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Van Alen Institute

Three Teams Selected to Reimagine New York City's Green Trash Bins

15:00 - 11 December, 2018
Three Teams Selected to Reimagine New York City's Green Trash Bins, Courtesy of New York City Department of Sanitation
Courtesy of New York City Department of Sanitation

The NYC Department of Sanitation, Van Alen Institute, and the Industrial Designers Society of America / American Institute of Architects New York have announced the three finalists in their BetterBin competition. The competition offered designers an opportunity to reimagine New York City’s iconic green wire litter basket. The three finalist design teams are Group Project (Colin P. Kelly), IONDESIGN GmbH Berlin, and Smart Design. Each team will now produce 12 full-size prototypes that will be tested in New York City neighborhoods in summer 2019.

Future Expansion's 'Flatiron Reflection' Transforms Flatiron Public Plaza for the Holiday Season

08:06 - 8 December, 2017
Future Expansion's 'Flatiron Reflection' Transforms Flatiron Public Plaza for the Holiday Season, © Noah Kalina
© Noah Kalina

The winner of the fourth annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition, ‘Flatiron Refelection’ by Brooklyn-based Future Expansion, has been unveiled in New York City.

Hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute, the temporary installation will serve as the “highly-visible centerpiece” of the neighbourhood’s holiday season programming.

© Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina + 10

Winning Proposal and Research to Shape the Future for West Palm Beach Florida

12:00 - 6 May, 2017
Winning Proposal and Research to Shape the Future for West Palm Beach Florida, Design Winner: Open Shore / Ecosistema Urbano. Image Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA)
Design Winner: Open Shore / Ecosistema Urbano. Image Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA)

The Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) have announced Open Shore by Ecosistema Urbano as the winner of the Shore to Core waterfront design competition. The competition invited designers, planners, and architects to envision the future of the West Palm Beach waterfront for the next 20 to 30 years, with elements like changing population, economy, and environment, in mind. Selected from over 40 international teams and two finalists, the winning Open Shore proposal will serve as a “vision board” for the city’s future.

The competition additionally announced a design runner up bu Perkins + Will and a research winner by the team of Happy City, University of Virginia, StreetPlans, and SpaceSyntax.

Design Winner: Open Shore / Ecosistema Urbano. Image Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) Design Winner: Open Shore / Ecosistema Urbano. Image Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) Design Winner: Open Shore / Ecosistema Urbano. Image Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) Design Finalist: Adapt to Thrive / Perkins + Will . Image Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) + 20

LOT Wins Competition to Transform Flatiron Plaza in New York

16:10 - 31 October, 2016
LOT Wins Competition to Transform Flatiron Plaza in New York, Flatiron Sky-Line / LOT. Image Courtesy of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition
Flatiron Sky-Line / LOT. Image Courtesy of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition

LOT has been selected as the winner of the third annual Flatiron Public Plaza design competition in New York, which called for proposals from 5 New York City firms to design a temporary installation to be located at the base of the iconic Flatiron Building.

The winning proposal, titled “Flatiron Sky-Line,” consists of a series of 10 large contiguous arches, constructed out of white powder-coated steel tubes housing LED lights, from which an array of hammocks will be suspended to allow visitors to rest and take in the surrounding landmarks such as the Met Life Tower and Empire State Building.

Radiant Forest / Architensions. Image Courtesy of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition Flatiron Roc Chair / Büro Koray Duman Architects. Image Courtesy of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition Vanishing Point / FreelandBuck. Image Courtesy of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition Silver Shimmer / Young & Ayata. Image Courtesy of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition + 7

Call for Proposals: Opportunity Space

10:45 - 19 October, 2016
Call for Proposals: Opportunity Space, Courtesy of Unknown
Courtesy of Unknown

Opportunity Space is an international design-build competition challenging multidisciplinary teams to propose a temporary, mobile structure that will support economic opportunity and social inclusion in Malmö, Sweden.

The winning team will receive a $10,000 prize, a $5,000 travel stipend, and up to $25,000 to cover the costs of implementing their proposal, including costs for materials and insurance.

