Posts tagged with "wHY":

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How the Obama Presidential Center and a plan by wHY are reviving Chicago’s Jackson Park

Few non-buildings have an architectural pedigree that can match Chicago’s Jackson Park. The heavily forested park was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and initially realized by Burnham and Root for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. As the home to the White City, architects from around the world flocked to the park to witness the spectacle. One anecdote states that Frank Lloyd Wright’s obsession with Japan was started upon seeing the Japanese Ho-o-Den (Phoenix Temple) at the exhibition. In the time since then, the park has gone through phases of purposeful neglect and vandalism. It has only been in recent years that a true concerted effort to improve the park has been initiated. The recent announcement that the park would be the home of the Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects–designed Obama Presidential Center shines a light once again on this often maligned stretch of the lakefront.

Well before the Obama Foundation and the Obamas chose Jackson Park, a small yet determined group had begun to transform it. Project 120 is a not-for-profit started in 2013 with the express goal of revitalizing Chicago’s South Parks. These include Jackson Park, the Midway Plaisance, and Washington park, totaling over 1,000 acres of parkland. Guiding much of the transformation’s design of Jackson Park is New York–based wHY. wHY and Project 120 worked extensively with the surrounding communities of Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore to understand the challenges of building in Chicago parks along the lake. On the same day the location for the Presidential Center was announced, open space advocates Friends of the Parks announced that they would not take legal action to oppose the project in the public park. (A lawsuit by Friends of the Parks was responsible for George Lucas’s decision to move his planned Museum of Narrative Art out of Chicago earlier this year.)

“One thing we realized, unlike many museums or large park projects at this scale, is we knew we couldn’t do it from the client top-down master plan perspective,” Mark Thomann, head of wHY’s landscape workshop, Grounds, said. “It had to be ground up. It had to be a long-term collaborative project.”

wHY’s plans integrate much of Olmsted’s original vision while adding new amenities. The most ambitious of these is a sweeping music pavilion and visitors center in the heart of the park. The first major addition to the park, though, will be a new sculpture by Yoko Ono entitled Sky Landing. The sculpture will be unveiled in October near the Garden of the Phoenix on Wooded Island, the original site of the Columbian Exhibition’s Japanese Garden. The Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Fishery & Ecosystem Restoration (GLFER) program has also been working to remediate the park’s ecology with native plants and wildlife.

As designs have not been released for the Obama Presidential Center, changes to Project 120 and wHY’s framework plans will develop over the coming months. What the addition of the Presidential Center does mean is a guaranteed interest in one of Chicago’s most striking green spaces— by the city and the public.

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wHY-designed Asian Art Museum moves toward approval

wHY’s virtual monopoly on commissions for expanding West Coast art museums may continue this week when their plans for expanding San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum are presented to the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission for approval. According to a memo submitted to the San Francisco Planning Commission, the project aims to add a single story, $25 million wing to the landmarked 1916 Beaux Arts structure for “cutting edge” contemporary art. The structure will be wrapped in criss-crossing bands of aluminum and topped by a roof patio and canopy. The addition would contain a long-span exhibition hall as well as mechanically ventilated art conservation facilities. The original neoclassical structure was designed as San Francisco’s first Main Library in 1916 by Ecole des Beaux-Arts-trained architect George A. Kelham, who also designed San Francisco’s Federal Reserve Bank headquarters and served as the supervising architect for the construction of the University of California, Berkeley campus between 1927 and 1931. In 1987, then-Mayor of San Francisco Dianne Feinstein proposed to revitalize the Civic Center area containing the Main Library with a plan that would include converting the structure to museum use. The building was finally converted in 1996 by architect Gae Aulenti and has been home of the Asian Art Museum since 2003. Because the structure was constructed during the Civic Center Landmark District’s period of significance, spanning from 1906 to 1936, wHY’s addition will have to adhere to Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation & Appendix J of Article 10 to insure the proposed project does not destroy or damage any of the contributing elements of the building. In recent months, wHY has seen their share of museum and gallery expansion projects increase drastically, with proposals for Los Angeles’s new Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation, and San Francisco’s Gagosian Gallery outpost.
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L.A.’s Westside loses its Santa Monica Museum of Art

