Posts tagged with "Princeton University":

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Princeton exhibition breaks down the language of housing

The house is one of the most common architectural typologies and has been reinvented over and over throughout history. Whether they are adaptations of the local vernacular to protect against a harsh climate, or experimental, quick-to-be-demolished single-family homes found across Japan, houses have always been fertile playgrounds for architects, status symbols, design objects, dwellings, and hurdles for urban planners. From now until November 9, the Princeton University School of Architecture will host 44 Low-Resolution Houses, a public exhibition in the North Gallery that attempts to quantify what makes a house a house. The show brings together 44 different architecture studios, each of them contributing a unique model of a “low-resolution” home. These houses reduce homes to the common elements that can be found throughout vastly different structures such as pitched roofs and typical massings, though some are scaled back to simple geometric shapes. All of the houses were removed from any context and materiality and were oriented north to enable an objective comparison between each model. Each home is treated as an individual object, to be evaluated solely on form, and many resemble existing or theoretical projects (keep your eyes peeled for a triangular model of WORKac’s take on the Earthship). All of the models have been elevated and appear to “float” against a black curtain bearing the name of the architects responsible. As part of the prompt, each team contributed a construction element, material, or product that would best represent their home at full scale. The full list of contributing offices is as follows: “6a, Adamo-Faiden, Angela Deuber Architect, Atelier Barda, Atelier Bow-Wow, Besler & Sons, Brandlhuber+, Bruther, Bureau Spectacular, architecten de vylder vinck taillieu in collaboration with Joris Van Huychem, Edition Office, Ensamble Studio, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism in collaboration with Aixopluc, fala atelier, First Office, GAFPA in collaboration with Stabico Ingenieurs, OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Go Hasegawa and Associates, Hans Tursack, HHF and Ai Weiwei, Independent Architecture, Johannes Norlander Arkitektur, Johnston Marklee, The LADG, Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekten, MAIO, Monadnock, MPdL Studio, MOS, New Affiliates, OFF-OFF, Outpost Office, PARA Project, Pascal Flammer, Paul Preissner Architects, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Point Supreme, PRODUCTORA, Stan Allen Architect, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Tato Architects, T+E+A+M, Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, and WORKac.” The show was curated by associate professor of the Princeton University School of Architecture, Michael Meredith. MOS designed the exhibition space and Studio Lin contributed the graphic design. The fashion elements were designed by the New York-based Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
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Steven Holl Architects opens Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton

Earlier this month Steven Holl Architects and Princeton University opened the new Lewis Center for the Arts, a three-building complex anchoring the school’s new 22-acre arts and transit neighborhood. The 145,000-square-foot complex, providing teaching and performance spaces for theater, dance, visual arts and music, includes the Wallace Dance Building and Theater, containing a black box theater and dance performance spaces; the Arts Tower, containing a gallery for the Program in Visual Arts, offices and additional studios; and the new Music Building, containing rehearsal rooms. While the concrete, steel and glass buildings play off each other formally—expanding, tightening, and heightening in seeming progression, all clad in thick, blonde limestone—each takes on a unique identity, reflecting its use and augmenting the complex’s porosity and energy. "There’s an interesting relationship between the whole and the parts," described Steven Holl. "Like an orchestra, in one way, the buildings act on their own, and in another they act like a unified piece." The interior of the Wallace Theater is finished in perforated black steel, while other theaters in that building are finished in varied materials like foamed aluminum, whitewashed wood, and board formed concrete. All are connected by a “dancing stair,” zig-zagging and twirling between levels, clad in vibrant perforated metal. The Music Building’s individual, wood-chambered practice rooms—floating above the large orchestral rehearsal room—are suspended on steel rods, keeping them acoustically isolated in tension, as if they were musical instruments. This interplay can be clearly seen from outside through glass curtain walls. The six-story Arts Tower, cantilevering and seeming to float over its small entryway, references the proportions and massing of the school’s nearby Blair Arch, a famed, vital access point on campus. All three buildings are connected via the Forum, an 8,000 square-foot underground gathering space serving each facility. Above this is an outdoor plaza fitted with stone benches and bluestone pavers and a reflecting pool installed with skylights that filter what Holl describes as "liquid light dancing on the floor" down to the Forum. The complex was made possible in part through a $101 million gift to the University in 2006 by the late Peter B. Lewis, a former Princeton alumnus and university trustee. The arts and transit neighborhood — an ambitious effort to create an engaged gateway on the southern edge of the school’s campus— was designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Michael Van Valkenburgh. The area also contains a striking new transit hall, a rail station, and various eateries, including the most modern-looking Wawa in existence. Over 450 trees have been planted on the new grounds, 21 of which are on the Lewis Arts Center site.
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Kean University to purchase Michael Graves’s home in Princeton

Michael Graves's former residence in Princeton, New Jersey, known as The Warehouse, will be purchased by Kean University. Located in New Jersey, Kean University is also home to the Michael Graves College for architecture and design.

