All posts in East

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Cambridge Car Culture

French 2D enlivens a Cambridge parking garage with a graphic-printed mesh facade
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The rapid development of urban areas across the country is leading to the reappraisal of the commonly found, and often maligned, parking garage. Boston-based architectural practice French 2D has joined this trend by invigorating a drab parking garage using a mesh facade with dynamic graphics intended to serve as a large-scale artistic canvas as well as a functional enclosure. The design of the parking garage’s facade was intended to reference the competing architectural scales and functions of the surrounding Kendall Square. The neighborhood, separated from downtown Boston by the Charles River, is defined by newly built tech hubs, residential buildings, and a fading industrial heritage. For the design team, the primary challenge and objective of the project were to break up the monolithic scale of the existing garage—it is eight stories and measures a whopping 350,000 square feet.
  • Facade Manufacturer Facid North America Piedmont Plastics McNichols
  • Architect French 2D
  • Facade Installer & Consultant Design Communications, Ltd.
  • Location Cambridge, MA
  • Date of Completion May 2019
  • System Facid 65 System
  • Products PSG SupraFLEX Breeze Coated Mesh McNichols Perforated 1” Round, powder coated aluminum sheet
“To address this we played with the perception of large scale figures and patterns at drastically different distances, as well as the fidelity of printing to desired visual contrast,” said French 2D principals Jenny and Anda French. “Full-scale mock-up panels were hung on site for review by the design team and city officials, allowing for adjustment of the graphics files to ensure that the image was high contrast enough to compete with three-dimensional building facades.” How does the artwork conform to these different scales? The graphics are effectively divided into three separate categories; skyline, street, and reveal views. The pattern across the garage's 25,000-square-foot facade canvas is relatively constant and defined by rectangular and triangular forms that are linked by diagonal strands of shade, evoking the shadows cast across facades with material depth. From the farthest vantage points, defined as southwest Binney Street and Fulkerson, the graphics are oversized, and, in a certain sense resemble the boxy massing of post-war structures. Shifting to the street reveals views of the enclosure as the gain of the pattern increases in density, leading to a subsequent freneticism in the shading. In daylight, the exterior of the garage remains opaque, while the significant density of perforations allows for outward views and natural, passive ventilation—the garage itself is not outfitted with any form of mechanical ventilation. Owing to the hidden aluminum tension frame produced by Facid North America, the mesh enclosure remain remarkably taut with minimal gaps between individual panels. The result is a semi-continuous surface covered with significant openings that reveal the concrete-and-steel structure below. For the project's official photography, the French sisters acted as drawing scale figures with custom dresses fitted with a rendition of the building's facade pattern—in effect forming a fourth category to the graphic design's scales.
   
