It's strike two for Danish design in Utah. Bjarke Ingels’ second proposed expansion of the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah did not fare any better than his first. The Park City News is reporting that the local City Hall rejected the firm’s updated design because it failed to meet the “municipal government's strict Old Town guidelines.” Or, to put it simply, it just didn't fit in. That's essentially what the Park City community said about BIG’s first design—a dramatic, twisting, log cabin-like structure. For the second go-round, BIG opted for a more refined approach with a concrete structure that lifts over the street and forms a 46-foot-high peak at the site's corner. In a statement, the Kimball Art Center’s executive director expressed the board’s disappointment with City Hall’s decision, and said that they are weighing their next steps. The center has a brief, ten-day window to appeal.
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Thanks in large part to public protest, Bjarke Ingels' plans for a twisted, log-cabin-like box for Park City's Kimball Art Center have been dramatically changed. Earlier this month Ingels' firm BIG unveiled a new design: a concrete wedge lifting 46 feet above the corner of Main and Heber Streets. "The building seems to rise with Main Street and the mountain landscape, while bowing down to match the scale of the existing Kimball," Ingels said in a statement. The former plan (pictured below), chosen in 2012, was 80-feet-tall. Its exposed wood facade paid homage to the area's early settlers and to the city's historic Coalition Mine Building. Besides echoing the local topography, Ingels told the Park City News that the new poured-in-place design "draws on the encounter between the modern functionalist architecture of the Kimball Garage (the museum's original home) and the regional vernacular style of the mountain architecture." Some locals had complained that the original design didn't mesh with the city's context, and that its height would impact property values. When asked how he felt about the Kimball's decision not to pursue his original design, Ingels replied: "The Kimball and BIG did the only thing possible, and now I think we have arrived at a design that can be just as striking a contribution to Part City's streetscape, if only a lot more intimate in scale than our first sketches."
Despite winning the Kimball Art Center renovation commission in February of last year, Bjarke Ingels Group’s design proposal is far from beginning construction in Park City, Utah. After a seven-member jury of officials, architects, and a Park City resident chose the BIG museum revamp from a shortlist of designs from several prominent firms, the public made their dissatisfaction clear. The building is on hold and without community approval it will continue to sit in stasis for an indeterminable amount of time. Rendered as a twisted timber box, BIG’s transformed Kimball Art Center is a “highly-evolved log cabin at an unprecedented scale.” Its wood construction alludes to the building materials used by miners, the area’s first settlers, and the proposed 80-foot height is congruent with an iconic heritage monument that once stood near the site. These architectural intentions do not appease nor appeal to Park City residents. Scott Iwasaki of “The Park Record” reported that some neighbors have complained BIG’s design does not fit with its historic locale while others are worried the tall structure will decrease surrounding property values. Concerns have been so severe that the art gallery’s Board of Directors chose not to submit the plan for a city review, the first step in building construction approval, even after the jury spent six months deliberating a design competition winner. The Board did make a pre-application to Park City’s Historic District Design Review, although this will have no effect on the status of the eventual renovation. Their next move, however, is uncertain. Repeating the competition process for a new design is an option, Kimball Art Center Chairman Matt Mullin said but its subsequent timeline extension would not be ideal. The renovation is meant to provide space to expand the Kimball’s art education classes and until the Park City community is content with the design, its present pause will endure.
In Provo, Utah, a new temple is rising, literally, on the site of a disaster. When a devastating fire ripped through the 112-year-old tabernacle in 2010, destroying its wooden interiors and steeples, community members mourned the loss of their historic house of worship. But with the building’s 7-million-pound stone shell still standing, a new plan was devised to transform its remains into a temple. Now the building’s skin, reinforced by shotcrete and steel beams, has been "lifted" 40 feet off the ground on steel and concrete piles. The former church was gutted before construction crews began digging down to create space for a new, two-story basement, installing the stilts as they went so the building really hasn’t gone anywhere. “People are amazed when the see [the construction site],” project manager Andy Kirby told the Mormon Newsroom. ”They haven’t seen anything like it before. They just say it doesn’t look real and are just amazed that we can do that, that we can lift a building up with piles like that.” While the new foundation is already laid, the project is not set to be complete until 2015 considering the amount of restoration that needs to be done to return the temple to its former glory. [Via Colossal.]
