Search results for "Atlanta"

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Portmania

A new book explores John Portman’s influence on American architecture with photos by Iwan Baan

In 1995, Ramón Prat and photographer Jordi Bernadó published Atlanta, a book of images of that city on the edge of the 21st century. A generation later, a new volume titled Portman’s America & Other Speculations revisits Atlanta—and American urbanism at large in this not-so-new century—through the work of hometown architect John Portman.

Photographer Iwan Baan traveled to Portman buildings around the United States, documenting his work in New York, Detroit, San Francisco, and, of course, Atlanta.

The images reveal a humanism that’s lost in the Hunger Games films and the Walking Dead television series, which exposed Portman’s work to most of America. Lush shots of Entelechy I and II, the Georgia houses the architect built for his family, coexist among now-classic takes on his supersized atria and their stacked balconies. Amid the drama, Baan’s work captures the everyday: a woman on her phone outside the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, a guy perched on a curved red banquette at the Westin Bonaventure hotel in L.A., and the sculptures and furniture Portman created to enhance the spaces he developed and designed.

Four essays (including one by Portman himself), a conversation between the architect’s close friends and family, plus student work from a Portmanian architecture class at the GSD, complement Baan’s images.

“The resulting photographs,” wrote editor Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), “capture the view as if in a state of distraction; Portman’s architecture, and by extension Portman’s America, is presented as it is today, for all to see.”

Portman’s America and Other Speculations, Lars Muller Publishers, $35, June 2017

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Zero Work Future

As the American Dream dies, we must rethink our communities

This article appears in The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, which takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). We’re publishing the issue online as the Conference approaches—click here to see the latest articles to be uploaded.

Americans define themselves through work; it builds character, or so we believe. The American Dream is premised on individual achievement, with the promise that our labor will be rewarded and measured by the things we collect and consume. For many, the sine qua non of the dream, our greatest collectible, is the single-family house. Of all our products, it is the one we most rely upon to represent our aspirations and achievements.

Throughout the history of our republic, the idea—promoted from the beginning by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, heir to Palladio and father of the American suburban ideal—of living in a freestanding house in the middle of one’s own personal Eden has been the dream of generation after generation of Americans. So while it was possible for Le Corbusier to say, in Paris near the beginning of the last century, that “A house is a machine for living,” from our perspective, on this side of the Atlantic and on this side of the 20th century, it would be better to append that famous maxim: “A house is a machine for living the American Dream.” At this point in history, this statement seems entirely self-evident but still we are reminded by our leaders to get our piece of the dream. In promoting his vision of an “ownership society” in a speech at the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta in 2002, President George W. Bush said, “I do believe in the American Dream… Owning a home is a part of that dream; it just is. Right here in America, if you own your own home, you’re realizing the American Dream.” And during the early years of the new century, the economy soared as millions of wood-framed dreams sprang up across the country, enabled by an elaborate new financial calculus cooked up by Wall Street.

But then the magic formulas—which scripted the construction and consumption of ever-larger houses in ever increasing numbers by bundling our dreams together into tradeable units—began to fail. The dream quickly became a nightmare. As the legitimating environmental, economic, and socio-political narratives that for so long sustained the endless reproduction of suburbia began to collapse, it became clear that the suburban house, rather than the manifesting of our achievements, masked our delusions. According to the historian John Archer, “the romanticized isolation of the individual (or nuclear family unit) in a manufactured Arcadian preserve is an increasingly untenable fiction.”

The myth that we all stand alone, propelled by our own initiative and hard work is part of that fiction. Suburbs, and the detached single-family houses of which they are comprised, reinforce it. They work to isolate and separate us, to dislocate us as individuals, detached from any larger heterogeneous collective body. The common cul-de-sac is, both literally and symbolically, the end of the road, a terminus in a system. Safely sequestered within its four (or eight, or sixteen, or thirty-two) walls, we stand apart from the crowd, reaching out through an array of devices to make contact with those who are, more or less, just like us. Space becomes less a medium in which we mix and more a barrier that insulates us from those unlike ourselves. And as houses balloon in size, this sense of disconnection is amplified within the walls of the house itself, with each inhabitant withdrawing to ever more far-flung and insular domestic realms.

The social and political consequences of this withdrawal are increasingly obvious in the deterioration of a civil society and the erosion of civil discourse. The further we live from each other, the less we are capable of seeing each other as people with shared dreams and struggles and the more likely we are to see an other, unlike us, whom we fear and demonize. The evidence of this is clear in the last election, in which President Donald Trump’s campaign of xenophobia claimed the most votes, according to the Washington Post, in our suburbs, small cities, and rural areas. As our houses spread out—as the distance between us increases—we vote more myopically to protect our own perceived interests (and the interests of those we see as like us) at the expense of what is arguably the greater collective good.

But is the detached house, with its resulting social detachment, a prerequisite of the American Dream? Is it possible to imagine other futures for the dream and, consequently, other futures for dwelling? What would happen if personal happiness were no longer so closely tied to economic success derived from the fruits of one’s labor? These are questions we would do well to consider. Jobs are disappearing. And while presently most of us still need—and may even want—to sell our labor, it is becoming clearer that with each passing day there will only be fewer buyers. Our relationship to work, and therefore to the American Dream, and therefore to our manner of dwelling, and therefore to politics, is changing.

According to the network theorist Geert Lovink and the political activist Franco Berardi, the capitalist promise of “full employment turned out to be a dystopia: there is simply not enough work for everyone…. Zero work is the tendency, and we should get prepared for it, which is not so bad if social expectations change, and if we accept the prospect that we’ll work less and we’ll have time to think about life, art, education, pleasure, love, and what have you rather than solely about profit and growth.” Our current world is built on a foundation of profit and growth. Our urbanism—and the infrastructure and architecture with which it is constructed, including the tens of millions of homes spread thin across the landscape—is the result of a centuries-old economic system. And that system has consistently sought to segregate sites of labor and production from sites of dwelling. The single-family house in a suburban bedroom community along a congested commuter route is the product of a capitalist system in which we head out each day to sell our labor in an indifferent market, returning as night falls to replenish our energies and reclaim our identity.

