Janine Benyus, president of the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute in Missoula, MT, will be giving a lecture at MIT on the theme of ‘Evolved to Fit: Biomimicry in the Built Word’. Janine Benyus is a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including her latest − Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In Biomimicry, she names an emerging discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s designs and processes (e.g., solar cells that mimic leaves, agriculture that models a prairie, businesses that run like redwood forests). The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place Thursday, April 5th at 6:30pm at MIT Building 10, room 250. For more information, please visit here.
The Boston Society of Architects (BSA) recently opened its new headquarters, BSA Space, Boston’s leading cultural institution on architecture and design. The design of the new headquarters by Boston-based firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture is centered around a highly visible “cloud” ceiling and an iconic stair. These two architectural elements act as brand markers for BSA Space and an invitation into the exhibits and meeting spaces above. More images and project description after the break.
Studio Ö shared with us their first prize design, Room for Prayer, a mosque and cultural center as an extension for the Islamic Center of New England, Massachusetts. The proposed volume is closed to the outside and opens up on the inside. The intricate pattern of concrete facade works with shifting planes, creating shadow effects and an elegant and playful expression. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning will showcase the architecture of The Freelon Group in an art exhibition opening February 15th at the Wolk Gallery at MIT. The exhibit, which runs through April 13th, includes ten projects designed by the Freelon Group, plus a table from the furniture collection designed by founder Philip Freelon. Featured projects include museums, university buildings, libraries and an airport parking structure (we’ve published a few you can see here. And don’t miss our interview with Philip Freelon). More information on the event after the break.
The newly constructed wing for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, opens to the public today with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony accompanied by the City of Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Designed to preserve the 1902 historic building, the 70,000 square-foot addition will offer purpose-built spaces for concerts, exhibitions and classes, along with enhanced visitor amenities. The museum will also be kicking off an inaugural season of exhibitions, performances and events that will highlight the buildings wide range of programming.
“This new wing is an extraordinarily elegant workshop, a bustling counterpoint to the historic building’s serenity. Here, the thinking and the work of the Museum is performed, so that the Palace, which had been put to uses for which it was not equipped, can once again give visitors the experience Isabella Stewart Gardner intended: a personal confrontation with art,” said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Museum.
Continue reading for more images and information.
Envisioned as an urban grove, this central gathering space represents the convergence of community in this diverse, mixed income, residential development. The design accommodates a complex program, layering the varied multi-cultural and intergenerational uses with a number of meaningful gathering and recreational spaces for the residents. Tai Chi, chess, children’s play areas, and contemplative seating areas allow for various groups to utilize the garden spaces in different ways. Lawn areas can be used for sunbathing in the summer and also provide the community with areas for flexible programming during larger gatherings, such as celebrations for the Chinese New Year, Russian Unity Day, and other cultural and civic events.
The Hinterland Urbanisms Symposium, curated by Felipe Correa of Somatic Collaborative, Assistant Professor of Urban Design and Ana Maria Duran, Loeb Fellow ’11, looks at the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA) as a point of departure for an ample discussion regarding the diverse models of urbanism that emerge at the intersection of resource extraction and regional integration projects (primarily through mobility corridors).
The symposium takes place October 7th and 8th at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. More information on the event after the break.
Boston Society of Architects (BSA) recently launched their lecture series which opens up on September 21st with Jeremiah Eck, FAIA as he considers a simple way to infuse sustainability and light in homes; Barnaby Evans does something similar for cities while Chee Pearlman enlists design for the betterment of humanity and Audrey O’Hagan, AIA looks boldly toward the future of the profession. All free BSA lectures take place at 6:00 pm at the BSA Space multimedia room (290 Congress Street, Boston). More information on the series after the break.
Opening in 2012, the $118 million steel, glass, and copper-clad expansion to Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by Renzo Piano Building Workshop will more than double the size of the current facility. Included in the project are a new entrance, music hall, gallery space, and other amenities for an institution that has remained largely unaltered since opening in 1903.