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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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.
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.”
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.]
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.
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).
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.
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.
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,
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).
Frieze Art Fair's first New York event will be housed in a distinctive serpentine structure designed by Brooklyn-based Solid Objectives—Idenburg Liu (SO-IL) architects. Continuing the tradition of creating bespoke temporary spaces for its London fairs, Frieze will construct a massive tent on the shore of Randall’s Island (don’t worry—ferries will run every 15 minutes). The long, white vinyl tent, divided into six sections, will curve along the riverfront with the addition of glass-walled wedges at each hinge. These junctures also provide seating and passage to the outdoor spaces, where visitors can patronize food carts being brought in for the event. The glass walls provide views of the East River, and the tent skin will let in diffuse sunlight.
Wulpen Community Center Architect: Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu Client: Flemish Government Architect Location: Wulpen, Belgium Completion: 2013 The Brooklyn-based firm Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (SO–IL) recently won a design competition for a community center located in Wulpen, a small, coastal town in Belgium. Their design transforms an unused schoolhouse into a community center with three distinct parts: a multipurpose room in the former two classrooms, a youth space in a garden, and meeting rooms in the original teachers’ house. The architects placed the circular youth section at one end of the courtyard space and the multipurpose room and meeting rooms at the other end. Their design merges these three spaces through a curved, covered concrete ribbon punctuated with openings that wraps around the perimeter of the property in the shape of a “U”, an element that both encloses and connects the separate areas of the community center—the multipurpose room, the youth space, the meeting rooms, and the resulting courtyard and tree at the center. The white concrete walkway unites and embraces these diverse spaces in a gentle way, like a warm hug from a good friend. SO–IL has partnered with the Belgium architecture firm Bureau Bouwtechniek for the project and the center is scheduled for completion in 2013. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.