Posts tagged with "Washington D.C.":

Design for Native American Veterans Memorial reflects “very deep kind of patriotism”

Few know that Native Americans are more likely than any other population group to serve in the U.S. armed forces. A new National Native American Veterans Memorial spotlights the contributions and sacrifices of Native Americans who have served. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. has recently selected the design by artist Harvey Pratt titled “Warriors’ Circle of Honor.” The memorial will break ground in 2019 and is expected to open in the following year. According to a statement from the Smithsonian Museum, Pratt designed “an elevated stainless steel circle” built on a stone fountain in the shape of a drum. The water symbolizes the blessing of holy ceremonies, and a fire will light up at the base of the circle during Veterans Day and other holidays. Pratt is a self-taught Oklahoma-based artist and a Vietnam War veteran. As a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, his work deals with the history and traditions of those people and other Native American communities. Pratt partnered with Hans and Torrey Butzer of Butzer Architects and Urbanism in designing this memorial. Last year, Congress commissioned the museum to build the memorial to honor “the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in the military since colonial times.”

Snarkitecture makes a Fun-House mini-retrospective for the National Building Museum’s Summer block Party

For its 2018 Summer Block Party exhibition, the National Building Museum reenlisted Snarkitecture to create Fun House. The New York-based architecture firm also designed the museum’s 2015 Summer Block Party; BEACH, which covered the 10,000-square-foot Great Hall in white plastic balls, and proved to be one of the most popular Summer Block Party exhibitions ever. This year, Snarkitecture worked with curator Maria Cristina Didero to take a different approach with Fun House, a full-size house with over 50 objects and installations that reference some of the firm’s previous work. Eleven different rooms, a front yard, and a backyard invite visitors to explore and play.  “We wanted to make the objects and environments in the show as accessible and interactive as possible, while also respecting the nature of some of the pieces as fragile design objects and ensuring the safety of visitors,” said Alex Mustonen of Snarkitecture. “In the end we've aimed to create a balance between moments that are playful and interactive with ones that are reflective and visually engaging.” In the front yard, people will find soft, oversize upholstered letters derived from A Memorial Bowling—a sculptural artwork completed in 2012 for Miami’s Orange Bowl Stadium—while a pool filled with white balls— “a domestic version of BEACH” explained Mustonen—occupies the backyard. Inside, functional items and accessories such as Broken Mirror and Pillow as well as limited edition pieces like Break and commissioned works like Beach Chair, provide moments of delight and discovery. “We wanted people to experience the projects in the same direct and tactile way that they would have with the original [versions],” Mustonen said. “With that as a starting point, we worked with Maria Cristina to develop the concept of the house as a framework that would organize the display objects and installations within an environment that would feel both familiar and unknown as visitors explore and discover the different rooms. Maria Cristina's proposal to reframe much of our work within an emotional context was something new for us, but also an idea that resonated with the way that we approach creating unexpected and memorable experiences.” “Fun House represents a unique opportunity for us to bring together a number of different Snarkitecture-designed interiors, installations, and objects into a single, immersive experience,” said Mustonen in a press release. “Our practice aims to create moments that make architecture accessible and engaging to a wide, diverse audience. With that in mind, we are excited to invite all visitors to the National Building Museum to an exhibition and installation that we hope is both unexpected and memorable.” Fun House opens at the National Building Museum on July 4 and will run through September 3, though Mustonen hints that it may travel to other locations in the future.

Hirshhorn sculpture garden will be dedicated entirely to works by Lee Ufan

Washington D.C's Hirshhorn Museum has announced a site-specific commission for the Korean artist Lee Ufan that will debut in fall 2019. Approximately ten new sculptures related to the artist’s “Relatum” series will be installed across the museum’s 4.3-acre sculpture garden. An exhibit of Lee’s abstract painting within the museum will accompany the outdoor installation. This is the first time in the institution’s half-century history that its sculpture garden will be dedicated entirely to a single artist. A founder of Japan’s Mono-ha, or "School of Things" movement, Lee’s work emphasizes the relationship between site, materials and the viewer. This holistic treatment of artistic elements appeals to a contemplative and dynamic engagement with the work rather than static perception. The poignancy of Lee’s work derives from the thoughtful assembly of contrasting materials, which are subject to minimal alteration. Lee, who lives in Kamakura, Japan and Paris, will spend the next year conducting site visits to the Hirshhorn Museum. Additionally, Lee will visit individual quarries across the East Coast to source local materials to construct his work. Each sculpture constructed for the installation will relate to the museum’s unique circular form, allowing visitors multiple vantage points from above to view Lee’s work in the plaza below. While the installation will be Lee Ufan's first exhibition on the National Mall, the artist has conducted over 140 one-artist exhibits across the globe. These stand-alone works include 'Resonance' at the 2007 Venice Biennale, a major retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 2011, and a sprawling display of sculptural works on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles.