As the market for labor decreases in an increasingly automated world, we need to begin thinking about the consequences and benefits of a future without work, or, more accurately, with far less wage-earning work. Even now we can see that a shift is occurring. The recent collapse of the distinction between places of work and living is both a symptom of the underlying economic and technological transformations that are reshaping work as we know it and a sign that points toward other ways of dwelling. Out of necessity, and, in many cases, desire, people are beginning to experiment with other ways of living, coming together to form new (or new again) types of shared live-work households. And as the tendency toward zero work increases, we will all need to rethink the way we live. Because if we take the classical definition of work out of the equation, the whole structure of our cities, as well as our manner of living, makes a lot less sense.

Already, this probability is leading economists, technologists, and political scientists—but sadly few politicians on either the left or the right—to speculate on the structure of society in the future. A key question is how people will sustain themselves without jobs. There are renewed calls for a universal basic income by tech leaders like Elon Musk (or a universal basic dividend suggested by Greek economist and politician Yanis Varoufakis); Bill Gates has even suggested that we have an income tax on robots. In any case, a new economic model—which will, necessarily, be accompanied by a new politicalorder—in which we are freed from the obligation to sell our labor in order to survive will require that we consider other conceptions of human productivity, other forms of human association, and of course other ways of living.

In such a future, the American Dream, as it is currently defined, would have no utility. But how would we organize our lives in a world where we work less? What would we do? How would we live? In his essay “Fuck Work,” the historian James Livingston points toward an answer when he asks, “How would human nature change as the aristocratic privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of all? As architects, seeking a way forward, we might ask a different version of Livingston’s question: How would human habitats change, as the privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of all?

Liberated from the idea that our dwellings must be understood as freestanding castles, as isolated retreats from society through which we represent our individualism and secure our market share, we could instead conceive of assemblages of dwellings that collectively define a domain of mutual cooperation, interaction and civil discourse. We have counter-histories of dwelling that offer us guidance in thinking about other possible domestic orders. In 1886, Jean-Baptiste Godin, the French industrialist who built the Social Palace at Guise, wrote that when “constructed with a view to unity of purpose and interests, the homes, like the people, approach each other, stand solidly together, and form a vast pile in which all the resources of the builder’s art contribute to best answer the needs of families and individuals.” And following this, we might allow ourselves to imagine—as a way of shaking off the dust of the 20th century—living in what the social reformer Robert Owen described as a “magnificent palace, containing within itself the advantages of a metropolis, a university, and a country residence, without any of their disadvantages, …placing within the reach of its inhabitants… arrangements far superior to any now known … [nor] yet possessed by the most favored individuals in any age or country.”

Of course, the American Dream can’t be transformed overnight. There are aspects of it that are deeply embedded in our collective consciousness. At its core, the dream is about security, comfort, and familiarity, as much as it is about aspiration, accomplishment, and status. Any new ideas about the way we live, if they are to dislodge us from our long-habituated connection to the single-family detached house, must be accompanied by new architectural models and delivered through compelling new narratives that situate the needs and desires currently manifest in the house within new patterns that make collective life more desirable.

This may seem to be yet another call for a utopia, and therefore criticized as being divorced from the pressing concerns of the real world. It is not. For as Lewis Mumford said, “the prospects of architecture are not divorced from the prospects of the community. If man is created, as the legends say, in the image of the gods, his buildings are done in the image of his own mind and institutions.” The real world is changing rapidly all around us; meanwhile we cling to increasingly outmoded dreams. In the future, if we hope not only to survive but also to thrive, we’ll need to change our minds and rethink our institutions. We’ll have to prioritize community as much as we currently prioritize individuality. We’ll have to decide to live together. We’ll need new dreams.

Keith Krumwiede is the author of Atlas of Another America: An Architectural Fiction (Park Books, 2017).

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Da ba dee Da ba daa

(Almost) everything is blue in Snarkitecture co-founder Daniel Arsham’s latest installation
Daniel Arsham is feeling blue. Hourglass, the latest exhibition by the New York–based artist and Snarkitecture co-founder, is currently on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Hourglass features some of the Arsham’s first work in color. The colorblind artist has worked predominantly in black and white throughout his career but recently began using special light refracting glasses, which allow him to see the world more vibrantly. “Life is definitely more nuanced, but I’m not sure it’s more interesting. I feel like I’m inside a game—an overly saturated world,” said Arsham in a press release. “But now I’ve arrived at a point where I’m using color as another tool in my work. This is a unique project for me in that there is a ton of color, so I think it’s going to be really interesting to see audiences react.” The exhibition at the High features three installations, including a blue Zen garden and tea house that dominates one of the museum’s interior galleries. The monochromatic space is washed in a hurts-your-eyes blue: blue Japanese tea house, blue floor, blue sand. A gray petrified tree and gray stone lantern stand in the garden, providing the eyes with a break from the overwhelming color. Inside the tea house, a cast figure of a woman and a camera sit on the, you guessed it, blue tatami mats. The “scattered objects give the environment a palpable sense of dwelling—as if occupied by a caretaker hermit,” said the museum in a press release. That caretaker hermit, a member of the Atlanta glo dance company, comes along each Sunday during the exhibition to rake new patterns into the sand. The other installations include a cave of purple amethyst-cast sports equipment and a room of hourglasses that draw on Arsham’s continuing project, Fictional Archaeology, which involves the casting of everyday objects in precious and semi-precious stones. Hourglass is on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta through May 21.
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Founding Dean