   
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Multiple Personalities

Amherst's New Science Center outperforms with a facade material quintet
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In October 2018, Amherst College opened the New Science Center on its historic Massachusetts campus. The new academic building, which replaced an aging science center that was failing to keep up with its contemporary academic needs, is a six-story structure offering a home for six different science departments. Designed by the Boston-based architectural practice Payette with aggressive energy targets in mind, the enclosure is wrapped in a quintet of materials; glass, brick, concrete, weathered steel, and metal composite.
  • Facade Manufacturer Vitro Zahner TAKTL Alcotex Petersen
  • Architect Payette
  • Facade Installer Novum Structures R&R Window Zahner Manganaro Costa Brothers Masonry
  • Facade Consultant Studio NYL Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Structural Engineer LeMessurier
  • Location Amherst, MA
  • Date of Completion October 2018
  • System Novum Structures Custom-Fabricated Curtain Wall Schüco FW 60+.SI Kawneer System 2000
  • Products Vitro Solarban 72 & 60 Vitro Starphire TAKTL Rough 1 Finish. Custom Graphite Alcotex 4mm Panel Solanum Preweathered Weathering Steel Petersen Tegl Kolumba K96
During the design process, Payette paid particular focus on how to minimize thermal bridging between the myriad facade components. "The brick masonry angles are held off the face of the building wall to permit insulation to run continuous," said the design team, "and Teflon spacers were utilized in the support of exterior weathering steel screen. The structure of the roof overhang and canopies are thermally broken to minimize heat transfer at those locations as well." The 251,000-square-foot project is located on the eastern border of the Amherst campus, its form primarily consisting of a large rectangular volume running on a north-south axis, with three fingers protruding to the west. This main rectangular volume is home to the structure's primary gathering space, The Commons. From the west, the circulation paths and spaces within The Commons possess near-complete visibility due to a colossal structural triple-glazed silicone curtainwall. To reduce UV exposure, the insulated glass units were treated with two different low-E coatings, Vitro Solarban 60 & 72, to achieve a system U-Value of .25 while maintaining a visible light transmittance of 56 percent. A series of sawtooth skylights is located atop the primary rectangular volume and serves two functions: further illumination of the interior and structural support for the glass curtainwall. The steel roof structure is cantilevered from the concrete core, and in turn, hangs the glass curtain wall. According to the design team, "the columns supporting the glass wall are nearly 40 feet removed from the curtain wall, supporting a load of nearly 10,000 pounds per mullion in addition to the dead, snow, wind and seismic loads." For the eastern elevation of the structure, which faces the campus boundary on East Drive and is visible from town, the envelope switches over to a more traditional brick facade. The bricks produced by Danish-manufacturer Petersen Tegl are long and flat in dimension, approximately measuring 20.8 inches by 4.3 inches by 1.5 inches. Their finish is irregular and resembles grayish rough ashlar. The three protruding wings of the New Science Center are all three stories in height and clad in a screen of weathered steel produced by Zahner. Along the complex's forecourts, the perforated weathered steel panels face narrow side out, while the western elevations are fully shrouded. The weathered steel is backed by narrow glass-and-composite-metal panels. The project, which has received numerous accolades for its environmental performance, will be presented by Payette Principal and Director of Building Science Andrea Love at Facades+ Minneapolis on July 24.  
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Go For The (Rhein)gold

ODA's towering Rheingold complex is a self-contained village
In Bushwick, Brooklyn, on the site of the former Rheingold Brewery, New York-based ODA has designed a mammoth apartment building that takes up an entire city block, totaling nearly 500,000 square feet. The seven-story, 500-unit building features two staggered volumes in which a core of dark gray corrugated metal seems to rise up out of a lighter gray shell, with the apartment units arranged around two internal courtyards. One of the complex’s defining elements is its ombré-hued grid of recessed windows and balconies. This cascading arrangement of color and form gives the facade a level of depth and texture while reducing the building’s vertical presence at the street level and allowing more light to reach the interior courtyards. “Due to the repetitiveness of the grid, we eroded it to create this form, adding and subtracting areas,” said Francesco Asaro, project manager at ODA. The interlocking patterns are also subtle nods to the imperfections of the site since some corners don’t meet at 90-degree angles. Three window and door systems from Reynaers Aluminum are used in the project. For the residential windows and balconies, the custom-extruded aluminum frames of Reynaers’s SlimLine 38 system were fitted with 1-1/16 insulated glass by manufacturer Blue Star Glass and selected in four hues that ranged from red to yellow and arranged in an interlocking pattern. The Reynaers window system meets the sound transmission requirements for the area and was preferred by the project’s window installers, said Asaro. Since nearly every unit has a balcony, it was also important for the window system to be well-insulated and energy-efficient. The SL 38 is engineered with contiguous mullions to be able to hold multiple panes of glass within a single frame and tilts open for easy maintenance. The Rheingold boasts numerous amenities, including 70,000 square feet of outdoor space, art studios, a darkroom, and a theater. The amenity spaces of the building feature a fixed-glass Reynaers Concept System 77 (CS 77) of windows and doors framed in a gray hue, while the storefront windows and facades in the building’s commercial spaces relied on the heavier-duty Concept Wall 50 (CW 50) system, which can hold up to 1,500 pounds of glass panes. Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: ODA Interior designer: Durukan Design Landscape architect: Gunn Landscape Architecture Facade consultants: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. Structural engineer: Titan Engineers PC MEP engineer: MG Engineering D.P.C. Geotechnical engineer: URS Corporation (now AECOM) Windows and doors: Reynaers Aluminum Glass manufacturer: Blue Star Glass Composite facade panels: Petrarch Panels Corrugated metal facade panels: United Panel Technologies
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What Can Art Do?

