March's top stories: Dubai 2020 Expo competition winners, Keepmoat's Newcastle project

BIG, Grimshaw Architects and Foster + Partners have emerged as winners in a competition to design theme pavilions for the Dubai 2020 Expo, and Keepmoat has started work on a mixed homes development project in Dinnington, Newcastle. Designbuild-network wraps up the key headlines from March 2016.


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Designs of three firms selected for theme pavilions of Dubai 2020 Expo

BIG, Grimshaw Architects and Foster + Partners emerged as the winners in a competition to design theme pavilions for the Dubai 2020 Expo.

A total of 13 firms participated in the competition, which was organised by Emaar Properties in July 2015 for Expo 2020.

Firms had to submit their designs under the expo's three main themes, which were mobility, sustainability and opportunity.

The title of the expo is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.

Keepmoat begins new mixed homes development in Newcastle, UK

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UK-based community regeneration and housebuilding company Keepmoat started work on a mixed homes development project in Dinnington, Newcastle.

Newcastle City Council, Leazes Homes and Your Homes Newcastle are also involved in the £27m project.

Keepmoat will develop 133 two, three and four-bedroom residences, in addition to five bungalows dedicated to dementia care, 22 apartments for older people, four apartments for general needs and four bungalows for older people.

The new scheme aims to help the housing aspirations of several groups of people, including first time buyers, existing home owners and older people who are in need of support and care.

Regency Centers collaborates with three partners for East San Marco project in Florida, US

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Regency Centers, a company that owns, operates, and develops grocery-anchored shopping centres, collaborated with ArchCo Residential, Whitehall Realty Partners, and Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, for the East San Marco development project in Jacksonville, Florida, US.

The 4.33 acre mixed-use project is anchored by Publix and expects to provide living, work and recreational space for the San Marco neighbourhood.

Overall construction of the project will be undertaken by ArchCo Residential and co-developer Whitehall Realty Partners, with Whitehall being responsible for bringing in local efforts during the entire phase of the development.

Michigan's $380m Red Cedar Renaissance project to commence in June

Construction of the Red Cedar Renaissance, a $380m mixed-used project in Lansing, Michigan, US, is expected to commence in June.

The project will build two boutique hotels, a medical office building, five restaurants, 129 town houses and student housing with the capacity to accommodate 1,200 people.

It will be developed by Ferguson Development in partnership with Continental Real Estate, reports Detroit Free Press.

Ferguson Development president Joel Ferguson was quoted by the publication saying: "This will be a game changer for Lansing and East Lansing. It will be a catalyst for other activities happening."

US designers propose converting Manhattan Central Park into sunken landscape

US-based designers Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu proposed converting Central Park in Manhattan into a sunken area encircled by houses, offices, cultural and retail space.

Named New York Horizon, the proposal won eVolo's annual skyscraper competition, in which architects and designers provided their ideas for futuristic towers.

In their design, Sun and Wu suggested building 1,000ft-high glass walls around the excavated Central Park, reported Designboom.

The re-imagined park will feature hills, meadows and lakes, while excavated soil will be moved to various nearby localities.

Contractor appointed to build Garden Bridge project across River Thames

The Garden Bridge project across the River Thames advanced with the selection of a building contractor, despite stiff opposition to the project.

Two construction firms, Bouygues Travaux Publics and Cimolai, have been jointly chosen to construct the bridge.

The project was conceived by actress Joanna Lumley and has been designed by Thomas Heatherwick, reported Dezeen.

Construction of Garden Bridge will commence this summer and is to be completed by late 2018.

Nippon Koei acquires BDP for £102.2m

Japan-based engineering group Nippon Koei acquired all shares of UK-based architecture firm BDP for £102.2m.

The merged entity expects to provide a combination of technical skills in engineering, architecture and integrated design solutions throughout the international markets.

BDP chief executive John Mcmanus said: "The alliance with Nippon Koei heralds an exciting new era in BDP's evolution.

"Although separated geographically, our two firms share common values and have highly complementary strengths in terms of professional offer and sector expertise.

"By uniting the two firms, we are creating an organisation that genuinely has the potential to be greater than the sum of its parts."

OMA to revamp Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, UAE

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Netherlands-based architecture firm OMA announced it will transform a group of four warehouses at Dubai's Alserkal Avenue into a multi-functional venue for cultural events.

The new space covers an area of 1,000m² and is expected to open later this year.

Claimed to be OMA's first built project in Dubai, the project seeks to provide the Alserkal Avenue area with a centrally located place to organise various public events, exhibitions, fashion shows and conferences of a large magnitude.