MVRDV wins Gwanggyo City Centre Competition, near Seoul, South Korea

The Daewoo Consortium and the municipality of Gwanggyo announced the MVRDV concept design for a dense city centre winner of the developer’s competition for the future new town of Gwanggyo, located 35km south of the Korean capital Seoul. The plan consists of a series of overgrown hill shaped buildings with great programmatic diversity, aiming for high urban density and encouragement of further developments around this so-called ‘Power Centre’, one of the envisioned two centre’s of the future new town.

Since the beginning of the millennium local nodes with a high density concentration of mixed program are used in Korean town planning. These nodes consist of a mix of public, retail, culture, housing, offices and leisure generating life in new metropolitan areas and encouraging further developments around them: the Power Centre strategy. The Gwanggyo Power Centre will consist of 200,000m2 housing, 48,000m2 offices, 200,000m2 mix of culture, retail, leisure and education and 200,000m2 parking.

This divers program has different needs for phasing, positioning and size. To facilitate this all elements are designed as rings. By pushing these rings outwards, every part of the program receives a terrace for outdoor life. Plantations around the terraces with a floor to floor circulation system store water and irrigate the plants. The roofs of these hills and the terraces are planted with box hedges creating a strong, recognizable, cohesive park. This vertical park will improve the climate and ventilation, reduce energy and water usage. As a result a series of overgrown green ‘hills’ appear in the landscape.

The site is surrounded by a beautiful lake and forested hills, the design aims to create a landscape on top of the new program that enlarges the green qualities and that links the surrounding parks by turning the site into a park.

The shifting of the floors causes as a counter effect hollow cores that form large atriums. They serve as lobbies for the housing and offices, plazas for the shopping center and halls for the museum and leisure functions. In each tower a number of voids connect to the atrium providing for light and ventilation and creating semi-public spaces. On the lower floors the atriums are connected through a series of public spaces on various levels linking the towers and serving the outdoor facilities of the culture, retail and leisure program. The Power Centre creates a dense urban program with a green regard.

The concept plan is currently at the Gyeonggi provincial authority’s Urban Innovation Corporation for further development and feasibility study, the entire new town will be a self sufficient city of 77,000 inhabitants. The estimated budget and timeframe are still in the process of being established, completion is envisioned for 2011. A consortium lead by Daewoo develops the project with local firm DA Group, which commissioned MVRDV to design the scheme. British firm Arup is involved as engineer.

[SOURCE:MVRDV news | MVRDV wins Gwanggyo City Centre Competition, near Seoul, South Korea].

Australia Leighton Holdings Wins A$2 Billion Dubai Airport Deal

Zawya reports

“Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI.AU) announced Sunday it has won a A$2 billion contract to build a new terminal at Dubai Airport.

Dubai Department of Civil Aviation awarded the contract to Leighton’s 45%-owned Al Habtoor Leighton Group and its joint venture partners, Murray and Roberts Holdings Ltd. (MUR.JO) and Takenaka Corp.”

SOURCE: – Australia Leighton Holdings Wins A$2 Billion Dubai Airport Deal.

Glenn Murcutt selected for 2009 AIA Gold Medal

The AIA Board of Directors selected Glenn Marcus Murcutt, Hon. FAIA, to receive the 2009 AIA Gold Medal. The Board honored Murcutt for the depth of his work and the breadth of his influence, which echoes well beyond his native Australia.

[SOURCE: AIArchitect This Week | Glenn Marcus Murcutt, Hon. FAIA, Selected for 2009 AIA Gold Medal]

Urban densification: Creating space to live – talks to Jonathan D. Solomon, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Hong Kong University about a concept known as “urban densification”

read CNN interview @ the [SOURCE: – Urban densification: Creating space to live]


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Floor Associates merges with JJR

December 5, 2008 – Floor Associates, a Phoenix-based award-winning landscape architecture firm headed by Kristina Floor and Christopher Brown, announced they are merging with JJR, a national award-winning practice with offices in Ann Arbor, Madison, Chicago and Washington DC. The firm will be known locally as JJRIFloor.