A champion of postmodernism, Graves passed away last year and had asked in his will for the properties to go to Princeton University where he taught. However, Princeton in fact snubbed the offer, stating that they "could not meet the terms and conditions associated with the gift."

Graves had asked that the dwellings be adequately maintained for educational use. Kean, unlike Princeton, has decided to bare this burden, something that the university's president Dawood Farahi estimates at costing up to $40,000 per year in terms of preservation costs alone. Despite only costing Kean University $20, the total value of the former residences has been placed at $3.2 million.

Speaking of The Warehouse in particular, Linda Kinsey, a principal at Michael Graves Architecture & Design, spoke of how the building represented Graves's postmodernist approach to architecture. “It is a perfect expression of Michael’s humanistic design philosophy, with its thoughtful integration of architecture, interiors, furniture, artifacts, artwork and landscape,” she said.

As for house's use, David Mohney, dean of the Michael Graves College, said that the university will "use the house the way Michael did"—Graves used it as an art studio as well as a residency—and that the "scale of use would be consistent.” In terms of the building's role as an educational tool, Mohney added that it will be an "an opportunity for students to see firsthand what life was like for a major architect."

The University's Board of Trustees, in fact, approved the purchase of three Graves properties total; the other two will be used as venues for various events and lodging for guest lecturers.

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Alejandro Zaera-Polo sues Princeton University for “damages” to his reputation

Spanish architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo is filing a law suit against the current trustees of Princeton University, incumbent President Christopher L. Eisgruber, and Dean Kathleen Deignan. Founder of London and New York-based Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Maider Llaguno Architecture (AZPML), and Foreign Office Architects (now no longer practicing), Zaera-Polo is also the former dean of Princeton's School of Architecture.
Eisgruber asked to Zaera-Polo to resign in 2014 after he allegedly did not credit work done by the university for his exhibition on facades and its catalog at that year's Venice Architecture Biennale, directed by Rem Koolhaas. [You can find coverage of the current 2016 Biennale here]
Now Zaera-Polo is claiming the university caused “substantial damage” to both his reputation and his firm, which subsequently led to him miss “lucrative and prestigious professional and academic opportunities.” According to BDOnline, Zaera-Polo alleges that President Christopher L. Eisgruber's insistence that he resign—which Zaera-Polo he described as “inexplicably urgent”—led to “false rumors of sexual or financial misconduct” being spread. “Moreover Eisgruber and Prentice acted prematurely, negligently and/or recklessly in a manner that seemingly confirmed the widespread, false, and damaging public rumors concerning [the] plaintiff," the papers read. "Defendants’ actions and failures to act have resulted in significant damage to plaintiff’s business and to his reputation, including the loss of lucrative and prestigious professional and academic opportunities." As a result, the Spanish architect is calling for “punitive damages” held against Eisgruber, Deborah Prentice (the current dean of the faculty), trustees, “John and Jane Does,” and 20 “other individuals who participated in, or were complicit with, the conduct complained of herein” (likely to be students and staff).
The papers filed at Mercer County Court in Trenton, describe the event as “an action for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, trade libel, and defamation.” In addition to this, Prentice reported the complaint to Koolhaas. Zaera-Polo, however, said that the work duly credited others in the footnotes of an academic version of the catalog. One anonymous source stated Zaera-Polo plagiarized Wikipedia. The papers also state: “Adding insult to injury, defendants have fostered a hostile environment toward plaintiff at Princeton. For example, Princeton relocated plaintiff to a shared office in a basement, contrary to Princeton’s policy granting full, senior professors individual offices, generally on the ground floor. Princeton hired an alternate lecturer on building facades (plaintiff’s expertise) and scheduled that course to conflict exactly with plaintiff’s course on the same subject. Princeton even failed to list plaintiff’s course in its course catalog during spring 2015.” Meanwhile Princeton University has said in a statement: “The university is aware that Professor Zaera-Polo has filed an action against it and others relating to the investigation and disposition of research misconduct claims asserted against him and to his resignation as Dean of the School of Architecture. As noted in the rules and procedures of the faculty, the ‘university is committed to high scholarly standards in the substance of research and to high ethical standards in the conduct of research’ and to the fair and unbiased adjudication of all misconduct complaints. “The university is confident that the officials and faculty members who investigated and adjudicated the claims against Professor Zaera-Polo did so fairly and in accordance with university policies and procedures. The university will defend its position in court, and looks forward to the successful resolution of these claims.”
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Princeton University forges a new relationship with its surroundings

Like many universities situated in the heart of their communities, Princeton is grappling with the enormous challenge of growing its campus to accommodate new and expanded programs. Some of the strategies to expand include selective densification of the core and the renewal and repurposing of existing facilities. But longer range, the university will have few options but to expand at the periphery. While densification risks upsetting the delicate balance between buildings and open space that defines Princeton’s campus and grants it a majestic beauty, the ability to craft large swaths of land in the image of itself is also a welcome opportunity.