Eviction is the subject of the National Building Museum’s immersive spring show

Inspired by Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C. will be hosting Evicted, an immersive exhibition meant to expose visitors to the causes and fallout of eviction. From April 14 through May 19, 2019, guests can see original photography, audio interviews, and new data from Desmond’s Eviction Lab for free. The act of eviction can be a destabilizing force on families, as the evicted are thrust into uncertainty over their housing situation and marked with a blemish on their records that landlords can use to turning them down on rental applications. According to the NBM, “More than 11 million Americans are extremely low-income renters,” and 75 percent of qualified renters don’t receive federal aid. “Until recently, we simply didn’t know how immense this problem was, or how serious the consequences,” said Desmond in a statement. “Eviction does not simply drop poor families into a dark valley, a trying yet relatively brief detour on life’s journey. It fundamentally redirects their way, casting them onto a different, and much more difficult, path. Eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty.” Evicted will convey this hardship through photographs of the eviction process, interviews with those affected, and infographics specifically commissioned for the show. The Eviction Lab’s repository of national eviction information will be packaged for visitors in an easily digestible manner, as the sheer facts and figures involved are typically overwhelming. Far from simply presenting the problem of eviction in a void, Evicted will highlight affordable housing projects and how local and state governments–as well as nonprofits–are tackling the issue. Ultimately, the museum wants to empower patrons to leave with ideas on how to help those on the precipice in their own neighborhoods and lift up those who have already felt the sting of eviction. “Homes form the building blocks of community life,” said executive director of the National Building Museum, Chase Rynd, in a statement. “We have to reveal what happens when this stability is threatened, as eviction looms—as well as ways to help stem this crisis.”

Burning Man goes to D.C. with new show at the Smithsonian Museum

The psychedelic stylings of Burning Man will be reaching a wider audience with the installation of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. Visitors can enjoy photographs, sculptures, and interactive installations from the annual festival, usually just ephemera, only a stones-throw away from the White House. The challenges of translating a massive outdoor festival (where sculptures are designed to be burnt to the ground at the end) to a museum setting wasn’t lost on the curators. Art cars and sculptures, some originally on display on the Playa and others commissioned for the show, jewelry, and even experiences­–through VR–in an institutional setting reveals an underlying tension between the disposable, freewheeling nature of Burning Man and the typically more stoic nature of museum exhibitions. Large-scale installations in the gallery form the heart of the show, but the Renwick has partnered with Golden Triangle Business Improvement District to spread six outdoor pieces throughout the neighborhood. From March 30 through December 2018, residents can spy: No Spectators will put multiple large installations front and center, many of which were commissioned specifically for the show, including a temple from sculptor David Best. Despite taking place in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, Burning Man has always had a heavy architectural and planning component to the festivities. Technically complicated pavilions and temples go up every year, such as 2018’s digitally fabricated Galaxia, and the temporary city that houses 70,000 residents every year serves as a proving ground for radical urban planning ideas. No Spectators sprung partially from the desire to spread the Burning Man gospel, as organizers admit to the Times, as well as the opportunity to tap a wellspring of previously un-exhibited work. For the Smithsonian’s part, the museum has committed to upholding the festivals’ ideals, having kept corporate logos away from the art, hiring local “burners” to help patrons appreciate the pieces, and commissioning a history of the festival to contextualize the works. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man will run from March 30 through January of 2019.

