UC Davis students have designs on Washington Square

18 students from UC Davis are creating design concepts for Washington Park in San Francisco to be presented to the Friends of Washington Square Park and the city’s Recreation and Park Department. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the recent site visit by the students and Marianne Bertuccelli, the department’s manager for Washington Square and 35 other sites in the city’s northeast.

The park sees a large amount of activity during the day and especially on summer weekends. The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Bertuccelli as saying

“We’re interested in seeing what the students come up with, and how that compares with our thoughts. … I’d love to form a consensus with the community about something we can implement on a phased-in basis.”

Read the full article at the SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle – Students seek ways to improve Washington Square

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Gateway Arch International Design Competition *UPDATE*

With the January 26 deadline looming for firms to register their interest in the international design competition and 90 firms already registering interest, the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation announced the members of  the competition jury. The jury consisting of landscape architects, architects, urban designers, critics, curators and a former Deputy Director of the National Park Service coming from across the USA.

The jury members are:
· Robert Campbell, architecture critic at The Boston Globe and contributing editor for Architectural Record

· Gerald Early, Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and Director of the African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis

· Denis P. Galvin, former Deputy Director of the National Park Service

· Alex Krieger, founding principal of Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, architecture and urban design firm and professor at the Harvard School of Design, Cambridge, Mass.

· David C. Leland, an urban strategist and managing director of the Leland Consulting Group, Portland, Ore.

· Cara McCarty, curator of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York City

· Laurie D. Olin, partner and landscape architect of the OLIN Studio, Philadelphia

· Carol Ross Barney, founder and Principal of Ross Barney Architects, Chicago

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.

Firms have until Jan. 26, 2010 to register for the competition and submit for Stage I of the competition. The jury will then select those firms with the most outstanding portfolios to continue in the competition.

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

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Australian architects think about cities in 2050 and beyond

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced a shortlist of proposals for the Australia Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. The shortlist of 24 was selected from 129 submissions addressing urban spaces in 2050 and beyond.

Some of the proposals include:

  • New cities of 50,000-100,000 in desert areas
  • Cities which feature a ‘tartan-like texture of pure urban areas (or cells), pure rural cells, and cells which are a hybrid of rural and urban’, providing a ‘vital flexibility for a sustainable future’.
  • Cities hugging the coast from Noosa to Geelong to accommodate population growth and the preferred coastal climate; connected by a ‘very fast train running from North Qld to Victoria; pockets of vertical sprawl; new cities in pristine locations such as Botany Bay and the Royal National Park.
  • Cities in which ‘within tightly controlled boundaries exist Multiple Cities‘. Cities which address issues such as: what if a city grows not out, but up or down? What if a city’s growth boundary is not on its periphery but at its heart? What if new planning initiatives were introduced governing the use of air space? ‘A Green City, where the top plane provides wind and solar energy to power (and cool) the multiple cities below’, as well as all food production.
  • Cities ‘woven into the landscape’ – balancing dense human settlement with flora and fauna biodiversity, with major roadways converted into natural landscape corridors.

The competition fired the imagination of Australia’s architects and designers, resulting in inspired, possible solutions and imaginative proposals addressing the critical issue of Australian urbanism – examining possibilities across the terrestrial, underwater and airborne realms.

The two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism‘ exhibition will highlight three of Australia’s most interesting urban regions as they are ‘NOW’, before dramatically representing around seven futuristic urban environments from the competition as they may be ‘WHEN’ we reach 2050 and beyond.

Co-Creative Director and well-known Melbourne-based photographer John Gollings said: “The large number of entries and range of approach and philosophy exceeded expectations. We felt that more than 50 per cent of the entries could have made an important contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale, and narrowing the selection down to 24 was difficult.

“Of great interest now, is that these varied ideas must be turned into tangible 3D models which can be screened as virtual, built projects for exhibition in the Australian Pavilion in Venice. This process will challenge the normal speculative imaging often produced by architects, and lead to new presentation techniques benefiting the whole profession as the world embraces 3D, virtual, and holographic media. From the test results with our 3D projectors, now running in Melbourne, the Australian pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale will be a standout attraction.”

The Creative Directors said those shortlisted were far more than hypotheticals. Each uniquely responded to future challenges including population growth, environmental degradation, dwindling resources and climate change. Each entry reflected a highly creative diversity of possibilities fused with a diversity of design that mapped out possible cities of the future.

12th Venice Architecture Biennale:
Vernissage: 26, 27, 28 August 2010;
Exhibition: 29 August – 28 November 2010

SOURCE: Australian Institute of Architects

RELATED NEWS STORY: Sydney Morning Herald – Living in the future, with under-harbour views

2010 World Architecture report released

Building Design has just released its 2010 World Architecture report and it has some interesting findings.

The some of the world’s architecture firms have shrunk due the Global Financial Crisis while others have increased in size due to the growth of cities in Asia.

Building Design states

The world’s biggest 100 firms has fallen by more than 3,200 in the last year………..

…..The world’s top five firms this year — ranked by number of architects employed — are: Nikken Sekkei, Aedas, Gensler, HOK and RMJM.

You can get your copy of the report from Building Design for £10 at bdonline.co.uk/wa100

Read the summary of the report at the SOURCE: Building Design – Top global architects lose 10% of staff in 2009

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

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