Forensic Architecture sets a high bar at the Whitney Biennial
“While my company and the museum have distinct missions, both are important contributors to our society,” said Whitney Museum of American Art vice chairman Warren B. Kanders. This statement, salvaged from a letter leaked by ARTnews in December, sets the tone as the opening visual for Forensic Architecture’s installation at the Whitney Biennial—a 15-minute video delivering the collective's most recent foray into artificial intelligence, titled Triple Chaser. The London-based architecture and science research group chose to respond to the Kanders tear gas and munitions scandal not with a withdrawal from the biennial, but with the creation of a work of art-as-social justice tool, a submission that infiltrates the subject of derision’s own institution. Their video, created in collaboration with director Laura Poitras and Praxis Films, is narrated by David Byrne cooly explaining how FA approached the training of a computer program to track and recognize images of “Triple Chaser” tear gas canisters and subsequently reduce the amount of human labor needed to do so. The program is trained to recognize the canisters, so named for the way they break into three distinct pieces after being fired, and not become used to identifying just the degraded landscapes they usually occur in. Forensic Architecture’s website, as well as the video, comments that “Whereas the export of military equipment from the US is a matter of public record, the sale and export of tear gas is not.” The analyzed images act as proof of their use, and therefore sale, to over 14 countries including US border states -- and these canisters are just one of the many munitions manufactured by Defense Technology, a subsidiary of the Safariland Group -- Kanders is the founder, chairman, and chief executive. Byrne’s narration clearly and objectively describes the group’s methods in creating a piece of artificial intelligence, accompanied by visuals and music that are at once pragmatic as well as sensually arresting. Viewers are prompted before one section of the video with a seizure warning, as a series of bold geometric backgrounds used to train the program appear, the compositions flashing at rapid speed on screen, a kaleidoscope of color and stimulation. The tear gas cans are highlighted and boxed in bright pinks, yellows and blues that act as sharp contrasts against the dusty, barren landscapes of the war zones they are scattered in. Whole sections of the video are also set to the symphonic music of Richard Strauss, Kander’s personal choice for the Aspen Music Festival section named for him after a multi-million dollar donation. The haunting strings and dramatic woodwind crescendos are fitting for the eerie images they amplify. This video is an overtly collaborative work, and FA reached out to other artists and activists working in zones of political unrest, where the canisters are common, to fill out their image banks. The video shows one video submission of a rusted canister from an artists colony in Israel, one that Byrne introduces as “one of the most heavily gassed artist's colonies in the world.” In FA’s data-driven way, their video encompasses why a cultural institution like the Whitney cannot have, in the opinion of many, a man like Kanders on a board that should be protecting, not attacking, artists and their voices. Forensic Architecture as a firm, a lab, a collective, is inherently interdisciplinary, regularly overstepping traditional boundaries between professions and genres. Their “artwork” is serving a similar focus as well. Is this video just as much “art” as the Arroyo paintings in the same gallery? Politics have always been a subject of art, artists and creative output, but the contemporary climate seems to be showing artists as not only creating political works, but exposing politics and its maneuvering as art inherent in its existence -- politics create culture, and other elements of culture are responding to what politicians and votes are “creating.” But is “Triple Chaser” a work of art, or a work of journalism, or of anthropological research? A reorganization and alt-method of displaying data, the inclusion of Forensic Architecture at the Whitney Biennial sets a possible precedent for contemporary art, one that may be hyper-specific to current events, relevant due to an Internet-age concept of timeliness.
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Buy Now Don't Wei-t