Cooper Union exhibition reveals the life and work of architect John Hejduk
Earlier this month, The Architect's Newspaper (AN) gave a preview of what to expect at the John Hejduk exhibition, now showing at The Cooper Union. Seven works from the New York-born architect are on display inside with his memorial to Jan Palach exhibited outside in Cooper Square Park. The exhibition offers insight into Hejduk's career as an architect, teacher, and person. Presented as newspaper clippings, poetry, photography books, and drawings (from the architect himself in some cases) the exhibition demonstrates Hedjuk's pedagogical contribution—showcasing theoretical work as well as built projects. Here, "program" takes precedence, as Hejduk conceived radical programmatic concepts, imagined at the time as never-to-be-built projects, or otherwise manifesting in stories. Hejduk was the founding dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union. There he was able to spread his ideas during his 25-year tenure. "The small scale of Cooper Union enabled him to bring forth a more ‘precise’ culture, where craft, making, and representational tools were diversified, and where their instrumentality was put to focus, Nader Tehrani, the current dean of the school, told AN. Ideas and concepts with Hejduk, however, progressed to more than just that. In 1988, Douglas McGill wrote in the New York Times: "a strange thing has begun to happen: many of Mr. Hejduk's imaginary buildings have begun to be built." Seven of these built works, some ephemeral, some not, have been photographed by Hélène Binet, Hejduk’s photographer of record. Steven Hillyer, director the school’s archive, worked with Binet to select what photos to exhibit. To Tehrani, the photographed works represent the episodic nature of his career—phases which were "more diverse than a single narrative." "As such, whereas the Berlin Tower project extends his preoccupation with the fabrication of characters, often through anthropomorphism (and zoomorphism), the wall house emerges from a different (and earlier) trajectory that deals with the elements of architecture in their abstract and figurative potentials, in some way extending the modern experiments of Le Corbusier where Corb could not take them," said Tehrani. "It's like a traveling repertory theater," Hejduk said of his buildings to McGill in 1988. "They come into the town, they do what they have to do, and they leave to go to the next place. I love that." One of those works is the Jan Palach Memorial, one of Hejduk’s most provocative sociopolitical works which comprises two structures: House of the Suicide and House of the Mother of the Suicide, both of which include 49 spikes erected onto timber cuboids. The pieces memorialize Jan Palach, a Czech dissident who set himself on fire in 1968 to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. First constructed in Atlanta by Georgia Tech students and alumni under the supervision of Professor James Williamson in 1990, the memorial traveled to Prague the following year. Twenty-five years later, it was realized again in Prague as a permanent installation adjacent to Jan Palach square, being built as an entirely new construction in stainless steel and Corten steel. Now the design has been erected in Cooper Square (a time-lapse can be viewed below). The gravitas of Hejduk's work is still relevant today. "This is a work that honors an ultimate sacrifice in the face of extraordinary oppression as well as the apathy that can often accompany it," Williamson told AN. "And we don’t have to look as far as the Ukraine or Syria for its topicality; we can simply turn on the latest evening news to watch oppression unfold." "My father was incredibly dedicated to human rights and the social contract," said Renata Hejduk, John's daughter, speaking to AN. "The pieces stand as representations that speak to injustice everywhere and anywhere and the power of the human will and the fight for freedom and tolerance." Tehrani meanwhile, added that "it was important to undertake the opportunity to exhibit the memorial "if only to help historicize John Hejduk from a perspective that we can now appreciate with critical eyes. The Cooper Union has not had that opportunity to date, and this can become a moment to bring key intellectuals, collaborators, and alumni to voice some of their thoughts as they look back on this legacy." The exhibition will be on view through April 29, 2017, in the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery at The Cooper Union. Visitors will have more time to take in the Jan Palach Memorial, which will be displayed until June 11. “We are hoping,” said Hillyer, “that this will be the first of many installations realized by the school.”
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Arch League of New York

AN profiles all of this year’s Emerging Voices firms

The Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices award and lecture series spotlight individuals and firms with distinct design “voices” that have the potential to influence the discipline of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. The jury, composed of Sunil Bald, Mario Gooden, Lisa Gray, Paul Lewis, Jing Liu, Thomas Phifer, Bradley Samuels, Billie Tsien, and Ian Volner, selected architects and designers who have significant bodies of realized work that creatively address larger issues in the built environment.

The Architect’s Newspaper featured the Emerging Voices firms in our February issue and the lecture series has just concluded. However, in case you weren't able to attend, we've compiled each of our Emerging Voices firm profiles below. Enjoy!

Vancouver-based Scott & Scott Architects blends warm minimalism with local materials and custom furniture

After leaving large architecture offices in Vancouver, wife and husband Susan and David Scott established their own practice in 2012 out of their home and studio—a renovated former grocery store off of Main Street. Using this home-studio and a cabin they built for themselves as their initial portfolio, the Scotts began building a reputation for their warm, minimalist aesthetic. “Our first few commissions included a sausage restaurant and a barn,” David said. “After working on large institutional projects, the idea of doing things that were more functional and related to the daily lives of their owners was very appealing. We really value having a direct relationship between architecture and its occupants.”

New Orleans firm OJT redefines overlooked and undervalued properties

OJT is making waves in New Orleans with research-based work that redefines overlooked and undervalued properties. Founder Jonathan Tate is an Auburn graduate who experienced the Rural Studio under Samuel Mockbee and spent 10 years in Memphis working for Buildingstudio (formerly Mockbee/Coker Architects). After a sabbatical to study at Harvard, he relocated with the firm to New Orleans in 2008 and started OJT a few years later. “New Orleans just felt like the right place to be. We really cared about what was happening post-Katrina,” he said.

LEVER Architecture is bringing mass timber construction into the mainstream

Architect Thomas Robinson kick-started his career with Joseph Esherick, the architect best known for designing the Hedgerow Houses at Sea Ranch, California, followed by stints leading institutional and cultural projects at Herzog & de Meuron in Switzerland and Allied Works in Oregon. In 2009, Robinson, a graduate of UC Berkeley and later Harvard (studying under Peter Zumthor), decided to branch out on his own, launching LEVER Architecture from his Portland basement.

In New York and L.A., Leong Leong is designing new platforms for marginalized communities

“Our father was an architect and we grew up in a small town in Napa Valley. Architecture became a medium through which we explored the world,” Dominic Leong said. “It was a way to understand the city, and for us there was an inherent link between the cosmopolitan and architecture.”

Dominic and his brother Christopher founded their practice, Leong Leong, in 2009, and although they came from distinct architectural firms—Dominic worked at Bernard Tschumi Architects before founding PARA-Project, while Christopher worked at SHoP and Gluckman Mayner Architects—their shared upbringing equally influences their firm’s approach. “The practice is much more about an organization and a collective of people. Our interest in architecture is a way to embed ourselves in different contexts and to relate to who we are as individuals,” Christopher said.

How Duvall Decker brings innovative solutions to underserved communities in Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi–based Duvall Decker Architects have a knack for finding design solutions for the complex politics of the underserved urban South. From housing to institutional work, the firm navigates an intricate web of public money, government subsidy, and city code. They have become so good at it that they find that they are teaching their clients, and sometimes city officials, how to get things built while serving the community. 

