Winners Announced of Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+ Competition

Posted in Architecture, Ecology, Planning, Reoccupation, Technology by RADDblog on April 13, 2010

The Final stage in the process of choosing entries from the national ‘Designs for Australia’s cities 2050+’ competition to be exhibited in the Australian Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale has been announced. A total of 17 proposals were chosen from the shortlist.

Most of these will be rendered in 3D for screening in the Australian Pavilion in Venice, while others may be incorporated in a smaller capacity.

The Creative Directors were impressed by the range of approach and philosophy of the ideas expressed in both stages of the ‘Designs for Australian Cities 2050+’ Competition. In many ways the competition exceeded expectations and they look forward to broadcasting selected entries on the worldwide stage of the Biennale.

The team’s two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’ exhibition will highlight six of Australia’s most interesting urban and anti-urban regions as they are ‘NOW’, before dramatically representing the 17 futuristic urban environments from the competition imagining a ‘WHEN’ we reach 2050 and beyond.

The teams chosen to contribute to the exhibition are:

Sydney 2050: Fraying Ground, RAG URBANISM, Richard Goodwin (Richard Goodwin Art/Architecture), Andrew Benjamin, Gerard Reinmuth (TERRIOR)

Symbiotic City, Steve Whitford (University of Melbourne, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning) + James Brearley (BAU Brearley Architects and Urbanists, Adjunct Professor RMIT)

The Fear Free City, Justyna Karakiewicz, Tom Kvan and Steve Hatzellis

A City of Hope, EDMOND & CORRIGAN, Design – Peter Corrigan (everything), Realisation – Michael Spooner (and support)

Mould City, Colony Collective, Madeleine Beech, Jono Brener, Nicola Dovey, Peter Raisbeck and Simon Wollan

Sedimentary City, Brit Andresen and Mara Francis

Aquatown, NH Architecture with Andrew Mackenzie

Multiplicity, John Wardle Architects & Stefano Boscutti

Ocean City, Arup Biomimetics, Alanna Howe, Alexander Hespe

-41 + 41, Peck Dunin Simpson Architects, Fiona Dunin, Alex Peck, Andrew Simpsons in association with Martina Johnson, Third Skin, Eckersley Garden Architecture, Angus McIntyre, Tim Kreger

Survival vs Resilience, BKK Architects (Tim Black, Julian Kosloff, Simon Knott, George Huon, Julian Faelli, Madeleine Beech, Jane Caught and Steffan Heath) Village Well, Charter Cramer and Daniel Piker

Terra Form Australis, HASSELL, Holopoint & The Environment Institute, Tim Horton, Tony Grist, Prof Mike Young, Ben Kilsby, Sharon Mackay, Susie Nicolai, Mike Mouritz

Island Proposition 2100 (IP2100), Scott Lloyd, Aaron Roberts (room11) and Katrina Stoll

Implementing the Rhetoric, Harrison and White with Nano Langenheim, Marcus White, Stuart Harrison and Nano Lagenheim

How Does it Make You Feel (HDIMYF), Ben Statkus (Statkus Architecture), Daniel Agdag, Melanie Etchell, William Golding, Anna Nguyen, Joel Ng

Loop-Pool / Saturation City, McGauran Giannini Soon (MGS), Bild + Dyskors, Material Thnking, MGS – Eli Giannini, Jocelyn Chiew, Catherine Ranger, Bild – Ben Milbourne, Dyskors – Edmund Carter, Material Thinking – Paul Carter

a tale of two cities, Billard Leece Partnership Pty Ltd

via Bustler

eVolo Announces Winners of 2010 Skyscraper Competition

Posted in Architecture, Ecology, Illustration, Planning, Research, Technology, Texture by RADDblog on March 8, 2010

The winners of eVolo’s 2010 Skyscraper Competition were announced today. After several years of organizing, this annual competition has become a renowned architectural prize around the world. The main idea of the contest is to examine the relationship between the skyscraper and the natural world, the skyscraper and the community, and the skyscraper and urban living. The competition asked to push our imagination to redefine the term skyscraper through the use of new materials, technology, aesthetics, programs, and spatial organizations. Globalization, environmental warming, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution are just some of the multi-layered elements that were in the focal point.

