NBBJ to Overhaul Lexington’s Rupp Arena, Convention Center

Midwest
Friday, July 12, 2013
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Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. is targeted for renovation. (NBBJ)

Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. is targeted for renovation. (NBBJ)

NBBJ‘s Los Angeles office will lead design on renovations to Lexington, KY’s Rupp Arena and the city’s convention center.

With more than 23,000 seats, Rupp is the largest arena designed specifically for basketball in the United States. NBBJ, which will be working in collaboration with Lexington-based EOP, elected renovation over expansion or replacement after studying the 3-year-old arena. Renovation, they concluded, would save the city $215 million in construction costs.

Continue reading after the jump.

Columbus Art Museum to Add New Wing

Midwest
Thursday, July 11, 2013
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Columbus Museum of Art's new wing. (DesignGroup)

Columbus Museum of Art’s new wing. (DesignGroup)

In August the Columbus Museum of Art will break ground on the third and final phase of its renovation and expansion project: a new 50,000-square-foot wing that will bring the facility up to par with other major art museums in Ohio.

“In 1931, when we owned 500 pieces of art, we had 10 gallery spaces,” reads a statement on the museum’s website. “Today our collection numbers more than 10,000, yet those same 10 galleries remain.”

Columbus-based architecture firm DesignGroup is heading the $37.6 million project, which also includes renovations to the nearly 40-year-old Ross Wing and lobby area.

More renderings after the jump.

Cleveland Eyes Red Line for Rails-to-Trails Project

Midwest
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
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cleve_rail_trail_04bcleve_rail_trail_04a

 

“The Red Line” could be Cleveland’s answer to New York’s High Line or Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, rails-to-trails projects that have captured the imaginations of their respective cities as an answer to questions surrounding transportation, aging infrastructure and urban placemaking.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland is pushing the idea of a three-mile greenway connecting five city neighborhoods to downtown. That would make the old RTA Red Line trail longer than both the High Line and the Bloomingdale Trail.

Continue reading after the jump.

Giant Sea Creatures To Invade Chicago’s State Street

Midwest
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
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(Chicago Loop Alliance)

(Chicago Loop Alliance)

The Chicago Loop Alliance will wrap the Century Building at 202 S. State Street with a mural depicting a downtown overrun by giant sea creatures.

“Float,” by St. Louis artist Noah MacMillan, calls to mind one of the many action movies in which outsized monsters have laid waste to the Loop in computer-generated battle royales of late. But these octopi and puffer fish appear to float along benignly.

MacMillan’s surreal illustrations and designs have been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, the Washington Post and elsewhere. His 500-square-foot mural, which will be unveiled Tuesday July 16, was commissioned by building owners The General Services Administration, who asked MacMillan to ponder the relationship of citizens and their government. The 16-story building was designed by Holabird and Roche.

Chicago Loop Alliance’s other recent programs include of the Pop-Up Art Loop, a year-long art gallery series, and The Gateway, a “people plaza” on State Street.

"float" by noah macmillan (Chicago Loop Alliance)

“float” by noah macmillan (Chicago Loop Alliance)

A Beach Island for Downtown Detroit Aims to Activate the Campus Martius

Midwest
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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(Screen view from video / Free Press)

(Screen view from video / Free Press)

For Detroit citizens escaping to the beach just became as easy as taking a trip downtown. The city’s urban beach opened at the end of June in Campus Martius, transforming one Detroit’s downtown traffic islands on Woodward Avenue into actual island oasis complete with 150 tons of sand.

Downtown Detroit Partnership was motivated to bring a temporary beach to the  neighborhood by France’s Paris Plages plan that creates temporary sandy strips along the Seine river. For Detroit the sandy retreat is integrated into the city’s greater revitalization efforts to create economic development and bring active and accessible public spaces into everyday life. And while there are no rolling waves crashing in on Detroit’s sand island it still offers a place to lunch, socialize, or just kick back. So if you’re in Detroit this summer throw on your flip-flops and head for the shores of Woodward Avenue.

Watch a video after the jump.

Reading nest roosts in front of Cleveland Public Library

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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(Mark A. Reigelman II)

(Mark A. Reigelman II)

If you drop by the Cleveland Public Library to get lost in a book, you may find reprieve from modern life outside the library’s walls, thanks to a giant reading nest custom designed by New York artist Mark Reigelman and LAND Studio. The installation is the fourth in a series, called “See Also,” which brings public art to the library’s Eastman Reading Garden. It will be in place through October 18. Read More

Doomed to Demolition, Northwestern Names Three Firms to Design Prentice Successor

Midwest
Friday, June 28, 2013
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Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago. (ChicagoGeek/Flickr)

Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. (ChicagoGeek/Flickr)

Perkins + Will, Goettsch Partners, and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill will compete to design a successor to Bertrand Goldberg’s celebrated Prentice Women’s Hospital, which Northwestern University will soon demolish.