Recent examples include the new sciences neighborhood at the campus’s southern border, where new buildings by Hopkins Architects and Rafael Moneo join a genomics facility by Rafael Viñoly, and an expanded engineering precinct at the campus’s eastern side, which just welcomed the new Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment by Tod Williams Billie Tsien.

Located on a 23-acre site at the campus’s western edge, the arts and transit neighborhood is an exercise in forging a more engaged relationship between the university and town with new arts facilities, a transit hall and rail station, and various eateries, including a Wawa. Planning the precinct was tasked to Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Michael Van Valkenburgh, who were working with the university at the time on a ten-year plan to guide campus growth through 2016. Scheduled to be complete in 2017, the $300 million project is the largest expansion project in the university’s 265 year history.

The new facilities inscribe themselves into the fabric of the campus by integrating the language of the neighborhood and surrounding courtyards in their form, scale, and materials. Steven Holl’s Lewis Center for the Arts anchors the precinct and creates a new campus gateway. It provides performance and teaching spaces for the theater and dance program, the department of music, and the arts in three buildings organized around a three-sided courtyard that opens to the community.

In the center of the courtyard a shallow pool defines a main public space. The buildings’ Italian limestone exteriors reference the early stones and bluestone paving used elsewhere on campus. The arts tower is scaled to Blair Arch. Rick Joy’s transit hub creates a chapel-like space that is washed in natural light. One of Joy’s big place-making gestures was putting the transit hall and the Wawa in two separate buildings to shape a new public space. “We had a program for it and the Wawa but we never conceived of splitting it apart,” said university architect Ron McCoy.

In addition to new facilities, the university is bringing in new infrastructure—reworking roads, creating plazas and circulation routes for pedestrians and cyclists, and providing for parking. 

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Monica Ponce de Leon named next dean of Princeton University’s School of Architecture

Monica Ponce de Leon has been tapped as the next dean of Princeton University's School of Architecture. She will assume the prestigious role on January 1, 2016. "I am deeply honored by the trust that Princeton is placing upon me and I look forward to working with students and faculty in writing the next chapter in the history of the school," said Ponce de Leon in a statement. "Given that architecture plays a unique role in the construction of culture, at the intersection of the humanities, the sciences and the arts, the opportunities are enormous. I am excited to work with the School of Architecture and the leadership at Princeton to expand and deepen architecture's role in understanding and speculating on the challenges of our time." Ponce de Leon will be coming to her new gig from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor where she has been dean since 2008. Before that, she served on the faculty at the Harvard GSD for 12 years.
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Review> A Disciplined Approach to Misbehaving Urbanism

Keith Krumwiede’s Freedomland, an exhibition of architectural misfits, suburban follies, and developer nightmares, that just closed at the Princeton University School of Architecture Gallery, defies easy categorization. The pulse of the work is strong, its intention clear: to satirize the cringe-worthy packaging and wholesaling of a particular strain of the American dream of mass-produced, individualized suburban living by Toll Brothers and others through a series of reconfigured catalogue house plans. Producing their own kind of suburban fantasy, these new, recombinant figures populate an expandable Jeffersonian grid, complete with estate names like “Neo-Palladian Acres” and “The Villas at Broad Acres.” Several scenes of Freedomland are rendered as oil paintings after well-known American pastoral tableaux (in the show, the images are projected, but they were actually “painted” in China, of course). Others are shown as meticulously drafted arrangements of estates into neighborhoods and townships, each following—in their imaginary histories—a strict narrative of “cyclical regeneration” aimed at ensuring the vision of Freedomland as the most superior settlement plan in the history of American town planning (so claims the “literature”). A third part of the project, called A Game of Homes, pushes the representational qualities of the work toward absurd ends in a series of compound plans and elevations derived from the banal graphics of the catalogue drawings. At the center of any satirical project, whether political or social in nature, is a question of the target and the audience. If there is no correlation between the intended subject of the criticism and those meant to understand the attack, little friction exists, and little progress can be made. In other words, when one preaches to the choir, he rarely faces resistance. In the case of Freedomland, it is doubtful that any of the presumed targets—Toll Brothers, David Weekley Homes, etc.—have much to do with the world comprising the audience, that is, a certain subset of students and academically-minded architects interested in testing the discursive limits of architecture and urbanism. If not in its satirical function, the value of Freedomland as a pedagogic exercise may be in its extensions out into the discipline, both its recent past and current provocations. The Stirlingesque aggregations of A Game of Homes (thus far only in its infancy as an experimental planning mechanism), for example, suggest preliminarily a different model of housing that is much more radical about its programmatic and spatial ambitions than most proposals today. Likewise, the gesturing of Freedomland toward the difficult typological and graphic expressions of firms like Dogma and KGDVS, in which the idea of absence is often more powerfully represented than presence, brings the work into poignant dialogue with contemporary architecture, narrative, and social function. Ultimately, perhaps the greatest value of Freedomland is that it forces us, however timidly, to reconsider not only the current state of housing and its political, economic, and social structures, but also the nature of planning proposals in general, ranging from the polemical to the possible.
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Chicago’s School of the Art Institute taps Jonathan Solomon as head of architecture

