The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has announced an open call for a competition to design a memorial honoring the African Americans enslaved by the school upon its founding in 1693 until the Civil War. The public university welcomes conceptual ideas for a physical memorial that provides an area of community and contemplation for students, teachers, and staff to reflect on its former reliance on slave labor. The forthcoming memorial must engage with the school’s Historic Campus, a two-acre, diamond-shaped site situated around The Wren Building—designed by English architect Sir Christopher Wren and the oldest college building still standing in the U.S. The adjacent President’s House and the Brafferton make up the heart of William & Mary’s colonial campus where the memorial may be constructed. “This memorial is such an important project for our community,” said current President Katherine A. Rowe in a press release. “African Americans have been vital to William & Mary since its earliest days. Even as they suffered under slavery, African Americans helped establish the university and subsequently maintained it.” The project falls under the larger umbrella of a long-term initiative by the university to research its own history with slavery. As the second oldest higher education institution in the country, it used slaves for not only construction, maintenance, and service, but for funding the college in general. King William and Queen Mary of England specified in a charter that the school would be built off the profits of slaves working in tobacco fields of Virginia and Maryland. The college even owned its own plantation, the Nottoway Quarter. In 2007, the William & Mary Student Assembly called for the college’s Board of Visitors (BOV) to create a commission to research the full depths of its contributions to slavery. They also asked that a public memorial be built as an apology and as a source of remembrance. Under the purview of The Lemon Project, which the BOV established in response, the school has been exploring these ties to slaveholding as well as its current relationship with the African-American community of Williamsburg, Virginia, for several years. Sponsored classes, research studies, symposia, and more have encouraged students and faculty to spread awareness and dive deep into the topic despite its difficult truths. The Lemon Project Committee on Memorialization (LPCOM) was founded out of this commitment after a fall 2014 course where students considered how a memorial design might convey the history and memory of the school’s racially fraught past. The committee has spent the last several years discussing how to best approach the memorial competition, which was announced last week. Interested participants must submit a design plan and a 500-word description of their concept by October 12 at 5 p.m. To learn more about the submission process, go here. A jury of alumni, staff, faculty, and students will choose three ideas to show President Rowe, upon which, if the design is ready, she will share with the BOV during its February 2019 meeting.
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Scheduled to open later this year, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) on Northeastern’s campus is a 220,000-square-foot research complex that provides state-of-the-art infrastructure, fosters collaboration across disciplines, and increases the university’s capacity to hire top faculty and academic leaders. Prominently sited along an axial pedestrian approach within the private Boston-based research university, the design features a curvilinear translucent facade. The project is a showcase for Payette’s Building Science group, which integrates building physics thinking into the design process. The program was initiated over 5 years ago by Andrea Love, Associate Principal at Payette, and has grown to a specialized three-person team. In addition to overseeing all projects produced by the 140-person firm, the group takes on research initiatives. In 2012, Love, who recently spoke at Facades+ Boston, was awarded the AIA Upjohn Grant on “Thermal Performance of Facades,” a research project studying the effects of thermal bridging in 15 recently completed in-house projects. Love told AN that developing an “energy literacy” in the firm is their goal: the outset of all projects begin with “an intelligent starting point, derived from previous research and studies that have been performed.” For ISEC, the role of Love’s Building Science group was to first inform what kind of facade system was appropriate for the complex: Both performatively and aesthetically to maintain the design vision that had won them the project. The team initially thought a double-skin facade would perform best in the cold New England climate, but quickly determined that solar gain from the southwest facing glass facades would need to be managed. A high performance sun shading system was developed through an iterative process between the Building Science group and Payette’s project team, optimizing fin geometry to balance construction and budget constraints with digital analysis tools like Ladybug + Honeybee for Grasshopper. This method of working translated from the formal composition of the fins—their various curvatures, dimensional limits, and on-center spacing—to construction details which acknowledged a desire to simplify the installation process with a high performance agenda that resulted in minimal thermal breaks and the introduction of rubber pads to minimize thermal transfer. Love said the aluminum fins saved cost on multiple fronts, reducing energy usage by over half of what it would have been without the shading devices, and allowing for a more standard building envelope. “This allowed us to have a traditional curtain wall that is straight in the back, then produce curvature with the fin assembly, achieving a complex doubly curved geometry at a relatively affordable cost.” During value engineering, half of the aluminum fins were proposed to be eliminated to save cost. Through energy model analysis, the Building Science group determined proposed fin reductions would actually increase the cost of the project by requiring greater cooling loads. Love says an integrated design process is critical to proving the value of the firm’s work: “If you don't have that integrated design from the beginning, essential design components often get removed because you cannot prove their impact. this was very helpful to maintain the performative aspects of the design, but also the design vision throughout the design process.” Payette worked closely with ARUP and Permasteelisa Group on the development of the custom aluminum fin system. While a few key sections were produced for construction documents, the construction of facade components was largely referenced digitally by sharing Rhino geometry with fabricators who produced construction model geometry. With shell construction complete, the project is scheduled to open in November.
