Posts tagged with "SO-IL":

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The SO-IL and BCJ–designed Manetti Shrem Museum at UC Davis transforms light and shadow

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Museum of Art on the University of California, Davis campus, designed by associated architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) and SO-IL and built by construction company Whiting-Turner, opened in late 2016.

The project was developed through a particularly strict procurement process that required designers to include builders on their teams. Those teams were expected to hold tight to a firm budget—$30 million—and deliver a design with balanced aesthetic, functional, and budgetary requirements. Ryan Keerns, associate at BCJ and project manager on the project said, “This process of design-build competition gave the client confidence that a builder had vetted the aesthetic and functional ambitions of the project and stood behind their ability to deliver the project within the parameters provided.”

The team did that and more, creating a 30,000-square-foot building that uses a range of social spaces to divide up more buttoned-up aspects of programming. The approach results in what amounts to a fully public space that does triple duty as art museum, office, and classroom. Those functions are articulated as a series of scattered, interconnected pavilions arranged in slipshod configuration. The whole thing is capped by an undulating, 50,000-square-foot perforated and folded aluminum screen canopy developed with help from facade design consulting firm Front, Inc. and fabricated from off-the-shelf components, including 952 honed-aluminum infill beams and 4,765 linear feet of steel joists.

The veil starts off low to the ground, lifted on slight, extruded steel columns. When the roof crests, it does so out of view, toward the center of the building. It eventually laps down to the sidewalk at the building’s main entrance, where it cantilevers 12 feet above the floor. Here, visitors get to bathe in the scattered, pleasantly fluorescent light created by the canopy. Ilias Papageorgiou, principal at SO-IL described the structure as a multi-sensory experience: “It works almost like a reverse sundial, where you become aware of the moving light and transformation of the shadows.”

In plan, the canopy is made up of a series of irregular gridded textures, “inspired by the agricultural landscape around the university,” as Keerns explained, a woven quilt of metal patterns going every which way. These angular divisions in the gently sloping surface—styled in section to resemble a silhouette of the area’s rolling landscapes—create jittery bits of structural framing, with joists and beams crisscrossing about. Steel columns of different diameters—40 in all—are deployed in a calibrated arrangement and are scattered about the entry pavilion. Interspersed amid this hypostyle courtyard are a series of bright yellow poles: multifunctional nodes for lighting, electrical outlets, and wireless internet.

The canopy is punctured by a large, oblong oculus that is mirrored on the ground by a dull, grassy knoll. The gesture is made to add another layer of functionality, as the opposing wall has been detailed to allow for film projection. The space ultimately succeeds in spite of this feature, not because of it. And the wall, entirely blank instead of delicately and intricately combed like the others, feels heavy-handed in what is otherwise a feathery plaza dancing with light.

The building, like the 2002 Boora Architects–designed Mondavi Center for Performing Arts directly opposite, is in axis with the center of campus. When approached from one of the campus’s main drags instead of from the parking lot, the entry pavilion acts as a type of outdoor living room for the university. As the canopy comes close to the ground at the sidewalk—and as a dissonant column causes one to step aside—it’s possible to experience a threshold condition and so properly enter into the designers’ domain.

The entry courtyard meets the fully enclosed portion of the building opposite this column at a convex section of glass wall. When sitting or standing in the courtyard, the effect of the columns and light posts is reminiscent of standing at a busy intersection in a city with broad sidewalks: It becomes possible to have almost private moments, both when no one else is in the space and when the various groups are passing through. Inside the building, a foyer contains a sinuous purple sofa—designed by an in-house team at BCJ—that turns a portion of the room into a viewing station, the now-convex arc of glass creates a televisual view of the courtyard and its many inhabitants. During AN’s visit to the museum, the courtyard and foyer were occupied by a diverse group of people: elderly couples, groups of moms with children, and even teenagers.

The museum works as a generic (in a good way) “somewhere else” type of place, not wholly any one aspect of its program, but as a place where lots of different types of things happen all the time. Simultaneously, the entry areas give the building a quality of comfortable domesticity, something akin to a grandparents’ living room, where shoes need to stay on, but one is free to feel at ease and gawk at whatever collection of curios might be on display.

Moving counterclockwise from the door, a projection room and the main galleries branch off to one side of the foyer. A second lobe, with ancillary functions, extends in another direction. A third wing peels off to the far left and contains a pavilion with a classroom and art studio that open onto the outdoors separately.

