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A New Series Featuring Laurie Olin, Acclaimed Landscape Architect

The Cultural Landscape Foundation recently launched its newest documentary as part of the ongoing Oral History series, this time focusing on the ideas and career of Laurie Olin, a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and one of the greatest landscape architects of our time. Olin's influential work as a practitioner, educator and author over the past forty years has helped to guide the future of landscape architecture and shape urban life around the world.

Interior of Louis Kahn's 1971 Korman House to be Redesigned

Though Louis Kahn turned down developer Steven Korman numerous times, the would-be patron persisted and eventually convinced Kahn to accept the commission for a residence which was to contain “rooms large enough to play football in.” Located in Forth Washington, Pennsylvania, the Korman house would be Kahn’s final residential project. 

The house, considered a masterpiece, is characterized not only by Kahn’s assiduous sense of order, but also a unique combination of materials that create a play of structure and light. Decades after the original 1971 commission, Korman's son Larry has now selected New York based-designer Jennifer Post to take on the task of redesigning the interior space of the house. 

Farewell to Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg

Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. Photo via Artinfo
Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. Photo via Artinfo

After a intensive, 14-year preservation battle, the fate of Richard Neutra‘s mid-century Cyclorama Center in Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg National Military Park has been sealed. Yesterday, the National Park Service confirmed their plans to demolish the modernist structure and restore the site to its original 1863 appearance just in time for the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle. It is a victory for Civil War purists and a loss for 20th century architecture advocates. As we announced last September, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia directed the park service to conduct an environmental analysis on the demolition and to consider “non-demolition alternatives” such as moving the structure or leaving part of it intact. Following the release of a 200-page analysis, the park confirmed that the service had “no need for the continued use of the building” and that it “conflicted with the overall goals of the park.” More after the break…

'White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes' Exhibition

Taking place now until January 13 at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the ‘White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes’ exhibition consists of a worldwide survey of art sites that break open the “white cube” gallery space. These sites typically mix old and new, featuring collaborative plans by several designers and encouraging exploration outdoors as a new type of museum is emerging — one that fuses inventive architecture and landscape design with radical conceptual and installation art. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.

Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects

Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects © Eric Staudenmaier
Flight 93 National Memorial / Paul Murdoch Architects © Eric Staudenmaier

United Airlines Flight 93 was one of the four planes hijacked during the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. It was on this flight that 40 passengers and crew members courageously gave their lives to thwart a planned attack on the Nation’s Capital. Tragically, the plane crashed in Western Pennsylvania with no survivors. To honor these heroes, Congress passed the Flight 93 National Memorial Act in 2002 and launched a two-stage, international design competition in 2005. A Jury of planners, landscape architects, architects, designers, government representatives, family members and community representatives chose Paul and Milena Murdoch’s proposal, which treated the 2,200 acre former coalmine as a memorialized national park where visitors embark on a sequence of experiences that leads them towards the crash site of Flight 93.

The fate of Neutra's Cyclorama Center looks dismal

An old post card of the Cyclorama - Courtesy of Flickr user fauxto_digit
An old post card of the Cyclorama - Courtesy of Flickr user fauxto_digit

The battle over Pennsylvania’s mid-century Cyclorama Center is nearing an end. Located in the heart of the Gettysburg National Military Park, the concrete and glass cylindrical drum was designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra and completed in 1962 under the ambitious Mission 66 initiative aimed to improve visitor services at national parks. Controversy surrounding the building’s fate started in 1999, when the National Park Service first announced plans to demolish it. This sparked a raging battle between 20th century architecture supporters and Civil War purists, ultimately leading to the federal court. However, despite these relentless efforts, the structures fate appears to be dismal.

Bruce Munro’s stunning LED Installations light up Longwood Gardens

Courtesy of Bruce Munro
Courtesy of Bruce Munro

Visitors poured into Longwood Gardens this past Saturday to see 23-acres of breathtaking ‘Light: Installations’ by artist Bruce Munro. Although Munro describes the installations as simply “sketchbook jottings realized”, this “large-scale one-man-show” is anything but a simple feat. Eight large outdoor installations, two installations within the 4-acre Grand Conservatory and a collection of illuminated sculptures in the Music Room are keeping visitors mesmerized for hours. Munro’s ‘Light: Installations’ are being shown for the first time outside of the UK. They will remain open until September 29th this year. Continue reading for more images and information.

Courtesy of Bruce Munro Courtesy of Bruce Munro Courtesy of Bruce Munro Courtesy of Bruce Munro

AIA Pennsylvania awards Spillman Farmer Architects for ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks

© Paul Warchol Photography
© Paul Warchol Photography

The American Institute of Architects Pennsylvania Chapter has awarded a Silver Medal, the institute’s highest honor, to Spillman Farmer Architects for their highly successful ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. Located on the landmark Bethlehem Steel site in eastern Pennsylvania, the dynamic performing arts, media and cultural center has served as an anchor for the revitalization effort in the City of Bethlehem that is transforming the once-abandoned historic industrial core into a dynamic, sustainable and livable mixed-use community. The 200-foot industrial ruins towering above the ArtsQuest Center is part of the country’s largest privately-owned brownfield. AIA jurors praised the project saying, “The design captures the energy and utilitarian beauty that the best of the industrial revolution once offered. At the same time it demonstrates the power that a truly successful marriage of architecture and program can exert in bringing new purpose and hope to the most abandoned parts of our community.” Continue reading after the break for more information and images.

© Paul Warchol Photography © Paul Warchol Photography © Paul Warchol Photography © Paul Warchol Photography

Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Architecture Department 2012 Spring Lecture Series

The 2012 Spring Lecture Series, put on by the architecture department at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art is currently in progress until April 18th. Upcoming lectures include Iain Low, ‘Architecture Week’, in celebration of the new building for the architecture department, featuring Daniel Kelley and Skip Graffam, Timothy McDonald, and will conclude with Pedro Gadanho. For more information on the lectures, including specific dates, times, and locations, please visit here. The lecture poster can be viewed after the break.

Call for Applicants: A.E. Bye Archive Research Fellow Position

The Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State is announcing a call for the inaugural A.E. Bye / Landscape Architecture Archives Research Fellow for the calendar year 2012. The Fellowship provides a $2,500 stipend for a minimum of one week of archival research in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State’s University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania. The records (drawings, papers, photographs, and videos) of the celebrated twentieth-century American landscape architect A. E. Bye ( as well as those of landscape architects John Bracken and Stuart Mertz) are held at Penn State and the deadline is March 7th, 2012. More information after the break.

PennDesign 2012 Spring Lecture Series

Just last month, University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design announced their lecture series for Spring 2012. All lectures are held at 6PM in Meyerson Hall and free and open to the public unless otherwise noted with continuing education credits available. The series began on January 17th and concludes on April 28th. More information on the upcoming events after the break.

Carnegie Mellon Spring 2012 Lecture Series

Known for drawing in a diverse background of well-known architects, Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture‘s spring 2012 lecture series began January 23rd with Jesse Seppi and concludes with Tatiana Bilbao on April 23rd. All events will take place at the Carnegie Museum complex and the series is co-sponsored by the Heinz Archiectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art. A schedule of the lecture series can be viewed after the break.

The Imbued Potential of Vacant Land

Vacant land is a looming problem for many cities, especially when it remains undeveloped for years or is transformed into garbage dumps and parking lots. But when designers begin to notice these voids within the activity of a city they are able to unlock the inherent potential in the land. That is precisely what “Not a Vacant Lot”, as part of DesignPhiladephia, did this October. Philadelphia’s 40,000 vacant lots are both a challenge and an opportunity for young designers, artists and architects to tranform these under-utilized spaces into experiences within the fabric of the urban environment. The focal point of the design intervention was at the University of the Arts lot on 313 S. Broad Street, just a few blocks from Philadelphia’s center. It featured a reinterpreted map of Philadelphia by PennDesign students and Marianne Bernstein’s Play House, an 8′x8′ aluminum cube which, in its simplicity, could unlock the potential of this particular lot. But this engagement of vacant land was just one such intervention in a series artist installations throughout Philadelphia.  Another such intervention, GroundPaper, was designed by two collaborating artists, Mike Ski and KT Butterfield.  The site of their choosing was along the banks of the Delaware River in Fishtown, a neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Read on to see what artists can accomplish with no budget, a vacant lot and an inspired idea.

The Mobius: Portal to the Point / Weiss/Manfredi

© Weiss/Manfredi. Aerial Perspective
© Weiss/Manfredi. Aerial Perspective

Our friends from Weiss/Manfredi have shared their Portal to the Point Design Ideas Exploration proposal, a project exploring the connection between city and the environment for Point State Park in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Currently, Point State Park, which is located at the geographic epicenter of Pittsburgh, does not take advantage of its potential to bridge the city, which is built on industrial accomplishments, with the river banks of the Allegheny and the Monogahela, both of which have granted Pittsburgh a prosperous ecological history. Weiss/Manfredi’s proposal attempts to stitch the city and its river banks together with a new brigde typology, a Mobius Pathway that is “not about the singular act of connecting two disparate parts, but about the comprehensive connectivity of a larger network.” More about the Mobius Pathway after the break.

Portal to the Point proposal / wHY Design

Portal to the Point is a design project initiated to honor the completion of renovations to Pittsburgh’s most visible National Historic Landmark, Point State Park. wHY Architecture is one of five finalists selected to redefine the space beneath the Portal Bridge that leads into 36-acre park.

Continue reading for more project information and renderings.

Dickinson College Kline Sports Facility Proposal / Spillman Farmer Architects

Spillman Farmer Architects’ proposal for the Dickinson College Kline Sports Facility takes advantage of the existing features, while striving to introduce more transparency and connectivity as well as making the building’s sustainability evident. The new three-level addition transforms the Kline Center into a dynamic campus gateway, a marquee building with bold daytime and nighttime presence. The addition is placed along the eastern side of the existing building, reaching east to Cherry Street and south to High Street and integrated with the existing topography. More images and architects’ description after the break.

In Progress: Gateway Center Station / EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates

© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates
© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

Architect: EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania EDGE Studio Design Team: Gary Carlough AIA, Jonathan Golli, Matt Fineout AIA, Stephen Mrdjenovich Pfaffmann & Associates Design Team: Rob Pfaffmann AIA, Carl Bergamini RA, Erik Hokanson Completion Date: 2011 Photography: Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

© Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates © Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien

© The Barnes Foundation
© The Barnes Foundation