Posts tagged with "Connecticut":

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2016 Building of the Year > East: Grace Farms by SANAA

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it's grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you.

2016 Building of the Year > East: Grace Farms by SANAA

Architect: SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa Location: New Canaan, CT Submitted by: Grace Farms Foundation

The River, SANAA’s undulating creation for Grace Farms, seeks to marry the nature of its 80-acre New England estate with architecture in an effort to foster the formation of intentional communities that collaborate for good. Made with 203 individually curved glass panels and an anodized aluminum roof, the River’s unusual form follows the property’s natural slope and blends seamlessly into the landscape. Guided by Grace Farms’ dedicated programming in the areas of nature, arts, justice, community, and faith, the structure weaves together five enclosed volumes: an amphitheater-style sanctuary; a library; a commons dining room with tables hewn from trees felled on site; a tea pavilion; and a partially submerged, multipurpose court.

Executive Architects Handel Architects

Project Director Paratus Group Glass Roschmann Steel & Glass CRICURSA Roofing Zahner  Landscape OLIN

Honorable Mention: Building of the Year > East: The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability

Structural Engineers: Desimone Consulting Engineers Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Location: Staten Island, NY

As the first net-zero energy school in New York City and among the first worldwide, the Kathleen Grimm School exposes structural elements to celebrate its energy efficiency and foster environmental consciousness and awareness in all building users.

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New Sandy Hook School, centered on the healing properties of water, light, and ducks, opens for its first class

Three years ago, the community of Newtown, Connecticut selected New Haven–based Svigals + Partners to design a new elementary school to replace the facility at the center of a horrific tragedy. This month, the new Sandy Hook School is ready to welcome its first class of students. In concert with local and state officials, the firm convened a wide cross-section of stakeholders—townspeople, parents, emergency personnel—for series of visioning meetings, the largest of which attracted 50 participants. The community was intent on preserving community traditions and ensuring continuity after the traumatic 2012 shooting in which gunman Adam Lanza killed 26 students and staff at the Sandy Hook School. Svigals+Partners designed the new $50 million Sandy Hook School around the healing themes of light, land, and water, all adapted to local custom. The undulating form references Newtown's rolling hills, explained Julia McFadden, associate principal at Svigals+Partners. The front facade is grounded by New England fieldstone and clad in contrasting Machiche and Brazilian Ash to accentuate the curving roofline of the partial two-story structure. A sense of play, balanced with passive security measures, permeates the 86,800-square-foot school. At the old Sandy Hook School—which was demolished in 2013—a family of migrating ducks would make a pilgrimage each year to the school's inner courtyard. In homage to Sandy Hook's verdant setting and visiting fowl, "Hanging Leaf," a leaf mobile by Tim Prentice, shares space with fiberglass duck sculptures by firm principal Barry Svigals in a light-filled central lobby. The lobby's glass curtain wall, interspersed with colorful panes, faces onto an outdoor courtyard with an amphitheater where assemblies and classes can be held. Bright vertical sunshades cascade over two of the courtyard's interior walls, while two treehouses overlook the main courtyard, providing an enviable and more intimate breakout classroom space. Instead of securitizing the 12.5 acre site with barriers and metal detectors, "we utilized natural observation as primary driver throughout—you create real security when you have great sight lines," managing partner Jay Brotman noted. The lobby's see-though wall creates a seamless sightline to the school's interior, while a "Main Street" orients shared spaces like the cafeteria and gym along a curved corridor that offers unobstructed views down the hall. Although the community debated design features that projected "security" overtly, stakeholders decided "it was essential to avoid features that signaled doom and gloom create a nurturing environment through passive measures," McFadden elaborated (strategically placed hidden cameras observe what human eyes may miss). The design was guided by new state security guidelines which encourage such passive design. The site is surrounded by woodlands, the architects noted, and the design sought to draw nature into the site. Referencing the bridges that crisscross the area's many streams, bioswales swoop underneath the three entrance ramps, providing an ecology learning opportunity for the school's 464 pre-kindergarten through fourth grade students that reference the "sandy hooks" for which the area is named. The river stones near the door transition to polished concrete flooring inside, offering cool calm material continuity. The school is set to welcome its first class of students this month for the 2016-2017 school year.
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Deborah Berke named dean of Yale School of Architecture

