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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Steel and Spirituality Revisited: ACSA’s 10th Annual Steel Design Student Competition

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Seaplane Terminal Competition: A Catalyst for Watson Island Waterfront

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Griffintown Interrupted: An unsolicited competition brings global participants and local stakeholders to the table over a district in limbo

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Kaohsiung Port Center Competition

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Many buildings in close proximity to bodies of water seem to have that joie de vivre about them. Whether it is Sea Ranch, The Bilbao Guggenheim, Oslo Opera House or summer residences in the Hamptons, the proximity of water somehow manages to stimulate designers to produce excitement in a relaxed atmosphere. From the Greek temples to Spas in England, construction of major structures on oceans and rivers was always more likely to reflect modern trends in architecture, rather than simply replicating a style from the past. Recent waterfront projects such as the Yokohama International Port Terminal—a competition won by Foreign Office Architects—and Canada Place in Vancouver are examples of cities recognizing the need to push the envelope when redesigning port terminal facilities. So it was with the results of the Kaohsiung Port and Cruise Service Center competition .

 

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The Eisenhower Memorial: Sending Mixed Messages?

The Eisenhower Memorial: Sending Mixed Messages? by Stanley Collyer

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Preface

Since this article was written, several events have occurred which have changed our perception of the final design process. Frank Gehry went back to the drawing board and has modified his memorial design, eliminating some of the columns which we objected to at the edge of the site (January 2011, see above). One may only hope that the tapastry design element, which the Arts Commission still has some reservations about, can be resolved successfully.

More recently, a group called the National Civic Art Society in Washington has issued a call for another Eisenhower Memorial competition for the same site. Apparently stuck on the idea that everything in Washington near the Mall should be in the Beaux Arts traditional style, they take offense that the Gehry design does not meet their standards of what a memorial to Ike should look like. Although probably well-meaning, this group evidently would like to turn back the clock on progress in this field. They would like to erase from memory all the advancements in new materials and ideas which have surfaced and been implemented over the past century. Is it then surprising that not one architect on their board is a national name (Most of their members are laypersons). Although their competition will undoubtedly draw some entries, it should hardly be taken seriously, much less receive any attention from the press. What they are doing is adding nothing to a positive dialogue about architecture in this country—only attempting to set it back by decades.  -Ed

Frank Gehry's preferred idea for the Eisenhower Memorial was one of three proposals which the firm presented in March 2010 to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission after prevailing in the earlier selection process. Although not touted as a pure competition by the Memorial Commission, the original selection process in 2009 was typical of the General Services Administration’s Excellence in Architecture program, often used to adjudicate the design process for government projects such as federal courthouses.

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St. Francis High School Louisville, KY

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Wheeling Millennium Plaza Competition

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