These days architecture is both a weapon and a victim of intolerance. Historic buildings are destroyed for what they symbolize, and there are calls for the building of walls and the construction of refugee cities. These actions are symptoms of the global preoccupation with the fear of others and the attempt to keep people “out.” The Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) community rejects these injustices and has built the architecture department on the principle that the purpose of architecture is to support the social good.
Steven Holl Architects (SHA) has been commissioned by Williams College to complete a program and masterplan study for the Williams College Department of Art and Museum of Art (WCMA). "The Master Plan aims to evaluate programming and space needs toward the determination of a program to catalyze the engagement of students, faculty and visitors with the visual arts," says SHA.
After talking with nearly 30 distinct groups of students, faculty and museum staff, SHA defined five main goals in which the study is based on:
Gluckman Tang Architects has been selected to design two new museums in North Adams, Massachusetts: the 160,000-square-foot Global Contemporary Art Museum (GCAM) and 32,400-square-feet Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum.
Built as a 700-foot-long addition to two historic freight depots in Western Gateway Heritage State Park, the Extreme Model Railroad museum will house one of the world’s largest collections of working O-scale model trains, moving through a trainscape designed by world-class architects, including Frank Gehry, Gluckman Tang, and Zaha Hadid.
Maya Lin, best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, together with Shepley Bulfinch has been chosen to redesign Smith College's Neilson Library. Selected after an international search conducted by the school, Lin's interdisciplinary approach coupled with Shepley Bulfinch's extensive work with academic institutions ultimately brought them to the forefront. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and last two years.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been chosen as the winner of a design competition for a new performing arts center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The competition received submissions from eight world-renowned firms, which were then judged by a selection committee. The $60 million building will tentatively begin construction in 2017, as part of the College's plan to "Become More: The Campaign of Holy Cross." DS+R ultimately won the competition due to its diverse design and interdisciplinary nature, just as the College hopes to instill in its students through this addition.
Following the highly anticipated world premiere of Archiculture (watch here!), Arbuckle Industries is now releasing over 30 never-before-seen full length interviews with some of the industry’s leading influencers, all discussing the profession and how we are or should be training the next generation of designers. The first of the series featured Columbia’s Kenneth Frampton on whether or not architecture should be considered a luxury. Now, this most recent installation delves into just how policy makers can affect the built environment, interviewing politician and former Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis.
In Boston, playgrounds are no longer just for kids. Twenty LED-lit circular swings have been installed outdoors as a part of "Swing Time," Boston's first interactive sculpture installation. The hanging, glowing orbs are a twist on traditional rubber-and-rope swings, dangling from a minimal steel structure similar to those used in conventional playgrounds. LED lights embedded in the swings activate and change color as each swing moves, returning to a dim white light when static. The piece is designed to blend Boston's design community with its expanding technology sector while playfully engaging residents.
Take a seat in "Swing Time" with more photos and info after the break.
The Salem Harbor Station, built between 1948 and 1951, is a coal fired power station which occupies a 65-acre site in Salem, Massachusetts. One of the region’s dirtiest coal- and oil-burning power generators, the 748 megawatt station sits within the historical maritime hub of Salem’s waterfront. The facility is topped by three towering smokestacks that pierce the skyline, and can be seen from many parts of Salem as well as the neighboring communities of Beverly and Marblehead.
Learn more about the station's transformation after the break...
Curated by Charles Waldheim, Ruettgers Consulting Curator of Landscape, the 'Composite Landscapes: Photomontage and Landscape Architecture' exhibition opens this Thursday, June 27th, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Examining the montage view, one of landscape architecture's most recognizable representational forms, the exhibit gathers work from a select group of influential contemporary artists and a dozen of the world's leading landscape architects. These composite views reveal practices of photomontage depicting the conceptual, experiential, and temporal dimensions of landscape. The exhibit runs until September 2nd. For more information, please visit here.
