Kleihues + Kleihues win Wertheim Design competition at Leipziger Platz in Berlin

The jury unanimously declares the firm Kleihues + Kleihues to be the winner of the urban design competition. In addition to this evaluation by the jury, the following recommendation is made as regards the further work on the design:

The objective is to guarantee that, to the greatest degree possible, people will enjoy spending time in the area demarcated by the frontage of the Bundesrat building, Vossstrasse and Leipziger Strasse, and this also during bad weather. This means that the task of the institutions involved in further planning the site consists of realizing these planning objectives to the greatest degree possible. In this context, it is to be investigated whether covering the area with a filigree glass roof, or by other means, will be suitable for achieving these planning objectives without destroying the public nature of the road area.

In addition, it is to be ensured that along this axis, the set-off distances between the residential towers is increased significantly and that the entrances to the apartment buildings in the publicly accessible area are given a premium design to represent their top-quality address.

The jury advises the initiator of this competition to follow up on this recommendation by the jury and award a contract to Kleihues + Kleihues to work on a qualified master plan.

Source: ORCO Germany – Press Release

Designed in China – Not Made in China the new trend

It is the country that once invented gunpowder, wrought iron, the compass, paper, silk, and the toothbrush. These days it is the world’s biggest workshop, making everything from the contents of Wal-Mart’s bargain bins to lusciously designed objects like the iPhone.

That country is, of course, China. Given its frenzied growth, the next logical step is for the Chinese to revive their rich history of innovation to ensure that some of their future products are “Designed in China,” not just “Made in China.” Whether they succeed is one of the most contentious issues in design today, and a thorny challenge to all of the foreign companies that have been manufacturing there so profitably.

Source: International Herald Tribune – China’s new designers: Building on a rich heritage of innovation – International Herald Tribune.

Cities on the edge of chaos

It is one of the most seismic changes the world has ever seen. Across the globe there is an unstoppable march to the cities, powered by new economic realities. But what kind of lives are we creating? And will citizens – and cities – cope with the fierce pressures of this new urban age? Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum and author of a major new report, asks if the city of the future will be a vision of hell or a force for civilised living?
Read more @ guardian.co.uk

Source : guardian.co.uk – Cities on the edge of chaos – Deyan Sudjic

Terminal lifts Beijing into the high-flying club

The dragon at Beijing Capital International Airport came to life on Friday. Everyone who walks into the dragon-shaped Terminal 3 (T3) will see the flattery heaped upon it before it opened was no deception.

The new terminal wasn’t even half as crowded as the two older ones around noon, when this reporter walked in. No lines in front of check-in desks, no passenger running down the passages, no arguments in hushed or loud tones, No strains, at all. That’s should be good news for those traveling to and from Beijing for the Olympic Games.

The building runs for 3.25km and covers 98 hectares of floor space, the equivalent to about 170 soccer pitches.

Architect – Norman Foster

Read more @ Terminal lifts Beijing into the high-flying club – China Daily

Mongolia to build landscape sensitive highway

A major road project started by the Government of Mongolia is be carried forward in six civil works packages to be funded by the Asian Development Bank and China.

Known as the Western Corridor development project, the road will span the 750km between the Chinese border at Yarant in the south of Mongolia’s western region, as far north as Ulaanbaishint at the Russian Federation border.

At an estimated cost of US$200 million, the road will become part of the Asian Highway Network, a 141,000 km road system traversing 32 Asian countries with links to European roadways.

Read more @ Icon Review – News Archive.

World-renowned architecture mind Qingyun Ma to participate on IDA jury

Qingyun Ma, dean of the University of Southern California School of Architecture and former principal of the Shanghai-based architecture and land planning firm MADA s.p.a.m., has accepted his appointment to serve as a juror on the prestigious International Design Awards architecture panel.

Architects can’t predict the future; why the fad for avant-garde architecture?

Abu Dhabi has recently announced plans to turn itself into a sort of Arabian Left Bank, with cultural venues designed by Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Jean Nouvel. Beijing, meanwhile, is completing the giant steel bird’s nest of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron’s Olympic Stadium, and also has Paul Andreu’s titanium-egg National Theater, and Rem Koolhaas’ unusual state television headquarters, which locals have dubbed “the twisted donut.” An obscure sheikhdom on the Gulf and the world’s largest Communist dictatorship have unexpectedly become the latest hotbeds of avant-garde architecture.

Read more @ SLATE.com – Architects can’t predict the future; why the fad for avant-garde architecture? – By Witold Rybczynski