In the nine months that saw the opening of a relocated Architecture and Design Museum as well as the new Broad Museum and Hauser Wirth’s West Coast outpost, Downtown Los Angeles residents can once again boast about the addition of yet another high-caliber contemporary art institution in their neighborhood: Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). Exciting news for Downtown, but it is not without controversy. That’s because ICA LA is not a new art museum at all, it is the relocated, renamed, and rebranded remnants of the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA). After a year-long struggle with its landlords at Bergamot Station, the museum’s home since 1998, SMMoA’s board of directors decided to pack up and head east. Such a drastic move would be difficult for most major art institutions, except that SMMoA operated as a European-style kunsthalle, with no permanent collection tying it down. Now, ICA LA is in the early stages of a capital campaign to fund its relocation to a 12,700 square foot space at 1717 East 7th Street to be designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY. Scheduled to open spring 2017, ICA LA’s new location will continue to operate as a non-collecting museum with 7,000 square feet of dedicated gallery space. The new location is expected to boast “ample public programming facilities” as well as an experimental kitchen-cafe, and other retail space. In a press release announcing the relocation, ICA LA Board of Directors’ President, Laura Donnelley said, “Throughout our history we have served our communities in greater Los Angeles through exhibitions, programs, and outreach, but have now chosen to move to Downtown LA to reinvent and redefine our organization the way that only a non-collecting museum focused on innovation, diversity, and discovery can. We are delighted to welcome these timely changes of venue, additions of leadership, and to move forward in further defining ICA LA’s role within our city and our collective place in the ever-expanding international dialogue of art and culture.”
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Here’s a First Look at the Finalists Vying to Redesign Downtown LA’s Pershing Square

Here’s the first look at the four final designs by Agence Ter and team, James Corner Field Operations with Fredrick Fischer and Partners, SWA and Morphosis, and wHY and Civitas for LA’s Pershing Square. Angelenos are being invited to comment on the finalists’ proposals over the next few weeks as Pershing Square Renew, a collection of designers, business leaders, and officials civic leaders, seeks to redevelop the centrally-located, five-acre square at the heart of Downtown LA. The teams of finalists hail from an original pool of ten groups that presented work to the nonprofit in October of 2015. That grouping was reduced to four teams in December, with those finalists' final submissions are now vying for the final selection, to be announced in May. The proposals are shown below and will be formally presented to the public at the Palace Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles on April 28th at a sold out event. See Pershing Square Renew’s website for updates on further public viewings.
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wHY will design a new Gagosian Gallery in San Francisco across from SFMOMA

LA and San Francisco have always been in an arms race to see which city has more, or better, of everything. With the recent opening of LA's Broad Museum and next month's debut of the new SFMOMA, the stakes have never been higher. However, those proper art museums are facing competition for attention (and Instagram posts) from several major global art galleries setting up in the Golden State. Los Angeles recently debuted a new Annabelle Selldorf-designed Hauser & Wirth outpost in that city’s booming Arts District. Now, not to let their So-Cal brethren have all the glory, San Francisco is rolling out the welcome mat for Gagosian's recently-revealed gallery. Located in San Francisco’s downtown arts district, it will be designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, founder of LA and New York-based wHY The new gallery is an old brick building owned and occupied by Crown Point Press, a longtime neighborhood gallery that focuses on displaying printmaking and etchings. It's situated across the street from the soon-to-be-opened, Snohetta-designed expansion to Mario Botta’s original SFMOMA building. This new Gagosian certainly looks to fill a growing niche within Northern California’s wealthy, tech industry-driven, art-buying community. In reference to the decision to open this new gallery, Gagosian told the San Francisco Chronicle,“This makes sense with the new museum opening and with the emerging collector base in Silicon Valley.” According to renderings provided to A/N by Gagosian, the new 4,500 square-foot design is organized as a traditional white-walled gallery. It features nothing more than a line of structural columns, some lateral bracing, and a skylight interrupting the otherwise minimal space. The historic building’s facade is being left untouched, save for new signage displaying the gallery’s name over the building entrance. The new gallery's May 18 opening is timed to coincide with the debut of the new SFMOMA. The inaugural show will feature works on paper and sculpture by the likes of Cy Twombly, Richard Serra, and Pablo Picasso.
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wHY’s Kulapat Yantrasast to expand San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum

Kulapat Yantrasast, a principal of Los Angeles– and New York City–based architecture firm wHY, will design a 9,000-square-foot addition to the Asian Art Museum (AAM) of San Francisco. The addition, a pavilion, will unify gallery spaces on the east side of the museum's first floor, and allow the AAM to display more contemporary art. It will be situated atop a wing on the Hyde Street side that dates to the 1990s. Yantrasast will also rework the museum's galleries to create a more legible layout, allowing more of the 18,000-piece permanent collection to be put on display, as well as permitting more special exhibition programming. Educational spaces will be updated to accommodate increasing attendance. Currently 35,000 Bay Area students visit the AAM each year, although that number is expected to rise to 50,000 once classroom spaces are upgraded. wHY has two museum projects wrapping up in 2016. The firm's addition to the  in Louisville will be complete this month, while the Marciano Art Foundation, a conversion of a Los Angeles Scottish Rite Masonic Temple into a private art center, should open this September. Right now, the $25 million AAM project is in the schematic design phase, and construction is set to begin next year.
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Eavesdrop> Go Art, Go: Who will design Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Downtown Los Angeles move?