Opportunity Space calls for multidisciplinary teams to bring design thinking to bear on both the built environment and social programs in order to achieve the following:

Studio Libeskind, Mecanoo and Haptic Appointed to Van Alen Institute's International Council

04:00 - 19 January, 2016
Studio Libeskind, Mecanoo and Haptic Appointed to Van Alen Institute's International Council, Van Alen Institute. Image © Cameron Blaylock
Van Alen Institute. Image © Cameron Blaylock

New York City's Van Alen Institute have announced four new members—Haptic Architects, Mecanoo, Studio Libeskind, and Trahan Architects—to their International Council, a platform for exchange among leading architects, designers, developers, and planners. Furthermore, Jing Liu (SO–IL), Kim Herforth Nielsen (3XN), and Raymond Quinn (Arup) have joined its board of trustees to help guide the organisation's cross-disciplinary research, provocative public programs, and design competitions.

SOFTLab’s “Nova” Transforms Flatiron Public Plaza for the Holiday Season

08:00 - 25 November, 2015
SOFTLab’s “Nova” Transforms Flatiron Public Plaza for the Holiday Season, Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

The Flatiron Public Plaza has unveiled its centerpiece for this year’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” – SOFTLab’s Nova, the winner of a closed-competition hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute. The project will become the center of the neighbourhood’s festivities for the holiday season, as well as “a highly visible landmark” in the heart of New York.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of 3M Courtesy of Van Alen Institute + 16

SOFTlab Wins Second Annual Flatiron Competition in New York

14:06 - 30 October, 2015
SOFTlab Wins Second Annual Flatiron Competition in New York, © SOFTlab
© SOFTlab

SOFTlab has been chosen as the second annual winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza design competition in New York. Their winning proposal, Nova will open to the public next month on Wednesday, November 18th. Its "crystalline" structure aims to intrigue the passer-by, welcoming them inside for framed views of the Flatiron Building and surrounding landmarks, including the Met Life Tower and Empire State Building.

Hot Tub With Charles Renfro In Honor Of Public Architecture

09:00 - 6 May, 2015
Hot Tub With Charles Renfro In Honor Of Public Architecture, Charles Renfro. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Charles Renfro. Image Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Want to "smoke up" with Bjarke Ingels or fly over London in Norman Foster's private helicopter? The Van Alen Institute has launched an online auction to help raise money for its public architecture and design programs. Bid now for a chance to win "priceless" experiences with famous architects and designers that could potentially have you hot tubbing with Charles Renfro, birdwatching with Jeanne Gang, or touring Los Angeles by bike with Michael Maltzan. See all the experience being auctioned, here on Paddle8.

10 Ways to Improve Architecture Competitions

07:00 - 1 May, 2015
10 Ways to Improve Architecture Competitions, Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

In conjunction with the release of the results of their "Design Competition Survey", the Van Alen Institute have put forward 10 propositions for the improvement of design competitions. Accompanied by a series of vibrant graphics, the propositions can be read after the break.

7 Takeaways from Van Alen's Survey on Architectural Competitions

09:00 - 28 April, 2015
7 Takeaways from Van Alen's Survey on Architectural Competitions, One of 6 final designs unveiled for Guggenheim Helsinki - the world's most popular open architectural competition. Image © GH-121371443
One of 6 final designs unveiled for Guggenheim Helsinki - the world's most popular open architectural competition. Image © GH-121371443

For years, competitions have powered the stream of architectural output, producing such icons as the Vietnam War Memorial, Sydney Opera House, Central Park, and Ground Zero memorial. One need only look to the buzz surrounding the Guggenheim Helsinki competition and ArchDaily's own amply filled tag to see that competitions are part of the very lifeblood coursing through contemporary architecture. But what do architects really think about design competitions?

With 1414 responses from 65 countries, the Architectural Record/Van Alen Institute Competition survey is one of the most comprehensive investigations of this question to date. Speaking to the Architectural Record in February, Van Alen Institute competitions director Jerome Chou said that the survey hoped to identify the pros and cons of the competitions process, and offer suggestions for its improvement. "[W]e're hoping to advance the dialogue about the future of competitions, develop new models, and reach new audience," Chou said.

Launched in February this year, the survey sought responses from international design professionals who had participated in a competition during their career. 

Read a summary of the survey's key findings after the break.

Three Finalists to Develop Strategies for Vacant Land Reuse in New Orleans

01:00 - 29 October, 2014
Three Finalists to Develop Strategies for Vacant Land Reuse in New Orleans, NOLEX. Image Courtesy of VAI
NOLEX. Image Courtesy of VAI

Three finalists have been selected to move forward in the Van Alen Institute (VAI) and New Orleans Redevelopment Authority’s (NORA) “Future Ground” open ideas competition. Each will be provided with a $15,000 stipend to investigate and develop long-term design and policy strategies for vacant land reuse in New Orleans.