The galleries themselves are arranged as a variety of flexible spaces, with certain rooms casually arranged as educational areas, a result of the programming exercises the university brought to the designers. A larger gallery has soaring ceilings capped by extruded aluminum panels, with ductwork and piping visible beyond. The ancillary spaces, more intimate in proportion but correspondingly fussy in detailing, feature lower ceilings where the texture of the ceiling panels changes orientation to align with the long axis of the room. Because the museum’s permanent collection contains many sensitive works on paper, the galleries had to be designed to be completely artificially lit.

Papageorgiou explained: “Although daylight was not allowed in the galleries, we found moments for bringing the exterior through indirect light.” He refers to the central and generous hallway that connects the front galleries to the loading dock at the back of the building. That pathway is capped on both ends with glazing: one looking out onto the entry courtyard, the other, with a framed view of Interstate 80, cars and trucks whizzing by.

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SO-IL wants you to remember that interiors used to be public

The following essay is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Solid Objectives... Order, Edge, Aura, to be published in early 2017 by Lars Muller Publishers. For more on the The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, see here.

The design of interiors has come to embody a line of egocentric thoughts. It purports to put our body—and possibly even our soul and individualistic existence—at its center. Womb-like sensations arise, promising warmth, safety, and other prenatal comforts. How do we sufficiently swaddle or cushion the self for it to survive our savage reality? The interior becomes a pure haven for the spirit, something that seems increasingly public. We create mobile cocoons, shielding ourselves with screens, headsets, and blank stares. We eschew or minimize contact with others. Absurdly, even though technology has seemingly brought the outside world in, our devices have diminished points of contact with it. The public realm is contained, compressed, and trapped behind thinner and thinner layers of glass. The exterior is powered up or down with the swipe of a finger. While this notion of interior design evokes thoughts of monastic disconnection, of dwelling in a shielded totality, we would like to consider its opposite: the interior as a locus for a new collective condition, an inside that fosters exchange. After all, it is mostly in the perceived comfort of our interiors that we let our guards down and allow for connections to occur. Up until modernity, humanity experienced its interiors—even those of the dwelling—as a public domain. The living room was a place for conflict and exchange. Even our beds were shared. Given this, let us regard the interior not as a space created by protective surfaces and moods, but rather as a porous field defined by realms and structures. Otherness will trickle in and a productive contamination will ensue. Beyond mere spatial definition, a new exchange must be fueled by content. This collective interior demands activation by things: Volumes and objects, elements that supersede their functional obligations to play suggestive and symbolic roles—think of the Kaaba, the Butsudan, the kitchen table, and the parliamentary mace. We see this as the vivid place that sociologist Bruno Latour depicts wherein “each object gathers around itself a different assembly of relevant parties. Each object triggers new occasions to passionately differ and dispute. Each object may also offer new ways of achieving closure without having to agree on much else.” In the place of comfort, the new interior instead offers devices of contestation and the promise of an active public. In order to accommodate differences, an architecture of the interior will be assembled with character-filled structures and objects that trigger discursiveness, to fuel the fire, the textures taking on qualities of the outside, rupturing and destabilizing. Think of sublime volumes, endless depths, infinity pools, and fillets. Think of Andrei Tarkovsky, the rain inside, cobblestones in the living room, and sand in the bathtub. The interior as a space of contestation might recoup some of the scope architecture has forfeited to the creators of soothing mood boards and Pinterest boards. As layered and fleeting realities of the exterior return indoors, condensed and redirected, they might unsettle the insulated, comfortable individual in pursuit of a more vital collective interiority.
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Iwan Baan’s first look inside the Manetti Shrem Art Museum by SO-IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is set to open in Davis, California on November 13, as construction is wrapping up. The building is a collaboration of associated architects SO-IL of New York, and the San Francisco office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. The museum has been in a smaller space, but this building will give it space to show off its collection, which grew from the "spirit of defiant provincialism" that took root in the Central Valley city in the 1960s to 1990s. A group of artists that is sometimes called "funk artists" included Wayne Thiebaud, who has donated 72 of his own works and 300 works by other artists to the permanent collection. In the new building, the iconic roof structure "channels the intense light of the region into constantly changing shadows and silhouettes that animate one of the museum's primary gathering spaces, the entrance plaza." The canopy evokes the surrounding hillsides and agricultural fields as it swoops from 34 feet on one side, and 12 on the other. Perforated metal infill beams—910 of them, totaling 15,200 feet—are calibrated at varying densities to provide shade, modulate light, frame spaces and passageways, and provide a new symbol for UC Davis. Just 40 small columns hold up the canopy. The museum is meant to gather students and other passersby in its transparent and open relationship to the site. Florian Idenburg, founding partner of SO-IL, called the Manetti, "neither isolated nor exclusive, but open and permeable; not a static shrine, but a constantly evolving public event." Karl Backus, design principal for Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, described a collaborative process where "teamwork has been essential and uniquely fruitful" in creating a "diverse spatial experience that encourages interaction and learning." The museum is set to open with Hoof & Foot, a performative video installation by Bay Area artist Chris Sollars, a participatory installation by Pia Camil called A Pot and a Latch, and an exhibition of SO-IL's process work called The Making of a Museum, which will include drawings, video, artifacts, and models that illustrate the entire design process from interpretation and inspiration to design and construction.
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Construction underway on SO-IL–designed UC Davis Art Museum

