Search results for "Eero Saarinen"

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Brain Game

A forgotten psychology study of famous midcentury architects gets its due in new book

In his new book The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study, Pierluigi Serraino writes about a forgotten psychology study of well-known creative people that U.C. Berkeley’s Institute for Personality Assessment and Research conducted in the late 1950s. In addition to writers and scientists, participants included Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, I.M. Pei, Philip Johnson, and dozens of other major architects of the day.

The Architect’s Newspaper: How did you find out about the studies that became the basis of this book?

Pierluigi Serraino: From different sources. A large part of it was a result of spending time with Don Olsen when I was working on NorCalMod: Icons of Northern California Modernism and then on my monograph on him. Also, Jack Hillmer told me Charles Warren Callister was in the creativity study. The daughter of Fred Langhorst told me about her dad coming home from participating in the study and telling them about this absurd problem the study posed, how to put a third arm to use. Raymond Neutra told me that he had seen the study’s files about his father and that he knew where they were.

Where was the material stored?

U.C. Berkeley has a large storage facility in Richmond, California. The archives are in a little room filled with file cabinets.

When I ran into Neutra, he told me that he had met Wallace Hall. Hall was the right-hand man to Donald MacKinnon, the director of the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research, a research institute at U.C. Berkeley, better known as IPAR. I called Hall. He was very old and in declining health. He said that they had wanted to do a book.

Hall was the gatekeeper of everything IPAR. He wouldn’t give access to anybody. So when he died, no one had a vested interest any longer.

Why do you think the well-known architects of the day participated in the study?

It was largely due to the political clout of William Wurster, whom MacKinnon asked to reach out to the architects. Wurster was an important architect himself, and he was dean of the College of Environmental Design at Berkeley.

Who funded the study?

The Carnegie Corporation. IPAR applied for a large grant in November of 1955. The people who were at the top of the funding agencies for these kinds of studies were in the Office of Strategic Services [OSS, a precursor to the CIA] and worked at the same OSS station together during the war, performing assessment studies of troops. They assessed candidates for very delicate missions.

Why did the Carnegie Corporation want to do this study?

It was the result of the Cold War. The researchers changed gears completely. There was a shift from studying human effectiveness to studying creativity in general. There was a desire to identify the folks who were going to be the most creative people, so that the U.S. could have a competitive advantage against the Russians. It was deeply nationalistic, if you think about it.

Why was the study not published?

That is the biggest mystery of all. Territoriality and politics about authorship of the study, perhaps. I think they strung this thing along too long and they lost the momentum.

Also, in the 1970s, there was a shift in the conception of personalities: Maybe it’s not just about the person, maybe it’s also the environment. Psychologists started thinking they were giving too much credit to the individual.

Describe the Mosaic Construction Test.

The architects were given tiles and told to create an eight-by-ten-inch mosaic. They also had a form that they had to fill out, answering questions about the intentions behind what they were doing.

The mosaics reveal that the creative person explores colors and fields in a non-formulaic approach. Some very creative architects did some rather dull mosaics, so it’s an imperfect procedure. For example, John Funk, who did the Heckendorf house in Modesto, did a very uninteresting mosaic. Victor Lundy’s was really superb, just very lyrical. He was a fantastic architect. Louis Kahn used some rather gloomy colors—there’s some darkness in it. I have to say, Neutra’s wasn’t interesting.

There is the famous story, reported by Charles Eames in 1963, about why Eero Saarinen used only white tiles. Apparently, Saarinen said, “I use only white, because I’m interested in texture.”

Did the researchers come to a conclusion about creativity as a result of this study?

Yes, but the conclusions were broad. One of them was that the creative person is not teamwork material. And in corporate society, this doesn’t sit well. What are we going to do with that? Are we going to have a bunch of people who do whatever they want?

Courage may be the great differentiator. You can have the intelligence, the talent, the intuition. But you have to have the courage to act on your instincts. You have to create conditions to do the work that you deem necessary, based on your aspirations, your vision. The condition of creativity is that you have to sustain the vision that you have for very long time, because you have a very long period where people resist you.

So who is the creative person?

Everybody has a capacity to be creative. This is a capacity that we always have at birth and we lose. We lose the authenticity of who we are. In a way, the message of this book has to do with life choices. What do we want to do with our lives? The creative person is someone who picks one field and explores it to its full extent.

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Meet the Met

Building of the Day: The Met Breuer
This is the twenty-second in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! With only six days left in the month, the Archtober 2016 Building of the Day tours are sadly coming to a close. We've seen a variety of new and innovative spaces mixed with old favorites and hidden gems that presented a mosaic of New York’s most impressive architecture. This year’s list would not be complete without Marcel Breuer’s iconic Whitney Museum, now known as the Met Breuer.

