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The Rise and Fall of Buffalo's Curious Telescope Houses

© David Schalliol
© David Schalliol

One of the most fascinating things about vernacular architecture is that, while outsiders may find a certain city fascinating, local residents might be barely aware of the quirks of their own surroundings. In this photographic study from Issue 4 of Satellite Magazine, originally titled "The Telescope Houses of Buffalo, New York," David Schalliol investigates the unusual extended dwellings of New York State's second-largest city.

The first time I visited Buffalo, New York, I was there to photograph the great buildings of the city’s late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century expansion for the Society of Architectural Historians: monumental buildings designed by Louis Sullivan, Fellheimer & Wagner, and, later, Frank Lloyd Wright. Many of these architects were the period’s leading designers, outsiders from Chicago and New York City hired to announce the arrival of this forward-looking city at the connection of Lake Erie and the Erie Canal.

These remarkable buildings, and the grain elevators that made them possible, have been thoroughly documented and praised, but they are also a far cry from the vernacular architecture I typically study. When I returned to Buffalo for the second, third, and—now—sixth times, I became fascinated by another building type: the Buffalo telescope house.

© David Schalliol © David Schalliol © David Schalliol © David Schalliol

4 Ways Cold-Climate Cities Can Make The Most Of Their Waterfronts

Urban waterfronts have historically been the center of activity for many cities. They began as economic, transportation and manufacturing hubs, but as most industries changed their shipping patterns and consolidated port facilities, many industrial waterfronts became obsolete. In Europe, smaller historic ports were easily converted to be reused for leisure activities. However, in North America, where the ports were larger, it was more difficult to convert the waterfronts due to logistical and contamination issues.

Over the past 40 years or so, architects and urban planners have started to recognize the redevelopment potential for waterfronts across the United States and Canada, and the impact they can have on the financial and social success of cities. Though cold-climate cities pose a unique challenge for waterfront development, with effective planning waterfront cities with freezing winter months can still take advantage of the spaces year-round.

Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image © Chris Foyd courtesy of Perkins+Will Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image © Chris Foyd courtesy of Perkins+Will Solar study for Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image © Chris Foyd courtesy of Perkins+Will Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image © Chris Foyd courtesy of Perkins+Will

Rare Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station Brought to Life

Courtesy of Pierce-Arrow Museum
Courtesy of Pierce-Arrow Museum

Many architects have portfolios full of projects that were never built, and Frank Lloyd Wright is no exception.  Now, however, the Buffalo Pierce-Arrow museum in New York has brought one of Wright’s more imaginative conceptual projects to life. In this article from Metropolis, we are introduced to a gas station designed by Wright for his (also unbuilt) Broadacre City project. 

Cafe Fargo / Davidson Rafailidis

  • Architects: Davidson Rafailidis
  • Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
  • Project Team: Georg Rafailidis (lead), Stephanie Davidson
  • Project Staff: Jia Ma, Aleksandr Marchuk
  • Area: 82.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Florian Holzherr

© Florian Holzherr © Florian Holzherr © Florian Holzherr © Florian Holzherr

Gates Vascular Institute / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design

  • Architects: Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design
  • Location: 875 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA
  • Architects of Record:: Cannon Design
  • Civil Engineering: DiDonato Associates
  • Landscape Architecture: Dean W. Gowen
  • Curtain Wall: Israel Berger
  • Construction Manager / General Contractor: Turner Construction
  • Area: 476500.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Thomas Mayer

© Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer

Deborah Berke to Redesign Landmarked Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the Richardson Olsmted Complex, a National Historic Landmark that is widely considered to be one of Buffalo's most important and beautiful buildings, will be rehabilitated and reused as a hospitality venue and cultural amenity for the city. The design team, including New York-based Deborah Berke of Deborah Berke Partners and Buffalo-based Peter Flynn of Flynn Battaglia Architects, have high hopes of transforming the unused building into a "thoroughly modern travel and cultural experience" while maintaining a deep respect for its long history.

"Working on the rehabilitation of the Richardson Olmsted Complex is an extraordinary design opportunity," said Deborah Berke. "We are designing a 21st-century architectural addition to H. H. Richardson's spectacular 19th-century buildings that is both rooted in history and forward thinking."

University at Buffalo's Downtown Medical School Proposal / HOK

HOK recently unveiled their design for the state-of-the-art medical school and integrated transit station at the University at Buffalo's Downtown Medical School, which will anchor the vibrant mixed-use district. Designed for the new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the seven-story medical school will bring 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students daily to downtown Buffalo and, at more than 500,000-square-feet, will be one of the largest buildings constructed in Buffalo in decades. More images and architects' description after the break.

University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences / Perkins+Will

  • Architects: Perkins+Will
  • Location: University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
  • Project team: Rob Goodwin, Design Principal, NYO; Tony Caputo, Project Designer, NYO;Gary Shaw, Managing Principal, BOS; Andy Goetze, Project Architect, BOS; Madaline Hale, Interior Designer,BOS.
  • Collaborators: BR+A, Mechanical Engineers; LeMessurier, Structural Engineers; Mik-Young Kim, Landscape Designers
  • Area: 133510.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Eduard Hueber

© Eduard Hueber © Eduard Hueber © Eduard Hueber © Eduard Hueber

Kaleida Health Gates Vascular Institute / Cannon Design

© K C Kratt
© K C Kratt
  • Architects: Cannon Design
  • Location: 100 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA
  • Design Principal: Mehrdad Yazdani, Associate AIA
  • Area: 476000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: K C Kratt, Bjorg Magnea Architectural & Interior , Thomas Mayer, Greg Meadows, Tim Wilkes

© Bjorg Magnea Architectural & Interior © Bjorg Magnea Architectural & Interior © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer

The Reyner Banham Symposium: ‘On Error’

Taking place January 23rd from 2:00pm-7:oopm EST, the Reyner Banham Symposium, ‘On Error’, focuses on how error can be many things. In its most common display, however, it is something we are taught to avoid. It is often characterized by mannerisms that were once trends but are now condemned or qualified by a lack of command over formal logic, material tolerances, construction techniques, and space planning, to name but a few. The accepted belief is that by avoiding error we promote progress. It seems only fitting to surrender to this logic as it is much easier to agree on what constitutes a mistake than it is to admit to a measure of success. The event is organized by the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and will be held at the Darwin Martin House’s Greatbatch Pavilion. For more information, please visit here.

Video: Darwin Martin House / Frank Lloyd Wright

University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences / HOK

Courtesy of HOK
Courtesy of HOK

HOK was recently selected to design the new University at Buffalo (UB) School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on its downtown campus upon winning a global design ideas competition. Located at the center of the region’s emerging bio-sciences corridor, this new transit-oriented medical school development will anchor a lively, urban mixed-use district on campus and bring 1,200 students, faculty and staff downtown. With the goal of fostering collaboration and interdisciplinary care, the new academic medical center will create connections that allow students, faculty, biomedical researchers and clinicians to move easily from classroom to bedside to lab. More images and archtiects’ description after the break.