Sunday, June 24, 2007

Coin, by United

United Architects - Competition-entry ECB, Frankfurt (Copyright United Architects)

The competition for the new office building of the European Central Bank, the ECB, was won by the Austrian architects of Coop Himmelb(l)au with a quite modest design.
The most interesting design – and probably one of the most unlikely to win – in my view came from the team of
United Architects, a collective of architects instigated by Kevin Kennon to – successfully – participate in the WTC competition in New York, with prominent members such as UN Studio, Foreign Office, and Greg Lynn. In New York the team was at the end beaten by Daniel Libeskind, but the design-team proved a success.
Although they all are credited for the design, Greg Lynn admitted in his lecture at Harvard that the main idea for the ECB design came of Ben van Berkel of UN Studio, who came up with the iconography of the coin. Their website doesn’t mention anything like this, but the design tells the story.


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