Living City Design Competition Winners Unveiled Print
Tuesday, 03 May 2011 08:05

 

The International Living Future Institute and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Bestow Top Honors and $75,000 to Paris team for “visionary pragmatism”

The International Living Future Institute today announced the winners of the Living City Design Competition, which it hosted in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, at Living Future ‘11.  The competition called for teams worldwide to create powerful visualizations of how existing cities might be transformed to achieve and transcend the Living Building Challenge 2.0, the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard.

More than 80 teams submitted entries, addressing 69 different cities spanning 21 countries. Submissions were evaluated based on their ability to capture the attention and imagination of a broad audience and reassess assumptions about a future filled with high-tech, ecologically dislocated cities.  Rather than constructing new cities from scratch, submissions also focused on the premise that a “living” future will rely on retrofitting the existing built environment and regenerating the evolutionary capacity of life.

“Each of the entries represented the crucial first steps in redefining our urban ecosystems and how they work in tandem with their natural environment,” said Jason F. McLennan, CEO of the International Living Future Institute and a member of the seven-person jury panel that selected the winners.  “This process was at least as important as the impressive end results.”

 

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The Winners


Daniel Zielinski and Maximilian Zielinski of the United Kingdom earned the first-place prize and a $75,000 award for their Paris-based entry, which was able to combine a deep respect for the City of Light’s rich history and culture with a pragmatism that could be implemented in myriad contexts.  The jury noted: “Daniel and Maximilian crafted an elegant interplay of design solutions with real-world strategies.  Their submission achieved the end goal in a way that welcomed and incorporated the present, and instead of simply showing how the ‘natural world’ might colonize urban environments, it created fertile ground for people thriving in partnership with nature.”

The team Atelier G40 captured second place, including a $25,000 award for its entry, “City Makes. City Lives.” that re-envisioned Bellingham, Wash.  The jury was impressed with the strategic nature of the team’s approach to urban transformation.  The jury couched this entry as a cleanly conceived approach that showed a deep cultural understanding of its place.

As it was first conceived, the Living City Design Competition included an additional stand-alone prize of $25,000 to be awarded to the entry that best incorporated historic preservation into its vision for the future.  During the review process, however, the jury concluded that because all of the leading entries fully incorporated the historic character of their communities, the original intent of the award was no longer warranted.  Instead, the jury awarded five teams $5,000 each in recognition of their unique contributions:

·         Earning the Can-Do Award for its entry, “Coeur d’Alene After the Reign,” a student team from the University of Idaho was acknowledged for its ability to demonstrate how a post-oil world might also include healthier, more supportive and more meaningful community life.  The jury summed up the theme of this entry as: “The future’s gonna be fun.”

·         Two entries took the Images that Provoke Award: Team [GU] of Seattle and Rollerhaus Pictureworks & Design Co. of Chicago each earned high marks from the judges for their powerful visuals.  The jury noted that “these entries make the viewer feel physically transported into an imagined reality.”  The Chicago team achieved this effect by “overlaying the prairie on the city,” while the Seattle project achieved what the jury termed “Watershed: Reclaimed, City: Bubblewrapped.”

·         The Cities that Learn Award was given to Ashok B. Lall Architects of New Dehli, India and Team OLIN of Philadelphia, Penn.  The “evolving blocks” explored in “Patchwork Philadelphia” and the “catalyzing of the emergence of healthy diversity” envisioned in New Dehli both demonstrated nuanced conceptions of how the cultures and traditions developed in different neighborhoods might interact.  These entries acknowledged cultural realities and explored how social equity might lead to ecologically restored cities.

Reflecting on this diverse pool of entries, the jurors noted: “We were heartened that, collectively, the competition’s participants demonstrated a deep understanding of the foundational elements of a restorative civilization.  Some entries brilliantly addressed the built environment’s relationship to waterways; others celebrated the human element and reminded us that we are intrinsic to our ecosystems; and still others showed a subtle awareness of the healing power of thriving, connected habitat.”

Four other submissions were selected by attendees at Living Future ’11 as the winners of the People’s Choice and Living Building Community choice awards:

·         “Chamizal Connection” by Alvarez and Sanchez was honored in both categories for its regeneration of an urban zone in Mexico City
·         “Symbiotic Districts: Towards a Balanced City” by Portland Ecodistricts was also selected as a People’s Choice award
·         “Fight for your Right of Way” by The Miller Hull Partnership and “Pioneer Square – Living Green and Blue” by International Sustainability Network were also chosen as Living Building Community choice award winners

“The Living City Design Competition teams have engaged in a process that is truly the beginning of the work at hand: connecting with our communities, asking the crucial questions about how each specific place may be restored, and empowering communities to participate in their own evolution,” the jurors stated.

The Judges


Composed of leading thinkers, critics and practitioners in the evolving field of restorative design, the jury included:
·              Eden Brukman, Vice President, International Living Future Institute
·              Liz Dunn, Director, Preservation Green Lab at the National Trust for Historic Preservation
·              Doug Farr, President, Farr Associates
·              Patrice Frey, Director of Sustainability, National Trust for Historic Preservation
·              Jason F. McLennan, CEO, International Living Future Institute
·              Bill Reed, Principal, Integrative Design Collaborative; Regenesis, Inc.; and Delving Deeper
·              Susan Szenasy, Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine

Judges and competition organizers are now exploring ways in which the winning teams can engage with their respective communities to take these visions from conversation to action.

About the International Living Future Institute

The International Living Future Institute is an environmental non-governmental organization committed to catalyzing a global transformation toward true sustainability.  Its mission is to lead and support the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.  The International Living Future Institute’s core programs are the Living Building Challenge, Cascadia Green Building Council, The Natural Step Network USA and Ecotone Publishing.  Authored by Jason F. McLennan, the Living Building Challenge was launched in 2006 by Cascadia and quickly became the most advanced green building performance standard in the world.  More information can be found at www.living-future.org and by following the Institute on Facebook.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.PreservationNation.org) is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, eight regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories.