Posts tagged with "SPORTS Collaborative":

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SPORTS activates an alley in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee

A bright-green installation now snakes through a formerly-dingy and disconnected alley in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Designed by Syracuse, New York–based practice SPORTS, City Thread activates the 6,200-square-foot walk-through with 500 feet of linear steel that doubles as public seating. The project was born out of an international design competition, Passageways 2.0, in which architects were asked to envision a piece of contemporary urban infrastructure that would activate an alleyway in the Southern city’s core. Organized by River City Company, a local nonprofit economic development company, the program was the second iteration of a successful 2016 competition that imagined pop-up pieces in Chattanooga as well.  SPORTS won Passageways 2.0 last summer, and with it, the chance to build City Thread as a permanent installation in the 300-foot-long passage known Cooper’s Alley off 7th Street in downtown Chattanooga. Led by Molly Hunker and Greg Corso, the award-winning, multidisciplinary practice collaborated with NOUS Engineering and Metal Arts Foundry on the project, opening the completed, zig-zagging structure last November. It’s now being marketed as a piece of “art-as-infrastructure” and a series of “urban rooms” that support a range of social activities, formal programming, and casual hangouts. To create City Thread, SPORTS was limited to a small budget of just $100,000 and asked to design around fixed elements within the alleyway such as AC units, grease traps, doors, vehicle access lanes, and fire hose hookups. The firm circumvented these barriers by building an adaptable installation that utilized a “kit of parts system of design and construction.” With only six formal elements—straight pieces of steel and five different corners, SPORTS created a seamless volume that conforms to the specific clearances in the alley. The result of City Thread is a new kind of city block for Chattanooga, one that puts pedestrians first and gives way to informal and planned opportunities for social connection. Hunker and Corso told AN in an email that Chattanooga, a city that’s known as a rising tech hub, is keen on building urban infrastructure that encourages both digital and personal connectivity. The “Gig City” is most famous for having the first publically-owned broadband network, a move that spurred economic development and boosted job creation nearly nine years ago. City Thread almost seems like a visual, tactile model of the ultra-fast, fiber-optic internet. It’s another kind of winding network that physically connects locals to one another.   “There’s unbelievably strong support for creative projects, like this one, that bring people together,” said Hunker and Corso. “It’s been particularly exciting to see this new public space come alive with various different activities, and to see the various interpretations of the space by different people.” SPORTS was recently named AN’s 2018 Best of Design Award winner for Young Architects. Established in 2010, the firm has designed and constructed both large- and small-scale architectural installations around the country. Both Hunker and Corso currently teach architecture at Syracuse University.
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2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Young Architects

2018 Best of Design Awards winner for Young Architects: Runaway Designer: SPORTS Location: Santa Barbara, California Runaway is a mobile pop-up pavilion first developed by SPORTS for the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. With the goal of bringing art to underrepresented neighborhoods, three self-similar, open-structure objects were designed to reference the foggy and hazy climate of California’s coastal region. The collection’s orientation and composition is intended to be rearranged at different sites. In each deployment, the project generates public space and arts programming for underserved communities. Runaway illustrates the potential for small architectural objects to add a robust and ephemeral layer to urban centers—one that repositions the city as a series of small episodic moments rather than grand architectural interventions. Honorable Mentions Project name: Noodle Soup Designer: office ca Location: Lake Forest, Illinois Project name: Malleable Monuments Designer: The Open Workshop Location: San Francisco
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2017 Best of Design Awards for Representation – Digital

