Daily digest: Harvard GSD awards Green Prize to Grand Paris Express, name this extremely large flamingo, and more news

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Daily digest: Harvard GSD awards Green Prize to Grand Paris Express, name this extremely large flamingo, and more news

Public revelation of a tunneller’s cutting wheel during an event at the third KM in Champigny, staged by the Société du Grand Paris. (Florence Joubert/Harvard GSD)

As the December holidays approach, news tends to fall into one of two categories: serious or silly. Today’s Daily Digest gives readers some of both. Read more below:

Organization behind massive Paris rail project wins Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

Société du Grand Paris has won the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s (GSD) Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design for the Grand Paris Express, the largest urban design project currently underway in Europe.

The Grand Paris Express will connect 132 municipalities in the Paris metro area with 68 train stations along 124 miles (200 kilometers). Construction started in 2016 and will continue through 2030.

The Green Prize was established in 1986 to recognized outstanding urban design projects that improve the public realm and set a standard for similar large-scale projects. In addition to Green Prize bragging rights, Société du Grand Paris will receive a $50,000 award.

The GSD is mounting an exhibition on the project that runs from January 23–March 31, 2023. More information can be found here.

A key map of the Grand Paris Express network, a rail project that connects Paris’ outskirts without passing through the city center. (Courtesy Société du Grand Paris/Harvard GSD)
flamingo sculpture in airport
(Courtesy Tampa International Airport)

Contest to name the gigantic flamingo at Tampa International Airport

Officials at the Tampa International Airport (TPA) have enlisted the public’s help to name the giant flamingo in the airport’s Main Terminal. The larger-than-life sculpture by artist Matthew Mazzotta is called HOME. Reflective panels above the flamingo seemingly put visitors underwater with the bird, who is stares at travelers with a gimlet eye. His work was chosen from over 700 submissions and was erected last year.

Mazzotta explained the idea behind the sculpture on his website:

“One of the most iconic animals of Florida is the flamingo, and even though its popularity and image graces innumerable pieces of memorabilia that claim to be from Florida, for years this beautiful bird has been thought to be non-native. However, recent research has changed the story of the flamingo’s home, and new findings trace its roots to Florida, which has caused a stir and excitement among researchers and residents. HOME is a site-specific art installation in the Central Terminal of the Tampa International Airport which gives time and space for travelers from all over the world to take a deeper look at the bird whose image is literally all over Florida. However, the story of HOME is not about whether someone or something, is originally from here or not. The exaggerated scale of the flamingos in HOME puts the lives of these birds in the focus, and puts us, as humans, in awe as they tower above us, reminding us that we all share the same home.”   

Submissions closed on December 6, but the public will be able to vote on the top three entries beginning in late December. After voting concludes, the airport will announce the winner on social media.

The lucky winner of the Name The Flamingo Contest will score four roundtrip tickets on Silver Airways, VIP passes to Busch Gardens, and be feted at a naming ceremony for the 21-foot-long bird. (Hopefully there will be shrimp cocktails, a nod to the diminutive brine shrimp that give flamingos their characteristic pink feathers.)

Boston architects design gingerbread houses for climate change

To some extent, the holidays are all about nostalgia. Grandma’s handwritten sugar cookie recipe is pulled from its card box, heirloom ornaments are freed from storage to adorn the Christmas trees, and spiked eggnog softens grudges towards overbearing in-laws and dulls memories of long-ago family feuds. While the rest of us stew in the warm glow of the feasting season, Boston architects seemingly cannot push current events out of mind during the most festive of holiday traditions.

At this year’s Boston Society for Architecture’s (BSA) annual gingerbread competition, architects built cookie homes adapted to climate change. One house was planted atop Toblerone pylons, while Flansburgh Architects’ “Harborwalk-ing in a Winter Wonderland!” included inner and outer seawalls to shield homes from blue icing floods, WBUR reported.

“We have everything from silly and creative ones, such as the duck boat over there with the city landmarks kind of toppling off it, to more realistic ones,” BSA Gallery Manager Maia Erslev told the station.  “There’s been lots of creativity there.”

“The BSA has been particularly focused in the last few years around climate and equity as the two big systemic problems that architects need to face,” added BSA President and Director of Building Science at Payette Andrea Love.

“There are a lot of strategies, particularly around resiliency and climate change, that buildings have — whether they’re gingerbreads or actual buildings — to deal with those challenges. And so I think the structures are highlighting the strategies that we have.”

The National Museum of American History, Smithsonian adds Carlos Diniz drawings to its collection

Though he may not be known by name, readers have definitely seen the work of Carlos Diniz. The architectural illustrator imagined World Trade Center, World Financial Plaza, U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Times Square, much of Disney Land and Disney World, and countless other projects over his decades as an artist, including a 40 year stint in Frank Gehry’s office.

Last week The National Museum of American History, Smithsonian announced it has accepted Diniz’s drawings of D.C.’s Union Station into the national collection. Videos of the drawings can be viewed here.

aerial view of film studio
The proposed film studios can be seen on the left in this photo rendering. (Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture/Village of Hastings-on-Hudson)

Michael Maltzan Architecture reveals plans for Hudson Valley film studio

Los Angeles’s Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA) has revealed plans for a film studio in Hastings-on-Hudson, a charming Westchester County village about 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. Preliminary plans presented to Hastings officials in November show large sounds stages with green roofs on the existing campus of social services organization Graham Windham. The client is Atlanta-based Electric Owl Studios.