clock in Germany: 8 Unbuilt Public Spaces Submitted by the ArchDaily Community

Public spaces are the beating heart of our cities. They act as the hubs of social and cultural activity where people congregate, interact, and escape the clamor of the city. These areas are crucial in determining a city's identity, character, and citizens' well-being and standard of living. Public spaces can define our communities and significantly impact how we live, work, and interact with one another through their architectural designs, facilities, and activities. Furthermore, they provide leisure, exercise, and recreation opportunities, allowing individuals to escape the confines of their daily routines and connect with nature.

This week's curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights projects submitted by the ArchDaily community showcasing different proposals made to enhance public space. Ranging from reimagining central squares to placing massive land art in the urban epicenter, these public spaces enhance the quality of life for the city's locals. In Germany, the redesign of the entire Memorium Nürnberger Trials reimagines this as a place to come together, grounded in its history, while in Havana, the new Cuban Square reimagines the metaphor of unity in the city center. The design and accessibility of public spaces significantly impact our well-being and quality of life. Thoughtfully planned and inclusive spaces with seating, greenery, and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure can promote physical activity, mental health, and community engagement in a city.

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PAU’s Niagara Falls Gateways Project Reimagines a Former Hydraulic Canal as an Engaging Public Space

New York-based studio Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) has been selected to lead the design for the Niagara Falls Heritage Gateway project. This reimagined public gateway aims to reinvigorate the site, attract new visitors, and stimulate the local economy. As part of the “Downtown Niagara Falls Development Strategy,” the project also aims to strengthen the connections between downtown Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls State Park. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

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A-lab and LPO Unveil Design for a Mixed-Use Development as Part of Fjord City Oslo, a Large-Scale Urban Renewal Project

Norwegian architecture offices A-lab and LPO revealed the plan to develop the last remaining plot in Bispevika, part of the Fjord City, a large-scale waterfront urban renewal project in the center of Oslo, Norway. The intervention strengthens the connection between the historic medieval city of Oslo to the new Fjord City while also introducing cultural, creative, and commercial activities to the area. The project comprises five buildings forming a quarter. The proposed massing and height take a contextual approach as they are reduced toward important local monuments such as the baroque residence “Ladegården” with its baroque garden “Barokkhagen." The project is developed by Oslo S Utvikling (OSU), the same client behind the Barcode project, and in collaboration with landscape architects SLA.

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Place Branding: Reviving Cities through Brand Strategy

The 1970’s were a dark time for New York City. While the economy was down, crime rates were at an all-time high. The negative public image also kept tourists away, driving the city into a financial crisis. To change perceptions about The Big Apple, the New York State Department for Economic Development approached advertising firm Wells Rich Greene to create an inviting marketing operation. After 45 years, the resulting I Love NY campaign remains fresh in the minds of locals and tourists, successfully revamping New York City’s brand. Cities across the world like Paris, Amsterdam and Jerusalem have similarly invested heavily in constructing magnetic brands for themselves.

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Kengo Kuma To Revitalise Abandoned Site in Paris

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Courtesy of KENGO KUMA & ASSOCIATES -Artefactory

Kengo Kuma's EDA office building revitalizes an abandoned site in Paris, creating a new urban landmark and signalling the renewal of the Issy-les-Moulineaux neighbourhood. Through its horizontality, the large scale project sitting at the confluence of three traffic rouets mediates the urban discontinuities of the surroundings while reflecting the context's dynamic of movement and flows. Defined as "a dense network of tree-lined terraces and hanging gardens", the design features a wood structure and a double-skin façade whose sunscreen elements create the architectural image.

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Foster + Partner's Power Station Master Plan in San Francisco Breaks Ground

As part of the Dogpatch mixed-use waterfront development, Foster + Partner's Power Station extension has finally broken ground. The master plan will create multiple new residential, commercial, and recreational spaces, honoring its industrial past and reconnecting the community with the San Francisco Bay waterfront. The architecture firm's 2-building proposal provides the neighborhood with an ideal urban framework to help create a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive community.

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Herzog & de Meuron to Convert Former San Francisco Power Plant into Mixed-Use Project

Construction work began for Herzog & de Meuron’s transformation of a former power plant building in San Fransico into a mixed-use project. Designed in collaboration with California-based practice Adamson Associates, the adaptive reuse of iconic Station A is part of the Portrero Power Station project, the redevelopment of a 29-acre industrial site into an extension of the Dogpatch neighbourhood. Herzog & de Meuron’s design retains and repurposes various features of the industrial building while adding a lightweight, steel-framed structure on top, thus giving new life to one of San Francisco’s landmarks.

A Theme Park-Inspired Urban Design in Italy and a Floating Neighbourhood in Iran: 10 Unbuilt Projects Submitted to Archdaily

Urban design is increasingly striving for more inclusive, sustainable environments, bringing together various groups and activities, and fostering social interaction. This week's curated selection of the Best Unbuilt Architecture focuses on urban designs, large-scale urban development projects and masterplans submitted by the ArchDaily Community, showcasing how architects around the world work with and shape the urban fabric of highly diverse environments.

From the transformation of a brownfield into a lively neighbourhood in the Czech Republic to the redevelopment of Bergamo's city centre around new spatial and collective values, the following projects showcase the ideas shaping urban design, from functional diversity and notions of proximity to a focus on outdoor spaces. The common denominators of the following projects are their collective focus and the strong connection with the existing urban fabric.

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Urban Renewal of Chiado Neighborhood / Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira

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Miralles Tagliabue EMBT Wins Competition to Renovate 'Century Square' on East Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China

Miralles Tagliabue EMBT studio, led by Benedetta Tagliabue, has won an international competition to transform Century Square into a new green landmark in Shanghai, China. The first prize proposal, won against David Chipperfield Architects, offers to renovate the plaza located in one of the busiest commercial areas in the world, “re-naturalizing” the city center and introducing green spaces to improve the urban microclimate.

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Zaha Hadid Architects Regenerates Huanggang Port Area in Shenzhen, China

Zaha Hadid Architects has designed the future of Huanggang Port Area, creating a hub of scientific research and collaboration in industries in Shenzhen, China. The new proposed master plan puts in place “an important node of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Corridor”, through the reconstruction of the port building as well as the transformation of its empty lots into the national center for technology innovation.

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen and BOGL to Transform a Former Prison Site in Denmark

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and BOGL were selected by the municipality of Albertslund and Freja Ejendomme to re-imagine Vridsløselille, a facility that housed once a state prison, and transform the site into an attractive, green district with a distinct identity derived from its unique heritage. The scheme was chosen alongside another project by COBE to create a combined vision for the future development of the area.

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