Posts tagged with "Architectural League of New York":

Current Work: Josep Lluís Mateo – Mateo Arquitectura

Over the past four decades, Spanish architect Josep Lluís Mateo has made significant contributions to the field through publishing and teaching as well as design. Early in his career, Mateo spent nine years as the editor of Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme, the journal of the Architects’ Association of Catalonia. He has since contributed to numerous books and magazines; in 2007 a compilation of his essays was published as Textos Instrumentales. In 2015 he launched BCN Architecture Guide, a mobile app dedicated to design in Barcelona. A professor emeritus at ETH Zurich, he has taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and the Barcelona School of Architecture. Mateo’s built work ranges from multifamily housing in France to office buildings in Germany and the Netherlands. His Barcelona-based firm is now working on several urban development projects, including:
  • Nice Grand Arenas, Nice, France
  • Montpellier Cité Créative, Montpellier, France
  • Draga district, Sibenik, Croatia
His Current Work lecture will include:
  • Cultural Center of Castelo Branco, a dramatic form cantilevered over an ice skating rink in a small Portuguese city
  • Film Theatre of Catalonia, whose simple concrete facade was designed to fit into a gentrifying Barcelona neighborhood
  • Prague National Gallery Entrance Hall, a sensitive design for a museum entry in a historic Prague complex.
This event is sponsored by the Architectural League of New YorkThe Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.

Emerging Voices 2018 Night 4: LA-Más & Estudio de Arquitectura

Emerging Voices 2018

Helen Leung, Elizabeth Timme, LA-Más, Los Angeles Luis Aldrete, Estudio de Arquitectura, Guadalajara Introduced by Paul Makovsky 1.5 AIA and New York State CEUs The fourth evening of the annual Emerging Voices lecture series. Emerging Voices spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism.

Nonprofit urban design group LA-Más focuses on underserved Los Angeles neighborhoods. It collaborates with community members, government agencies, and developers with a goal to grow cities equitably through design projects and policy initiatives. Recent work includes Go Avenue 26, enhanced public transit access near a major highway overpass in East Los Angeles; and “Backyard Basics: An Alternative Story for the Accessory Dwelling Unit,” a conceptual proposal exploring how collectively developed accessory dwelling units could serve as a model for affordable housing along the LA River.

Since establishing Estudio de Arquitectura in 2007, Luis Aldrete has designed residential, hospitality, and cultural facilities, where he works with local craftspeople to employ construction techniques developed over generations. Recent projects include BF Residence, a Guadalajara house whose program nods to the traditional Mexican hacienda; Rinconada Margaritas Residential Complex, a high-rise development in Guadalajara that responds to an adjacent ravine; and Pilgrim Route Shelters, an infrastructural network of shelters designed with other collaborators to support an annual Jalisco pilgrimage.

Paul Makovsky is Vice President of Design at Metropolis Magazine. He served on this year’s Emerging Voices committee.

Emerging Voices 2018 Night 3: Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura & Davidson Rafailidis

Emerging Voices 2018

Jesica Amescua and Mariana Ordóñez Grajales, Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura, Mexico City Stephanie Davidson, George Rafailidis, Davidson Rafailidis, Buffalo Introduced by Stella Betts 1.5 AIA and New York State CEUs The third evening of the annual Emerging Voices lecture series. Emerging Voices spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism.

Founded in 2015, Mexico City-based Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura provides design services to underserved communities. Their work centers around five methodological axes which they feel are fundamental to “developing inclusive, participatory, and contexutal projects.” Recent work includes Childbirth Houses, designs for midwife workspaces informed by extensive dialogue with an indigenous Chiapas community; and Territory and Inhabitant, a research project for a house that could be built in Yucatán for less than $10,000.

Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis established Davidson Rafailidis in 2008. Both are members of the architecture faculty at the University of Buffalo and have also taught at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany and the University of Toronto. Recent projects include He, She & It, a structure with three distinct workspaces for a Buffalo couple; Café Fargo (Tipico Coffee), a coffee shop in a former corner store also in Buffalo; and Mirror, Mirror, the winner of a competition aimed at reimagining the street festival tent.

Stella Betts is a co-founding Principal of the New York-based LEVENBETTS and a past Emerging Voices winner in 2009. She has taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, The Cooper Union, and Cornell University’s College of Art, Architecture, and Planning, among other institutions. She served on this year’s Emerging Voices committee.

Emerging Voices 2018 Night 2: AGENCY & Fernanda Canales

Emerging Voices 2018

Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, AGENCY, El Paso Fernanda Canales, Mexico City Introduced by Sunil Bald 1.5 AIA and New York State CEUs The second evening of the annual Emerging Voices lecture series. Emerging Voices spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism.

