Sowwah Island Central Park and Spanish Steps | Abu Dhabi UAE | MESA

Sowwah Island

The design concept for the Central Park is based on a contemporary expression of classic urban design principles and archetypes. The park design will be a celebration of the Sowwah Island vision, seamlessly combing the infrastructure and cultural context of the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan, with a contemporary aesthetic complementing the variety of modern buildings in the heart of the Central Business District. Sowwah Island Central Park is a single composition of diverse component parts derived from a layered system of physical and social determinants, tempered by human and cultural behavioral patterns. The influence of each layer is determined by its relative importance to shape the form of the park as well as influence the design philosophy and project approach. It is meant to be experienced and viewed from a variety of vantage points and to convey a meaningful experience to each one, holistically perceived as an artistic creation in itself.

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Finalists announced for Aberdeen’s City Garden international design competition

The announcement of the finalists of the International Design Competition for Aberdeen’s City Garden Project was revealed today. The six finalists have been selected to go on to the second stage of the competition after a unanimous vote by the jury panel. Over 55 submissions were received from across the world with many opting to partner with UK design firms.

The finalists are:
• Diller Scofidio and Renfro (New York) / Keppie Design (Glasgow) working in association with landscape architect Olin Studio.
• Foster + Partners (London) / Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture (Beirut) working in association with cost and construction consultant Gardiner & Theobald
• Snøhetta (Oslo) / Gareth Hoskins Architects (Glasgow) working in association with engineering and multi-discipline company AECOM
• Gustafson Porter (London) / Niall McLaughlin Architects (London) working with urban analyst Space Syntax, engineer Arup and cost adviser Jackson Coles
• Mecanoo Architecten (Delft, Netherlands) / Cooper Cromar (Glasgow) working in association with landscape architect Ian White, engineer Buro Happold and cost adviser Davis Langdon (AECOM).
• West 8 urban design & landscape architecture (Rotterdam, Netherlands) / Archial Group (Aberdeen) working in association with engineer Arup and cost and construction consultant Turner & Townsend

The £140m City Garden Project will radically transform a strategic central location, raising the nineteenth-century Union Terrace Gardens and covering over the unattractive Denburn dual carriageway and railway line.

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Sharpeville Memorial Garden, a procession through the garden | Sharpeville South Africa | GREENinc Landscape Architecture

Sharpeville Memorial Garden

The Sharpeville Massacre – also known as the Sharpeville Shootings – occurred on the 21st of March 1960. 69 People were killed, including 8 women and 10 children. Over 180 were injured, including 31 women and 19 children. Many were shot in the back as they turned to flee. This event marked a turning point in South Africa’s history and acted as a catalyst for the Resistance Movement which led to the fall of Apartheid in 1993.

The Sharpeville Memorial Garden is situated in the Phelindaba Cemetery (where the 69 graves of those killed are located) where it provides a place of remembrance and gathering for the local community. The project was conceived as a ‘procession through the garden’ based of the concepts of memorial, gathering and viewing. Key elements of the project are the Memorial Wall, Amphitheatre and Flowers.

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Railroad Park | Birmingham Alabama | Tom Leader Studio

Railroad Park-Birmingham Alabama-Tom Leader Studio

Aerial image of the park with phase II amphitheater by Kennedy Violich Architecture

Tom Leader Studio(TLS) spent five years working extensively with a public / private partnership to build this downtown central park and master plan the rail corridor. TLS managed a large team of consultants including multiple architects, local landscape architect, and engineers. Abandoned rail lines are a constant theme in all of our work today. This project celebrates the active participation of 11 tracks of well-loved trains that slowly lumber through this downtown on a viaduct. The park site is a former warehouse and brick-making site and much of the park is formed with materials recovered from historic uses. The park is four blocks long by one block wide and was historically, the lowest point in town. The scheme draws on this ample water in creating a large reservoir for irrigation which also discharges through a stream and series of ponds as a summer fountain. Needed floodwater storage is created by excavating for this water system, using the spoils to create a series of knolls along the rail viaduct. The “Rail Trail”, located atop this little mountain range is a series of on-grade and bridge connections which allow train-spotting up close, views over downtown and of the frequent large music events and parties within the park. The park contains performance venues of varying scales from small to extra large such as the annual “Crawfish Boil” attracting 30,000 music fans. Noisy or quiet, day or night, the park is only completed by the industrial ballet of freight cars slowly rolling in both directions.

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Connecting Seattle to the Bay | Seattle USA | James Corner Field Operations

Waterfront Seattle-James Corner Field Operations

Aerial overview of conceptual ideas for the new Waterfront, looking North

We reported back in September 2010, James Corner Field Operations has been selected to design Waterfront Seattle by the Seattle Parks, DPD and SDOT after beating out Wallace Roberts and Todd, Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates, and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Recently the first designs for the Waterfront Seattle have been unveiled which creates an unparalleled opportunity to reorientconnect Seattle with Elliott Bay, and reclaim our waterfront as a public space for the entire city.

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