Kordalski Takes Cleveland

Midwest
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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Flour Restaurant, a recent project by Cleveland Arts Prize winner Steven Kordalski's firm.

Flour Restaurant, a recent project by Cleveland Arts Prize winner Steven Kordalski's firm. (Courtesy Kordalski Architects)

The 2012 Cleveland Arts Prize committee levied praise on Steven Kordalski, the 59-year-old Cleveland architect who received this year’s Mid Career Award for Design. The award, which was first given in 1960, is the oldest of its kind in the country. Kordalski is president of Kordalski Architects, a boutique architectural studio in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood that specializes in corporate interiors, commercial, and residential projects.

Continue reading after the jump.

Get ‘Em While You Can Afford ‘Em.  Coil Lamp by Craighton Berman. Local hot-shot designer, Craighton Berman, has left the firm gravitytank to go solo. He’s keeping himself busy with all kinds of stuff—from illustration to design workshops. Craig, whose illustrations regularly don the pages of Dwell, designed the Coil Lamp, which graced the pages of this paper and many others. The Coil Lamp was recently added to the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Better get one before they become pricey collectibles.

 

On View> Unseen City: Designs for a Future Chicago

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
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Clean Tower by Kyle Bigart & Peter Binggeser.

Clean Tower by Kyle Bigart & Peter Binggeser.

There were about as many ideas for development on Chicago’s high-profile real estate at Wolf Point as there are Chicagoans. One you didn’t hear about during Alderman Brendan Reilly’s initial public meeting was The Clean Tower—a supertall that would return filtered wastewater to the Chicago River beneath its slanted profile.

The Clean Tower wasn’t actually on the table for Wolf Point, but it does occupy real estate on the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s model of downtown. That’s because it’s part of Unseen City: Designs for a Future Chicago, an exhibition of imaginative projects from Illinois Institute of Technology’s “Hi-Rise, Lo-Carb” studio.

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The Gift that Keeps on Giving.  Lucien Lagrange. He’s back, y’all! Without a doubt, he’ll once again spread his Nouveau Beaux Arts buildings across Chicago. Wait, what? Who are we talking about? Who else? Lucien Lagrange. After a strong decade or two spreading an upscale Disney-esque version of Paris-on-Steroids across Chicago’s skyline (see: the Waldorf Astoria, 65 East Goethe, Lincoln Park 2520), a public divorce from designer Jessica Lagrange, his namesake firm’s bankruptcy (which we’re sure had nothing to do with the divorce), his retirement, his joining VOA (just joking about retirement!), his bitter divorce from VOA, and now the recent announcement of HKS Lucien Lagrange Studio, a boutique practice within the HKS. Think of this next installment as the architecture version of a pop-up store. The question is, how long will it last?

 

Chicago’s Merchandise Mart to Get Tech Boost.  Chicago's Merchandise Mart to Get Tech Boost Known to architects for the dozens of design showrooms it houses and the annual NeoCon tradeshow it hosts, Chicago’s Merchandise Mart may also become a major center for the city’s tech industry. Crain’s is reporting that Google is planning to lease half a million square feet in the mammoth building, and will add a large roof deck offering city, river, and lake views. The deck will, no doubt, help compensate for the massive floorplates that will leave most employees far from natural light. Google will also bring 3000 jobs–from a Motorola division they acquired–from the suburbs to downtown.

 

Trendspotting at Neocon

Midwest, National
Thursday, June 14, 2012
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Steelcase's media:scape software on a stand from Coalesse.

As North America’s largest interior design conference, Neocon is a great place to scout interiors trends. Here are a couple themes AN spotted during this year’s opening days. Video conference calls are an integral part of day-to-day office work for a growing share of businesses. Elegant office design and high-tech compatibility seemed to dovetail in many of the new products on display at Neocon. Read More

Steedman Fellowship Winner Heralded for Interdisciplinary Design

Midwest
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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Jason Mrdeza's winning proposal features a first floor "mound" fitted with a green roof and topped with five glowing "lantern blocks" containing studios and offices. (Courtesy Washington University)

Jason Mrdeza's winning proposal features a first floor "mound" fitted with a green roof and topped with five glowing "lantern blocks" containing studios and offices. (Courtesy Washington University)

Canadian/Norwegian architect Jason Mrdeza has won Washington University in Saint Louis’ 2012 Steedman Fellowship in Architecture International Design Competition. Sponsored by the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the biennial competition is open to young architects from around the world within the first eight yeas of practice. The winner receives a $50,000 prize, one of the largest competition prizes in the U.S., to support study and research abroad. Mrdeza’s winning project, “Mediating Adjacencies: Inspiring Collaboration within Context,” was chosen out of 120 entrees.