The only house designed by Ai Weiwei is for sale
The only residence designed by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is for sale. The 4,000-square-foot complex in Ancram, New York, is about two hours north of New York City by car, and it was commissioned by a couple who loved the artist's work. In collaboration with Basel, Switzerland–based HHF Architects, Weiwei delivered the main house in 2006 and a slingshot-shaped guest house two years later. The main residence is clad in corrugated iron, and sports three bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace of the same height. The program is divided between four timber-frame boxes of equal size, but two staircases and ceilings of different heights disrupt the boxes' rigidity and promote interior fluidity. Once can find the requisite pool and fancy appliances (Boffi in the kitchen, for example). The guest house, meanwhile, is clad in Cor-ten steel and features two bedrooms and two bathrooms slotted into its curving form. White angled wall dividers break up the timber-paneled living spaces and create plenty of space for art displays. Each of the Y-shaped structure's "poles" offers a different view of the property, which covers 37 hilltop acres. According to SFgate.com, the original owners sold the house in 2013 because they didn't visit it enough. The home's current owners are selling and moving overseas. Interested buyers have to pony up the big bucks: The house is on the market for $5.25 million.
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A Taste of Tsukimi

The Japanese tradition of moon-viewing lights up Tsukimi in the East Village
An assuming brick building in New York’s East Village houses an elegant and warm Japanese restaurant on its first floor that’s been designed as an ode to the mid-autumn full moon. Tsukimi, located at 228 East 10 St., recently opened under the tutelage of renowned chef Takanori Akiyama and was inspired by the festival tradition of tsukimi, or “moon viewing,” which happens at the start of fall harvest each year. Designed by Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack, the modest space “aids in slowing the mind down” and utilizes both expressive and simple patterns to focus guests on intentional eating and community. White oak is the primary material found throughout the restaurant and is visible in everything from the two communal tables that face each other, to the shelves underneath, and the tambour wall paneling behind. The soft tones of the wood and its various textures are mixed to produce a comforting and relaxed feel. The design team further honed in on the tsukimi symbolism by enveloping the interior with a pleasant glow, one that also extends to the street via the corduroy glass on the windows. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com. 
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Yikers Rikers

We need to rethink the Rikers Island replacement jails
Technology is abstracting so much of our lives that it is easy for change to come out-of-sight and out-of-mind. Many physical objects have been reduced to algorithms hidden in cloud servers and embedded in code on handheld devices. Remember CDs, day planners, watches, and cameras? Architecture, on the other hand, is more difficult to eliminate and maintains its relevance by making visible the invisible within our society. For example, a proposed Manhattan jail tower towering 45 stories over Chinatown and Tribeca makes visible the fact that we can’t just abstract and sweep away our country’s mass incarceration problem. This proposal confronts us—including some very wealthy residents of those neighborhoods—with the harshness and scale of the problem. New York City has chosen four sites—one each in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens—for relocating the jail facilities currently located on Rikers Island. Activists say that moving the incarcerated closer to their homes is a more humane way to keep them connected with their families and communities, citing the difficulty of visiting the island as well as transportation costs for court dates. However, the realities of moving 5,000 inmates brings a spatial challenge: Where do you put them? So far, each proposed site seems tone-deaf about how they would affect the surrounding streets and neighborhoods. Lynn Ellsworth of Human-scale NYC and Tribeca Trust has done a great service by publishing her paper, “How Did Reform of the Criminal Justice System Turn Into a Real Estate Project?” that highlights how the city will sell Rikers Island to real estate developers for $22 billion and then spend another $11 billion dollars on the new jails. In addition, she has also done a deep urban design analysis on the 45-story Manhattan jail on the edge of Chinatown and Tribeca and produced a series of ghost building images that show how the Manhattan jail will negatively affect its surroundings. However, her proposal calling for the city to keep and renovate Rikers Island highlights the contradictions in what can be considered progress on this issue. Perhaps the real question needed now is, “How can we rethink the entire jail debate?” The official renderings from the city’s Department of Correction show only exterior images. A recent New Yorker story, “Inside the Mayor’s Plan to Close Rikers,” quotes architect Frank Greene, who is working on the new jail plans. “I could see these buildings we’re doing for New York City someday becoming community colleges with dormitories inside them,” he told the magazine, a statement which represents the sort of design thinking we endorse. But this thinking needs to be put into signed and approved architectural plans. As the plan currently stands, the fact that the city would build a massive skyscraper jail that would replace half of the historic “Tombs” detention facility on Centre Street with no concrete plan for what will be inside of the building, how incarcerated people will actually live in the building, and what facilities are planned for visitors is truly insane. This is a moment for New York City, its corrections department, its local politicians, and the public to discuss what our incarceration policy should look like on an institutional and facilities level. All we have now are promises and nothing about how these monster facilities will actually operate. Finally, one noted criminal justice reform advocate, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, makes a serious case for closing all prisons. In New York Times Magazine, she asks, “Why don’t we think about why we solve problems by repeating the kind of behavior that brought us the problem in the first place?” The Times article points out that for Gilmore, prison abolition is “both a long-term goal and a practical policy program, calling for government investment in jobs, education, housing, health care—all elements that are required for a productive and violence-free life.”  This is the question to ask as President Trump has just signed his First Step Act, which will begin the release of thousands of prisoners from federal prisons; and as prisons in California, by court order, have begun to empty out their overcrowded facilities by releasing low-level offenders. Rather than build more jails or prisons, we should ask if we really need carceral structures in the way we have thought about them since the 19th century, as places of punitive architecture and inhumane residence. But we also need to ask if we even need more jails or prisons, or whether there might be better ways to rehabilitate people in the future.
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Obit

