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.
Posts tagged with "Competitions":
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ] 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.
In August in Dessau, Germany, a jury in the design competition for the construction of the Bauhaus Museum awarded two first prizes. By a majority vote, the joint winners are from New York and Barcelona with third and fourth place teams hailing from Zürich and Toronto. The design to be constructed from the shortlist of two is yet to be selected. According to the Bauhaus, the competition has shown that the museum typology is in a transitional phase. “The vertical is over—a new theme is flexibility," Chris Dercon, Director of the Tate Modern in London and one of the material prize jurors, said in a statement. "However, the new development has no clear direction. The two first prizewinners are very diverse. It will be a chance to start the discussion in the international public and with experts. To be the beginning of the New, Dessau and the Bauhaus are ideal places. This is exciting.” The winners were: Architects: Young & Ayata Michael Young, Kutan Ayata New York Landscape architect: Misako Murata New York Architects: Gonzalez Hinz Zabala Roberto González Peñalver, José Zabala Rojí, Anne Katharina Hinz Barcelona, Spain Landscape architect: Roser Vives de Delás Barcelona, Spain Third Place: Architects: Berrel Berrel Kräutler AG Maurice Berrel Zurich, Switzerland Landscape architect: ASP Landschaftsarchitekten AG Florian Seibold Zurich, Switzerland Fourth Place: Architects: Ja Architecture Studio Nima Javidi Toronto, Canada Landscape architects: JA Architecture Studio Behnaz Assadi Toronto, Canada Both joint winners will receive $36,800 in prize money while the third and fourth place teams will take home $20,100 and $12,300 respectively. The Bauhaus staid that it felt reinforced by its decision to have the competition open for international entries as Claudia Perren, Director and CEO of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and building contractor, stated that it is a "first-class competition.” The idea was also conceived to "offer young offices and international architects a real chance" which has no doubt been taken—the competition received over 800 entries.
SXSW Eco's Place by Design (PxD) competition recently announced an ambitious list of finalist projects. Each design represents the competition's belief in the impact of quality design and the utilization of space to develop the interactive relationship between people and place. "The Place by Design Finalists envision public space as something greater than a backdrop for human activity," the SXSW Eco website explains. "These projects push everyday places to become an integral part of a community and a force for social, economic and environmental change." The finalists fall into five categories—Art + Interaction, Data + Tech, Resilience, Social Impact, and Urban Strategy. Each is composed of a centralized theme that integrates a responsive environment. One of the projects, presented by Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, showcases musical swings activated by playground enthusiasts all of ages. When all swings are used, it creates a harmonious tune that promotes community engagement and invites singing swingers everywhere. Another project, Ribbon Gardens, aims to address food scarcity in food deserts. Ribbon Gardens, made through a "customized, easy to assemble kit of parts" to create "functional food production areas." "Design profoundly shapes how we interact with and care for the places we inhabit," the Place by Design competition page states. "Good design fosters vibrant, well-maintained communities, while poor design can lead to fractured urban landscapes that lack a sense of place." The Place by Design finalists will present their projects at the SXSW Eco on October 5th through the 7th at the Austin Convention Center. View a full list of finalists on the Place by Design website.
To address the urgent and emerging issue of urban development in China, Creativersal and the International Union of Architects (UIA) staged the Mount Lu Estate of World Architecture (MOLEWA) competition. The program took a long-range and somewhat utopian view of the matter. "Rather than an unchecked flow to the big cities, the strategy endeavors to evolve existing medium-sized population centers naturally into prosperous, sustainable, clean and rationally distributed 'new cities'," states the competition website. "To be viable, these cities must not only be functionally complete and efficient, but also beautiful and pleasant." Responding to an existing master plan of the site, a riverside city in the foothills of Mount Lu called Ruichang with a population of 430,000, professional and student teams were invited to propose solutions for residential and commercial/cultural sectors. Diverse—but apparently not definitive, as the jury declined to award a first prize—the submissions came from 40 countries. Instead, they recognized two second-place winners and three third-place winners in each of the two categories. Work on the 20-hectare project is expected to commence in 2016. The third-place winners in the residential division: A second-place winner of the residential category: An Honorable Mention entrant in the residential category: The third-place winners of the commercial/cultural category: A second-place winner in the commercial/cultural category:
In May Barack and Michelle Obama ended months—perhaps years—of speculation over where the 44th President would site his presidential library, choosing the University of Chicago as the host of the hotly anticipated legacy project. Dozens of proposals were winnowed down to one, prepared by U of C with the help of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The Barack Obama Presidential Library—that is, the actual project—does not yet have an architect, however, and the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that a call for submissions is nigh. They quote anonymous sources saying “a very general” request will go out “very soon," suggesting the first couple and their nonprofit team of advisors on the subject do not yet have a specific designer in mind. The library, which many hope will be an economic boon for the South Side, will be based in either Washington or Jackson Parks. That decision remains controversial, and may factor into the winning design—from whomever might propose it.
The Architect's Newspaper is thrilled to announce its 3rd Annual Best of Design Awards. It’s a unique opportunity to showcase your great buildings, building elements, and other architectural-based categories that are not covered by other competitions. This year, AN's Best of Design Awards has expanded to include 18 categories. Here are just a few of the new additions to this year’s categories: Building of the Year Since AN publishes four regional editions—East, West, Midwest, and Southwest, we’re seeking the best new building in each of these regions. Architectural Models Whichever form is your favorite—virtual or analog, interior or exterior, landscaping or urban— show the world how you build, just at a smaller scale. Your model does not need to have come to fruition. All scaled architecture types are eligible. Temporary Installation Whether your installation is a site-specific exhibition or it created an entirely new site, enter your work that showcases materials, techniques and invention. Urban Design Built or unbuilt, enter your design plans that focus on groupings of buildings, street and public spaces to create a more sustainable and functional neighborhood or city. Young Architects Award Emerging architects or firms often have the talent but don’t always get the glory. This category seeks to celebrate the work of young practices (10 years or less) or professionals (35 years or less). All project types are eligible. Competition entrants will be judged by a jury that includes Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta; Julio Braga, principal of IA Interior Architects; and Ana Garcia Puyol, computational designer at Thornton Tomasetti and winner in the student built work category of last year's Best of Design Awards. For each category winner and honorable mentions, the jury will be looking at a project’s strength of presentation, evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, and, most importantly, good design. Registration is open through October 9th and the submission deadline is November 2nd. Much more information about the competition, including past years’ winners, see the Best of Design Awards site.