Snarkitecture will build full-sized “Fun House” in the National Building Museum for 2018 summer season

The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. has announced that the New York-based Snarkitecture will be designing the 2018 Summer Block Party exhibition for the museum’s Great Hall. Fun House will put a full-sized, freestanding house on display for visitors to explore, with the intent of explaining how Snarkitecture understands and reinterprets the built environment. Snarkitecture is no stranger to the National Building Museum, having lit Instagram ablaze with their 2015 Summer Block Party installation The BEACH. After filling 10,000 square feet of the museum’s Great Hall with enough translucent white balls to swim through, the studio will be taking a different tack this summer. The museum's four-story hall and its massive Corinthian columns will instead play host to Snarkitecture’s first full museum exhibition, with each room of Fun House containing environments and objects from the firm’s ten-year history. The house will also feature several new concepts developed exclusively for the museum, and a front and backyard with recognizable “outdoor activities” for guests to enjoy. “Making architecture and design approachable and fun is at the heart of the success of our summer series,” said Chase Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum, in a statement. “Snarkitecture really understands our mission of inspiring curiosity about the world we design and build, and we’re excited to be working with them for the second time. We know our visitors will be thrilled to immerse themselves in Snarkitecture’s world yet again.” The program is only in its fifth year, but Fun House follows a series of ambitious Summer Block Party exhibitions, such as Hive by Studio Gang, ICEBERGS by James Corner Field Operations, and the BIG Maze by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Fun House will be open from July 4 through September 3, 2018. AN will update this post when more details of the installation become available.

Perkins Eastman sued by The Wharf’s general contractor in D.C.

Clark Construction Group, the general contractor responsible for realizing the $2.5 billion The Wharf in Washington, D.C., is suing project architect Perkins Eastman over claims of seriously flawed design documents. As first reported by Bisnow, the contractors are seeking $5 million in damages after the recent completion of the project’s first phase, claiming that issues and omissions in the drawings necessitated numerous on-site fixes. The Wharf, a massive mixed-use development spread across a mile-long stretch of D.C.'s southwestern (and formerly industrial) waterfront, opened the doors of its first phase back in October of last year. After completely replacing the existing seawall and promenade, 1.2 million square feet of office space, hotel rooms, retail, luxury and affordable residential units, a marina, and waterfront parks rose on the Perkins Eastman-master planned site. A two-story underground parking garage also runs the length of the development. When complete, The Wharf will encompass 3.2 million square feet in total. According to the complaint levied by Clark Construction, Perkins Eastman either submitted incorrect details in their design documents or omitted portions of their drawings and failed to respond to inquiries in a timely fashion. The suit alleges that the architects misplaced structural columns, designed exterior retail doors that were unable to open, placed concrete beams too low to achieve the correct clearance, and made mistakes in coordination that resulted in slabs being too thick to install already-purchased doors. Even the coordination of structural rebar and foundation piles are cited as having contained significant errors, and Clark Construction claims they were forced to take on material losses as the result of correcting the defects in the field. Clark Construction is suing for a breach of written contract, professional negligence, and negligent misrepresentation as a result. Because of the project’s tight timeline, “The errors and omissions complained of herein did not arise and were not known, knowable, discovered, discoverable, appreciated, or appreciable until various points within the past three years,” the lawsuit claims. “It remains possible and likely that errors and omissions will continue to arise and become known, discovered, and appreciated in the future as discovery in this matter proceeds including, without limitation, expert discovery.” The second phase of The Wharf is scheduled to break ground later this year, and finish construction in 2022. Perkins Eastman declined to comment.

Facades+AM in Washington, D.C. to spotlight the District’s particular building culture and challenges

