This week I am representing The Architect’s Newspaper as a juror at Archmarathon an international architecture competition in Milan. The international jury is organized by Milanese critic Luca Molinari and has members from Lebanon, Europe the U.K., and AN from North America. Like many other juries, it quickly became clear from the projects represented—and how their designers represent them—that architects are among the most socially responsible professions. They often work for the smallest fees for religious institutions updating their mandate to become more relevant social centers (Valer Church, Espen Surnevik Architects), NGO's building housing in Africa (SOS Children’s Village, Urko Sanchez Architects) and private clients working in sensitive landmarked buildings (Houtloods, Bedaux De Brouwer Architects in Holland). But at the same this competition brings me back to AN's own Facades conferences. In more than half the presented projects (we saw 15 today) it is apparent that it is often the facade that is the key to the design, use and meaning of a structure. Several of the presented projects are renovated landmarked structures that need contemporary uses and meanings and it is glass walls that the designers want to use to open them up to the outside. Today two projects were new glass facades built alongside existing ones that are kept and repurposed. Several of these buildings are in northern Nordic countries (Ålgård Church by Link Arkitektur, Norway) and even here these colder climates the desire is to open up new structures to the outside and that requires sophisticated glass facade wall systems. It reminds me even more that glass walls are not just for corporate towers but small buildings in every imaginable climate from South to North and that both architects and their clients want glass facades. We will report on this international competition as it happens in the next three days.
Posts tagged with "Competitions":
Back on April Fools, the City of San Antonio and the local AIA San Antonio chapter announced the winners and runners up for the second phase of their river barge design competition (no joke). Their top pick: Houston-based design firm METALAB’s proposal for a multi-purpose electric barge that could serve both leisure-oriented activities as well as commuters on the San Antonio River. The barge could host dinner events, sightseeing tours, parades, and provide local transportation. Design-wise, much of this will be accomplished through a modular decking system of flexible components that can be adapted for the variety of proposed functions and programs. The design features a single deck for easier wheelchair accessibility. The railings—taking design cues from papel picado (Mexican folk art paper cut out decorations typically displayed during holidays and special events)—lean out to made the barge feel more spacious. In second place: a proposal by San Antonio-based Luna Architecture + Design with Neptune Beach, FL-based Lay Pittman & Associates. And in third: Austin-based Sadi Brewton + Jonathan Davies. There were twelve teams in the initial competition phase, with the top three finalists given $7,500 to expand their design concepts. METALAB's concept could replace the existing aging barge network. “The current river barge design was created for HemisFair ’68 to offer visitors rides up and down the length of the river,” said Roberto C. Treviño, District 1 City Councilman and architect, in a statement. “METALAB’s design is modular, modern, and offers the possibility for barge uses we couldn’t have imagined before. This not only presents a great option for tourists, but is an opportunity for residents and the local entrepreneurial community to propose new and imaginative ways to use the river barges.” The city will present the proposal to City Council this spring, and expects to put out two requests for proposals this May, one for construction, and the other for programming and operations. If the design moves ahead, San Antonio residents and visitors should expect to see a barge prototype on the river by 2017, and the final fleet ready in 2018.
Calling all international architects, designers, urban planners, and engineers: the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is asking you to create a multi-disciplinary design team to submit designs and deliverables for a new bus terminal on Manhattan's west side near the aging existing terminal on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. The current terminal is the largest in U.S., supporting over 220,000 passenger trips each weekday. PANYNJ is seeking designs that address “an appropriate level of service to meet bus passenger demand, improved functionality for bus parking and staging, minimizing traffic impact on surrounding local streets, and sustaining safety and security.” While the two-phase competition opened earlier this month, the PANYNJ board just approved funds for the project this past week. The projected cost: $10-$15 billion. One alternative to the current Manhattan location was Secaucus, in northern New Jersey. “Scott Rechler, Andrew Cuomo’s top appointee to the Port Authority, had asked the agency to explore putting the new terminal near the Secaucus Junction train station in New Jersey,” reported New York Magazine. Rechler thinks a new larger bus terminal in NYC will worsen Lincoln Tunnel traffic. Those who didn't support his plan say it would require a train transfer for many traveling from New Jersey to downtown Manhattan. “As part of a deal announced Thursday, Rechler will drop his push for a Jersey-based terminal, and in exchange, New Jersey’s top appointee to the authority withdrew his opposition to a $4 billion reconstruction plan for La Guardia Airport’s central terminal.” The first competition phase deadline is April 12, 2016. The second phase will be due sometime late this summer. PANYNJ officials expect to announce a winner this September. The award: $1 million for the winning concept. More details on PANYNJ’s competition page.
