Page N3.2 . 18 January 2006                     
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    Cityscape 2005 Awards

    continued

    Kudos for Built Projects

    Receiving a transport category award was the Western Transportation Terminal in Putrajaya, Malaysia, designed by Veritas Architects, headed by principal David Mirzan Hashim. This complex of buildings is a literal hub, bringing together multiple modes of public transport as the gateway to Putrajaya, the new administrative capital of Malaysia.

    The station serves the high-speed airport express shuttle train, the local monorail, commuter and local buses, and taxis. It can serve up to 100,000 passengers per day. A central terminal concourse, forming the connecting spine and anchor, links the multiple transport components physically. A shared vocabulary of high-tech construction details links the buildings visually.

    Veritas, one of the leading firms in Malaysia, takes pride in its dedication to innovation. The jury described the Western Transportation Terminal as "a well scaled and thoughtful example of a building type that can often be dull or even repulsive."

    Another bright spot, a half a world away, is the Square Four Public Garden in Beirut, Lebanon, for which Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture received an award in the community category.

    Inspired by two historic ficus trees that have witnessed years of urban warfare, the composition of this public garden includes a pool that plays with water in a variety of ways. The intent is to provide people with an intimate and memorable space, a momentary escape from a busy street. The jury commented: "An immensely restrained but sensuous reinvigoration of the worn-torn heart of a great city."

    Continent hopping again, this time to Chile, the leisure category award went to the ESO Hotel, designed by Auer & Weber Architekten. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) operates the Very Large Telescope (VLT) on the Cerro Paranal, a mountain in the northern part of the Atacama Desert. The VLT is the world's most powerful earth-based telescope.

    Below the summit lies the hotel for ESO scientists and engineers. The hotel complex fits snugly into an existing depression in the ground. The emphasis on blending with nature sets the hotel in direct and deliberate contrast to the high-tech telescope complex at the summit. The jury commented: "A moving response to a particular landscape and climate has generated a new approach to hotel making."

    Another Cityscape 2005 award went to Istanbul Modern, the city's first museum of contemporary art, designed by Tabanlioglu Architecture and Consulting. Located on the banks of Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, the gallery was converted from a former 1960s Port Authority warehouse.

    The museum's exterior is a forbidding, rectilinear, grey concrete slab. Inside, its two huge galleries, each 43,000 square feet (4000 square meters) in size, retain an industrial feel. But the interior has been divided into smaller spaces by suspended screens that appear to float above the floor, creating a neutral ground that strives to complement the artwork.

    According to the jury: "Istanbul Modern has suggested new relationships between the city and the Bosporus by imaginatively converting previously neglected warehouses into galleries that have become extraordinarily popular."

    Future Cities

    About half the Cityscape 2005 awards went to unbuilt projects: urban master plans and proposals for future buildings. Collectively, these give us an idea of the way the "emerging world" will look as the century progresses.

    One of these proposed projects is the Acropolis Universe Resort in Dubai, designed by Behnisch Architekten. This concept combines elements of a theme park with digital interactive games and activities and galleries where toy manufacturers display their products.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    One of the Cityscape 2005 Architectural Review Awards went to the Western Transportation Terminal in Putrajaya, Malaysia, designed by Veritas Architects.
    Photo: Veritas Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    Several modes of transport come together at the Western Transportation Terminal in Putrajaya.
    Photo: Veritas Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    The Square Four Public Garden in Beirut, Lebanon, by Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture, received a Cityscape 2005 award in the community category.
    Photo: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture

    ArchWeek Image

    The park centers on two historic ficus trees that have witnessed years of urban warfare.
    Photo: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture

    ArchWeek Image

    The Square Four Public Garden in Beirut features a play of water.
    Photo: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture

    ArchWeek Image

    The ESO Hotel at Cerro Paranal, Chile, by Auer & Weber Architekten, is nestled into the mountain's topography.
    Photo: Auer & Weber Architekten

    ArchWeek Image

    The ESO Hotel received a Cityscape 2005 award.
    Photo: Auer & Weber Architekten

    ArchWeek Image

    The ESO Hotel at Cerro Paranal, Chile.
    Photo: Auer & Weber Architekten

     

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