Collected Trendsetting Commissions printed in DesignIntelligence Vol. 8, No. 8.

URS Corporation has been selected as executive architect for the $1.3 billion Columbus Public School District’s School Improvement Program. URS is one of three firms that will provide architectural and engineering design services for the school district’s construction of more than 50 buildings and the renovation of nearly 70 structures.

Kathryn Gustafson, an American landscape designer, has won the competition to design the £3million Diana, Princess of Wales memorial fountain. Her proposal consists of a flowing ring of water surrounding a landscaped area in Hyde Park.

Renzo Piano will design the new building for the California Academy of Sciences, the oldest natural history museum in the West. Plans include a roof employing native plants, modeled on San Francisco’s hills. City officials and San Francisco voters must approve the design. Plans are to close for construction in 2004 and reopen in 2008. The $370 million project will employ private and public funding.

Atlanta has chosen hometown favorite (and AIA 2002 firm of the year) Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback and Associates to design its $200 million, five-million gallon aquarium, to be funded by Home Depot’s co-founder Bernie Marcus. Design concepts should be in by 2003.

Sasaki Associates, Inc. of Boston, Mass., was chosen to design the main 2008 Summer Olympic site in Beijing from more than 50 proposals submitted. “The Olympic Green” design will be part of 22 million square feet of development planned for the 2,800-acre site, which will include the Olympic Stadium and other major sports venues. An estimated $32 billion will be allocated for the design, construction and infrastructure improvements that China committed to win the summer games. Sasaki collaborated with the Chinese firm of Tianjin Huahui Architect and Design Company.

The Charlotte City Council chose Ellerbe Becket to design the city’s proposed new arena. The firm will team with three Charlotte firms: Odell Associates Inc., The Freelon Group, Inc., and ColeJenest & Stone. The selection is one of the steps in negotiations with the NBA to acquire an expansion franchise for Charlotte. Target date for occupation of the new building is fall 2005. Including the new Charlotte Arena, this will be Ellerbe Becket’s 15th NBA/NHL facility, more than any other design firm. The firm is also among the design-build team for Gonzaga University’s proposed $23 million, 6000-seat basketball arena.

Architect Janet Marie Smith, the woman behind some of baseball’s best designs, is now taking on Boston’s big green monster.

“Sometimes we stop and say, “It’s Fenway, can you believe it? It’s cloud nine just to be here,” Smith told the Baltimore Sun.

The 90-year old diamond that some say was cursed when the Sox traded Babe Ruth is also where Ted Williams played his first major-league season. Smith, 44, is known for her work at Camden Yards and Turner Field. Plans at Fenway call for the historic 37-foot-high wall to be kept, but luxury seating will be added. And there is financial pressure to increase the size of the 34,000-seat park, the smallest in major-league. Smith is said to be considering whether to add more seats behind the fabled Green Monster “to make it behave more like a new ballpark.”

The nation’s first green law school will be designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbot, in association with H & L Architects of Denver. The University of Denver’s $50 million, 190,000 square-foot building will use LEED standards and design including a 40 percent lower energy use than comparable new buildings; groundwater recapture-recycle; public transport, bicycle and electric car refueling capacity.

Kohn Pedersen Fox, in association with SRA Architectes, Paris, is design architect for a proposed 1.3-million square-foot corporate campus near Versailles. The mixed-use project will be called Canal Plus Village Louveciennes, named for Canal Plus, a Paris cable company.

Cooper Carry, Inc. was chosen to design the $80 million Marriot Hotel and Lancaster County (Penn.) Convention Center. The project hopes to revitalize Lancaster’s downtown as a walkable environment. The scope includes a number of venerable buildings, including the Watt & Shand building. which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.