Following up the December announcement that it would build a tech campus on Roosevelt Island, Cornell University has selected six firms from a field of 43 to design the campus. As reported by The Architect’s Newspaper, Skidmore Owings and Merrill (the firm that made the original renderings picture above) are still in the running and will remain with the project throughout the planning stage. The five additional finalists include OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Morphosis Architects, Steven Holl Architects, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. A contract for the winning firm is expected in April.
By now you've already heard that the 2012 Pritzker Prize has been awarded to Wang Shu, who runs Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou, China, along with his wife, Lu Wenyu. To celebrate the work of China's first Pritzker Prize Laureate, FORM has compiled a sampling of some of the articles, photo galleries, and twitter feeds that best celebrated the historic announcement:
Bustler: 2012 Pritzker Prize Goes to Wang Shu
LA Times: Pritzker Prize goes to Wang Shu, 48-year-old Chinese architect
New York Times: For First Time, Architect in China Wins Top Prize
AP: Chinese architect Wang Shu wins Pritzker Prize
The Architect's Newspaper: BREAKING> CHINESE ARCHITECT WANG SHU AWARDED PRITZKER PRIZE
designboom: pritzker prize winner wang shu: the work of amateur architecture studio
@HawthorneLAT (Includes a live tweet of Shu's speech at UCLA on February 27, 2012, the day of the award announcment. Shu's speech included an introduction from Neil Denari.)
The Q&A includes a great anecdote from Deam’s first experience with the Airstream’s famous streamline moderne design:
The Sterling Concept Trailer is everything a streamline moderne design should be—round edges, shiny materials (aluminum, just like the exterior), and very little in the way of accents. But in a purely contemporary touch, the trailer is now Wi-Fi ready.
LEGO announced its newest Architecture Series release, making the probably overdue choice to add the Sydney Opera House designed by Jørn Utzon as the 12th member of the collection. Although the announcement saw broad distribution on the Internet today, the LEGO Architecture Series page has yet to reveal the design on its website. The Sydney Opera House kit will be available in stores March 1st and will retail at $39.99. The full collection of the LEGO Architecture Series is available here.
Beautiful Streets is a new online experiment from Open Plans that uses what’s called a “pairwise survey” to compare the streets of Philadelphia. Users of the site are confronted with a pair of images randomly generated by Google Street View to make a snap judgment about which street is more attractive.
Here is how the Beautiful Streets website describes the system:
“It’s an experiment: we’re trying out a different way to evaluate places, called pairwise surveys, as popularized by the fantastic All Our Ideas. We’re also testing out some neat interface ideas, and learning about the use of Street View in evaluating places for urban planning projects.
With your help, we’ll compare 200 randomly selected streets in Philadelphia and ask which one in each pair is more beautiful. We expect this experiment will produce some neat data, which you’ll be able to download here soon.”
One compelling idea posed by the site is that the design of streets is the fundamental determinant of the success or failure of neighborhoods and buildings. Bearing in mind the limitations of simple binary comparisons, the images found on Google Street View, and the unreasoned, snap judgments that will provide the data for the experiment, the website presents a useful example of open source data collection that is ready for more nuanced application in any number of venues. Imagine a similar website for park space, multi-family residential buildings, or even brutalism. It’s a two-way street of teaching and learning opportunities for urban designers and end users.