The Met Breuer, which opened in March of this year, houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s expanding modern and contemporary collections within its modest 29,000 square feet of exhibition space. When the Met moved into the building, its main goals were to restore and rejuvenate the space while still preserving the patina of the past. To that end, the Met gave the former Whitney the kind of exacting precision and gentle care it uses on its most treasured art objects.

That precision and care resulted in a building that both honors Breuer’s original vision and updates the space to meet the challenges of contemporary museums. The Met enlisted the help of Beyer Blinder Belle, a firm that specializes in the revitalization of historic buildings and has significant experience with the restoration of other midcentury modernist icons (Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport and Wallace Harrison’s Lincoln Center Promenade are two great examples). The restoration of the building took just under a year.

The updates that the Met and Beyer Blinder Belle incorporated show an informed understanding of Breuer’s subtle, graceful materiality and his ingenious structural engineering. A multitude of restoration and revitalization techniques needed to be devised for the various materials used in the building, which includes terrazzo, concrete, walnut parquet, and the famed gray granite exterior. The bluestone floors were treated with a natural, black wax to bring a soft luster while the walls, which required both chemical cleaners and water, were treated with a gentle, painterly approach. Breuer designed with the effects of time on materials in mind. The Met and Beyer Blinder Belle followed this example by leaving the bronze handrails of the staircase unfinished, allowing them to show their wear.

The lobby showcases the updates made for a contemporary museum with greater visitor numbers. The space was completely redesigned with multiple ticket sales points, self-service kiosks, and a substantially decreased retail footprint. Additionally, the lighting in the lobby has been updated to Breuer bulbs that can dim and provide a warmer uniformity of color temperature. The plexiglass and stone information center originally installed has been changed to a LED screen.

For the time being, the Met and the Whitney share ownership of the building. The Met will occupy the Breuer masterpiece for eight years, with a possible extension to 15 should the Met Breuer prove to be a success.

Despite its fame, the Breuer building is not a New York City landmark. Perhaps with a new tenant and renewed interest in the space, the building will get the recognition it deserves. Otherwise, its fate will be another question for the city and architecture lovers, should the Met end up vacating.

About the author: Anna Gibertini is a freelance journalist based in the New York metropolitan area. She contributes regularly to The ArtBlog, a Philadelphia-based arts and culture publication, and has had work published in Charleston, South Carolina’s Post & Courier and Syracuse, New York’s The Post Standard. She recently graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications with a master’s in arts journalism.

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Modern Love

Exhibit Columbus kicks off with public symposium
This past weekend Exhibit Columbus launched its inaugural annual programming with a three-day symposium. Exhibit Columbus will alternate between symposiums and exhibitions in the modernist enclave of Columbus, Indiana. The small city of Columbus is home to an unmatched collection of modernist architecture. In major part due to the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program's support, the city is filled with projects by the likes of Eliel and Earo Saarinen, Perkins + Will, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Richard Meier, SOM, KPF, Roche Dinkeloo, Robert A. M. Stern, Caudill Rowlett Scott, Harry Weese, Kevin Roche, and Robert Venturi, to name a few. The Cummins Foundation supplements architecture fees for projects in the city that are designed by architects chosen from a list maintained by the Foundation. The incentive has led to schools, churches, factories, and corporate campuses commissioning some of the world’s most famous architects. The goal of Exhibit Columbus is to celebrate the city’s design heritage and bring new talent and attention to the area. This year’s symposium, “Foundations and Futures,” brought speakers and architects together to discuss the past and the future of the city and the field of architecture as a whole. The symposium also launched the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition, which will pit ten young offices in a head-to-head juried competition. The Miller Prize Competition will culminate in the 2017 Exhibit Columbus exhibition with five site-specific installations around the city. This last weekend’s symposium brought historians, critics, clients, and architects together in panel discussions and lectures. Some of the speakers included Curbed Architecture Critic Alexandra Lange, Vitra Museum Chief Curator Jochen Eisenbrand, Fabio Gramazio of Gramazio Kohler, Bill Kreysler, president of Kreysler and Associates, and L. William Zahner, co-chair of A. Zahner Company. The Miller Prize participants also spoke on panel discussions throughout the symposium. Keynote discussions included conversations with Robert A. M. Stern and Deborah Berke, both of whom have built projects in the Columbus area. The J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition participating offices include: Aranda\Lasch Tucson, AZ and New York, NY Baumgartner + Uriu Los Angeles, CA Ball-Nogues Studio Los Angeles, CA Rachel B. Hayes Studio Tulsa, OK Höweler + Yoon Boston, MA Yugon Kim Boston, MA Johnston Marklee and Jonathan Olivares Design Research Los Angeles, CA Oyler Wu Collaborative Los Angeles, CA Plan B Architecture & Urbanism New Haven, CT studio:indigenous Milwaukee, WI These offices will be designing for five sites around the city, which include: Bartholomew County Public Library I.M. Pei and Partners First Christian Church Saarinen and Saarinen Irwin Conference Center Eero Saarinen and Associates Cummins Corporate Office Building Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates Mill Race Park Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with architecture by Stanley Saitowitz
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Cinépolis Chelsea

