Since childhood, growing up on a farm outside of Nashville, Wendell Burnette has been inspired by nature; indeed, the amplification of the natural site has highlighted his body of work. In the following question and answer by Guy Horton of Metropolis Magazine, the Pheonix-based architect speaks about memories, inspiration and experience.
Wendell Burnette’s journey through architecture has taken him from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, where he has designed a type of architecture that resonates with the power of natural surroundings. It has also taken him to one of the world’s fastest growing cities, Phoenix, Arizona, where his practice, Wendell Burnette Architects, is based and where he calls home. More recently it has brought him to Los Angeles where he is the current Nancy M. & Edward D. Fox Urban Design Critic at the USC School of Architecture. He is also Professor of Practice at The Design School at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts.
I spoke with Burnette about his approach to architecture, the importance of direct experience, and the meaning behind his current USC studio, “Earth Curvature”.
Proposing a connective and activated public realm for the two blocks of Sixty Nine and Seventy in Salt Lake City, this design by Op.N for the ‘SixtyNine-Seventy, The Spaces Between‘ competition focuses on three main strategies: connectivity, activation of open and residual spaces, and extension of use. While there are a number of formal connections to and from various parts of the site, a series of informal connection have also been created based on ease of movement and access, possessing an embedded intelligence which needs to be considered. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Organized by AIA Utah Young Architects Forum and the Downtown Alliance, in collaboration with Utah Heritage Foundation, Sixty-Nine Seventy invites design teams from around the world to re-envision the circulation areas and passages of two blocks in Salt Lake City’s downtown. The entrants will prepare comprehensive ideas for these in-between spaces, developing them into the connective tissue linking the area’s cultural amenities. SixtyNine-Seventy, The Spaces Between: An Urban Ideas Competition launches on January 10, 2013 with a party at 7:00 PM at Squatters Pub. The competition and launch party are open to everyone. For those not able to attend the opening night presentations will be posted on the web immediately following the event. For more information, please visit here.
Summit Series, a popular conference that TechCrunch describes as “Part Burning-Man, Part TED,” has just acquired 10,000 acres outside of Salt Lake City, where they hope to develop a “500-home village to foster startups, artists, thinkers, and nonprofits who will build their own version of utopia.”
Summit Series began as a way for young, socially-conscious entrepreneurs across all types of industries to gather, brainstorm ways to make their business/non-profit better, and partake in fun activities; however, it soon gained prominence as notable keynote speakers (from Richard Branson to Bill Clinton) began joining in and spreading the word.
The idea behind the purchase is to offer a more permanent-home base for the innovative conference-goers, who usually only meet for 4 days a year, so they can network and “think big” 365 days a year. It will be the built expression of the collaboration and innovation that the Summit Series aims to inspire (think Silicon Valley tucked up in the Mountains). As Summit Series investor Tim Chang explains: “The community portion — the networking, the people — that could be even more valuable than just the straight return on investment for a vacation property.”
According to TechCrunch, “every aspect of the new village will be open to social experimentation,” which leads us to wonder – which architect would be best suited to design this hyper-social village of young innovators? Perhaps BIG or Michel Rojkind Arquitectos? Let us know who you’d like to see design this utopian village in the comments below.
Story via TechCrunch
Salt Lake City is about to get a new, state-of-the-art performing arts center designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA), in collaboration with HKS Architects. The 2,500-seat venue “will capture the spirit of its place” and serve as the region’s premier entertainment venue, while anchoring a vibrant arts district on the city’s main street downtown.
The selection committee of the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City chose the PCPA/HKS team from a competitive pool that included designers of some of the most prestigious theaters in the world. “We are honored to be selected to design the Utah Performing Arts Center,” said Cesar Pelli, senior principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. “Salt Lake City’s attractive downtown, vibrant cultural life, and wonderful views will all shape our design for what will be an important new venue for the entire city and state.”
The Utah Performing Arts Center will be designed to attract first-run touring Broadway shows and concerts, while providing an additional venues for Utah performance groups, such as Ballet West and Utah Opera.
Design of the project is expected to take about a year, with construction planned to begin in December 2013 and the opening of the theater projected for March 2016.
The Connecticut-based firm, PCPA, has extensive experience in designing world-class theaters, including the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Overture Center for the Arts in Madison (Wisconsin), and the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater in Orange County (California).
We had the opportunity to interview Thomas Phifer yesterday in his amazing studio on Varick Street (we’ll be sharing the video with you soon!) and he was excited to tell us about the new annex for the US Courthouse the firm is currently working on. Situated in Salt Lake City, Utah, the courthouse design not only provides a functional structure, but also draws upon Phifer’s attention to nature, specifically the site’s changing seasons and sun conditions. The courthouse respects the monumental presence of the justice system but that monumentality is balanced by the structure’s acknowledgement of its surroundings. ” It embodies both American idealism and practicality. It feels like it belongs to the people, and consequently inspires and reminds all that it stands for,” added Phifer.
More images and more about the courthouse after the break.