AGENCY was founded in 2010. Partners Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller use research, publication, and design to explore broad-ranging issues such as material ecology, government policy, and ethics. Recent projects include Fronts, a research project and book focusing on the relationship between military doctrine and informal urbanism; Breach, which explores the simulated environments developed to train military and security forces; and Border Dispatches, a series of Architect’s Newspaper articles about the U.S.–Mexico border.

Fernanda Canales grew up in Mexico City, where her eponymous firm was founded. She believes “architecture is about creating connections between people, territories, and history.” Recent projects include Bruma House (with Claudia Rodríguez), a residence divided into different modules organized around a central patio, with each location based on views, orientation, and vegetation; Reading Rooms, flexible community spaces that can be built by residents of low-income neighborhoods; and The Monterrey School of Higher Learning in Design, a new campus on the city’s outskirts.

Sunil Bald is a co-founding Principal of the New York-based studioSUMO and a past Emerging Voices winner in 2010. After an initial term as Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale, Bald has continued to teach design studios and visualization at the School. He served on this year’s Emerging Voices committee.

Housing Brass Tacks: What Can Architects Do?

The architect’s typical role in building or renovating housing is to answer a client’s brief, working within the confines of a prescribed budget and program. But in a world where “housing” and “crisis” have become married—shorthand for a widespread lack of affordability and the commodification of shelter—can the architect be more than a passive participant in a broken system? For the Architectural League's final Brass Tacks event, we’ll debate the possibilities and limitations of the profession to address access, affordability, and inequity in housing. Are architects service providers, trapped within the strictures of larger economic and political forces, or are they complicit in perpetuating the crisis? Are other roles possible? Panelists Susanne Schindler, Deborah Gans, and Jared Della Valle—and later, the audience—will discuss the professional and ethical imperatives of architects, ways to make the existing system better and the potential for structural change. Beer, wine, and snacks included. Bring your questions and opinions. Jared Della Valle is founder and CEO of Alloy. He has been a real estate professional and architect for more than 18 years and has managed the acquisition and predevelopment of more than 2 million square feet in New York City. Jared is the Board Chair of the Van Alen Institute, sits on the Board of The Architectural League of New York and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. He holds a B.A. from Lehigh University and Master’s degrees in both Architecture and Construction Management from Washington University in St. Louis. Deborah Gans, FAIA, is founder of Gans studio and Professor at Pratt Institute. She has devoted much of her professional and academic work to architecture as a social art and practice, particularly housing and its landscapes. Working in New Orleans after Katrina and in New York City after Superstorm Sandy, she has focused on emergent urban and environmental conditions. She has happily collaborated with The Architectural League, first in 1987 on the Vacant Lots study of infill fabric, and recently in the 2013 on Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers jointly with the CHPC. Current projects include workforce housing in Sag Harbor and a renovation of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Susanne Schindler is an architect and writer focused on the intersection of policy and design in housing. She is currently completing a PhD at ETH Zurich on the Model Cities program (1966–74) and its effects on discourses of “context” and “community” in New York architecture. From 2013 to 2016, she was lead researcher and co-curator of House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate at Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, and co-author of The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate—A Provisional Report. Susanne has taught at Parsons, Columbia, and Hunter and writes on housing for Urban Omnibus, the online publication of The Architectural League.
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The Architectural League of New York announces 2017 Norden Fund recipients

The Architectural League of New York has announced the two winners of its 2017 Deborah J. Norden Fund, a travel grant that was established in 1995. The grant is awarded to students and recent graduates in the fields of architecture, architectural history, and urban studies.

This year, Kevin Malawski for Pikionis’ Pathway: Paving the Acropolis and Priyanka Shah for Deep Skins: Roger Anger’s Facade Operations were the recipients of the grant. They will both receive $5,000 to use for travel and study.

Malawski, who currently works at New York–based EwingCole, will travel to Athens, Greece to explore the relationship between modern planning principles and regional sensitivity. Through sketches, photographs, and diagrams, his project revolves around the intricacies of Dimitris Pikionis’s five-kilometer, mid-20th-century pathway to the Acropolis. Located within olive tree groves to frame vistas, the mosaic-paved walkways also include gutters and trenches to divert water from seasonal downpours (a result of the Mediterranean climate). Malawski hopes to fill an academic void for Pikionis' architecture, which “employs a mix of operative regionalist undertones with modernism to define a space which authentically relates to the ancient Acropolis it is sited on,” he said.  

