Redevelopment of Lansdowne Park

Lansdowne Park
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg (PSF) design was recommended for Lansdowne Park after a winning the design competition held back in 2010 beating out Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, SWA, West 8  and Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates. Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg have continued on with the design process over the last two years have been working as part of the team of other design professionals and City of Ottawa to integrate the new park design with other elements of the project. The ‘new Lansdowne’ project includes – a large new park(Lansdowne Park), a re-designed stadium and Civic Centre, and a village of boutique shops and stores, services and residences – into a single plan.

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Suzhou Center | Suzhou China | SWA

 Suzhou Center | Suzhou China | SWA

SWA Group recently won an invited design competition for Suzhou Center, a 26.5-hectare site located in Suzhou’s still-developing Central Business District, with office, hotel, residential buildings, retail corridors, transit, roof gardens, canals and waterfront parks adjacent to historic Jinji Lake. The landmark Suzhou Center design, which is planned to break ground in April 2012, creates a signature city-center of urban offerings, greenspace and lakefront amenities along an approximately 2-km visual corridor reminiscent of the Washington Mall, Champs Elysees in Paris and other grand urban spines. A striking 88-story arched Gateway Tower, now under construction toward completion in late 2012, anchors the Suzhou Center development. Its arch shape encases the visual corridor connecting Old Town and the city’s other urban center, Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) Central Business District.

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SWA Group design Mixed Use Fairgrounds in California

SWA Group-Mixed Use Fairgrounds-Solano360
SWA Group has been named to provide detailed site planning and a Specific Plan for the 149-acre Solano360 mixed-use development that will transform the County Fairgrounds property at I-80 and Highway 37 into a year-round destination. The project will integrate a new County fairgrounds with entertainment, retail, hospitality, event- and meeting-space, offices and open space. Solano360 is a joint effort of Solano County, the City of Vallejo and the Solano County Fair Association.
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Field Operations wins Qianhai Urban Design Competition

Field Operations Model

Field Operations Model

James Corner’s Field Operations has won the International Urban Design Competition for Qianhai area, within Nanshan District of Shenzhen, China. The design divides the 18.04 square kilometre(approx. 7 sq .miles) area into easily manageable districts with unique architectural typologies and functions. Field Operations won the competition due to intensive compact and diverse design that follows the principles of sustainability, and encircling the city’s most important one of the resources – water.  The design is envisioned as a “coastal water-town” that  focuses on eco-innovation whilst simultaneously creating a diverse waterfront urban environment which continues through the entire 18 square km area.

The area is to be the 2nd CBD/CAD in Shenzhen with Futian District being the 1st.  Qianhai will play an important role in development of the Pearl River Delta. The  new CBD will located along Metro Line 1 & 5 and the new high speed and inter-city railway lines and expressway links between Hong Kong, Shenzhen & Guangzhou. Also within Qianhai where 3.7 square kilometres will be developed by joint-venture between Shenzhen and Hong Kong governments as a  Service Park similar to the Suzhou-Singapore Development in Suzhou.  The new city is envisioned to be the next Sydney , Hong Kong and Vancouver.

2nd Prize was won by BLAU Architecture & Urbanism and 3rd prize went to OMA

BLAU Master Plan (2nd Prize)

BLAU Master Plan (2nd Prize)

OMA (3rd Prize) Qianhai

OMA (3rd Prize)

Sixty-two companies worldwide had submitted designs to Shenzhen’s urban planning commission since it launched an international design competition Dec. 31. Eight finalists with two backups were chosen including:

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Lansdowne Park Design Competition entries revealed

*UPDATE*
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
  • SWA Group
  • West 8
  • 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.

Below are the plans and one image from each design. If you would like to see all the designs and presentations go to the City of Ottawa – Lansdowne Park.

IMAGE SOURCE: City of Ottawa

IMAGE CREDITS: All images are copyright of the entrants – currently anonymous

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