Student Project: Q|Santa in San Isidro del General, Costa Rica by Alejandro Nuñez Lopez

Q|Santa by Alejandro Nuñez Lopez

Q | Santa consists of an integral project that seeks to generate a vision of a city that doesn’t deny its context or itself, where its systems and functions are integrated and overlapped, trying to find the most appropriate way to combine the urban artificial systems with the natural systems, through the generation of relationships of dependency that have been tested in other latitudes, where both systems benefit and become optimized.

It’s based on the thought that the city is written, erased and rewritten by itself continuously according to its changing context, new demands, and its new operating systems.

The increments of the urban complexity are dictated by the increase in the amount of information that each city stores, the cultural hybridization, the evolution of knowledge, the demand for new activities and programs, and the awareness of resource management. The innate human need to enhance and form new relationships, new connections, has been the determining factor in the process of shaping a new perspective of the outside, of a dynamic and contemporary city, but above all, human.

This project is developed under the theory of the topological behavior of the contemporary city: the new cities, complex, flexible, dynamic, fluid, in constant change; and the various relationships of dependency and interaction generated among its many layers and systems. It pays special attention to the relationships between natural and artificial urban systems; pathological problem that is present in basically every city in the countries of Latin America, and the implementation of these theories in the case of the Quebradas River’s waterfront, within the city limits of San Isidro del General, Perez Zeledon.

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Sugar Beach, Toronto | Claude Cormier

Sugar Beach, Toronto | Claude Corimer

View of beach in late summer ©Waterfront Toronto (Nicola Betts)

The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is the largest urban redevelopment project currently underway in North America, and is also one of the largest waterfront revitalization efforts ever undertaken in the world. Led by Waterfront Toronto, a joint venture of the Federal, Provincial, and City governments, Canada’s Sugar Beach is one of the first park spaces to open as part of the ambitious waterfront redevelopment masterplan.

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Yanivsky Camp Memorial Site Design Competition

Yanivsky Camp Memorial

International Design Competition for the Sites of Jewish History in Lviv includes three separate competitions for three spaces in the city that have important connections to the life of Jewish community before the Second World War, and to its destruction during the Nazi occupation. Competitors are asked to submit ideas for each or all of three sites in the city. One of the sites was the Yanivsky Camp Memorial Site which was the site of the former Yanivsky concentration camp at the current Vynnytsya Street.

The design competition for Yanivsky Camp Memorial Site was won by Ming-Yu Ho (Taiwan), Ceanatha la Grange (USA) and Wei Huang (China). Their design intent was to clearly memorializing more than 100,000 lives lost at this location, the design provides flexibility for future users, who may want to contribute their own understanding of the Yanivsky Concentration Camp to events at the site. The history of the Yanivsky Concentration Camp Memorial is exposed in a respectful manner that encourages a deeper understanding of the atrocities committed during World War II. A light touch keeps many of the site’s elements intact, and reveals past history through the judicious addition of landscape features. These features, and the minimal changes to the overall site, make visible the crimes that took place here, and leave visitors with a sense of peace and hope for the future.

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NCPC Selects Five Firms for President’s Park South Design Competition

*UPDATE* NCPC has unveiled the designs and we recently published the concepts 2011.06.21

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has invited five of the country’s leading architecture and landscape design firms to develop proposals to beautify and improve the visitor experience at President’s Park South, the area immediately south of the White House. President’s Park South is one of the most visited locations in the nation’s capital, and represents a unique design challenge that requires sensitive integration of security requirements into a landscape of extraordinary cultural and historic significance. The area includes Sherman Park, the First Division Monument, the Ellipse and its side panels, as well as the associated roadways in the area, including E Street, NW, which has been closed to automobile traffic for the past decade.

Twenty-three firms responded to NCPC’s call for qualifications, the initial stage of a national design competition begun in March. Based on the review and recommendations of NCPC’s selection committee, and with support from the Interagency Security Task Force, NCPC invited five firms to advance to the design phase of the competition.
The selected firms are:

  • Hood Design Studio in San Francisco, CA;
  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in New York City, NY
  • Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects in Watertown, MA;
  • Rogers Marvel Architects in New York City, NY; and
  • SASAKI in Watertown, MA.

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St.Petersburg Zoo: TN PLUS and Beckmann N’Thépé

St.Petersburg Zoo

Recently more details for the St.Peterburg Zoo were released by the TN PLUS landscape architects and Beckmann N’Thépé architects who won the design competition last Decemeber. The competition was organized by the city of Saint Petersburg.  The site is in the northern suburbs of the city not far from the Bay of Finland, in the frontier between a new residential district in plain development with high rise buildings and a natural reserve. The 300 hectares of the site is actually covered by a pioneer, wetland forest and the zone is frequently flooded [as it is quite usual in that area]. The project restrains on about one third of the site to leave the rest untouched respecting a natural puffer zone for the reserve and to propose a large nature park to the locals.

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Work commences on carbon-zero community park and school: Grontmij

Crouch Hill - Gronmij

Grontmij announced that work has commenced on the Crouch Hill Park and Ashmount Primary School development, in the London Borough of Islington.

The Crouch Hill development is a highly sensitive scheme and comprises Metropolitan Open Land, a Site of Metropolitan Significance for Nature Conservation and a local park. The site is adjacent to the Parkland Walk, a disused railway and a popular North London walking route between Finsbury Park and Highgate.

A new central green space will give the public access to out-of-hours community activities in the school including, a shared games court. New paths will link local housing and the Parkland Walk to attract visitors and improve safety. The whole site will become more permeable and accessible, with easy-access routes for wheelchairs, young children and parents with pushchairs. Paths through existing trees are designed as raised boardwalks, to ‘tread lightly’ through the site and a sensitive lighting strategy will improve community safety in key areas, while respecting bat foraging corridors.

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