Shah, who is an architectural designer with international firm Grimshaw Architects, will go to Paris and Grenoble, France to document Roger Anger’s high-rise residential buildings, specifically looking at the geometric articulations and arrangements. Anger, an influential French architect in the 1950s and 60s, became known for his buildings' facades which present “a direct antecedent to contemporary computational design.” Upon his death, the majority of his works were kept with his estate and remain inaccessible to the public. Shah will consult archives and visit his buildings to create a comprehensive, digitized monograph of his designs.

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

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 (New York City–based Leong Leongwill deliver their lecture on March 9, 2017, at The Architecture League in New York City. Click here to learn more!

“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.

As a result, Leong Leong has shifted from designing high-fashion boutiques for the likes of 3.1 Phillip Lim, to working at increasingly larger and dramatic architectural scales. They have two notable civic projects: the Anita May Rosenstein Campus for the Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood with Killefer Flammang Architects, and the Center for Community and Entrepreneurship for the nonprofit organization Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) in Queens, New York, with JCJ Architecture. “Both the LGBT Center and AAFE are nonprofit organizations whose fundamental missions are to create a platform for marginalized communities,” Christopher said. Dominic continued: “There are new social organizations and social technologies that have yet to find a specific manifestation in architectural typologies. These communities already exist and have existed for a long time, so the projects are opportunities to translate these communities into new organizational typologies and places of exchange.”

Concurrently, Leong Leong continues to work on smaller objects, installations, and exhibitions. In 2016 they designed a collection of nine basic tools carved in pink Himalayan sea salt titled A Toolkit for a Newer Age, and an immersive sound bath installation called TOPO. “Toolkit and TOPO were explorations into the relationship between collectivity and form that emerged when we were designing the LGBT Center,” Dominic explained. “This eventually led us to investigate how social technologies, like self-care, might translate into architectural typologies.”

As the firm continues to take on increasingly ambitious projects, the brothers filter each one through what they refer to as “the triad”: the [architectural] discipline, the profession, and the broader culture. “Through this feedback loop, certain ideas become more relevant than others,” said Dominic. “It’s not just about large scales, it’s about things at the tactile level as well: A small project can have a huge impact—and that splash may be necessary in our current culture—and bigger projects can have a slower, different kind of impact, a lasting change to the city itself.”

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How Duvall Decker brings innovative solutions to underserved communities in Mississippi

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 (Jackson, Mississippi–based Duvall Deckerwill deliver their lecture on March 9, 2017, at The Architecture League in New York City. Click here to learn more!

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. 

An early project, designing a small high school, found them consulting with the client after completion about how to best maintain the new building. When looking for an office space, instead of renting, the firm decided to buy a space. This led to a series of buying, fixing, and reselling their own office spaces, something they jokingly called “office flipping.” In other projects, the firm’s research strategy led them to form master plans, which led to more work. These early experiences shaped the way in which the office now operates.

In more recent work, Duvall Decker has been tapped to design entire affordable housing neighborhoods. For a project for the Jackson Housing Authority, planning and community research led the office to some unorthodox formal moves. Hoping to achieve the maximum density, but limited to building duplexes, a twist and shift was applied to the typical typology. The resulting form produced more social interior spaces, and more dynamic exterior spaces, both usually lacking in the standard banal blocks of public housing.

“These projects are often lowest-bid public projects. We take the same dollars-per-square-foot and we make a building with that,” explained Ann Decker. “We strip the finishes and focus on improving the craft. When we poured some of the first architectural concrete in Mississippi in decades, we had to teach the contractor how to do it.”

Duvall Decker’s attention to the client and the end user is just as evident in its institutional work. Reflecting new ideas about education, and the social topics taught within the project, Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, strives to embody egalitarian ideas through form. With no center and a diverse set of spaces, students can inhabit the building in more than one way.

When Ann and Roy Decker set out to start an office they did not know exactly what they were getting into. Coming from academia, they wanted to continue teaching, but they felt they could contribute more within the profession. The path from those early days to their now thriving practice was not typical one. Today they are not simply an architecture firm. Within the design practice, master planning and consulting play a major role; outside of design, the firm acts as developers and property managers. This journey has given them the chance to continue educating: their clients and themselves.

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Inside the rising Mexico City–based practice of Frida Escobedo

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 (Mexico City, Mexico–based Frida Escobedowill deliver their lecture on March 2, 2017, at The Architecture League in New York City. Click here to learn more!

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.” Escobedo’s Aesop store in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood similarly plays into that teleology. In the small storefront, she manipulates the scale of objects and vistas through reflection. Bathed in an ochre light, the shop is divided by a series of reflective, glass partitions and is populated by sections of boulders and tropical Monstera deliciosa plants. Here, prismatic color and reflected silhouettes distort scale.

