Posts tagged with "New Haven":

Breuer’s Pirelli Tire Building will be reborn as a hotel

One of Marcel Breuer's two New Haven, Connecticut buildings will be preserved and converted into a hotel. When it was finished in 1969, researchers and administrators at Armstrong Rubber worked out of the company's Pirelli Tire Building, a Brutalist structure whose office tower core is bisected by beguiling angled windows. The building—vacant since the 1990s—is now owned by IKEA and sits aside a store parking lot. IKEA is in talks with a developer to convert the I-95-adjacent concrete building into a hotel, the New Haven Independent reported. AN IKEA spokesperson told the paper that the company hasn't gone public with its plans for the structure yet. The conversion scheme were revealed at a meeting of the city's development commission. Breuer's work is enjoying a strong revival, thanks in part to renewed popular interest in Brutalism. In Atlanta, city officials are looking to revamp the Breuer-designed main library, while back in 2016, the Metropolitan Museum of Art restored the Whitney's former home and re-christened it the Met Breuer. (H/T NHVmod and Docomomo US)

After years of work, Louis Kahn’s meticulously restored Yale Center for British Art reopens

After eight years of planning and construction, three phases of conservation work, and being closed for 16 months of renovation, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven—the 1977 Louis Kahn masterpiece and his final building—reopened to the public May 11. The work was based on a conservation plan commissioned by Amy Meyers, director of the center, shortly after her arrival in 2002, when elevator control panels had to be replaced and she realized how quickly design and maintenance decisions could cause a major building to “drift from its original form in unsatisfactory ways.” The plan was written by Peter Inskip of the British conservation specialist firm, Peter Inskip & Peter Jenkins Architects; his colleague, Stephen Gee; and Constance Clement, the center’s deputy director. Using archival materials from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, the team analyzed the center’s materials and established a series of 142 policies that led to the first three phases of the project. The project’s architect is Knight Architecture of New Haven, headed by George Knight, a 1995 graduate of the Yale School of Architecture and a teacher there since 2004.  (Kahn, who studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, was a professor and design critic at the Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957.)  The center sits directly across Chapel Street from the 1953 Yale University Art Gallery, Kahn’s first commission; both museums are recipients of the AIA Twenty-Five Year Award. The Center describes the project as “an opportunity to reimagine and reconfigure its presentation of more than 500 works from its permanent collection,” the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. 700 objects are now on display, up from 500 previously. The project’s first two phases involved the 2008-11 rehabilitation of its exterior lobby court, and repairs, made in 2011-13, to its lecture hall lobby, and 2013 refurbishment of areas used by the departments of prints and drawings, and rare books and manuscripts. The third phase—involving enhancement of the center’s galleries and lecture hall; upgrades of mechanical and electrical systems; and improvements to fire protection, security systems and accessibility—was undertaken in 2015 and 2016, when the center was closed for 16 months. The budget for this work was $33 million, provided by the Center’s endowment. Kahn’s design for the center was completed after his death by Pellecchia & Meyers, a firm started by two of his former employees. It features a concrete exterior structural frame with pewter-colored matte steel and reflective glass infill panels, as well as a geometric, five-floor interior, designed around two interior courtyards. It employs natural materials including travertine, white oak, and Belgian linen, and maximizes natural daylight with skylights throughout the fourth floor and a series of plexiglass diffuser panels, mounted below the skylights, to scatter light and provide even illumination. Among the most beautiful aspects of the project’s third phase is transformation of the center’s Long Gallery into a teaching and study gallery, as envisioned by its founding director, and creation of a new collections seminar room, located in a former administrative office at the east end of the Long Gallery. These spaces are both on the center’s fourth floor. Movable, Belgian linen-covered gallery partitions called “pogos,” which had previously subdivided the Long Gallery, were removed. This created an unobstructed view of the 140-foot-long space, where over 200 works of painting and sculpture are now presented floor-to-ceiling salon style, across seven bays, arranged by themes like marine painting, the British empire and “into the woods.” The collections seminar room has new floor-to-ceiling white oak wall panels that contain special display systems that permit close study of objects under diffused natural light, and custom, white oak furniture and cabinetry. The center’s lecture hall also has been refurbished. It has a new, central seating layout that accommodates 200 fixed seats and five wheelchair and accessible spaces; new stainless steel handrails and LED step lights along the aisles; new theatrical and house lighting; and a completely renovated audiovisual system, with state-of-the-art recording and presentation capabilities. The precise care taken throughout the project is evident in many of its smallest details: Michael Morris, an architectural materials conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and member of the project’s conservation and design team, advised on restoration of the center’s travertine. The team located sheep in New Zealand that grew the wool used in new, undyed carpet installed throughout the center, replicating Kahn’s original carpet and replacing synthetic carpet installed in 1998.And it was fortuitously able to locate a new version of gallery seating originally designed by Don Chadwick for Herman Miller. The Chadwick seating was selected by the original interior designer, Benjamin Baldwin. In an May 10 interview in New Haven, Meyers, who considers the Kahn building one of the Center’s greatest works of art, said she and the project’s team now plan to “take a breath, sit down and discuss together what the next logical phase in the ongoing program should be.” She also said she hoped the example set by the center would be followed by stewards of other modernist buildings, noting that similar initiatives are in fact underway at Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, Calif., and his Richards Medical Research Laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania.