AIA Chicago has announced the winners of the Tiny Homes Competition. Launched in November 2015, the competition solicited entries to address young adult homelessness in Chicago as part of the Tiny Homes Summit. The winning entry was designed by a Chicago-based team of Notre Dame graduates. Terry Howell, AIA, LEED GA, Lon Stousland, both associate architects at Antunovich Associates, and Marty Sandberg, AIA, partner at Via Chicago Architects, site their connection to the Bronzeville neighborhood, location of the proposed project, as a driver in their design. The team commented in a press release, “Terry’s parents are long-time Bronzeville residents, and have hosted us for countless barbecue nights just two blocks from the competition site. Designing for a location with such a personal connection provided extra incentive—a chance to create something not simply beautiful, but also practical, contextual, and potentially transformative.” The winning entry, “A House for Living In,” is comprised of 11 336-square-foot units and one interior community space gathered around a central courtyard. At an estimated $73 per square foot, the design is substantially less expensive than typical affordable housing, which is typically in the range of $200-400 per square foot, according to the AIA’s press release. The central courtyard is entered through a locked front gate, and is envisioned as a gathering spaces and communal garden. Juror Benet Haller commented, “The submission’s site and floor plans are very efficient. Locations for storage are well thought out and the sleeping area is nicely separated from the living area. The use of brick on the exterior is a nice touch. Everything about this submittal works well.” Chicago-based Wheeler Kearns Architects was awarded second place with their design “Tiny Town.” Third place was awarded to another Chicago–based team made up of Joe Villanti, AIA, senior project architect at Pappageorge Haymes, Tyler Hopwood, and Ryan Arnaudov, also of Pappageorge Haymes for their project “Box House.” Honorable Mentions were awarded to New York City–based David Bravo Salva and Blanca Rodriguez Peis, and Chicago–based team Georgi Todorov of Pappageorge Haymes and Petya Petrova of Pierre-Yves Rochon. A prototype of “A House for Living In” will be constructed for the Tiny Homes Summit at the University of Illinois at Chicago on April 18 to 19. Organized by AIA Chicago, the AIA Chicago Foundation, Landon Bone Baker Architects, Windy City Times, and Pride Action Tank, the competition drew 250 submissions from 12 countries. Funding for the competition was provided by the Alphawood Foundation.
Pininfarina and AECOM have won an international competition to design an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower and technical building at the Istanbul New Airport. The team was selected from a competitive shortlist, which included Zaha Hadid, Fuksas, Moshe Safdie, Grimshaw-Nordic, and RMJM. “One of the World’s largest aviation projects, Istanbul New Airport’s air traffic control tower will be an iconic structure, visible to all passengers traveling through the airport," said İGA's chief executive officer, Yusuf Akçayoğlu, "We were looking for a striking design fit for a 21st century airport while remaining sensitive to Istanbul’s unique heritage." According to the design team, the tower's form was inspired by the tulip, a symbol of Istanbul's culture. This victory marks AECOM's first collaboration with Pininfarina, a firm recognized for designing cars for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. "The collaboration combines the expertise of AECOM’s architectural and engineering teams with Pininfarina’s distinctive architectural style that epitomises speed and movement, influenced by automotive design," announced the design team. The Istanbul New Airport is expected to have the largest, annual, passenger capacity in the world, accommodating 90 million passengers per year at the first stage and 200 million passengers per year by the final stage. According to the design team, İGA secured a $4.9 billion loan from a group of six banks in October to fund the first phase. The following stages will expand the airport to include six runways and three terminal buildings. AECOM and Pininfarina's design will be approximately 22 miles from the city center, on the European side, adjacent to the Black Sea.
