UNStudio and Cox Architecture have officially been announced as the winners of Melbourne’s landmark Southbank Precinct overhaul. Selected from a range of high-profile offices, including BIG, OMA, and MAD, UNStudio's vision for the $2 billion project includes a pair of twisted towers called Green Spine. As the largest single-phase project in the history of Victoria, Australia, the Green Spine is designed as a state-of-the-art, mixed-use environment centered around innovation in architecture and design.
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A prominent shortlist including BIG, OMA, and UNStudio have revealed their visions for Melbourne’s landmark Southbank Precinct overhaul. The $2 billion project will be the largest single-phase project in the history of Victoria, Australia, intended as “a state-of-the-art, mixed-use environment” to be “centered around innovation in architecture and design.”
The six shortlisted schemes include twisting towers, interlocking blocks, and stacked neighborhoods, all focusing on the 6,000-square-meter BMW Southbank site. The designs were revealed at a public symposium on July 27th featuring speakers from the shortlisted firms.
BBC’s Sarah Montague interviews Renzo Piano, the mastermind behind London’s most controversial and newest skyscraper: The Shard. Prior to the interview, Montague spotted Piano blending into the crowd during the opening of the 310-meter skyscraper “spying” on the onlookers. When asked about this moment, Piano revealed the great advice he received from the prominent Italian film director Roberto Rossellini upon the completion of the Pompidou Center in Paris: “You do not look at the building, you look at the people looking at the building.” It was during this moment that Piano observed “surprise” and “wonder, but not fear” amongst the onlookers - a reaction he seemed to be content with.
Despite Piano’s attempt to refrain from controversy, it is hard to avoid when your design intends to celebrate a “shift in society.” Change tends to stir mixed emotions and spark debate. However, being part of the “human adventure” as an architect is what Piano finds most rewarding. He states: “You don’t change the world as an architect, but you celebrate the change of the world.”