New SLU Renderings Sow Worry for Suburbanizing Downtown St. Louis

Midwest
Thursday, November 8, 2012
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SLU Law Chestnut Street. (Courtesy NextSTL)

SLU Law Chestnut Street. (Courtesy NextSTL)

Saint Louis University announced in January that its law school would move downtown, winning praise from many who saw the move as a reinvestment in the city’s urban core.

NextSTL sounded an alarm, however, over new renderings of the Joe and Loretta Scott Law Center that show a closed circular driveway along Chestnut Street—a downtown thoroughfare whose theoretical closure would amount to “suburbanizing the central business district,” in the words of NextSTL writer Alex Ihnen. The Board of Public Service would have to okay such a closure, which according to the Street Department has not yet been submitted for approval.

Cincinnati is Recovering From the Swine Flu

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
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Aerial view of Over the Rhine and beyond in Cincinnati. (OverTheRhine/Flickr)

Aerial view of Over the Rhine and beyond in Cincinnati. (OverTheRhine/Flickr)

Dear readers, Eavesdrop had the opportunity to explore Louisville, KY—our hometown—and Cincinnati, OH (a.k.a. Porkopolis) over the weekend. It’s been six or seven years since our last trip to Cincy and we have a couple things to say about it. It’s kind of a real city, like dense and old, with just enough corporate headquarters looming over the skyline.

We finally got to see the HOK designed Great American Tower in real life and it’s just as bad in person as its renderings. You may remember that we thoroughly made fun of its fugly, Princess Di inspired, steel tiara—something about lipstick on a pig. Let’s update that to a more current comparison. That tiara is more Honey Boo Boo than Princess Di. Eavesdrop is not a fan of hats or tiaras on buildings—i.e. the Pappageorge Haymes-designed One Museum Park in Chicago with its sailor cap. The American Institute of Steel Construction disagrees, recently giving said tiara a design award.

Continue reading after the jump.

Stalled Wacker Drive Development Breaks Ground Once More

Midwest
Friday, November 2, 2012
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Developers, construction workers, and 42nd ward ald. Brendan Reilly break "ground" on the 28th floor of the Waterview Tower. (Chris Bentley / The Architect's Newspaper)

Developers, construction workers, and 42nd ward ald. Brendan Reilly break “ground” on the 28th floor of the Waterview Tower. (Chris Bentley / The Architect’s Newspaper)

For years Chicago’s celebrated architectural boat tour has started its journey at 111 W. Wacker, a 28-story symbol of the great recession and stalled real estate development. Now they are one step closer to a launch more fit for neck-craning. Construction workers broke ground Thursday on the dormant project once again, reviving the high-rise once intended as the first Shangri-La Hotel in the United States.

Read More

Slideshow> AIA Chicago Honors 39 Projects

Midwest
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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The Poetry Foundation in Chicago's River North neighborhood won an honor award in the distinguished building and interior architecture categories. (Courtesy wjcordier / Flickr)

The Poetry Foundation in Chicago’s River North neighborhood won an honor award in the distinguished building and interior architecture categories. (Courtesy wjcordier / Flickr)

Friday marked Designight 2012—AIA Chicago’s annual awards gala—which brought nearly 1,000 members of the area’s design community together at Navy Pier to recognize 39 projects in four awards categories: Distinguished Building, Interior Architecture, Divine Detail, and Sustainability Leadership.

John Ronan’s Poetry Foundation; Perkins+Will’s Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda, Angola; Sheehan Partners’ Facebook Data Center in Prineville, Ore.; and David Woodhouse Architects’ Richard J. Daley Library IDEA Commons in Chicago (featured in the October Midwest issue of AN Midwest) were among the repeat winners of the night.

Helmut Jahn accepted a lifetime achievement award, calling on the designers present to imagine a better future and then “make that future happen.” On behalf of his firm, Jahn also formally adopted the changes reported earlier—a new name, JAHN, and the ascension of Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido to share design leadership with Jahn.

View a slideshow of the winners after the jump.

A Fan From Indy Gets His Feelers Hurt

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Thursday, October 25, 2012
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The JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis. (Courtesy Marriott)

The JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis. (Courtesy Marriott)

Last month in this column, we conjured up a fake rivalry between Cincinnati, Cleveland, and East Lansing, MI, as they all have high profile projects opening this fall. Of all the blabber we’ve scattered across these pages, that piece stirred up the most voices. One fan wanted to know, “What about Indianapolis?” In our opinion, it’s a classic quantity versus quality situation. There’s a lot of development going on in Indianapolis right now, including City Way, along with a lot of forgettable architecture. There was the opening of the JW Marriott, with its nifty, curved blue glass curtain wall, design by HOK and CSO Architects. But does a convention hotel really stand up against starchitect designed museums and boutique art hotels? Not in this case.

On View> White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes

Midwest
Thursday, October 25, 2012
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Ground floor of Adriana Varejão Gallery by Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez, showing installation Linda do Rosário (2004–2008) by Adriana Varejão. (Iwan Baan)

Ground floor of Adriana Varejão Gallery by Rodrigo Cerviño Lopez, showing installation Linda do Rosário (2004–2008) by Adriana Varejão. (Iwan Baan)

White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes
Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
Through January 13, 2013

With the exhibition White Cube Green Maze at the Heinz Architectural Center in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, curator Raymund Ryan moved beyond the predictable white enclosed gallery, creating a maze, which forces viewers to navigate museum space and interact with art in new ways. The exhibition presents a series of six innovative designs from around the world that blend landscape design, modern architecture, art, and environment. The sites are shown with photos, presentation models, sketches by various artists and historical designs and redesigns of the sites, offering an understanding of how collaborative the design processes were. Visitors can wander through the exhibition’s different pavilions that open to beautiful outdoor spaces. The sites in the exhibition include the Olympic Sculpture Park (USA), Stiftung Insel Hombroich (Germany), Benesse Art Site Naoshima (Japan), Instituto Inhotim (Brazil), Jardín Botánico de Culiacán (Mexico), and Grand Traiano Art Complex (Italy), all captured in architectural photographs by Iwan Baan.

