Sweeping changes are coming this fall to half the urban campus of Washington University in St. Louis. For the past two years, construction has been underway on the 166-year-old institution’s east end—a $280 million vision that includes several new projects by KieranTimberlake for the university’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. The Philadelphia-based firm announced construction was nearly complete on the upcoming Anabeth and John Weil Hall, an 82,000-square-foot space with state-of-the-art graduate studios, classrooms, and digital fabrication labs. Further details were also released on the expansion and renovation of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, which is set to open in late September with a major thematic exhibition by Ai Weiwei. The lower section of the Danforth campus, which sits just behind St. Louis’s largest landscape, Forest Park, will be better connected to the city through these mega-enhancements and will serve as a welcoming entrance for visitors, students, and faculty alike. At the core of the project for the Sam Fox School is Weil Hall, the new hub for all art, design, and architecture programs which were previously scattered in different buildings. The new structure will feature a striking facade with opaque glass walls and vertical aluminum fins that allow natural light into the facilities and promote energy efficiency. Collaborative workspaces and loft-style studios will be arranged throughout but will be connected visually by a luminous, two-story central interior courtyard that will highlight the movement and activity going on within the school. Weil Hall will stand out in clear contrast to its surrounding structures on the southeastern corner of campus. Aligned on a stretch of land with two Beaux-Arts buildings and three seminal projects by former Washington University associate professor Fumihiko Maki (including the Kemper Art Museum), the contemporary structure embodies a new era for the Sam Fox School. KieranTimberlake has also designed an upgraded look for the adjacent Kemper Art Museum, one that complements the school next door and helps it stand out in the surrounding sea of institutional structures. Designed by Maki in 2006, the limestone-clad building will be completely renovated and expanded with a new, 2,700-square-foot gallery and a soaring, glass-lined lobby. It will also boast a shiny new exterior featuring 34-foot-tall stainless steel panels that will reflect the dynamic campus, its landscape, and the sky. Michael Vergason Landscape Architects has created an extensive masterplan for the museum’s grounds and sculpture garden that blends with the firm’s overall vision for the east end of the Danforth Campus. In collaboration with KieranTimberlake, MVLA will transform what’s now a series of parking lots into a car-free park, featuring native plantings and ample pedestrian space.
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Washington University in St. Louis' Alberti Program for youth architecture has been given a major boost from the St. Louis–based design and planning firm PGAV Destinations in the form of a pledge of $125,000 and volunteer time. https://player.vimeo.com/106140248 The Alberti Program, started in 2006, is administered by the Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design, and engages students in fourth through ninth grade from regional schools. With a focus on architectural problem solving and sustainability, the program’s goal is to reach the most diverse demographic of students possible. So far the program has worked with students from 145 elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the St. Louis area. Of those, one third of the schools are located in communities with per capita yearly income of less than $18,000. Free to participants, program runs on weekends throughout the academic year and on weekdays during a summer session. The contribution form PGAV will provide new resources to students, and insure the program can continue to operate at no cost to participants as it is distributed over the next five years. PGAV Destinations specializes in cultural and amusement design, with projects ranging from aquariums and museums to theme parks and casinos. The pledge from PGAV is part of the offices 50th anniversary, and will include dedicated volunteer time from the offices designers along with the monetary contribution. The volunteer time will include guest speaking, office visits to the firm's St. Louis headquarters, as well as classroom instruction. Along with general support for the program the $125,000 will help with costs associated with field trips, lecturers, and executing hands-on projects produced by the students.
The Pulitzer Foundation in St. Louis will reprise its PXSTL competition, which last year brought an airy, steel-framed pavilion courtesy of Freecell Architecture to the empty lot across the street from the Tadao Ando–designed arts institution. Like last year, PXSTL will be a national design-build competition culminating in a temporary structure on the lot across Washington Avenue from the Pulitzer Foundation. Over a six-month period in the summer of 2017, the winning pavilion will host a series of programs and events organized by the Foundation in collaboration with the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. The winning designers, who will be announced in the spring of 2016, will collaborate with the Pulitzer and a team of graduate students from the Sam Fox School to realize the structure, according to a press release published Tuesday. The installation will follow the opening of a new addition to the museum designed by Ando, which includes 3,700 square feet of new gallery space. (Read AN’s Q&A with Tadao Ando here.) The acronym PXSTL stands for the Pulitzer, the Sam Fox School, and St. Louis—a moniker the Pulitzer's press material says “underscores the lot as a site of intersection for the two institutions and the city, united by a common goal to encourage revitalization through design.”
On View> Architecture students to fill Museum of Contemporary Art St. Louis with plastic bubble clouds
Graduate students at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts of Washington University in St. Louis are bringing to life a cloud of plastic bubbles in a show they're designing, building, and calling ACCUMULUS—a portmanteau of the words 'Accumulation, Cummulus, and Us.' Led by lecturers Jason Butz and Lavender Tessmer, the students will exhibit their work at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis starting June 5. “Exploring the forms and behavior that can be produced through processes of accumulation and aggregation, the studio tests the pairing of hand-scaled assembly of small parts with larger-scale fabrication and use of material,” reads the exhibition statement the group posted on Facebook. The graduate architecture students in the studio are: Jay Bassett, Jeffrey Lee, Chun Liu, Alex Melvin, Boxun Hu, Qian Huang, John Patangan, Joseph Vizurraga, Yue Zhang, and Ling Feng Zhang.
