AD Interviews: Will Bruder / Will Bruder Architects

A self-trained American architect residing in ’s urban desert, , FAIA, has built a reputation for being one of Arizona’s most prized place-makers. For more than 40 years, Bruder has refined his craft with the completion of over 500 commissions ranging from large-scale civic and cultural projects to private residences and multi-family housing.

Trained first as a sculptor with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bruder pursued the art of building with an architectural apprenticeship under Paolo Soleri and Gunnar Birkerts. In 1974, Bruder opened his first studio in Arizona, Will Bruder Architects, where he still serves as a community-based architect and student mentor, while often participating in a number of visiting chairs and lectures at universities nationwide.

His most notable project is the Burton Barr Central Library; not only has the structure played a significant role in the evolution of downtown Phoenix, but it serves as an exemplar of Bruder’s heightened awareness of movement, materiality and light.

Learn more about Bruder’s design philosophy in the interview above and check out his projects on ArchDaily:

The Sprawled Desert City of Phoenix Sets Sights on Walkability

Light Rail crossing Tempe Town Lake. Image © CC Flickr User Alan Stark

When the profit-driven bulldozing of virgin desert quickly transformed into unfinished ghost towns in 2008, the city of Phoenix, , reset their sights on a more sustainable and desirable way of living: walkable communities. With the establishment of the city’s first light rail, the once car-centric communities of its urban core have turned into swaths of pedestrian havens. This has not only improved the city’s desirability, but has also been good for business. See how else Phoenix is trying to “pull off an urban miracle” and reverse it’s sprawled image here on Fast Company.

Weddle Gilmore and !melk Redesign Phoenix’s Hance Park

Entrance Plaza. Image © !melk

Within a decade, the city of Phoenix, Arizona will transform a 32-acre downtown urban park into a vibrant cultural hub. Spanning over one half mile of U.S. Interstate Highway 10, the recently-approved, competition-winning masterplan was envisioned by New York’s !melk and locally based WEDDLE GILMORE black rock studio.

More on the masterplan, after the break…

Phoenix Determined to Build BIG Pin

©

Although developer Novawest was determined to build BIG’s 420-foot observation tower in downtown Phoenix before the 2015 Super Bowl, failed negotiations has left them without a site. Once planned for the interior courtyard of the Arizona Science Center, the privately-funded project is now being considered for an undisclosed downtown site with completion rescheduled for 2016. Considering the project has received a considerable amount of support from city officials, it seems inevitable that the BIG pin will eventually be built despite harsh criticism from nearby residents. Modifications for the new site will be minimal. You can review the design here

AIA Women’s Leadership Summit 2013

Courtesy of AIA

Taking place October 24-26 at the Phoenix Art Museum, the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit 2013 consists of a 2-day, 5 to 6 session event that gathers voices of architects serving in various leadership roles, including, principals, educators, owners, designers, environmentalists and innovators, in an intimate setting to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women practicing architecture today. The Summit strives to engage speakers and attendees in an open, conversational setting to share both personal and work experiences toward positive contributions through the practice of architecture. To register, and for more information, please visit here.

Health Sciences Education Building / CO Architects

© Bill Timmerman

Architects: CO Architects
Location: The University of Arizona College of Medicine – , 550 East Van Buren Street, , AZ 85004, USA
Design And Executive Architect:
Co Architects Team: Paul Zajfen, FAIA, RIBA, design principal; Scott Kelsey, FAIA, principal-in-charge; Jonathan Kanda, AIA, LEED AP, project architect; Andy Labov, AIA, LEED AP, senior architect; Jenna Knudsen, AIA, LEED AP, senior architect; Arnold Swanborn, AIA, LEED AP, senior design architect Tony Moretti, FAIA, technical principal; Jatin Kayastha, designer; Luciana Tagliaferri, LEED AP, designer Lilit Ustayan, LEED AP, designer; Shiyi Zhang, LEED AP, designer; Joqua Jordan, project assistant; Jesse Carrillo, designer; Kevin Kavanaugh, project team; Marie Malone, project team
Associate Architect, Master Planner: Ayers Saint Gross
Ayers Saint Gross Team: Jack Black, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, associate principal; Sean R. Rosebrugh, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, project manager; Eric Zobrist, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, project architect; Michelle Kollmann, LEED AP BD+C, designer, interiors; Kristina Abrams, RA, LEED AP BD+C, technical production; Justin Dahl-James, RA, LEED GA, technical production; Eliseo Ramirez, technical production; William Whitfield, technical production
Area: 268000.0 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Bill Timmerman

Dialogue House / Wendell Burnette Architects

© Bill Timmerman

Architects: Wendell Burnette Architects
Project Team: Wendell Burnette, Christopher Alt
Client: Thomas and Laura Hyland
Structural Engineer: Rudow + Berry, Inc.
Electrical Engineer: C.A. Energy Designs
Landscape Design: Debra Burnette Landscape Design
Contractor: The Construction Zone, Ltd.
Area: 2,700 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Bill Timmerman

Anonymous Benefactor Saves the David and Gladys Wright House

Courtesy of Time, Inc. via the News Blog

Christmas has come early for the international community of architects and preservationists, as an anonymous benefactor has saved the endangered David and Gladys Wright House in , Arizona. Culminating a six month saga, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is proud to announce that it has facilitated the purchase of the historic property through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed today, December 20, and is no longer a demolition threat.

The Wright home will now be transferred to the hands of an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the structure. The change in ownership guarantees the house will survive and be preserved. Landmark status is expected to follow shortly.