Founded in 1997, Floor Associates’ focus has been providing quality design services for project types ranging from urban infill, mixed-use developments to detailed garden designs. Floor Associates is dedicated to creating sustainable projects that respect our sensitive desert environment, while collaborating with our clients to reinvent the places we live, work and play.

Kristina Floor’s project experience includes landscape design and site planning for mixed-use commercial, hospitality, and campus facilities. With each project, she strives to create a sense of place that is timeless and unique. Floor has extensive experience in the design of over-structure living roofs and is widely regarded to be one of the leading landscape architects in this specialty field of design for arid environments. She is licensed in Arizona and New Mexico, with a Bachelors Degree from Arizona State University

Christopher Brown is responsible for directing projects through all phases of the design and documentation process. Chris’ strong design and managerial skills explore creative solutions to traditional challenges allowing his teams to achieve outstanding designs within budget and on schedule. As a LEED-accredited professional, he oversees the firm’s involvement in a variety of sustainable projects and he has received international recognition for his work on sustainable desert revegetation techniques. Brown is a licensed landscape architect in the state of Arizona and has a Bachelors Degree from Arizona State University and a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development from M.I.T.

JJR was founded in 1961 as Johnson, Johnson & Roy and provide services through a multi-disciplinary approach that serves to enhance the quality of the environment and contributes significantly to the way that people live and work.

Floor and Brown have practiced landscape architecture in the southwest for over 25 years. They will act as Studio Directors in the Phoenix office of JJR|Floor, which will include their 14-person staff. The office will remain at its current location in the historic Acme Building on First Street in downtown Phoenix.

“This collaboration offers us the opportunity to offer an expanded level of services to our clients,” says Kristina Floor. “We will continue to provide quality design services for all project types with personal attention from Chris and me, and will now be able to provide a more multi-disciplinary approach to environmental design including expanded planning and civil engineering design services. Coupled with JJR’s extensive experience and expertise, this approach will allow our firm to become engaged earlier in the planning process and will enable us to pursue larger more complex regional and national projects. For us, one of the more important aspects of the merger is that JJR’s structure will allow us to expand the scope and range of our services while still maintaining our “boutique firm” presence which we have become known for in our industry.”

Floor Associates has received numerous local and national awards for design excellence on projects including McDowell Sonoran Preserve, MMR Aquatic Center, Arizona Canal at Scottsdale Waterfront, Tropical Trails, Apache Junction City Hall, Elsie McCarthy Sensory Garden, The Phoenix Zoo and Wallaby Walk-About, to name a few. The Lost Dog Wash Trailhead project won the 2008 National ASLA Honor Award in the Design Category.

“This firm’s leadership and passion for their profession has built an outstanding reputation with their clients,” stated Fred Klancnik, President of JJR. “Floor Associates was ranked as the #1 Landscape Architecture Firm in 2006 and 2007 by the Arizona Business Annual Ranking Survey. We are excited about this merger which will enhance our talented staff and expand our geographic presence in the Southwest. JJRIFloor gives us the opportunity to strengthen our national practices in campus planning, cities and communities and property development,” Klancnik added.

JJR ( creates great places and spaces, effects a positive change in people’s lives, promotes sustainability, and provides excellence in design and technical solutions. JJR is a nationally recognized leader in landscape architecture, planning, urban design, civil engineering, and environmental science with offices in Ann Arbor, MI; Chicago, IL; Madison, WI; Phoenix, AZ; and Washington, DC.




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Bahrain’s real estate feels pinch as buyers shun new properties

Gulf News(UAE) reports “Bahrain’s real estate market is starting to feel the effects of the global financial crisis, but its modest growth rate should prevent it from seeing a sharp decline, local property experts say.”

[SOURCE: Gulfnews: Bahrain’s real estate feels pinch as buyers shun new properties].

McDowell + Benedetti wins 9ha Uttoxeter masterplan scheme – Building  reports that “Architect McDowell + Benedetti has won the competition to masterplan a former JCB site in Staffordshire.”

SOURCE: – McDowell + Benedetti wins 9ha Uttoxeter masterplan scheme

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