Continue reading after the jump.

360 Architecture’s Invisible Fort in Kansas City

Midwest
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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(Courtesy 360 Architecture)

(Courtesy 360 Architecture)

A giant Tetris block has landed in Powell Gardens, a large botanical garden an hour drive outside of Kansas City, Missouri. MIRRORRORRIM, designed and built by Kansas City-based firm 360 Architecture, is a modular stacking of bright, lime green, cedar cubes, forming a T-shape on the ground with a vertical tower rising above the crossing point. The wooden structure is layered over on some sides with perforated stainless steel panels.

Continue reading after the jump.

Spatial Ops’ Optical Architecture Engages with Disorientation

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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(Courtesy Spatial Ops)

(Courtesy Spatial Ops)

Occupying a room in the abandoned Federal Screw Works factory in Chelsea, Michigan, General Manifold is an immersive environment that aims to disorient as well as engage. The installation is set in an 80,000 square foot factory, founded in 1913, that once employed 250 people. When it was shuttered in 2005, only 37 remained. Spatial Ops, with students from their Meta Friche seminar at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, engage the factory’s history, showcasing the ruin and rendering its inverse. Their insertion is an attempt to cultivate enthusiasm for the ruin and to gain support for its transformation, the first step in a forthcoming master plan for Chelsea Common. Read More

Bye Bye Blair!.  Blair Kamin. Pulitzer-prize winning Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin had better go hat shopping. He’s got another feather for his chapeau! A super prestigious Neiman Fellowship from Harvard! “My aspirations for the fellowship are straightforward: To return to my job refreshed and refocused, so I can provide our readers with the most sophisticated, discerning coverage of architecture—and, in the process, to demonstrate anew why newspapers should cover this inescapable art,” Kamin told Time Out Chicago. Congratulations Blair. Don’t get tempted to stay on the coast. The Midwest needs you!

 

On View> Currents 35: Tara Donovan at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Midwest
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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Unititled, 2008. (Tara Donovan/Courtesy The Pace Gallery)

Unititled, 2008. (Tara Donovan/Courtesy The Pace Gallery)

Currents 35: Tara Donovan
Milwaukee Art Museum
700 North Art Museum Drive
Milwaukee, WI
Through October 7

The work of Tara Donovan demands close reading. By using strict rule-based systems, Donovan accumulates individual pieces of material into installations that defy easy identification. Milwaukee Art Museum chief curator Brady Roberts explains, “Donovan’s process involves selecting one material and finding one unique solution for its construction, whether it’s folding, gluing, stacking, or pressing.” Taking cues from 1960s conceptual artists like Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt, whose works rely on rule-based processes, Donovan obscures her quotidian materials to compose spectacular objects. The exhibition includes several major works including Haze, a 32-foot wall covered in approximately three million straws, Unititled, 2008 on polyester film (detail, above), and Drawing (Pins), 2011 composed of gatorboard, paint, and nickel-plated steel pins.

On View> Judith Turner: The Flatness of Ambiguity

Midwest
Friday, June 8, 2012
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(Judith Turner)

(Judith Turner)

Judith Turner: The Flatness of Ambiguity
University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI
Opening June 14

Judith Turner’s photographs are the subject of the University of Michigan-Museum of Art’s new exhibition The Flatness of Ambiguity. Turner’s work captures architecture through an intense editing process where architecture is reinterpreted through unusual views. Operating from severe angles, the photographs capture the buildings in black-and-white compositions that play with the ambiguity of light, shadow, and tonality. Cropping them to further pull the buildings from their context, Turner abstracts the built landscape, transposing buildings into often unrecognizable flat artworks. Turner’s highly abstract signature style heightens the aesthetic character of her subject matter and reveals visual relationships that are not apparent when experiencing the building in traditional ways, in person or in photographs. This exhibition consists of approximately forty works, which span Turner’s three-decade-long career.

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