Phil Freelon, who worked on the national African American history museum, is dead at 66
Phil Freelon, the Durham, North Carolina–based architect who helped design the monumental National Museum of African American History and Culture, has died at age 66. The cause was complications from ALS. Freelon founded his firm, The Freelon Group, almost 30 years ago. He was best known for his most recent project, his work on the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) with J. Max Bond, Jr., principal of New York's Davis Brody Bond, and David Adjaye, principal of London's Adjaye Associates. The D.C. museum opened in 2016 to rave reviews of both the building and exhibitions on the history of African Americans and African American life. The structure is clad in tessellated cast-aluminum panel inspired by patterns made by black artisans in the New Orleans and Charleston, while the form echos a crown and a group raising their arms in celebration. The Freelon Group also completed projects like Atlanta's National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Houston's Emancipation Park, the News & Observer reported. The Freelon Group was acquired by Perkins+Will in 2016, and Freelon joined the firm as a principal and design director in North Carolina. Friends, family, and colleagues took to social media to remember Freelon: Most recently, Freelon and his wife, Nnenna, a Grammy-nominated jazz singer, unveiled their renovation of the NorthStar Church of the Arts, a house of worship and space for creative activities in Durham. In a message on NorthStar's website, the Freelon family requested the bereaved donate to the church in lieu of buying flowers.
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All The History That's Fit To Print