Inside the rising Mexico City–based practice of Frida Escobedo

Mexico City–based architect Frida Escobedo has only ever worked for herself. A graduate of Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and the Arts, Design, and the Public Domain program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Escobedo cofounded her first office, Perro Rojo, in 2003.   

In 2006, she began her eponymous firm, realizing a trend-setting rehabilitation and reinterpretation for the Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros’s home and studio that utilized screened walls made up of breezeblocks. Casa Negra, built in 2007, is a slightly deconstructivist sentinel clad in black panels that straddles a bluff overlooking a rural road from Mexico City to Cuernavaca. In 2013, her studio conceived of a circular, weighted plaza sculpture for the Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Escobedo explained, “Our work goes from the scale of furniture to something larger.”

Atlanta-based BLDGS brings new creativity to adaptive reuse projects

When Brian Bell and David Yocum first founded BLDGS 10 years ago, they didn’t plan to specialize in adaptive reuse—certainly not in Atlanta, a city not necessarily known for exploring the past.

But after they continued to land such commissions, they began to relish the role and have elevated this ever-expanding realm of architecture to a more creative, thoughtful, complex level than almost any firm has been able to achieve.

“We take a lot of pleasure in uncovering,” Yocum said. “If we can find the truth in each of the challenges and kind of reflect the presence of that truth it gives us a lot that we would not be able to layer onto a project.”

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Can You Handle the Heat of Kundig’s Kitchen?

Delve into Bo Bardi’s archives, take a VIP tour with Robert A.M. Stern, and more, with Van Alen’s Auction of Art + Design Experiences
Now in its fourth incarnation, the Van Alen Institute's Auction of Art + Design Experiences is back, with truly global offerings that range from Miami ("Soak up the sun" with Terry Riley at sea and a spa) to Tokyo (hang with Metabolist Kayoko Ota or designer Go Hasegawa) to Lyon (tour the Musée des Confluences with its architect, Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au). This year's experiences were put together by leading figures in the architecture and design world, including: photographer Iwan Baan, Barry Bergdoll (Columbia University, formerly Museum of Modern Art), Jing Liu (SO–IL), architectural historian Victoria Newhouse, design consultant Marc Norman, Alexandra Polier (DNA brand agency), and writer Mayer Rus. See the list below and make your bids here! Verdant Vidro: Disappear into the rainforests surrounding São Paulo with Renato Anelli and Sol Camacho to the Casa de Vidro, the former home of Brazilian modernist architect, Lina Bo Bardi (1914 – 1992). Enjoy lunch amid the tropical foliage with a menu inspired by Bo Bardi, followed by a dive into the designer’s archives, which are typically off-limits. McKim, Piano, and Wright. Oh My! Follow architectural historian Barry Bergdoll as he shares his knowledge of gems by McKim Mead and White on Columbia University’s campus and brings you north to Renzo Piano’s new Jerome L. Greene Science Center in the gentrifying Upper Manhattan neighborhood. Top off the afternoon with a rare visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Broadacre City model. Party with NMDA: Be the toast of Hollywood as you and seven members of your entourage are invited to dinner with architect Neil Denari at the NMDA-designed Alan-Voo House in Los Angeles, a 21st-century high-tech bungalow. Altered States with Winka: Leave the world behind at the New York City meditation studio Inscape with its designer, Winka Dubbeldam of Archi-Tectonics, then join her for celebratory drinks – two nights at The Standard High Line included. Peru Perspectives: Fly over Lima’s Brutalist revival university complex by the 2018 Venice Biennial curators, Grafton Architects, and speak with UTEC’s Carlos Hereen about how the structure is helping revitalize this district of the vibrant coastal capital. Glamp Ground: Heard of glamping? Well, this is on an altogether different level. Spend the night at minimalist lifestyle guru Megan Griswolds luxury, marble-countered yurt under the wide-open skies just outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Ride the Sakura Wave: From the canal-side rooftop of designer Go Hasegawas Tokyo office, enjoy the peak of cherry blossom season with your friends amid the city’s ancient castles and modern skyscrapers. Meet Me in the Stacks: Browse the back of house of the New York Public Library on a private tour with a world-renowned master of archival design, Francine Houben of Mecanoo Architecten, then book it to her apartment for a meal. Can You Handle the Heat of Kundigs Kitchen?: Come to worship at the “gastronomical temple” of Seattle’s Mistral Kitchen, designed by architect-cowboy Tom Kundig, then visit the 12th Avenue Iron forge, leaving with a special piece selected just for you. Photo Flâneur: See New York City anew as you prowl the streets with acclaimed architectural photographer Yueqi JazzyLi on a personalized photoshoot. Waterhouse Down: Visit Shanghai in enviable style at its hippest hotel, the Waterhouse, with its designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. Bring a friend and indulge at the tapas bar in this retrofitted 1930s structure. Lindo Lido Laps: Escape winter with famed Colombian architect Giancarlo Mazzanti while getting a personal tour of his Coliseum in Medellín. Leave physically and mentally refreshed following a dip in the Olympic swimming pool and whirl around the complex’s five gymnasia and public gardens. Urbanists and Architects Take Flight: Soar over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and microclimates of Marin County in a seaplane with urban designer Marc Norman while learning about the challenges of building affordable housing in an increasingly unaffordable city. Metabolist Boost: Meander through Tokyo with AMO’s Kayoko Ota while she discusses the groundswell effects of the Metabolist movement that Kenzo Tange envisioned across the fabric of this dense metropolis. Southern Dystopia: Architect Jack C. Portman, III invites you for a night and a few sumptuous meals at the new Hotel Indigo in Atlanta as well as a tour of the futuristic additions to the cityscape by his father, John C. Portman, Jr. A studio visit with the elder Portman might even be in the cards during your visit to the Peach State Capital. Chat and Chew: Join world-renowned architect Wolf D. Prix at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, as you tour its fascinating exhibits on how the environment has impacted the evolution of humankind, finally situating yourselves in front of some fine French fare. Seven Deadly Sins Escape: Expatriate just off the coast of Miami to a collection of stilted houses with K/R Architects’ Terry Riley with four of your friends. Soak up the sun – before climate change raises the tides too high – then pamper yourselves at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach for two nights. The Genius of John Lautner and Tony Duquette: Join design editor Mayer Rus for a visit to two of famous designs by John Lautner (1911–1994), the backdrop of multiple films and star-studded Hollywood parties. Next, hit the home of designer Hutton Wilkinson, who has preserved Dawnridge, the house created by Tony Duquette (1914–1999), for a meal in this collector's paradise. Ivy League of Your Own: Meet lionized architect Robert A.M. Stern for a VIP preview of Yale’s new residential college, the first building of the type to arrive on campus in over six decades. Catch a glimpse of Stern's yellow socks while he unravels the architecture’s embedded symbolism. Parrish the Thought: Head to Long Island’s Parrish Museum with director Terrie Sultan as you tour the Herzog & de Meuron-designed campus set in the East End landscape that fostered such minds as Fairfield Porter, Jackson Pollock, and Cindy Sherman. Wonder Dome: Hit the field of the vacant “Eighth Wonder of the World,” Houston’s Astrodome, with Rice University and WW Architects’ Sarah Whiting and architectural historian Stephen Fox as you explore the embattled history of this otherwise inaccessible midcentury modern marvel – then adjourn to Whiting’s home for a memorable meal. Tea Time Travel in Shanghai: Meet Atelier Deshaus founder Liu Yichun for tea at Shanghai’s serene Fangta Park, which is crowned by a nine-tiered pagoda and ringed with tranquil gardens, as you discuss the architecture and natural environment of this expanding city.
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Honored

