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the great big architecture and urbanism thread
  • Europan 9 was launched this month.

    The competition that launches a thousand dreams of your face in El Croquis, Europan has launched and given aspiring urban designers everywhere three sites in the UK to choose from: an enticing green field next to Milton Keynes, a canal-side bit of Stoke now sadly without the potteries shown in one fantastic image, or a Sheffield site with the lovely name of Skye Edge. The jury includes Peter St John, Christine Hawley, and the wonderful Neave Brown, alongside one of the Urbed directors, the head of architecture at MK council and an Amsterdam planner, among others.


    The Europan competition definitely impresses by its bigness: in 2005 Europan 8 offered 19 simultaneous national competitions on 74 different European sites – each nation set its own jury.

    Europan addresses young architects aged less than forty years and intends the realisation of the winning designs. No wonder the competition is seen as a serious chance to launch an architectural practice!

    The implementation of the prize winning projects is still difficult but at least Europan entrants can expect a professionally organised competition resulting in exhibitions and publications - what else shall we require?

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    i guess that means "portacabin", in italian, right? :D
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    These are the first pictures of an extraordinary concept scheme for a mammoth mile-high tower in London capable of housing more than 100,000 people.
    Drawn up by Popularchitecture, in collaboration with Fluid Engineers and Pha Consul M&E specialists, the giant skyscraper would be three times larger than anything ever built in the capital and would create 12 new ‘villages’ in the sky.

    As well as homes, the 1,500m-tall tower has also been designed to contain all the infrastructure needed for such a large population, including schools, hospitals, shops and pubs.

    At the centre of the structure would be a ‘vast internal void’ lit by circular openings every 20 storeys. Each of these ‘holes’ would be used as either public squares or for specialist activities such as ice skating, botanic gardens or swimming pools.

    Practice founder Tom Teatum admits the scheme’s scale is verging on ‘almost unbelievable proportions’ but insists there are developers who are interested, ‘in particular because of minimal land value in relation to accommodation’.

    He said: ‘Occupying a scale far beyond anything that currently exists in London, the tower would allow the city’s population to expand without significant impact to the architectural fabric on the ground.’

    The practice also envisages the possibility that a whole series of the towers could be built.

  • £100,000 award honours urban design pioneer Jacobs

    imageThe Rockefeller Foundation in the US has announced the creation of a $200,000 (£100,000) award, to be called the Jane Jacobs Medal, which will recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to thinking about urban design.
    The medal – which will focus specifically, but not exclusively, on work in New York City – will be dished out annually to two people: one who has made a lifetime contribution and another who is at the start of a promising career.

    Jacobs – who died last year and was a towering figure in urban design circles – was a young unknown in 1958 when she received a $10,000 grant from the foundation to write what would become her world-famous book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

    New Yorker architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, who is on the jury for the medal, said: ‘Jane Jacobs’s way of seeing things has really held sway over the last 20 years, and that’s all to the good.’

    Nominations for the awards can be submitted via the Rockefeller Foundation Web site until 2 March at
  • chris:
    i guess that means "portacabin", in italian, right? :D

    rocioromero means absolutely nothing in italian, it sounds a bit spanish, albeit it could be just a brand name;
    portakabin in italian could be "prefabbricato" more or less.. :)
  • aw come on, i was taking the mickey ;) :p

    that tall cylindrical thing looks like something out of an asimov novel, ihc :)
  • some of this stuff at dellis cay is bloody right nice! just watch out for the browser resize ;)
  • In the russian tradition, the unfinished (on hold for lack of funds) Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North korea.

    330 meter high, this thing blows my mind. Brutalist design which fascinate through it's scale alone, but why on earth does North Korea need a hotel that big?
  • Maybe it's a big missile and they're just building the hotel around it to fool everyone...? :p
  • from - the bloomframe. looks pretty cool, for certain circumstances, right? would you trust this to hold the weight though? no fatties, please! :D
  • fatties - ha :D

    they actually have a huge bearing weight - im not sure how

    the clue is in the solid side panels - hiding a mini truss no doubt
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    "The Battersea Power Station site is set to be transformed into a dynamic newentertainment and events, cultural and commercial focus for London. It will become a platform for innovation, a place of inspiration where new thinking and new ideas will thrive."

  • i posted about this on my blog some time ago - since then, however, the site has been bought up yet again by a new developer and theyve shelved the scheme shown above
  • hmmn, i noticed that if you click "home" on the site, it goes to a holding page...
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    these must be the best treehouses in the world! they look like gypsies caravans inside!

    check it out, freespirit spheres
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    OMA principal Rem Koolhaas has unveiled these designs for a new 52-storey tower in New Jersey, USA.

    The Pritzker Prize-winner revealed the mixed-use skyscraper earlier this week, which sees three rectangular slabs stacked perpendicular to each other.

    The scheme will house a hotel, a host of condominiums, artist lofts and studios, a gallery and retail space.

    Koolhaas said of his design: I am putting together familiar elements in an unfamiliar way. We are creating something slightly more memorable and slightly more energetic – what New Jersey lacks is some visible evidence of a new beginning.

