Posts tagged with "SCHAUM/SHIEH":

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SCHAUM/SHIEH builds practice through agreement

The following interview was conducted as part of “Building Practice,” a professional elective course (and now AN interview series) at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, taught by Molly Hunker and Kyle Miller. On October 10, 2019, Kate Kini and Rachael Gaydos, students at Syracuse University, interviewed Troy Schaum and Rosalyne Shieh of SCHAUM/SHIEH. The following interview has been edited by Kyle Miller and AN for clarity. This year marks your 10-year anniversary. Congratulations! Can you talk about how starting a practice in 2009, the year after the recession, presented a challenge that may have limited growth? Troy Schaum: Both of us were teaching when the recession hit. Rosalyne was a Taubman Fellow at the University of Michigan and I was a Wortham Fellow at Rice. What we anticipated would be a brief foray into the academy was extended as a result of the macroeconomic situation in this country. We had to figure out how to work as architects without being hired to work as architects. So we started making our own projects—competition submissions and university-sponsored independent research projects and installations. It was only after we were invited to participate in the Venice Biennale in 2012, curated by David Chipperfield, that we started to get commissioned work. I don't know if those two things were related, but we started to pick up projects both in New York and Texas, and we very quickly had four additional employees. Our office size hasn’t grown a lot since then, but when we look at the numbers every year, it's been relatively steady, which is its own form of success. In response to the challenges of starting a practice at that time, have you used unconventional methods to promote your firm or to attract potential clients? Rosalyne Shieh: We began our practice in an academic setting with little opportunity to practice in a traditional manner. In 2009, by starting in the midst of the recession, there was little momentum to be lost and the work we made was unsolicited. I don’t mention this so much to bemoan, rather to state the conditions within which we set out and to explain why in the beginning, most of our work was speculative, invested in an alternate economy of ideas and discourse, one partially encapsulated from the macroeconomic situation that professional practice is embedded in. So we may have had a small audience tied to the academy, but we didn't have clients. We started by thinking about what it meant to make work that nobody was asking for, about what questions could be posed or offerings made through the framework of an architectural project. The parameters and conceptual territory of this early work were partly self-defined but also defined by our educations, conversations with our peers and collaborators, as well as things we were reading and looking at. This was an important incubation period for us, but it didn’t necessarily transition seamlessly into attracting clients and working on commissioned projects. Troy: What encouraged that transition for us was a desire to work at a certain scale. We were conducting design research and building temporary installations, but we were interested in engaging building[s] at a much larger scale. When we received opportunities to work on larger projects, we realized that the two of us couldn’t do it alone anymore. We had to build an ecosystem of people to support us. All of a sudden we had to develop an economy around the work in order to support the people that were supporting us. At that point, we found ourselves running a business. We didn't say “no” to a lot of requests, because you never know where certain journeys are going to take you. In 2012 or 2013, we were asked by some relatively young people in Houston if we were interested in designing a music venue. We made some sketches and renderings for a very small amount of money. We just assumed these people would go away and we’d never hear from them again. What actually happened was that they took those renderings all over town and raised significant capital to build the music venue. What also happened was that lots of people who build things in Houston saw the renderings. They didn't necessarily want to invest in a music venue but were very curious about us as architects. Developers would contact us and request a portfolio of built work. The problem was that we hadn't actually built anything! It’s a common and unfortunate catch-22, especially for a U.S.-based practice in its earliest stages. That said, some of them hired us anyway. How do you mediate between presenting your work to a broader public audience versus an audience of architecture students, colleagues, and other professionals? Troy: This is a huge issue for us, especially as we oscillate between our audiences. We're both teachers and we both have conversations with very erudite students and colleagues, and we have conversations with people who work out of the back of their trucks and know a lot about building things, but not so much about architectural discourse. The importance and role of communication and the ability to articulate ideas to many different audiences [are] primary to our understanding of architecture. You mentioned two audiences, but there are probably 20 audiences that we communicate with throughout the course of the day, from the people that are going to send us metal samples to the lawyers that are helping us draft contracts for our clients. Rosalyne: Also, communication is a very personal thing. You have to respond to who you're talking to. Depending on what it is that each person is able to receive or wants to talk about, you have to meet each other somewhere, and you both need to arrive from where you’re coming. I like to speak with my own voice across different conversations, but communicate differently given the situation or who I’m talking to. Troy: It's become very apparent to me that when we talk about audiences in school, we’re talking about collectives. And we're very interested in creating projects for collectives. There's a democratizing idea that architecture is for everyone. It is. But, one of the things that I underestimated was how powerful architecture can be for individuals­–our individual clients and the contractors who build our projects. What do you understand to be your responsibility as an