2017 AIANY Design Awards winners announced!
Last night at the Center for Architecture, AIA New York announced the recipients of its 2017 Design Awards. The top winners seemed to be Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with the former earning two Architecture Merit Awards (for the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and Kim and Tritton Residence Halls), and the latter receiving an Architecture Honor Award and Best in Competition Award (for the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center), as well as an Project Honor (for the exhibition Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design at the Jewish Museum). The jury remarked at the international scope of the 378 project entries, which ranged from Iowa to Germany to Korea, though were all designed by New York–based firms. 23 of the 35 winning projects are sited in New York City. Last year, 31 awards were conferred to a wide range of projects, including Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed (Dattner Architects in association with WXY), The Broad Museum (Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler), and Carmel Place (nARCHITECTS), just to name a few. The winning projects will be on view at the Center for Architecture from April 21 to May 6, with an opening reception on the 21st from 6 to 8pm. An Honors and Awards Luncheon will also be held April 21 at Cipriani Wall Street The announcement included a panel discussion from the jury (composed of educators, practitioners, and academics from outside New York), which included:
  • Barbara Bestor, AIA, Bestor Architecture
  • Hagy Belzberg, FAIA, OAA, Belzberg Architects
  • Tatiana Bilbao, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO
  • Elizabeth P. Gray, FAIA, Gray Organschi Architecture
  • Anne Fougeron, FAIA, Fougeron Architecture
  • V. Mitch McEwen, McEwen Studio
  • Peter Waldman, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
The idea of architecture functioning within a wider social context was an overarching theme of the winners, according to the jury. At the start of the discussion, Waldman described how many of the winning projects were "vehicles for those who function in it... and citizenship." Bestor echoed his statement, saying how "all [had] different visions to create community in their context." Fougeron added these winning projects were "very mission-driven [citing the Diane L. Max Health Center: Planned Parenthood Queens]... architecture that enlightens and enhances program [citing the The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center], you learn from these buildings how people occupy them."

BEST IN COMPETITION

Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Executive Architect: Gensler Landscape Architect: SCAPE Project: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University Location: New York, NY ARCHITECTURE HONORS Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Executive Architect: Gensler Landscape Architect: SCAPE Project: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, Columbia University Location: New York, NY Architect: Gluckman Tang Architects Landscape Architect: LaGuardia Design Group Project: De Maria Pavilion Location: Bridgehampton, NY Architect: Steven Holl Architects Associate Architect: BNIM Project: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building Location: Iowa City, IA MERITS Architect: 1100 Architect Project: Main: East Side Lofts Location: Frankfurt, Germany Architect: Andrew Berman Architect Project: SculptureCenter Location: Long Island City, NY Architect: Deborah Berke Partners Architect-of-Record: RATIO Landscape Architect: DAVID RUBIN Land Collective Project: Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters Location: Indianapolis, IN Preservation Architect: John G. Waite Associates, Architects Landscape Architect: OLIN Project: Restoration and Renovation of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia Location: Charlottesville, VA Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture Landscape Architect: Richard Burck Associates Project: Tozzer Anthropology Building, Harvard University Location: Cambridge, MA Architect: nARCHITECTS Project: A/D/O Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Project: Public Safety Answering Center II Location: Bronx, NY Architect: stpmj Architecture Project: Shear House (Environment Sensitive Typology) Location: Kyung Buk (Yecheon), Korea

Architect: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners Associate Architect – Core and Shell: AGD Design Associate Architect – Interiors: Associated Architects Landscape Architect: ADI Limited Project: Asia Society Hong Kong Center Location: Hong Kong, China