Our highlights from the 8th Architecture & Design Film Festival in New York City
The 8th Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) launched this week at the Cinépolis Chelsea and runs through Sunday, October 2. The opening night film was Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future featuring, and with cinematography by, Eero's son Eric. Other profiles depict architects such as Marcel Breuer, Gio Ponti, Peter Behrens, Nicholas Grimshaw and landscape architect Piet Oudolf and buildings such as Shigeru Ban’s Aspen Art Museum, the Glasgow School of Art, Dostoevsky's Drama Theater (Novgorod Spaceship), Neutra’s Windshield House, and Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027. We were able to screen a sampling of ADFF films in advance. Here is a brief selection. Where Architects Live (Francesca Molteni) allows us to peek inside the homes of eight architects: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind, and Studio Mu. We hear them describe their intimate spaces and we voyeuristically come inside their private world. Facing Up to Mackintosh muses on what an art school should be and how architecture can make that possible. Looking for the essence of the school and how the Charles Rennie Macintosh building encourages creativity, the principles are reinterpreted by Steven Holl in his new addition with his use of light and voids. The film goes beyond a conventional documentary by featuring interpretive, cinematic experimentations including unusual lenses, cartoons, and the clever music and sound. Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographers Journey shows an artist who chronicled the careers of Frank Lloyd Wright (whom he met at an early age at Taliesen West and had unusual access), Alexander Calder, and Louise Nevelson. Guerrero had the ability to capture their work and essence with environmental portraiture. Bowlingtreff is the strange story of a bowling alley created under the radar in East Germany just before the collapse of the GDR. An exuberantly designed postmodern underground club by Winfried Sziegoleit, with a sensational skylight entry, the remade a 1926 public works building features 14 lanes, cafe, pool tables, and gym. It was constructed by members of the public when funds ran out. Denise Scott Brown and Paolo Portoghesi respond to the place with great delight. Sadly, today it is abandoned and up for sale. Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Film was reviewed by The Architect's Newspaper earlier this year. For full information on the ADFF, visit here.
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Ready for its Close Up

Columbus, Indiana’s modern architecture inspired a new feature film
For a small city, Columbus, Indiana has an impressive collection of modern architecture. Despite a population of only 44,000, the city has works from John Carl Warnecke, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and many more notable modernists. Columbus will provide the backdrop for the feature directorial debut of Kogonada, a filmmaker well known for his video essays. According to Variety, the film will feature Star Trek star John Cho and indie darling Parker Posey. Columbus's modern architecture was the inspiration for the film's story. Kogonada told Variety that "After visiting the town, I felt an immediate sense for a film that would take place there, which would implicitly explore the promise of modernism (an ongoing quest for me). The story revolves around a man and young woman from opposite sides of the world, each mourning the potential loss of a parent.” Cho will play the son of an architecture critic, while co-star Haley Lu Richardson will play the daughter of an addict. The pair finds a bond through their estranged parents and their love of architecture. Posey will play the role of a former student and current girlfriend of Cho's father. The film is currently shooting in Columbus, which has been called the "Athens of the Prairie" because of its status as a mecca for midcentury modernism. The city has no less than seven National Historic Landmarks, and a biennial design exhibition is in the works starting in 2017. Columbus is also the home of Cummins, Inc., a Fortune 500 corporation that specializes in engines (see our article on preserving an architectural gem Cummins commissioned.) Considering that architecture is a focal point of both the location and the plot, we can hope to see some of the city's iconic buildings featured in the film. Some likely locations might be the Art Nouveau style Fire Station One by Leighton Bowers, Eliel Saarinen's First Christian Church, or his son Eero's North Christian Church, the last building he designed before his death in 1961. Other well-known locations include several of the city's bridges, and Friendship Way, a brick-lined alley with sculptures and neon lights.
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The Exquisite Everyday

