Seven win Designers of the Year awards

ARCHITECT Mok Wei Wei of W Architects has become synonymous with designing buildings that are sensitive to their surroundings.

Mr Ban Yinh Jheow is the founder of toy company Stikfas, a multi-million-dollar enterprise famed for its three-inch-tall plastic action figures.

Then there is Paris-based fashion designer Andrew Gn, arguably Singapore’s most successful fashion export whose designs are sold worldwide.

The three are among seven who were crowned Designers of the Year at this year’s President’s Design Award.

The others are landscape architecture firm Cicada’s Casey Gan and Lim Swe Ting, advertising director Lim Sau Hoong of 10AM Communications, artist Eng Siak Loy and graphic design firm :phunk studio comprising Jackson Tan, Alvin Tan, Melvin Chee and William Chan.

The award, now in its second year, recognises Singapore designers who develop unique and iconic products that make an impact on the international design scene. more at Strait Times

Belt Collins buys Colorado firm

Architecture and consulting firm Belt Collins Hawaii Ltd. said yesterday it has acquired Colorado landscape architecture firm Shapins Associates. Shapins, founded 18 years ago, has 12 employees in its Boulder, Colo., office and is currently handling between 50 and 60 projects on the mainland, said Bill Bobzien, executive vice president of the office. The company’s name has been changed to Shapins Belt Collins, and one landscape architect has moved from Hawaii to join the Colorado team, he said. more at Star Bulletin

New Shenzhen Stock Exchange Building Starts

Shenzhen; 22 November 2007) Officials from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) and local government together with representatives from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have broken ground for the construction of the new headquarters for China’s equivalent of the NASDAQ.

The new SSE is planned as a financial center with civic meaning. The external area is designed as a public space for festivals and gathering whilst the 250m tall tower will host the trading floor of high-tech and many new, high growth stocks as well as the SSE offices, registration and clearing house, the Securities Information Company and ancillary services in a gross floor area of 200,000m2. OMA

Planning Rwanda

Metropolis Magazine
‘Just before nine one morning in May, I arrived at the Alpha Palace Hotel, not far from the center of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. A team of American architects waited nervously outside, dressed in blue suits and holding battered travel tubes of drawings. In them was the conceptual master plan for the future of Kigali: a sweeping vision to turn today’s red-dirt ad-hoc city into a verdant capital with tree-lined boulevards, mixed-use neighborhoods, a new university, parks, and a network of wetlands to mitigate storm-water runoff. OZ Architecture, from Denver, along with EDAW, a landscape-architecture and urban-planning firm, had been quietly working on the scheme for three years. This morning, 13 years after Rwanda’s genocide, they would present it to an audience of local planning officials, foreign consultants, and politicians. I had come to watch, to see what American-style urban planning looked like in Rwanda, and what it could possibly do to help transform a place of poverty and struggle into one of prosperity and peace.’ more at Metropolis Magazine

2014 Games offer a chance to rejuvenate Glasgow

Glasgow is to be the host city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, signifying potential new opportunities for architects and regeneration in parts of the city.

RMJM in Glasgow has worked with Glasgow City Council on the masterplan for the Athletes’ Village, part of which will be converted into a mixture of private and social housing for the East End of the City once the games are over.

UK Design Director of RMJM, Paul Stallan, said: “I am absolutely delighted at the announcement, and to have been part of the Commonwealth bid for Glasgow, one of the most exciting, design led cities in the world. The Games will contribute to the city’s future architectural legacy by regenerating the East End and bringing lasting benefit to the City.” more at ArchitectureScotland

Design at heart of sustainable Wales

DEVELOPERS should push the boundaries of design to help Wales achieve its sustainable development goals, the new development director of the Design Commission for Wales has said.

Wendy Richards, an experienced urban designer and landscape architect, has been involved in delivering a diverse portfolio of high profile design projects, ranging from a major urban park development in Hong Kong’s New Territories to the Riverfront Theatre in Newport as part of a team at Austin-Smith: Lord.

She has spent the last three years working with Newport City Council and Newport Unlimited as their principal urban designer and has worked within the private and public sectors over a number of years, as well as being a voluntary member of the Design Commission’s own Design Review Panel. more at westernmail

New town ‘will form important wildlife habitat’

A NEW town will provide an “internationally important” wildlife habitat.

An ecologist acting for Multiplex Stannifer will today tell a planning inquiry that plans for the Mereham development include a wetland which would help water voles, reed buntings, amphibians and reptiles to thrive.

The inquiry will also hear from two other experts backing Multiplex with claims that the 5,100-home new town on the A10 near Stretham will enhance the landscape and will not be prone to flooding. more at Cambridge Evening News