Monthly News Round-Up, February 2016 Edition

by | 25. Feb 2016


This month, COBE wins prestigious masterplan at the Copenhagen harbourfront and BIG offers a first look at their design for the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion. Then, Calatrava to build soaring and extravagant observation tower in Dubai and MVRDV reveals their Norman masterplan. Finally, Fujimoto and Chipperfield set to reinvent Paris.



Christiansholm Island Masterplan. Image © COBE/Luxigon

COBE Selected to Develop Masterplan for Copenhagen’s Christiansholm Island

Architecture studio COBE has been chosen to design a masterplan for Copenhagen’s Christiansholm Island (locally known as ‘the Paper Island’), fending off competition from among others OMAMVRDV and Henning Larsen Architects in the process.


Christiansholm Island Masterplan.  Image © COBE/Luxigon

Developed alongside Inside OutsideVia trafik and Transsolar, the winning proposal builds on existing urban life by replacing the site’s warehouses with a series of new halls. These buildings contain event spaces, galleries and a swimming pool, as well as residential and commercial properties above. The entire scheme will be flanked by a public promenade.

Located at the heart of the city, the 29,000 m2 artificial island has a prominent position adjacent to both the Opera House and the Royal Danish Playhouse. Christiansholm Island is the last undeveloped quay along Copenhagen’s inner waterfront.

Read more about the project here.



2016 Serpentine Pavilion. Image © Bjarke Ingels Group

BIG’s Reveals Design of 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

Bjarke Ingels Group have unveiled the initial images detailing their design for this year’s Serpentine Pavilion. Created as an ‘unzipped wall’ that is transformed from straight line to a three-dimensional space, the distinctive structure will host a café during the day and at night, transform into a space for the Serpentine’s acclaimed park nights program of performances from artists, writers and musicians.


2016 Serpentine Pavilion.  Image © Bjarke Ingels Group

According to the design team, the pavilion’s structure will explore the concept of opposites; creating a form that is fluid yet rigorous; modular yet sculptural and simultaneously appear transparent and opaque. Fiberglass frames will be stacked on top of each other to establish the sculptural form, while the wall is pulled apart to form the cavity and convey its ‘unzipped’ appearance.

We decided to work with one of the most basic elements of architecture: the brick wall. Rather than clay bricks or stone blocks, the wall is erected from extruded fiberglass frames stacked on top of each other.
/Bjarke Ingels



Dubai Creek Harbor Observation Tower. Image © Santiago Calatrava

Calatrava to Build Observation Tower in Dubai Creek Harbor

Spanish engineer and architect Santiago Calatrava has been chosen to build a landmark observation tower in Dubai Creek Harbor. The result of the international competition was announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

The scheme, one of six proposals submitted by competing firms, pays homage to islamic architecture and seeks to bring together sustainable contemporary design with the country’s rich culture and heritage.

We feel extremely thankful and honored to have been selected for such an important project […] Dubai is where innovative and revolutionary architecture is making incredible strides. in our proposed design, we have united local traditional architecture with that of the 21st century.
/ Santiago Calatrava



La grande mosaïque masterplan. Image courtesy of MVRDV

MVRDV Develops Norman Masterplan

In may 2013, Dutch studio MVRDV won a competition to transform a port-side area of Caen presqu’île in Normandy, France. With the project now in development for two years, ‘La grande mosaïque’ masterplan has already seen a series of projects under construction, with many more set to break ground. The 600 hectare project tackles the problems caused by the area’s rapid de-industrialization, integrating the historic aspects of the site with the natural environment.

The plan includes housing, offices, public space and infrastructure. in a move to engage the local community, an exhibition of MVRDV’s works – alongside the masterplan itself – is open to the public in ‘Le pavillon’, an exhibition space in the old city port, until March 13, 2016.


La grande mosaïque masterplan.  Image courtesy of MVRDV

The scheme seeks to revitalize the polluted, formerly industrial area by uniting the city and its neighboring towns – Hérouville Saint-clair and Mondeville. The precise methodology that was applied to the project led to the development of a specific spatial planning tool, developed by MVRDV, called ‘The Offset’. In practice, this idea creates a secondary street network and shared public space around buildings to mediate between the existing and new parts of the scheme.

Read more about the project here.



Pershing project by Sou Fujimoto. Image  courtesy of Réinventer Paris

Chipperfield and Fujimoto and Others Chosen to Reinvent Paris

Architects David Chipperfield and Sou Fujimoto are among the winning designers chosen as part of Réinventer Paris – an initiative aimed at developing innovative urban projects within the French capital. The masterplan includes 23 schemes situated on various sites chosen for development by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

The ‘Pershing’ plot is an under-used site located within Paris’ 17th arrondissement. The project, awarded to Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, will help link the city’s central business district with La défense. In developing the scheme, Fujimoto worked alongside Manal Rachdi of OXO architectes and renowned french designer Philippe Starck.


Morland redevelopment by David Chipperfield Architects. Image courtesy of Réinventer Paris

In the opposite end of the city, David Chipperfield’s winning design for the ‘Morland’ site, extends and opens up the existing structure, which was finalized in 1964 as a city administration building. Located in Paris’ 4th arrondissement, the redeveloped complex will contain a mixed-use program including housing, a youth hostel, hotel facilities, offices, retail outlets and a food market.