Washington, D.C. has a vibrant architectural culture, not limited to the neoclassical masonry of government buildings and major museums. The upcoming Facades+AM conference gives the District design community a chance to share ideas on building envelopes' contributions to sustainability and occupants' quality of life. Compressed into the morning of March 15 at the Washington Plaza Hotel, the nine-presentation event will address three essential themes in facade design: transparency, opacity, and connectivity. Gathering architects, specifiers, engineers, and others in the field, this Facades+AM is Washington, D.C.'s fourth annual event in the Facades+ series. According to conference chair John Jackson, a senior facade consultant at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, the conference's regional focus allows “a nice balance of projects to showcase–projects that we might not see every day here in DC, but also projects right here in the District which are custom, inspirational, and innovative.” He added that a knowledge transfer from “big, cool, fun projects with endless budgets” to quotidian practice is a high priority. Each panel will include an architect/designer, a consultant/engineer, and a contractor/fabricator to foster interdisciplinary conversations. Glass is the typical skin-type featured at Facades+ events and Jackson’s own specialty, but he made sure to include a broad range of facade types. The opening panel considers glass curtain walls and custom glazing systems. The second panel addresses the construction and performance of opaque walls, such as brick cavity walls, terra cotta, and metal panel rainscreens. The closing panel looks at connections between glass and opaque systems, which Jackson describes as often being a “no man's land," given the "ambiguity and lack of clarity of who 'owns' the design." Jackson anticipates lively discussion of new and innovative technologies that are advancing facade performance on multiple fronts. “The industry is constantly pushing greater improvement in the thermal performance of the envelope,” he said, and is now being more carefully looked at by code reviewers. Increasingly higher-performing building envelopes contribute to energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and control of condensation, particularly in humidified spaces. In the buildings of today and the future, “we expect to see full thermally broken aluminum-framed curtain-wall systems, for example, and high-performance insulating glass with low-E coatings, argon-filling, etc.” New materials and technologies challenge clients to balance performance, cost, and risk, drawing on both predictive estimates and direct experience; though testing using industry standards such as ASTM and AAMA are incredibly valuable, he says, “nothing will ever replace Mother Nature and the test of time.” The city poses its own unique set of climate and planning challenges. The mid-Atlantic climate of Washington, D.C. has wide temperature fluctuations from month to month and season to season, which requires careful attention to the design of exterior walls and hygrothermal performance.  The swing seasons also offer ample opportunity for building users to enjoy fresh air from the outdoors with operable envelope elements, which are particularly popular in multifamily residential buildings, yet less so in commercial and institutional projects. The District's height limit also typically results in cast-in-place concrete as the structural system of choice, which results in limited building lateral movement under wind loads, for example, compared to tall and more flexible steel skyscrapers often found in other cities, which has an effect on the design of the facade joints.  D.C. building owners, he adds, often with government end users, can also present unique challenges in other respects, including design of glazing systems for security requirements such as blast, forced entry, and ballistic resistance. The conference website lists the speakers and topics, along with details on registration, sponsors, and the ten other Facades+ events across the US in 2018. Bill Millard is a contributor to the AN, Oculus, Architect, Metals in Construction, LEAF Review, Icon, Content, and other publications.

Architecture & Design Film Festival: D.C. 2018

The Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) is the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the creative spirit that drives architecture in design. Join us for the inaugural festival in D.C. Over the course of three days, the festival screens films that explore the life and work of architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Bjarke Ingels, and journalist, author, and activist Jane Jacobs, fashion designer Dries Van Noten, and timely topics such as design for positive social change and generative healthcare design. ADFF: D.C. presented by the Revada Foundation. The Museum will be the venue for all films, featuring three separate theaters, two of which will be specially outfitted for the festival, including the Museum’s iconic Great Hall. Films include: BIG TIME Building Hope: The Maggie’s Centres  Community by Design: Skid Row Housing Trust  Citizen Jane  Columbus  Dries Eames: The Architect and the Painter  The Experimental City  Face of a Nation: What Happened to the World's Fair?  The Gamble House  Getting Frank Gehry  Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place  If You Build It  Integral Man  Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect  Made in Ilima  The Oyler House: Richard Neutra's Desert Retreat  REM  Windshield: A Vanished Vision  Workplace

Elon Musk receives exploratory permit for D.C. to NYC Hyperloop

Seven months after Elon Musk claimed that he had “verbal governmental approval” from the Trump administration to build an underground Hyperloop from Washington D.C. to New York City, it looks like his plans might actually come to fruition. Musk’s The Boring Company has received a permit to begin exploratory digging in Washington, D.C., for what could one day be a stop along a D.C.-Baltimore-Philadelphia-New York route. Musk has made some ambitious claims about the Hyperloop, a high-speed rail system that would reach nearly 800 miles an hour and cut the 229-mile trip between D.C. and NYC to only 29 minutes. For contrast, the fastest train in the U.S. is Amtrak’s Acela Express, which tops out at 150 miles an hour and makes the same trip in three hours. Unlike Amtrak’s light rail network, the Hyperloop system would be more akin to a supersonic subway, moving small pods of up to 16 people, or vehicles, on electrically-powered sleds between widely dispersed stations scattered through each city instead of one centralized train hub in each. Now, The Boring Company will begin excavating a vacant parking lot at 53 New York Avenue NE, near the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters, after being granted a somewhat vague permit by the D.C. government. The initial exploration is just one piece of navigating a logistical boondoggle, as The Boring Company would need to tunnel under buildings, infrastructure, utilities, roads and just about everything else if an interstate Hyperloop network were to come to fruition. The city’s Department of Transportation has reportedly been trying to determine what other permits Musk’s company would need. Still, every piece of regulatory go-ahead has helped the Hyperloop inch closer to reality. In October 2017, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan gave Musk permission to begin excavation of a 10-mile stretch of Hyperloop track for the future New York-to-D.C. line, although city leaders along the way expressed their surprise at the decision. The federal government would also need to grant the Boring Company the appropriate permits to dig under federally owned land, of which the proposed route crosses several stretches. While testing of the Boring Company’s drilling technology and ability to tunnel under urban areas is still ongoing in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, at least the company will be able to fund its endeavors; at the time of writing, Musk had sold out of promotional Boring Company flamethrowers.