Booth Hansen will serve as the local architect of record. Northwestern, whose politically expedited approval from the Landmarks commission angered preservationists, selected the three firms from a larger pool based on their responses to a Request for Qualifications.

The winning firm will be chosen by December, according to their written timeline, but no construction work is planned until March 2017, according to Curbed.

Goettsch also designed Northwestern’s lake front Bienen School of Music, which is currently under construction.

Divvy Up: Chicago Launches Bike-Share Program

Midwest
Friday, June 28, 2013
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Get on your bikes and ride — Chicago’s long-delayed Divvy bike share program launched Friday, kicking on 65 solar-powered docking stations and unleashing 700 “Chicago” (read: powder) blue bikes.

But some West and South Side residents may have to wait for the program’s full benefits, if they get them at all. Optimized for short trips in high-density areas, the Divvy system requires a credit or debit card and few of the initial stations serve the far West and South sides. The Department of Transportation plans to rollout a total of 400 stations and about 4,000 three-speed bicycles in all.

Chicago’s Department of Transportation unveiled its bike share plans in April, tapping Portland, OR–based Alta Bicycle Share, which also runs DC’s bike-share program. The rollout follows a similar program, Citibike, which launched in New York in late May.

If you’re riding Divvy today, watch out for stragglers from the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade.

Related Eyes Chicago Spire Debt as Speculation On New Life Swirls

Midwest
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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The Chicago Spire site, currently the city’s most-watched hole in the ground, has had false starts before. This week The Wall Street Journal reported that Related Cos. of New York signed on to buy the stalled project’s debt, raising suspicions that development might proceed on the riverfront site.

Santiago Calatrava’s twisting tower design was to stand 2,000 feet high and house condos, but the $64 million land bordering Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville sat idle after the recession hit in 2008. The troubled project has been tangled up in litigation ever since.

Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency put the project’s $93 million in debt on the market earlier this year. While Irish developer Garett Kelleher’s firm still holds title to the parcel, and Related’s reported deal remains up in the air, speculation swirls around the site which not long ago was prepared to house the nation’s tallest building.

Roman & Williams to Design Hotel in Landmark Chicago Athletic Association Building

Midwest
Friday, June 21, 2013
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The Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (C. William Brubaker / Courtesy UIC Digital Archives; Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois)

The Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (C. William Brubaker / Courtesy UIC Digital Archives; Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois)

The landmarked Chicago Athletic Association will soon be home to a boutique hotel designed by Roman and Williams, whose Ace Hotel in New York opened to acclaim in 2009.

Developed by AJ Capital Partners and Commune Hotels & Resorts, the 240-room hotel will include a large ballroom converted from the existing gym and running track, as well as a large greenhouse on the roof. The historic second-floor drawing room will serve as a “living room for a new generation,” Roman and Williams said in a statement, while a new sports room/pool hall/bar will call back to the Athletic Association’s past.

More after the jump.

Contest Aims To Enliven Chicago’s Union Station

Midwest
Friday, June 21, 2013
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Chicago Union Station (J. Stephen Conn via Flickr)

Chicago Union Station (J. Stephen Conn via Flickr)

Although it gets more daily traffic than Midway Airport, Chicago’s main rail hub remains little more than a waypoint for most people—a bustling transit station buried beneath an often empty Beaux Arts volume.

The Metropolitan Planning Council wants to change that. Their new placemaking contest, Activate Union Station, calls on architects, landscape architects, planners and designers of all stripes to submit ideas for a design-build program that will enliven the underused West Loop hub.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chicago Riverwalk gets $99 million loan from feds

Midwest
Thursday, June 20, 2013
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Chicago riverwalk (Courtesy Sasaki Associates)

Chicago riverwalk. (Courtesy Sasaki Associates)

Chicago’s plan to extend and revamp its downtown riverwalk got a major shot in the arm from the feds last week.

U.S. Dept of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the federal government will loan the city $99 million under the Transportation Finance Innovation Act, a program geared at transportation projects of “national and regional significance.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel had previously set his sights on just such funding, as well as financial sponsors for ongoing maintenance.

The project, which is scheduled to be finished by 2016, hopes to draw more attention to the riverfront. Designs by Sasaki Associates, Alfred Benesch & Co., Ross Barney Architects, and Jacobs/Ryan Associates call for six unique identities across six downtown blocks of the Chicago River, such as The Jetty, The Cove, and The River Theater. Read more about the design in AN‘s previous report.

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