architect? Troy: Wow, that's a difficult question! Our practice is both of our names for a reason. SCHAUM/SHIEH wasn't just a default. That decision makes the practice a very personal thing for us. I imagine there's certain ethics in our work. I believe we have a responsibility to use these professional tools and our ways of seeing the world to be as careful and reflective and deliberate about our decisions and our work, especially when working in cities and in public spaces. To be stewards of the resources that we’re given, to be stewards of opportunities that we’re given to shape cities–these are very important responsibilities. Rosalyne: I agree and would add that we hope our projects enrich the world and make more connections possible. That's the aspiration, at least. We hope our efforts lead to building more complexity into the world. One of the quotes that we come back to a lot is this one–it's included by Jane Jacobs at the beginning of Death and Life of Great American Cities, from Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: “Life is an end in itself, and the only question as to whether it is worth living is whether you have enough of it.” He's talking about the vibrant complexity of civilization and Jacobs connects this to cities as an engine of that. There's an interest in the pursuit of what we do as architects, but also as people to contribute to more life for more people. Some architects believe that there should be a separation between being a citizen and being an architect, specifically in relation to political issues and attempt to be as apolitical as possible. With your office, it seems to be the inverse. How much effort do you put into making a project political? Does it come naturally from its inception? Rosalyne: That’s a good question, and it's one that comes up again and again in architecture: What is the relationship between architecture and politics? If being political means seeing and engaging structural inequality, I can't live in a world where those two things can be separated, because it would mean willfully denying a part of reality, if not my own then someone else’s, with whom I share this world. It’s not only an issue of what we believe, but it’s also about lived realities. There could be different reasons why people feel the need to separate these roles. It could be because the very act or idea of the work—its property—requires that its limits are circumscribed. One way to work on something is to isolate or bracket it from other things. Or it might be a matter of survival: the world can be difficult; maybe you’re at capacity with what you can handle, and creative work is a kind of expression that feeds you. Some might have the choice to separate the two where others don’t. Broadly speaking, people undertake creative work for so many different reasons. I would just ask whether your position to proceed in any certain way is predicated upon an invalidation of someone else’s, and if it does, I would find it hard to support. I do not require you to not be in order for myself to be. That said, work that is explicitly political is not the only way to be political as an architect or artist. Godard said: “The problem is not to make political films but to make films politically.” That might mean simply expressing or applying yourself without explanation. There's no way to escape this question. It's not fair actually, to say that those worlds should be separate. I can't say that every project we do is political; we're not a political practice per se, but I am who I am, who I am, who I am… whether it's an architect, an educator, a person in the world, a cis-woman, a Taiwanese person, visibly Asian, a daughter of immigrants in the United States, today. The tension of trying to hold all these things together is at the heart of my humanity. Troy: There's a certain disciplinary agenda in the work of some practices, and a legacy of a particular kind of formalism. This way of approaching architecture is very different from how we understand practice. One important role of the architect is to construct agreement. For example, when working on White Oak Music Hall, we found ourselves in scenes similar to scenes in Ghostbusters where we were summoned to the mayor's office at eight in the morning to be reproached regarding an aspect of the project that a certain constituency was not happy with. These explicitly political aspects of practice and this particular project necessitated engagement with a broad audience and a range of issues well beyond the purview of the discipline of architecture. I don't know how you practice any other way. It's beautiful that buildings have the ability to engage political issues, and that architects have the ability to engage political issues. What's been the most rewarding moment in your professional careers thus far? Troy: We recently had the opportunity to observe how powerful work can be for an individual. This positive impact is not something you can encounter until you build something. White Oak Music Hall was embedded in a lot of politics around how music is booked in this country. We created White Oak Music Hall and made a lot of sacrifices in order to complete that project. We were criticized by a portion of the local community, but also supported by many diverse groups within the community. Recently, after finding out that we designed White Oak Music Hall, a local musician said to us, “That space you've created—we didn't have a space like that. That's my temple.” There's an entire ecosystem of creative people that can now work in this space we designed. Rosalyne: I agree with that, and I'll give you pretty much the same answer, but in a more abstract sense. We’ve had that experience a few times with the projects that are out in the world, with both White Oak Music Hall and Transart. You talk to people, and you might not know them well, and they’re like, “I know that project,” and they share some story that gives you an understanding that the project somehow belongs to them. These are the moments when you realize that projects, once they are out there, belong to the world and not just to ourselves. It can come back to us through clients, contractors, or anyone really… when they share a sense of belonging to this thing that we helped create, and that’s a really special moment.
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SCHAUM/SHIEH experiments with architectural tools to produce surprising spaces at every scale