Five noted teams have been shortlisted from a pool of 18 to renovate and expand the Kimball Art Center (KAC) in Park City, Utah. The firms include BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group; Brooks + Scarpa Architects; Sparano + Mooney Architecture; Will Bruder + Parnets; and Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects. The center offers exhibitions as well as art classes, workshops, and other educational programs. Plans call for renovating the interior of the existing KAC and constructing a new modern building next door. Each of the proposals will be displayed using augmented reality, photography, and video during the Sundance Film Festival from January 19 through the 29 and a jury will select a winner in February once the public has had a chance to weigh in on their favorites. Construction could begin as soon as mid-2013 with the new wing opening in 2015. "We want visitors to see Park City as an important emerging arts destination, and a new building of architectural importance, with an enhanced facility for the presentation of art, will do just that,” said Robin Marrouche, the Kimball's executive director, in a statement. “In addition to the positive economic effects the project could have on the region in the long term, we want to further enrich our community, allowing us to expand our exhibition and educational offerings and provide a much needed public gathering space in Old Town." BIG's proposal calls for a twisting, stacked timber structure made from reclaimed train tracks, enclosing an interior spiral staircase and topped with an roof terrace. A sculpture garden would be included on top of the original structure. Brooks + Scarpa Architects designed a honeycomb tower called the "Kimball Cloud" that incorporates solar energy and natural ventilation. A rooftop terrace and garden is included in the new building. Sparano + Mooney Architecture also calls for timber construction, this time inspired by the Aspen tree. The new building will be covered with a photovoltaic glass screen allowing the new space to be flooded with light. Will Bruder + Partners designed a building with a colored ceramic facade that references both the adjacent masonry buildings in Park City's historic district as well as the surrounding canyons. The proposal features a rooftop terrace and a central skylight. Todd Williams Billie Tsien's proposal, dubbed a "Box of Sky and Shadow," frames mountain views and includes an exterior scrim for film projects. Check out more images of the five proposals below. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
Spiraling Out of Control. Salt Lake Tribune reported that the New York-based Dia Foundation's failure to pay the annual land fees for Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty has resulted in the state of Utah's appropriation of the artist's famous "earthwork masterpiece." Dia subsequently released a statement explaining that they were not aware of the pressing payment and are in negotiations with the state to ensure the water sculpture's preservation. Artinfo digs deeper to find that the problem could have been caused by a computer or clerical error and says the Dia Foundation hopes to have the matter resolved by the end of the week. Bad Chemistry. According to DNA, Lower Chelsea residents are fighting to stop Alchemy Construction's development of a 30-story tower at 31 W. 15th Street. The development firm bypassed standard zoning regulations after securing air rights from the Xavier High School, which will utilize the lower floors as new classrooms and event space. The Lower Chelsea Alliance maintains that construction of the 300-foot tall building is already causing noise and odor pollution and insist the tower will ruin the neighborhood's aesthetic character. Good Mixing. Further uptown, the Wall Street Journal exposes the first gourmet food truck with a one-year liquor license. The city has permitted the Turkish Taco Truck in Central Park to serve beer, wine, and cocktails as long as it provides seating and remains parked. Now introducing: better lunch breaks. Toxicology. The New York Times reveals the National Toxicology Program's recent report identifying formaldehyde and styrene as carcinogens. While consumers are at minimal risk due to the low quantities in wood construction materials and plastics, respectively, the chemicals pose a serious threat to factory workers. The industry is attempting to dispute these results, but some manufacturers have already sought alternative production.
As Kermit once declared, "It's not easy being an architect." From the 2-feet-too-tall M Cube to the near-destruction of old masters, there seem to be problems around every corner. The story of Clark Stevens is doubly tragic, which Architizer ran today. You see, like many a sad architectural story, Stevens was working on one of his many glorious prairie houses when the recession hit and the client canceled it, and not only that, but there was a considerable squabble over fees, which client did not realize would grow as the size of the project did. After months of struggle a settlement was reached, about the best Stevens could hope for. A little while later, Stevens, an avid outdoorsman, decides to check in on his old hole-in-the-ground during an upcoming trip, but he sought out Google Earth first, where to his surprise, he could see bits of his building taking shape. The architect called up an contractor friend who had been working on the project who confirmed it. But, like a true cowboy (at least according to Architizer), Stevens decided to let the project go rather than to kick a cactus.