The World Architecture Festival has announced the shortlist for 2010 Awards. Several projects made the Landscape category shortlist for Built Projects but only two are on the shortlist for Future Projects. The Winners will be announced at the Festival in Barcelona which is to be held between 3-5 November.
The Student competition Urban SOS: Transformationsrecently closed with a shortlist of 4-5 entries to be announced on 1 September. The finalists will present their designs at the Festival in front of a master jury with the final winner announced on 5 November.
The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects [AILA] and its competition partners invited individuals and teams to participate in the Sea Change 2030+, an international ideas competition, which asked for innovative ideas for planning, designing and managing for adaptation to urban sea level rise.
There were many highly innovative ideas in most of the submissions. Three equal first prizes were awarded in the professional team category. The Jury felt that there were three outstanding submissions that covered different aspects of local, regional and global responses to climate change and adaptation to sea level rise. These entrants were not readily comparable as they dealt with responses required over different scales of space and time.
CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Global Solutions
Embassy of the Drowned Nations – OCULUS, Sydney – Bob Earl, Shahreen Alford, Simon Bond, Liam Butt, Katie Cooper, Daniel Firns, Ali Gaunt, Rosie Krauss, Ben Nacard, Simon Trick
We propose a bold move at the heart of Sydney that is surprising and thought provoking to raise awareness among residents and visitors about the effects of Sea Level Rise, to promote understanding and compassion for the plight of those displaced people around the world, leading to anacceptance of those people as Sydney and Australia plays it’s part in working together to facilitate change.
The bold move is an Embassy of Drowned Nations centred on Fort Dennison. A type of Ellis Island, a blend of Atlantis and Eden, a rebirth, an opportunity, a memorial.
CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Metropolitan Solutions
Subtropical Sydney – OPSYS, USA - Pierre Bélanger, Miho Mazereeuw, Christina Milos, Andrew tenBrink, Erik Prince, Sarah Thomas
This submission takes a regional metropolitan approach to Sydney focusing on the connections between Botany Bay, Sydney airport and the low-lying lands along the Alexandria Canal. They propose a strategic response to adapting to sea level rise and intrusion of salt water into the former estuaries of the Cooks River with a conceptual design for what South Sydney could look like in 2030.
The ideas are based on urban renewal, reintroducing ecology into the city through green arteries and waterways. They propose a vision for re-engineering the urban form for cleaner waterways, recreational areas food production in urban gardens and improved access, amenity and mobility along green arteries. Their design integrates scales of place and time while producing a high value corridor for desirable and sustainable living. What they propose is a transition of Sydney into a new climate future based on a different valuation of ecosystem services and urban land economics.
CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Local Solutions
Sea-Life – NMGS, Queensland, Australia and Chile - James Nash, Michael Marriott, Lydia Gibson, Bec Stephens
This is an immediate and local response to global climate change. James Nash and his team present tactical built environment responses to living, playing and building on the edge of Sydney Harbour. Their project based on the iconic Balmoral Beach, shows the value of typological analysis and performance responses for micro-scale harbour features such as beaches and rock platforms with an emphasis on access and amenity. This responds to the Sydney lifestyle and its focus on water-based amenity and also deals with the challenges of sea level rise alienating public space and access to safe recreational venues.
Their conceptual design solutions represent a ‘good start’ for a future design manual for local government with a set of edge treatments that are pragmatic, affordable, do-able and able to be further developed into simple guidelines. These typological responses can be implemented over time through a set of initiatives that are place-based and rely on on ‘learning by doing’ – a valid local adaptive response to the uncertainty of timing about inevitable sea level rise.
Seems who ever wins of June 4 when the winner of the Lansdowne Park Competition will have to deal with a large amount of consultation with stakeholders and be ready to compromise on parts of there design as Parks Canada and Ontario Heritage Trust raise concerns about some of the design – Read more at the Ottawa Citizen – Lansdowne makeover hits new snags
Recently the City of Ottawa revealed the five designs submitted by design firms for the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Park area. The designs where labeled as anonymous entrants (although if you have seen prior work of the entrants you can guess who’s design is who’s). The entrants included the following design firms:
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates
What is encouraging is that 5 firms developed differing designs and approaches to the space, often competitions can fall flat as the designs can mimic each other. This also shows that the competition brief was not too restrictive in its design constraints on entrants. The entries all offer different approaches but it is great to see entrants have given thought to the integration of storm water, heritage, planting, public art with some being more resolved and effective than others.
The design presentations are all of good quality and show that as landscape architects we can produce amazingly presented design work. However, some of the presentation graphics where more polished than others; this may have to do with the size of the firm or there international resources and will be seen if this made a difference when the design firms for each entry are revealed.
The design entries are interesting with many different approaches to spatial arrangement, program & function, circulation, aesthetics, seasons, public art, water, budgets. However, I feel that the all the designs have the same issues which is true of much of current landscape architecture. These issues are compartmentalization, under programming (lack of cross programming) and international design style.
Compartmentalization and under programming are interlinked in that when designing we draw a bubble around an area and state this shall be X and this is Y. Programming should be cross programmed and programs should be allowed to extend beyond the boundaries of an area to create a more dynamic design. Some of the greatest cities and designs in the world are when two uses and/or programs intermingle to create an interesting and energetic place.
International design style which has in recent years grown more pronounced as the globalisation of landscape architecture services takes place. In some ways international design can be beneficial as firms can offer a unique perspective on the area and use their experience of other cultures and designs. However, often the culture of the place can be lost or represented with the token piece of public art or a local sport placed in the design. The design entries presentations sometimes fell into this ‘international design style’ in which the design could have been anywhere in the world or northern hemisphere. How we improve on this is yet to be determined and will be one of the many issues that as landscape architects we face as we design landscapes across the globe.
I also found it interesting that only one of the design entries featured French text for a design competition held for a site in the capital of an officially bilingual country. Maybe it wasn’t a request of the brief; however I find it interesting to see what language was used when presenting a design in a different country and culture from the design firms.
Overall to decide on a winner will be hard and will require deliberation, resident feedback and evaluation of budgets. I hope that the winning design is implemented in its entirety over a well staged implementation. Congratulations to all the teams for producing amazing presentations that shows that landscape architects can produce high-quality world class designs.
KCAP Architects & Planners in cooperation with local architect Arlette Schneiders win the competition for an office development in the city of Luxemburg. The competition entry was already awarded first prize in 2009. Recently, the client Fonds de Compensation has officially assigned the building commission to the team KCAP and ARLETTE SCHNEIDERS ARCHITECTS with advisors Ecofys, SIT-LUX and Lux C.E.C..
The site occupies a prominent location in Luxemburg’s Kirchberg district, facing the main square of Luxemburg’s future European district. The programme of 22.300 m2 gross floor area will be distributed over four buildings. They present a clear architectural language towards the main square and provide a strong volume on the street to reinforce the development’s urban appearance, as requested by the masterplan by French architect Dominique Perrault.
“The urban integration of the ensemble and the composition of individual buildings are key elements of our design. They allow us to create a block which is dense but permeable at the same time and to provide high quality and introverted outdoor spaces which complement the structure of the surrounding public spaces,” says Kees Christiaanse, founder and partner of KCAP.
Arlette Schneiders continues: “With this concept we are able to maintain a human scale within the European district and make the block a connecting element, able to link to the major pedestrian transfer routes. Pedestrians, cyclists, residents and working people will be stimulated to experience and actively use the new city quarter.”