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.

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.

Space and Time Expanding at Yale Art Gallery

Few university art museums have holdings that span from 3000-year old Chinese bronze vessels to bronze coins of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and from the blue-tiled gates of ancient Babylon to Blam, a red, white, and blue oil painting by Roy LichtensteinThe collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, both deep and wide-ranging, offer up an impressive art-fueled time machine, and thanks to the Gallery's current expansion project by Ennead, visitors will be able to travel more easily than ever across history and cultures. The updated Gallery, three buildings that Ennead has carefully stitched together as one, is itself a kind of timeline that reflects Yale's architectural history: Street Hall from 1866, described by its architect Peter B. Wight (channeling John Ruskin) as "Veronese Gothic," was most recently home to the art history department; over 50 years later Egerton Swartwout created an enclosed bridge that linked Street Hall to his 1928 neo-Gothic museum (the "Old" Yale Art Gallery), built just across the road; and next door in 1953 Louis Kahn completed one of his first major commissions,  a five-story museum building with striking ceilings of concrete tetrahedron coffers, whose first floor now serves as the expanded museum's main entrance. Though the youngest of the three, Kahn's building was the first up for renovation, a job Ennead (then Polshek) took on in 2006.  At a recent press preview of the Gallery, Ennead partner Duncan Hazard diplomatically commented that "Kahn was figuring it out as he went along." (Over time sweating steel walls necessitated interior gutters, which, needless to say, didn't help achieve a constant 70 degree/50 percent humidity standard museum climate.) In the recent renovations of Swartwout and Street, Ennead took care to use storm windows to help with climate control, but these panes are recessed in the thick stone walls, which aids in maintaining the original look of the windows from the exterior. Inside, warrens of makeshift offices were removed to restore the buildings' generous rooms, and a surprisingly spectacular glass elevator was installed to connect the floors above with an extensive new education center at the basement level. At the top of Swartwout, Ennead added a floor and a half, which will provide space for temporary exhibitions and a dedicated study gallery, where every semester professors can request art to be displayed for use in their courses. The new addition is pulled back from the original facade to create a terrace with panoramic views of New Haven and is the new home of several large-scale sculptures, including a Henry Moore. The expanded Gallery, which will open in December and tally almost 65,000 square feet, is free and open to the public, but its primary audience is students, and with the new space Yale hopes to instill an appreciation for art that will last a lifetime. If Yale generates even more art aficionados, a further expansion may be on the distant horizon: donors, many of them alumni, have given the museum 15,000 new works of art just since the renovation project began.

On View> Ceci N’est Pas Une Reverie: The Architecture of Stanley Tigerman

Ceci n’est pas une reverie: The Architecture of Stanley Tigerman Yale School of Architecture 180 York Street New Haven, CT Through November 4 The exhibition Ceci n’est pas une reverie (“This is not a dream”) celebrates the work of architect Stanley Tigerman. Curated by Yale School of Architecture Associate Professor Emmanuel Petit, this retrospective tells the story of Tigerman’s professional career, beginning with his years at Yale as an undergraduate and then a graduate student in architecture. Organized around several motifs—utopia, allegory, death, humor, and division—the exhibition includes models and objects, documents, cartoons, sketches, and drawings, like an axonometric of formica, above. Video material from lectures and interviews also capture Tigerman’s eclectic style as it has evolved over the past 50 years, encompassing his early work at the Chicago-based firm Tigerman McCurry Architects and his return to Yale as a visiting professor. Ceci n’est pas une reverie will coincide with the publication of Tigerman’s collected writings, 1964-2011 Schlepping Through Ambivalence, Essays on an American Architectural Condition, and his autobiography Designing Bridges to Burn as well as a series of lectures at the Yale School of Architecture.