With a trio of exhibitions, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation makes an in-depth exploration of the home
Home. Everyday. Ordinary. These words describe what binds the three summer exhibitions at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (PAF) in St. Louis: 4562 Enright Avenue, Exquisite Everyday: 18th Century Decorative Arts Objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum, and The Ordinary Must Not Be Dull: Claes Oldenburg’s Soft Sculptures. But they raise as many questions as they answer. Whose home? What routines? Which physical structures/objects are used? The prospect is ripe with dichotomies: fluidity/stasis, divisions/confluence, asset/liability, thought/action, open space/occupied territory, vacant/inhabited, continuity/disruption, utopian/dystopian, creation/devastation, fade/appear. raumlaborberlin, the German architecture collective, is behind 4562 Enright Avenue, which transposes elements of this long-abandoned house—windows, beams, doors, staircases—into a nearly identical-sized gallery at the Pulitzer’s Tadao Ando-designed building 1.7 miles and lights years away. (Like Duchamp’s Fountain [urinal], it’s all about context.) Meanwhile, on site, the brick shell remains. At the museum, one turns the corner to encounter a facade of two stories with arched windows and a door crowned with a glass door light featuring the number 4562. You enter the first room, a living room with stately, upholstered chairs and a mantle. On the floor there are chalk outlines, like police evidence at a crime scene, of more furniture, that constitute the formal room from the house’s heyday—and that Jan Liesegang of raumlaborberlin imagines was barely used. The next room is filled with debris and stacks of materials precisely as found in the abandoned house in 2015. The third and last room on the ground floor imagines what could be for St. Louis housing going forward, displayed in a workshop setting with drafting table, photographs (Saarinen’s Gateway Arch), drawings (Pruitt-Igoe), and books (including Mapping Decline by Colin Gordon), all of which can be handled by visitors. Two staircases—one front-of-house and one for service—lead to a second floor that sports a suspended sink, wooden slat backboards, and, in contrast to the found objects and materials, a new pod-alike intervention. The pod is wrapped in white-painted newsprint in a neatly folded, scale-like pattern, around a translucent rectangular oculus lit from within. This belongs to Liesegang’s fanciful occupant of the house, an imaginary scientist. Since visitors cannot climb the stairs, this apparition remains mysterious. Shelves and tables outside the house are workstations and a video display showcases interviews with residents and neighbors of Enright Avenue. raumlaborberlin: 4562 Enright Avenue - Time-lapse from Pulitzer Arts Foundation on Vimeo. The process of creating this display was nearly a year in the making. raumlaborberlin, whose name means “space” + “laboratory,” is known for projects in transitional urban spaces that combine architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and art (See Spacebuster at Storefront for Art & Architecture and the New Museum’s Festival of Ideas for the New City, 2008 & 2011). St. Louis was described to me as a fetishized Detroit, a city where, in certain neighborhoods, lots are vacant and houses are abandoned like missing teeth, directly alongside occupied homes. The description painted a hollow urban center—the City of St. Louis—ringed by a suburban collar and the County of St. Louis (Ferguson is in the County). St. Louis is recovering from a long slide of white flight coupled with the decline of manufacturing and Mississippi River traffic. It’s a long way from the city’s role as Gateway to the West, the start of Lewis and Clark’s journey. The city is also bisected by Delmar Avenue; Enright Avenue is one block north (where 98% of residents identify as black, median home value is $73,000, and median annual income is $18,000), whereas Washington Avenue, where the Pulitzer is located, is one block south (where 73% of residents identify as white, median home value is $335,000, and median annual income is $50,000). To raumlaborberlin, this urban divide was familiar from the Berlin Wall in their home city and seen as hopeful since that barrier is now a memory after the wall’s demise 27 years ago. Asked to address the ways that we inhabit the urban landscape, and specifically engaging St. Louis and its residents, the collective zeroed in on the Lewis Place/Vanderventer neighborhood and its contemporary ruins. (Interestingly, A.E. Hotchner’s coming of age book, King of the Hill, was written about his childhood in a seedy hotel at Delmar & Kingshighway, a few short blocks away.) Together with neighbors and the City of St. Louis Building Commissioner, this uninhabited, structurally unsound Romanesque/French Renaissance Revival house built in 1890 (and slated for demolition) was selected. To shine a light on issues, they decided to move the building to the museum in order to reimagine the structure and what might replace it. It is meant to pose questions, rather than answers. A key one Liesegang asked is “How much can you take away from a house and it's still a home?” Exquisite Everyday: 18th-Century Decorative Art Objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum at first seems to be the antithesis of 4562 Enright. But it signifies someone else’s “everyday,” in this case upper class French and Italians. These objects—sauceboat, armchair, wall sconce, carpet, basin and ewer, chamber pot—are beautiful, ornate, and highly crafted, yet represent changing styles and practices. The sauceboat, for example, shows a more casual buffet style where diners helped themselves, rather than relying entirely on footmen. The objects for personal hygiene were used for ablution, rather than bathing by submersion, which was considered unhealthy. One can imagine their equivalents at 4562 Enright Avenue, when it was first inhabited by middle-class Germans, and then by black residents in the 20th century. Claes Oldenberg’s soft sculptures in The Ordinary Must Not Be Dull depict household objects including light switches, key, tires, 3-way electric plug, clothespin, ice bag, folding chair, and an array of food that includes french fries, baked potato, and green beans. Oldenburg shines a light on the everyday, making us look at the familiar in unfamiliar ways. In addition to exaggerating their size by inflating them to a vast scale, he also questions the traditional notion of sculpture’s substance by making them soft and pliable, rather than of more conventional hard, solid materials. The Pulitzer has a tradition of engaging the city, starting with The Light Project (2008), a series of public art commissions; Urban Alchemy/Gordon Matta-Clark (2010) by Theaster Gates, Robert Longer, and Jenny Murphy; and Crossing the Delmar Divide (2012-14), a 2-year project with the Missouri Historical Society and the Anti-Defamation League addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities. PAF’s work will continue with PXSTL, a collaboration with Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, that has commissioned a site-specific temporary structure for community-based programs and events by architect Amanda Williams and artist/educator Andres Hernandez to open in May 2017. Director Cara Starke, who previously served as Director of Exhibitions at Creative Time, spearheaded the raumlaborberlin commission when she assumed the position one year ago, so we can look forward to continued inquiry into the built environment from the Pulitzer. Pulitzer Arts Foundation 3716 Washington Boulevard St. Louis MO 63108 raumlaborberlin: 4562 Enright Avenue Exquisite Everyday: 18th-Century Decorative Arts from the J. Paul Getty Museum The Ordinary Must Not Be Dull: Claes Oldenburg’s Soft Sculptures All exhibits on view through October 15, 2016.
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Columbus Day

