Southend Pier Head design contest winner unveiled

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is delighted to announce the winner of Southend Pier Head design contest – renowned Swedish based landscape architecture firm White arkitekter.

The company – which has also won awards for other maritime architecture projects throughout the world – clinched the top place with a design called ‘Sculpted by Wind and Wave.’
This winning scheme was chosen from among 73 international and local entries for the competition run by the Landscape Institute on behalf of the Council.

The Landscape Institute is an educational charity and chartered body responsible for protecting, conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for the benefit of the public.

This contest aimed to encourage ways to revitalise the Pier Head environment and devise innovative designs, enabling established leisure, recreation and tourism uses, to continue in an attractive, high quality and appealing setting.

White arkitekter clearly demonstrated the theme of ‘maritime, environmental and relaxed recreation’ which was chosen by the public after a major consultation with residents and visitors.

This winning firm, if ratified by Cabinet and Council, would work in conjunction with British-based engineers Price and Myers to produce the scheme.

Councillor John Lamb, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and the Environment, says: “This has proved to be a most exciting competition which attracted international entries. We were thrilled to receive so many applications of interest, from which five very high quality proposals were shortlisted, and the winner was chosen from these five.

“The next step is for us to recommend that councillors will ratify the choice of the winner and engage White arkitekter as the lead designer.

“This would be a £multi million development, which depends on us receiving a substantial Sea Change grant from the Government. We are likely to find out the outcome of our bid for funding this autumn, but have so far had very positive indications of success.”

Tom Lonsdale, who chaired the judging process for the Landscape Institute says: “The final decision was never going to be easy with such a diverse range of high quality approaches but White arkitekter impressed the most because of their exceptional sensitivity to the location and a very polished design. We could see the potential for a memorable landmark and destination to which visitors would be drawn again and again.”

SOURCE: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
IMAGE SOURCE: White arkitekter

Opening permanent sculpture garden in Leidsche Rijn Park – West 8

On September 11, the permanent sculpture garden in Leidsche Rijn Park was officially opened.  As an opening act, the new sculpture Barricade from Spanish artist Fernando Sánchez Castillo was set on fire.

The sculpture garden is inspired by the book Possibility of an Island by French writer Michel Houellebecq. The device of the book –hope and the search for love- suggested a basic principle for the designs of the participating artists Fernando Sánchez Castillo (SP), Mathilde ter Heijne (NL), William Speakman i.s.m. Gijs Frieling (NL), Daniel Roth (DE), Rob Voerman (NL), Zilvinas Landzbergas (LT) en Lucas Lenglet (NL). The eight, literary work by writer Arnon Grunberg was also presented on the 11th.

Barricade (2009) by Fernando Sánchez Castillo


Anonimous monuments (2009) by Daniel Roth

Wood Chapel (2009) by William Speakman

SOURCE: WEST 8

Viñoly-designed New York architecture school opens

Building reports

Newly renovated New City College of New York Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture opens today

The City College of New York’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture has reopened, after a complete overhaul by Rafael Viñoly Architects.

On the building’s periphery, Landscape Architect Lee Weintraub’s design accentuates the main entrance, creating another accessible congregation point for students.

SOURCE: BuildingViñoly-designed New York architecture school opens

Landscape Architecture 5 feet and beyond

I just read the article Grounds for creativity at PostStar.com that talks about the role of a landscape architect and raises some good points about landscape architects and our scope of work however there was one statement that confounded me.

As a rule, landscape architects, who require a different license than a traditional architect, design from five feet outside of the building and beyond.

I don’t know where this came, maybe its a state law definition somewhere? However, I think that it is often a misconception that landscape architects deal with just the outside and beyond the apron of the building. We often work inside the ‘five feet and beyond’ – the entry, the walls (green), roofs, indoor atriums. However this is not the point, I often worry that the line between architect, landscape architect and other disciplines is too defined and limits the creativity of all disciplines. In my experience the best projects and designs are those that are designed as a collaboration between disciplines where a team comes together to formulate a design. Designs should be a collaboration between disciplines not sole disciplines designing ‘our scope/part’.

Landscape architects (and all disciplines) are essential to good design whether it’s a building, urban park, rooftop, or a city. Landscape architecture is the whole landscape not just the 5 feet and beyond.

By Damian Holmes 15 September 2009

Clive looks at nature & recreation centers

Clive is looking at new facilities suggested by a new plan approved by the City last week. The facilities include a nature center, community gym and a dog park.

Genus Landscape Architects has developed a plan for a nature center that could cost between $1.5 to 4 million depending on scope and detailing for final construction.

SOURCE: Clive council eyes recreation, nature centers | DesMoinesRegister.com | The Des Moines Register

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