Höweler + Yoon Architecture wins
Audi Urban Future Award 2012


News: American studio Höweler + Yoon Architecture has won the Audi Urban Future Award 2012 with a concept to combine individual and public transport in the region between Boston and Washington nicknamed BosWash (+ slideshow).

Höweler + Yoon Architecture wins Audi Urban Future Award 2012

As one of four firms invited by automotive company Audi to explore how cities will function in the future, the architects have imagined a controlled transport infrastructure that stretches across the BosWash region to connect the suburbs with the cities, serving a population of 53 million people.

Höweler + Yoon Architecture wins Audi Urban Future Award 2012

Eric Höweler and J. Meejin Yoon explain how the suburbs were constructed around the "outdated" American Dream of "the single-family home, with a front lawn and two-car garage." They describe how within the "infrastructural leftovers of this now outdated dream" lies a possibility to create "alternate paths, different trajectories or new cultural dreams".

Höweler + Yoon Architecture wins Audi Urban Future Award 2012

In their proposals, all forms of transport would be connected to a single artery, following the 450-mile route of the existing Interstate 95 motorway.

Höweler + Yoon Architecture wins Audi Urban Future Award 2012

Höweler + Yoon Architecture are the second recipients of the Audi Urban Future Award, following German architect J. Mayer H, who presented proposals in 2010 for a digitally integrated city.

The award was judged and presented in Istanbul, as part of the Istanbul Design Biennial 2012.

The text that follows is from Audi:

The Audi Urban Future Award 2012 is presented to the American architecture practice Höweler + Yoon Architecture for their proposed concept for modern urbanization in the Boston/Washington metropolitan region. With their ambitious planning and architectural idea of the "shareway" the American team of architects revolutionize commuting between places of living and work. Their basic idea is to merge individual and public transport by means of a new kind of mobility platform. This combines existing infrastructure with intelligent flows of traffic and networks. For their holistically controlled traffic system Höweler + Yoon Architecture are awarded prize money of 100,000 euros.

John Thackara, design theorist and chairman of the interdisciplinary jury, explained the decision: "The jury selected as its winner the Boswash project by the design team of Höweler + Yoon Architecture. The jury concluded that this was the most thoroughly resolved response to the competition brief, and noted that it also has the potential to be realised, at least in part, within the 2030 timeframe prescribed by the competition. The jury also noted with approval that the winning entry is based on thorough research into its social and economic context; it involves both social and technical innovation at a system-wide level; and real architectural quality is evident in its execution."

"The winning proposals are a visionary document setting out what is required for cities of the future. This city dossier will be a specific set of instructions about how to plan or remodel a metropolitan region, in order to tackle increasing density”, says Rupert Stadler, chairman of the executive board of AUDI AG.

The Audi Urban Future Award is intended to make a contribution to learning how to understand more about cities of the future. Because the question "in which form will individual mobility be possible?" can only be answered by the development of cities. In order to play an active part in shaping tomorrow’s world, Audi has to understand significant patterns of urban planning worldwide and their relevance for future mobility.

  • ray

    Where is Junya Ishigami? Is he disqualified? I can’t find his proposal and info about him in the official website.

  • jean-luc

    Please refer to South Park episode: “IT”!

    • Sam

      I’m glad someone brought this up.

      • Flippy D


  • I'm so glad I'm not the only person thinking of South Park.

  • I sort of support futuristic ideas. This one in particular does not have too much to offer.

  • robert-hr

    Out-of-work architects unfortunately have to resort to sci-fi imagination to survive the recession!

  • Why doesn’t it explain what those weird bikes are? I’m assuming the person riding it doesn’t do a somersault with every rotation What is the huge box on the front and how do they relate to the big picture?

    • FMg

      Nah… better not, since the design of that bikes is stupid. From what I see, the giant wheel is obstructing the view of the rider. How will people drive that? I love a futuristic idea even if it’s impossible build it, but the design of that bike is just for show to me.

    • More unicycle than bike but i think they are more for creating a futuristic look. I’ve seen working motorised version of them and they are impractical on multiple levels.

  • Tex

    This is the oldest future I’ve ever seen in my life! The world has changed so much that only in China they’re trying to acheive these kind of buildings. It just seems 30 years old… like the original Tron.

  • Mathias

    Oh god! Does it work the same way the Southpark one does!?

  • Audi’s engineers have very flattering opinion of the near future. I think such transport infrastructure should be no earlier than 2050.