“Too often, vacant land has been seen only as a remnant of or absence within the 20th century city,” described the VAI. “Today, with a critical mass of designers, policymakers, scholars, artists, activists, and residents creating pilot projects, thoughtful studies, and new kinds of urbanism on abandoned properties, it is possible to imagine this land as an integral part of the future city.”

INABA to Construct "New York Light"

00:00 - 16 September, 2014
© INABA
© INABA

Jeffrey Inaba’s Brooklyn practice INABA has been selected as the first-ever winner in the Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition with New York Light. Organized by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute, the inaugural installation will be constructed in front of the famous Flatiron Building for the duration of the 2014 winter season.

Van Alen Institute Launches Competition to Shape the Future of US National Parks

01:00 - 10 September, 2014
Van Alen Institute Launches Competition to Shape the Future of US National Parks, Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of The Van Alen Institute

With over 275 million visitors to the United States' 401 national parks per year, what will be the experience of visitors in the 21st century? The Van Alen Institute has teamed up with the National Park Service to launch a new competition: National Parks Now - a central component of Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape, the Institute's initiative to investigate how the form and organization of the built environment shapes a need and desire for escape. Operating on the belief, stated by Van Alen Institute Executive Director David van der Leer, that "too few people realize what a huge resource these smaller national park sites are for local communities and for larger urban networks," this initiative seeks to make parks relevant for the 21st century audience. More on the competition after the break.

Future Ground Competition Open for Registration

01:00 - 12 August, 2014
 Future Ground Competition Open for Registration , Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

What will New Orleans look like in one year? Ten years? Fifty years? The Future Ground design competition, hosted by the Van Alen Institute, is looking for multidisciplinary teams help shape the city's future by answering these questions. The competition is specifically looking for teams to "generate flexible design and policy strategies to reuse vacant land in New Orleans, transforming abandoned landscapes into resources for the city."

Aedas, BIG, 3XN, & Ten Others Named to Van Alen Institute's International Council of Architecture & Urban Design

00:00 - 10 June, 2014
Aedas, BIG, 3XN, & Ten Others Named to Van Alen Institute's International Council of Architecture & Urban Design, Works (from upper left to right) by 3XN,  Allied Works Architecture, BIG, (mid left to right) Aedas, Windgardhs, Studio Egret West, (bottom left to right) 5468796 Architecture,  Olson Kundig Architects, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. All firms involved in the Van Alen Institute's International Council
Works (from upper left to right) by 3XN, Allied Works Architecture, BIG, (mid left to right) Aedas, Windgardhs, Studio Egret West, (bottom left to right) 5468796 Architecture, Olson Kundig Architects, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. All firms involved in the Van Alen Institute's International Council

The Van Alen Institute, an organization dedicated to advancing innovation in architecture and urban design, has announced the launch of an International Council of leading architects, planners and designers who will meet bi-annually to "identify and investigate issues facing cities internationally." The thirteen firms chosen — who represent over 17 cities and 10 countries— include firms as renowned as Aedas, BIG, and Jan Gehl Architects. See all 13, after the break.

Collective-LOK Wins Van Alen Institute's Ground/Work Competition

01:00 - 24 September, 2013
Collective-LOK Wins Van Alen Institute's Ground/Work Competition, Street screen . Image © Collective-LOK
Street screen . Image © Collective-LOK

Last May, the Van Alen Institute of New York called on emerging architects to design an engaging and accessible street-level venue for the Institute to house its entire work space and public programs. This past July the competition finalists were revealed and now Collective–LOK has been announced as the winner of Ground/Work: A Design Competition for Van Alen Institute’s New Street-Level Space.

Read on to learn about their winning design...

Parks for the People: A Student Competition to Reimagine America's National Parks

04:00 - 12 October, 2011
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Van Alen Institute, a New York-based organization dedicated to projects in public architecture, is joining the U.S. National Park Service to launch Parks for the People: A Student Competition to Reimagine America’s National Parks. Students and faculty will have a once-in-a-generation chance to creatively rethink our national parks’ connections to people, and their role as revered natural, social, and cultural destinations through design studios focusing on one of seven national parks. More information on the competition after the break.