Posts tagged with "church":

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Gallery> University of Chicago and Kliment Halsband Architects breathe new life into an old seminary building

Like many large research universities, the University of Chicago appears to always be building. One mainstay of campus construction is rehabs of existing institutional buildings. At the University of Chicago, that means figuring out what to do with a large stock of neo-Gothic buildings that once served as places of worship. Last year the university revived the 1928 Chicago Theological Seminary on the University’s Hyde Park campus as Saieh Hall, the new home of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics and the Department of Economics. Now, New York–based Kliment Halsband Architects has accomplished a similar transformation with the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at 5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue. Originally the Meadville Theological Center, the 1933 building retains its neogothic facade and a general air of introspection. But the interiors of Neubauer—named for trustee Joseph Neubauer and his wife Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer in honor of their $26.5 million gift to the University—are thoroughly modern, with shared workspaces and studios designed to promote collaboration. Via the architects, take a visual tour of the building courtesy of photographer Tom Rossiter:
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It took four years to grow this church in New Zealand out of trees

In New Zealand, it would appear that buildings grow on trees—or, rather, trees grow into buildings. After years of careful maintenance, Barry Cox, tree aficionado, has created a lush chapel and garden in Waikato, just south of Auckland. Three-acres of greenery includes endless outdoor space that safeguards a masterpiece that Mother Nature could have coined herself—a tree-recycled church. Four years in the making, the concisely named TreeChurch is canopied by cut Leaf Adler, is composed of a Camelia ‘Black Tie’ lower border hedge, Acer ‘Globosums’ perched up on either side of the gateway, Thuja Pyramidalis and then closed off by Copper Sheen walls. The wrought iron windows were made by Barry himself, using leftover metal from his workshop, while the gates of the church were recycled from his family’s barn in Shannon. The altar, made of Italian marble, also comes from his hometown. It precedes over rows of wooden benches accommodating groups of 100 people. Outside the church, a line of Himalayan birch leads to a large labyrinth that Cox landscaped after the walls surrounding the ancient city of Jericho. Throughout the land, Cox scattered pieces of vintage gardening tools and placed them precariously by tree trunks for an aesthetic boost, not that nature’s beauty ever needed boosting. The decision to create TreeChurch and its surrounding gardens was not immediate but the development of such an idea began on the road. His religious upbringing and love for nature led him to tour around New Zealand, Europe, and the United States, meandering through the streets on a motorbike and all the while observing each church steeple and wooden archway with as much fascination as the 10 year old head altar boy he once was. His travels encouraged his desire to keep working with trees and later founded Treelocations, a business specializing in tree transplanting, removing, or relocating. Treelocations is one of three businesses in New Zealand that uses a "tree spade," a crane-like machine that digs deep underground to scoop up all parts of the tree, including the root ball, thereby leaving it completely unharmed. After devoting much of his time serving Mother Nature’s voiceless mighty oaks, he then decides his next project: renovate his backyard. “I walked out my back door one day and thought, ‘that space needs a church,” he told New Zealand Gardener. In piecing together TreeChurch, he cross-pollinated his two loves and, not intending to do so, created a beautified marriage between landscape and architecture. Cox opened the TreeChurch Gardens to the public in January and is now available for public viewing and private events. [Via MyModernMet.]
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Eavesdrop> No resurrection for this near-north-side Chicago church

The area around Chicago’s former Cabrini-Green public housing project has been a contentious site for a long time, basically in flux since the city first started demolishing it in 1995. Despite Chicago Housing Authority moving decidedly without alacrity to redevelop much of the site, the neighborhood is changing. The latest cue? Developers plan to demolish the long-vacant St. Dominic’s Church on the corner of Locust and Sedgwick. It’s a lovely looking Romanesque church, dating back to 1905, but its history can’t stop the tide of development: a 6-story, 45-unit condo building, designed by Sullivan Goulette & Wilson Architects, is slated to rise in its place. The church has been closed for more than 25 years, so Eaves isn’t surprised that it’s on its way out, but here’s to hoping the new neighborhood finds its soul during the glacial redevelopment of Cabrini-Green into a mixed-use, mixed-income community.
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Notes from the 2015 Texas Society of Architects Design Conference in Denton