First Place: Vertical Prison by Chow Khoon Toong, Ong Tien Yee, Beh Ssi Cze, Malaysia (project info)

Second Place: Water Purification Skyscraper in Jakarta by Rezza Rahdian, Erwin Setiawan, Ayu Diah Shanti, Leonardus Chrisnantyo, Indonesia (project info)

Third Place: Nested Skyscraper in Tokyo by Ryohei Koike, Jarod Poenisch, United States (project info)

For Special Mentions click here.

via Bustler

MAP Manual of Architectural Possibilities) 002 QUARANTINE by David Garcia Studio

RADDblog previously reported on MAP 001 ANTARCTICA by David Garcia Studio, and they are now releasing the second installment: MAP 002 QUARANTINE.

from the designers:

DAVID GARCIA STUDIO is proud to be exhibiting at the prestigious STOREFRONT FOR ART AND ARCHITECTURE in New York, at the “LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE” exhibition, curated by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley. The Studio will be exhibiting and launching the second issue of  MAP (Manual of Architectural Possibilities). MAP 001 focused on Antarctica, and with MAP 002 QUARANTINE will be investigating and questioning the subject through research and projects, and the realm of architectural ideas. Four projects are treated on this issue: A Domestic Isolation Unit, an Instantly Quarantinable Farm, a Zoo of Infectious Species, and a Quarantined Library on a cargo ship. Along with the projects, our fact page will focus on a series of topics regarding quarantine, from the biological to the political, the geographical and beyond. We are happy to have Peter Cook along again, writing the introduction. Each number of MAP 002 is individually numbered from 1 to 2000.

The opening will take place Tuesday evening, March 9th at 7 pm, where MAP will be on sale.


9th March – 17th April, 2010


97 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012


WORK Architecture Company Wins Competition to Redesign Shenzhen’s Hua Qiang Bei Road

Posted in Architecture, Landscape, Planning, Sculpture, Social, Texture by RADDblog on February 1, 2010

WORK Architecture Company, in collaboration with Zhubo Architecture Studio, ARUP and Balmori Associates has won the international invited competition to redesign a 1-kilometer section of Hua Qiang Bei Road. This project offers Shenzhen a solution to Hua Qiang Bei Road’s traffic congestion while creating a series of new contemporary public spaces for the city. The proposal consists of five above-ground mixed-use public facilities, a new streetscape and traffic design and an underground boulevard connecting four new metro lines to the street and neighboring buildings.

Hua Qiang Bei Road has emerged naturally from an industrial district to become Shenzhen’s premier shopping and electronics Street. This success has unfortunately also created traffic problems, for cars and buses as well as congestion for pedestrians. In addition, HQB finds itself today in need of a new contemporary expression to reflect its destination status, without overwhelming its existing character.

Five iconic “lanterns” are therefore created by twisting the required program and the 5M-wide zone on either side of the road available for public development into sinuous bands, creating unique, visible public destinations through a process of “urban acupuncture” – strategically affecting change where required. The proposed lanterns are high enough to maintain views across the street, while still providing shade and bridge connections across. Each Lantern contains special destination public programs – an electronics museum at the south, an urban information hub in the electronics district, an elevated public park at the center, a “figure eight” observation pavilion and a fashion and design museum at the north. Each also acts as a specific piece of ecological infrastructure: filtering and storing rainwater, providing solar power, creating space and providing infrastructure for productive gardens, etc.

Underground, the new connective spaces provide public amenities – a public library, a food court and a series of performance and gallery spaces – as well as connections across the street and between metro lines

The design, led by WORKac partners Amale Andraos and Dan Wood and Zhubo Chief Architect Feng Guochuan, was chosen from twelve submissions by internationally renowned firms. Xu Chong Guang, the Vice Chairman of the Shenzhen Planning Bureau, commented that “Shenzhen is a new city, and very experienced in creating new districts. However, we have not yet had the opportunity to renew existing districts. WORKac’s very important project is the first to build upon an existing urban condition to create a new public image for one of Shenzhen’s most important destinations.”