After a bitter fight at Bergamot Art Station, the Santa Monica Museum of Art is decamping to Downtown Los Angeles. Reports of an eastward move come with hints of a necessary name change as well a shortlist for its new space in the Arts District. Players are tightlipped, but AN’s sources say Gensler, Zellner Naecker Architects, and wHY (a longtime museum collaborator) have been invited to submit design proposals.
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Four finalists selected to redesign Pershing Square in Los Angeles

Pershing Square Renew just announced the four finalists of the Pershing Square design competition: SWA with Morphosis, James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners, Agence TER with SALT Landscape Architects, and wHY with Civitas. These teams will now develop fully fleshed out proposals for the five-acre park in Downtown Los Angeles. The finalist concept boards offer clues as to what to expect from the final proposals: SWA and Morphosis identified four strategies for their reorganized park: ecology (native trees and a drought-friendly water feature), mobility (a road diet along Olive Street and better Metro connections), programing (a market and a day/night event venue), and sustainable business (reworked parked concession, food vendor, and retail spaces.) James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners held off at hinting at a design. Their concept boards show increased porosity between the park and the both the surrounding neighborhood as well as the cultural life of all of downtown and the Arts District. Expect the design to engage both in the park and along the adjacent streets and sidewalks. Agence TER with SALT Landscape Architects’ boards depict a boldy understated proposal. They envision Pershing Square as a giant lawn with several atmospheric gardens: a foggy garden, a scent garden, a dry garden, a wind garden, and an edible garden. Services are discretely tucked under a large shade canopy. wHY with Civitas landscape architecture group’s concept boards was also slim on design details. Although the proposal echoed some ideas seen in other team proposals, such as connections to the surrounding neighborhood, an emphasis on natural ecology, and food/market vendors, it uniquely suggested that the park offer education programming as well as something that could be digital connectivity entitled “Syncing Urban Hardware and Software.” The four finalists will develop their proposals over the first quarter of 2016, leading to another round of jury interviews and a public presentation in March. It’s unclear how and when the design will be built, since at moment the only funding for the project seems to be the $2 million pledged to by the Department of Recreation and Parks and MacFarlane Partners, who each chipped in one million. The Pershing Square Renew jury is: Janet Marie Smith (Jury Chair) SVP, Planning and Development, Los Angeles Dodgers José Huizar, Councilmember, 14th District, City of Los Angeles Donna Bojarsky, Founder and President, Future of Cities: Leading in LA Simon Ha, Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and Downtown LA Resident Mary McCue, Founder, MJM Management Group Rick Poulos, Principal, NBBJ Janet Rosenberg, Founding Principal, Janet Rosenberg & Studio Michael Shull, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Michael Woo, Dean, Cal Poly Pomona, School of Environmental Design
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Pershing Square Renew wants your input on Semi-Finalist Concept Boards

In October, Pershing Square Renew selected 10 teams as semi-finalists for the redesign of Downtown Los Angeles’ oft-maligned urban space. The international design competition drew hundreds of entries and the two-handfuls selected represent both local and global practices. Reviewing the initial presentation boards, there’s common interest in opening up Pershing Square to the surrounding urban blocks, a porosity currently lacking in Legoretta’s scheme. The teams’ approaches are split between active and passive landscapes with some concepts showing large lawns and water features meant for calm reflection and light recreation, others packed the square with programming: dog parks, cafes, yoga zones, performance venues, etc. Pershing Square Renew posed the concept boards on their website and are now asking the Los Angeles community to weigh in with comments for the jury. Soon, the organization will select four top teams out of the field of semi-finalists and have them each develop a more comprehensive final design. Until then, have a gander at the boards below.
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Semi-finalists Announced for Pershing Square Competition

A shortlist was announced for the Pershing Square Renew competition. Ten teams were selected to have a chance at a crack at redoing Ricardo Legorreta's scheme. The five-acre park is seen as the centerpiece of a revitalized Downtown Los Angeles and the competition, a public-private partnership backed by councilmember José Huizar, is a critical step toward that effort. The ten semi-finalists are global, national, and local—and often in combination. They include: Paris-based Agence Ter with SALT Landscape ArchitectsSnohetta, James Corner Field Operations and Frederick Fisher and Partners, New York-based W Architecture, San Francisco-based PWP Landscape Architecture with Allied Works Architecture, Mia Lehrer Associates with NYC’s !Melk, Peterson Studio + BNIM, Rios Clementi Hale with OMA, SWA with Morphosis, and wHY Architecture These teams will continue to develop designs, which will be reviewed later this fall and a group of four finalists will be announced in December. Pershing Square Renew will select a winner in February 2016. On bets as to who might emerge from the pack, it seems that the organization is looking for details over gesture. “Their challenge isn’t to win awards; it’s to win over hearts,” said executive director Eduardo Santana. “More than anything else, these groups need to focus on the experiences their design will inspire and the memories the Square will create.”
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Gimme Shelter: Inaugural A+D Museum exhibition promises to rethink Los Angeles housing