This year’s Texas Society of Architects Design Conference focused on the topic of craft and was framed by a discussion of noted regional modernist O’Neil Ford. It was held in the north Texas town of Denton where Ford began his professional career and executed several important early projects. Unfortunately, a severe winter storm hit the region as attendees were making their way to the conference. With the chartered buses unable to make it to the hotel, tours were scrapped and lectures were relocated to the nondescript lobby of the hotel where attendees were staying. This allowed the talks to be attended both by sketchbook-wielding architects and by members of the Old Dominion University Basketball Team who were also staying at the hotel. Likely inspired by the subject matter, they defeated the University of North Texas 70 to 57. Dr. Kathryn O’Rourke gave the opening lecture that located Ford within the larger narrative arc of the modern movement. The Trinity University professor spoke of the role craft came to play in Ford’s work beginning with his Denton projects. Seattle-based Tom Kundig spoke the following morning about his body of work and of preserving a culture of craft within a 120-person firm. He described the difference between skiing on a prepared run as opposed to “Skiing the trees,” in a forest. He used this analogy to describe the profession, but it also was a fitting depiction for the conference. Later that afternoon David Salmela described his search for what a craft-based architecture of northwestern Minnesota should be. Based in Duluth, Salmela refrained from giving his Texan hosts too much grief for their inability to function with only a few inches of snow and ice. Although the lack of tours was disappointing, their cancellation allowed more time for the lectures and provided more opportunities for interaction between speakers and attendees. It also allowed Tenna Florian, who was scheduled to give a tour of Lake|Flato’s Josey Pavilion, to give a talk describing how craft can be used as a tool of sustainability. On Sunday morning the roads had cleared to a point where attendees were able to visit two churches designed by Ford. The Conference ended with a panel discussion at Ford’s 1939 Little Chapel in the Woods. After exploring the building, attendees listened to a panel discussion moderated by noted Dallas architect Max Levy. The session proved to be a fitting end to a most memorable Conference.
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Dutch university plans to build Gaudi’s famous church from ice and sawdust

The Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands has produced renderings of their newest venture: a scaled model of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, built from the unlikely combination of ice and sawdust. This peculiar material amalgam is known as “pykrete”—a very inexpensive and abundant material—was thought of by Geoffrey Pyke, and was first utilized in 1942 during World War II in Project Habakkuk. That project’s objective was to use pykrete to create aircraft carriers to combat German U-boats in the Mid-Atlantic. This technique was tested in 2009 on an episode of the television show Mythbusters, and was recreated again in 2010 on the show Bang Goes The Theory. Both shows successfully recreated pykrete boats and confirmed the effectiveness and sturdiness of the building material. Now, faculty members and students at the Eindhoven University of Technology are planning on creating the largest pykrete-based building in the world. Upon completion, the church would surpass the ice dome finished earlier this year by the same university (see a time lapse video it its construction below). While the ice-and-sawdust church is modeled after the Sagrada Família, it's forms are generalized to facilitate the construction method. Once the structure is complete, however, it will stand at a monumental 123 feet at its highest dome and will stretch some 122 feet long. Construction is slated to begin well into December in Northern Finland.
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Letter to the Editor> Let There Be Light

[Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted comments in response to the article “Born Again” (AN 02_02.19.2014_MW). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com. ] This reminds me quite a bit of the never-built proposal, Bombed Churches as War Memorials (1945), published in London after WWII, which presented various designs for bombed-out churches to be preserved in ruined form with the addition of garden plantings and a few amenities. In the event, there were a few bombed churches that were preserved, but not many, and the sites were not developed as visitor spaces. This is all described in the excellent book In Ruins by Christopher Woodward, which is a good read if you’re interested in the paradox of ruins and why they cause both pleasure and pain. Anne Boyd Philadelphia, PA This sounds incredible! I did a project on these two lots during my Master’s at WashU. I have a timeline of the church and old photos I found in archives, as well as hand drawings of the church. If anyone wants to take a look you can see it here. David Adkin St. Louis, MO
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A Transparent Cathedral Addition by architectsAlliance

A renovation and addition bring an historic church complex into the 21st century.

The Diocese of Toronto approached architectsAlliance (aA) about renovating the St. James Cathedral Centre with two objectives in mind. On a practical level, they wanted more space for the cathedral’s outreach program and the Diocesan archives, as well as quarters for the Dean of the Cathedral and visitors. At the same time, the Anglican leadership wanted to make a statement about the Church’s relevance to contemporary Canadian society. “The idea of the addition was to convey an image of the Church itself as a kind of more open institution, much more transparent and contemporary,” said aA’s Rob Cadeau. “[It was] really driven by the dean, who wanted to refresh the image of the Church.”The architects designed the addition to the Parish Hall as a glass cube. “There’s a lot of use of glass, both as a contemporary material, but also to convey that idea of transparency, for the symbolism of the project,” said Cadeau. At the same time, the see-through extension “defers to the old building. It doesn’t take away from the presence of the old building as opposed to solid masonry construction.” The upper stories of the stick system curtain wall are wrapped in a floating sunscreen comprising repeating bands of laminated glass. “It was very important to the church that there be a sort of green aspect to the design in the way it’s conceived and constructed,” said Cadeau. “So the sunscreen was designed as a passive means of providing shading.” To maximize shading during the summer and solar gain during the winter, aA ran the sunscreen design through shadow analysis testing in ArchiCAD. They worked with Stouffville Glass to engineer both the sunscreen and the curtain wall. The sunscreen hangs on a vertical system of stainless steel brackets anchored to the HSS beams surrounding the slab edge of the second and third floors. The glass panels’ interlayer is printed with a linear pattern recalling the original building’s narrow button bars. “The idea of the lines within the sunscreen was to create a finer grain of detail on the glass,” explained Cadeau. The curtain wall itself is built of Solarban 60 glass. “It still provides the U value we wanted, but we didn’t want too much reflectivity because it’s a fairly small building,” said Cadeau.
  • Facade Manufacturer Stouffville Glass
  • Architects architectsAlliance
  • Location Toronto
  • Date of Completion 2011
  • System stick system glass curtain wall with laminated glass sunscreen
The firm also improved the thermal performance of the original Parish Hall building, which opened in 1910. With help from a building envelope consultant, they ran a thermal analysis of the structure to determine how much spray foam insulation to insert between the masonry wall and a new stud wall. The goal was to boost insulation while allowing some heat transfer. “That’s very important in heritage upgrades,” said Cadeau. “[T]he mistake you can make is over-insulating. Masonry walls rely in some sense of heat loss so that the water [trapped inside] never freezes. If the water absorbed in the brick freezes it will start to crack the brick.” The new St. James Cathedral Centre unites a previously disconnected cluster of buildings across an enclosed courtyard. In that way, aA suggests, the glass addition functions as a contemporary cloister. “In a larger, urban planning sense [the objective] was to complete the ensemble of buildings, create more of a connection between the buildings as a whole,” said Cadeau.
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After Fire, Redevelopment Effort Lifts Utah Temple Onto Stilts

