Johnson Pilton Walker & PWP selected for Barangaroo

Premier Kristina Keneally and Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, yesterday formally signed an authorisation for the $6 billion contract with Lend Lease for commercial development of Barangaroo.

At the same time as signing the contract Planning Minister Mr Kelly said that following an evaluation, Johnson Pilton Walker (Sydney based), in association with Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture (California, USA) , have been selected to work with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to design the new Headland Park and other public spaces.

This highly regarded team will design key open space features for the waterfront commercial, residential and leisure precinct, including the creation of the harbourside park and restoration of the entire harbour headland to a more natural shape. “We are determined to create a bold and inspiring precinct, which is diverse, dynamic and inclusive………..The Headland Park will include waterfront promenades, an open-air amphitheatre, area and places to picnic. It will be built to maximise its incredible location.” Mr Kelly said.

Barangaroo (previously known as East Darling Harbour) is the name given to the 22-hectare area  in Sydney that is planned to become a key commercial, residential and recreation precinct with over 22,000 workers and residents, and 33,000 visitors a day – a total of 12 million visitors a year.

[SOURCE: Barangaroo Delivery Authority] VIA Australian Design Review

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New look for Federal Plaza, gone are the green benches

The award winning Federal Plaza designed by Martha Schwartz is going to get a new design as the plaza is reconstructed over a 12-18 month period to fix the plaza deck that is settling and leaking affecting the building and carpark below the plaza.

The current design of swirling green benches designed by Martha Schwartz will be removed and replaced by magnolia trees, low evergreen plantings, marble benches and  a fountain designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA).

The Tribeca Trib recently reported  about  Matthew Urbanski’s (a principal with MVVA) presentation of the new design to Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee.

Much of the design, Urbanski said,  was influenced by the “microclimate” of the plaza, which receives too much sun in the summer and too little in the winter, plus a wind tunnel effect along Worth Street. The magnolia trees are positioned at the northern end of the plaza where they can provide shade and some shielding from winter winds.

To read and see more about the new plaza design go to the [SOURCE: Tribeca Trib - Yet Another Look in Store for Federal Plaza]

Over 200 interventions to be displayed at Guggenheim exhibit

West 8 submission for 'Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum'

For the building’s 50th anniversary, the Guggenheim Museum (NY, USA) invited more than two hundred artists, architects, and designers to imagine their dream interventions in the space for the exhibition Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum.

Submissions were received from all over the world from a wide range of artists, designers, and architects, including emerging as well as established practitioners. Among the many works in the exhibition are projects by artists Alice Aycock, FAKE DESIGN (Ai Weiwei), Anish Kapoor, Sarah Morris, Wangechi Mutu, Mike Nelson, Paul Pfeiffer, Doris Salcedo, Lawrence Weiner, and Rachel Whiteread; designers such as Fernando and Humberto Campana, Martí Guixé, Joris Laarman Studio, and Studio Job; and architects such as Álvaro Siza Vieira Arquitecto, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Greg Lynn FORM, junya.ishigami+associates, MVRDV, N55, Philippe Rahm, Snøhetta, Studio Daniel Libeskind, Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects, and West 8. In addition to the exhibition in the Thannhauser and Annex Level 4 galleries, Contemplating the Void will be accompanied by a comprehensive exhibition Web site, which will document each submission and feature introductory essays texts by Nancy Spector and David van der Leer.

Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum will be on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from February 12 to April 28, 2010.

[SOURCE: Guggenheim Museum - Contemplating the Void: Interventions] via West 8

[IMAGE SOURCE: West 8]

Landscape Institute announces 2009 Awards

Landscape Institute announced the 2009 Landscape Institute Awards recently with Gillespies winning the President’s Award for St Andrew Square in Edinburgh. The Peter Youngman Award which is awarded each year for outstanding contribution to landscape was awarded to the Olympic Delivery Authority for their visionary plans for a new London park.

For the Full list of awards
Continue reading Landscape Institute announces 2009 Awards

Architects ask for CIP stimulus for design work

Architects in Nevada are pleading for local and state governments to allocate capital improvement program(CIP) funds for design work that are needed to create and save jobs in the architecture and construction industry.

Nevada has been heavily hit by the Global Financial Crisis as it is highly dependent on revenues generated from conventions, gambling and nearby natural tourist attractions. Conventions and Tourism in the USA has been hit hard as people are save money by having vacations closer to home and companies are reducing convention spending across the board.
Decreased spending and planning for future private sector buildings has occurred due shifts in the market. Vacancies have increased at hotels and office buildings and there has been recent increase in available space coming on the market including MGM City Center which opens in December. These market shifts and reduced demand have caused wide-spread unemployment in the construction industry in Nevada up to 65% in some cities.

Architecture organisations including the AIA have meet congressional and state legislators to try and get some funds from the state capital improvement program moved forward to the coming fiscal year to fund design work for future buildings to stimulate the economy to get designers working which will then flow on to the construction industry.

The AIA argue that although the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimlus Package) has funded some ‘shovel-ready’ jobs the design & construction work. However, this work will evaporate soon and the state of Nevada needs to spend money now and in 2010 to create a sustainable future for the construction industry. The AIA hopes that the state can spend money on institutional retrofits for renewable energy and making buildings green as this will create more jobs long term than the stimulus money that is currently geared toward residential that create little economic growth.

What do you think?
Will this create a sustainable future for the design and construction industry or or is this merely a band-aid aid solution?
Have architectural practices and construction industry create a supply that Nevada will never demand again?
Do the architectural practices and architects of Nevada need to seek work outside of their state or relocate to survive?
Should the government seize the opportunity and great a green state with retrofitted green buildings with reduced emissions powered by renewable energy?

Read the article that inspired this post – ReviewJournal.com – Architects group seeks stimulus cash, arguing that drawing begets building

On the positive side MGM Center is expected to increase visitation to Las Vegas by 5-10% according to this article in the Wall Street Journal – City Center Could Make or Break Las Vegas

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