Bucolic Site as Museum Context: The Serlachius Museum Competition in Finland

Bucolic Site as Museum Context

The Serlachius Museum Competition in Finland

by William Morgan

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In Finland, a land where architectural competitions are a way of life, a design contest for an addition to a small art museum drew the greatest number of entries in Finnish competition history.

That the Serlachius Museum in an out-of-the way city could attract 579 entrants from 41 countries may say something about the flat world economy. But it is more likely a measure of the attractiveness of the project, the reputation of the client, and the above-board way competitions are run in Finland.

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A Community Icon Revisited: The Indianapolis Monument Circle Competition

A Community Icon Revisited

The Indianapolis Monument Circle Competition

by Stanley Collyer

The Arc de Triomphe, Brandenburg Gate and Red Square all share a common theme: they represent the spirit of their cities in the most visual urbanistic and symbolic sense. Always located in the central core, they may fulfill different functions—a traffic mode, gateway to the old city, or just central gathering place—but without such symbols, those cities would lose more than part of a historic past. Many small towns in the U.S. have their own courthouse squares; but few can rival Indianapolis’ Monument Circle. By virtue of its central downtown location, high visibility, and historic landmark status, it occupies a special chapter in the urban history of our nation.

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Expansion as an Art: Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences

Expansion as an Art: Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences (Addendum)

by Stanley Collyer

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Initial proposal by VOA

Adding space to an existing museum to improve its functionality can be a daunting challenge. Confronted with such a scenario, the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences turned to a competition to arrive at an innovative solution to its expansion plans. Limited to architectural firms based in Florida, the competition was conducted in two stages — the first stage consisting of a short list based on expressions of interest, followed by a submission of designs by finalists.

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Restoring and Reinventing Albanian Identity: A New Mosque and Museum of Tirana & Religious Harmony

Restoring and Reinventing Albanian Identity:

A New Mosque and Museum of Tirana & Religious Harmony

by Dan Madryga

tir_image by big_01
Winning entry by Bjarke Ingels Group

Tirana, Albania might be the last place that many would associate with cutting edge architecture. The capital of a poor country still struggling to sweep away the lingering vestiges of the communist era, it is understandable that architecture and design have not always been a top priority. Yet in the face of the city’s struggles, Tirana is striving to reclaim and reshape its image and identity, and international design competitions are playing no small role in this movement. And while Tirana has yet to be associated with contemporary architecture, the implementation of these design competitions has introduced a handful of renowned architecture firms to the city with high hopes of bolstering the international image of Albania. In 2008, MVRDV won commission for a community master plan on Tirana Lake that will herald forward thinking, ecologically minded urban development. Earlier this year, Coop Himmelb(l)au won a competition for the new Albanian Parliament Building with a design intended to symbolize the transparency and openness of democracy. Most recently, Tirana can now add BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) of Denmark to these ranks as the winner of the New Mosque and Museum of Tirana & Religious Harmony Competition, an ambitious project aimed to further rekindle a tattered Albanian cultural identity.

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Sauerbruch Hutton Out, Marshall In: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

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MCA, Sydney

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A New Live/Workplace as Tourist Destination: Fez, Morocco Infill Competition by Stanley Collyer

A New Live/Workplace as Tourist Destination

Fez, Morocco Infill Competition

by Stanley Collyer

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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.

 

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Innovative Design Finds Anchorage in Boston: The Barge 2011 Design Competition by Dan Madryga

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Fort Point Channel is poised to become Boston’s “next great place.” As a centrally located connection between the waterfronts of downtown and South Boston, the long underutilized waterway has become the subject of attention in the last decade. The award winning 2002 Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan has laid the groundwork for a revitalized waterfront neighborhood that promises a variety of recreational, cultural, and maritime facilities. This September, in addition to the usual signs of revitalization, visitors may be surprised to come across a bright pink balloon hovering over the channel. This intriguing object is the result of SHIFTboston’s recent Barge 2011 Design Competition.

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Creating Spaces: A Multi-Layered Approach to a Complex Program The Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Music Center, Taiwan by Stanley Collyer

Creating Spaces: A Multi-Layered Approach to a Complex Program

The Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Music Center, Taiwan

by Stanley Collyer

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Once the destination of large passenger liners and freighters, ports such as Manhattan and San Francisco are now more likely to be the site of entirely different activities. Cities have discovered that waterfronts lend themselves to all kinds of recreational activities: instead of large ships, we may now find tennis courts, museums and restaurants located on those once abandoned piers. The conversion of waterfronts to other uses is hardly limited to North America. In the run-up to the 1984 Barcelona Olympic Games, Oriel Bohigas was asked to devise a plan, which included the redesign of the Barcelona waterfront. It turned out to be an attractive destination for locals and tourists alike and may have represented a subliminal moment in the minds of the Spanish architects who recently won the recent Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Popular Music Center International Competition in Taiwan. Recognizing the potential of this post-industrial site, the Kaohsiung authorities chose to stage a competition as a vehicle to facilitate the transformation process — with the stated intention of injecting new energy into an outdated waterfront location.

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Seaplane Terminal Competition: A Catalyst for Watson Island Waterfront

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