Every year the Architectural League of New York recognizes eight dynamic young firms as Emerging Voices that have the potential to become leaders in the field. Historic winners like Morphosis (1983) and Toshiko Mori (1992) have become today's lions, and practices like Johnston Marklee (2007) and Tatiana Bilbao (2010) have jumped to new heights after recent wins. This year's crop was selected in a two-stage portfolio competition where a jury of architects selected the winners. The deciding jury included several previous winners like Dominic Leong (2017), Fernanda Canales (2018), and Marlon Blackwell (1998), giving the process a familial feel. Laureates for 2019 come from across North America and almost all are partnerships or collaboratives—capital letters feature prominently, too.  SCHAUM/SHIEH will lecture at the Scholastic Auditorium at 130 Mercer Street, New York, New York, at 7:00 p.m. on March 21, as part of the Emerging Voices lecture series.

For SCHAUM/SHIEH, the city is not a mere backdrop for designing buildings. Instead, it is a source of productive potential and a platform for theoretical and built experimentation that has informed the firm’s relationship to design from its founding in 2010.

The studio’s founding partners, Rosalyne Shieh and Troy Schaum, first explored this interest in speculative projects for Detroit and the Taiwanese port city of Kaohsiung. Their early urban proposals for Detroit led to an installation at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale of a room that was also a staircase and public seating, one of many prototype structures they envisioned could infill the spaces between vacant homes in the city. This design, part of a larger project called “Sponge Urbanism,” challenged the divide between domestic and public space and confronted the broader narrative about vacancy in Detroit.

This intersection of urbanism, form, and identity is something that the studio has carried into its commissioned work, especially for cultural institutions and spaces with hybrid programs. These include the Judd Foundation’s buildings in Marfa, Texas; White Oak Music Hall in Houston; and most recently, the Transart Foundation, also in Houston.

While its Judd Foundation work is an exercise in restraint, aimed at preserving and restoring the artist Donald Judd’s vision for more than a dozen buildings in Marfa, projects like White Oak show how the designers play with form, massing, and landscape to create a distinctive destination for Houston’s music lovers and a new open space for the city as a whole. The main two-story concert hall, which contains multiple stages for different types of music and audience sizes, is part of a larger 7-acre complex which includes a lawn for outdoor performances and an open-air pavilion and bar, converted from an existing shed on the site.

Across the studio's diverse range of projects, abstract representation and diagrammatic processes are essential tools to generate concepts and collaborate with partners and clients. But, as Schaum explained, “We always like to come back to where that kind of set-making and pattern-making starts to break down and question its own set of possibilities, where the sets open up new possibilities for inhabitation rather than where they complete themselves in perfect studies of pattern or complex assemblages.”

This is evident in SCHAUM/SHIEH’s Transart Foundation (a 2018 AN Best of Design Awards Building of the Year). The project includes two structures comprising a private residence, art studio, and exhibition space, and is located across from the Menil Collection within a largely residential neighborhood.

Transart's white stucco facades, with their thick massing, look substantial, but are peeled away at the edges and corners, giving the overall appearance of lightness, like curled paper. The sculptural massing of the main building, juxtaposed against its relatively compact size— closer to a large house than a museum—also makes the foundation appear more monumental than it is, demonstrating the way SCHAUM/SHIEH works with scale to blur the lines between private and public space. This exercise in form and material produces unexpected moments and transitions that serve the multi-functional art space well.

But ultimately, the practice is most interested in its ongoing dialogue with the broader world. As Shieh explained, “I want the buildings that we make to belong to the world, and not to architecture. We don’t necessarily put them out there in a way that we hope that they tell architecture what they are, but that they somehow produce some kind of surprise.”