Chicago’s top art school announced big changes in its design department this morning. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Thursday announced their selection of Jonathan Solomon as the new Director of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO). Solomon, who comes from his position as associate professor and associate dean at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University, assumes the job officially on August 1. In 2010 Solomon, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture and Certificate in Media and Modernity from Princeton University, helped curate Workshopping: An American Model of Architectural Practice at the Venice Architecture Biennial. He is the co-founder of 306090, a nonprofit arts stewardship organization. He previously taught design at the City College of New York, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Hong Kong, where he led the Department of Architecture as Acting Head from 2009 to 2012. He is a licensed architect in the State of Illinois. Solomon recently spoke on a Chicago Architecture Foundation panel discussing Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin’s series on Chicago designers in China. He is related to Lou Solomon, who helped found Chicago design firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB).
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On View> Princeton Art Museum presents “Edvard Munch: Symbolism in Print”

Edvard Munch: Symbolism in Print Princeton University Art Museum McCormick Hall, Princeton, NJ Through June 8 Edvard Munch is best known for his 1893 painting The Scream. Like the majority of his work, this piece deals with psychological themes that were mainstays of late nineteenth century symbolist art, which greatly influenced German Expressionism. The symbols that Munch used contain universal meanings, but also meanings specific to his life. It is frequently forgotten that Edvard Munch was also one of the most skilled printmakers of his era. Edvard Munch: Symbolism in Print: Masterworks from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, showcases twenty six of Munch’s most poignant prints drawn from MOMA’s collection of lithographs and illustrated books. Munch used printmaking to refine complicated imagery and symbols that continue to speak to bedrock human concerns. Edvard Munch’s works echo his personal philosophy. He “[did] not believe in the art which is not the compulsive result of Man’s urge to open his heart.”
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Terreform One Finalists Secure a Stormproof Future

Through Stormproof, an open international design competition for building resilient cities, Terreform One has pursued many viable solutions for a stormproof future. Students and professionals were challenged with preparing cities for imminent confrontations of extreme climate change. Twenty finalists were chosen from 168 teams comprised of 310 participants based in over fifteen countries, and by employing complex designs such as barrier islands to mitigate storm and flood impact, participants have recommended solutions that revive and repurpose present infrastructure. Finalists include SLIDE, a resilient scheme for stabilizing mudslides in Los Angeles by recycling debris to produce an opportunity for open ended growth, and Hybrid Edge, an approach that suggests the re-invention of the coastline edge of Dowtown Miami by conflating urban and wetland ecologies. Others, such as A Working Waterfront for NY Harbor utilize shipping infrastructure as coastline defense through an ecologically-minded tactic. The jury involves a renowned panel of designers including Stan Allen, Principal, SAA, former Dean of Princeton University School of Architecture, Michael Arad, partner of Handel Architects, and Dan Barasch, Co-Founder of The Low Line, among several others. Jurors will meet to select the winners by the end of the month. Explore all of the finalists here.
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Quick Clicks> Winded, Juiced, Stripped, TOD-IMBY

Winded. Popular Science has the story of a bridge concept in Italy called Solar Wind featuring an array of wind turbines capable of generating 40 million kilowatt hours annually. If that weren't enough, the proposal also incorporates a solar roadway for an added green boost. Juiced. The Times of Trenton reports that Princeton University is converting 27 acres in West Windsor, New Jersey into a field 16,500 photovoltaic panels able to generate 8 million kilo-watt hours of clean, green energy every year. The project will begin in 2012 and is expected to generate 5.5% of electricity for the university. Stripped. Citiwire considers the downfall of the suburban commercial strip and it doesn't look good for sprawl. As shopping trends evolve and consumer taste retreats from the generic strip landscape, hybrid shopping centers resembling main streets could be the future. TOD or not TOD. Residents of an award-winning transit-oriented development in Maryland featuring a wide median where a light rail line was planned have turned their backs to their neighborhoods original lofty goals. StreetsBlog sums up the latest high-profile case of NIMBY-ism.