UC Davis is set to open the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art to the public on November 13. After choosing SO-IL to design its on-campus museum in 2013, the school has been hard at work constructing what it envisions as a "hub of creative practice." Working alongside San Francisco-based firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Whiting Turner, the museum features a 50,000-square-foot canopy made from aluminum triangular beams. The canopy is supported by straight and curved glass walls interweaving both open and closed spaces. Its shape, according to SO-IL, represents a "new symbol" for the campus with its natural surroundings of long, green plains making up the sensory landscape of UC Davis. In its designs, SO-IL emphasized the importance of capturing the essence of the California Central Valley. Changes in season and lighting will be reflected from within the museum which will play host to a variety of activities and programs both informal and formal. The inaugural show will feature work from artists Arneson, William T. Wiley, Manuel Neri, Wayne Thiebaud and Ruth Horsting among others. And with the date for its grand opening months away, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum looks set to become a site of interactive and cutting edge learning.
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On View> Los Angeles or BUST: New exhibition features full-frontal forms

The bust, the sculptural counterpart of the portrait that dates back to classical antiquity, immortalizes not only the likeness of a person from the chest upwards, but the values of both the sculptor and the era in their concepts of beauty and nobility. An object no bigger than a head and a pair of shoulders, centuries later, is a relic embedded with cultural meaning—the preference towards an aquiline nose, for example, or a fixation with youth. With BUST, a group show on view at Jai & Jai in Los Angeles, curator William O’Brien, Jr. asked designers to apply the titular sculptural form to architecture. “Broadly speaking, the primary motivation for the exhibit is to provide a forum for the declaration of new cultures of form-making in architecture,” said O’Brien, a MIT professor and principal of WOJR. He commissioned busts by 11 firms: Andrew Kovacs, Bureau Spectacular, CODA, First Office, MILLIØNS, MOS Architects, Norman Kelley, PARA Project, Pita + Bloom, SO-IL, and WOJR (his own). The design brief asked that each practice take the notion of a basic architecture feature and reinterpret it as a figure of human scale that could be displayed on a plinth. Specifically, he was looking for individual interpretations of “characteristics associated with the facade,” according to the design brief: frontality, proportionality, symmetry, as well as anthropomorphism and zoomorphism. “The conception of a bust within an architectural context privileges certain architectural concerns—such as those related to form, figure, facade, hierarchy, orientation, exteriority, interiority—while diminishing many other architectural considerations that must ordinarily be addressed when designing buildings,” he explained. Each firm was given a relative autonomy to their approach, and in the absence of the real-world constraints typically posed by architectural-scale construction, the resulting works of sculptural abstraction lining the walls of the gallery in pantheonic rows are purely expressive. Wide variations in material and form reflect the varying mindsets. SO-IL’s Losing Face, an object of protruding surfaces shrink-wrapped in a semi-translucent plastic, brings to mind their recent Blueprint project, in which they used a similar wrapping method not to conserve the Steven Holl- and Vito Acconci-designed facade of the Storefront of Art and Architecture, but to “reinvigorate” it. Bureau Spectacular’s Contrapposto Institute cheekily takes the signature S-curve posture of Michaelangelo’s David and applies it three-story building, a tripartite stack with dangerously sloping floors. “This group represents the widest possible spectrum of contemporary architects thinking about form in new and as-of-yet-uncodified terms,” said O’Brien, with little exaggeration; other busts include a deflated Tyvek sac; a composition of mirrors and faux fur; and a humanoid bust studded with matches. “It’s my belief that the “center of gravity” of the discipline has become increasingly clouded. My feeling was that this array of contributors could help us understand the landscape of architecture-as-cultural-production ongoing today.”
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SO-IL’s design for this ambitious art gallery in Brooklyn responds to the neighborhood’s industrial past