Architect: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners Landscape Architect: Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Project: Kim and Tritton Residence Halls, Haverford College Location: Haverford, PA Architect: WORK Architecture Company Restoration Architect: CTS Group Architecture/Planning Project: Stealth Building Location: New York, NY INTERIORS HONOR Architect: A+I Project: Squarespace Global Headquarters Location: New York, NY Architect: Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture Project: Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Stephen Yablon Architecture Project: Diane L. Max Health Center: Planned Parenthood Queens Location: Long Island City, NY MERIT Restoration Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle Architectural Conservator: Cultural Heritage Conservation Landscape Architects: Vogt Landscape Architects with Future Green Studio Project: The Met Breuer Restoration Location: New York, NY Architects: BFDO Architects and 4|MATIV Architect-of-Record: Marvel Architects Project: Maple Street School Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: LEVENBETTS Project: Brooklyn Heights Interim Library Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Marvel Architects Concept Design and Interior Design: Macro-Sea Project: New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: SPAN Architecture Project: Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House Installation Location: New York, NY Architect: STUDIOS Architecture Project: One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza Location: New York, NY PROJECTS HONOR Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Project: Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, The Jewish Museum Location: New York, NY Architect: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism Project: Penn Palimpsest Location: New York, NY Architect: Studio Joseph Media Designer: Local Projects Graphic Designer: Pentagram Project: New York at Its Core, Museum of the City of New York Location: New York, NY MERIT Architect: Andrew Berman Architect Project: Re-Envisioning Branch Libraries Design Study Location: New York, NY Architect: APTUM ARCHITECTURE Project: Isla Rhizolith | Rhizolith Island Location: Isla Grande, Cartagena, Colombia Architect: Efficiency Lab for Architecture Project: The Lima Art Museum New Contemporary Art Wing Location: Lima, Peru Architect: J. Mayer H. und Partner, Architekten Project: XXX Times Square with Love Location: New York, NY Architect: StudioKCA Project: NASA Orbit Pavilion Location: San Marino, CA URBAN DESIGN MERIT Architect: DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture Project: The Gowanus Canal Sponge Park Pilot Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: Kohn Pederson Fox Associates Landscape Architect: OLIN Project: New York City Housing Authority Red Hook Houses – Sandy Resiliency & Renewal Program Location: Brooklyn, NY Architect: ROGERS PARTNERS Architects + Urban Designers Landscape Architect: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects Project: Buckhead Park Over GA400 Location: Atlanta, GA Architect: Studio V Architecture Landscape Architect: Ken Smith Workshop Project: Maker Park Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Unintended Consequences

Friends of the High Line founder raises concern about park’s success
Robert Hammond, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Friends of the High Line (FHL), the organization that funds and maintains the High Line in Manhattan, recently expressed doubts about whether the park has fulfilled its original purpose. “We were from the community. We wanted to do it for the neighborhood,” said Hammond in an interview with City Lab. “Ultimately, we failed.” The article points to issues of equity and inclusivity in public space as the cause for concern. The success of the High Line has far outpaced the FHL's original estimates of 300,000 visitors a year; the linear park attracted 7.6 million visitors in 2015 alone. However, in an FHL report of the same year, the data shows that only 458,000 were from the “High Line area” and on average 45% of the visitors were nonwhite. While the report notes these numbers are much better than previous years, the question of whether the High Line has produced equitable urban space is still up for debate. Increases in real estate values due to development in the neighborhoods that touch the High Line are estimated to generate almost $1 billion dollars in tax revenues over the next 20 years. Further investigation is needed to see how those funds will directly benefit lower income residents in the area.   Hammond penned a note on the FHL website saying his previous statement was truncated and “inadvertently gives the impression that I think the High Line has not been a success. That couldn't be farther from the truth or what I believe personally.” The organization has in recent years sought to broaden its coalition and recalibrate its efforts to address the issues of access to high-quality parks for diverse stakeholders. This has manifested into the creation of more public programming and the High Line Network, a coalition of designers invested in developing parks projects in other cities across the U.S. and Canada. The Network has met several times since its inception and has focused on projects like the L.A. River rehabilitation and Atlanta’s rail-to-trails Beltline.
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Coda at Tech Square

John Portman & Associates unveils a tech center for Midtown Atlanta
John Portman & Associates (JPA) has unveiled the design for a hybrid complex in Atlanta that blends classic Portmanian forms with a distinctly 21st-century approach to urbanism. The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) asked the Atlanta firm to design Coda, a 750,000-square-foot mixed-use complex with some unusual features. The development is a key addition to the school's Tech Square, a mini-neighborhood in Midtown planned in the early 2000s as a hub for education, operations, and real-world learning. To embody its future-forwardness, Georgia Tech wanted to move away from stately collegiate brick towards a glass-clad mix of education space, offices, and an open-air gathering space that ties Coda to its surroundings. Though firm founder John Portman's work defines the city's skyline, some critics maintain that his theatrical-but-insular designs do little for the city streets. Instead of reproducing the forms for which Portman is best known, for this project JPA extended a core atrium outdoors to create a public plaza and mid-block conduit to nearby development. Furnished with long, zigzagging planters that double as seating, the "outdoor living room" will parallel a multistory indoor piazza where local food vendors and two anchor restaurants should sustain the area's activity even after the office workers go home. "Those Portman atriums in Atlanta and elsewhere were the products of a different era, there were different reasons why those were built," said JPA vice president of design Pierluca Maffey. "This project is a turning point for our firm in opening up—the right thing to do now is open up to the street. We made a commitment to create a place for the people with this project." The development builds on similar context-focused developments, like the revamp of Colony Square, but it is especially well-positioned for placemaking: The nearby intersection of 5th and Spring streets, Maffey said, is the busiest by foot traffic in Atlanta. In addition to its more traditional elements, Coda, bounded by 4th, West Peachtree, and Spring streets, hosts a program not found on the typical campus. To support the high-performance computing modeling, JPA was asked to design a 63,000-square-foot vertical data center that sits behind a cherished 1920s building on the site. Prior to this project, the building's footprint was reduced by a partial demolition, but its Italianate character remained. To honor the remaining structure, the design team arranged the tower's lower massing to dialogue with the scale and proportions of the older building without swallowing it. Across the plaza, a white tulip-shaped column at the base of the tower is an homage to Portman formality, to his playfulness with shapes. "We call it the 'martini glass,'" Maffey said, laughing. "We always tell Mr. Portman his interiors are great for Gregory Peck, walking around with his martini." The reference may be vintage, but the gesture is not. Sprawling Atlanta is doubling down on density at key nodes in the center city, fostering demand for more—and better-designed—public space. There's little demand, Maffey noted, for the enclosed, monumental plazas of the 1960s and 70s, and that attitude will be reflected, he hopes, in the eventual reception of the project. "We're interested in designing the object, yes, but we're much more interested in how it ties into the ground, how this piece fits into the city."
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It's Alive!