More images after the jump.

Plans move ahead for downtown mixed-use in Indianapolis

Midwest
Monday, October 22, 2012
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CityWay, a mixed-use project planned for an overlooked section of downtown Indianapolis. (COURTESY BUCKINGHAM COMPANIES)

CityWay, a mixed-use project planned for an overlooked section of downtown Indianapolis. (COURTESY BUCKINGHAM COMPANIES)

CityWay, a $155 million mixed-use development planned to revitalize Indianapolis’ Southeast downtown quadrant, could mean big things for the city’s redevelopment. The Indianapolis Star released this interactive map of the project’s features, which include a flagship YMCA planned for 2014, 250 apartments, a 209-room hotel, 10 restaurants and shops and land targeted for 400,000 square feet of future development.

As AN reported in August, the project counts Gensler and OZ Architects among its designers. The 14-acre site is near several of Indy’s major employers, as well as cultural attractions like Super Bowl locale Lucas Oil Stadium and the cultural trail.

Doha Tower Named World’s Best by Council on Tall Buildings

International, Midwest
Saturday, October 20, 2012
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Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat held its 11th annual awards symposium Thursday, bestowing architect Helmut Jahn and structural engineers Charles Thornton and Richard Tomasetti with lifetime achievement recognition and awarding Doha Tower the title of 2012’s Best Tall Building.

Ateliers Jean Novel’s cylindrical landmark for the burgeoning Qatar capital is the first tall building to use a diagonal grid of reinforced concrete columns in a cross shape. This innovation leaves open the central core, creating a stunning space at the tip of the tower that makes perhaps the best use of the building’s intricately detailed facade.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kimmelman: Have your Prentice and Build It, Too

Midwest
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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Options exist beyond demolition and preservation as-is. (Courtesy Studio Gang, Jay Hoffman)

Options exist beyond demolition and preservation as-is. (Courtesy Studio Gang, Jay Hoffman)

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman waded into the controversy embroiling Chicago’s old Prentice Women’s Hospital Wednesday and wound up soliciting a unique solution from Jeanne Gang that has already garnered praise from the coalition of preservationists fighting to save the building from demolition.

Noting the “familiar” tone of the dispute between landowner Northwestern University, who wants to demolish Prentice to make way for up to 500,000 square feet of medical research facilities, and preservationists seeking landmark status for the distinctive 1970s Bertrand Goldberg structure, Kimmelman called for a third approach: incorporate old Prentice into a new design on the site. As the pendulum begins to lean towards demolition, with 42nd ward Alderman Brendan Reilly saying he supports Northwestern’s decision, the critic asked Gang what she thought.

Read More

Facades+Innovation in Chicago: Romero’s reunion, adaptive glazings and more

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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IIT's Mccormick Tribune student center. (courtesy Charles MacEachen via Flickr)

IIT’s Mccormick Tribune student center. (courtesy Charles MacEachen via Flickr)

AN’s Facades + Innovation Conference wrapped up last Friday in Chicago, rounding out the event’s inaugural run from New York to San Francisco and ending at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Architects, engineers, builders, and designers at today’s symposium plumbed the conceptual depths of form as well as the materials, programs and trends that could guide the future of design.

Fernando Romero, founder of architecture firm FREE, kicked off the morning with a tour of his facade work, from the hexagonal network of mirrored steel tiles enclosing the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, to IIT’s McCormick Tribune Campus Center just two blocks from the conference hall. Romero worked on the McCormick Center while at OMA, but had never before visited the completed structure. Walking through the building after his talk, delivered on his 41st birthday, the architect said it was a gift to finally visit.

Continue reading after the jump.

AIA to Honor Helmut Jahn with Lifetime Achievement Award

Midwest
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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Helmut Jahn in the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago. (Courtesy University of Chicago)

Helmut Jahn in the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago. (Courtesy University of Chicago)

AIA Chicago will honor German-born architect Helmut Jahn later this month with a lifetime achievement award during its Designight event Oct. 26.

Jahn is president and CEO of Murphy/Jahn, a firm with a formidable track record Chicago, including U of C’s Mansueto Research Library, O’Hare’s United Airlines Terminal and the state of Illinois’ Thompson Center. His work in Germany is also extensive, including the well-known Sony Center in Berlin and the Messeturm in Frankfurt.

Jahn will also receive a lifetime achievement award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Thursday. AIA’s Designight is open to the public. Tickets are available at aiachicago.org or by calling (312) 376-2725.

Rahm’s Security Loves Art, Passes On Booze

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Friday, October 12, 2012
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It’s been (another) terrible year for Jeanne Gang! From being awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant to starring in the just opened solo exhibition, Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects, at the Art Institute, there appears to be no slowdown in Studio Gang momentum. Of course, Eavesdrop stopped by the opening and we have a few things to say. The first has little to do with Jeanne and more with the Art Institute. Their openings are always so snoozy! Get more of the students and younger folks in there, in addition to your stodgy museum patrons! We probably wouldn’t have stuck around long, accept a little bird told us that Mayor Rahm Emanuel would be making an appearance and we wanted to see how short he is in real life.

Zoë Ryan, the museum’s chair of the department of architecture and design, looked nervous awaiting Rahm’s arrival, while Jeanne looked quite at ease, milling about in a really cute dress. One of the hottest architects in the world is certainly in the same power echelon as the mayor of the Second City.

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