The project will be executed by WORKac (New York) and Zhubo (Shenzhen). WORKac and Zhubo are currently also engaged in a new competition to design a 4 square kilometer “low carbon city center” for the Pingshan District in the northeast of Shenzhen.

via bustler

QUINTA MONROY by Elemental

Posted in Architecture, Downsizing, Economy, Interiors, Planning, Reoccupation, Social by RADDblog on January 30, 2010

To put it simply, this project is amazing. From mammoth:

Quinta Monroy is a center-city neighborhood of Iquique, a city of about a quarter million lying in northern Chile between the Pacific Ocean and the Atacama Desert.  Elemental’s Quinta Monroy housing project settles a hundred families on a five thousand square meter site where they had persisted as squatters for three decades.  The residences designed by Elemental offer former squatters the rare opportunity to live in subsidized housing without being displaced from the land they had called their home, provides an appreciating asset which can improve their family finances, and serves as a flexible infrastructure for the self-constructed expansion of the homes.

The first challenge that Elemental faced was a strict budgetary limit of $7500 (USD), the standard Chilean per-family housing subsidy.  This subsidy would have to purchase the land, architecture, and infrastructure of the development, yet is only enough — at market-rate construction costs in Chile — to buy thirty square meters (322 square feet) of built space on such a center-city site.  Because of this, social housing in Chile tends to be produced as outlying sprawl, where land can be bought more cheaply, allowing a greater percentage of the subsidy to be devoted to the architecture.  Unfortunately, for reasons that are not fully elucidated in Elemental’s project description (though I am led to believe those reasons are the low value of the land social housing is usually built on and the low quality of the construction), social housing in Chile tends to depreciate in value, rather than appreciate, further miring families in poverty, as the housing subsidy is the largest single sum of aid that most impoverished families will receive from the Chilean government.  If that movement could be altered — if the housing could be designed so that it appreciates rather than depreciates — it might be the difference between long-term poverty and a gradual climb towards sustainable familial self-sufficiency.

Elemental’s first decision was to retain the inner city site, a decision which was both expensive and spatially limiting: there is only enough space on the site to provide thirty individual homes or sixty-six row homes, so a different typology was required.  High rise apartments would provide the needed density, but not provide the opportunity for residents to expand their own homes, as only the top and ground floors would have any way to connect to additions.  Elemental thus settled on a typology of connected two-story blocks, snaking around four common courtyards, designed as a skeletal infrastructure which the families could expand over time:

We in Elemental have identified a set of design conditions through which a housing unit can increase its value over time; this without having to increase the amount of money of the current subsidy.

In first place, we had to achieve enough density, (but without overcrowding), in order to be able to pay for the site, which because of its location was very expensive. To keep the site, meant to maintain the network of opportunities that the city offered and therefore to strengthen the family economy; on the other hand, good location is the key to increase a property value.

Second, the provision a physical space for the “extensive family” to develop, has proved to be a key issue in the economical take off of a poor family. In between the private and public space, we introduced the collective space, conformed by around 20 families. The collective space (a common property with restricted access) is an intermediate level of association that allows surviving fragile social conditions.

Third, due to the fact that 50% of each unit’s volume, will eventually be self-built, the building had to be porous enough to allow each unit to expand within its structure. The initial building must therefore provide a supporting, (rather than a constraining) framework in order to avoid any negative effects of self-construction on the urban environment over time, but also to facilitate the expansion process.

Finally, instead a designing a small house (in 30 sqm everything is small), we provided a middle-income house, out of which we were giving just a small part now. This meant a change in the standard: kitchens, bathrooms, stairs, partition walls and all the difficult parts of the house had to be designed for final scenario of a 72 sqm house.

In the end, when the given money is enough for just half of the house, the key question is, which half do we do. We choose to make the half that a family individually will never be able to achieve on its own, no matter how much money, energy or time they spend. That is how we expect to contribute using architectural tools, to non-architectural questions, in this case, how to overcome poverty.