"The copper woven mesh opens like a curtain over the city. It unfolds like a filter in front of a fully glazed facade. It shows off the facility while protecting it."ARC.AME Urban Architects have designed a new School of Art in the center of Calais, a northern port city in France. Recently the town has been notable for a growing refugee population which has attempted to migrate to England by means of the Eurotunnel transit tunnel beneath the English Channel and ferries. The architects say this project exists as a symbol of the revival of the city center: “the powerful and original architecture of the project had to respect the balance and the scales of the context into which it was embedded.” The school program was designed to be fully public, allowing for freely accessible galleries. A secondary residential program provides 25 apartments, placed like houses on the rooftop. The units are designed as duplexes, each with a south facing terrace. A central courtyard links these residences with the university program. The architects say one of the major challenges at stake in the revitalization of historic city centers, which have been abandoned for the suburbs, is the new lifestyle that a dense mixed-use environment creates. With adjacent buildings literally tied into an existing commercial mall building on the site, demolition was a challenging aspect to the project. The new structure is coordinated to the massing heights of the contextual buildings, however it strongly varies in materiality. A woven copper mesh product from GKD France screens a facade composed primarily of glazing, and formally opens up onto the city as a curtain. The mesh filters daylight, protecting art galleries and equipment from direct exposure. The coloration of the mesh incorporates a high gloss paint to protect the material from its coastal environment. The roof is detailed in a lacquered copper, subtly – nearly invisibly – transitioning to the metal mesh product which rolls over the facade walls. Several mesh configurations were tested to achieve desired lighting results for classroom and studio spaces. The radial section profile allows the product to be incorporated onto the facade as a single piece, without any splicing required. The architects say one of the greatest successes of the project is the qualities this solar shade provides: “We love many aspects of this project; the mesh, the concrete matrix, the central garden, the exhibition hall…but the thing that lived up most to our expectations is the quality of the light which diffuses all across the building and the visual transparencies between the several indoor spaces.”
International firm Perkins+Will has unveiled plans for a new six story, 210,000 square foot scheme at the University of Toronto Mississauga in Ontario, Canada. The creatively named 'North Building Phase B' has a construction budget of $69 million and is due to be complete by the summer of 2018. The project will be home to six university departments: English & Drama, Historical Studies, Language Studies, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology, featuring student lounges, study areas and dining space. Part of a wider scheme, it is the second installment of a three-phase program replacing a not-so-temporary structure that was the campus' first building, built in 1967. In terms of its impact on the vicinity, the building will complete a circle of public space that surrounds the campus green creating a more holistic and established area for academia and university life. Notable features of the design, which was granted after Perkins+Will won a two-stage competition, include a terraced atrium that is part of a multipurpose event space, numerous state-of-the-art Active Learning Classrooms, elevated roof gardens and terraces overlooking the campus green for students and staff. The firm has also employed a sustainability focused approach using solar shading and natural ventilation in tandem with clever siting and building orientation. This isn't the first time Perkins + Will has designed for the University of Toronto. The practice has built four other buildings on the university's campus.