In Provo, Utah, a new temple is rising, literally, on the site of a disaster. When a devastating fire ripped through the 112-year-old tabernacle in 2010, destroying its wooden interiors and steeples, community members mourned the loss of their historic house of worship. But with the building’s 7-million-pound stone shell still standing, a new plan was devised to transform its remains into a temple. Now the building’s skin, reinforced by shotcrete and steel beams, has been "lifted" 40 feet off the ground on steel and concrete piles. The former church was gutted before construction crews began digging down to create space for a new, two-story basement, installing the stilts as they went so the building really hasn’t gone anywhere. “People are amazed when the see [the construction site],” project manager Andy Kirby told the Mormon Newsroom. ”They haven’t seen anything like it before. They just say it doesn’t look real and are just amazed that we can do that, that we can lift a building up with piles like that.” While the new foundation is already laid, the project is not set to be complete until 2015 considering the amount of restoration that needs to be done to return the temple to its former glory. [Via Colossal.]
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Unity Temple Congregation May Yield Ownership in Costly Restoration Campaign

Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright’s first public building, may come under new ownership as part of a $10 million deal to help restore the 105-year-old national landmark. Local nonprofit Alphawood Foundation Chicago and longtime owners the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation announced Tuesday a joint fundraising campaign aimed at fixing water damage that, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, “urgently requires a multi-million-dollar rescue effort.” If the Oak Park church’s current restoration campaign raises 80 percent of the funds needed for repairs and provides an endowment for future restoration, the ownership transfer could go through. Alphawood's money counts toward that but, as Lee Bey reports, the total amount "is likely to be substantially more than the combined total of the proposed Alphawood gift and any contribution the Congregation makes." Alphawood could then oversee the restoration or create a new preservation organization to preside over the project. Unity Temple is currently presenting a series of events called Break::the::Box, which recently brought 99% Invisible podcast host Roman Mars to Oak Park.
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Houses of Worship to Receive FEMA Grants

Stained glass window in Cathedral of St. John the Divine. (Courtesy of Loozrboy) Houses of Worship damaged by Hurricane Sandy were initially excluded from receiving federal aid based on the constitutional separation of church and state. But in an interesting turn of events, the House of Representatives has approved a bill that would provide grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to rebuild synagogues, mosques, and churches. The New York Times reported that FEMA has stipulated that, according to its rules and regulations, it can only allocate federal money to "repair and replace 'furnishings and equipment,'” which puts into question what items “are eligible.” It comes as no surprise that the American Civil Liberties Union and Congressman Jerrold Nadler oppose this legislation, calling it unconstitutional. (Photo: Loozrboy/Flickr)
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Event> Architecture-Made Music

Architecture is often referred to as frozen music, but with a little digital technology, artist Blake Carrington has learned to capture the "diverse rhythms, drones and textures" from the stone walls of cathedrals. In his aural performances called Cathedral Scan, Carrington uses a church's floor plan combined with the space's unique acoustics to create to generate his his unique architectural sounds. Here's more from the artist:
Groups of scanners filling the sonic spectrum may act in synch, forming a single harmonically-dense rhythm, or they may scan the plans at different speeds, resulting in complex polyrhythms. Each plan is treated as a modular score, with a distinct rhythm and timbre of its own. Also, by varying the speed and intensity of each scanning group, drone-like sounds may emerge based on the “resonant frequency” of the black and white plan.
This Thursday, March 3, Carrington will reveal the hidden sound of New York's Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral for a CD release concert. He will be joined by audiovisual artists Mark Cetilia (of Mem1) and Kamran Sadeghi. More information on the AN events diary. (Via BldgBlog.) The video below captures the digital output of Cathedral Scan without the reverberations and echoes unique to each space, but the live event sounds like it could be quite a spiritual experience.