Escobedo’s more recent work expands the senses even further. A recently completed screen at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University is crafted from Solanum steel and designed to create melodies. The rhythmic tapping made by children running sticks across railings inspired the installation—a halcyon tendency Escobedo ties to ideas of coming home. She explained that the structure is “not only perceived visually… You can play with the screen as you move along it and the closed fragments produce different sounds.” 

Escobedo’s eight-person office is currently working on two social housing projects: One in the rural area of Taxco in the Mexican state of Guerrero will take the shape of an incremental housing scheme, while another in the town of Saltillo is made up of rowhouses. Regarding both projects, Escobedo said, “We’re trying to do as much as possible with as little as possible while also reducing as much as possible the debt of the people who are acquiring these properties,” the architect explained. The Taxco scheme will ultimately result in a fully-built out home, featuring a double-height room that can be subdivided vertically as the resident family grows. According to Escobedo, the goal of the scheme was “to optimize the subsidized credit [provided by INFONAVIT, the housing developer] by first building what is most costly and therefore what will give more value over time; and second to provide people with a finished building, that is sometimes more encouraging and gives the sense of completion.”

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Theaster Gates on his unique combination of art, architecture, and entrepreneurship

Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates appeared in the Architectural League of New York’s Current Work series on November 21, which was co-sponsored by the Parsons School of Constructed Environments, Parsons School of Design and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. A star in the art world, Gates crosses many boundaries and disciplines, holding two degrees in urban planning, as well as ones in religion and ceramics. Billie Tsien of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architect introduced him by saying that his life resembled a fairy tale—he’s a reverse Snow White as the only boy of 8 children, mixed with a bit of Princess and the Pea. I would venture there’s also elements of Jack and the Beanstalk, along with shape-shifter qualities. Gates has been transforming the South Side of Chicago, his home town. But it’s taken him a while to get there. After studying at Iowa State University, then living in South Africa and Japan, he returned to Chicago in 1999. After trying to get his ceramics noticed by the art establishment while doing a day job at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) commissioning public art, then working as an arts programmer at the University of Chicago (both of which he found frustrating and ineffective), he rebranded himself as a conceptual artist and began to find his voice. He started to make installations from demolition-site debris such as shoe shine stands and sell the resulting “objects.” While in school, he became aware of Samuel Mockbee’s Rural Studio at Auburn University. He was also impacted by what could be called its city version, Rick Lowe’s Project Row House in Houston, which cast urban renewal as an art installation. Gates looked at his Chicago neighborhood, which was suffering from unemployment, violence, abandoned buildings, and more, and began acquiring run-down buildings (at first with sub-prime loans) and turning them into cultural centers, rather than housing. Music, yoga, discussions, gospel singing, film screenings, cooking, and more, take place in these spaces. Gates has learned to turn obstacles into advantages and reframe an argument, and he now has the track record to forward his ideas and projects. He talks about “preconditions,” the ground rules required to make transformations for fusing art and architecture with activism. Success is measured by the impact on the local community. At the same time, Chicago is an architecturally aware city with shining examples from various periods. Gates has talked about viewing Frank Lloyd Wright buildings on his way to high school. On Monday night, he mused, “It’s hard not to think about Crown Hall,” the Mies van der Rohe architecture building at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), when you’re located in Chicago. When Gates showed a project he did at the OMA-designed Prada Foundation in Milan, he discussed working with this form of modernism, using the term almost as “orthodoxy.” Looking at the buildings that Gates has transformed, a modernist craft aesthetic is evident. His signature structures, under the rubric of his Rebuild Foundation, a not-for-profit engine intended to “rebuild the cultural foundation of underinvested neighborhoods,” are the Dorchester Projects—the Listening House, Black Cinema House, Archive House, and now Stony Island Arts Bank. These buildings are just blocks away from the upcoming Obama Presidential Library in Jackson Park, to be designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, giving an extra frisson to the evening. Close proximity has given new import and financial value to Gates’s structures, and though it makes him look like a clairvoyant developer (Jackson Park won out of a rival site), the trick may have been that Gates has stayed. With his notoriety and financial security, Gates could live anywhere in the city, but he is firmly installed in the Dorchester complex where he both lives and works. Gates has exported Chicago as well. At Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany, he made a splash with the Huguenot House, an abandoned building transformed with detritus from the Dorchester buildings. The house was a continual work-in-progress over the course of the art fair by Gates and his 13 colleagues from Chicago, who lived in the house, constructed installations, performed, and conversed. Afterward, Gates combined elements from the building into objects that were sold for up to $120,000 each. Similarly, when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sold the 1923 Stony Island Avenue State Bank, an abandoned neoclassical structure slated for demolition, to Rebuild for $1.00 with the condition that he could raise money to renovate it, Gates took blocks of marble from the bathrooms and trim, embellished them with an acid-etched motto (“in ART we trust”), and his signature, and sold these art “bonds” at Art Basel for five thousand dollars each, raising half a million dollars. Gates now has a seat at the table. When he met with Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana, only 20 miles from his South Side neighborhood, about a potential art project, he asked what she needed. She replied funds. Within six months, he raised $1.6 million from the Bloomberg and Knight foundations. This month, ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, an arts and culinary incubator, with an art gallery and pop-up cafe that will also host business workshops to support local entrepreneurs, was launched. It exemplified Gates’s ability to connect and convene. And it highlights his recasting of what it means to be an entrepreneur, which he says is the only word we have for broaching the meeting of an unemployed person and an abandoned building. Which brings us back to his consideration of “preconditions” and the ability to transform. Billie Tsien also talked about opening up a fortune cookie for lunch that day, and reading “If you can’t decide to go up or down, go from side to side.” Theaster Gates exemplifies just that.
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Endemic Architecture explores San Francisco’s turrets at L.A.’s Jai and Jai Gallery

