Search results for "studio gang"

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Exclusive Video> Paddle along with Jeanne Gang as she kayaks the Chicago River
If you start at Studio Gang’s acclaimed Aqua Tower and follow the Chicago River about six miles north you will find yourself at another eye-catching building by the increasingly in-demand firm. The WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, completed in 2013, sits along the very polluted north branch of the river and has a dramatic profile inspired by the rhythm of rowers’ oars. (The building is named for the gaming technology company that contributed to the project and has offices directly across the river.) The boathouse is one of four commissioned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to help draw people toward—and hopefully onto—the city’s industrial and neglected waterways, which he calls Chicago’s “next recreational frontier.” The idea is that if Chicagoans come to see the rivers as an urban asset it will create momentum to get them cleaned up. And any environmental revitalization would go hand-in-hand with economic revitalization, especially outside of the city's core where the first phase of the Riverwalk opened this summer. Studio Gang—which designed two of the structures, the second of which recently broke ground on Chicago’s south side—was an obvious choice for Emanuel’s bold river vision. In 2011, the firm, working with the Natural Resource Defense Council and students from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, published Reverse Effect—a 116-page book that lays out the waterways’ history and proposes innovative ways to renew them. (The Chicago-based Johnson & Lee oversaw the other pair of boathouses.) The Architect’s Newspaper recently visited the WMS Boathouse with Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang, and went kayaking with her to talk about the boathouse, the river, and how her firm plans to continue producing unique architecture as its influence expands around the Midwest and beyond.
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Jeanne Gang, Wanda Group unveil new renderings for supertall Wanda Vista tower in Chicago
Studio Gang's Wanda Tower may climb even higher than originally planned. New renderings revealed Monday night show the tower topping out at 93 stories instead of the previous 88. At 1,144 feet, the tower, whose development is being bankrolled by Beijing-based Wanda Group, would be the third-tallest tower in Chicago (provided it fits the standards of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, who arbitrate such matters.) Formally dubbed Wanda Vista, the $950 million tower will seek LEED Silver certification and is anticipated to open in 2019. The new renderings reveal a continuum of blue-green glass along the building's vertical profile. Gang said Monday the design is meant to mimic the reflection of light off Lake Michigan. The new design retains the massing of three tall, thin towers stepping toward the East, but gone are the balconies along the north and south facades. With more than 1.8 million square feet of real estate, the development will include 405 luxury condominiums and 169 hotel rooms. The Chinese real estate giants announced their plans last year without listing an architect; the design team was soon revealed to be local firms Studio Gang Architects and bKL Architecture. Chicago-based Lakeshore East, which has worked with bKL and Gang to develop the Lakeshore East neighborhood, owns a 10 percent stake in the project.
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Preservationists watchful as New York’s American Museum of Natural History taps Jeanne Gang for addition
Last year, Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects opened a New York office, and now it is clear they made a smart decision in doing so: the firm has been selected to design a six story addition to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The current museum complex is an eclectic jumble of architecture styles, and it's most recent addition is the Rose Center for Earth and Space by the Polshek Partnership (now Ennead).   The project is likely to be controversial, as it will encroach on Theodore Roosevelt Park, a small neighborhood park immediately adjacent to Central Park. Preservationists and neighborhood advocates are watching the project closely. "Because the 'plans' announced by the American Museum of Natural History are long on laudatory sounding goals but short on details,  Landmark West! (LW) is in a wait and see mode regarding the expansion plan. Once the full details of the plans are known, LW will carefully review them and formulate a response. However, the AMNH's  publicly stated intention of encroaching on the surrounding park land is of serious concern to LW. We would prefer that the AMNH use the park land to further the study of natural history and redouble its commitment to conserve it," wrote Arlene Simon, the president of the board of Landmark West!, in an email to AN.
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Jeanne Gang’s first Miami project unveiled
With Jeanne Gang bringing her architectural brand to so many cities across the country, it was only a matter of time until she landed in Miami. Local real estate blog ExMiami was the first to uncover the architect’s plan for the city, which calls for a 14-story condo project in the Design District. Like her much-celebrated Aqua Tower in Chicago, the Sweetbird South Residences has an idiosyncratic facade made of what appears to be glass and concrete. Through unique floor plates and carved, zigzagging columns, Gang creates deep, recessed balconies and a highly textured exterior. As the tower rises, the distance between floor plates becomes more pronounced, which offers generous ceiling heights for the upper-apartments.
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Jeanne Gang to create master plan for Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus
The Chicago Parks District has picked hometown architectural hero Jeanne "MacArthur Genius" Gang for yet another lakefront project. The Chicago Tribune reported that the celebrated architect will draw-up a "long-range plan" for the city's Museum Campus where George Lucas' museum could soon rise. Besides her Chicago-roots, and global starpower, Gang is the obvious choice for this project. She is currently overseeing the landscape design for Lucas' museum and is creating a pedestrian bridge that will connect it with Northerly Island, which Gang is currently turning into a 91-acre public park and nature reserve. The focus of the campus plan, reported the Tribune, will be sustainability, education, recreation, access, and improving transportation around Chicago landmarks, including the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and the Adler Planetarium.  There is currently no timeline for the master plan.