Brooklyn-based architecture firm SO-IL is adding to its portfolio of art galleries. Slated to open in 2017, Artes Amant will house 14,250 square feet of exhibition, storage, and studio spaces behind its confident concrete facade. Lit by windows strategically placed along the edges of the building, the interior spaces promise to play with the perception of light and shadow, plane and line. The gallery will be located in Brooklyn and its form is "visually and spatially marked by its industrial past," according to SO-IL's website. SO-IL continues:
The self-supporting geometry of these shells exists in tension with programming, light, and circulation. The constant calibration of these constraints inform the contours of the building. Apertures in the shells capture and carry natural light into a nearly edgeless interior, challenging the perception of a defined space. Across the building's exterior, edges and seams slip in and out of appearance. Throughout the building's suppleness and muted palette play with ambiguity and legibility; neither monumental nor prosaic, instead it entices.
  Judging from the section drawings, there will be some interesting volumes to explore on the top floor of the four-story building. The fluid form of the building bears some resemblance to the firm's earlier Kukje Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. [Via Clad.]
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Impressive Shortlist for New Dutch Cultural Center Revealed

Arnhem, Netherlands is in the midst of commissioning designs for ArtA, a new cultural center planned for the city. Proposals from an impressive list of four international firms are being considered for the space, which is to house the Museum Arnhem and the Focus Film Theater. Beyond accommodating both exhibition and theater programming, the structure is also meant to act as a link between the city and the waterfront of the adjacent Rhine River. SO-IL, NL architects, Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), and Kengo Kuma are the four studios shortlisted for the project. SO-IL presented a modular design composed of five units of varying size.  A central staircase leads visitors deep into the interior of the structure, while each unit is strategically pierced by large openings that provide views of the river and the surrounding city. In keeping with the two pronged program of the center, BIG elected to place a black box and a white box at either pole of their proposal. These archetypes of museum and theater architecture are fused by a twisted volume and diagonal arts plaza. The torqued form creates new types of semi-protected public spaces in the plaza designated to host the center. Both NL Architects and Kengo Kuma arrive to the competition armed with stepped structures. Kengo Kuma offer a series of offset stacked glass rectangles partially clad in red clay tile, an arrangement that also generates a number of rooftop terraces. The Rhine is metaphorically invited into the site in the form of cascading reflecting pools. NL Architects envisions a more uniformly staggered facade in the form of a large staircase-shaped structure growing in size and stature as it approaches the waterfront. These, too, are coupled with rooftop green space and a sculpture garden, while the steps rest upon an expansive and largely open multifunctional art square.
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We Have A Winner at UC Davis: “Grand Canopy”

Last month AN reported that UC Davis had selected a shortlist for its Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Well we have a winner: "Grand Canopy," by  So - IL / Bohlin Cywinski Jackson/ Whiting-Turner. The design features a 50,000 square-foot floating steel canopy which weaves together exterior and interior space for galleries, exhibitions, concerts, art studios, as well as artists' residencies.  Jurors selected the design from a shortlist of three finalists for its unusual incorporation of light, close connection to the UC Davis campus, as well as the ability to adapt and grow over time to the changing needs of its users--the students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The museum will occupy 1.6 acres on the southern edge of the UC Davis campus.Watch Florian Idenburg, design architect and partner for SO - IL, talk about the winning design (Joe Proudman/UC Davis).
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The New In Crowd: Architectural League’s 2013 Emerging Voices Announced

Reflecting the various currents of contemporary architecture and urbanism, the Architectural League of New York has announced its line-up for the 2013 Emerging Voices lecture series. The series showcases notable talent from across North America and is selected through a portfolio competition that emphasizes built work. The program has had a remarkable track record at identifying important architects. Past Emerging Voices have included Steven Holl, Morphosis, Jeanne Gang, and SHoP among many other boldface archinames. cao | perrot Studio of Los Angeles and Paris, principals Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot garciastudio of San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, principal Jorge Garcia (pictured at the top of the post). DIGSAU of Philadelphia, principals Jules Dingle, Jeff Goldstein, Mark Sanderson, and Jamie Unkefer dlandstudio of New York, principal Susannah Drake MASS Design Group of Boston and Kigali, Rwanda, principals Sierra Bainbridge, Michael Murphy, Alan Ricks, and David Saladnick Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects of San Francisco, principals Luke Ogrydziak and Zoe Prillinger PRODUCTURA of Mexico City, principals Carolos Bedoya, Wonne Ickx, Victor Jaime, and Abel Perles SO-IL of New York City, principals Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu All lectures will be held at Scholastic Auditorium located at 557 Broadway. On March 7 the League will feature SO-IL and garciastudio. March 14 dlandstudio and MASS Design Group will lecture. DIGSAU and Ogrydziak Prillinger will speak on March 18 and March 28 will feature cao | perrot and PRODUCTURA.
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Impressive Shortlist at New UC Davis Art Museum

