Performance Takes Top Priority: Cultural Center Guy-Gagnon in Verdun, Quebec

Performance Takes Top Priority:

Cultural Center Guy-Gagnon in Verdun, Quebec

by Stanley Collyer

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Winning entry by Les Architectes FABG

Les Architectes FABG won the competition for a new cultural venue, including a professional theater on the St. Lawrence River in the Verdun Borough of Quebec Province. The project also provides for redevelopment and expansion of Verdun's resident school for circus performance (École de cirque de Verdun).

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Re-Shape History: The Atlanta History Center Competition

Re-Shape History:

The Atlanta History Center Competition

by Stanley Collyer
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Winning entry by  Pfeiffer Partners Architects, Final Stage Submission

As part of a $27.4M capital campaign to update its building and exhibition areas, the Atlanta History Center settled on a design competition as a model to seek innovative ideas, not only for a redo of its circulation problems, but also to deal with an arrival issue—an outdated entrance and foyer.

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A Dramatic Curtain: The Taiwan Tower International Competition

A Dramatic Curtain:

The Taiwan Tower International Competition

by Stanley Collyer

 

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Winning entry by Sou Fujimoto Architects

The sponsors of the Taiwan Tower Competition have managed to come up with a departure from a generic solution to an observation tower. Instead of settling on the ubiquitous column with a sphere on top, they picked a green solution by the Japanese architect, Sou Fujimoto, which simultaneously conveys the appearance of a giant theater curtain, ready to reveal the unfolding of an interesting drama. Instead of illustrating the bare bones of a support system, the structure is shrouded in mystery, and, aside from its character as a model of sustainability, it should draw crowds of curiosity seekers for decades to come.

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Bringing Life to the Center: The Aberdeen City Garden Competition

Bringing Life to the Center:

The Aberdeen City Garden Competition

by Stanley Collyer

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Winning entry by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Aberdeen, Scotland has long been the beneficiary of the oil bonanza off its coast in the North Sea. But faced with declining oil revenues from this source, the community now finds itself at a crossroads: how do you reinvent yourself while a once dependable revenue stream is slowly disappearing? Urban issues logically came to the forefront, and the discussion concentrated on Aberdeen City Gardens, an underused park smack in the middle of the city. If this relatively dormant piece of real estate could be turned into a people place for the community and beyond, it might not only help to rejuvenate the city’s urban core, but provide it with an asset having a symbolic value well beyond that of a common green space.

 

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Improving Education by Design: The 2011 Cleveland Design Competition

Improving Education by Design

The 2011 Cleveland Design Competition

by Stanley Collyer

 

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Can reducing class size and hiring more qualified teachers be the only answer to improving our educational system? Not according to the goals set forth by the organizers of the most recent 2011 Cleveland Design Competition. This open contest challenged architects to come up with new ideas, keeping pace with “the continuing advancements in pedagogy, curricula and organization models.” In other words, why shouldn’t equal attention be devoted to the “reinvention of learning environments.”

 

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Seeking New Paradigms in Landscape Architecture: The Taichung Gateway Park Competition

Seeking New Paradigms in Landscape Architecture

 

The Taichung Gateway Park Competition

 

by Dan Madryga

 

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First Place Entry by Catherine Mosbach, Philippe Rahm, and Ricky Liu and Associates

 

Taichung is a city with grand ambitions. Taiwan’s third largest metropolis has been developing an impressive inventory of architecture and planning projects that envision the city as a new hub for design innovation and inspiration. And as in Taipei and Kaohsiung, open international design competitions are an important part of this process, attracting creative talent from around the globe and prompting compelling, forward-thinking designs. Taichung first garnered the attention of the global design community with 2010’s Taiwan Tower Competition, a forum that sought an iconic design for a landmark observation tower commemorating the centennial anniversary of the founding of Taiwan. The winning project, an eye-catching, garden-topped “21st Century Oasis” designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, is sure to become a major attraction for the city.

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Museum as Sustainability Model: The Taipei City Museum of Art

Museum as Sustainability Model

The New Taipei City Museum of Art Design Competition

by Stanley Collyer

 

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First Place Entry by Peter Boronski & Jean-Loup Baldacci

 

To arrive at a design for a new art museum in Taipei, the organizers decided to allow the participants more flexibility than usual in devising their planning concepts for the new institution. According to the design brief, “the planning and design guidelines in this program are for reference only. The designer must propose…new possibilities for modern art museums, define the exhibition method, and propose new space requirement, then proceed (in) the planning and design based on the new required spaces and design guidelines.”

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Focusing on the Center: Fargo’s Urban-infill Design Competition

Focusing on the Center:

Fargo’s Urban-infill Design Competition

by Stanley Collyer

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As the largest city in the U.S. state of North Dakota, Fargo can afford to speculate about a redesign of its downtown core. Considering the state of the U.S. economy, one might question the planning of such an ambitious venture. But, in contrast to the rest of the nation, North Dakota’s economy is experiencing boom-like symptoms, supported mainly by the energy and agricultural sectors. Until recently, most outsiders regarded Fargo as a sleepy, northern, small city. Now, with a metropolitan population of 200,000 and growing, the community can think bigger and better. Choosing a design competition for a downtown plan is an interesting move in this direction, even though this was only an ideas competition, and there is no guarantee any of the ideas from this event will be used.

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The Gowanus Lowline Ideas Competition

Turning a Wasteland into a Community

The Gowanus Lowline Ideas Competition

by Dan Madryga

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The landscape of waste: it is a common feature in any big city. Left in the wake of decentralized cities and waning industry, the neglected postindustrial terrain is an unavoidable blemish on the built environment. The desolate, ugly, contaminated vestiges of abandoned factories, overstuffed trash dumps and discontinued mills were pushed out of site and out of mind for decades as Americans sought refuge in suburbia. Yet as urban centers are gradually redeveloped and society expresses increased concern about environmental crises, these harmful, marginalized sites are becoming more difficult to ignore. On Brooklyn’s doorstep lies one such wastescape: the dormant and noxious Gowanus Canal. With help from the recent Gowanus Lowline ideas competition, locals are beginning to seriously contemplate a restorative future for this type of ailing urban environment.

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Anticipating a Second Stage: The New Taipei City Museum of Art Design Competition

Anticipating a Second Stage

The New Taipei City Museum of Art Design Competition

by Stanley Collyer

 

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Finalist entry by Kengo Kuma and Associates

 

To arrive at a design for a new art museum in Taipei, the organizers decided to allow the participants more flexibility than usual in devising their planning concepts for the new institution. According to the design brief, “the planning and design guidelines in this program are for reference only. The designer must propose…new possibilities for modern art museums, define the exhibition method, and propose new space requirement, then proceed (in) the planning and design based on the new required spaces and design guidelines.”

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