Starting this weekend, Jai & Jai Gallery in Los Angeles will be hosting a new exhibition showcasing the work of Oakland, California-based architecture firm, Endemic Architecture. The firm’s new exhibit, Mind Your Mannerisms, delves into the zany world of San Francisco architecture by examining that city’s ubiquitous corner turret morphology through drawings, scaled models, and photography. By embarking on a formal and existential exploration of quirk-heavy San Francisco Victoriana, Endemic Architecture Principal Clark Thenhaus and his team seek to analyze the turret and its multivalent tendencies. In their efforts, the design-researchers deftly use a mix of traditional architectural representation and contemporary digital manipulation to explore elaborations of the Victorian turret. The isolated corner turret is treated as representing the incongruities, complications, and controversies of Victorian era architecture. Endemic Architecture arrives at several provocations that embody what the firm calls “mannerisms,” what Thenhaus described to AN via telephone as “forms of articulation slightly strange but not so strange as the become unfamiliar.” These formal and stylistic incongruities, described as “architectural contradictions, exaggerations, and counter-intuitions” in exhibition text, are treated as bad habits, amplified, and made worse to prove a point. As the designers manipulate and exaggerate the turret’s salient qualities, fascia boards get extruded and swept across facades, rooflines pucker at their corners, newels turn parabolic, and shingle patterns shift, grow, and change in scale. Thenhaus, recent recipient of a 2015 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers, described the underlying thesis of the project one of working through a ubiquitous architectural feature of his newly adopted city, where turrets are part of the accepted vernacular, inscribed within the city’s zoning code, sometimes clashing with more prosaic urban issues like lack of affordable housing and a need for increased density. The exhibition goes on view August 13th at 6pm and runs through the summer.
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Hou de Sousa’s “folly” unveiled at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens

After winning the 2016 Socrates Sculpture Park Folly Competition, New York–based studio Hou de Sousa has seen their structure, Sticks, realized at the park in Long Island City, Queens. The opening of the space coincides with the park's 30th anniversary. Hou de Sousa—comprised of Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa—designed a folly that uses simple timber trusses to form a sloping roof and cut-away entrance. This year, the competition brief referenced the literal meaning of folly: A blend of architecture and sculpture that doesn’t really serve a useful purpose. When Hou de Sousa was announced as winners, The Architect's Newspaper noted that these structures were once popular in 18th century England and French patrician gardens. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper (AN), Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa said that the structure should stay standing until December 30 of this year, though its primary use is for the warmer seasons. The structure is capable of holding various items of scrap materials, something Hou de Sousa hopes will allow the space come to life. "The original design intention was that this can be a structure than can change over time," de Sousa explained, adding that the "scraps" could be used as a form of shading device, diffusing natural light. "After building the primary structure we let it out of our hands," said de Sousa, though he and Hou confessed to being "tempted" to add their own materials. A relatively simple build, the duo said the structure was erected swiftly, though readying the site took "longer than expected." At 18-inches thick, the timber frame uses shelving to accommodate the scraps, most of which will be from the work of former artists-in-residence. When they won the competition in April, Hou de Sousa's mentioned the possibility of photovoltaic panels being deployed onto the roof of the structure. Today, however, de Sousa told AN that this would be "unlikely." Socrates Sculpture Park hopes Sticks becomes “a hub for Socrates Sculpture Park’s Education Studio, which hosts over 10,000 students annually.”