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Announcing the Architectural League's 2019 Emerging Voices

Every year the Architectural League of New York recognizes eight dynamic young firms as Emerging Voices that have the potential to become leaders in the field. Historic winners like Morphosis (1983) and Toshiko Mori (1992) have become today's lions, and practices like Johnston Marklee (2007) and Tatiana Bilbao (2010) have jumped to new heights after recent wins. This year's crop was selected in a two-stage portfolio competition where a jury of architects selected the winners. The deciding jury included several previous winners like Dominic Leong (2017), Fernanda Canales (2018), and Marlon Blackwell (1998), giving the process a familial feel. Laureates for 2019 come from across North America and almost all are partnerships or collaboratives—capital letters feature prominently, too. The League will hold a lecture series from this year’s winners every Thursday in March at the Scholastic Auditorium at 130 Mercer Street, New York, New York. We profiled this year's winners, snippets of which are included below. Click on the images for the full profiles. And now, the winners are: Ignacio Urquiza, Bernardo Quinzaños, Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica Bernardo Quinzaños, Ignacio Urquiza, and Mexico City–based Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica (CCA) have over a decade of experience working toward their goal of using architecture as a “tool for change.” ... Urquiza explained, “We’ve always had a particular interest in architecture that is precise, yet at the same time has the flexibility of being able to give itself to each space.” He added, “Ambiguity is what gives architecture the freedom to be owned by its users.” UUfie Despite being just ten years old, UUfie has snagged commissions in high-profile locations around the world that any practice would envy. Few firms of a comparable size have worked in three continents, and UUfie’s founders are aware of the benefits of having worked around the world; they credit their global experience with bringing “more cultural awareness and diversity in thinking” to their practice. ... “In Canada, there is a growth in supporting Canadian talent and potential for establishing a vibrant design scene that is broadening its perspective. In Japan, this scene is highly established and appears to lean now toward a retrospective view,” [cofounder Irene] Gardpoit said. “Canada is a culturally diverse country in comparison to Japan. This diversity brings on its challenges, but it is also unique in that it does not necessarily have its own established identity. It allows us to experiment.”

Waechter Architecture

For Ben Waechter, practicing architecture is an investigation into creating spaces with clarity. ... “To us, a strong sense of clarity tends to be in places that simply feel the best to be in,” [Waechter] said. According to Waechter, that’s one of the main themes that must be teased out when reviewing a project.

MODU

Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem…blur the boundaries of their practice, working in multiple modes simultaneously. Their conceptual work, built work, research, teaching, and urban initiatives inform one another and allow the firm to continually develop, test, and refine their ideas. Through discourse and design at scales both large and small, MODU’s indoor cities and outdoor rooms ultimately ask one question: How can we live better?

SCHAUM/SHIEH

For SCHAUM/SHIEH, the city is not a mere backdrop for designing buildings. Instead, it is a source of productive potential and a platform for theoretical and built experimentation that has informed the firm’s relationship to design from its founding in 2010.

Colloqate

Colloqate Design, a multidisciplinary, New Orleans–based “nonprofit design justice practice” founded in 2017 by Bryan Lee Jr.—Sue Mobley came on in 2018—with the goal of “building power through the design of public, civic, and cultural spaces,” is setting a different path relative to other design offices. … “We want to be the most radical design firm out there,” Lee said, “and we need to build buildings to do that.”

FreelandBuck

FreelandBuck builds drawings. Not in the traditional sense of constructing what’s represented by a drawing set, but in the sense that its architecture directly evokes carefully constructed perspectives and painstakingly hand-drawn renderings. “We think about drawing at the scale of architectural space,” says partner Brennan Buck, “as an end product, not a means to build.”

Davies Toews

Partners Trattie Davies and Jonathan Toews are no strangers to working around tight spatial and financial limitations. Whether it’s a linear park that rises between a descending set of switchback staircases in Hudson, New York; a perspective-defying, split-level park and art gallery in Memphis, Tennessee; or a three-story townhouse in Brooklyn, their projects are united by the common thread of extreme site-specificity. “Our strategy has been: Do first, analyze second,” said Davies.
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2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Cultural Space

2018 Best of Design Award for Cultural: Transart Foundation Designer: SCHAUM/SHIEH Location: Houston
The Transart Foundation by SCHAUM/SHIEH was developed for a Houston-based artist/curator working at the intersection of art and anthropology. The project consists of two buildings: a repurposed 1,200-square- foot private art studio and a new, 3,000-square-foot primary building for visitors that holds exhibitions, performances, and salon-style dinners. The second and third floors of the new construction include an office, a conference room, a cavelike nook, and a roof terrace. The facade is clad in smooth white stucco panels, creating a tectonic language that allows gaps and seams to manifest as swooping window frames. The structure incorporates thick timber beams in a manner akin to a Dutch barn, carved so that the front corners join precisely in front.
Honorable Mentions  Project Name: Magazzino Italian Art Designer: MQ Architecture Location: Cold Spring, New York Project Name: The ICA Watershed Designer: Anmahian Winton Architects Location: Boston
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Presenting the 2018 Best of Design Awards winner for Building of the Year