Yale School of Architecture has a new dean today, as the university has announced that New York-based architect Deborah Berke will be the next dean to rule the concrete and paprika halls. The founder of Deborah Berke Partners will start in her new position effective July 1, 2016. Berke has been an adjunct professor at Yale since 1987 and will be the first woman to lead the School of Architecture. She received a B.F.A. and a B.Arch. from the Rhode Island School of Design as well as an honorary doctor of fine arts from the school. She holds an M.U.P. in urban design from the City University of New York. She succeeds the ever-colorful Robert A.M. Stern, dean since 1998. “As a practicing architect and a long-time faculty member in the School of Architecture, Professor Berke is ideally positioned to lead it toward a successful future as it begins its second century,” said Yale president Peter Salovey in a statement. “For more than 30 years, she has dedicated her career — in equal measures — to education and practice. She has taught architectural design using disciplinary approaches both integral to and less commonly associated with the world of architecture. This perspective, in her own words, helps students to understand they are part of a larger cultural conversation.” Berke is the co-editor, with Steven Harris, of The Architecture of the Everyday. In 2008, Yale University Press published Deborah Berke, a book focused on the firm’s work, which was also the first book on a contemporary American architect to be published by Yale Press. A new book on her firm’s work will be published by Rizzoli in 2016.
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Be the one to restore Stamford's fish-shaped First Presbyterian Church

Design professionals are being sought for a consulting role to provide a conditions assessment of the historic First Presbyterian Church complex in Stamford, Connecticut. As part of a multi-year campaign to repair, conserve, restore, and upgrade the complex, the selected team will be expected to complete an architectural analysis of the current conditions of the building and provide recommendations for its rehabilitation and restoration as part of Phase I. Phase II will see the implementation of these concepts by the same selected team. The complex in question includes the magnificent Wallace K. Harrison-designed sanctuary, completed in 1958, the 56-bell carillon tower, a community/education wing, and the surrounding 10-acre grounds. Over 20,000 pieces of faceted glass dapple the hushed sanctuary with its vaulted roof in sun-drenched color. The church itself is often likened to a fish, a symbol of early Christianity, and it, along with its sweeping complex, occupies an eminent spot on the Connecticut State Register of Historic Places. The conditions assessment in Phase I will help anticipate capital needs and outside grant funding needs in 2016 from the State Historic Preservation Office of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, as well as private foundations. Specifically, the chosen architect should earmark and document comprehensive repair needs for the envelopes, structure and MEP systems, and the interior finishes, and then also provide recommendations and a phasing framework for the restoration. The facade itself is notoriously water-permeable and lacks weatherproofing, made from béton glass secured to side wall concrete panels with caulking. As such, high on the checklist for the chosen architect is to examine the extent of moisture infiltration of the sanctuary Dalle de verre and improve climate control in the sanctuary to facilitate summer use. The architect should also observe the structural movement of the Carillon Tower, with the end objective of establishing a preliminary project scope and expected cost of repairs in compliance with SOIS, budget, and schedule. The Highland Green Foundation and Fish Church Conservancy will oversee the entire multi-year restoration campaign, and will provide the architect with digital files of the original construction drawings of the complex. Leaders of the proposed teams must attend a mandatory walk-through at the church on July 9, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. RFQs must be received at the church office (1101 Bedford St) by 3:00 p.m. on July 24, 2015. For more information about entry requirements and the judging panel, click here.
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You'll want to be in New Canaan on October 9 for the opening of SANAA's Grace Farms pavilion

Today, the Grace Farms Foundation announced artworks by contemporary artists that will be unveiled for the October 9, 2015, opening of the SANAA-designed pavilion at Grace Farms in New Canaan, CT. The works are a textile work by Olafur Eliasson, an outdoor sound installation by Susan Philipsz; photographs of SANAA’s Grace Farms models by Thomas Demand; and a mural by Teresita Fernandez. Grace Farms is a 75-acre open space with programming focused on nature, arts, community, justice, and faith that will include the purpose-built, 86,000-square-foot multi-use building that snakes through the surrounding woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. The landscape includes walking trails, picnic areas, an athletic field, and food from community purveyors. It was designed by SANAA in collaboration with Philadelphia–based landscape architecture firm OLIN. The list of artists was made in consultation with Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. “Collaborating with Grace Farms Foundation and SANAA on this project has been highly rewarding,” stated Hasegawa.  “The concept of Grace Farms is unique.  I believe it will serve as a great example of how art, architecture, nature, and meaningful programs can all come together to inspire people.” Eliasson will also produce another site-specific light-based installation, and Beatriz Milhazes will build a collage, both of which will be unveiled in spring 2016. Eliasson explained why he is excited to work at Grace Farms: “I was moved by Grace Farms’ vision of an inclusive, non-commercial space to create a work of art that resonates with the architecture, the surrounding parkland and the people who breathe life into it. My work will offer visitors an ephemeral experience dedicated to embodied spirituality.”
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Henry Urbach leaves directorship of Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Henry Urbach, Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, since 2012, has left the National Trust Historic site. Urbach came to the house from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He departed that job in 2011, in part to pursue a research project on the Johnson house, which he classified as “as a laboratory for curatorial experimentation.” As Director, Urbach launched a series of art and architecture installations on the 49-acre property. Urbach, who once had a gallery in New York City that showed architecture as well as art installations and drawings, said he now intends to pursue “research and writing projects.”
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Van Alen and National Park Service select finalists to re-imagine visitor experience at national parks

The Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced four finalists in their competition to modernize visitor experience at four national parks. While the National Parks Now competition aims to "[design] the 21st Century National Park experience,” it’s about more than launching an app or two and boosting WiFi signals. Each interdisciplinary team—which is comprised of young architects, landscape architects, graphic designers, urban planners, branding experts, engagement specialists and educators—was handed a $15,000 stipend to develop strategies to connect national parks with a new generation of visitors. This includes launching hands-on workshops, self-guided tours, interactive installations, engagement campaigns, and developing tools to give the parks a larger, and more diverse, audience. The strategies would be implemented at one of four New York City-area parks: Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York, the estate of President Theodore Roosevelt; Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a monument to the steam locomotive; Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park in Paterson, New Jersey, a birthplace of American textile manufacturing; and Weir Farm National Historic Site in Ridgefield, Connecticut, the summer estate of artist Julian Alden Weir. Next spring, one team will be crowned the winner and be given an additional $10,000 to implement one of its strategies over the summer. That prototype will serve as a model for the NPS as it celebrates its centennial in 2016. “As we look back at the 100-year legacy of the National Park Service, it’s also a perfect time to look creatively at the visitor experience at several select park units and consider new ways to share park stories and respond to audience needs," Gay Vietzke, the deputy regional director of the NPS Northeast region, said in a statement. “National Parks Now is a truly innovative—and necessary—effort to ensure national parks are relevant in the 21st century.” More on each team, and their individual proposals, courtesy of the Van Alen Institute.   Sagamore Hill:
According to the Van Alen Institute: Team Wayward / Projects is led by Putri Trisulo with Prem Krishnamurthy, Katie Okamoto, Alfons Hooikaas, Ben DuVall, Heather Ring, Amy Seek, Thomas Kendall, and Jarred Henderson. Their project, OKParks!, will create a symbiotic partnership model capitalizing on the existing audiences and curatorial resources of prominent cultural institutions to reinterpret histories and reinvigorate Sagamore Hill.
Steamtown:
According to the Van Alen Institute: Led by Abigail Smith-Hanby of FORGE with Ashley Ludwig, Andrew Dawson, Max Lozach, and CJ Gardella. Team FORGE proposes to weave together stories and information in order to root Steamtown within the larger American cultural landscape.
Paterson Great Falls:
According to the Van Alen Institute: Led by Manuel Miranda of the Yale School of Art with Frances Medina, Mariana Mogilevich, Valeria Mogilevich, June Williamson, and Willy Wong. The team will explore retrofitting the park to engage the city, retelling the site’s history to engage contemporary audiences, and representing the site to new publics.
Weir Farm:
According to the Van Alen Institute: Led by Aaron Forrest of the Rhode Island School of Design and Principal of Ultramoderne with Yasmin Vobis, Suzanne Mathew, Noah Klersfeld, Dungjai Pungauthaikan, and Jessica Forrest. The team will look at introducing site-specific, contemporary artistic practices to Weir Farm in order to develop new perspectives on the site and the region’s history and ecology.
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Robert A.M. Stern stepping toward stepping down at Yale

Robert A.M. Stern has indicated he will step down as dean of the Yale School of Architecture in Spring 2016, according to the Yale Daily News. During his tenure, Stern has reinvigorated the School, restored its home, expanded its faculty, and brought through a roster of prominent guest critics from around the world. Stern has taken an eclectic view of architecture, bringing in practitioners of various styles and pedagogical viewpoints, and reinvigorated the study of architectural history with a new Ph.D. program. As dean, he has also helped guide the University's building program, including the restoration of Louis Kahn's Yale Art Gallery with an expansion by Ennead, a new home for the School of Management by Foster + Partners, and a highly sustainable building for the School of Forestry by Hopkins Architects, among many other projects. He also helped select the late Charles Gwathmey to lead the restoration of Paul Rudolph's Art + Architecture building, which was applauded, though Gwathmey's addition for the History of Art Department proved controversial. His own firm—which has expanded exponentially in during his 16 years as dean—is designing two new residential colleges (Oxbridge-style dorms), which will allow the undergraduate population to expand for the first time in decades. Though located in provincial New Haven, Connecticut, Stern has made the school a social and cultural hub, hosting and organizing ambitions exhibitions and symposia, always followed by martini-fueled receptions and private dinners in his stylish apartment. Students are encouraged to mingle with faculty and visiting guests—indeed developing the social aspects of the school, as training for the profession, has been one of the hallmarks of his deanship. Alternately imposing and highly personal, Stern's personality marks each event, and has left an indelible mark on the school.
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Permanent Vacation, Anyone? Illinois & Connecticut Residents Would Prefer a Move

