Vienna School of Economics

An Academic Cluster Pointing to the Future

The Vienna School of Economics Campus Plan

By Stanley Collyer

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School of Economics Library by Zaha Hadid (all photos by Stanley Collyer)

At the turn of the 21st Century, the Vienna School of Economics (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien), the largest of its kind in Europe, was bursting at the seams. Over 23,000 students were scattered throughout different locatons in the city. When it became obvious that it would be necessary to consolidate the programs at a central location, the decision was made to select an area near the Prater for the new campus—the site of the World Exhibition Area and Fairgrounds. The building program was ambitious, with a number of facilities planned to accommodate all the programs, and the strategy was typically European, as student dormitories were not envisaged as an integral part of the overall campus plan.

To begin with, a local Viennese firm, BUSarchitektur, was engaged to complete a masterplan for the site, and a number of renowned architects were then commissioned to design the various facilities: No.MAD Arquitectos, CRABstudio Architects, Estudio Carme Pinós, Atelier Hitoshi Abe, and BUSarchitektur, the latter local firm being the author of the masterplan.

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A Challenging Site for Calgary’s New Library: Snøhetta Tops Four Firms in Invited Competition

A Challenging Site for Calgary’s New Library

Snøhetta Tops Four Firms in Invited Competition

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Winning design by Snøhetta (image courtesy Calgary Public Library)

The site of Calgary’s new public library will occupy part of a city block, directly across from the City Hall. One might assume that a project of this size would have deserved a more spacious, flexible site. However, the location the library here was regarded as an important urban statement, not just for downtown Calgary, but also for the East Village neighborhood. That the intended site was also home to a trolley line was not enough to cause the City to abandon this strategy. According to the client, “The location of the new library, adjacent to City Hall, will strengthen the fabric of community life by weaving East Village, the original heart of Calgary, back into the story of Centre City. From this prime location, the library will not only serve Calgary’s growing population but also the 140,000+ workers and students who travel downtown every day.”

Locating a main library in the center of a metropolitan area, regardless of the density issue, is a logical solution. The location of the new Grande Bibliothèque by Patkau Architects in Montreal’s downtown is a great example of what a major public institution can do for a neighborhood. In that case, a nearby Metro line has made the library easily accessible to most of the city’s inhabitants. It can be assumed that the same will hold true for Calgary.

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Adaptive Reuse of a Hospital Site: The Royal Adelaide Hospital Competition

Adaptive Reuse of a Hospital Site

The Royal Adelaide Hospital Competition

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Winning entry by SLASH + Phillips with Pilkington Architects

As a building type, hospitals have an unfortunate propensity toward early obsolesce and therefore are often the target of adaptive reuse, if not total demolition. This has been the case in Adelaide, Australia, where the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is being replaced by a brand new structure, to be dedicated in 2016. Faced with this impending change, the South Australian Government decided to initiate a “design led engagement process to explore possibilities for the current RAH site.” A significant element in this process included an international open ideas design competition, and the focus of this competition was “to create an iconic place within the Greater Riverbank Precinct of Adelaide.

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University of Chicago North Campus Student Residence

University of Chicago North Campus Student Residence

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Winning entry by Studio Gang with Mortenson Construction—Image courtesy Studio Gang ©University of Chicago

Like many American universities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the University of Chicago viewed Gothic architecture as a recognizable symbol to suggest academic excellence in the tradition of Ivy League universities and Oxford. In this, Chicago was not alone, as other schools used a similar formula to imply a connection to a pre-existing academic tradition—Duke University and Butler University in the 1920s being prime examples. As time passed, and to accommodate Chicago’s reputation architecturally as a forward-looking community, the university gradually hired contemporary architects such as Eero Saarinen, Mies van der Rohe, Edward Larrabee Barnes, Walter Netsche and Harry Weese to add to the university’s built fabric. Beginning with the early 21st century, the look on the campus has been updated even more to reflect current trends with buildings by Cesar Pelli, Helmut Jahn, Rafael Viñoly, Joe Valerio, and most recently, the musum by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

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ADD-ON ’13

ADD-ON '13

Affordable Housing for Cape Cod

by William Morgan

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Winning entry by CxMxD

 

The goal of the Add-on '13 competition was to "seek design proposals for a freestanding, affordable, accessory dwelling unit on outer Cape Cod." Specifically, the town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts has a bylaw that allows a second living unit–and even up to three extra units–on the lot of an existing home. At the moment, the fishing and resort village has a dozen such accessory dwellings. But the nobler aim of the Add-on competition was to "consider the role of affordable housing" in a non-urban context and to "re-envision the relationship between architecture, infrastructure, resources and the land." Despite the seeming modesty of the program–800 square-foot, single bedroom units, to cost less than $150,000, Add-on '13 was a significant contest.

