Architecture
October 3, 2007

The Carbuncle Cup

Admit it, as much as we may admire the winners of prestigious architecture awards, what we love are the losers – those projects so bad, they are worthy of their own kind of recognition.
Hence, the Carbuncle Cup. 
Launched last year by “BD” – an architectural website in Britain – “the Carbuncle Cup is to the Stirling Prize what the Golden Raspberries are to the Oscars.”  This year’s nominees are here
A sample:

It’s Opal Court in Leicester, by Stephen George. 
And another, “More London,” an office complex by Foster and Partners:

It was nominated by Edwin Heathcote, architecture critic of the Financial Times, who writes:

Reasons to hate More London: More Toronto, Less London. Corporate facelessness, slick and facile glass and steel in a sea of ill-conceived and sinister public space, all CCTV, chain sandwich shops and overchlorinated fountains.

More Toronto?  That’s pretty low, Edwin.

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… to find out what’s happening in Vancouver.
Here’s a report from one of the coolest named papers in the States:

Four Cleveland designers among the winners in global design competition in Vancouver

Cleveland Plain Dealer architecture critic Steven Litt
Four architectural interns from Cleveland emerged as winners in an international design competition in Vancouver, along with designers from Rome and Toronto.

The competition was meant to generate ideas and to stir debate in Vancouver – not to provide a concept for an actual construction project.
The winners were Jonathan Kurtz, Kevin Stitak, Kyle May and Dru McKeown. All work for Westlake Reed Leskosky except May, who left two weeks ago for a position in New York.
“I think it’s great,” Kurtz said today. “We assembled ourselves collectively outside the office. We saw it as an opportunity to engage a wider architectural audience..”
May and McKeown hold architecture degrees from Kent State University; Stitak is a graduate of Miami University; and Kurtz holds an architecture degree from Harvard.
The competition, organized by a group of architectural interns in Vancouver, sought new ideas about how the city could move beyond the “podium-tower,” a type of building that has become ubiquitous on the skyline.
A podium tower consists of a tall tower set upon a low base, perhaps several stories high, which fills most of the block on which it sits. The terms of the competition are outlined on the “Poto” website.
The winners — who submitted the best of 45 international entries — earned $2,000 prizes and high praise from the “Potogroup,” which said their proposals “demonstrated equal merit in their solution and presentation of their schemes.”

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September 12, 2007

Dave Peterson passed along news of this intriguing competition from “The Official Google Blog”:

Show us your university campus in 3D

Posted by Allyson McDuffie, Google SketchUp Education Program Coordinator
Today the Build Your Campus in 3D Competition begins. This spring, you and your (presumably equally artistic) friends can honor your campus turf as you hone your 3D design skills just by modeling your school’s campus buildings in Google SketchUp, geo-reference them in Google Earth, and submit them through the competition website to earn lasting online glory. And the winners get a visit to Google, all expenses paid.
You’re eligible if you’re a higher education student in the U. S. or Canada. You can team up with other students, or take the project on yourself. (To do the best work possible, we suggest you have a faculty advisor.) The deadline for entries is June 1, and the winning entries will be posted to the 3D Warehouse by July 10.
We’re pretty jazzed that our panel of judges includes Bobby Brooks from Walt Disney Imagineering, Ken Harsha from Electronic Arts, Janet Martin from Communication Arts Inc. Paul Seletsky from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Gary Smith from Green Mountain Geographics LTD, and Ken M Tse from HKS Architects, Inc.
We hope to see your stomping grounds soon.

Dave thinks “there could/should be some kind of community-based climate-change mapping exercise, somewhat similar to this Google SketchUp
contest.”  Great idea.

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Michael Geller, who’s on a world tour at the moment, reports in from Albania:

Gord, I came across these buildings in Albania….yes grey Albania, and thought you would be amused. Unfortunately, I had to take most of the shots through a window, since I was told I might lose my camera if I ventured into the streets. After all, they got George Bush’s watch!





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