MIT wins Major Urban Design Competition

A redevelopment plan drafted by an interdisciplinary team from the School of Architecture + Planning has been chosen as the winning scheme in the seventh annual Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition of the Urban Land Institute.

The SA+P team competed against 91 teams from 42 universities – including North America’s top schools in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture – a field that was then narrowed to four finalists. The jury chose the MIT entry over plans submitted by other finalist teams from Columbia, Kansas State and the University of Miami.

The result was announced following presentations by the finalists during a public forum at the University of Denver. Sharing the top prize of $50K, the SA+P team included MCP candidates Blair Humphreys, Jesse Hunting and Sarah Snider, MArch candidate Duncan McIlvaine, and Eric Komppa of the University of Wisconsin, an MBA student specializing in real estate. Their advisor was Tunney Lee.

The winning entry, Panorama Station, focused on creating a destination in the Denver region – a place where people would enjoy living, working or visiting for the afternoon – by taking advantage of the site’s greatest assets while improving the lifestyle for future residents and existing neighbors.

It provides public spaces that maximize the view of the mountains to the west and supports a car-free lifestyle by giving residents access to all daily amenities and services within a 15-minute travel time. In response to the arid climate, it also integrates water-conserving landscapes by choosing native plants and introducing rainwater retention infrastructure.

Read more and to see the design go to the SOURCE: MIT – SA+P Team Wins Major Urban Design Competition

Gateway Arch International Design Competition

Gateway Arch - SOURCE: Flickr - rpkelly22

The National Park Service and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay recently launched an international design competition to invigorate the park and city areas surrounding of one of the world’s most iconic monuments, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The winning design will be announced in October 2010, with the resulting work completed by October 28, 2015 – the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch.

The competition – “Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River 2015” – is called for in the NPS’s new General Management Plan, which was developed with extensive public input over an 18 month period, and finally approved on November 23.

The competition will invite teams to create a new design for the Arch grounds and surrounding areas with 10 goals in mind:

  • Create an iconic place for the international icon, the Gateway Arch.
  • Catalyze increased vitality in the St. Louis region.
  • Honor the character-defining elements of the National Historic Landmark.
  • Weave connections and transitions from the City and the Arch grounds to the Mississippi River.
  • Embrace the Mississippi River and the east bank in Illinois as an integral part of the national park.
  • Mitigate the impact of transportation systems.
  • Reinvigorate the mission to tell the story of St. Louis as the gateway to national expansion.
  • Create attractors to promote extended visitation to the Arch, the City and the river.
  • Develop a sustainable future for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
  • Enhance the visitor experience and create a welcoming and accessible environment.

Additional information can be found at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.

Atkins develops masterplan in Libya

Atkins Middle East has worked with Abu Dhabi based Al Maabar to develop the masterplan for the Al Waha development in Libya. The masterplan was unveiled yesterday and is expected to cost AED 1,400 billion (US$ 375 million) .

The development took inspiration form Libya’s rich cultural heritage including the oasis town of Ghadamis. The development covers 65,000 square metres(699,650 sq feet) and will have a floor space of 265,000 square metres. The development will include 31 storey luxurious hotel, 100 serviced apartments, a 28-storey office tower, 11 mid-rise residential buildings, a health club and a shopping mall that will include a supermarket, food court and a five screen cinema.

SOURCE: WAM

US companies on the M&A trail in the UK?

Building posted a report today that some large US firms the size of Jacobs, AECOM and CH2MHill maybe looking at acquiring firms in the UK. Many UK firms have established offices in Europe, Middle East and North Africa which makes their businesses more appealing as they have established company structures and trained personnel. They also have large infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and work in North Africa already on their books.

US Companies are seeing that the recession has abated in the US and Europe so its the most opportune time to acquire companies at low valuations and increase their personnel count and revenues across the world.

Read the article at Building for a list of targeted companies, analysis and interviews.

[SOURCE: Building.co.uk]

Budget crisis prompts LAEP students to take a lesson from the Great Depression

There are many ways to skin a state-budget crisis, and in the face of California’s, Berkeley landscape architecture and environmental planning students came up with one of their own: a mini-version of the Great Depression’s most enduring public-works program.

Putting their landscaping expertise to work at Oakland’s Claremont Middle School are UC Berkeley students for three days, the students of the Landscape Progress Administration applied their expertise and muscle to projects in East Bay parks and schools left high and dry by the ongoing drought of state funding — including UC Berkeley itself.

Read more at the [SOURCE: UC Berkeley News]

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