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis have announced three finalists for the second iteration of the design-build PXSTL competition. The three finalist were culled from a list of 35 artist, architects, and designers, who were solicited by the organizer. The list includes: —Randstad, NL and Istanbul-based architects Merve Bedir and Jason Hilgefort —New York/Houston-based artist Mary Ellen Carroll —Chicago-based architect Amanda Williams and artist/educator Andres L. Hernandez Canopy of the 2014 PXSTL structure. (David Johnson) All of the finalist will travel to St. Louis in mid-February to conduct detailed site analysis and give public presentations on their previous work and interest in PXSTL. The winner will be announced in March. Along with an $80,000 budget to complete the project, the winner will teach an architecture studio as visiting faculty at the Sam Fox Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Planning in Fall 2016 semester. With commentary from community stakeholders, cultural organizers and local artist, the winner will work with their students to develop the project over the semester. PXSTL (an acronym for Pulitzer, Sam FoX School, and ST. Louis) is a competition for a design-build commission to build a temporary structure on an empty lot near the Pulitzer Art Foundation in the Grand Center arts district. The fist iteration of the PXSTL was completed in 2014 by the Brooklyn-based Freecell Architecture. Their project comprises of a large canopy under which dance, music, and community events were held throughout the summer of 2014. This year’s competition will conclude in the pavilion construction in spring of 2017 and community programing through the summer of 2017. The goal of PXSTL is in engage the community with small-scale intervention to encourage urban transformation. As part of this, the public will have a chance to offer feedback in public forums to be held in the fall. “Since its founding, the Pulitzer has been dedicated to creating opportunities for art and culture to have a positive impact on the broader St. Louis community. As PXSTL demonstrates, this means working closely with and listening carefully to both our community and cultural partners.” Remarked Cara Starke, director of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, in a press release.
German studio KSP Jurgen Engel Architekten was selected last month in an international competition to design the new Shenzhen Art Museum and Library complex. The winning scheme was chosen over submissions by world-renowned firms including OMA, Mecanoo and Steven Holl. The winning design consists of an art museum, a library and archive, and a public square known as the “Culture Plaza,” all encased within cubic glass structures. An approximately twenty foot high stone pedestal forms the basis for the museum, library, and plaza. In addition to the podium and the plaza, the museum roof and the uniform facade material of matte glass help accentuate the coherent character of the structure’s designed components. The new museum is marked by different-size spaces; it includes about 160,000 square feet of exhibit space extending over three levels. The library features a four-story reading room with nearly 1,000 desks and a large skylight, and the archive is located in the podium and on the basement levels. Set back terraces have a cascading effect and act as a wayfinding element, while at the same time affording an impressive view of the “Culture Plaza” and the city. According to the architects, the central idea of the design is to create a public place that promotes interaction between people and culture. The art museum represents just one of many high-profile architectural projects that are currently taking place in the city of Shenzhen. Skyscrapers designed by Morphosis Architects, NBBJ and RMJM are in the works. Rem Koolhaas’ OMA has also won a competition to design their second tower in the city, following the Shenzhen Stock Exchange building.
[Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email email@example.com. ] Ready for some tough love, some bitter medicine? Looking back, we architects got our profession into some bad places with some serious mistakes. We were often so eager for fame and celebrity that we sometimes behaved irresponsibly. We did not use design in its best sense; we gave away our treasure. We were not always reliable regarding time and money. We handed over the leadership role in building to others who lacked the necessary skills and training, and who held no responsibility or liability. Left with less authority and control, architects instilled fear and distrust in our clients. We aided and abetted clients with unrealistic and unworthy ambitions. Specifically, when clients proposed projects where the scope, budget, and schedule didn’t fit together, we were so eager for the assignments that we did not blow the whistle, but jumped in feet first. I can think of three fine institutions with worthy missions and stellar reputations that committed virtual suicide. Those institutions (almost) betrayed their missions by creating inappropriate, overpriced Silly Buildings. The architects and the leadership of those institutions were co-conspirators and bad stewards. Their actions in pursuit of fame and recognition did irreparable harm to their institutions. We foolishly participated in competitions, an insulting process for selecting architects. What wise partnership was ever created by such a superficial beauty pageant? What smart client chooses an architect simply by how a building looks, without knowing what that architect is like to work with, or if they can execute the project well? What other profession gives its work product away for free? What bettor places a two dollar bet when the prize is two dollars? (And here often there is NO prize!) The field is littered with competition winners who end up losers: no built project, no fee, no valuable relationship. Competitions