On Friday 29.02.2008 Anttinen Oiva Architects won the competition to build a city centre campus library for the University of Helsinki completion is slated as 2011-12. It looks pretty good to me. I Really like the dynamic facades using brick and glass, to match the materials of the street but also conform to the location and program. Its a bit more lively than standard for a big project in Finland which is good too, and I’m waiting to see how they link up with the existing sublevel strees around the metro there.
The results of Europan9 in Finland are out. With three competition areas in Finland Kotka, Vantaa, and Espoo, it was the winner of the Espoo site which stood out for me as being able to create a real quality set of shoreline spaces without being twee or contrived. Clear connections to the existing infrastructure and reuse of some of the industrial buildings, make really good gritty urban design, I would love to see this get built. It is so that although the Europan competition has some weaknesses, I’ve seen plenty of projects which don’t take into account the Finnish weather for example it continuues to channel and generate good ideas both experimental and practical and I hope is an ongoing engine of change and experimentation in urbanism. I’d love to see it expanded to look at projects forinstance in Asia where urban growth is a great threat and opportunity. A global competition with the teeth or Europan to even get some visionary projects actually off the drawing board however patchily would be great.
The Winning Espoo project was by Julien Ventalon, and Laura Bartolon both of France, images are from their winning entry. (Also found a post about the kotka entry here which is pretty nice too.) Click through for a slideshow of the espoo winners entry.
My Friend Nick O’Neill just won the 2007 BD/Zumtobal photography competition with the entry above. You have to take the photos with a disposable camera and then send it in o the organisers before its developed, the results can be great. There were some other good photos there too so its worth checking out all the shortlisted entries at the article.
I just posted for the first time on Superspatial a collaborative weblog (myself and kosmograd so far) and jumping off point for urbanism of all kind. Posting on urbanisation issues will really focus there. We have entered a couple of competitions already so if you are interested in joining in then please get in touch. We don’t just write about this stuff you know.
Some great past posts by kosmograd include;
06. The Manhattanisation of Bilbao
05. The City Destroyed by its own Beauty
A new island forms the centrepiece of an expansion of the Otaniemi campus of Helsinki university in Espoo. The competition won by NRT Architects is for office and teaching space for 1500 people with a further 700 residences. Its a major addition adn improvement to the campus which already contains some world class Architecture.
One of the more prestigious and well rewarded Architectural awards The Stirling Prize Shortlist is as follows;
- America’s Cup Building, Valencia by David Chipperfield Architects
- Casa da Musica, Porto by OMA
- Dresden Station Redevelopment, Dresden by Foster + Partners
- Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar by David Chipperfield Architects
- The Savill Building, Windsor by Glenn Howells Architects
- Young Vic Theatre, London by Haworth Tompkins
It used to be for British registered Architects only but it seems they have opened up a place on the shortlist for best European building enabling OMA to get listed. The winner will be announced on 6th October. PartIV is doing a poll so head over there and vote for the unofficial winner, less well rewarded but surely more accurate!
Oh and to help you choose I have the mapped (kml) them using photos from flickr.
(image from Arkkitehtitoimisto ALA Oy)
ALA just won the design competition for the new urban plan of Hanasaari. As can be seen from the graphic the new housing blocks are going to make a real statement from the sea, with large balconies and an extended wave like form or possibly boat hulls. This development will start once the Hanasaari powerplant is demolished starting in 2008.
(location in google maps)
The Competition for every aspiring starchitect, and everyone else, just launched again Europan9 is here. European urbanity, sustainable city and new public spaces are the main themes. Finnish Europan has some interesting sites in Espoo, Vantaa (both in greater Helsinki) and Kotka on the South East coast which is redeveloping. Is there a potential tie-in with the Greater Helsinki Vision competition for the Vantaa and Espoo sites? That’s a tempting thought although it’s so much urbanism in one go it could give you a case of urban indigestion.
A new international competition for planning Helsinkis’ future has been launched. It’s scope and scale is massive and it’s not often you get the chance to reimagine a Capital city like this. The Competition briefing information alone is a great repository of information about Helsinki and indeed the Baltic. Visit greaterhelsinkivision for details also see the city press release [pdf] here.
On the 1st December RMJM won the gazprom city competition in St.Petersburg. But an interesting development was that the Architects walked off the jury before the winner was announced.
Norman Foster and Rafael ViÃ±oly walked off the jury that chose RMJMâ€™s designs for the massive Gazprom City development in St Petersburg. The two stars joined Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa in boycotting the competition, leaving the client and politicians to make the choice. (via)
So the competition was judged without any expert advise in the end, but why? Kurokawa is on record as saying the height of the projects compared to the rest of the city was why he resigned, but what about the others. Was it the height of the building or that their choice/advice was ignored? Seeing as this is a giant monument to the powerful who really cares if it messes up a pretty skyline anyway? Personally the whole enterprise seems slightly tainted looking in from the outside, with the whole question of the buildings height , the vetoing of the competition by St.Petersburg Architects Society just to name a few issues, and because of the nature of these buildings how can anyone separate the badly run from the morally culpable, but then that’s Russia all over at the moment. ArchGFX sums up things pretty well, so I’m not going to go on a rant about it any more, but a world class competition that could have been well handled with the buy in of the whole Architectural community got messed up. See the voting here which predicted the outcome. The winning entry is above and the losers are lined up below. Follow the discussion at archinect. Continue reading
As an Architect you win some and you lose some, I took part with my office in a design competition for Aviapolis Tower which we lost. Davidsson won, and the winning entry image is top left. Its an interesting development mainly because of its height. At about 100 metres high it puts this project at a similar height to the tallest buildings in Finland, they just don’t build tall here. But the last project I worked on while in the UK has just won a couple of awards at the Scottish Design Awards 2006 , The Royal Bank of Scotland World Headquarters by Michael Laird Architects which I worked on for almost three years (see earlier post) Oh and I had to draw that helical stair so I hope you like it. Image is top right.
Also see rbs gogarburn_hq.kmz
Finnish Europan Winners announced yesterday and they have even managed to build a couple unlike some places!
The Museum of History of Polish Jews by Lahdelma & Mahlamaki is having some problems see the Archinect page about it. The masterplan is up for debate and the issue of Authenticity in Museums comes under scrutiny again. The building is to be somewhere in the Warsaw ghetto and may have a reconstruction of a ghetto street within it. It seems a strange idea from here anyway! L&M’s design is really abstract in references not unlike Libeskinds Berlin Jewish Museum or Eisnemans Memorial to murdered jews and this is definitely the right philosophy. So why put a fake street inside and risk a sort of Kitch reconstruction? This will take away from the story of the ghetto resistance not add to it. The museum designers should be taking a leaf out of the architectural design in this instance.
(also see previous post)
Scottish Parliament wins the Stirling prize 2005 which goes to show how much I know (see last post for my prediction!). Anyway a worthy and probably right winner as I think it fulflls the purpose of the prize the best out of the contestants.
This Saturday the winner of the 2005 Stirling Prize will be announced, while this article in the Guardian, interviews the people of Europes largest Housing estate which is about to be knocked down. My money is on the Lewis Gluckmans Gallery.
Up today the 2005 shortlist is,
BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany – Zaha Hadid Architects
Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College, Cork, Ireland â€“ Oâ€™Donnell + Tuomey
The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh – EMBT / RMJM Ltd
McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, Surrey – Foster and Partners
Jubilee Library, Brighton, Sussex – Bennetts Associates with Lomax Cassidy + Edwards
Fawood Childrenâ€™s Centre, Harlesden, NW10 – Alsop Design Ltd
Stirling Prize homepage