A New Live/Workplace as Tourist Destination
Fez, Morocco Infill Competition
Winning entry by Mossessian & partners
The U.S. government funding design competitions abroad? Especially when it has almost been absent in supporting such programs at home? It was not too long ago that the U.S. Congress passed a law stating that no federal funds could be used to fund U. S. international expo pavilions, let alone competitions to determine their design. So those who are wondering that our federal government is spending tax dollars on foreign soil to promote good design should know that its funding for for the Place Lalla Yeddouna redevelopment competition in Fez, Morocco was mainly the result of an economic redevelopment grant from the U.S. Government, and that the competition was only a peripheral add-on.
COMPETITIONS: When did you decide you wanted to become an architect?
Craig Dykers: I started off wanting to work with fashion—women’s fashion and clothing seemed very interesting to me. I quickly learned that the world of fashion wasn’t what I had anticipated. It came to feel very superficial and calculating. I left that and was somehow accepted into medical school, perhaps because of an interest I had in the human body. My grades were not very high; but my notebooks were apparently impressive. In medical school your notebooks are reviewed as well as taking tests My ability to draw anatomical forms was very good and one of the professors recommended that instead of studying medicine I should enroll in the art school and become an anatomical illustrator.
Alexandria Library, Alexandria, Egypt (Competition 1989, completion 2001)
Surprisingly I was accepted into the art department and I soon found myself feeling very comfortable. I began to fall in love with everything; I was beginning to get commissions, drawing cartoons for a local paper, and doing editorial illustrations. I called up my father one day—with whom I had had a very good relationship, and told him I wanted to become an artist. This was met with silence. I didn’t understand that, because he had always taken me to museums, and he was very much a lover of art. He simply said, ‘Well son, you’re not going to get any help from me.’ A couple of weeks later I asked him why he had been so negative. He replied, ‘If you need to call up your father to get his approval for being an artist, then you will never be a good artist. You should have done it and not called me. Then I would have given you all the help you wanted.’
I was confused with what to do with this conundrum. He advised me further, ‘You like science and art; architecture seems like a good thing.’ I admitted that I had no idea what that was all about. He said something like, “Architects make churches and things like that. I felt I could work with this, making places for people. The architecture school accepted me and I rolled right into it, staying up many nights to work on my studio assignments. The end result of that long story is that there is an interest in the human form and the notion of the human body as it relates to the things we create. I think that is still with me.
COMPETITIONS: Was Charles Moore already in Austin when you were a student there?
CD: He arrived as I was leaving and there was only one semester overlap. I remember asking him why the nice parts of cities often appear to be on the west or north sides. Not entirely true, but it’s pretty frequent.
Alexandria Library, Alexandria, Egypt (Competition 1989, completion 2001)
COMPETITIONS: Snøhetta’s origin began with the Alexandria competition. How did that come about?
COMPETITIONS: What led you to become an architect?
PB: I studied philosophy at the University of Toronto as part of my arts undergrad. In studying philosophy you study good and evil, right and wrong, laws and ethics. In the long run I decided philosophy was too sedentary, so I looked for a profession where I could live out some of what I had come to believe about right and wrong and essentially be able to do good. Architecture appealed to me as a place where I could affect the lives and futures of people in a non-political way. I also worked in construction to pay for the university—I did drywall—and got to know architects through that rather circuitous route, and talked to a few of them and went and visited some of their offices, and I took some introductory architecture courses in my final year of philosophy.
COMPETITIONS: You must have had people who influenced you greatly along the way.
PB: I credit one of the professors at UBC, Dr. Ray Cole. for awakening me to the environmental aspects of architectural design. At that point he was a 23-year-old PhD, a new professor at UBC fresh off the boat from England, and he had all these wonderful things to say about environmental issues and foreshadowing what everybody knows today about global warming. As best friends, we have mentored each other over the last 35 years and worked on some projects together.
Brentwood Skytrain Station, Burnaby, BC
I took some of the knowledge from him and went off to Europe. At the time I graduated in 1977, work was pretty scarce in Canada due to a recession. So in 1979 I went to London, looked at Grimshaw’s work, Renzo’s work, and Foster’s work, and decided I wanted to work for Norman Foster, and spent three very great years at his office. He had a great effect on me. Of course he was interested in environmental issues at that time, and had just finished the Willis Faber, a very pioneering green building. Buckminster Fuller was in the office at that time doing some experimental work with Foster, and I got to meet and know him. Charles and Ray Eames were in and out of the office. It was a very interesting time to be there.
Otremare Marine Theme Park, Riccione, Italy (Photo: courtesy Busby Perkins & Will)
COMPETITIONS: Foster must have been a lot smaller in those days.
Sponsor: The City of Montreal
Location: Namur – Jean-Talon West sector in the Borough of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Type: Open, two-stage, Canada-wide
ELIGIBILITY Any team may be accepted as a competitor that is made up of at least two principal designers. At least one principal designer per team must have a head
Sponsor: Garden Unique Type: Open International Ideas Language: English Fee: Free Eligibility: No restrictions Submission Deadline: June 8, 2011 Awards: First prize – 2,500 Euro Second prize – 2,000 Euro Third prize – 1,250 Euro Fourth prize – 750 Euro Fifth prize – 500 Euro Sixth through fifteenth prizes – 250 Euro Sold idea –
Sponsor: City of Helsinki Type: Open International Ideas Location: Helsinki Language: English and Finnish Fee: Free Eligibility: No restrictions Submission Deadline: September 30, 2011 Awards: First prize – 60,000 Euro Second prize – 45,000 Euro Third prize – 30,000 Euro Two redemptions – 15,000 Euro Jury: Hannu Penttila, Deputy Mayor Thomas Rajajarvi, Architect, City Planning
Sponsor: The Dow Chemical Company Type: Student Language: English Fee: $25 Eligibility: Individual students, student teams, or students participating with professionals Timetable: August 2011 – Registration opens Awards: First prize – $20,000 Second prize – $10,000 Third prize – $5,000 Design Challenge: The Dow Chemical Company Solar Design Competition will seek new discoveries that can
Sponsor: Trustees Burial German Culture Society Type: Student Location: Berlin Language: German Fee: Free Eligibility: Students and recent graduates (up to four years) of architecture and interior design Submission Deadline: March 31, 2012 Awards: First prize – 700 Euro Second prize – 500 Euro Third prize – 300 Euro Jury: Nils Buschmann, Architect Jorg Freudensprung,
June 7, 2011 – Deadline for Submission of Qualifications and Letter of Interest
June 17, 2011 – 3 candidates shortlisted
June 30, 2011 – Interviews with shortlisted firms
Sponsor: CoARQ Type: Open International Ideas Location: Guadalajara Language: English and Spanish Fee: $80 before May 15 $95 after May 15 Eligibility: No restrictions Timetable: July 1, 2011 – Registration deadline July 15 – Submission deadline July 28 – Winners announced Awards: First prize – 30,000 Mexican pesos Second prize – 20,000 Mexican