Minnesota state fair redesign goes beyond the corn dog

Architecture, Midwest, Preservation
Monday, September 29, 2014
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The Blue Barn restaurant (Cunincgham Grou)

The Blue Barn restaurant (Cuningham Group)

Almost 2 million Minnesotans poured through the gates of St. Paul‘s state fair grounds this year, and many are attributing that record-breaking attendance number to a redesigned West End Market. Local designers at Cuningham Group Architecture led the largest Fair expansion since the 1930s, replacing an array of nondescript vendor booths with 15 new buildings.  Read More

EPA picks 5 cities to join green infrastructure program

Austin, Texas (Ed Schipul via Flickr)

Austin, Texas—one of five cities added this week to EPA’s program to provide technical assistance in developing green infrastructure. (Ed Schipul via Flickr)

Five state capitals will get help from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop green infrastructure that could help mitigate the cost of natural disasters and climate changeResiliency, whether it be in the context of global warming or natural and manmade catastrophes, has become a white-hot topic in the design world, especially since Superstorm Sandy battered New York City in 2012. Read More

Milwaukee breaks ground on new 32-story tower complex

Northwestern Mutual's updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Northwestern Mutual’s updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Construction has begun on the latest addition to Milwaukee’s lakefront skyline, a sleek curving tower from Pickard Chilton. Gilbane Building Co. and C.G. Schmidt broke ground in August on the new 32-story headquarters of insurance giant Northwestern Mutual. Read More

Cadillac to leave Detroit for New York City

Midwest, News
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Detroit's Renaissance Center, home to General Motors, will say goodbye to Cadillac. (Loren Sztajer via Flickr)

Detroit’s Renaissance Center, home to General Motors, will say goodbye to Cadillac. (Loren Sztajer via Flickr)

While its product development teams and manufacturing facilities will remain in Michigan, Cadillac will move its headquarters to downtown New York City from Detroit, parent company General Motors announced Tuesday. Read More

Old-School Meets New in Stantec’s Pew Library

Architecture, Envelope, Midwest
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Pew Library's multi-hued stone facade nods to the campus's historic brick and limestone architecture. (Courtesy SHW Group, now Stantec)

Pew Library’s multi-hued stone facade nods to the campus’s historic brick and limestone architecture. (Courtesy SHW Group, now Stantec)

Contemporary stone envelope asserts the continued relevance of book learning at GVSU.

For the new Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons at Grand Valley State University, SHW Group, now Stantec, considered a brick skin to tie it to the surrounding edifices. “But at the end of the day, the library, we believe, is one of the most important buildings on campus,” said senior design architect Tod Stevens. “That’s where we started to have a conversation about the library as it moves into the 21st century. We wanted to signal the continued importance of the library to university life.” To do so, the architects designed a quartzite envelope whose random pattern of stones sits in tension with an interlaid stainless steel grid. On the building’s north facade, a 40-foot-tall glass curtain wall creates an indoor/outdoor living room on the campus’s main pedestrian axis, and reveals Pew Library’s state-of-the-art interior to passersby.
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Jeanne Gang to create master plan for Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus

Chicago's Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

Chicago’s Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

The Chicago Parks District has picked hometown architectural hero Jeanne “MacArthur Genius” Gang for yet another lakefront project. The Chicago Tribune reported that the celebrated architect will draw-up a “long-range plan” for the city’s Museum Campus where George Lucas’ museum could soon rise.

Read More

Northwestern University completes demolition on Old Prentice Women’s Hospital

An empty site at 333 E. Superior St., where until recently Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital stood. (Robert L Vogelzang via The Chicago Architecture Blog)

An empty site at 333 E. Superior St., where until recently Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital stood. (Robert L Vogelzang via The Chicago Architecture Blog)

Old Prentice Women’s Hospital—the cloverleaf-shaped Bertrand Goldberg building that Pritzker Prize winners petitioned to save—has been fully demolished. Read More

Obit> Mildred “Mickey” Friedman, 1929–2014

mickey friedman was a ceelbrated design director, design curator, and editor of Design Quarterly. She died September 3, 2014. (courtesy walker art center)

mickey friedman was a celebrated design director, design curator, and editor of Design Quarterly. She died September 3, 2014. (courtesy walker art center)

Mildred Friedman, the longtime design curator of Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center and a prolific architectural author, died Wednesday at her home in New York City. She was 85. Friedman, whose friends called her “Mickey,” ran the Walker for 21 years with her husband, Martin, who was its director. Together they made it “America’s leading design museum,” according to a tribute from Architectural Record on the occasion of the couple’s “retirement” in 1990. Read More

Unveiled> Hartshorne Plunkard’s Goose Island office block along the Chicago River

A new office building on Goose Island would connect the manufacturing district with West Town. (Courtesy Hartshorne Plunkard Ltd.)

A new office building on Goose Island would connect the manufacturing district with West Town. (Courtesy Hartshorne Plunkard Ltd.)

A six-story office building could sail into the boat yard site of Chicago’s Goose Island in the near future, if plans from Hartshorne Plunkard and developer South Street Capital can navigate logistical and regulatory difficulties surrounding the industrial district on the city’s near north side. Read More

Report warns of runaway sprawl in Columbus, Ohio

A land-use map projecting suburban sprawl around Columbus, Ohio. (Courtesy Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus 2020 and ULI Columbus)

A land-use map projecting suburban sprawl around Columbus, Ohio. (Courtesy Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus 2020 and ULI Columbus)

By 2050 the city of Columbus, Ohio and its expanding suburbs could more than triple the city’s footprint, according to a new study examining sprawl around Ohio’s capital.

Continue reading after the jump.

HGA Updates a Minneapolis Landmark

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HGA's Nelson Cultural Center, clad in slate shingles and art glass, complements the historic Turnblad Mansion. (Paul Crosby Photography)

HGA’s Nelson Cultural Center, clad in slate shingles and art glass, complements the historic Turnblad Mansion. (Paul Crosby Photography)

Slate-clad addition to the American Swedish Institute evokes contemporary Scandinavian design.

Minneapolis-based architecture, engineering, and planning firm HGA faced a tall order when the American Swedish Institute asked them to design an addition to the building known locally as “The Castle.” The turreted Turnblad Mansion, constructed in Minneapolis’ Phillips West neighborhood in 1908 and home of ASI since 1929, lacked the kinds of multi-purpose spaces required by ASI’s cultural and educational programming—and was suffering wear and tear from a steady stream of visitors. “The project was about creating a front door that was more welcoming and inviting than the existing building, that can help protect the mansion and allow it to be used as a house museum,” said project architect Andy Weyenberg. At the same time,  “the mansion remained the focal point,” he explained. “It will always be the identity of ASI. Everything we did, we wanted to respect the mansion and keep it as a centerpiece.” HGA’s intervention honors the primacy of the Turnblad Mansion while updating ASI’s image with a contemporary facade inspired by Swedish building methods and materials.

Read More

Video> How Sasaki is transforming the Chicago Riverwalk

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The Chicago Riverwalk. (Courtesy Sasaki)

As construction crews continue to pull the Chicago Riverwalk farther into the city’s iconic waterway, Sasaki Associates has released a short documentary about the $100 million transformation. And it’s worth a watch because what’s happening in Chicago is more than your typical “reclaiming public space” type of story.

Read More

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