Opening tomorrow, June 25th through September 29th at BSA Space, the 'Reprogramming the City: Opportunities for Urban Infrastructure' exhibition celebrates more than 40 examples of imaginative reuse, repurposing and reimagining of urban infrastructure, from physical objects to the city’s most functional systems and surfaces. Curated by Scott Burnham, the new exhibition presents a global overview to serve alternate and expanded functions for urban dwellers and visitors. Featured exhibits will include numerous videos, photos, media stations, renderings, and models. For more information, please visit here. More images after the break.
Taking place this Friday, April 12th, from 4:00pm-8:30pm, the Doctor of Design program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is inviting you to 'Research as Practice', their annual Convergence symposium. As the traditional boundaries of design practice are increasingly questioned, broadened, and blurred, scientific research in technology development and application emerges as an essential vehicle for exploration and assessment. In this inaugural year, the symposium will seek to explore the position, relevancy, and sustainability of applied research in design practice across various disciplines with examples from contemporary practitioners. For more information, please visit here. For more information, please visit here.
Free and open to the public, the PhD program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is pleased to invite you to the 7th annual Cambridge Talks conference, which will take place on Friday, March 29, from 9:00am to 4:30pm. This year's conference seeks to bring fresh historical themes and tools to bear on the problem of 'Architecture and the Street'. New research promises to enrich and challenge perspectives pioneered by Spiro Kostof, Jane Jacobs, and William H. Whyte. You will be challenged to critically think about questions such as 'How might we theorize and historicize modern streets as sites of cultural memory and nostalgia? And above all, what are the effects of such social, political, and technological forces on architectural form? For more information, please visit here.
Taking place April 8-9 at MIT's School of Architecture and Planning the 'Infrastructural Monument' Conference hosted by the Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU), focuses on the development of infrastructural research agendas and projects which is a key mission for MIT’s CAU. This conference is the first in a series, devoted to a series of strategic design challenges facing cities worldwide. The conferences challenges you to answer the question, 'Can a typical American city be transformed from a collection of fragments assembled regionally by interstate highways, to a more durable regional constitution, using targeted infrastructural investment projects?' For more information, please visit here.
Summarizing the philosophy and methodology of C+S Architects, the Keller Gallery at MIT Department of Architecture will serve as a new context for the work of C+S Architects. As if lifted from their Treviso, Italy studio and planted directly within MIT, a working table of models and drawings will compose the central space of the gallery, juxtaposed with the firm’s recent built works. Taking place March 14-April 10, C+S re-writes the contexts as a map of the potentialities, where to graft interferences which react with the physical, economic, social and political spheres. These interferences are frames in search for the beauty of the ordinary, open to the flowing of time, energy, people. For more information, please visit here.
By Design is a two-day inaugural event taking place January 25-26 that aims to build a platform of innovation by engaging key stakeholders through the creative process. The event includes a speaker series and a design challenge at the newly constructed Harvard Innovation Lab, Harvard Business School, and the Graduate School of Design. With a focus to reframe the future of education, the model and structure of the conference allows participants to unpack tacit, hidden, and evident knowledge from each corner of the university, through simple yet uncommon dialogue between each school. More information after the break.
Design Museum Boston recently announced the call for entries for Street Seats Design Challenge — an international outdoor furniture design challenge that will culminate in new waterfront seating, an outdoor design exhibition, and a walking tour around the channel. The Fort Point Channel links the waterfronts of downtown and South Boston – the seam between the Financial District and the emerging Boston Innovation District. o=Open to local and international artists, designers, and enthusiasts, Street Seats falls into the stated goals for the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan, a 2002 vision to establish the Fort Point Channel as the next great (public) place in the City of Boston. Submissions are due no later than February 1. For more information, please visit here.
At a time when sustainability is high on the agenda and construction costs continue to soar, many Cambridge residents are questioning a proposal to demolish a sound and respected school building to replace it with a new school one that will strive to be a “green facility”. The Martin Luther King Elementary School (1968-1971) was designed by Catalan architect Josep Lluis Sert (Sert, Jackson and Associate). As it stands today, the school compliments the many other buildings in Cambridge that Sert worked on while also teaching at Harvard University, including the Peabody Terrace Graduate Housing complex just across the street.
Read on to find out what the community is doing to save the building from demolition and why it can prove to be a more sustainable option for the city.