 

 

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Surfer’s Paradise Goes Cultural: The Gold Coast Precinct Competition

Surfer's Paradise Goes Cultural

The Gold Coast Cultural Precinct Competition

by Stanley Collyer

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Winning entry by ARM Architecture

Are a Surfer’s Paradise and a significant emphasis on culture mutually compatible? Australia’s City of Gold Coast thinks so, as evidenced by its ambitious competition for a new cultural precinct. The site of the Cultural Precinct competition is the Evandale district, separated by a river and Chevron Island from the city’s premier attraction—Surfer’s Paradise. As indicated by the latter’s name, the city has gained a large share of its revenue as a tourist attraction. Outside of the inviting coastline, there is much to supplement the entertainment needs of tourists, including 40 golf courses and five theme parks. But as Australia’s fastest growing city—now at almost 600,000—the focus has now turned to the arts as a major asset.

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The Old and the New: Glasgow’s Schools of Art

The Old and the New

Glasgow’s Schools of Art

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photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy Steven Holl Architects

by Brian Carter

The competition, organized and administered by Malcolm Reading Consultants under the auspices of the Glasgow School of Art in 2009, focused on the selection of an architect to develop proposals for a new school of art on Renfrew Street to be built directly opposite the 1896 building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. After some initial opposition from Scottish architects, the competition was opened to international participation. Seven practices (1) were reviewed by an eight member selection committee chaired by David MacKay. The committee agreed unanimously to appoint Steven Holl Architects, who worked in collaboration with JM Architects and Arup. (2)

 

 

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DawnTown Competition: Landmark Miami

DawnTown Competition: Landmark Miami

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Imagining a design competition for a Miami landmark raises a common question: “Aren’t Miami and Miami Beach actually one big city?” Since both municipalities have their own local administrative institutions and history, focusing exclusively on Miami would suggest that each entity also has its own unique identity and, therefore, its own iconic symbols. Miami Beach has no such identity problem. Ocean Drive with its art deco architecture has long been a recognizable advertising staple for the community. Moreover, a number of its recent modern buildings—Publix Supermarket by Carlos Zapata and Lincoln Road Parking Garage by Herzog de Meuron—have bolstered the city’s image as a place where cutting edge design takes place. 

 

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Realizing a Major Museum Project in Record Time: Finland’s Serlachius Museum Competition

Realizing a Major Museum Project in Record Time

Finland’s Serlachius Museum Competition

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All photos courtesy of the Serlachius Museum
 

When the political will and money are there, even a winning competition design can be realized in a reasonable amount of time. By the time all the designs had been submitted to the Serlachius Museum competition in 2011, over 500 entries were received for adjudication. Just three years later, the museum is open for business and built essentially to the original plan (see model). The completed project not only adhered closely to the initial winning scheme by MX_SI Architectural Studio of Barcelona, but also provided an interior rich in detail. The result? The Museum has received high marks from the citizens of Mänttä, and this facility promises to be a regional destination for art lovers, much as the Louisiana Museum on the Danish coast has been, not far from Copenhagen. -Ed

 

 

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Zaryadye Park Competition & Interview

The Zaryadye Park Competition

and an Interview with Juror, Ken Smith

by Stanley Collyer

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Winning project by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

 

Could one imagine a more ideal site for a major urban park? In most cases the site for the future Zaryadye Park in Moscow could only exist in an architect’s dream world. Not only is the site located in the center of Moscow, next door to the Kremlin; it is ringed by buildings reflecting the full spectrum of Russian architecture from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Because of the site’s high visibility, the City decided to stage a limited competition for the site, with the support of the Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design. According to the competition brief, “the aim of the competition is to develop an architectural and landscaping design concept that will form the basis for the creation of a contemporary park with a high quality infrastructure that will be open for the public all year round.”

 

 

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