Saving one of Columbus, Indiana’s unsung architectural gems
In the 1970s I was a project architect for the New York–based architectural firm Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, (HHPA) and worked on a medical clinic for the Cummins Engine Company called the Columbus Occupational Health Association (COHA). It won a national AIA Honor Award in 1976 and served its client for over 40 years. Now the building is for sale. In the 1960s, in a small town in Indiana, a seed of design excellence was planted. As a patron of modern architecture, J. Irwin Miller had a goal to make Columbus, “the very best community of its size in the country.” “We would like to see it become the city in which the smartest, the ablest, the best young families anywhere would like to live,” he said. The result was a small Midwestern city filled with buildings designed by a who’s who of American architecture including, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Kevin Roche, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, César Pelli, Gunnar Birkerts, Robert Venturi, Robert Stern, and many others. Columbus Occupational Health Association In 1969, HHPA was selected for an outpatient medical clinic to serve Cummins Engine Company and several other industrial firms in the Columbus area. At that time medical clinics and hospitals were intimidating environments, typically a collection of enclosed rooms off of long sterile corridors—places most people were not enthusiastic about visiting. Cummins wanted something new and innovative and commissioned a study by the Kaiser Foundation, which recommended a cooperative health center. The study suggested that the new building might serve as a national model, so Cummins encouraged the architects to contemplate what environments would be appropriate for healthcare delivery in the future. HHPA sought to create an atmosphere of openness, hope, and healing. It analyzed the program and developed spaces organized around open, sloped walkways bathed in natural light from skylights above. Ultimately COHA offered a new paradigm for outpatient healthcare delivery that welcomed patients and staff in a fresh, expressive environment. Instead of hiding technology behind walls and ceilings, the structure and mechanical systems were exposed and celebrated in bright colors. Visitors experienced the whole building giving them an awareness of place. The building, completed in 1973, was selected in 1976 for a national AIA Honor Award. The jury commented: “Careful organization of the ordinary mechanical and structural elements brings interest and excitement to this small health center… a well-organized plan exposes routine medical functions to both patient and technician which relieves the tedium of clinical work and the anxiety of patients.” I visited the building in 2012, and met with several staff members. They were enthusiastic about working there and told me that patients and staff found that most of the original design was still serving their needs. Now the building is for sale. COHA has moved to new quarters, the Columbus Occupational Health Association has evolved, and in mid-June it relocated to downtown Columbus and is now called the Cummins LiveWell Center. An Uncertain Future What does the future hold for the COHA building and why should we care? Besides people’s affection and pleasant memories, why should COHA be saved and why is it important in architectural history? At the time it broke new ground in many ways. It celebrated the functions and technology that made the building work. More importantly, it showed all of us that going to the doctor doesn’t have to be a scary thing. By opening up the inside, bringing in natural light, and allowing patients to see inside technical spaces like the laboratory, COHA taught us that being healthy and caring for our well-being can be an uplifting experience. There’s a famous quote from Winston Churchill, “First we shape our buildings, thereafter, they shape us.” HHPA shaped COHA to be a simple black glass box on the outside with a bold sloped skylight and a dynamic inside, that treated visitors to a potpourri of shapes, colors and spaces. The philosophy of challenging the status quo and reinventing how healthcare is delivered helped make COHA unique. It has influenced how architects design medical buildings and how medical providers interact with their patients. Unfortunately there are no preservation laws in the city of Columbus, Indiana. COHA could be sold and demolished. Or it could be saved and adapted to a new use. Columbus has a strong sense of community and respects its legacy of design excellence. It has created Landmark Columbus, whose mission is, “To care for and celebrate the world-renowned design heritage of the Columbus, Indiana, area.” Richard McCoy, executive director of Landmark Columbus, told me that, “while there is no law to prevent demolition, the community has a voice and it has influence.” The legacy of Miller is now in the hands of Cummins, Inc. Katie Zarich, manager of external communications for Cummins, said: “COHA served Cummins well for several decades… Architecture remains important to Cummins. We are looking for a buyer that will maintain the architectural integrity of the facility.” It is possible to extend the useful life of buildings. It takes energy, vision and commitment. Let’s hope COHA finds itself the recipient of respect from its new owner.
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Film Fest

