New York’s Architecture Research Office (ARO) has been selected to lead in the renovation and master planning of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. The project aims to modernize and improve the renowned structure, which houses 14 monumental paintings by Mark Rothko in an interior space designed to meet the artist’s precise specifications, and its surrounding plaza and reflecting pool. The original building was largely designed by Rothko himself, with consult from a trio of architects including Philip Johnson.
Architecture Research Office and FilzFelt have teamed up to create ARO Block, a series of modular acoustic tiles that provide sound control in a customizable, easy-to-install system. Generated from remnant material of FilzFelt’s CNC cut products, which are often times small, ARO Block not only creates distinct felt tile patterns but also prevents leftover fabric from going to waste.
Architecture Research Office (ARO) and Heery International have designed the West Pavilion, a 115,000 square-foot extension to the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. Set at one of America’s most historic college football venues, the new expansion will stretch 450 feet in length —about half of the stadium—and “will introduce the program’s first true premium seating, club spaces, and high-end press facilities.”
In addition to being a part of university-wide expansions, the project is the centerpiece of the $86 million renovation of Nippert Stadium itself, which includes adding more restrooms and concessions, and better pedestrian circulation.
A few months ago I had the chance to visit and interview Architecture Research Office (ARO), just after they were announced as the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture.
Organized by MoMA and PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, the Rising Currents exhibit cannot be missed by architects, ecologists, or green enthusiasts…let alone any New Yorker. The exhibit is a cohesive showcase of five projects which tackle the lingering truth that within a few years, the waterfront of the New York harbor will drastically change. Dealing with large scale issues of climate change, the architects delve into a specific scale that we can recognize and relate to. The projects are not meant to be viewed as a master plan, but rather each individual zone serves as a test site for the team to experiment. The projects demonstrate the architects’ abilities to look passed the idea of climate change as a problem, and move on to see the opportunities it presents. Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, explained, “Your mission is to come up with images that are so compelling they can’t be forgotten and so realistic that they can’t be dismissed.”
More about each zone after the break.