‘Beyond Granite’ Design Competition announced

Beyond Granite Design Competition for a new temporary outdoor commemorative installation in Washington, DC has been announced by The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the General Services Administration (GSA). The design competition and resulting installation are intended to enhance a prominent but underutilized public space in the city’s monumental core while fostering public dialogue regarding the nature of commemoration in the nation’s capital.

“The commemoration of our country’s historic leaders, events and ideas is an issue of national and long-standing significance,” noted NCPC Executive Director Marcel Acosta. “As one of the agencies involved with reviewing proposals for new memorials in the nation’s capital, NCPC is excited to be exploring a new and innovative form of commemoration that has the potential to enrich Washington’s cultural landscape, while relieving pressure on the National Mall to accommodate new permanent memorials.”

NCPC and GSA invite artists and/or design professionals, working as individuals or teams, to propose ideas for an innovative temporary commemorative work that embodies the competition’s commemorative theme—the founding principles and positive impact of Earth Day, the world’s largest civic observance. The proposed site for the temporary installation is the Ariel Rios Hemicycle, a grassy semi-circle along the west side of 12th Street, NW between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues in the heart of Washington’s Federal Triangle. The site is near the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency.
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Edaphic Effects | Philadelphia USA | PEG

Edaphic Effects | Philadelphia USA | PEG

A prevalent problem facing cities and regions is inadequate stormwater infrastructure. Sixteen billion gallons of raw sewage get dumped into Philadelphia’s rivers and streams each year after rain events. Because wet-weather flow is a dispersed problem, it has become increasingly clear that it requires a dispersed solution. Consequently, cities have started to explore alternatives for stormwater capture and treatment that are decentralized and incremental, rather than a system-wide upgrade. Individual lots in aggregate can have a significant impact on water quality. With funds being directed towards infrastructure rather than recreational or public space per se, we must explore creative ways to use infrastructural improvements as open space amenities.

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‘Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain’ | Duisburg Germany | Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth

Tiger and Turtle - Magic Mountain
Lately, the sleek curved shape of a rollercoaster highlights widely visible the highest peak of the park like designed Heinrich Hildebrand Höhe in the South of Duisburg. The dynamic sweeps and curves of the construction inscribe themselves like a signature into the scenery and soar till the height of 21 meters. From a distance the metallic glossy track creates the impression of speed and exceeding acceleration. Viewed from close up, the supposed lane turns out to be a stairway which, elaborately winding, follows the course of the rollercoaster. The visitor can climb the art work by foot. Although the course describes a closed loop, it is impossible to accomplish it as the looping emerges to be a physical barrier. On top, at the highest point of the sculpture – 45 meters above ground – the visitor is rewarded with an extraordinary view over the landscape of the Western Ruhr.

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Tavira Island | Algarve Portugal | EXTRASTUDIO with Oficina dos Jardins

Tavira Island | Algarve Portugal | EXTRASTUDIO

EXTRASTUDIO in collaboration with landscape architects Oficina dos Jardins, won the competition for Tavira’s Island Regeneration, in Algarve, the southern coast of Portugal.Launched by Sociedade Polis Litoral Ria Formosa in collaboration with ParqueExpo and Tavira’s Municipality, the project includes the exist-ing infra-structures and landscape re-qualification.

Tavira Island | Algarve Portugal | EXTRASTUDIO

Sociedade Polis was generated by Parquexpo, the public company responsible for the construction and management of Lisbon’s EXPO 98, and which as since then the major players behind the successful urban regeneration in all major Portuguese cities, using architecture as a key element in the modernization of public space. Since 2009 both compa-nies have been addressing the coastline re-qualification of Algarve.

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Erie Street Plaza | Milwaukee Wisconsin | Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Erie Street Plaza

The variegated surface extends into the steel marsh, which collects and cleans stormwater from the site. ©Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Erie Street Plaza is a small urban plaza in the Historic Third Ward district of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 13,000-square-foot plaza lies at the point where the Milwaukee River meets the Federal Channel as it empties into Lake Michigan. It is the final link in a series of public space activators along the Milwaukee Riverwalk, a three-mile pedestrian and bicycle corridor that connects downtown Milwaukee to the emerging and redeveloping Third Ward, Beerline Districts, and the lakefront beyond. At the beginning of the project’s design, the future of Erie Street Plaza – its users, its function, its programming, even its necessity – were undecided. The urban context was generally one of infrastructure and industry; the site lacked neighbors and potential users. The site itself was a surface parking lot, subject to harsh environmental conditions, including high winds off the lake. Who is it for? How will it be used? This uncertainty, this open-endedness, was at the core of its design.

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