Gallery> University of Chicago and Kliment Halsband Architects breathe new life into an old seminary building
Like many large research universities, the University of Chicago appears to always be building. One mainstay of campus construction is rehabs of existing institutional buildings. At the University of Chicago, that means figuring out what to do with a large stock of neo-Gothic buildings that once served as places of worship. Last year the university revived the 1928 Chicago Theological Seminary on the University’s Hyde Park campus as Saieh Hall, the new home of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics and the Department of Economics. Now, New York–based Kliment Halsband Architects has accomplished a similar transformation with the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at 5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue. Originally the Meadville Theological Center, the 1933 building retains its neogothic facade and a general air of introspection. But the interiors of Neubauer—named for trustee Joseph Neubauer and his wife Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer in honor of their $26.5 million gift to the University—are thoroughly modern, with shared workspaces and studios designed to promote collaboration. Via the architects, take a visual tour of the building courtesy of photographer Tom Rossiter:
Studio Gang Architects' Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College in Michigan broke ground in 2012. Now photos of this sylvan study space are available, following its September opening. And they don't disappoint. The 10,000-square-foot building is targeting LEED Gold. Gang's press release said the new social justice center, a trifurcated volume terminating in large transparent window-walls, “brings together students, faculty, visiting scholars, social justice leaders, and members of the public for conversation and activities aimed at creating a more just world.” The open interior spaces are connected with long sight lines and awash in natural light—a cozy condition Studio Gang says will break down barriers and help visitors convene. The building's concave exterior walls are made of a unique wood-masonry composite that its designers say will sequester carbon. It also, says a release, “challenges the Georgian brick language and plantation-style architecture of the campus’s existing buildings.”
Chicago’s top art school announced big changes in its design department this morning. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Thursday announced their selection of Jonathan Solomon as the new Director of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO). Solomon, who comes from his position as associate professor and associate dean at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University, assumes the job officially on August 1. In 2010 Solomon, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture and Certificate in Media and Modernity from Princeton University, helped curate Workshopping: An American Model of Architectural Practice at the Venice Architecture Biennial. He is the co-founder of 306090, a nonprofit arts stewardship organization. He previously taught design at the City College of New York, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Hong Kong, where he led the Department of Architecture as Acting Head from 2009 to 2012. He is a licensed architect in the State of Illinois. Solomon recently spoke on a Chicago Architecture Foundation panel discussing Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin’s series on Chicago designers in China. He is related to Lou Solomon, who helped found Chicago design firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB).
As buzz builds for Kent State University’s “Design Loft,” a new home for one of Ohio’s four architecture schools, lead architects Weiss/Mandredi Thursday announced project updates. The building will now now be composed of four tiered floors instead of five, trimming the overall area from 124,000 square feet to roughly 107,000 square feet. “The changes have been made in the name of efficiency and cost-effectiveness,” according to Kent’s Record-Courier, who reported that most of the area cut consisted of “non-essential corridors.” The new building is to be located along the Lester A. Lefton Esplanade between South Lincoln and Willow streets. It would bring together the University’s fragmented design programs together under one roof. They currently occupy three separate structures, including Taylor Hall — a gathering spot for the 1970 Vietnam War protests in which the Ohio National Guard shot 13 unarmed students. The new building — a procession of stepped, transparent boxes — is meant to encourage interaction among students, and lessen the town-gown divide. “The building will physically and metaphorically represent the connection between the city of Kent and the university campus,” read a Kent State University press release. Richard L. Bowen & Associates is the architect of record. Construction is expected to begin by fall of this year.
The Illinois Institute of Technology announced last week that they will break ground next year on a 5-story “innovation center” at the university’s Bronzeville campus in Chicago. The new 100,000-square-foot building will overlook the Dan Ryan Expressway and will house academic classrooms as well as resources for entrepreneurs. “It will combine the power of higher education,” said IIT President John Anderson, “with Chicago-style imagination, determination and boldness to fuel innovation.” The center will house IIT’s Interprofessional Projects Program as well as high-tech workshops and computer labs. IIT will also provide space for companies at University Technology Park. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was present for the announcement, eager to tout Chicago’s growing business community. City support will provide cost savings that Anderson said will translate into twice as many Chicago Public Schools students in its summer programs for high school students.