Chicago Loop Alliance to Coat Sidewalks, Streets, & Buildings with Color

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The promotional rendering for "Color Jam."

The promotional rendering for "Color Jam."

From May 29th through June 4th, sheets of vinyl will be layered over the intersection of State and Adams streets in Chicago’s Loop in a site specific installation entitled Color Jam. The public installation, commissioned by Chicago Loop Alliance through their Art Loop public art program, is the work of multimedia artist Jessica Stockholder. The exhibit will be an ongoing piece of public art, covering sidewalks, buildings. and the intersection itself with contextually abstract shapes and colors. The work will be on display from its “official” completion on June 5th through September 30th of this year.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Digitizing Saarinen’s Miller House

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
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The Miller House (Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art)

Even if Columbus, Indiana is not on your travel itinerary Eero Saarinen’s Miller House and Garden may come to you via the internet. Last week, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) announced a $190,000 grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) to digitize its Miller House and Garden Collection. The house—a celebrated collaboration between architect Saarinen, interior designer Alexander Girard, and landscape architect Dan Kiley—opened for tours last year , and the museum reports more than 6,500 tour tickets were sold. With the increased interest comes a growing number of requests from researchers asking for access to the home’s archives. While in good condition, the museum writes in their NEH proposal that “repeated handling would quickly degrade these important and unique materials.”  Read More

Unveiled> SOM’s Latest Supertall Building in China

(Courtesy SOM)

(Courtesy SOM)

A “supertall” building is one which tops out at over 1,250 feet. Right now, there are 18 completed supertall buildings and 21 under construction. Chicago-based architects Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) will break ground on Tuesday on the 1,740-foot-tall CTF Tower in Tianjin, China. It will be the tenth supertall building to begin construction for SOM, the most of any firm in the world. The building is a carefully-crafted design which deliberately merges structural challenges with program and form.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> The Outdoor Office at the Art Institute of Chicago

Midwest
Monday, May 14, 2012
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The Outdoor Office. (Courtesy AIC)

The Outdoor Office. (Courtesy AIC)

The Outdoor Office
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago
Through July 15

Jonathan Olivares takes a human-centered approach to industrial design and research. His 2011 book A Taxonomy of Office Chairs, published by Phaidon, provides an encyclopedic history of the office chair from 1840 to present day; building on this research, Olivares presents the speculative project The Outdoor Office (above). The advent of mobile communication means that work can be done outside of traditional offices and that the utility of outdoor space is no longer limited to recreation and leisure. Olivares examines how productive work environments can be created with new types of outdoor furniture and architecture, with consideration of privacy, shelter, and adaptability. The exhibition showcases the research and results of his findings, with images drawn from television, film, and existing offices, in addition to conceptual projects and models developed for new outdoor work spaces.

Deborah Berke and Students Toast Urban Industry

East, Midwest
Monday, May 7, 2012
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Chester Prescott Distillation Tower by Francesco Galetto.

Chester Prescott Distillation Tower by Francesco Galetto.

With investment in American cities on the rise, mixed-use development is all the buzz, but architect Deborah Berke says we must be careful not to leave industry out of the mix. “We need to sway mixed-use back to the direction of a real mix. We’ve gone to all residential,” she said. Berke and critic Noah Biklen just finished teaching an architectural studio at Yale on boutique urban manufacturing, where students explored bringing a bourbon distillery to downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

View the student proposals after the jump.

MOCA Cleveland and the Big Blue Yonder

Midwest
Monday, May 7, 2012
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The exterior of MOCA Cleveland nears completion. (Courtesy FOA)

The exterior of MOCA Cleveland nears completion. (Courtesy Farshid Moussavi Architecture)

If Foreign Office Architects’ first project, the huge Yokohama International Port Terminal in Japan, was the vast scale of rolling dunes, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland—begun when the firm was still known as FOA and carried to completion by Farshid Moussavi Architecture—is compact as a cube. And size has made all the difference in keeping on track through the economic downturn with the $27.2 million building poised for opening in October.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kansas City Solar Pavilion Opens, Puzzles