    The $400 million (£200 million) project aims to be the focal point of an arts district, and will house public spaces on three levels.

    If it wins the green light the scheme will become one of the tallest residential structure in the New Jersey area, and will replace a 130-year old former tobacco company.


  • i like that. will they have a roof top garden on the top of the middle section?
  • dunno but they need to work on their compositing yo
  • hehe, i still like those colour and grey images you produced a while back, ihc. in fact, i just grabbed them off the bb gallery and stuck them in a folder... they should take a look at those and do something similar.

    anyway, no hanging around here...


    All across Beirut you can find walls covered with bullets holes. Reminders of past violence, conflict and war. Moving through the city they are an all too familiar backdrop for any urban scene. This proposal that I called ‘bullet lights’ is reversing the meaning and experience of the ‘bullet hole wallpaper’ at diverse locations in the city. Introducing unexpected poetic moments of beauty. Beauty, ambivalently mixed with the physical testimonies of violence. The project doesn’t want to make a point it just invites people to look at things differently. Seeing things from more than one perspective is the starting point for empathy.

    via: unbuilt
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    SWANSEA'S ambition to create a waterfront city that will be the envy of Europe has taken a major step forward today (Mon, March 5).

    Developers and property agents from across Britain gathered in Swansea to hear about £1 billion plans to revitalise the city centre.

    Swansea Council, the Welsh Assembly Government and the City Centre Partnership joined forces to launch the Swansea City Strategic Framework which covers the whole of the city centre and identifies major sites which are ripe for development.

    At today's launch the first major development opportunities at three key locations in the heart of the city were unveiled.

    They include the St David's and Quadrant area which could be redeveloped to create a 21st century retail complex, attracting major shops and stores to the city centre.

    The second site being marketed is the car park at Paxton Street and the east car park at County Hall. They have stunning elevated views of the sea and city centre and could be transformed into an iconic destination.

    These seafront sites can be developed with new landmark buildings including shops, cafes and homes and attractive public spaces which will help to link the city centre with the sea.

    The final site being marketed is the Sailbridge area which is being offered for grounds floor cafes and restaurants, upper floor residential, office and hotel. It will also include a public square between the Dylan Thomas Centre and the waterfront to mirror developments in SA1.

    These development opportunities are the first practical outcomes of the Framework that has been prepared for the partners by leading consultants Roger Tym and Co.

    Expressions of interest are now being sought from developers for either one or both of the sites by the end of April. A preferred developer is expected to be appointed by the end of the year.

    The 20-year blueprint focuses on four key areas:

    Creating a vibrant mixed-use heart to the city centre
    Improving existing retail areas, encouraging a greater mix of uses, promoting new shopping developments and enhancing specialist shops and entertainment at St David's, the Quadrant Centre, Oxford Street, Castle Square, West Way, Wind Street and Princess Way.
    Creating a high quality European boulevard
    Oystermouth Road developed into an urban boulevard, with enclosed buildings, high quality architectural design and a major public crossing linking the city to the sea.
    Connecting the city to the waterfront
    Create new destinations and attractions at Paxton Street, Sailbridge and Maritime Quarter to connect the city to the sea.
    Developing Complementary Districts
    • Mansel Street and Alexandra Road will have high quality improvements to reflect its quieter and quality civic life.
    • New commercial and residential developments in Kingsway/Orchard Street to create a more attractive location and boost its day and night-time economies.
    • Developments in High Street to promote its "urban village" role.
    • A greater mix of developments in Parc Tawe.

  • fyi, that first artists impression could have been done from the balcony of my office :)

    although, it wasn't done today as it's not that sunny...

    do you have a link to that, ihc?


    // edit 2

    also, to the right of that first artists impression is a really skanky sainsbury store. looks terrible...
  • as cited in the blockquote - semantic web baby yeah!
  • remember to draw clearly and supervise your builders

    Stair tread from Leader
  • hehe :)
  • New Czech National Library - Competition win for Future Systems

    Future Systems has won the international competition to design the new £46 million National Library in the Czech Republic capital of Prague.


    The scheme will give the practice’s Czech-born founder Jan Kaplicky the chance to build his first major project in his native country. Future Systems are known in the UK most recently for having rebuilt the Bullring in Birmingham as a wavy blue and silver spotted affair.:nausea:


    Chosen ahead of 740 entries from around the world, the firm’s winning design was inspired by ‘sea creatures’ and has been described as a ‘whimsical, undulating’ structure.


    The new library in Letna Park, which will be covered in thousands of champagne-yellow-coloured tiles, is expected to open its doors in 2011.

  • The Retreat : Contemporary house RV.


    If you saw this this holiday caravan from the UK's Retreat Homes in North America it would be called a trailer or recreational vehicle. What it really is, is a contemporary mobile home with a private decked courtyard no less. There are no faux finishes. Where there is wood, it is solid timber, where there are windows, they are floor to ceiling glass. The Retreat has a traditional galvanised steel chassis and can be sited on a simple concrete slab or individual pads, without the need for expensive foundations.

    the real advantage of this house having a chassis is that it overcomes many planning obstacles - thinking of sock!


