New ‘Future Cities Laboratory’ for Singapore

ETH Zurich, a Swiss University and the National Research Foundation of Singapore have signed an agreement for the “Future Cities Laboratory”. This set the seal on the structure of the new platform for urban development in Singapore.

In this project, it is collaborating closely with scientists from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. An agreement was signed in Singapore on 19 March 2010 forms an important link between the NRF and ETH Zurich as they build up their joint research activities. The plan is for the interdisciplinary research platform for sustainable urban development in Singapore to be staffed by September 2010.

The research focuses on three key scales: sustainable building technologies, the city as an urban system, and the relationship between urban and rural environments. The new strategy of the “Future Cities Laboratory” consists of combining these key points in an appropriate way and researching their interactions. The architects, planners and scientists see and design the city as a dynamic system in which people interact and in which resources such as energy, water, space, capital, materials or information are constantly in flux.

[SOURCE: ETH Zurich]

UK Survey finds shortage of landscape architects

Green space skills: 2009 National employer survey findings, a survey commissioned by CABE and English Heritage, is the first to reveal the full extent of skills shortages in the green space sector in the UK. The report has found that 14.9% of national employers found landscape architects hard to recruit due to skills shortage. Landscape architects were also on top of the table as the hardest to recruit out of all the green space skills.

22% of  respondents from the Private sector stated that it was harder to find landscape architects whereas only 8.5 of respondents in the Public Sector  found it hard to find landscape architects due to a skills shortage.

Green space skills shows an urgent need to address the skills shortfall to tackle climate change. Planning, design and management are what are needed to help to adapt green spaces to a changing climate, and these were exactly the skills which employers felt their staff most lacked.

The report also identified several priorities to counter the shortage including:

– Develop and maintain a strong evidence base to make the case for investment in green space skills

– Improve the availability and quality of training, including continual professional development

– Increase awareness of the sector and the opportunities it offers, to encourage more people into the sector

Download the report at the [SOURCE:  CABE]

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KCAP wins Bay of Pasaia masterplan competition

KCAP Architects & Planners have won the prestigious masterplanning competition for the development of a 70 hectare site at the Bay of Pasaia, San Sebastián, Spain. The site, currently used for harbor activity, will gradually become available for redevelopment. The project is considered as a key opportunity for the surrounding communities which are in need of regeneration and will have an important impact on the entire region.

The winning scheme was elaborated by KCAP in collaboration with sustainability advisors of ECOFYS and local consultants of LKS engineering and architect Ángel de la Hoz. It was chosen unanimously by the jury. The team will remain involved to elaborate and refine the winning masterplan concept. The final version of the masterplan will be delivered in October 2010. During the next weeks an exhibition will tour the local municipalities of the bay.

[SOURCE: KCAP]
[IMAGE SOURCE: KCAP]

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Britain’s tallest sculpture to grace Wales-England border

Waking the Dragon (SOURCE: Creative Wales)

Wales may soon have its own landmark to mark the Wales and England border called ‘Waking the Dragon’. The  sculpture would stand at 210ft is planned to grace the A5 road at Chirk.

The bronze dragon would be 75ft tall on a 135ft glass and steel tower and have a wingspan of more than 150ft – bigger than a Boeing 737. The bronze sculpture will sit on a tower that will include cultural centre, 100 seat cafe, 125 seat restaurant and a museum.

The project is estimated to cost £6 million with some of fund being raised from selling 206 steps that will be inscribed with the name of the donor. Each step will cost £2000.

SOURCE: Wales Online – Huge ‘Dragon of the North’ planned

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Wales

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OLIN part of winning team for US Embassy

US Embassy London KieranTimberlake/OLIN

OLIN is part of the team lead by KieranTimberlake that recently won the competition for the US Embassy to be built in Battersea (London), UK. From among 37 architectural submissions, four finalists were chosen to explore the symbolism of the Embassy and its presence and position in the cityscape of London. OLIN was the landscape architect of choice for three of the four competition finalists: KieranTimberlake, Morphosis and Richard Meier & Partners, all of whom worked for nearly a year before making their final presentations to the jury.

The U.S. Department of State’s goal was to create an Embassy and landscape with a timeless quality to appropriately represent the United States of America in the United Kingdom. The winning team was selected by a distinguished jury of both American and British leaders in the fields of architecture, academia and diplomacy for a design which “met the goal of creating a modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient embassy for the 21st century.”

The anticipated ground breaking for the Embassy will be in 2013 with a goal to complete construction in 2017. In addition to KieranTimberlake and OLIN, members of the winning team include Arup for Sustainability, MEP/FP and Civil Engineering; Weidlinger Associates for Structural and Blast Engineering; Gensler for workplace design; Davis Langdon for Cost Consulting; and Sako & Associates for Technical Security.

Partners Laurie Olin and Hallie Boyce will lead the design efforts.

[TEXT & IMAGE SOURCE: OLIN]

US Embassy London - Aerial - OLIN/KierenTimberlake

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