All posts in Midwest
Get a Handle On It
Ohio’s Big Basket building may become a luxury hotel
The many lives of Detroit’s Berlin Wall
“The design…is considerably improved, especially on its main, south-facing front. But the tower has yet to become a compelling object — or icon, to use the currently overused word — from all sides. That matters. Because when you’re planning on putting a 235-foot-tall tower in Jackson Park and dramatically altering a landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, you had better be pitch-perfect from every angle of the compass.”One of the most notable updates to the tower is an 88-foot-tall slender cutout that reveals activity and the circulation inside. From within the building, the skinny swath of window showcases views of The Forum building to the left and the Michael Van Valkenburgh-designed landscape below. The biggest issue the architects will face now, per Kamin’s review, is rethinking the north side of the structure—what people driving southbound will see first as they enter the complex. Right now, it appears brutalist in form, with very few windows, though the building still features the elongated window mirrored on the front. The good news is that Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, principals of their eponymous firm in New York, are experienced museum designers. In fact, their firm almost exclusively takes on cultural and academic projects, places that are open to the general public. The duo just wrapped up construction on Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art, a small and airy museum with big-gallery energy, as well as The Goel Center for Theater and Dancer at the University of Exeter. The Obama Presidential Center is arguably the tallest museum they’ve ever designed; the building houses vertically-stacked galleries inside a textured, granite-clad massing. “We design from the inside out,” Williams told the Chicago Tribune. The design team will produce a fourth version of the building before its likely 2020 groundbreaking, as the text on the upper screen wall still needs to be finalized.
Stock up on Dreams
EXTENTS and stock-a-studio create virtual spaces for Collective Reality
Clear Eyes, Whole Trees, Can't Lose
WholeTrees is smartly repurposing timber across the Midwest
The Festival Foods Grocery Store in Madison, Wisconsin, features WholeTrees’ largest natural round-timber trusses, which facilitate spans of up to 55 feet. The structure showcases the potential of unmilled lumber without compromising strength or visual impact, and the whole timber in combination with steel embodies a junction of nature and technology. The trees that make up the trusses were harvested during the City of Madison’s campaign against the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect lethal to local ash trees, and the standing columns are red pine sourced from just outside of the city.
Lakeridge Junior High School
WholeTrees repurposed 29 trees cleared from the project site as structural members for a new building designed by Mahlum Architects for Lakeridge Junior High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. The company harnessed a 3D-scanning system known as lidar to create digital models of the trees that included every nub, notch, and scratch. These models ensured each tree met the structural and spatial design parameters of the project. The 3D files created through this process can be shared with engineers and architects, allowing building professionals to confidently fabricate and specify related products, and architects to precisely visualize the organic material in their designs.
Blakely Elementary School
WholeTrees’ first project in Washington State developed a new steel connection to help meet the seismic requirements of the region. WholeTrees harvested, processed, and delivered 14 straight and branched tree columns rising up to 25 feet tall for a school on Bainbridge Island, outside Seattle, which was designed in collaboration with Seattle-based architecture firm Mithun. Blakely was the first project to adapt WholeTrees’ explorations into 3D-scanning technology for every column in a built project. The technology allowed the company to scan trees in its storage lot and share the resulting information directly with engineers and architects.
Maharishi University Sustainable Living Center
Located in Fairfield, Iowa, Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living Center was required to comply with the International Living Building Challenge’s mandate to use materials sourced within 300 miles of the project site. WholeTrees delivered 22 columns, 24 beams, and 2 structural arches harvested from managed woodlands in southwestern Wisconsin. Realized with sustainability-focused architecture practice Innovative Design, the project exceeded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum standard. The building’s entrance features a narrow corridor of massive but slender trunks, which creates the sensation of being among trees while still being inside.
“To a full house. “There is no one who better represented what is ethical and responsible and what is best in architecture in our time than Stanley.” “A fabulous and pathological truthteller.” “He was never satisfied with straightforward interpretation. From the start, his work typically contained a subtext that was dying to become the principle discourse, a hidden whimsy, even irrationality.”Peter Eisenman:
“I would impersonate Stanley to get a seat at Gene and Giorgetti’s. I did this so many times that the last time I walked in the maître d greeted me with “‘Hello Mr. Tigerman.’” “After reading Stanley’s architectural memoir, Building Bridges to Burn, all of us who think we knew him should read this book. Whatever one thought of him, his work is revealed in another life.” “The architect who never had enough bridges to burn.”Robert Somol:
“If Bob (stern) and Peter (Eisenman) and Stanley, represent what Stanley once called dysfunctional siblings, then those of my generation are Stanley’s dysfunctional children. And as such we tried to be loyal if we weren’t generally obedient. Which might not be ideal, it’s a lot better than those that are obedient but disloyal.” “When you talked to Stanley, whether you realized it or not, you were making a contract or a promise. And god help you if you didn’t keep your end of the bargain. Stanley was not one for idle banter. For Stanley his work was his bond, and that is how you have to live when you are an outsider.”John Ronan:
“From him, I learned how to be an architect, and how you had to make your projects. I learned how to thrive on conflict. I learned the perils of fame, and the proper usage of the word fuck.” “When Stanley started his practice, architecture was still something of a gentleman’s profession, and Stanley proved in many ways, you didn’t have to be a gentleman to succeed in it.” “All of us here were shaped by Stanley in some way. We are how we are, do some less or more degree because of him. We are all now part of his family, and he is part of us… whatever the fuck that means.”Frank Gehry:
“I’m just tempted to say ‘ditto,’ but I did write something so please forgive me.”