  2018 Best of Design Award for Building of the Year: Transart Foundation Designer: SCHAUM/SHIEH Location: Houston The Transart Foundation by SCHAUM/SHIEH was developed for a Houston-based artist/curator working at the intersection of art and anthropology. The project consists of two buildings: a repurposed 1,200-square-foot private art studio and a new, 3,000-square-foot primary building for visitors that holds exhibitions, performances, and salon-style dinners. The second and third floors of the new construction include an office, a conference room, a cavelike nook, and a roof terrace. The facade is clad in smooth white stucco panels, creating a tectonic language that allows gaps and seams to manifest as swooping window frames. The structure incorporates thick timber beams in a manner akin to a Dutch barn, carved so that the front corners join precisely in front. “I am especially impressed by SCHAUM/SHIEH’s ability to generate complex spatial effects from what are essentially graphic motives—an ambition that would literally fall flat in lesser hands.” Jesse Reiser, Principal, Reiser + Umemoto Structural Engineer: Zia Engineering and Environmental Consultants Contractor: Welch Construction Lighting Designer:  Lighting Associates Custom Nook Fabricator:  Jeff Jennings and Steve Croatt Custom Steel Windows:  Cedar Mill Co.   Finalist Project Name: Daniels Building Designer: NADAAA Location: Toronto “This is a great example of how old and new can be seamlessly integrated. The addition improves on the experiential quality of the historic structure and makes it one of the most sustainable buildings on campus.” Pratik Raval, Associate Director, Transsolar Finalist Project Name: Saxum Vineyard Equipment Bard Designer: Clayton + Little Location: Paso Robles, California “The project is an attentive and delicate reinvention of the agricultural shed as a responsive, performative infrastructure for the nearby vineyard.” Tei Carpenter, Founder, Agency—Agency
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Schaum/Shieh twists the norms of Texas architecture

Like many of the most exciting young firms currently practicing across the United States, Schaum/Shieh, based in New York City and Houston, owes its existence to the financial crisis of 2008. In the immediate aftermath of the meltdown, Schaum/Shieh principals Rosalyne Shieh and Troy Schaum found themselves working as collaborators on speculative urban projects while attending graduate school at Princeton, where the pair shared studio space. Attempting to figure out “what happens when you ask a question no one tells you to ask,” according to Shieh, the pair was driven toward the “protected space” of academic work by prestigious fellowships—Shieh at Taubman College in Michigan and Schaum at Rice University in Texas—in an effort to bolster professional experiences that included stints at Abalos & Herreros and OMA, respectively. After becoming licensed and spending their fellowship years incubating their practice, the pair fortuitously landed a spot exhibiting a project in the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, a platform that propelled their budding firm into the realm of client-based work. In the intervening years, a mix of bespoke design and meditative restoration work for institutional clients like the Donald Judd and Chinati Foundations—as well as commercially driven work for private clients—has kept the firm busy exploring multiple facets of architectural production. Driven by an intense curiosity and interest in the blend between high and low architectural culture, Schaum/Shieh continues to build its ever-elusive catalogue of offbeat work. Over time, the two architects have learned when to hold back. Schaum explains: “Restraint is [a] remarkable lesson for young architects to learn. [You realize] there are moments when we need to step back and not do certain things.” White Oak Music Hall One of the firm’s largest commissions to date is the White Oak Music Hall in Houston along Little White Oak Bayou north of the city’s downtown. Completed in phases between 2016 and 2017, the multistage music and event center features a pair of indoor stages that can house a combined 1,400 spectators, and a 3,800 capacity outdoor amphitheater built into the natural topography along the Bayou. The bar-shaped clapboard and wood plank-wrapped structure spans across the edge of its urban infill site and features balconies and open-roof decks that face toward the Houston skyline. An on-site industrial metal warehouse and steel tower were recently converted into a small music venue and bar as well. Transart The architects recently completed work on the 3,000-square-foot Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology in Houston’s museum district, a complex that seeks to treat the “white box gallery as a problem” by introducing softness of form and visual instability to the otherwise staid building type. The private arts foundation and gallery is spread out across two structures, including a new three-story edifice crafted out of super-size stucco panels. The building’s stucco walls feature clipped corners and upturned edges that reveal triangular windows designed to bring direct light into the galleries and support spaces. The new structure is buttressed by a 1,200-square-foot studio and apartment located within an existing structure that was re-skinned with cement panels and a standing seam roof. Judd Foundation The multifaceted firm has worked for several years on collaborative projects involving the restoration and rehabilitation of several of Donald Judd’s studios and installed spaces in Marfa. What started as an effort to “responsibly finish and maintain” Judd’s architecture office quickly morphed into a wide-ranging collection of restorations and long-term planning efforts led by the Judd Foundation for more than a dozen buildings in the town. Over time, the high-profile, low-visibility restoration and conservation-focused work became an “invisible exercise that led to a conversation you can't ever see,” according to Schaum. The architects sought to create a “Texas model” for restoration that was flexible enough to include off-the-shelf components as well as innovative solutions that stand apart from prototypical, white-glove restoration work. 420 20th Street Always eager to take on diverse projects, the firm has also tried its hand at updating the ubiquitous strip mall. Their project at 420 20th Street in Houston aims for an understated refresh by converting an abandoned 1950s washateria into a collection of bespoke storefronts. For Shieh and Schaum—both children of American suburban landscapes—the discarded 5,200-square-foot laundromat represents a type of “common” architecture that many architects are too often happy to avoid. Instead, Shieh views strip malls like this one as “a type that can be transformed, developed, and worked with,” part of an amorphous urbanism that runs counter to “traditional urban legibility,” but in a good way. For the project, the team opted to replace the building’s storefronts with new components, including custom steel and wooden door handle elements. New planters were also embedded in each of the building’s exterior columns, while the structure’s historic brick detailing was brought out with new paint and a mural. Inside, each of the serially arranged shops is separated from the others by expanses of clear factory windows that allow views through the entire structure.
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A stucco-paneled art center in Houston uses cuts to bring in light

The Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology is now open in Houston. The art center, designed by New York and Houston-based SCHAUM/SHIEH, uses its sculpted stucco facade to strategically funnel light to the gallery space within. Transart is actually broken in two buildings; a 3,000-square-foot gallery and library, and the adjacent 1,200-square-foot studio and living quarters. The foundation was envisioned as a space for experimental art, performances, and lectures that cross the divide between art and anthropology. A large “living room” in the gallery building is broken into two exhibition spaces by a staircase-slash-library in the center that serves as a circulation core. The front-facing space is naturally lit and will be used for more traditional shows, while the dimly-lit back section will be used for digital pieces and performances that require precise lighting. The circulation core flows upwards into a second-floor salon that looks down on the spaces below, which is also accessible through a rounded acrylic-and-steel elevator. Visitors can also find a small room for mediation or one-on-one meetings on the second floor. The third floor’s core holds an administrative office, roof deck, and accompanying garden. "We introduced some playful moments into the otherwise taut plan," said SCHAUM/SHIEH in a statement. "There is a sink lathed out of a tree salvaged from Hurricane Harvey; a sculpted, cave-like nook tucked into the wall off the seminar area; and a galvanized steel beam is used as a bathroom countertop." The main building was framed with heavy timber like a “Dutch barn,” according to SCHAUM/SHIEH, with the white stucco facade curving around the building’s bones, akin to a billowing cloth. The thick timber walls were reinforced with closed-cell insulation, and combined with the swooping window cuts that restrict sunlight, the entire building was able to be passively cooled. The secondary building, a single-story standalone studio and living space for visiting artists and scholars, was created by renovating an existing photography studio. SCHAUM/SHIEH wrapped the building in cement planks and topped it with a new metal roof, creating an auxiliary space a stone’s throw from the main art center. SCHAUM/SHIEH is a small studio formed in 2010 in a joint collaboration between Rosalyne Shieh and Troy Schaum. They operate out of Houston and New York City, and the studio has been recognized for its built and unrealized projects, including by the AIA New York as part of its New Practices New York competition. The Transart Foundation can be found in Houston's museum district at 1412 West Alabama Street and was founded by artist, writer, and independent curator Surpik Angelini, a contemporary of John Cage and Gordon Matta Clark.
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Product>Architects and designers share the surfaces they spec the most

Find out why these surfaces are architects' and designers' go-tos for the ceilings, the floors, and everything in-between.