ARO, KieranTimberlake, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam make shortlist for Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis on Monday announced the three finalists competing to design a new building for its Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. The three teams vying to design Annabeth & John Weil Hall are: Architecture Research Office (ARO), KieranTimberlake, and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects. The building is part of the university's arts and architecture campus, a collection of limestone-clad structures ranging from Beaux Arts style structures dating to the St. Louis world's fair of 1904 to more modern additions by Fumihiko Maki. The Sam Fox School campus is visually set apart from the university's predominantly Collegiate Gothic Danforth Campus. No renderings or specific timelines are available yet, but a previous announcement of the project said the university aimed to complete construction within the next five years. The new building is part of the university's 10–15 strategic “Design for Excellence” campus plan. New York City–based ARO has designed academic buildings for universities including Tulane, Brown, and Princeton, as well as renovations to Donald Judd's home and studio in Soho. KieranTimberlake has worked with Yale, Rice, and Tulane universities. In the firm's home base of Philadelphia, it has helped revamp Dilworth Park with architectural greenhouses serving as entrances to the city's subway system. Atlanta's Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects count among its higher education clients Yale, Carnegie Mellon, and Clemson universities, and the firm was shortlisted to design a new U.S. embassy in Beirut (that job ultimately went to Morphosis). As part of the selection process, each firm will deliver a public presentation in Washington University's Steinberg Auditorium, an early building by Maki dating to 1960 when he was a professor at the university. The event dates are: Monday, March 23, 1:15p.m: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects Monday, March 23, 4p.m: KieranTimberlake Tuesday, March 24, 1:15p.m: Architecture Research Office (ARO)
On a long-abandoned lot in St. Louis’ near north side, 10,000 sunflowers are sucking up the heavy metals that have helped stall development there for “longer than neighbors care to remember,” reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The project is called Sunflower+. It's one of the winners of St. Louis' inaugural "Sustainable Land Lab" competition, which was organized by Washington University in St. Louis and city officials. Over the next two years, the design team will cultivate and harvest four rotations of summer sunflowers and winter wheat on the vacant lot, hopefully preparing it for redevelopment in the future. In a video produced for Washington University, members of the design team explained the environmental aim of this experiment in growing beauty from blight. “If we can clean up and/or enrich this soil to make its redevelopment at some point down the road easier to do, more cost efficient, more environmentally friendly,” said Richard Reilly, a project manager who works for the Missouri Botanical Garden, “then we’ll have some long-term results from our project.” Along with Don Koster of Washington University and a team of volunteers, Reilly successfully grew one crop rotation last year, and it's already bearing fruit: Alderman Lyda Krewson has already enlisted the team to replicate their project further down Delmar Boulevard.
The winners of St. Louis’ first-ever “Sustainable Land Lab” competition, put on by Washington University and city officials, attempted to make the most of a regrettably abundant resource: vacant lots. Local architects took top honors in a competition that garnered some four dozen submissions. Each winner gets a two-year lease on a North St. Louis vacant lot and $5,000 in seed money to realize their ideas. Five winning projects will share four lots (two finalist teams combined their proposals into one new plan) across the city. 1. Bistro Box / Renewing Roots Urban Farm (now called Our Farm) — Repurposed shipping containers comprise a small, unpretentious restaurant attached to an urban farm. 2. Chess Pocket Park — Just what it sounds like. A small park meant to build community around outdoor chess tables. 3. Mighty Mississippians — A "modern agricultural model" would combine farming, recreation and environmental remediation in a permacultural park. 4.Sunflower+ Project — A test plot for environmental remediation via sunflower and winter wheat farming. The plants will be encouraged through electroculture, an experimental farming technique that uses electricity to encourage plant growth. St. Louis, like many cities pock-marked with vacant land, spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year just mowing vacant parcels. The land lab competition follows other innovative design competitions, like Flint, Michigan's Flat Lot and the Cleveland Design Competition, that encourage adaptive reuse and creative public projects throughout the Midwest. A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for April 27.
