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.
Continue reading Suzhou Center | Suzhou China | SWA
West 8 won the Freiham Nord Urban Design Competition back in September. Freiham Nord will be the last substantial development to take place in Munich and will accommodate about 10.000 inhabitants. In the Masterplan Freiham Nord has been divided into several project areas with different programming, each about 40 ha in size. The city of Munich organized a design competition for the first two project areas in which 24 offices participated.
West 8’s winning entry is about a friendly green neighbourhood. Our design allows the creation of a city for all generations intending to mix ages and achieve a diverse melange of inhabitants.
Continue reading Freiham Nord | Munich Germany | WEST 8
studioINSITE was commissioned to develop a design vision for 14th Street redevelopment in Downtown Denver – a process which began with the 14th Street Initiative. Hired to establish a set of design guidelines to direct the future of 14th Street redevelopment, the project spans 12 linear city blocks between Market Street and Colfax Avenue in downtown Denver. In consideration of adjacent programming, including numerous hotels, the Colorado Convention Center, The Denver Performing Arts Complex, restaurants and a variety other resources for tourism and arts in Denver, the goal was to establish 14th street as a “cultural spine”, adding new streetscape amenities, accommodating existing light-rail and future bicycle traffic, and contributing to the overall improvement of downtown Denver’s physical environment. As a follow-up to the Initiative, studioINSITE led a Feasibility Study to compare initiative ideas with actual survey information. The resulting information was used to determine the feasibility of the larger conceptual plan to expand sidewalks and curbs on the north side.
Continue reading 14th Street Initiative Urban Design Guidelines | Denver Colorado | studioINSITE
Seating Elements by Night
Getting lost in a huge building is not only a fear of most users, but happens quite regular. The new hospital of Rotterdam South is one of those huge developments with an enormous building mass. The design team came up with a unique concept for the five patios being located along the central internal corridor with a length of 500 meters. Sustainability means for designers to focus on the need of the users. With the concept of three different themes combined with special lighting elements the right answer in this context was given: The patios are as orientation point the central heart of the new development and meet the demands as part of the healing environment. Special lighting elements emphasize the identity of each patio.
Continue reading Orientation by Light, Maasstad Hospital | Rotterdam Netherlands Stijlgroep landscape and urban design