Opening August 20, Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles, the inaugural exhibition at the A+D Museum's new Arts District space presents works by architects and designers that challenge and improve upon L.A. housing typologies. The single-family house has long been the touchstone for experimental architecture in Los Angeles, from the Case Study Houses to Gehry’s own home in Santa Monica, replete with (now-removed) domesticated chain-link fencing. But as the cost of real estate puts pressure on residential architecture, new solutions for single- and multi-family housing are desperately needed. Curators Sam Lubell and Danielle Rago invited local practices to develop proposals for the Wilshire Corridor and along the Los Angeles River, these include Bureau Spectacular, LA Más, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, MAD Architects, PAR, and wHY Architecture. (Editor's Note: Both Lubell and Rago are regular contributors to AN, and Lubell is AN's former West Coast editor.) Works by Kevin Daly Architects, Michael Maltzan Architects, Bestor Architecture, OMA, R&A, and Koning Eizenberg, will also be on view. AN spoke with the curators. The title is Shelter, the absolute basis for architecture, but what does it mean to “rethink how we live” and why is this reassessment so pressing right now? Sam Lubell: LA is going through monumental changes, re-embracing density, transit, and the public realm while facing unprecedented challenges around affordability, the environment, and congestion. But while the city has always been a center for residential innovation, most residential architecture here today does not properly respond to the changes taking place. We're hoping to help spur a dialogue about reshaping our housing and our lifestyles to today's realities. It’s a great line up of practices in the show. What were your criteria for selecting participants? Danielle Rago: The show features [six new proposals] by Los Angeles design practices—each occupies a different position in the field of architecture. Yet, we believe all approach residential design in interesting and innovative ways. SL: We also wanted a mix of emerging and established firms, and practice-oriented and research-oriented firms. We think it's a great mix, full of energy, creativity, and some surprise. How did the designers address some of Los Angeles’ hot button topics: density, affordability, accessibility, and sustainability? SL: The designers have done an excellent job addressing several of these issues. wHY, for instance, tackled both density and affordability by proposing new configurations of development in underused, residual public spaces along Wilshire Boulevard. LOHA tackled environmental issues by creating homes that utilize the aquifers near the L.A. River to capture and store water. And MAD has created a new type of outdoor living within a dense cluster of interconnected, extensively landscaped towers. DR: The invited teams all investigated one if not more of these pressing issues currently affecting Angelenos. LA Más' design addressed density and affordability by reconsidering the granny flat as a new model for low-rise high-density development in Elysian Valley along the L.A. River. PAR responded to increasing density and new transit offerings on the Wilshire Corridor with their proposal for a courtyard housing tower, where each unit maintains a visual connection to nature. And Bureau Spectacular investigated environmental challenges through the study and re-application of vernacular domestic architecture in L.A.
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Yoko Ono breaks ground on public art project for Chicago’s South Side

The Chicago Park District starts work today on a new project by Yoko Ono. Her first permanent public art installation in the Americas will be a meditation on world peace, harmony with nature, and Japanese-American relations dubbed SKY LANDING, which is slated for a parcel of Jackson Park once home to the historic Phoenix Pavilion. Instead of a groundbreaking, construction began Friday with a “ground healing” ceremony on Wooded Island. Ono's installation, set to open in June 2016, will include a sculpture and landscape design meant to evoke a sense of harmony with nature. The details of the project are still largely undefined. “I recall being immediately connected to the powerful site and feeling the tension between the sky and the ground,” Ono said in a press statement. “I wanted the Sky to land here, to cool it, and make it well again.” Following the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the Japan Construction Company shipped several prefabricated, traditional Japanese structures to Chicago's South Side, establishing the Ho-o-den (Phoenix Pavilion). It remained on Wooded Island until fire destroyed the Phoenix Pavilion in 1946. Now home to Osaka Garden, the site is part of a public-private overhaul of Jackson and Washington Parks under the nonprofit banner Project 120 Chicago. Led by the Chicago Park District and businesspeople including Robert Karr, Jr., a lawyer and the executive vice president of the Japan America Society of Chicago, Project 120 Chicago was convened to “revitalize” Frederick Law Olmsted's South Side parks, which have suffered from years of deferred maintenance. In 2012 the group's efforts began with an initiative to plant hundreds of cherry blossom trees. They then hired architect Kulapat Yantrasast and his firm wHY to look into building a new Phoenix Pavilion. Preservation landscape architect and planner Patricia O’Donnell and her firm Heritage Landscapes were hired to lead larger preservation efforts in the parks.