More information on the David Wright House after the break…

Phoenix Observation Tower / BIG

Courtesy of

Architects: BIG
Location: Phoenix, AZ,
Architects In Charge: Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Iannis Kandyliaris
Project Team: Thomas Fagan, Aaron Hales, Ola Hariri, Dennis Harvey, Beat Schenk
Collaborators: MKA (structure), Atelier10 (sustainability), Gensler (local architect), TenEyck (landscape)
Client: Novawest
Area: 70,000 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of BIG

South Mountain Community Library / Richärd+Bauer

© Bill Timmerman

Architect: Richärd+Bauer
Location: , Arizona
Client: Maricopa County Community Colleges District, City of Phoenix
Size: 54,600 sf
Cost: 16.3M
Completion Date: August 2011
Photography: Bill Timmerman, Mark Boisclair Photography

Perspectives: The David Wright House

‘Perspectives: The David Wright House’ will be hosted by on November 5, 2012

On November 5, the Design School at State University will be hosting a panel discussion centered around the David Wright House and the question of architectural preservation in the city of Phoenix. Speakers will include Burton Barr Central Library architect Will Bruder, The Design School’s director, and more. The conversation will touch on efforts have been underway over the last three months in Arizona to preserve the David Wright House, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “ most innovative, unusual and personal works of architecture,” from demolition by developers.

Lighthouse for the Dutchman / Urban Playground

Courtesy of

Designed by Urban Playground, the ‘Lighthouse for the Dutchman’ project was proposed for the chapel at the entry of the Los Dutchman State Park in Phoenix, . Through a rearrangement of an embryological, mathematical reference known as “Shrek’s Surface”, spatial varieties are derived as a way to alter the combined experiences of both the spiritual and natural environment in the desert. The prototypical, curved surface is morphed and manipulated, creating contextual and functional relationships that are then translated into a series of parameters for the building’s morphology. More images and architects’ description after the break.

‘Peritoneum’ Shade Structure / Arizona State University Student Team

© Tim Trumble, Dian (Woodia) Yu, Anna Christy

Designed and built by a very talented student team at Arizona State University, the Peritoneum shade structure reflects their collaboration and interdisciplinary skills as they employed their respective talents for this temporary shade structure. Originally built on a plaza space on the university campus, the project was recently moved to be displayed in a major art district in downtown along Roosevelt Row. The design, which won the ASLA Student Award of Excellence 2012, is an undulating blue structure that evokes a calming, cooling environment, and captivates others by its daring interpretation of typical shade structures. More images and the students’ description after the break.

GateWay Community College / SmithGroup JJR

© Liam Frederick

Architects: SmithGroup JJR
Location: Phoenix,
Design Team: Eddie Garcia, Mark Kranz, Katheryn Terwelp, Carrie Perrone, Justin Trexler, Josh Vacca, Megan Smith
Photographs: Liam Frederick

Burton Barr Central Library / bruderDWLarchitects

© Bill Timmerman

The Phoenix Central Library stands as an iconic structure that straddles Interstate 10 as it passes through the Margaret T. Hance Deck Park Tunnel in Phoenix, Arizona. Designed by , the contract was awarded in 1989 and the project completed in 1995 to house an expansive volume collection of 1,000,000 within 280,000 square feet, it has also served as a catalyst to the local community and fostered a sense of pride. It features numerous details that enhance the overall user experience and incorporates strategic building tactics that respond to the harsh Sonoran Desert. More details after the break.

3 American Cities: Future Forecasting

© Wikimedia Commons / Jonik

The AIA recently published a reprint from the National Associates Committee journal Forward by author Wellington Reiter, FAIA. The hot topic essay goes into great detail discussing how three U.S. cities – Detroit, , and – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior.  While in times past these cities have flourished, and grew on the assumption that the trend would continue inevitably, they are sharp reminders of the consequences of naivety in regards to long term sustainability. More after the break.

Phantom Developments of the Southwest

© Wikimedia.org / Gobeirne

During the housing boom in and the surrounding , enormous swaths of land were graded and prepared for endless subdivisions as far as the eye could see. Following the burst of the housing market and prolonged recession, these unfinished construction sites have sat vacant – remnants of unbridled optimism in the Valley of the Sun. A recent article on NPR.org discusses some of the alternative visions for re-appropriating these phantom lots that propagate the greater Phoenix area. Various methods of breathing new life into these chasms left behind include rezoning the numerous residential lots for mixed-use, or tearing up the infrastructure and letting nature take back control. For those unfamiliar with the rapid pace of development that was taking place prior to the recession, Maricopa, a small town just south of Phoenix was approving over 600 residential home permits per month. With an inventory of over 16,000 dedicated to residential homes, the measures that are required to remediate the impact of such an ambitious plan need to be ingenious.

While the Southwest has suffered from the housing bust significantly more than many other states, it will undoubtedly always remain a destination for its unequaled sunny days, warm weather and amazing desert landscape.

See this article on similar circumstances in the Rust Belt region.

Photographs: Wikimedia.org User: Gobeirne
References: www.NPR.org, www.philly.com

Exhibit: Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century

at Taliesin West, 1955. Courtesy Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, studio and architectural campus in Scottsdale, Arizona, Art Museum presents Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century. The exhibit will explore Wright and his relevance today through a survey of more than 40 projects shown through rarely seen drawings, models, furniture, films and photographs.

The Arizona exhibit will be open to the public from December 18th, 2011 to April 29th, 2012 at the Steele Gallery in the Phoenix Art Museum.