19 films revealed for the 2016 Architecture & Design Film Festival
The 8th edition of the Architecture & Design Film Festival will run from September 28 to October 2 in New York City. This year's programming will consist of 30 feature length and short films, as well as panel discussions, Q&As, and networking events. The festival will open with Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future, a film about the famed architect told through the eyes of his son, Eric. Also showing is The Happy Film, about graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister. A full list of highlights, taken from an Architecture & Design Film Festival press release, is below:

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future (Opening Night Film) Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future explores the life and work of Finnish-American architectural giant Eero Saarinen. Directed by Peter Rosen, the film follows director of photography Eric Saarinen on a cathartic journey as he visits his father's visionary buildings from the St. Louis Gateway Arch to the TWA Flight Center. Shot in 6K with the latest drone technology, the film showcases Saarinen's influential body of work that stands apart from the clutter of contemporary design and continues to inspire architects today

Workplace (World Premiere) Workplace is a documentary film about the past, present, and future of the office – a place where hundreds of millions of human beings spend billions of hours every day. Directed by Gary Hustwit (the acclaimed filmmaker behind Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized), it follows the design and construction of the New York headquarters of R/GA, where the company and architects Foster + Partners explore the intersection of digital and physical space. It also looks at the thinking and experimentation involved in trying to create the next evolution of what the office could be.

Where Architects Live (US Premiere) Where Architects Live, directed by Francesca Molteni, is an exploration into the private spaces of eight protagonists of world architecture: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai.

The Happy Film The Happy Film is a feature-length documentary in which famed graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister undergoes a series of self-experiments outlined by popular psychology to test once and for all if it’s possible for a person to have a meaningful impact on their own happiness. The film is directed by Stefan Sagmeister, Ben Nabors, and Hillman Curtis.

The Architects: A Story of Loss, Memory and Real Estate (World Premiere) This film is about the competition to rebuild the World Trade Center site after 9/11, focused on the unrealized design proposal from United Architects. Directed by Tom Jennings, it sheds light on the importance of this public competition, delicately considering the site's history, symbolism, and future. United Architects was a collaboration between Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Farshid Moussavi of Foreign Office Architects, Greg Lynn of Greg Lynn FORM, Kevin Kennon of Kevin Kennon Architects, Jesse Reiser & Nanako Umemoto of Reiser + Umemoto Architects, and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio.

An expanded list of films—which includes the highlights above, in addition to others such as Facing up to Mackintosh and Amare Gio Ponti—is up on the festival's website. This year's festival will be hosted by the Cinépolis Chelsea at 260 W 23rd St. Stay tuned for updates as opening night gets closer and more films are revealed.
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U of C + DS+R

Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveils their new University of Chicago project

The University of Chicago has announced the approval of the preliminary designs for a new 90,000-square-foot complex designed by New York–based Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The David M. Rubenstein Forum is described by the university as “a place of intellectual, institutional, and educational exchange.” The building will contain meeting and presentation spaces, as well as a Lake View Room at the top of a 165-foot tower. With the largest space able to accommodate up to 600 people, the Forum will be able to host large conferences.

A 285-seat auditorium will facilitate more formal lectures and presentations, along with film screenings and performances, and more intimate academic symposia will be held in its many smaller meeting spaces. David M. Rubenstein Forum will add to the university’s already impressive list of buildings by notable architects, including Walter Netsch, Ricardo Legorreta, Eero Saarinen, and, more recently, Helmut Jahn and Jeanne Gang.

Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro  Client: University of Chicago Location: University of Chicago Campus, Chicago Completion Date: 2018

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More Space

Perkins Eastman adds to the University of Chicago Astrophysics Lab

The University of Chicago has begun work on a two-story addition to its Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research (LASR). Designed by the Chicago office of Perkins Eastman, the addition will update and expand the original 1964 SOM-designed modernist single story building.