Elemental, in other words, have exploited the values and aims of ownership culture (whichmammoth has suggested understands the house to be first a machine for making money and only second to be a machine for living) not to support a broken system of real estate speculation and easy wealth, but to present architecture as a tool that can be provided to families.  While the project is embedded with some of the assumptions of the architects (such as that faith in the potential of ownership culture, for better or worse), this tool is primarily presented as a framework, a scaffolding upon which families are able to make their own architecture.  This seems like an important step — made visually apparent by the strong contrast between the simple lines of the initial framework and the colorful and varied familial additions — in the direction of what Lebbeus Woods describes as offering architecture as “the rules of the game”, or, the thinking he describedbehind a “capsule” which could offer architectural aid to people living in slums:

From the side of the slum dwellers, it might seem an unwelcome intrusion from outside, just another quick fix imposed by the economically advantaged on the desperately poor, serving the interests of the rich by transforming the slum according to their well-intentioned but—to the slum dweller–necessarily opposed values. It is especially important, then, that the transformative capsule enables the slum-dwellers to achieve their goals, serving their values, and does not reduce them to subjects of its designers’ and makers’ will. Inevitably, the values, prejudices, perspectives and aspirations of the designers and makers will be imbedded in the capsule and what it does. Therefore the slum-dwellers should, in the first place, have the right of refusal. Also, they must have the right to modify the capsule and its effects as they see fit. It cannot be a locked system, capable of producing only a predetermined outcome. The implication of these freedoms is that the capsule, whatever its capabilities, could be used to work against the intentions of its designers and makers. Because the effects of the capsule would be powerfully transformative, its possession would involve risk for all the groups, and individuals, involved.

via mammoth

The Gentrification of Brooklyn by Specter

Posted in Abandonment, Apocalypse, Architecture, Economy, Performance, Planning, Reoccupation, Research, Social by RADDblog on January 28, 2010

Interesting hand painted billboards made by Specter for “The Gentrification of Brooklyn” exhibition. Some are great, and some are a bit over the top.

via today and tomorrow

Hutong Bubble 32 / Beijing 2050 by MAD

Posted in Architecture, Installation, Landscape, Planning, Reoccupation, Sculpture, Texture by RADDblog on January 5, 2010

from the designers:

MAD’s proposal for the future Beijing 2050 was first revealed at its exhibition MAD IN CHINA in Venice during the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. Beijing 2050 imagined three scenarios for the future of Beijing—a green public park in Tiananmen Square, a series of floating islands above the city’s CBD, and the “Future of Hutongs”, which featured metallic bubbles scattered over Beijing’s oldest neighborhoods. Three years later, the first hutong bubble has appeared in a small courtyard in Beijing.

China’s rapid development has altered the city’s landscape on a massive scale, continually eroding the delicate urban tissue of old Beijing. Such dramatic changes have forced an aging architecture to rely on chaotic, spontaneous renovations to survive the ever-changing neighborhood. In addition, poor standards of hygiene have turned unique living space and potential thriving communities into a serious urban problem. Hutongs are gradually becoming the local inhabitants’dumpster, the haven for the wealthy, the theme park for tourists.

The self-perpetuating degradation of the city’s urban tissue requires a change in the living conditions of local residents. Progress does not necessarily call for large scale construction—it can occur as interventions at a small scale. The hutong bubbles, inserted into the urban fabric, function like magnets, attracting new people, activities, and resources to reactivate entire neighborhoods. They exist in symbiosis with the old housing.  Fueled by the energy they helped to renew, the bubbles multiply and morph to provide for the community’s various needs, thereby allowing local residents to continue living in these old neighborhoods. In time, these interventions will become part of Beijing’s long history, newly formed membranes within the city’s urban tissue.