  • that's pretty hot! i *think* i may have posted it on bb some time ago, along with those shipping container apartments that everyone dissed me on hehe...

    also, czech library? will it be tinky winky or lala that gets the head librarian job?
  • Heritage?

    As an ironic take on the value of heritage, architects Jackson Clements Burrows Architects in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. replaced what they saw of something of little heritage value yet protected by local planning guidelines, with a glass box with an 'imprint' of the former shack.

    Photograph of a glass house with a Picture of the former house printed on the glass

    So we have a glass house witha 1:1 photograph of a weather boarded shack. The planners said that it fulfilled the role of the original conservation order, in that it maintained the memory of what was gone before.

    via: core 77
  • ok, this doesn't really fit in this thread, but it's kinda related, and pretty cool...


    "Plan" by Aneta Grzeszykowska and Jan Smaga, consists of 10 photographic compositions which are an extremely detailed representations of 10 private apartments. All of them were photographed as if the ceilings were taken off. Such an unusual effect was achieved through the use of a special technique: the overall picture of a room is an aggregate of dozens fragmentary photographs taken from above, and then merged using a computer. This gives the impression as if a scanner moved over the apartments - there are neither deformations nor blurred fragments, the precision of the image is dazzling and the possibility to enlarge it is practically unlimited. Due to its laborious nature, the project took 2 years to complete.

    raster gallery
  • that's pretty cool
  • Make unveils huge Croydon tower scheme – images

    MAKE has revealed the first images of its huge four-tower scheme in the heart of Croydon, south London.

    The project in Cherry Orchard Road for developer Menta, will create more than 100,000m2 of new office, retail and residential space and will be instrumental in transforming East Croydon station into one of the capital’s ‘leading commuter transport hubs’.

    The focal point of the development will be a new urban park which, the developer hopes, will ‘complement and help bring forward the rejuvenation of’ the station.

    A spokesman for the developer said: ‘The development is still in its early stages, but is likely to include a new station plaza with shops, restaurants and bars at ground level, uniting existing bus, taxi and tram services with East Croydon Station.’
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    loads of nice photos and even a little video of this deck house on the plataforma arquitectura site. check it out.
  • Rafael Iglesia
    Some very nice architecture... a couple of samples below.

  • chris:image

    these must be the best treehouses in the world! they look like gypsies caravans inside!

    check it out, freespirit spheres

    I was all exited until I saw the inside. A microwave oven! NO! It needs to look like something from the lord of the rings.
  • The Serpentine's 2007 summer pavilion by Olafur Eliasson, Kjetil Thorsen and the geometry class at Arup looks like being a right wind up. It will rise 'from the lawn in front of the Serpentine, make two complete turns, and arrive at an open platform, fifteen metres above ground, for views through the trees and across the park...'
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    Aurland Lookout, Aurland
    Principal Architects: Todd Saunders &
    Tommie Wilhelmsen

    We won first prize to an invited competition for a look out in Aurland. This project is apart of a National program on tourist routes commissioned by the Norwegian Highway Department. The pictures actually say more than a thousand words. Finished December 2005. Official opening June 2006.
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    Steven Holl Architects’ light-filled Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art - The addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO) opening in June, runs along the eastern edge of the museum campus and provides a counterpoint to the original 1933 Beaux-Arts building. Five lenses of glass walls emerge from the ground and create a luminous, undulating interplay between architecture, landscape and art.
  • ice as a structural element

  • Holl is a twonk
  • ihc:

    The Retreat : Contemporary house RV.


    If you saw this this holiday caravan from the UK's Retreat Homes in North America it would be called a trailer or recreational vehicle. What it really is, is a contemporary mobile home with a private decked courtyard no less. There are no faux finishes. Where there is wood, it is solid timber, where there are windows, they are floor to ceiling glass. The Retreat has a traditional galvanised steel chassis and can be sited on a simple concrete slab or individual pads, without the need for expensive foundations.

    the real advantage of this house having a chassis is that it overcomes many planning obstacles - thinking of sock!


    a good friend of mine has just joined this company (well left the one i work for is going for a holiday and THEN joins them)
  • the big pour

    this is a lot of concrete poured in one go
  • cor! where is that?
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    A chartreuse form attached to the roof of a Rotterdam warehouse, the Parasite project is a prototype for a new form of urban housing - urban infill designed to explore the relationship between sustainability and prefabrication. So just how is this project sustainable? The prefabricated panels, both load-bearing and insulating, are manufactured from waste wood and can be assembled in only four days. It is also designed to take advatage of the existing building's water and heating systems. Many of the other works in the Green House include technologically advanced environmental systems, but with the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. PROJECT we are presented with a green house that is both simple and thoughtfully constructed.
  • That is an aweful lot of concrete
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    In the charming “Playground Fence”, not only are the protrusions and recessions of the fence eye-catching, but they allow for a more active interaction between those on either sides of the fence, providing seats, benches, nooks and playspaces for children.

  • very nice looking. Good idea as well.

    For a moment, I didnt realise that the horizontal bars are filled in. Would have bee dangerous if not !
  • hehe yeah - law suit central!

    more pics and text at the link, btw :)