Georgia Tech moves forward with plans for a Living Building on campus
Georgia Tech has approved a 42,000-square-foot project for their campus that aims to pass the Living Building Challenge; construction could begin as soon as this fall. The project began when The Kendeda Fund (an Atlanta-based private foundation) gifted $30 million to Georgia Tech specifically for the creation and operation of a Living Building at the school. (A Living Building has passed the Living Building Challenge's (LBC) stringent standards, which range from energy performance to social equity). The school then hosted an ideas competition and selected a joint design from Atlanta-based Lord Aeck Sargent and Seattle-based The Miller Hull Partnership. The university’s Planning & Design Commission approved the scheme in December and the project has now moved into the design development phase. Despite its approval, the project has presented some challenges due to its lack of programming specifics. A committee of faculty members from Georgia Tech has been working with the design team to refine the program and make sure it addresses the needs of the university. For now, the building program consists of offices, labs, “maker spaces,” classrooms, study spaces, and an auditorium. The program is housed in two rectangular “sheds” joined by a large atrium and featuring a west-facing porch. The structure will be a post and beam system made of locally sourced glue-laminated timbers, adhering to the LBC's strict material requirements. In order to meet the performance standards of a Living Building, the project must also produce 105 percent of the electricity it uses through renewable clean-energy means. The current scheme will use a combination of radiant pipes for heating and cooling, a custom Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) for dehumidifying the Georgia summer air, and photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate almost 300 kilowatts of electricity. As part of the LBC’s Urban Agriculture requirements, the project must set aside a certain percentage of the site for agriculture initiatives, or 12,577 square feet in this case. Philadelphia-based Andropogon Associates, the landscape architects for the project, is proposing many strategies including pollinator gardens, blueberry orchards, medicinal plants, and edible vines spread across rooftop gardens and surrounding forest to help with water drainage and shading for the building. Lastly, the building will utilize a combination of “foam-flush” composting toilets and a greywater treatment system to recycle wastewater from the building on site for use around the campus. The building is currently expected to begin construction as soon as this fall. The Kendeda Fund has set up a timeline of the project on their website to keep track of its progress through the many design and construction phases. To learn more, visit the fund's project description and timeline.
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2017 Emerging Voices

Atlanta-based BLDGS brings new creativity to adaptive reuse projects

The Architectural League’s Emerging Voices award and lecture series spotlight individuals and firms with distinct design “voices” that have the potential to influence the discipline of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. The jury, composed of Sunil Bald, Mario Gooden, Lisa Gray, Paul Lewis, Jing Liu, Thomas Phifer, Bradley Samuels, Billie Tsien, and Ian Volner, selected architects and designers who have significant bodies of realized work that creatively address larger issues in the built environment.

The Architect's Newspaper featured the Emerging Voices firms in our February issue; stay tuned as we upload those articles to our website over the coming weeks. The firm featured below (Atlanta, GA–based BLDGS) will deliver their lecture on March 2, 2017, at The Architecture League in New York City. Click here to learn more!

When Brian Bell and David Yocum first founded BLDGS 10 years ago, they didn’t plan to specialize in adaptive reuse—certainly not in Atlanta, a city not necessarily known for exploring the past.

But after they continued to land such commissions, they began to relish the role and have elevated this ever-expanding realm of architecture to a more creative, thoughtful, complex level than almost any firm has been able to achieve.

“We take a lot of pleasure in uncovering,” Yocum said. “If we can find the truth in each of the challenges and kind of reflect the presence of that truth it gives us a lot that we would not be able to layer onto a project.”

Bell and Yocum met at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and then worked together at Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects in Atlanta. They founded their firm in 2006, spurred mostly through work from art galleries, whose budgets and interests called for work within existing spaces. One of their first, Whitespace Gallery, is located inside an 1880s carriage house. Impressed by how clearly the original functions were expressed structurally, they set out to not only maintain that core, but also express the building’s new artistic focus with equal intensity. They hid lighting and HVAC along the periphery, and installed thin, floating panels—framed in steel—to display art.

Yocum calls this inserting the “featherlike presence of the new while respecting the gravity of the old.”

“We’re pushing and pulling off things that are seen and unseen rather than inventing from our own imagination,” added Bell. “There’s a lot of fascination with the situation that’s already there.”

Their work has continued along these lines, pushing and pulling on the complex layers of existing materials and techniques and the addition of contemporary ones. The installation Boundary Issues at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center removed contemporary plaster walls to display a mesmerizing combination of existing paint and bricks.Essentially they practiced addition by subtraction, architecture’s version of etching away a solid in a block print.

For their Caddell classroom and faculty building at Georgia Tech, they took cues for a new canopy from the structural logic of the existing 1950s building, whose steel frame is hidden behind a concrete exterior. The resulting canopy of aluminum louvers looks ultra-light from below, but like the original building, its thick steel frame is hidden above, out of sight. At Congregation Or Hadash Synagogue, they converted a former Chevrolet paint and auto body repair shop by carefully carving away its tilt-up concrete and sheet metal cladding, creating a radically different typology, nonetheless informed by its bones.

Even their only ground-up building, the Burned House in Atlanta, plays with history. Its cladding is painted with dozens of layers of paints, stencils, metallics, and other markings, which are meant to become exposed as the paint decays. Its interior plays with solid and void, with spaces pushed and pulled in unusual configurations to maximize exposure and push the boundaries of expectation.

“We wanted to think of history in reverse,” said Yocum. “Everything has a historical presence. If you’re not exploring that you’re missing opportunities.”

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DUCing Out

Emory University to replace a remarkable John Portman building with a new campus center

Emory University celebrated the opening of its new postmodernist campus center designed by hometown architect John Portman in 1986. Today, the school is preparing to knock it down and replace it with a contemporary structure that, according to Emory, aligns better with the school’s founding aesthetic: Mediterranean-style buildings in pink and gray Georgia marble. What does Emory’s decision tell us about aging modern buildings on more traditional American campuses?

In the early 1980s Emory University picked an architect with an oppositional style—Portman—to design its campus center and largest dining hall. Portman, whose Peachtree Center and Hyatt Regency define the Atlanta skyline, merged new and old at the Dobbs University Center (DUC) with the same drama of his supersized work. The three-story, 150,000-square-foot DUC adheres to the rear facade of one of the older 1920s buildings on campus. The two structures meet in the Coca-Cola Commons, a capacious indoor piazza and tiered dining hall that references Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.

As a campus center (and main student dining hall), the DUC must do the heavy lifting of an increasingly commoditized typology. At American colleges and universities today, the campus center is both a social nucleus and a potentially powerful marketing tool. Emory decided the existing DUC was not fit for either task.