Rosalyne Shieh Partner, Schaum/Shieh

We used Lilac Marble in a recent Brooklyn renovation. It is white with an intense inky black vein. We got the cement encaustic tiles from Mosaic House, but there are also other very good selections from Clé Tile and Granada Tile. For the kitchen, we mixed and matched within a range of colors based on a terra-cotta palette, but you can have custom tiles made from your own design. We used a more traditional Escher-pattern tile of the same type in the bathroom. ­

Paul Masi Principal, Bates Masi + Architects

We work with a range of products based on the project and client needs, but we like Corian for interior surfaces because it is adaptable, durable, and easy to clean. Corian can also be easily repaired and is stain-resistant, which is why we chose it for the integrated sink and countertop in the pantry as well as the walls, floors, and cabinetry in the restrooms of our newly completed office in East Hampton, New York.

Greg Mottola Principal, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

We often use ApplePly from States Industries for casework, paneling, and custom furniture. I love that the material is humble, yet can be finished in a way that elevates it to a level of refinement, all the while revealing the nature of how it is made. The workstations and much of the furniture in our studio are made from ApplePly, and we did a great collection of furniture for the Ballard Library in Seattle. We also recently completed the first of many cafes for Blue Bottle Coffee here in San Francisco, and the millwork and display shelving makes extensive use of the material.

Benjamin Cadena Founder, Studio Cadena

I would have to say white paint—either a bright white like Benjamin Moore’s Super White or a slightly warmer toned white like Benjamin Moore’s Dove White. For me, white helps tie the room together while diffusing light into darker corners of a space. It also focuses attention into what occupies the room rather than the walls themselves—it makes other colors and materials really come alive.

Peggy Gubelmann Design Director, Pembrooke & Ives

We love to use Bendheim specialty glass in our kitchens. This material is durable and adds depth, texture, and glamour to our modern kitchens. We backlight all of our cabinets to highlight the gold mesh sandwiched between the glass and provide a nice glow and ambiance.

Kelly Wearstler Founder and CEO, Kelly Wearstler

I love using marble for walls, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, and furniture. Texture enhances any surface and utilizing natural stone with a marbling pattern creates dimension and depth, adding a layer of richness to a space. Ann Sacks is a favorite for marble tiles; ABC Stone in New York and Marble Unlimited in California are my go-to sources for marble slabs.

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Finalists announced for 2017 MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program

The five finalists for the 2017 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP) are here. The annual competition provides a stage for some of the best up-and-coming architects in the world; the winning installation is built in the MoMA PS1's courtyard for its Warm Up music series of performances. "The Young Architects Program is committed to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling," according to the MoMA PS1 website.
This year's finalists are:
Recent YAP winners include Escobedo Soliz Studio (2016), Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation (2015), The Living / David Benjamin, CODA / Caroline O'Donnell, as well as MOS Architects, SO-IL, WORKac, HWKN, and SHoP.
The winner will be announced in February and the installation will be built in time for the Warm Up series that starts in June.
Finalists are nominated by prominent journalists and academics, and the selection of five is made by a panel including Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art; Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director at MoMA; Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1; Peter Reed, Senior Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs; Martino Stierli, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture & Design at MoMA, Sean Anderson, Associate Curator of Architecture at MoMA; and Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator at MoMA PS1.
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AIANY's New Practices New York exhibition features work from six emerging firms