Midwest
Monday, April 16, 2012
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(photos: Gunnar Hand)

The Sun Pavilion, winner of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s design competition in conjunction with their Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World Fairs, 1851-1939, is now open. Completed in  81 days, the pavilion is an expression of the innovation that reflects the ideals of World’s Fairs. Read More

St. Louis’ Flying Saucer Saved.  Del Taco in St. Louis (Courtesy Modern STL) Preserving mid-century modern architecture has become a hot-button issue around the country as aging icons are becoming old enough to be called historic. Last year a citizen-led preservation effort to save the unlikely icon in St. Louis, a threatened gas-station-turned-fast-food-restaurant with a distinctive concrete saucer, was launched. Now, it looks like the building will once again become a burrito stand as the developer has confirmed the building will house a Starbucks and a Chipotle. NextSTL has the details.

 

Kamin: Humana Resurrecta.  Michael Graves Humana building, Louisville, 1986 (Courtesy AIAArchiblog). Blair Kamin seems to have joined the reconsider PoMo chorus, stating in his Sunday column that the movement “deserves a more sophisticated reappraisal.” The focus of the Tribune tribute was Michael Graves’s Humana building in Louisville, Kentucky.  By drawing comparisons to Johnson’s AT&T building in its unabashed commercialism and to Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 333 Waker Drive for its national significance, Kamin writes that “Graves crafted a tower that could only have been built in Louisville.” The reassessment comes on the heel of Graves receiving the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for classical and traditional architecture in Chicago last month, which in turn came after last fall’s PoMo Conference at New York’s Institute for Classical Architecture and Art. Seems that the classicists are going gaga for PoMo.

 

Chicago Architect Attempting to Kickstart A “Super-Furniture”

International, Midwest, Newsletter
Thursday, April 5, 2012
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Beuys/Hefner House (Courtesy Bureau Spectacular)

Beuys/Hefner House (Courtesy Bureau Spectacular)

What is a Super-Furniture? According to Chicago architect Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular, it is “a building that is kind of too small, or a couch that is kind of too big.” Whichever way you prefer to think of it, Lai’s plan to live in one of the his installation-scale Super-Furniture, in this case called the Hefner/Beuys House, for a month inside a London gallery is a provocative project where “suddenly architecture becomes performance art.”

Building? Couch? Check it out!

On View> Urban Visions: American Works on Paper, 1900-1950

Midwest
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
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(Courtesy IMA)

Night Shadows by Edward Hopper, 1921. (Courtesy IMA)

Urban Visions: American Works on Paper, 1900-1950
Indianapolis Museum of Art
4000 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN
Through September 30

An upcoming exhibition at The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Alliance Gallery will explore the ways in which artists dealt with the rise of industrial modernization and urbanity. In the first half of the 20th century, rapidly changing cities served as inspiration for new portrayals of human expression within these new environments. “The spectacle of metropolitan life” is presented through 25 works from IMA’s print collection, including lithographs, etchings, and engravings from well-known artists such as George Bellows, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh, and Isabel Bishop. The exhibition will display the art alongside vintage construction photos from the Chicago and New York skyscraper boom, providing context for these early interpretations of the city. Pieces from lesser-known artist and architect Gerald Kenneth Geerlings, whose aquatinted technical drawings of the emerging cityscape highlight the juxtaposition of emotional romanticism and technological progress, will be on display at IMA for the first time since 1970.

Parking Increasingly Passé in Downtown Chicago Towers.  Parking Increasingly Passé in Downtown Chicago Towers Crain’s has an encouraging report on the drop in demand for parking spaces in Chicago’s downtown residential buildings. At Lakeshore East, which includes Studio Gang’s Aqua tower, only 40% of renters are leasing parking spaces. The developers had forecast a 55% demand. As a result many buildings are dropping the price for spaces. Other factors including buildings with on-site car sharing and secure bicycle storage areas are also likely cutting demand for parking spaces. As a result, some developers are rethinking how much parking to include in new projects, which would mean smaller podiums and more active street life, something any city would want.

 

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