gallup-moving-poll Gallup pollsters recently asked Americans if they had the opportunity to move, “would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?” Well, Illinois and Connecticut earned the dubious distinction of having the nation’s most restless residents. About half of the surveyed residents in Illinois wanted to bounce, but don’t expect an influx of moving boxes. We’ll probably just ride it out and complain. Case in point: another Gallup poll found 25 percent of Illinoisans surveyed said their state is “the worst possible place to live in”—second only in self-loathing to Rhode Island.
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Rebuild By Design> Waggonner and Ball, unabridged Architecture's Plan For Bridgeport, CT

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here's how Waggonner and Ball, unabridged and Yale ARCADIS' team plans to create a more resilient Bridgeport, Connecticut. Waggoner and Ball, unabridged Architecture, and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio propose "Resilient Bridgeport"—a framework of design and planning principles to protect the Connecticut region. "The design proposals are place-specific design solutions ranging from green streets in upland areas to wetland park buffers in coastal areas," explained the team in a statement. "Included, too, are places throughout the city that provide safety and services in times of storm and instruct people on how to transition to a way of living and thriving with water." Specifically, the team protects Bridgeport's South End with a new waterfront berm and offshore breakwaters. At this site, they also create the South End Resilience Education and Community Center—a hub, which includes a co-op, job training programs, a healthcare clinic, and childcare services. During sever weather, the Center transforms into a shelter. The full team includes Waggonner and Ball, unabridged Architecture, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Yale's Urban Ecology and Design Laboratory, and ARCADIS. 03-wb-yale-rebuildbydesign-nyc-archpaper
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Edward Durell Stone House in Darien, Connecticut Under Threat

A house designed by Edward Durell Stone, located in Darien, Connecticut, is under threat of demolition to make way for a developer’s vision: a neocolonial pastiche home. The 2,334-square-foot home is sited on a 1.1 acre wooded lot in the private community of Tokeneke. The house represents a transitional moment in Stone's multifaceted career.  Constructed for client Walter Johnson, an IBM executive, the house is one of only two Stone-designed homes in the Constitution State. Designed in 1953, the house marks a pivotal turn in Stone’s architectural career. It was the end of what is defined as his austerely modern, “hair shirt” phase, a term loosely borrowed from a monastic practice of wearing horsehair shirts as repentance. Secondly, this was the year that the famously drunk architect committed to sobriety, at the behest of his second wife. Finally, the Darien house was his final work to outwardly emulate Wrightian detailing, a practice that began with Stone’s visit to Taliesin in 1940. “This is one of the last of father’s rustic vernacular homes that emulates the work of Frank Lloyd Wright,” his son, Hicks Stone, recently told AN. “The house is based on a dog trot house, which is common in the southern central U.S., but it’s a unique fusion of American vernacular and Wrightian style with Japanese elements.” Original finishes and detailing still exist in the home, such as textured rice paper shoji screens. Ornamental lighting and wood paneling also remains in good condition. At press time, sale of the home through Halstead Properties had not been finalized.
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Calling All Deconstructivists: Eisenman's House VI About to Hit the Market

If any admirers of deconstructivism are in the market to buy a house, they will be curious to learn that Peter Eisenman’s iconic structure, House VI, will be up for sale in late May or early June. Owners Suzanne and Richard Frank commissioned Eisenman—a member of the New York Five—to design and build a house on their 6-acre property in Cornwall, Connecticut. Suzanne Frank had previously worked as a researcher and librarian for Eisenman’s Institute for Architecture & Urban Studies. The house, completed in 1975, is an unconventional play on a grid and intended to be a “record of the design process.” The house stands out for its unusual, and often non-functional, features such as an upside down staircase and a column that separates diners at a dinner table. The upkeep hasn’t been easy for the Franks—the house, while an ambitious conceptual undertaking, has required substantial repairs over the years. The Franks discussed their experience with house in a book entitled Peter Eisenman's House VI: The Client's Response.