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  • 07/28/08--04:47: Welcome
  • For Architects, Artists, and Planners

    Stay informed about major competition events in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning around the world. Discover successful strategies of well-known designers. For our weekly email announcements about new and ongoing design competitions and to receive our monthly E-zine with in-depth commentaries, SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Our top very affordable subscription package includes the 2011 Annual. Be sure to visit our NEWS page frequently. NEW IN THE WEBSTORE


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    Book Review

    By Paul D. Spreiregen

    Creating the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Inside Story

    By Robert W. Doubek

    2015

    McFarland; 311 pages, illustrated

    www.mcfarlandpub.com

    0175500-r1-e048

    Photos: Paul Spreiregen

    On any given day visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington may number in the hundreds, sometimes the thousands. Immediately upon its dedication in November 1982 it became and has remained one of the most visited sites in our nation’s capitol. Extending tranquilly across a tree bordered meadow near the Lincoln Memorial, its power as a work of tribute stands among the great memorials of any time or place. It is an American icon.

    Visitors to the memorial may know that a college student designed it in a nation-wide design competition and that the selected design was the subject of great controversy. Little else about its creation is known or need be known by a typical visitor. The memorial speaks for itself, honoring the nearly 58,000 Vietnam veterans who died in the war and by implication the millions of others who served. As a work of public art it honors memory and service admirably.


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    The Guggenheim Helsinki Winners on Stage in New York

    By Jayne Merkel

    mc70516 082350 150623 winnerannouncement v22 finalenglish-1
    Winning Entry by Moreau Kusunoki Architectes

    The soothing circular auditorium beneath the rotunda of Frank Lloyd Wright’s New York Guggenheim Museum was an unusually suitable setting for the revelation of the winning design for the proposed Helsinki Guggenheim and a discussion of the process that led to its selection. On July 1, the winners of the competition, Hiroko Kusunoki and Nicolas Moreau, of Moreau Kusunoki Architectes in Paris, took turns describing their scheme as they showed an impressive series of drawings and models. After their presentation, they joined a discussion, moderated by Architectural Record Editor Cathleen McGuigan, with Guggenheim staff members Ari Wiseman and Troy Conrad Therrien. Wiseman, a Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, has shepherded the competition from the conception stage in 2013. Therrien, the Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives, has created the state-of-the-art digital archive that has brought this competition and its entries into the public domain.


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    Designing for the Workplace

    UNO/WHO Headquarters Extension Competition

    by Stanley Collyer

    bbk who garten 01 s25
    Winning entry by Berrel Berrel Kräutler AG (image courtesy BBK)

    For all its perceived shortcomings, the United Nations Organization (UNO) can make a good case for its approach to the design of its facilities located in Geneva, Switzerland. Leading up to the most recent competition for the Headquarters Extension of the WHO offices, it staged three successful competitions:

    • For the 1966 World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters building, won by Swiss architect, Jean Tschumi;

    • For the 2000 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) building, won by the German firm, Behnisch Architekten;

    • For the 2006 WHO/UNAIDS building, won by the Austrian firm, Baumschlager & Eberle

    As the principal anchor of the WHO headquarters complex, the 1966 building, now over a half century old, has not only seen the deterioration of its basic mechanical systems and programmatic changes, but has not kept pace with the needs generated by the world’s health crisis. This necessitated the on-site construction of seven temporary or precast structures, none of which were the result of any architectural guidelines or urban planning and did not conform to present code standards.


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    The Biennial Lakefront Kiosk Competition

    by Stanley Collyer

    ultramoderne image01
    Winning entry by Ultramoderne

     

    Ki-osk: 1. in Turkey and Persia an open pavilion; 2. a building of similar construction such as a newsstand, etc.

    What is a Biennial with architecture as the central theme without a competition?

    The Chicago Biennial not only has invited a number of high profile architects from around the world to participate in various events stretching over several months, but looked for a suitable theme and site to showcase what modern architecture is all about. They settled on a Kiosk Competition on the city’s lakeshore next to Millennium Park, a high traffic area in all but the winter months. There are to be four kiosks—one to be the result of the competition—and all are to be permanent structures. It is no surprise that scores of kiosks are already commonplace on Chicago’s lakeshore, taking advantage of the streams of summer visitors who are drawn to the shore of Lake Michigan. Overseen by the Chicago Park District, over forty kiosks punctuate the shoreline, which during the summer offer food, retail, and recreational services—ranging from beverages to clothing to surf rentals.

     

     


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    Reinventing the Rustbelt

    UD4U Urban Design Competition

    by Stanley Collyer

    front
    1st Place entry "High Res," by Lasha brown, Sandra Arndt, Emilija Kaia Landsbergis, and Robert Hon

    As a mid-sized rustbelt city in the Midwest, Kenosha, Wisconsin was especially hard hit by auto plant closings. First it was the American Motors plant in 1988. Then, to compound matters, the Chrysler Engine plant closed in 2010. Such closings not only resulted in the loss of high-paying jobs, but left a desolate void in the urban fabric. Some of these vacant spaces have recently become the object of design competitions, staged with the intention of generating ideas to reinvigorate abandoned areas. One of these was the Redesigning Detroit competition, focused on the previous site of Hudson’s Department Store in the city’s central business district (2013 COMPETITIONS Annual).