2017 Best of Design Award for Representation – Digital: Three Projects Designer: SPORTS Location: New York Three Projects is a series of 3-D-printed model-drawings that represent three built projects by SPORTS. As hybrid representations, they are a collection of artifacts that unpack the layered and latent nature of the work. Each project—“Runaway,” “Rounds,” and “Stay Down, Champion, Stay Down”—is represented in multiple, highlighting the various layers of visual effects, formal details, and hidden programmatic potentials. The three projects represent a larger design campaign that embraces novelty and discovery in architecture, balancing precision and provocation. “It’s easy for architects to fall into old representational tropes or rely on computer-produced images. I like how the entrants are reimagining what a drawing can be and what it can do. Drawing and thinking are so related that radical representation techniques like this can really transform how we think about what we’re building. ”
—Morris Adjmi, principal, Morris Adjmi Architects (juror) Design and Fabrication: Greg Corso + Molly Hunker Honorable Mention Project: MIDDLE EARTH: DIORAMAS FOR THE PLANET Designer: NEMESTUDIO Location: Conceptual Middle Earth: Dioramas for the Planet explores the role of architectural representation in relation to climate change through dioramas depicting nature. The project is a speculative architectural proposal situated at the exact location on Earth where the equator crosses the prime meridian near the Gulf of Guinea, Africa. Each diorama displays a specific problem brought by climate change taking place at the "middle of the earth." Honorable Mention  Project: New Cadavre Exquis Designer: NEMESTUDIO Location: Conceptual New Cadavre Exquis speculates on architecture’s materiality in the context of digital accumulation, a critical reflection of global culture. The project consists of four architectural assemblies, which are created via a sampling process of digital ready-mades ranging from everyday objects and building elements to primitive forms and natural features culled from the 3-D Warehouse, an online open-source digital library of more than two million 3-D models.
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SPORTS creates traveling "loungescape" for Santa Barbara

Syracuse, New York–based SPORTS recently completed the installation of their Runaway pavilion, a striking arrangement of wire metal meshes designed as an ode to the unique atmospheric qualities of Santa Barbara, California. In a statement, the designers explained their desire to “architecturalize the aesthetic quality of the air” in the beachside community, a shifting environmental phenomenon caused by the confluence of intense inland heat and cooler beach fog. The resulting “June gloom,” serves as the inspiration for the project. The pavilion is made up of three triangular masses constructed from rectilinear elements that can be repositioned variously. The masses—which have nested shapes scooped out from their interior volumes—seem to dematerialize in place, as their bright cyan, magenta, and yellow forms catch the passing light. The so-called “loungescape” works at a variety of scales and functions. Based on the arrangement and orientation of the forms, the pavilion can work as a simple wall used to demarcate space or as something grander, like a performance stage. The shapes can also be used as casual seating elements. The pieces will move around the city, starting with the Santa Barbara Pier. From there, they will travel to a number of different neighborhoods and be installed in at least six sites. The composition of the project will vary according to each locale, a process the designers envision will unlock the multi-functional nature of the pieces. SPORTS completed a mint-green seating installation in Chicago’s suburbs last year. The current installation is the result of the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara’s Take Part / Make Art Pavilion competition that sought to reposition the museum as a force for urban art through traveling, neighborhood-based installations. The pavilion will move throughout the city, changing location every few weeks, through mid-August of this year.
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2016 Best of Design Award for Temporary Installation: Rounds by SPORTS

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it's grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you.

2016 Best of Design Award for Temporary Installation: Rounds

Architect: SPORTS Location: Lake Forest, IL

Rounds is a temporary plywood theater pavilion created for an artist colony just north of Chicago. It was the winner of the Adrian Smith Prize, which is sponsored by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and included a $15,000 production grant and a ten-person, design-build residency for three weeks at Ragdale. Departing from the bandshell structure and stage most commonly deployed in this setting, Rounds establishes a dynamic and playful performance surface. Small-scale curves in the ring’s ribbon-like design act as lounge spaces while mid-scale waves serve both as covered stage areas and portals to the inner space of the ring. The largest undulation is designed for the main stage area, which can be broken down into smaller parts and distributed around the ring for several concurrent performances.

Additional support for the project was provided by Syracuse University School of Architecture and W.E. O’Neil.

Build Team Greg Corso, Molly Hunker, Jordan Nelson, Nick Zukauskas, Kevin Lenhart, Preston Welker, Sean Morgan, Dabota Wilcox, Jon Anthony, Monika  England, Kokeith  Perry, Sarah Beaudoin

Engineer Arup

Landscape Architect Rosborough Partners Fabrication Consultant Knowhow Shop Exterior Finish Stuc-O-Flex Honorable Mention, Temporary Installation: Floating The Waller

Architect: Ten Eyck Landscape Architects Location: Austin, TX

This installation of 200 empty illuminated inner tubes floating on Austin’s Waller Creek was conceived to highlight the need for improving water quality, ecological health, and public accessibility in urban waterways.

Honorable Mention, Temporary Installation: Town Branch Water Walk

Architect: SCAPE Landscape Architecture Location: Lexington, KY

The design intervention is not a physical landscape, but a communication tool conceived with the Lexington, Kentucky, Downtown Development Authority. A self-guided podcast tour of the Town Branch Culvert gives a broad understanding of the biophysical area, reveals the invisible waters beneath the city, and demonstrates the impacts each resident can have.