may have been a reasonable selection process in another time and place. They don’t work here and now. Competitions are abusive and counterproductive for everyone. The lack of self-worth actually begins with poor professional habits. Hiring young professionals without pay, or calling them consultants rather than employees, is illegal and unethical. We are not properly compensated for our services: we provide unpaid speculative designs for clients to try to secure assignments. We are not being paid on a timely basis. (These are circumstances under which no client would expect their contractor to continue working, but we do. Are we richer or dumber than the contractors?) We compete for projects by simply offering to do them for the lowest fees. This practice is unsustainable: if we continue to undersell ourselves, the profession will become a commodity. We allowed, even encouraged, the media to publicize projects whose main value is novelty and eccentricity, not quality. Maybe novelty is easier to spot and sell. While pandering to the public’s desire to stare ghoulishly at a highway accident, novelty hasn’t improved the work or the profession. Encouraging this bad behavior leads clients to ask for more silly buildings, which they (and society) often can’t afford. As young professionals, we are often eager to get a fast start, to break out of the gate early. We start before we have fully mastered the complex task of making buildings. It takes time to learn how to deal constructively and fairly with parties who have other agendas or financial interests. From these errors, we can learn what will lead us to a better future. First, let’s use design in its best, most holistic sense. Design is not simply about how the building looks on the outside (for that is simple). Design dictates how buildings are planned, and how they use resources (materials, energy, space, money, and time). Design informs efficiency, durability, and beauty. Let’s get the design and construction of our projects done on time and on budget. Let’s return to being our clients’ trusted advisors and partners. Let’s be more creative, not just about designing what we are asked to design, but in making new building types for the present and the future, not just the past. Let’s be inventive about the process of building, the largest segment of the American economy. The way we build now is antiquated and doesn’t work well, which leaves room for major improvements. Can you imagine a car produced the way we make buildings? You’d hire a designer, while another company puts together the components of body, engine, brakes, transmission, all made by other companies. You’d end up with a $3 million car that has never been prototyped or tested, and it wouldn’t run as well as a $20,000 Volkswagen. Yet this is how we make buildings! Let’s demand the fees that it takes to do great design. It does cost more to study more alternatives to get the very best one. It takes money to create better, more thorough, and accurate documents to build our designs, and to provide strong services in the construction phase. The client benefits. Better services result in better buildings, lower construction costs and fewer extras. Clients will learn that paying for increased services will make the buildings they own more appropriate and more durable. When we received the fees we deserve, we run better offices, with better staff and equipment, and fewer worries about money. Let’s sell these more relevant building types and these construction and fabrication processes not just to our clients, but to crowd-funding and to venture capitalists. Instead of working for a one-time fee, we would maintain ownership of our ideas and the income streams they produce. Our professionalism should be recognized. Why are we intent on measuring the energy a building uses (not even the energy materials and the building process consume), rather than the professional practice that created the metric? Let’s start a professionalism rating system to gauge architects’ service: firms would be rated by the appropriateness and usefulness of their designs, the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of their process, and the reduced risk to their clients. Let’s take back the leadership we once had in the building process, and again become our clients’ trusted, and compensated, partners. Paul Segal, FAIA Columbia University Adjunct Professor, author of Professional Practice: A Guide to Turning Designs into Buildings.
Perhaps following up on its Halloween Party this year that explored the theme "DEMO," as in DEMO-lition among other words sharing the root, the Storefront for Art & Architecture has launched a competition called "Taking Buildings Down," where “removal is all that is allowed.” The competition takes what is usually considered to be a violent act and calls upon “anyone interested in articulating visions for the future of our built environment” to submit proposals for “the production of voids; the demolition of buildings, structures, and infrastructures; or the subtraction of objects and/or matter as a creative act.” The intent of the “competition of the competition of competitions” is to elicit ideas about demolition, to provoke criticism, and to speculate. Judges include Jeff Byles, author of Rubble: Unearthing the History of Demolition; architect and professor at Yale University, Keller Easterling; associate professor and associate dean at the New School’s School of Media Studies and adjunct curator of new media arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Christiane Paul; and principal of Selldorf Architects, Annabelle Selldorf. Monetary prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners; winning entries and “any additional entries deemed to be worthy of publication” will be published by Storefront for Art & Architecture. Entries are due on January 20th. More information, including specific eligibility and criteria, can be found here.