The main goal of the new addition will be to bring the building up to current standards of physics research, and to house both the Theoretical and Experimental research groups in one building. The LASR will also house the University of Chicago’s acclaimed Department of Physics, including the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics. When finished, the 63,500-square-foot building will include day-lit offices and collaboration spaces, and two large gathering spaces. One of these spaces will cantilever over the existing building's footprint in order to accommodate larger groups. Expansive picture windows in the gathering spaces allow for views across the architecturally rich campus. A bright double-height commons and roof terrace will also provide spaces for less formal gatherings. Laboratories that are light-sensitive will be located below grade, and to the interior of the building. With a goal of LEED Silver, the building’s facade is calibrated to reduce the need for artificial light, while avoiding excessive solar heat gain. Heating and cooling will be handled by overhead chilled beams instead of forced air. Perkins Eastman joins a handful of architects currently working for the university including Studio Gang, Johnston Marklee, and HOK. The University of Chicago campus is a veritable theme park of architecture with projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Ives Cobb, Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Netsch, Ricardo Legorreta, Rafael Viñoly, César Pelli, Helmut Jahn, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Holabird, Root and Burgee.
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Brew City Boom

A handful of new projects are transforming Milwaukee’s downtown skyline

With at least four new towers, all within a few blocks of one another, either completed or planned to be completed before 2020, Milwaukee’s skyline is seeing its greatest change in recent memory. Though the city’s East Side and Third Ward, immediately north and south of downtown, respectively, have seen modest development over the past 15 years, the downtown itself has been decidedly quiet for more than 20 years.

The first project to be finished was 833 East Michigan Avenue. At 18 stories, the $100 million tower is tall by Milwaukee standards. The multitenant office building was designed by Milwaukee-based Kahler Slater. With so few contemporary office buildings downtown, 833 East stands out with its integrated technology and open floor plans. And with views of Lake Michigan on three sides, the project is particularly appealing as the city continues to improve the lakefront.

Less than a block away, one of Milwaukee’s most recognized businesses, Northwestern Mutual, is doubling down on its investment here. The company’s 32-story, 1.1-million-square-foot office tower will be one of the cities largest and tallest buildings. The $450 million project includes the tower and a lowrise, with a two-block-long commons, which will connect the highrise to Northwestern Mutual’s other historic Benjamin H. Marshall–designed neoclassical office building. Designed by New Haven–based Pickard Chilton, the tower is a sweeping curve not dissimilar to Chicago’s 333 Wacker. Well underway, the project has already significantly changed downtown´s appearance. Much to the delight of the city, the tower will help maintain 1,100 jobs in the neighborhood, while potentially adding another 1,900. The commons will feature public spaces, including the new Northwestern Mutual Gardens, a visitors’ center, and a public cafe.

Northwestern Mutual is not stopping with a new office tower. Immediately northwest of the tower, site work has begun on its next investment, a 33-story residential, parking, and retail tower. Even though this structure, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, will be shorter than the office tower, it will add 300 residential units to a downtown that is almost completely devoid of housing. Northwestern Mutual’s decision to build both a residential and office tower in the often-sleepy downtown is intended to strengthen the city. “We believe in Milwaukee. It’s been our hometown for virtually all of our 155 years,” Northwestern Mutual chairman and CEO John E. Schlifske said. “This will be a signature development that makes a huge statement about the attractiveness of the whole Milwaukee metro area. We are going to be here and continue to play a vital role in this community for generations to come.”

Adding to the housing stock of the area, another skyscraper has just taken a major step toward becoming realized. The much-anticipated Couture, designed by Milwaukee-based Rinka|Chung, has recently received approval from the federal government for the demolition of the transit center that is currently on its site. Federal approval was required because the transit center was partially paid for with federal money. Local company Barrett Visionary Development is currently in the process of acquiring the land, and is expecting to start site work, including demolition, by August, with construction starting in earnest in early 2017. With completion of the $122 million project expected to wrap up in 2019, the Couture will rise 44 stories and include a public-transit concourse for Milwaukee’s forthcoming streetcar. The base of the tower will include 50,000 square feet of retail. Its position directly on Lincoln Memorial Boulevard means residents will have uninterrupted views of Lake Michigan, the Discovery World museum, the Santiago Calatrava–designed Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Eero Saarinen–designed War Memorial.

Rinka|Chung also has its hands in the planned Lakefront Gateway Project, which will help connect all of these developments to the lakefront. Led by Milwaukee-based GRAEF, a team comprising of Rinka|Chung, Vancouver-based PFS Studio, Toronto-based Dan Euser Waterarchitecture, and social event group NEWaukee, the Lakefront Gateway will bridge the busy Lincoln Memorial Boulevard. Its design, titled Urban Confluence, won out in a competition against teams lead by AECOM, James Corner Field Operations,  and the Office of James Burnett. The GRAEF design is intended to be a civic space and city icon, as well as a connection between downtown and the lakefront.

