An Urban Icon Emerges

  The Urban Confluence Silicon Valley Competition   Urban Confluence Silicon Valley winner: ©SMAR Architecture Studio   After several stops and starts over an extended period of time, the winner of the Urban Confluence Design Competition was named in early March, 2021. SMAR Architecture Studio’s The Breeze of Innovation, which prevailed over two other shortlisted finalists from the original 963 ...
Read more...

From Anthropology to Architecture: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Competition

  Image: ©KPMB Architects   Not to be outdone by other Canadian provincial capitals, Halifax has chosen to make its own ambitious museum statement on the city’s waterfront. New museums in Vancouver, BC, Calgary and Fredericton, New Brunswick, the latter two by KPMB Architects, are either in development or already under construction. Saskatoon’s Remai Modern by KPMB and ...
Read more...

Modular Wood Construction in the Spotlight: Urban Adaptation Competition

  Image ©Francesco Allaixand Julio Orduña   Recently we are beginning to see a resurgence of wood as a primary building material, not only for detached residential housing, but also for multi-family and commercial urban structures. Masonry, steel, and composite materials are still the bread and butter of the construction industry; but wood may be making serious inroads ...
Read more...

Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, Germany

University Clinic, Würzburg, Germany – Neurology / Women’s and Family Clinic Sponsor: Freistaat Bayern (Staatliches Bauamt Würzburg) Administration: , Berlin Type: open, RfQ, limited, anonymous Number of participants in Phase 1: 20 Number of participants in Phase 2: 5-10 Eligibility: Architects residing in countries belonging to EU or WTO Language: German Timetable: 28 January 2021 – RfQ deadline submissions March-May 2021 – Phase 1 ...
Read more...

An Ultimate Destination for Naturalists

  Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Competition   Aerial view ©Snøhetta   Until now, the establishment of presidential libraries at the conclusion of their terms has followed the founding of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library after World War II. The first exception to this was the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, established in 1962.* Now a foundation has been established in North ...
Read more...

San Jose’s Search for an Urban Icon

  The Urban Confluence Silicon Valley Competition   Image ©SMAR Architecture   After several stops and starts, a decision to name the winner of the Urban Confluence Design Competition appears to be nearing its conclusion. In 2017, three founders of a local non-profit established The San Jose Light Tower Corporation (SJLTC). The founders of the non-profit, Restauranteur Steve Borkenhagen, construction ...
Read more...

Uusi Kansallinen – National Finnish Museum Competition: Following a Time Honored Paradigm

    Aerial view of site – Courtesy National Finnish Museum   When major cultural institutions in Finland plan a new building project, one can almost always assume that an open competition will be the vehicle by which the client settles on the building’s design. The only question is, will this be organized in a format open to local, ...
Read more...

Senses and Sensitivity: The Opening of Taichung’s Central Park by Catherine Mosbach/Philippe Rahm

 

 

 

 

The abandonment and closing of airports, including decommissioning those that were used for military purposes, has presented design communities with several opportunities to convert them entirely to civilian purposes. Notable among those which have been the result of competitions are Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California (Ken Smith Landscape Architects), The Estonian National Museum (Dan Dorell, Lina Ghotmeh  and Tsuyoshi Tane), and Toronto’s less successful Downsview Park competition, whereby the winning design by OMA, with trees as the primary feature, has been basically ignored. Instead, the area has become the site of numerous commercial and residential projects.

 

The Taichung Gateway Park Competition (now Taichung Central Park), won by Catherine Mosbach and Philippe Rahm with Ricky Liu and Associates, has been completed after a two-stage international competition and an intensive development phase. Also the site of a previous city airport, this was an ambitious project, covering a 168-acre parcel of land. The original competition participants were faced with a large, comprehensive program, not only incorporating a number of significant features, but doing so sustainably. When we reported on the results of that competition in 2012, author Dan Madryga summed up the challenge presented to the designers as follows:

 

Serving as the central backbone of the new community, Gateway Park will help set the standard for Gateway City’s subsequent development. The open, two-stage competition challenged architects, planners, and landscape architects to develop a meandering 168-acre parcel of land into a functionally complex recreational park running north to south through the new city, linking its various functional zones. The competition organizers sought a park that combined “tranquility, ecology, landscaping, disaster mitigation, carbon reduction and recreation.” Various recreational and cultural facilities had to be skillfully integrated into the park’s fabric, including a Cultural Center, Movie City, and the aforementioned Taiwan Tower. With a preliminary construction budget set at approximately US$85,000,000, the park is certainly a large-scale, high stakes endeavor with great potential.*

 

blank
Middle leisure land Image with pavilion: ©Mosbach/Rahm

 

In the meantime the development phase saw the Mosbach/Rahm team settle on an interesting idea, placing structures along the breath of the site, representing “senses” according to the Rudolph Steiner method. For some, this may hark back to Bernard Tschumi’s “follies”, which were an essential element of his winning design for Parc de la Villette in Paris. In this case, it can be seen in its value not only for its educational/discovery features, but rather as a visual site-integration strategy with thematic connecting links.

The park is to be dedicated on December 6th in Taichung. With its multiple attractions, it promises to be a most important addition to the life and the well-being of the residents of the city and beyond.

 

*For the original competition Mosbach/Rahm entry: https://competitions.org/2012/01/taichung-gateway-park/

 

Read more...

Science Island Design Competition Finalists

  Finalist and Winning entry: ©SMAR Architecture Studio   Until the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1989, the occupied Baltic countries were known for their hi-tech contributions to the Soviet economy. As a carryover from that period, the Baltic nations still emphasize technology as a major factor in their economies. Thus, the establishment of a new Science ...
Read more...

Ground Breaking at Science Island

  SMAR’s Winning Entry Gets the Green Light Image: ©SMAR Architecture   The winning competition entry in the 2016 Science Island competition in Kaunas, Lithuania by SMAR Architects may only take five years to realize—from the date of the competition to completion. This is encouraging news, as the duration of such projects resulting from a competition can often take ...
Read more...