Hiroshi Sugimoto completes spiral-based lobby revamp for the Hirshhorn Museum

The renovation of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto has been completed only two months after renderings were first revealed for the project. The lobby’s light new look not only pays homage to the curved Gordon Bunshaft-designed museum housing it but will also introduce a serpentine café when it opens to the public on February 23. Sugimoto and his Tokyo-based architectural firm, New Material Research Laboratory (NMRL), drew inspiration from the clash between the uneven swirls of the natural world and the mathematically perfect (and unnatural) roundness of the Hirshhorn. As previously reported, Sugimoto had discussed transplanting the roots of a 700-year-old Japanese nutmeg tree into the lobby, and he made good on his promise by turning the root bundle into a twin set of glass-topped tables. The effect is quite striking, as the chaotic branches have been trimmed down, cut in half, and trapped under a sheet of manmade material. “Looking deeper into the roots, I became equally delighted by the randomness of the lines, drawn by nature. There are no perfectly round circles or perfectly straight lines,” said Sugimoto in a statement. “I found it fitting to place one of nature’s circles inside this manufactured one so that we might compare the two: notional shapes and natural shapes.” The lobby’s white chairs also reference natural spirals in their design, with their backs twisting as they rise, resembling the helical curve of DNA strands. Brushed brass benches with legs made of optical glass blocks, referencing Sugimoto’s storied photography career, have been installed throughout the space. The largest change to the lobby has been the removal of a dark film over the 3,300 square feet of curvilinear windows, which has allowed natural light to flood the space, and the installation of Your oceanic feeling (2015), a swirling light sculpture by Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson that hangs from the ceiling. While the Hirshhorn had held a special preview event of the space last week, the lobby will officially open to the public on February 23, 2018. Visitors will be able to check out the new Dolcezza Coffee & Gelato café, a 20-foot long coffee bar clad in diamond-shaped tin and brushed-brass plates that resembles serpent scales. Guests can also view a video preview of Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, 1988–2000 before the projection is once again displayed on the museum’s exterior.

[UPDATED] Hirshhorn Museum reschedules Wodiczko’s massive gun projection for March

After a February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. announced that it would be rescheduling the projection of Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, 1988–2000 scheduled to take place on February 14 and 15. The 30-foot-tall, 68-foot-wide piece would have been projected across the museum’s curved façade, and features a hand holding a gun on one side, and a hand holding a lit vigil candle on the other. Wodiczko’s site-specific work was originally displayed at the museum in 1988 from October 25 to 27, and touched on the death penalty, reproductive rights and the media’s role in providing partisan voices for both sides of these issues. The installation’s return on February 14 and 15 would have coincided with the launch of Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s, a retrospective examining the intersection of the art world and marketing in the ‘80s, and the launch of the newly revamped lobby. After postponing the projection, the museum has rescheduled the projection's run for Wednesday, March 7, through Friday, March 9, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The museum will remain open until 9:30 p.m. on those nights as well. In announcing the postponement, Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu said in a statement,“Now is a time for mourning and reflection, and out of sensitivity to our community in D.C. and beyond, the Hirshhorn, Smithsonian leadership and artist Krzysztof Wodiczko have made the decision to postpone the artist’s projection, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. We remain committed to exhibiting this important work, which is still relevant today—30 years following its original showing. We look forward to restaging the work in its original format at a later date.” Gun control advocates took to Twitter after the postponement was announced to express their disappointment, with many of them stating that Wodiczko’s work has only been made more poignant and urgent in the wake of another mass shooting. The decision to postpone the showing was made in agreement with Wodiczko, although a taped version of the piece was available in the lobby for that time instead.