Unexpectedly, a manifestation of this idealistic vision has sprung up in one of Beijing’s hutongs, just three years after the exhibition. Hutong Bubble 32 provides a toilet and a staircase that extends onto a roof terrace for a newly renovated courtyard house.  Its shiny exterior renders it an alien creature, and yet at the same time, reflects the surrounding wood, brick, and greenery. The past and the future can thus coexist in a finite, yet dream-like world.

The real dream, however, is for the hutong bubble to link this culturally rich city to each individual’s vision of a better Beijing. The bubble is not regarded as a singular object, but as a means to initiate a renewed and energetic community. Under the hatchet of fast-paced development, we must always be cognizant of Beijing’s long term goals and the direction of its creativity. Perhaps we should shift our gaze away from the attraction of new monuments and focus on the everyday lives of the city’s residents.

via MAD (thanks Dave!)







A 5000 acre farm for Detroit? by Hantz Farms

Posted in Abandonment, Apocalypse, Ecology, Economy, Landscape, Planning, Reoccupation by RADDblog on December 30, 2009

Hantz Farms plans to farm up to 5,000 acres within the Motor City’s limits in the coming years.

from Hantz Farms:


It’s our dream to rejuvenate our city by returning to our agrarian roots, by creating the world’s largest urban farm right here in Detroit, a sustainable producer and seller of homegrown fruits and vegetables as well as clean energy. Owned, operated and staffed by Detroiters, Hantz Farms will provide:

  • Hundreds of “green” jobs for local residents, with on-the-job education. We’ll help Detroit progress to the mixed economy that’s so important for our future.
  • A generous supply of fresh, local, safe produce for our families and the region.Hantz Farms will be a year-round operation, providing spring vegetables, a bounty of summer produce, pick-your-own pumpkins and Christmas trees. Not only will we grow for Detroit, but we’ll also be able to export our produce.
  • A cleaner, greener environment for our children.We’ll clear away the garbage, the blight, the debris, and in their place grow healthful crops and produce non-polluting wind energy. In every aspect of Hantz Farms, we plan to use only recyclable materials and aim to reduce waste to nearly zero. We’ll also reintroduce Detroiters to the beauty of nature.
  • Synergy for local businesses. Tourists coming in to Detroit to visit Hantz Farms—not just for an annual event, but on a daily basis—will patronize other businesses as well.
  • Consolidation of city resources. Detroit’s fire, police and public works departments can better serve city residents when freed from the burden of nearly abandoned neighborhoods.

via Archinect and Hantz Farms Detroit


Posted in Apocalypse, Architecture, Planning, Reoccupation, Social by RADDblog on December 29, 2009

Before shipping out to Afghanistan, the U.S. Army and members of the Indiana National Guard have been training inside a simulated Afghan village—using what the New York Times describes as a “vaguely foreboding institution that once served as a farm colony for ‘feeble-minded’ boys, and later was a state mental hospital.”

    The Army and the Indiana National Guard have turned the windswept complex, known as Muscatatuck, into a simulacrum of a war-torn Afghan city, with a courthouse, a jail and a graffiti-smeared marketplace. While the table-flat farmland around here hardly evokes the Hindu Kush, this is where the government trains Americans who are part of the most ambitious civilian campaign the United States has mounted in a foreign country in generations—a “civilian surge” intended to improve the lives of Afghans.

The facility’s own website enumerates its architectural benefits, as it comes complete with “1,000 Acres, 70 Buildings, 2,000+ Rooms, (…) 9 Buildings with basements, [and] One mile of tunnels.”

This is, of course, only the most recent example of these sorts of facilities to receive media attention; it is but one part of the massive network of militarized simulations that have been built throughout the United States since 9/11 (and these facilities, of course, are themselves nothing new nor are they unique to the United States: there are historical precedents dating back millennia, as any competent military since the dawn of invasion has simulated its spatial tactics in advance). One such facility even hired actor Carl Weathers, of Apollo Creed fame, to serve as an “acting coach” for the simulated insurgents.

But the passage of U.S. Army trainees through a repurposed mental hospital—in fact, “a farm colony for ‘feeble-minded’ boys”—with the implication that this will help to prepare them for the violence of foreign wars, is extraordinary.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 68 other followers