For those familiar with Milwaukee’s downtown, all of this development may come as a bit of a surprise, considering the extensive number of empty stores farther to the west of these new towers. But Mayor Tom Barrett believes investing in downtown is vital to the health of the city as a whole. “This is a once-in-a-generation chance to make an investment of this scale in downtown Milwaukee. It means more jobs, a stronger tax base, more community support, and more Northwestern Mutual employees giving back to all areas of the community,” he said.

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Miller Prize Founded

Columbus, Indiana announces biennial design exhibition to begin in fall 2017
Columbus, Indiana is known as the "Athens of the Prairie": a mecca of midcentury modernism in an idyllic, small midwestern town. Featuring eight national historic landmarks, it is a well-preserved glimpse into the transformative power of architecture when implemented citywide. Recently, a new wave of young designers and supporters are aiming to reinvigorate this design heritage for the 21st century. A newly formed advocacy and action group called Landmark Columbus, led by Richard McCoy, has announced plans for Exhibit Columbus a biannual design exhibition to start in fall 2017, with an inaugural symposium “Foundations and Futures,” September 28-October 2, 2016. Featured keynotes will be Deborah Berke, Will Miller, Robert A. M. Stern, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. Dubbed "a biennial exploration of architecture, art, design, and community," Exhibit Columbus will repeat the symposium in even years and the exhibition of site-specific installations in odd years. A competition will be held between ten selected designers, and five will be selected to build their installations for the 2017 event. These proposals will be on public view at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design. The winners will receive the J. Irwin Miller and Xenia S. Miller Prize. The ten selected teams are: • Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch of Aranda\Lasch (Tucson, AZ and New York, NY) • Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu of Baumgartner + Uriu (Los Angeles, CA) • Rachel Hayes (Tulsa, OK) • Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon of Höweler + Yoon (Boston, MA) • Yugon Kim of IKD (Boston, MA) • Mel Kendrick (New York, NY) • Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee in collaboration with Jonathan Olivares (Los Angeles, CA) • Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative (Los Angeles, CA) • Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis of Plan B Architecture & Urbanism (New Haven, CT) • Chris Cornelius of studio:indigenous (Milwaukee, WI) “Exhibit Columbus was created in part to answer the question, ‘What’s next for Columbus?,’” said Mayor Jim Leinhoop. “We want this initiative to become a platform to showcase our historic design heritage and the great work we are doing today while pointing to the future so the next generation continues to experience a community that is as strong as the last generation’s.” The five sites for the Miller Prize installations are: • First Christian Church (1942) by Saarinen and Saarinen • Irwin Conference Center (1954) by Eero Saarinen and Associates • Bartholomew County Public Library (1969) by I.M. Pei and Partners • Cummins Corporate Office Building (1984) by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates • Mill Race Park (1992) by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with architecture by Stanley Saitowitz. The Miller Prize "honors the legacy of two of the twentieth century’s greatest patrons of architecture, design, and art, and a family whose visionary commitment to community remains unparalleled." “Exhibit Columbus will encourage visitors to explore the design legacy of Columbus while re-energizing the community around the potential to realize new designs in Columbus,” said Richard McCoy, director of Landmark Columbus. “This innovative program is a model that talks about the importance of place and community, themes that are nationally relevant." Plans for the 2017 exhibition will include at least one project by high school students from Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, as well as five installations by students of nearby univerisities: • Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning • The Ohio State University, Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture • University of Cincinnati, School of Architecture and Interior Design • University of Kentucky, School of Architecture • University of Michigan, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning IUCA+D will also host a designer-in-residence who will make an installation with Indiana University students at North Christian Church (1964) by Eero Saarinen and Associates. Exhibit Columbus is supported by Columbus Area Visitors Center, Columbus Museum of Art Design, Cummins Inc., Efroymson Family Fund, Haddad Foundation, Heritage Fund – The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation, Johnson Ventures, Schumaker Family and SIHO Insurance Services. “We love the idea that Exhibit Columbus builds on the city’s legacy of partnerships and collaboration, while inspiring a bright future,” said Karen Niverson, executive director of the Columbus Area Visitors Center. “We believe it will not only contribute to the quality of life here, but also help attract people to live in and visit Columbus.” The Heritage Fund spearheads the Landmark Columbus efforts. “At Heritage Fund we believe that this project emerged directly from our Community Leadership Values, which describe a legacy of working in public-private partnerships, always striving to be forward thinking, and deeply believing in the value of good design,” said Tracy Souza, President and CEO of Heritage Fund. “We are extremely grateful for the donors that have immediately stepped forward to support Exhibit Columbus.”