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

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

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