NYC launches urbancanvas Design Competition

A design competition to improve construction sites across New York City.  The competition is seeking artists and design professionals to  develop creative artwork for construction fences, sidewalk sheds, supported scaffolds and cocoons in New York City.

This competition, created by the Department of Buildings and Department of Cultural Affairs and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, is a unique opportunity for artists and designers across the United States to contribute to New York City’s urban landscape.

Registration Deadline is 5:00pm EST July 19, 2010

Submission Deadlines is 3:30pm EST on July 28, 2010

NOTE: Design competition is limited to residents of the United States of America.

For more information go to the urbancanvas competition website

Edward Uhlir unimpressed by Lansdowne Park design

Following up from recent reports about the Lansdowne Park competition the Ottawa Citizen is reporting Edward Uhlir, Executive Director of Millennium Park and who oversaw the building of Chicago’s Millennium Park has commented that

“The landscape plan is pretty timid in terms of design,” Uhlir, who is now the executive director of the Millennium Park project, said Monday. “They took a lot of things from the plan that made it interesting. Is what’s left going to create the excitement and fun that people want to have? I am not sure.”

Read more Edward Uhlir’s comments at the SOURCE: OTTAWA CITIZEN – Lansdowne landscape plan ‘pretty timid’

Michael Van Valkenburgh gives MVVA background at community meeting

Recently found this video of Michael Van Valkenburgh giving a background to MVVA and their initial approach to the North Grant Park at a community meeting. It is always interesting to see landscape architects presenting their company. The video does have a few edits and is not complete presentation but still worth a watch and will interesting to look back at in 10-20 years.

SOURCE: Youtube
Video: Lynn Becker

Canadian National Urban Design Awards announced

Urban design and architectural excellence play an important role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Canadian cities.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects in cooperation with Canadian municipalities, wish to promote public and private awareness of that role.

Recently the award winners were announced:

Community Improvement Projects

Ottawa Children’s Garden (Ottawa, ON)
Sustainable Living Ottawa East and the Community of Old Ottawa East

Urban Design Plans

Transformation of the Bonaventure Expressway at the Montreal Downtown Gateway (Montreal, QC)
Groupe Cardinal Hardy collaboration: Urban Soland :
paysages urbains and Société du Havre de Montréal

Urban Architecture

Manitoba Hydro Place (Winnipeg, MB)
Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Smith Carter Architects & Engineers, Transsolar KlimaEngineering

Urban Fragments

Capital Health Centre (Edmonton, AB)
Dub Architects Ltd.

Civic Design Projects

Waterloo Public Square (Waterloo, ON)
GSP Group Inc.

Special Jury Award: Sustainable Development

Tower Renewal Opportunities Book (Toronto, ON)
E.R.A. Architects Inc. and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto, Project lead Graeme Stewart, ERA Architects Inc.

Special Jury Award: Small or Medium Community Urban Design

HRMbyDesign (Halifax, NS)
The Downtown Halifax Plan, Heritage and Design Department, Halifax Regional Municipality

Student Award

City_Program: Hybrid Area (Montreal, QC)
Virginie Pontbriand, Anik Malderis and Alexandre Guilbeault
(Université de Montréal)
Certificates of Merit

Urban Design Plans

The RiverWalk Master Plan (Calgary, AB)
Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Urban Architecture

Life Sciences Complex, McGill University (Montreal, QC)
Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes, Architects in Joint Venture

Royal Conservatory, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning (Toronto, ON)
Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects

Civic Design Projects

Spadina WaveDeck (Toronto, ON)
WEST 8 + DTAH Joint Venture

SOURCE: RAIC

The New Bund in Shanghai

With only 12 days to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai you have probably seen images of the new Expo site with its amazing pavilions. But there is more going on in Shanghai in the last 2-3 years than the construction of Expo. Last month the main promenade in Shanghai known as the Bund or Waitan was recently reopened after a two years of renovation which involved removing the main elevated expressway onramp and constructing a new traffic tunnel under the fill length of the road and the pedestrian promenade was widened and extended.

The Bund is a historical piece of the city that has dramatically changed from in the last century from a mud flat riverbank with wooden planks for baording boats and ships whilst overlooking the opposite bank of farmland to becoming a thriving pedestrian promenade in front of buildings dating from 1880′s to 1930′s now overlooking a modern metropolis of contemporary architecture; most of which was built in the last decade.

The renovated Bund is 2000 metres long (1.25 miles) with three levels – roadside, promenade and lower level plazas beside the river. The new Bund has done away with the concrete upstand walls replaced with a curved balustrade which is more comfortable to lean against and watch the ships, barges and ferries go by whilst looking across at Lujiazui, the modern financial district.

The new expansive bund is accessed by long ramps that  create dramatic sense of arrival to the promenade which is paved in light coloured large unit granite paving and timber paving replacing the small sized pink ceramic tile (installed in a 1993 renovation). The new design also includes some new wave like glass sculptural roofs that give a different architectural dynamic although they are placed at the south end to ensure an unobstructed view of the historical buildings.

The renovation of  the Bund also includes renovated and new ferry terminal & jetties, a renovated weather station, thematic lighting and water sprays into the river. The lower roadside promenade and plazas are to include commercial shopping and restaurant areas.

The slideshow above can be enlarged to full screen by clicking on the four-arrow button (right side)

If you are coming for Expo or the 2010 IFLA Congress in Suzhou – the Bund is an interesting place to visit and take in the city. We will be featuring other posts about the changes that Shanghai has undergone in the last few years including Expo.

by Damian Holmes (Resident of Shanghai for almost 5 years)

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