The tenth biannual New Practices New York competition exhibition showcases its six winners with an unprecedented amount of diverse projects and approaches. The six firms chosen were Young Projects, Taller Ken, Studio Cadena, STPMJ, Schaum/Shieh, and MODU. The exhibition will be open through July 23. The firms, which had to be founded after 2006 and located in New York City, were tasked with responding to the theme “Prospect.” “Prospect” was chosen based on the very practical challenges of building in New York: “high costs of living, fierce competition, and minimal profit margins.” Through their portfolios and projects, the firms addressed heady questions such as: “How are you shaping our practice around the prospect of the future? What are the most important challenges that you see facing the city over the next three months? And in 30 years? What will you focus on? Where are you headed? How will you thrive?" The exhibition features the firms' answers through a series of presentations and "wonder boxes." The boxes were each made to showcase the firms' ideologies and varied from a literal box to more amorphous projects. Taller KEN Founded by Gregory Melitonov and Ines Guzman Mendez, Taller KEN is a New York– and Guatemala-based practice. Although Melitonov and Mendez’s latest completed project is the Dean & Dylan Baquet residence in New York, they have a variety of projects in Guatemala and have invited nine young architects from around the world to work on a design-build project with them there. “In order to capitalize on the enthusiasm of young designers just beginning their design careers, we invited them to Guatemala City to produce an intervention that provides a positive, lasting impact on the local community,” they said. Studio Cadena Brooklyn’s Benjamin Cadena founded his eponymous practice in 2013 and has already completed projects in Marfa, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Bogotá, Colombia. He still champions New York, however: “The lack of affordability plays a big part in limiting a broader range of people from living in New York City and this needs to be addressed to preserve the vibrancy and dynamism that makes the city interesting in the first place…The city is not dead, but it needs to find ways to attract and nurture a creative ecosystem to remain relevant.” STPMJ Although many young firms today are based in multiple cities, Mi Jung Lim and Seung Teak Lee’s South Korea–­­New York office stands out. “We aim for ‘Provocative Realism’—We design iconic architecture that stands out, not a part, that is visionary, not fantastical.” The firm’s projects, whether in Korea, California, or Kentucky, share a minimalism so precise that it borders on futurism, but with a playful, not cold, aesthetic. Young Projects Bryan Young’s design studio in Brooklyn has tackled everything from art and furniture to townhouses in Williamsburg and (most recently) a retreat and spa in the Dominican Republic. But he insists on maintaining work-life balance. “We limit the hours during the work week and we listen to Kanye,” he said, answering how he creates a creative atmosphere that can accommodate his variety of projects. Schaum/Shieh “In our practice, we attempt to sharpen the conceptual and representational tools to really see and describe the everything-up-until-now,” said Rosalyne Shieh and Troy Schaum in their statement. Each structure feels site-specific: A house in Lexington, Virginia, mimics the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains behind it while the Pop Music Center in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, articulates a varied spatial field as a reaction to the city behind it. MODU Directed by Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem, MODU creates installations that are simultaneously artistic and poetic as well as hardcore scientific. Focusing on climate patterns and mathematical models of the weather, MODU creates installations that are “based on a two-way interaction between the public and the environment.” Its most recent project, Cloud Seeing in Holon, Israel, is a lightweight structure with 30,000 balls or “seeds” made from PET plastic from recycled water bottles that move with the wind across the structure’s ceiling. Similarly, the Doppelganger installation in Sydney, Australia, is a “flexing structure” that reacts to its surroundings and the wind to create a “micro-scale public space.”
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AIA New York’s New Practices Committee Chooses Six Emerging Firms as Winners

New Practices New York, a distinguished competition that’s part of the AIA New York chapter, announced the six winners of its 2016 biennial competition on January 28. To qualify, the practices had to be located within New York City and founded since 2006; the competition was open to multidisciplinary firms, widening the talent pool. The winners are MODU, SCHAUM/SHIEH, stpmj, Studio Cadena, Taller KEN, and Young Projects. The panel of jurors selected the winners from 53 entries, the members are William Menking, AN’s editor-in-chief, Julian Rose, principal of Formlessfinder, Jane Smith, partner at Spacesmith, Martino Stierli, Philip Johnson chief curator of architecture and design at MoMA, and Ada Tolla, partner at LOT-EK. This year’s theme was Prospect and the jury evaluated the firms based on their ability to leverage multiple aspects of their projects and practices and the architecture profession as a whole. The firms will receive a stipend for an installation and exhibition at the Center for Architecture, which will open May 12, 2016, and will participate in symposia and lectures at the Cosentino Showroom, as well as travel to Spain with underwriter Cosentino. About the winners: MODU Codirected by Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem, MODU is an interdisciplinary firm that focuses on directing people to their environments. The practice has won numerous awards and was given a commendation for “21 for 21” an award that recognizes “the next generation of architects for the 21st Century.” SCHAUM/SHIEH Founders Rosalyn Shieh and Troy Schaum established their firm in 2009 with an emphasis on the city at the scale of a building and the dialogue between projects and urban plans. They operate between Houston and New York City. stpmj Based in New York and Seoul, Seung Teak Lee and Mi Jung Lim founded their firm to explore new perspectives on material and structure with regard to our current social, cultural, environmental and economic fabric. Studio Cadena Benjamin Cadena founded his eponymous studio in Brooklyn; projects range from city planning and commercial projects to exhibitions, houses, and furniture. Taller KEN Part of the design team for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Gregory Melitonov and Ines Guzman founded their studio in 2013. The New York– and Guatemala-based firm’s work includes mixed-use development, residential projects, and installation design. Young Projects Bryan Young founded multidisciplinary design studio Young Projects in 2010 and projects include a retreat in the Dominican Republic, a townhouse in Williamsburg, and a Hamptons bungalow. The firm received the Architectural League Prize in 2013. The New Practices New York 2016 exhibition will be on view at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York City from May 12, 2016.