Suburban folk mark the change of seasons with spring peepers, the sound of leaf blowers, and first frosts. City dwellers rely on other environmental cures: pumpkin spice lattes, heat season, and festive public art installations. Last week, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and the Van Alen Institute welcomed crowds to SOFTlab's Nova, the 2015 winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition. Perched inside North Flatiron Public Plaza at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, Nova invites passersby into a kaleidoscopic interior to view area landmarks—the Empire State Building, the Flatiron, and the Met Life Tower—on its mirrored surfaces and through its many exposures. When activated by sound, LEDs pulse to intensify the psychedelic visuals. The design has definite antecedents in SOFTlab's pavilion at this year's SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. Here too, the firm partnered with 3M to create a multicolored neon canopy that showcased the company's products. Van Alen and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership invited New York–based architecture and design firms Bureau V, Method Design, Sage and Coombe, Studio KCA, and SOFTlab to submit proposals for the competition. Competition jurors included Van Alen and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership directors and board members; Michael Bierut, partner, Pentagram; Aleksey Lukyanov, partner, Situ Studio; and Wendy Feuer, NYC Department of Transportation's Assistant Commissioner of Design + Art + Wayfinding. "The installation illustrates how interactive public art can change the perception of an environment thereby allowing people to experience it in a new way," Feuer explained in a statement. "We count on organizations like the Partnership to commission these exciting installations making NYC streets ever more inviting." This is the holiday design competition's second year. Last year, INABA won the competition with their installation, New York Light. See the gallery below for more images of Nova.
Eavesdrop> Everyone’s a winner? Mitchell Joachim and Michael Sorkin square off with rival anti-Guggenheim competitions
What is it about architect Mitchell Joachim that he cannot let go of his Oedipal desire to go after his former "father" employer Michael Sorkin? Not happy about the direction of Sorkin’s non-profit Terreform, Joachim went out and founded his own 501c3, Terreform ONE. Most recently, Sorkin co-organized and sponsored The Next Helsink—with Checkpoint Helsinki, Terreform, Occupy Museums, and Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.)—a protest “call for ideas” to the high profile Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition. This alternative competition received hundreds of entries and allowed multiple voices to critique the official Guggenheim one. With Sorkin’s project about to publish a book of its entries, Joachim has now posted online a page of his own where he declares Terreform One the winner of “The New Official Alternative Award Winners of the Guggenheim Helsinki architecture and urban design counter-competition.” It is hard to tell how Mr. Joachim wants us to take the competition. His "winning" design features a bare rear-end with windows. Also, the “competition” seems not have had jurors and or even a call to submit. He claims it was co-sponsored by Anonymous Finland, the Libertarian Anti-Ellsworth Toohey League, Occupy Helsinki, and Eco-communalism. This anti-anti-competition seems to believe it is showing up Next Helsinki, but who can save Sorkin from Joachim? Politico doesn't seem to mind all the fuss, however. The online magazine recently profiled Joachim in the video below.
Chicago-based PORT Urbanism will work with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance to turn a forbidding underpass near Cleveland's warehouse district into a vibrant pedestrian space, now that the Chicago-based firm has been selected as the winner of a design competition to revive the Main Avenue Bridge. Speaking to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Steven Litt, PORT principal and Ohio native Christopher Marcinkoski said the hope is to "make a space that's exciting and comfortable for the pedestrian, but that's also efficient and clear for vehicular traffic coming through it." The Main Avenue Bridge spans the Cuyahoga River just south of the $500 million Flats East Bank development. Litt describes the existing condition that prompted the design competition:
The dark and shadowy underside of the bridge, which rises above Main Avenue as the road descends west of West 9th Street at the edge of the Warehouse District, can feel confusing to motorists and unwelcoming to pedestrians.The firm's proposal, which comes with a tentative budget of $800,000, beat out plans from two other finalists: New York's Balmori Associates and fellow Chicagoans Latent Design. That money will have to come quickly, as the project is scheduled to open before the Republican National Convention meets in Cleveland next year.