Though some schools like Emory have commissioned progressive architecture (or works by high-profile “starchitects”), universities competing for talent are almost obligated to furnish their campuses with ample, top-of-the-line amenities to lure prospective students. Middle-aged modern buildings—perceived as ungainly or unlikable—are the first obstacles to be eliminated in this fierce race.

Late modern architecture, in particular, can feel totalizing—deeply proportional, but scaled to giants—and outright hostile to context. But where does a school draw a line between saving a semi-dysfunctional building or demolishing it, potentially losing a structure of merit?

Emory studied renovation options for the DUC, but ultimately concluded there was no reasonable way to fix all of its issues, university architect Jen Fabrick said. As a dining hall, the DUC’s service layout makes food delivery massively inconvenient: Pallets have to be unpackaged at the loading docks and lifted in small elevators to third-floor kitchens, a daily labor-intensive task. The kitchen is too small to accommodate a growing student population and, in true Portman fashion, the dining commons is almost completely windowless.

The new Campus Life Center (CLC), designed by Durham, North Carolina–based Duda Paine Architects, addresses the DUC’s shortcomings while honoring its neighbors both materially and in orientation. A central stair divides a dining area, meeting rooms, and offices arranged on limestone plinths and connected by a wraparound terrace. University officials said the $98 million project, complete with a solar panel–clad roof, is expected to cost only slightly more than a renovation of the Portman addition.

In keeping with university design guidelines that honor tradition but don’t necessarily call for strictly traditional forms (there are new buildings with glass curtain walls, for example), the CLC “is very non-traditional in many aspects,” Fabrick said. The new design is tied to a 2005 campus master plan, which aims to “bring back a sense of place and then build on that as we go forward with our newer buildings,” she said. “In the 1980s there was an attitude to do something different and modern—I don’t know that they realized what they were doing.”

The original Beaux-Arts plan for the Emory campus was conceived by Pittsburgh architect Henry Hornbostel, who arranged its first buildings around central quads surrounded by lush ravines. Through World War II the campus retained its classical orientation, but after the war, campus design bent to the automobile. Buildings were oriented toward roads, and according to the college, experiments with modern architecture in the 1970s “ignored the original design etiquettes” of Hornbostel’s positioning, volume, and materiality.

Since then, university officials spent almost two decades determining how, and what, to build. The master plan, initiated in 1998 and updated seven years later, puts pedestrians before cars at every opportunity. To the university, as well as planners Ayers Saint Gross, a walkable campus was a beautiful one, and this included replacing some modern buildings with those that channeled the campus’s original architecture. So far, construction under the plan has added 3.8 million square feet of new space to campus.

Despite the crisis calls of preservation discourse, especially online, American colleges and universities aren’t out to sack every modern building—many have a strong history of stewardship for outmoded, expensive-to-maintain structures that could be easily replaced with lower-maintenance, high-performing alternatives. Off-campus, though, there’s growing concern that hard-to-love buildings of the modern movement are disappearing, only to be replaced with neo-traditional, historicist, or plain old contemporary structures that may be easier to live with but lack the radical appeal of their predecessors.

By choice or necessity, universities are essential custodians of modern architecture, but they also play to the market. “If a campus doesn’t look put together, or have a cohesive atmosphere, students may choose to go elsewhere,” said Barbara Christen, an architectural historian and former director of the CIC Historic Campus Architecture Project. “At the heart of this is an audience issue—there can be valid reasons why people don’t like late modern buildings especially, but by the same token, they might not know about what the architecture represents or how it expresses American culture.”

That’s especially true for Portman. Through the 1990s, he was best known for self-contained buildings in city centers that replaced the city center itself. In addition to his Atlanta work, Portman built his reputation on Detroit’s Renaissance Center, New York’s Marriott Marquis, San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center, and—critic Fredric Jameson’s favorite—the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, each of which offered lavish cities-within-cities that turned their glass backs on a decaying urban core. Lauded at the time for their vertiginous atria and theatricality, today, when walkable downtowns and energetic streetscapes are enormously popular with practitioners and the public, Portman’s holistic work can seem cold, corporate, and downright anti-urban.

The firm Portman founded tracks evolving public attitudes toward his work and its place in history. Walter E. Miller, principal and design director at John Portman & Associates, said he noticed a desire for campus buildings to be more “traditional in appearance” beginning in the 2000s. He added that the trend seemed more prevalent at public schools, with many buildings catering more to the preferences of alums and parents, rather than current students.

The trend plays out broadly: In Los Angeles, the University of Southern California (USC) sold and relocated an International style steel post-and-beam structure to build Fertitta Hall, a historicist new home for its business school, while in New London, Connecticut, Connecticut College redid the facade of its 1961 North Complex (“the Plex”), by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon (the architects of the Empire State Building) to hide its distinctive modern features. DePaul University in Chicago is replacing its “cheese grater building,” designed by Holabird & Root in the 1960s, with a contemporary music school by Antunovich Associates. While not a replacement, Yale honors a preference for neo-traditional forms with a new $600 million collegiate gothic residential college by former architecture school dean Robert A.M. Stern. In 2011 Ezra Stiles College, designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1961, reopened to students after a sensitive $55 million dollar renovation that created more common areas and softened some of the complex’s harsher features. Recollections of veteran preservationists yield countless other buildings that survived, but barely.

To check changing taste, Christen said campuses should think about what the Class of 2100 will see: “The goal for campuses is to not only have a grasp of what their architectural and landscape inventory is, and consider what it represents about their past, but also to have a system in place for good guidance around future decisions.”

Emory cares for a particularly strong portfolio. Its stock of late modern architecture includes contributions from the giants: The Michael C. Carlos Museum by Michael Graves, William R. Cannon Chapel and the Pitts Theology Library interiors by Paul Rudolph, and the George W. Woodruff Physical Education Center by Portman. The school, Fabrick assured, has every intention of keeping these buildings.

Commissioning exciting contemporary buildings is a way for schools to visibly strengthen commitments to new ways of knowing, but modern architecture, especially late modern architecture, has a lot of catching up to do in eyes and minds of the public. What can be done to build appreciation? Christen, Miller, and other preservation experts all emphasize education that brings historical context into the conversation. They praise Docomomo’s education and advocacy work, and Christen noted that her alma mater, Williams College, has a semester-long course on reading the university’s (and American) history through the campus built environment. It’s a start.