Architecture  Competitions as the Victim of American Exceptionalism

  Winning Stage 2 design for the WWll Memorial Competition ©Friedrich St. Florian   The guidelines for the administration a design competition are not a closely held state secret. Still, leading up to the announcement of a design competition for the World War II Memorial, some in the military seemed to think otherwise. In early 1993, an AIA ...
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35 years of COMPETITIONS – Recalling Some of the Most Memorable, Both Built and Unbuilt

    Helsinki Central Library, by ALA Architects (2012-2018)   The world has experienced a limited number of open competitions over the past three decades, but even with diminishing numbers, some stand out among projects in their categories that can’t be ignored for the high quality and degree of creativity they revealed. Included among those are several invited competitions ...
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Holocaust Memorials Under Siege?

  New England Holocaust Memorial, by Stanley Saitowitz   The New England Holocaust Memorial, the result of a competition won by Stanley Saitowitz (above), appeared to be an easy target with its glass panel design for teenagers on two separate occasions. Just focusing on competitions, an attack against any building that was the result of a competition raises ...
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Seoripul Open Storage Museum in Seoul

  Winning entry ©Herzog de Meuron   In visiting any museum, one might wonder what important works of art are out of view in storage, possibly not considered high profile enough to see the light of day? In Korea, an answer to this question is in the making. It can come as no surprise that museums are running out ...
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Alster Swimming Pool Restoration, Hamburg

  Alster Swimming Pool after restoration (2023)   Linking Two Competitions with Three Modernist Projects   Hardly a week goes by without the news of another architectural icon being threatened with demolition. A modernist swimming pool in Hamburg, Germany belonged in this category, even though the concrete shell roof had been placed under landmark status. When the possibility of being ...
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International Competition for a conceptual architectural design of a primary school in City Kvart in Podgorica

  Winning entry ©Mirko Popović, Žaklina Nježić, Zoltán Schrammel   Americans became quite aware of the Montenegrin educational system during their 2016 presidential election. It was then that students interviewed by western reporters revealed to the press the nature of their their lucrative, part-time, after school jobs—creating social bots to influence the outcome of the U.S. election. Based ...
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Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Competition

  A Church Ruin as Reconciliation Memorial   View of winning design from south ©Heninghan Peng Architects     For those tourists visiting Berlin today, the sudden approach to the ruins of a 1895 church building located on the city’s downtown Breitscheidplatz would certainly arouse their curiosity. One of the few remaining relics of World War II in the city, the ...
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Düsseldorf “New Heart” Tower Competition

  Architecture as a Unifying Concept   1st Place – UNStudio  Image: ©Aerial image: ©die developer Projektentwicklung GmbH     As attractive as some of our most famous towers might appear, they do have a serious downside according to some observers: ‘they suck the life out of the street.’ This has not gone unnoticed, as some cities have required setbacks as ...
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Take Back the City Competition

  Belfast Looks Toward an Equitable and Sustainable Housing Model   Birdseye view of Mackie site ©Matthew Lloyd Architects   If one were to look for a theme that is common to most affordable housing models, public access has been based primarily on income, or to be more precise, the very lack of it. Here it is no different, with ...
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Dallas Tabs Nieto Sobejano as Choice For Museum Redesign

Six Firms Competed to Rethink the Future of a Major Museum

 

Note: Our article of three weeks ago, announcing the designs of the six firms competing in this competition, apparently only reached about half of our subscribers due to a glitch in our provider's software. Therefore, we felt the need to include most of that article here to serve as background for the naming of the winner, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos of Madrid/Berlin. 

 

 


Aerial view of winning design ©Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos (courtesy Malcolm Reading Consultants)

 

 

The history of the Dallas Museum of Art’s expansion has been punctuated by several moves, culminating in a new building designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1984. The importance of this move to a new, somewhat desolate location in the city cannot be underestimated: it has led to the revitalization of what is now called the “Arts District,” with the relocation of various arts institutions to new facilities: the opera house (Foster and Partners), Dee and Charles Wyly Performing Arts Theater (REX/OMA), Nasher Sculpture Center (Renzo Piano), and I.M. Pei’s Meyerson Symphony Center being among the most significant. 

 


Image ©Wikimapia

 

As has been the case with numerous art museums, demands for more space to enable the showing of an expanding inventory. together with recognition that art is not just for the elites, has led those institutions to rethink how a museum should function in modern day society. With new high-rise buildings surrounding the present DMA, the present building, with an Indiana limestone facade, had to some “become unwelcoming, off-putting, and defensive.” To address this issue, both for expansion and refurbishment of the existing DMA, the Trustees looked to a competition to bring the best ideas for the new project. This decision should be seen against the background of a local/regional context: Dallas’s nearby, smaller neighbor, Fort Worth, had been at the forefront of museum design on the national and international scene when it came to museum design. Louis Kahn’s Kimball Museum (1972) was a pilgrimage destination for young architects, and Tadeo Ando’s Museum of Modern Art there had been the result of a competition (1997).

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