Quick Clicks> Capping Highways, Flying Meteors, Infrastructure Pop, Old School Ivy

Capping Santa Monica. Curbed LA got some great renderings from students at USC who where charged with imagining even more highway caps for the Pacific Coast Highway, this time from Arizona to California Avenues. Beyond freeway parks, the students proposed housing, hotels, and community centers. Breaking Whitney. With the deal signed for the Met to take over the Whitney's Breuer building on Madison, directors at the ground breaking for the new branch at the High Line had all the more reason to celebrate. DNA reminds readers that the museum is actually retuning home. Ol' Gerty got the ball rolling on 8th Street way back in 1930. Dylan Sings. Happy B-day Bobby! Bob Dylan turned 70 on Tuesday and in celebration the Infrastructurist presents Dylan's Ten Best Infrastructure Songs, including "The Levee's Gonna Break" and "Marchin' to the City." Old School. Design New Haven has the Robert A.M. Stern drawings for "street calming measures" at Yale that are part of the $600 million for renovations, including two new residential colleges. The plan includes mixed use buildings intended to encourage street life at all hours and improved access to the Farmington Canal Greenway .

7 Cities Consider Removing Major Urban Highways

In a shift from America’s traditional 20th century landscape, more and more cities are now considering removing major highways in favor of housing, parks and economic development. The chief motivation seems to be money, according to a recent NPR report highlighting the growing movement and the removal of Cleveland’s West Shoreway. As highways age, keeping them around doesn’t justify the high cost of maintenance. But tearing these highways down also means new opportunities for developing valuable real estate and rehabilitating blighted land. The federal government awarded $16 million to replace a New Haven highway with pedestrian boulevards last fall, and other TIGER II funds to explore highway removal in the Bronx and New Orleans have also been issued. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. remarked, "We think this is a big f---ing deal." Decades after urban renewal programs first put up highways, most city planners now realize that highways drain vitality from healthy neighborhoods and lower property values. San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway and Central Freeway are two poster children for how highway removal can rejuvenate neighborhoods. The collapse of the Miller Highway in New York also made way for what’s now West Street and Hudson River Park.
BALTIMORE: Demolition of Baltimore’s infamous "Highway to Nowhere," a one mile stretch that ends in a grassy slope, began last fall. In 1974, construction sliced through a vibrant working class area of west Baltimore, demolishing 700 homes and displacing 2,000 residents, mostly African American. The area is now characterized by vacant homes and high poverty rates. President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awarded $2.8 million for the highway’s removal, which will make room for transit-oriented development.

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CLEVELAND: The only way to get from downtown Cleveland to the waterfront is through poorly lit tunnels underneath the West Shoreway freeway. NPR recently highlighted the city's plan to convert the highway into an urban boulevard, in line with efforts to develop the waterfront, but opposition from suburban commuters forced the city to scale back the project. The original proposal would have added crosswalks to the road, parks, offices and housing, while the actual project will just focus on rebuilding the pedestrian tunnels.

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NEW ORLEANS: Decades before Hurricane Katrina and getting its own HBO series, Treme was one of the wealthiest African American communities in New Orleans, and Claiborne Avenue was its teeming commercial center. The construction of the Claiborne Expressway in the 1950s changed all that, displacing families and over 100 businesses. City planners are currently debating removing the highway as part of post-Katrina rebuilding. The plan would reclaim 35-40 city blocks from urban blight and 20-25 blocks of open space.

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SEATTLE: A battle is raging in Seattle over the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The highway's coming down after sustaining damage in a 2001 earthquake, but the $4.2 billion tunnel slated to replace it by 2016 remains a political hot potato. The project is entangled in lawsuits, with critics seeking to vote on the project. Mayor McGinn came out against the Seattle’s political establishment in support of a street level replacement. He’s also pushing for removal of the Viaduct next year, citing the damage it would cause in an earthquake.

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NEW HAVEN: The city recently received a $16 million TIGER II grant to convert part of Route 34 into an urban boulevard. Residents envision a re-do with narrow car lanes, wide sidewalks and a bike lane. The plan will add 960 permanent jobs and reclaim 11 acres of land that can be developed and taxed. It will finally unite the city's central business district with the rest of New Haven, ending the highway's stifling effect on economic development. Built in 1959, the highway displaced 600 families and 65 businesses and was never completed.