Three design-build teams have been shortlisted to design the $30 million Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis. They are: WORKac and Westlake Reed Leskosky with Kitchell; Henning Larsen Architects and Gould Evans with Oliver and Co; and SO–IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson with Whiting-Turner. Each team had four months to prepare a bid for the museum. The museum will be named after Jan Shrem, operator of Clos Pegase winery in the Napa Valley, and his wife Maria Manetti Shrem.
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Art Central At UC Davis

The University of California Davis is becoming a cultural force. The school already has three art museums (and arts alums include artist Bruce Nauman and sculptor Deborah Butterfield), and is getting ready to add another, just releasing the shortlist for its new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The list is impressive, including the following design/build teams: wHYArchitecture and Gensler with BNBT Builders; HGA and DPR; Allied Works with Hathaway Dinwiddie; Westlake, Kitchell, WORK; Gould Evans, Henning Larsen, Oliver; Olson Kundig, Olveraa; and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, SO-IL, Whiting Turner. The list was culled from an initial list of 19. The 40,000 square foot museum, located on a 1.6 acre site that is part of a long-range master plan for the university’s new south entrance, is slated for completion in 2015,
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EVENT> Guggenheim Launches Stillspotting, Queens Edition, April 14

When New Yorkers seek an island of calm within the city, they usually think of finding a patch of grass in a park, not making a beeline to the streets of Jackson Heights. But stillspotting, a series of programs sponsored by the Guggenheim, promises pools of respite in the most unusual places. Selected artists and architects are paired with each of New York five boroughs and asked to create "spots" of stillness--what that might mean seems to be completely at their discretion. Last June artist Pedro Reyes' Sanitorium project in Brooklyn offered visitors a selection of "urban therapies"; in September the architects of Snoehetta teamed up with Estonian composer Arvo Part to create To a Great City, a series of installations deploying weather balloons accompanied by Part's music in a handful of spaces around Manhattan. Now, the architecture firm SO-IL is defining stillness through time, specifically the time it takes for a writer to read a short story. For Transhistoria, SO-IL explored one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods, Jackson Heights, Queens; the firm was particularly curious about how neiborhood residents, many of whom are foreign-born, achieve a sense of home. To answer that question, SO-IL invited a group of ten Queens-based writers to tell their own stories of "migration, displacement, and finding familiarity and identity in a new place." Each writer is matched with one of six Jackson Heights locations that range from apartments to sidewalks to rooftops. Visitors can buy tickets for a four-story self-guided tour that lasts about two hours. During the reading, each story location becomes a temporary stillspot (stools provided). SO-IL founder Jing Liu said that she and partner Florian Idenburg hand-picked the group of authors and worked with them to shape their pieces; the eclectic bunch includes Fr. William Alan Briceland, chaplain at Elmhurst Hospital, and Ishle Yi Park, poet laureate for the borough of Queens.  At a preview event earlier this week, listeners heard a sampling of "transhistories," like "You Say Samosa, I Say Samoosa," by Premilla Nadasen, a writer of Indian descent who was born in South Africa and ended up in Queens but has never lived in India. That evening the background noise of the soiree competed with any sense of stillness; writers will have to be in full voice to create stillspots on a busy weekend in Jackson Heights. Yet exactly that challenge--as well as unpredictable weather and attendance numbers--is what makes this edition of stillspotting an exciting experiment. Stillspotting organizer David van der Leer, the Guggenheim's assistant curator of architecture and urban studies--who is also behind the museum's other out-of-body project, the BMW Guggenheim Lab--said that previous editions have taught him that stillspot seekers are out in force on weekends. Transhistoria is spaced out over four Saturdays and Sundays (April 14–15, 21–22, 28–29, and May 5–6, 11am–7pm).