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

New York City gains control of Governors Island & releases Master Plan

Mayor Bloomberg announces Governors Island Masterplan

New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson, Assembly Speaker Silver and State Senator Squadron announces an agreement on the long-term development, funding and governance of Governors Island

At a recent press conference Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senator Daniel L. Squadron announced an agreement on the long-term development, funding and governance of Governors Island in which New York City will have primary responsibility to develop and operate the island.  The newly-created Governors Island Operating Entity will be responsible for the planning, operation and maintenance of 150 acres of Governors Island.

As a part of the announcement, the City and the State together released the Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan, a comprehensive design for 87 acres of open green space, rejuvenating existing landscapes in the National Historic District, transforming the southern half of the island and creating a 2.2 mile Great Promenade along the waterfront. The park and public space plan was designed by a team led by the landscape architecture firm West 8. Governors Island reopens for public use on June 5.  Moving forward with the Park and Public Space Master Plan, schematic design and environmental review will begin later this year and continue through 2011. Following that, community review will commence in 2012, and pending review, the first phase of construction will begin in late 2012.

[SOURCE: New York City]

Below are the renders that were released with the City and State Release Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan for 87 Acres of Open Green Space

Visitors stopping at South Battery to enjoy the view

Visitors stopping at South Battery to enjoy the view

The Hammock Grove has shaded lawn and hammocks for relaxing

The Hammock Grove has shaded lawn and hammocks for relaxing

The Lower Level Promenade has spectacular views close to the water

The Lower Level Promenade has spectacular views close to the water

The Shell at Liberty Terrace is integrated into the landscape providing a sculptures seating area

The Shell at Liberty Terrace is integrated into the landscape providing a sculptured seating area

The Hills draw visitors down a pathway into a canyon-like landscape toward the Harbor

The Hills draw visitors down a pathway into a canyon-like landscape toward the Harbor

Ball players and spectators get an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty

Ball players and spectators get an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty

[IMAGE CREDIT: West 8, Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM, Urban Design+]

[IMAGE SOURCE: Governors Island Park & Public Space]

RELATED STORY IN THE PRESS

Also recently published was the architectural review by NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF of the Governors Island Master Plan in the [New York Times – Governors Island Vision Adds Hills and Hammock]

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KCAP wins Keqiao Water City competition in Shaoxing, China

Masterplan

KCAP Architects & Planners has won the international competition to design a masterplan for Keqiao Water City in Shaoxing, China. The 45 ha site, which is currently occupied by redundant textile industry and residences, will be redeveloped for residential use with community functions and sport and commercial facilities in a landscaped setting of waterland, parks and gardens. KCAP’s masterplan design has been chosen as winner out of 3 international entries.

Keqiao is the major development area of Zhejiang province, occupying a strategic location between Shaoxing, a city of 3 million inhabitants, and Hangzhou, close to Xaoshan airport and along the highway to larger local cities and further to Shanghai. With its unique landscape of lakes, canals and rocks it forms a setting of scenic beauty. The area will become a recreational centre and will give new development impulses for the entire region.

KCAP’s masterplan introduces a landscape framework formed by different conditions found on the site such as the two lakes with their waterfronts, the canal and road system, the green spaces and the bridges. Enriched with carefully designed elements like public squares, parks, roads and paths a continuous landscape fabric is established which ties the entire development together.

KCAP will elaborate the winning masterplan scheme throughout 2010 in close cooperation with Shaoxing developer Gemdale and the local authorities. The first projects are estimated to start construction in 2011. ‘Working on this project is a great opportunity for us. It is an important stepping stone for our growing portfolio in China,’ says Markus Appenzeller, director of international projects of KCAP.

[SOURCE: KCAP]

[IMAGES SOURCE: KCAP]

[IMAGES CREDIT: Li Fang]

The 21st century is the century of landscape architecture: David Rubin

Recently on the Urban Design Podcast, David Rubin a partner at Olin was interviewed in which

David Rubin asserts that the twenty-first century is a century of landscape architecture, while the twentieth century was about architecture. His argument is that landscape architects are building spaces for society and forming human interaction.

Urban Design Podcast is a great weekly podcast that started in fall of 2009 by Arina Habich who is an urban designer with over 10 years of experience who saw a need for professionals around the world to share their experiences and learn about each other’s work in a more convenient way. A new 30 minute podcast episode is released for download on iTunes and the website each Wednesday.
[SOURCE: Urban Design Podcast]

Winners Announced in Surrey’s Town Centres Design Competition

1st Prize & Overall prize for Guildford: Return of Ritual;Team: Renante Go-Soco Solivar

“TownShift: Suburb Into City” sponsored by the City of Surrey was a sustainable design competition to provide vision for Surrey’s five growing town centres – Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton and Semiahmoo.

The competition attracted 138 submissions from 20 countries, and 27 finalists were selected by the five-member TownShift jury.

Renate Solivar of Vancouver took the overall top prize of $15,000 for his entry “Return of Ritual” which proposes structuring a new bold, brightly coloured construction along 152nd Street in front of Guildford Mall. In addition to the $15,000 first prize, his entry also won $10,000 for first prize in the Guildford category, for total winnings of $25,000.

All 27 have been on public display at Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey Central City for the past three weeks, and will remain on display until Feb 28th, the closing day of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The next steps in taking new ideas and making them into reality will be explored at a special panel discussion entitled “Where Do We Go From Here?” at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s main Surrey Campus on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7:00PM.

Cloverdale Winning Design: Surrey Crossing — Crossing Surrey; Team: Fang Liu; Tracey Mactavish; Henning Knoetzele; Peeroj Thakr

SOURCE: Townshift
IMAGES SOURCE: Townshift

For the full list of winners

Continue reading Winners Announced in Surrey’s Town Centres Design Competition

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