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Unveiled> Jeanne Gang doing the Twist in San Francisco with new skyscraper
We've known for some time that Chicago architect and certified genius Jeanne Gang has been planning a residential tower for San Francisco's Transbay District, south of Market Street. Now we know what it will look like. Gang and developer Tishman Speyer have revealed renderings of a 400-foot-tall, 40-story building clad in masonry tiles at 160 Folsom Street. Units would contain large bay windows, a staple in the Bay Area. But the bays will jut out at sharp angles and change configuration as the building rises, creating what appears to be a twisting tower profile. "What I like about tall buildings is what you do with the height, the incremental moves along the way," Gang told San Francisco Chronicle critic John King. Studio Gang and Tishman Speyer both told AN that Gang could not comment at this point in the process. Thanks to a deal with local officials in which the building was granted another hundred feet of height, the development, located about a block from the Embarcadero, will—if approved—contain about 35 percent affordable housing. That's the same figure the overpriced city is hoping to achieve for future developments. Currently all projects in San Francisco are required to set aside about about 12 percent of their units as affordable, lest they pay a fee. The Transbay District, anchored by Pelli Clarke Pelli's Transbay Center, is now set to contain new buildings by Studio Gang, Pelli Clarke Pelli, Renzo Piano, and OMA, a remarkable conglomeration for an area that just a decade ago was a relative afterthought. Overall the district is set to contain more than six million square feet of new office space, nearly 4,400 new housing units, and about 100,000 square feet of new retail space, according to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.
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Jeanne Gang To Design Tower in San Francisco
Gang-2013_0 Chicago architect Jeanne Gang (pictured) isn't just preparing to design new towers in Chicago and (perhaps) New York. According to her office, Gang has been hired by Tishman Speyer to design a high rise tower in San Francisco's Transbay district. The building's site (and, likewise a design) has not yet been revealed, but according to a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, it's near the now-rising Transbay Center. According to the Chronicle, Tishman is also developing the Lumina and Infinity towers in the area by Arquitectonica, and a 26-story office tower by Gensler and Thomas Phifer. (Photo: Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)
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Wines, Gang, Sorkin Among Honorees at 2013 National Design Awards
When an artist begins,      they try to bury him with neglect. When he gains a small foothold,      they try to bury him with criticism. When he becomes more established,      they try to bury him with covetous disdain. When he becomes exceptionally successful,      they try to bury him with dismissals as irrelevant. And finally, all else failing      they try to bury him with honors! This is how James Wines of SITE, quoting Jean Cocteau, accepted his 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum at their National Design Awards. Wines joined a 'Lifetime Achievement' group that includes Richard Saul Wurman, Bill Moggridge, Paolo Solari, the Vignelli's, Dan Kiley, and Frank Gehry. Last night's awards program was a special one as the Museum—led by its new director, Caroline Baumann, and an indefatigable team—worked throughout the government shutdown of the least two weeks to put on a spatular gala that gave awards to designers that included Janette Sadik-Khan, Michael Sorkin, Studio Gang Architects, Paula Scher, Aidlin Darling Design, and Margie Ruddick. These figures each asked a special commentator to introduce them. Theaster Gates presented Jeanne Gang from Chicago and Michael Kimmelman said that Michael Sorkin was the first person he spoke to when he decided to be the New York Times architecture critic. Sorkin accepted his award for "Design Mind" with a powerful tribute—as only he can—to his late friends and intellectual mentors, Lebbeus Woods and Marshall Berman. Al Gore presented the TED Talks with an award and finally it was left to Tom Wolfe to introduce James Wines, who he said had created the "first really new architecture after modernism" in his famous Best Stores which "added nothing to the architecture" only re-arranged what was already" as in his Best 'Notch' project in suburban Sacramento, California. Wolfe claimed that Wines wanted to replace "plop art" like formal plaza sculptures by Henry Moore and Isamu Noguchi with a new form that put the art onto the architecture. Its about time that Sorkin, who is our greatest living architecture critic to not have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, and Wines, who is not a registered architect, to be given an award as a great architect.  
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Rockford Valley College May Axe Booth Hansen / Jeanne Gang Project
A push to consolidate art classrooms and performance venues on the campus of a prominent Rockford, Illinois college seems to have hit the doldrums, as Rock Valley College (RVC) administrators shake up priorities and pull back the budget. The Rockford Register Star reported RVC’s new arts instructional center, which received plans from Booth Hansen and Jeanne Gang, may get the axe. RVC faculty originally envisioned a campus arts center 13 years ago, but things have changed. Most notably their finances and administrative leadership. The college has already spent $3 million on plans sketched by Booth Hansen and Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. But now they are considering abandoning the concept altogether, instead scattering art classrooms and performance facilities across campus and throughout renovated existing buildings. It is possible, however, future plans will still include the high-profile Chicago architects. The Rockford Register Star quotes two opposing voices on the situation:

“No one has proven to me that a name attached to the design brings enough cachet to justify the return on investment,” [RVC Board Chairman Michael Dunn, Jr.] said. “The culture argument is not about who designed the building. It’s about what’s in it.”

Director of the Rockford Area Arts Council Anne O’Keefe had a different take:

“Jeanne Gang is going to be the Frank Lloyd Wright of our generation,” O’Keefe said. “I’d just hate to lose this opportunity and look back in 20 years and say oh, we let that one get away.”

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Line Gang
Rendering of Jeanne Gang's proposed tower along New York's High Line.
Courtesy Studio Gang

Jeanne Gang will soon join the likes of Neil Denari, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Ennead, and Shigeru Ban with a new project near the High Line in New York City. The roughly 180,000-square-foot office tower will rise along 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th streets, pending city approval.

The project will be Chicago-based Studio Gang’s New York debut, and its atypical form is a novel take on New York’s zoning. “We looked at what we could build as of right and realized that it would block out light, air, and views from the High Line,” principal Jeanne Gang told AN.  Gang pointed out that the High Line creates the unusual urban condition of having a much-loved public space mid-block. “So we rearranged the building’s mass so that the tallest part to face 10th Avenue,” she said.

Daylight studies show how sunlight will reach the High Line.

In addition to pulling the building to the lot-line along 10th Avenue, Studio Gang’s design calls for angled notches, slicing off wedge-shaped portions of the tower, allowing river views and minimizing shadows on the elevated park. The design for the building has a glass skin, which will be smooth on the vertical portions and faceted in the cutaways. “The faceted edge emphasizes what I call the ‘solar carving,”’ she said. “The serrated-edge demarcates the special character of these spaces.”

For Gang the project is an opportunity to respond to and critique New York’s building and planning standards. “We’re using the principal of the zoning envelope, but we’re recognizing the exceptional condition that the High Line creates,” she said.  “It’s an interior block public space. How do you respond to that?” The project draws on research her firm conducted for the un-built Solstice Tower in Hyde Park, which employed an top-heavy, angled facade to mitigate heat gain on the southern exposure in the summer while increasing it in the winter.

Study models show variations in the facade.