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SPORTS’s giant green ribbon lands in Chicago’s north suburbs

A glimpse of a bright green form caught my eye as I missed the driveway of the Ragdale Foundation estate north of Chicago. A red Ferrari was close behind my rental car, and I couldn’t slow down in time to make the turn. The 50-acre Ragdale estate is situated in the wooded Lake Forest community, home to some of Chicago’s wealthiest families. The green apparition I spotted was this year’s Ragdale Ring.

The Ragdale Ring is a temporary open-air theater designed each year by winners of the foundation’s Adrian Smith Prize. This year’s iteration, designed by Syracuse-based SPORTS, is entitled Rounds. Fittingly, the installation is an undulating arching ribbon creating a perfect 70-foot diameter circle in plan. Nestled in a clearing in the forested front of the estate, the piece ties into its surroundings with curving archways. The arches rise to different heights, forming varied elevated seating areas, passages to the center, and one large space designated for a stage. Each arch responds to different conditions around the site, such as the main house, the residency building, or an entry path. The mint green color is vibrant, yet complementary to its verdant surroundings.

Thanks to engineering assistance from Arup, the piece is constructed out of waffled framed plywood and stands with no visible support. Landscape architects Rosborough Partners prepared the site with subtle rises where the ribbon hits the ground—combined with a meticulous paint job, it is hard to understand exactly how the ring was built, even when standing close. The result is the appearance that the entire ring was brought as one piece, maybe dropped on the site by some playful aliens.

SPORTS is a design collaboration between architects Greg Corso and Molly Hunker, faculty members at the Syracuse School of Architecture. Corso, Hunker, and a small team lived at Ragdale for three weeks in order to construct Rounds. The Adrian Smith Prize provides a $15,000 production grant and Ragdale provides room and board for the entire team, who also takes part in communal dinners and has access to the property’s forest and prairies. 

The Ragdale property was originally the country home of Chicago architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. Shaw was also the designer of the original Ragdale Ring in 1912. That first open air theater was specifically designed for his playwright wife. This year’s ring is the fourth since Ragdale initiated a program to reimagine the original in 2013. Now an international competition, it calls for designs that “explore intersections of architecture, sculpture, landscape, design, public art, and performance disciplines.”

Ragdale is not normally open to the public. The property is kept private to provide space for its nearly 200 annual residents to work without interruption. Fortunately, the public can experience Rounds in person—tickets are available to the public for a small number of performances throughout the late summer. The next of these will be a jazz concert August 18. What better way to finish a picturesque drive through Chicago’s mansion-filled north suburbs, than with a jazz concert in an uncannily mint green theater?

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SPORTS announced as designers of the 2016 Ragdale Ring

SPORTS is a design collaboration between architects Greg Corso and Molly Hunker, both faculty at the Syracuse University School of Architecture. The Adrian Smith Prize is awarded each year to a young design firm to build the Ragdale Ring, and outdoor performance space for the 50-acre Ragdale campus north of Chicago. SPORTS will receive a $15,000 production grant and a ten person residency for up to three weeks, starting May 23. SPORTS’s design, entitled Rounds, was selected by a jury of architects and artists. Comprised of an undulating circular ribbon, Rounds will be the site of public performance and garden party on June 9th. The rises and runs of the ribbon will act as the seating, stages, entries, and a space for the Ragdale community to gather throughout the summer. The original Ragdale Ring was designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912 as an open air theater for his playwright wife. Since 2013 Ragdale has re-imagined the Ring through an annual international competition. Ragdale specifically looks for designs that “explore intersections of architecture, sculpture, landscape, design, public art, and performance disciplines.” “I am proud to support the Ragdale Ring competition which uniquely serves the field of architecture and dynamically engages the public. Rounds is an exceptional design solution and I look forward to its successful construction and use,” remarked prize sponsor and jury member, Adrian Smith in this year’s announcement. Ragdale offers upwards of 200 residencies and fellowships annually at their campus in Lake Forest, IL, just north of Chicago. At any given time 13 artist are in residency working uninterrupted for weeks at a time. While SPORTS is in residency they will take part in nightly family style dinners, and have full access to the campuses 50 acres of prairie.