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BUFFALO: After several multi-million dollar projects failed to slow Buffalo's decline, planners set their sights on removing two of the city's major highways. The Skyway and Route 5 make commutes more difficult, cost millions in annual maintenance and block waterfront development. The state Department of Transportation decided to keep the elevated roadways in 2008, even though local officials and residents wanted a street level boulevard. A coalition of citizens and civic organizations appealed the decision in 2008, and continue to advocate demolition.

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LOUISVILLE: In the opening scenes of Elizabethtown, Kirsten Dunst maps out Interstate 64 in Louisville for Orlando Bloom because "the roads around there are hopelessly and gloriously confusing." He gets lost anyway, banging his hands against his steering wheel and yelling "60B!" The Ohio River Bridges Project, a $4.2 billion plan to expand the highway to 23 lanes of traffic at its widest point, would make things even more challenging. In 2005, two Louisville businessmen launched a grassroots campaign to remove the highway and develop the waterfront with a pedestrian-friendly boulevard. But it looks like the project's continuing with wider elevated lanes of traffic with some cost cut adjustments made in recent days.

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Frat Trashes Rudolph’s House

One could make a living chronicling the iniquities visited upon the work of Paul Rudolph (lord knows we certainly have). From modest tract homes to cutting edge office towers, the trail-blazing, highly influential architect's work has not fared well of late. Of the handful already demolished, as many are on the chopping block, and it has become an ongoing struggle for the Paul Rudolph Foundation to protect what's left. One of the better projects to come along was the expansion of Rudolph's Art & Architecture Building at Yale, where he taught for so long. But it now turns out that that was not the only renovation of the great architect's work going on in New Haven. ArchNewsNow pointed us to a story in yesterday's Yale Daily News about the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity's renovation to what was once Rudolph's own New Haven home. According to the YDN, the fraternity spent $25,000 bringing the house up to code, while eliminating--inadvertently or not--many of Rudolph's signature design features, such as his customary cantilevered stair case.
Matt Eisen ’10, the president of SigEp, said many elements of Rudolph’s original design had become safety hazards to the brothers living in the house and the students who flocked to the fraternity’s parties. “I wish we could make it safe and retain architectural elements, but we had to take cautionary steps before an accident actually happened,” said Eisen, the executive editor for the News, noting that most of the fraternity’s brothers are probably not aware of the house’s significance. [...] The renovation project involved setting the stairs in sturdy steel frames with marble inserts, removing the fireplace and a platform on the ground floor — which Eisen described as “a tripping hazard that served no purpose,” — as well as stabilizing the balcony area that was nearly collapsing. Bob Esposito, the property manager SigEp contracted for the project, reiterated that the main goal of the renovation was to upgrade the house to current design standards. “Building codes and architectural tastes have changed a lot since Rudolph’s time,” he said. “We wanted to make the house easier to maintain and more user friendly while keeping a great percentage of Rudolph’s original design intact.”
The thing is, it remains unclear whether the building was actually unsafe, or simply unsafe to the greek brothers and sisters there-in. A glimpse of the pre-renovation building shows that it does not appear unsound, and perhaps only got that way after neglectful care. Indeed, in its own report on the story, the Paul Rudolph Foundation said that the house had been well cared for until recently, though the fraternity refused admittance to determine its most recent state prior to the renovation:
Through the various owners, and up until recently, many elements like the floating stairs were retained. A clearer example of which can be seen in Rudolph's Halston Residence on 63rd Street for the famous Fashion magnate. Much like his 23 Beekman Place residence which would follow (and he would intervene into and out of for 30 years), this house was a work in progress and always up for alteration and innovation.
That Rudolph primarily modified the buildings interior--there was a a rearyard addition--means that the latest renovations leave almost no traces of the original building, as the foundation notes. "The current look, all decked-out in Ikea, with "state-of-the-art" projection TV, as photographed by Calgary Leveen of the YDN is hardly recognizable as Rudolph's one-time home and can no longer be realistically considered as 'Rudolph space.'" And now we are obliged to make a snide remark about the thuggish clumsiness of the debauched Yalies who could not help but fall down the elegant stairs at parties, and thus defiled a modernist masterpiece. Except that Rudolph accolate, Yalie, and architecture school dean Robert A.M. Stern, in speaking with the YDN, does it for us.
“The house was spectacular, innovative, glamorous,” said School of Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern ARC ’65. “It’s too bad they modified the cantilever steps, but it’s true that there are safety concerns without the railings, and at frat parties — it gets a bit lively, shall we say.”