Keris Salmon explores the Architecture of Slavery
“When I arrived there I was a journalist. And when I left on that very same day I became an artist,” said Keris Salmon, an African-American visual artist, describing her visit to a plantation that her white husband’s family had owned for over 100 years. “I couldn't leave without making something out of it.” What she made out of it was a print portfolio titled We Have Made These Lands What They Are: The Architecture of Slavery, a collection of 18 prints that were displayed as part of Pulled In Brooklyn at the International Print Center in New York City, which ran through June 15. Keris has since visited dozens of plantations across the American South, and taken photographs of the structures that remain, from the rough wooden siding of former slave cabins to the lace curtains of the “big houses” built with clay bricks by the slaves who lived there. Salmon, a television journalist-by-training who had worked for NBC, ABC, and PBS before turning towards art, has done her research. The many stories, historical figures, and writings that she has unearthed reveal the secrecy and complexity of the slave era in America, secrets and complexes that are still pervasive today. The exhibition’s title was derived from a real-life encounter between a group of former slaves running back to their plantation after emancipation, and a group of white people observing and asking, why? In the words of Salmon, “they responded nearly in unison, ‘we made these lands what they are.’” Salmon’s work explores the expansive truth behind this phrase, revealing how America as a country was both physically and theoretically built by slavery, and how both positive and negative impacts remain, unflinching, within American society today. Salmon has collected her photographs and snippets of text from historical documents and visits to dozens of plantations across the American South, and the resulting combinations of visuals and printed text express the pedestrian elements of slavery, rather than the shackles, whips, and leg braces of the horror stories. When asked why in an interview by PBS reporter Duarte Geraldino, Salmon replied, “Life then was very pedestrian,” with segregated norms made up of the plantation architecture, furniture, period lace curtains, “the kind of thing[s] that people encountered every day, black and white.” Her texts are presented in a custom-designed typeface; the artist worked with Brooklyn-based printmakers Peter Kruty and Sayre Gaydos to create a visual language that focuses on the font’s significance without “hitting you over the head with it,” according to Gaydos. Resembling the lettering styles used for runaway slave and auction posters at the time, Salmon’s type spells out a different kind of story. While the “architecture” that Salmon is referring to in her title is not explicitly that of the built environment, her work asserts the concept of slavery being the structure that America is built on. National political issues from unequal educational opportunities to mass incarceration are systems that remain today, just as the plantation houses and clusters of slave cabins in Salmon’s photographs remain. The Architecture of Slavery reminds us of the many deep connections between the history of race in America and the present moment.
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It's A Lawn

The LAB at Rockwell Group puts a park inside the National Building Museum
Lawn, the interactive exhibition designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, is now open at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. As the latest iteration of the museum’s Summer Block Party series, the pop-up installation pays tribute to how humans spend time in the many open green spaces that flourish during the sunny season.   “As we delved deeper into the design process, it became clear that so many of the summertime activities that we look forward to enjoying with friends and family each year take place on a ‘lawn’— whether it’s a yard, a public park, a playground, or a rooftop,” said David Rockwell, founder and president of Rockwell Group, in a statement. “Lawn is our celebration of this iconic idea.”   As the background of several season-long events, the LAB imagined the exhibition as a giant lawn where visitors could come, connect, and play with one another, while also observing the museum’s Renaissance Revival architecture up close. The green expanse was built on a sloping superstructure made of scaffolding that lightly undulates and then levels out towards the center of the museum's Great Hall. It’s a rectangular space that cuts directly through eight of the parallel Corinthian columns signature to the museum’s interior; they’re among the largest in the world and measure 75 feet tall. Additionally, the LAB suspended blue hammocks from the building’s 100-foot-tall ceiling grid, each of which features audio recordings of stories from Americans such as Venus Williams, Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Stamberg, Jose Andres, and more.  Also scattered throughout Lawn are sets of white lounge chairs, umbrella stands, and equipment for spontaneous games of cornhole, cricket, bocce ball, and dominoes. The LAB designed a scaffolding tower at the top of the lawn which offers views of the museum’s third floor and the column capitals. The sides of the tower are subtly covered in clouds, which allows it to stand out in contrast to both the dark and light green colors of the lawn. The grass-like floor has a “just-mowed” effect. During the daytime, the sun streams in from the clerestory windows of the museum, giving the installation an outside feel. Another element that contributes to the simulated outdoor experience is the distilled audio of distant crickets chirping, bees buzzing, and lawnmowers at work. The design team collaborated with Yessian Music, a soundscape production company, to envelope the space in these classic summer sounds. Furthermore, the LAB developed an augmented reality game for kids and adults that provides them the chance to chase, collect, and release fireflies throughout the museum.  On view through September 2, the Lab at Rockwell Group’s Lawn comes on the heels of past exhibitions for the Summer Block Party series by Snarkitecture, Studio Gang, James Corner Field Operations, and Bjarke Ingels Group.
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Kings of Kingston