William Gottlieb Real Estate is developing the project. It will replace an empty meatpacking plant on the site, and will include ground level retail. “They really want to defer to the fundamental asset of the High Line,” she said, noting that other developers and architects have built over the park. “This is the opposite approach.” The project is located outside the Gansevoort Market Historic District, so it is not dependent on approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Gang’s unconventional take on city zoning is currently being filed with New York’s Board of Standards and Appeals. The building is targeted for completion in 2015.

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Ganging up for Density
Courtesy Wheller Kearns Architects

When developers courted an empty lot at the southwest corner of the Polish Triangle in the late 1980s, the residents of Chicago’s East Village neighborhood lobbied for a landmark. Instead they got a Pizza Hut.

Now 1601 West Division Street will house an 11-story mixed-use development with 99 units and ground-floor commercial tenants, PNC Bank and Intelligentsia Coffee. Wheeler Kearns Architects will design the project, which sits at the southwest corner of West Division Street and North Ashland Avenue.

The high-rise will be the first to take advantage of an ordinance introduced by alderman Proco Joe Moreno that allows projects near public transit to qualify for high-density, low-parking zoning.

“We wanted to build consensus around the notion that we should be attracting people who want to use public transit, walk, bike,” said Scott Rappe, an architect who has lived and worked in the neighborhood since 1988. Rappe is a co-chair of the East Village Association (EVA), which has lobbied aggressively since the 1980s for forward-thinking development.


Developer Interra-vision proposed a stand-alone Walgreens and a parking lot in 2007, to East Village Association’s dismay. “We have a golden opportunity,” wrote EVA member George Matwyshyn in a 2007 letter to then-alderman Manny Flores. “What path do you want to take?”

The Wicker Park & Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, the West Town chamber and prominent community members, including architect Jeanne Gang—Studio Gang’s office is one block north of the site—joined in the fight. “This corner represents a fantastic opportunity to help create a more sustainable city and further define the triangle with great urban architecture at the same time,” Gang wrote in a letter at the time.

“Paying an obscene $4.85 million dollars for this real estate and then keeping it from serving its highest and best use,” Rappe wrote in 2007, “is like an art patron purchasing the Mona Lisa and squirreling it away for their own private enjoyment.”

Their campaign worked. The property was foreclosed and Rob Buono, the developer who acquired it, proved much more receptive to EVA’s vision.

“It was collaborative. The community was very forward thinking,” Buono said.

The transit-oriented development ordinance is limited by both zoning and distance. It applies only to B or C district developments with dash 5 density that are located within 250 feet of a CTA or RTA station, and that have at least one bike parking space for each car that would otherwise be required. But Rappe, Buono, and Raymond Valadez, chief of staff for alderman Moreno, all say they hope it serves as a precedent for transit-oriented development elsewhere.

“This was really the first time this policy idea of true transit-oriented development was embraced in the city,” said Valadez . “Communication was ultimately the key to success between the developer, the community, and our office.”

For Buono, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1992, it’s an opportunity. “I think it’s going to provide a basis for city council and city planners to think more about transit-oriented development and how it might be appropriate at more locations throughout the city,” he said.

Gas stations and fast food restaurants occupy many prominent corners around the city. Those are risk-averse developments, Buono added, that make sense when times are tough. “I think that’s viewed as more problematic particularly in proximity to public transit,” he said.

They aim to break ground this fall and complete construction 10 to 14 months later.

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Eavesdrop> The Gang Gang
In news that will surprise no one, Studio Gang is getting the star treatment by the Art Institute with a monographic show planned for fall 2013. Eavesdrop is certainly not immune to Jeanne Gang’s charms, nor do we dispute her talent, but her work is exhaustively covered in these pages and every other design publication as well as prestige glossies like The New Yorker. Last year, Studio Gang released a monograph of their work, as well as a book-length design proposal for the Chicago River. The firm’s contribution to MoMA’s Foreclosed exhibition just opened. Zoe Ryan and her team at the AIC, then, have given themselves a difficult task: how to show or say something new about the MacArthur-anointed genius architect. And next time, AIC, shine the spotlight on someone a bit less exposed!