     

     


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    More Variations on a Theme in Dessau?

    Germany’s Third Post-War Competition for a Bauhaus Museum

    by Stanley Collyer

    6025 aussenraumperspektive
    First prize by Young & Ayata with Misako Murata (image courtesy Bauhaus Museum)

     

    Germany is not about to let the world arts community forget about the unique role played by the Bauhaus movement in the evolution of modern art and architecture. There is already a Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, moved there from Darmstadt in 1971, and the building it now resides in was completed in 1979. It is hardly recognizable from Walter Gropius original 1964 intended design, except for the shed roofs.

    Since the Berlin Archive can only accommodate 35% of the institution’s holdings, a competition was staged there in 2005 to expand the capacity of the site. The invited architects for that competition were Diener & Diener (Basel), Nageli Architekten (Berlin), SANAA (Tokyo), Sauerbruch & Hutton (Berlin) UN Studio (Amsterdam), and Volker Staab (Berlin). SANAA was chosen as the winner, but the City withdrew its support from that project in the wake of the world economic crisis in 2009.

    In 2012 a Bauhaus Museum competition took place in Weimar, where the Bauhaus was originally founded under Gropius in 1919. That competition was won by the Berlin architect, Heike Hanada, with Benedict Tonon. The new building, which will replace the existing Bauhaus Museum in Weimar, is to be completed by 2018.

    After the Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau, where the Bauhaus resided until the 1930s when the Nazis came to power and where the main building by Walter Gropius has achieved iconic status, a recent international competition for its own Bauhaus Museum took place. Although one may assume a lot of overlay between these three museums as to exhibits, the plan for the new museum in Dessau could be deemed somewhat of a logical move, as the present school is still located there, setting the tone for the ‘international style’ we now are so familiar with.


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    Expansion Strategies for a Challenging Campus Site

    A Transformational Design by Office 52 Wins at Carnegie Mellon

    by Stanley Collyer

    office 52 higher education presentation 2015.05.13-41
    Winning proposal by Office 52 (courtesy ©Office 52)

    Already ranked as one of the top engineering programs in the U.S., Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is hardly resting on its laurels. Scott Hall, anew Nano‐Bio‐Energy Technologies building scheduled for completion in early 2016, will undoubtedly enhance the University’s standing as a cutting edge research institution. Contrary to most curricula in the field of engineering, Nanotechnology is not based on a narrowly defined area of study; rather it is interdisciplinary in nature and can span the sciences and even reach into the arts. As a landlocked campus, a major challenge facing Carnegie Mellon is finding space for the construction of new facilities. The site chosen for Scott Hall in 2011 was at the western edge of the historic campus property, perched at the top of a neighboring ravine, Junction Hollow, and barely separated from three adjacent buildings. Although the campus master plan had already pinpointed a location for the new building, the University conducted a design competition to explore alternative solutions to a challenging site and a demanding interdisciplinary program. From sixteen highly regarded design firms that responded to an RfQ issued by CMU, four teams were shortlisted to participate in the two-month design competition:

    • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), Wilkes-Barre / Pittsburgh, PA.
    • Wilson Architects, Boston, MA
    • ZGF Architects, Portland, OR. and Washington, DC.
    • OFFICE 52, Portland, OR.


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    Placemaking to the Forefront

    Sydney’s Green Square Library Competition

    front

    Winning entry by Stewart Hollenstein

     

    When reaching a final decision on the winner of a design competition in Sydney, Australia, clients and jurors alike will invariably hark back to the controversy surrounding the Sydney Opera House competition. Because of the large cost overruns associated with that project, it has cast a long shadow over local projects decided by the design competition process. With this in mind, organizers of the more recent Green Square Library competition went to great lengths to address buildability and budget issues associated with the various designs. Their precautionary measures seemed to validate the selection of Stewart Hollenstein as the winner. As unconventional as that entry might have appeared to some, it not only got the green light from a bevy of cost consultants who were brought on board; the feedback from the community turned out to be very positive.


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    Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Competition

     

    drawings-first prize-6
    Winning design by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, London

    If you are flying either into or departing from Taiwan after the year 2020, you may wish to arrange your flight so that you either arrive or leave in the evening: it could well be an unforgettable experience. The winning design by Rogers Stirk Harbour of London for the new Terminal 3 promises an illuminating show that can match that of Curt Fentress’s Denver airport.

    For an international open competition, and for a project of this magnitude, it was astonishing to find that only four international firms decided to enter this contest. According to one juror, the posting of a $500,000 bond required of serious contenders was probably enough to scare off most firms. This is not to say that the final four lacked expertise in the area. The only firm from Stage 1 not shortlisted, ADPI of Paris, had numerous completed large commissions to its credit. And due to the very extensive experience of the other firms, it could be anticipated that the quality of the entries would be more than adequate.