A New Babylon: The Singapore Gardens by the Bay

A New Babylon

The Singapore Gardens by the Bay

by Stanley Collyer

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All photos by Olha Romaniuk

In 2006, Singapore staged a competition for a new park on the bay spanning 250 acres. At the edge of the city’s downtown, it was intended to become Singapore’s premier urban outdoor recreation space and a national icon. In essence, what the client was looking for was a botanical garden with an element of adventure added to the mix.

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Slovenian Architects Dominate the International Ljubljana Library Competition

Slovenian Architects Dominate the International

Ljubljana Library Competition

 
by Stanley Collyer
 
 
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Winning entry by Bevk Perović Arhitekti d.o.o.

Locating the new National and University Library NUKI II in the heart of historic downtown Ljubljana on a highly visible corner site was itself a major challenge for architects entering this competition. Of the 120 entries from throughout the world received, 116 were admitted for adjudication. Almost half of the designs submitted were of Slovenian origin, with foreign submissions heavily represented by entries from other European countries. One might have assumed that such a high profile international competition would have attracted even more entries. However, the stipulation that a physical model be part of the package must have given many architects pause. Such a requirement may not have been viewed as a serious obstacle for architects residing in the European Community. But, for those living outside of the EU, mailing costs and concerns about getting such a package through Slovenian customs on time undoubtedly reduced participation.

 

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The New Bauhaus Museum of Weimar

Weimar's New Bauhaus Museum:
 

Shedding New Light on a Storied Architectural Tradition

by Dan Madryga
 
 
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Winning entry by Heike Hanada with Benedict Tonon

Is a museum collection only as good as the architecture that houses it? With the glut of contemporary museum design producing world-class buildings for even the most mundane of collections, that seems to be the consensus of the age. Yet there is no doubt that when a museum collection is distinguished enough, it can benefit from a well-designed container.

The Bauhaus Museum in Weimar, Germany boasts just the sort of outstanding collection in need of a better home. Since 1995, the museum has been housed in an art museum on Theaterplatz that incorporates Clemens Wenzeslaus Coudray’s 19th century classicist Kulissenhaus. As a piece of architecture it is not a bad building, but it is certainly a laughably incongruent style for one of the most influential modernist schools of the 20th century. Fortunately, this mish-mashed arrangement was always intended to be temporary, and this summer, an intriguing museum design was selected as a permanent home through the New Bauhaus Museum Competition.

 

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Reimagining a Decaying Industrial Site: Nashua Master Plan Design Competition


Reimagining a Decaying Industrial Site:

Nashua Master Plan Design Competition


by Stanley Collyer

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Winning entry by Carl Pucci & Efrain Carbaca

 

Nashua, New Hampshire is no different than many of its neighbors in New England: with the closing of its mills, it is the site of a post industrial district needing rejuvenation and new ideas. With this in mind, the City decided to stage a one-stage design competition to find some creative solutions to this problem.

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Small Hospitals, Big Ideas: Kaiser Permanente Looks to New Health Care Solutions


Small Hospitals, Big Ideas:

Kaiser Permanente Looks to New Health Care Solutions

by Larry Gordon

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Winning entry by Aditazz

Medical technology and health care economics are being revolutionized. Meanwhile, both patients and doctors want hospitals to be more beautiful and humane places. And everyone hopes health facilities will become more environmentally sustainable.

With all that in mind, the enormous health care provider system Kaiser Permanente last year launched an ambitious competition for architects to design a small 100-bed hospital of the future. While a possible site would be in the high desert California community of Lancaster, the contest was really looking for a prototype that could be adapted in many settings, rural, suburban and city. After all, Kaiser Permanente already serves 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia and is growing.

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A Human Touch in an Age of High Technology: The Nils Bohr Science Park in Copenhagen


A Human Touch in an Age of High Technology:

The Nils Bohr Science Park in Copenhagen


by Stanley Collyer

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Winning entry by Rambøll

How to express an idealistic learning environment in terms of bricks and mortar is hardly new. Frank Gehry’s Stata Center at M.I.T. in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a recent example of the effort to encourage creative thinking by design at the post-graduate level. The University of Copenhagen in Denmark has taken up this idea by challenging a select group of architects to design the new Nils Bohr Science Park. They envision a ‘limitless community’ of academics and students, with lots of cross-pollination between disciplines.

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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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