Washington University in St. Louis will soon begin work on two major projects totaling $130 million, according to NextSTL. St. Louis’ Hastings+Chivetta will design the $120 field house expansion, an extensive addition to Washington University’s historic field house, built out from the 1903 Francis gymnasium. Clayton, MO-based Ottolino Winters Huebner will design a $10 million cyclotron, a particle accelerator used for medical imaging and for the synthesis of radioisotopes for pharmaceutical production. The university’s Dr. Michel Ter-Pogossian is considered the father of positron emission tomography (PET scans), a nuclear medical imaging technique that produces 3-D images of internal body processes. (Rendering: Hastings+Chivetta)
Notes from The Innovative Metropolis: Fostering Economic Competitiveness Through Sustainable Urban Design
Covering ground from Sao Paulo to Copenhagen, a set of multi-disciplinary discussions were convened in Washington, DC yesterday by the Brookings Institution and the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis, to explore the synergies between urban design, policy, and finance required to realize innovation in the way we construct our environment. The discussions focused on global case studies relative to urban mobility, technology, and environmental adaptation, against the backdrop of global urbanization and climate change. While lessons were gleamed, it was clear that what was needed was "not one urbanism," as Dean Moshen Mostafavi of the Harvard GSD put it, but "Urbanisms," tuned to the "logic" of a given geography, climate, and culture. While existing within larger ecologies that, as Valente Souza of Mexico City asserted, may contain "their own solutions," cites are, as Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution emphasized "complex economic systems" and any sustainable initiatives must address consumer demands. As Alex Washburn, Chief Urban designer for New York City summarized, "all change is driven by desire." Watch videos of the proceedings of "The Innovative Metropolis" on the Brookings Institution website.
Udo Kultermann, who was born in Germany, died in New York City on February 9, 2013 at the age of 85. An internationally-known art historian, scholar, author, and lecturer, Kultermann spent nearly 30 years as a professor of art and architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to his work at Washington University, Kultermann, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Muenster, served as the director of the City Art Museum in Leverkusen, Germany. Kultermann wrote more than 35 books on a wide range of subjects, many of which have been translated into various languages. He also published numerous articles in scholarly journals world-wide. His book The History of Art History, is among his most original and cited works. Kultermann’s specialty was twentieth-century architecture, with a ground-breaking focus on Africa and the Middle East. His interests also included European art and architecture as well as contemporary American art. Recognizing their importance, Kultermann was one of the first art historians to write about female performance artists. After retiring from Washington University, he and his wife, Judith Kultermann, moved to New York City, where she still resides. Editor's Note: This notice was prepared by the Kultermann family. A full remembrance will appear in an upcoming edition of AN.
Canadian/Norwegian architect Jason Mrdeza has won Washington University in Saint Louis’ 2012 Steedman Fellowship in Architecture International Design Competition. Sponsored by the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the biennial competition is open to young architects from around the world within the first eight yeas of practice. The winner receives a $50,000 prize, one of the largest competition prizes in the U.S., to support study and research abroad. Mrdeza’s winning project, “Mediating Adjacencies: Inspiring Collaboration within Context,” was chosen out of 120 entrees. Craig Dykers, principal at Snøhetta, created the 2012 competition program calling for a new net-zero facility that would house and stimulate interdisciplinary cooperation between the Sam Fox School’s art, architecture, and design graduate programs while integrating five existing buildings. Dykers served as jury chair for the competition, alongside Susannah Drake, principle at dlandstudio, and Sarah Dunn and Martin Felsen, principals at UrbanLab. Mrdeza’s winning design works to strengthen interdisciplinary connections within the school and university at large while highlighting the divisions between public and private functions. Classrooms, galleries, and other public and semi-public spaces are located on the lower level of a large, three-story structure. A public pathway cuts through the arrangement, utilizing the site's gentle slope to draw in visitors while the building's transparency allows onlookers to passively engage in the activities happening inside the design schools. This first-floor, dubbed the “mound,” would be topped with an active green roof, and upper levels would be contained within five large “lantern blocks.” These structures, clad in luminescent PVC panels and set at slight angels from one another, would each correspond to a different discipline and contain offices and studio space for their respective programs. “The project negotiates the need for internal reflection while catalyzing meetings between disciplines and individuals,” wrote Mrdeza in his proposal. “Divisions between public and private are retained without hindering interdisciplinary and exta-institutional collaboration.” Mrdeza will use his award to study connections between landscape, architecture, and sustainability while traveling to Japan and other sites in Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and South America.
Ten Sukkahs—small temporary structures built for the Jewish festival of Sukkot—will be on display at Washington University in St. Louis. The ten winning projects, by architects and designers from across the country, were chosen out of a group of 40 competition entries. Sukkot recognizes the struggle of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, and Sukkahs recall the fragile structures they inhabited. Emery McClure Architectre of Lafayette, LA, Act3, Trivers Architecture, and STL Beacon of St. Louis, Filip Tejchman of Brooklyn, NY, Sean Corriel of New York, Lea Oxenhandler and Evan Maxwell Litvin of Philadelphia, Alexander Morley and Jennifer Wong of St. Louis, Casey Hughes Architects of Los Angeles, Christine Yogiaman of St. Louis, John Kleinschmidt and Andy Sternad of New Orleans, Bronwyn Charlton and Linda Levin of St. Louis. The Sukkah STL structures will be on view October 18-22. Jurors included architects Mitchell Joachim and Carol Ross Barney, critic Christopher Hawthorne, Bruce Lindsey, dean of architecture at the Sam Fox School of Design at Washington University, Rabbi Hyim Shafner, and Nancy Berg, a professor of Hebrew language and literature.