Kingston Creative Exchange in Upstate New York links Pratt students with locals
Kingston, New York, is a charming town on the Hudson River 90 miles north of New York City. It was the first capital of the state before being burned to the ground in 1777 by the British in the revolutionary war, and then, with the discovery of natural cement, it became a center of the country’s industrial revolution. It has three stone and wood historic districts, the Stockade District uptown, the Midtown Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, and the Rondout-West Strand Historic District downtown, but the town seems like its best years are way in its past. This could be changing, as a new effort is driving momentum to build on the village’s industrial core using design and education to create a “creative exchange.” The Kingston Creative Exchange (KCX)—a group funded by southern California based Mary and David Martin’s MADWORKSHOP and including an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from Pratt Institute—have opened a center in Kingston. Students will gain an introduction to the design world and practices through the use of historical techniques once employed in the town. MADWORKSHOP - PRATT CREATIVE XCHANGE, KINGSTON from PLANE—SITE on Vimeo. The new center, a peer-to-peer incubator space in a historic building, will support an exchange of design ideas between the local artisans and young people from Kingston High School and focus on workshops that propose bringing design thinking and education to confront serious urban problems. Architects and designers often use the phrase “design thinking” as a possible solution for all sorts of urban ills, so it will be interesting to see if this experiment has the legs necessary to make a difference in Kingston.
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Go Long

Barry Bergdoll showcases a new wave of modern architecture on Long Island
The “North Fork” of Long Island, from the town of Riverhead to Orient Point at the eastern tip, is one of the most varied and beautiful landscapes in the New York region. A peninsula jutting out into Long Island Sound, it is the last place where one can still find open space devoted to farming, alongside fresh and saltwater inlets, bays, and ponds in the state. It also has a unique regional style of cedar shingled “Cape” homes and handsome pine potato barns that date back to the 18th century. But North Fork is also home to a handful of modernist post-World War II summer homes, that have remained largely unknown in comparison to those in the Hamptons, it’s more glamorous neighbor across the Peconic Bay. Now, thanks to Columbia Art History Professor and ex-MoMA architecture curator Barry Bergdoll, the story of modern architecture on the peninsula will be better known. Somehow Bergdoll found the time last year to stage A New Wave of Modern Architecture, a small but alluring exhibition on the region’s post-war modern architectural history. Now, the exhibit has moved six miles east to the Oysterponds Historical Society in Orient, New York, and Bergdoll has added to the show’s survey of contemporary housing and expanded our understanding of the region’s architectural uniqueness. He begins with the area’s fascinating early history of artists who gathered around the legendary art dealer, Betty Parsons, who came to the area in the 1950s. Parsons commissioned the architect-slash-sculptor Tony Smith to build a guest house and studio above the Long Island Sound. He designed a pavilion fronting the sound out of large railroad ties. He then designed and built a house for Abstract Expressionist painter Theodoros Stamos in 1951. For Stamos, Bergdoll writes, “Smith designed a dramatically innovative variant on the American timber frame house, elevating a single-story space sandwiched between two trusses, one upside down to create a large open floor plan. Elevated off the ground, the house’s living space afforded sweeping views over Long Island Sound from its bluff-top site.” Finally, he points to the double pavilion house Charles Moore designed for Simone Swan in 1975, a few houses away from Parson’s home, as an influence to newer designs. This second exhibition highlights a number of new houses, including a modest but beautiful wood-shingled Peconic bayside house by Toshiko Mori, and a TTC passive house designed by Wayne Turett on a back lot in Greenport, New York. But Bergdoll’s most insightful addition to the show is his description of what makes the area’s modern houses unique. He points to the North Fork’s environmentally sensitive farm and wetland landscape as an influence in the innovative new houses being constructed “with structural openness” and elevated platforms capable of capturing views of the landscape. This modest little show identifies a singular new style evolving just a few hours east of New York. The exhibit is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, as well as Saturdays from 11:00 am through 5:00 pm. Admission is free.