Jeanne Gang has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Louis Kahn Memorial Award, an annual prize established by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture and Design in 1983 to recognize “an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of architecture,” while honoring one of the city’s most influential architects.
Last year I had the opportunity to visit Studio Gang, one of the most prestigious and inspiring firms around led by architect Jeanne Gang. I was able to talk with her team about the workspace, some of her projects, about the future of architecture, the role of women in the profession and even about the inspirations behind the United States Embassy in Brasilia.
Previously home to a beach-like ball pit, a giant maze, and sea of icebergs, this summer the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. will host the “Hive,” a 60-foot-tall domed structure made up of more than 2,700 individual paper tubes. Designed by Studio Gang, the installation is part of the museum’s Summer Block Party series, which invites architects to fill the building’s historic Great Hall with a temporary, immersive intervention.
Studio Gang has been commissioned to design their first project in Canada, a mixed-use tower that will be located in the Toronto neighborhood of Yonge + St. Clair. The project is one of several commissioned by Toronto’s Slate Asset Management as part of a larger effort to revitalize the district through the use of public art, world-class design and vibrant streetscapes and open spaces. The area’s first intervention, an 8-story mural by renowned artist Phlegm, was completed last summer.
“Yonge + St. Clair is on its way back,” says Brandon Donnelly, Vice President of Development at Slate Asset Management. “Having occasion to bring Studio Gang’s first project in Toronto to the neighbourhood signals to the rest of the city that we would like to create something special here.”
New renderings have been revealed of Studio Gang’s Solar Carve Tower, located at 40 10th Avenue along the High Line in New York City, as the project gets set to begin construction. Initially conceived by the architects in 2012, the tower was presented to New York’s Board of Standards and Appeals on four occasions before finally receiving planning approval in November 2015. In the new images, the building’s interiors and roof terrace are seen for the first time, as well as its relationship to the nearby Pier 55, the proposed park along the Hudson Waterfront designed by Heatherwick Studio.
I’m a relationship builder
In this TED Talk, Jeanne Gang makes a case for the architect as community builder, and how design choices should begin with creating connections between people. In the 12 minute video, Gang walks through some of her firm’s more recent and successful projects, including the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Chicago’s Aqua Tower and a proposal for a completely reimagined police station, outlining the architectural decisions that helped to foster a sense of community.
"Through architecture, we can do much more than create buildings," says Gang. "We can help steady this planet we all share."
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have named 18 architectural and interior projects as recipients of the 2017 Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition for excellence in design.
According to the AIA, “the 2017 Architecture program celebrates the best contemporary architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. These stunning projects show the world the range of outstanding work architects create and highlight the many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives.”
The awarded projects were selected from nearly 700 submissions. The winners will be honored at the 2017 AIA National Convention in Orlando.
Studio Gang has revealed their design for One Hundred, a mixed-use tower to be located on Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri. Studio Gang’s first project in the city, the tower will rise over 350 feet and include retail, amenities, parking and residential apartments featuring views of the park and the Gateway Arch.
Studio Gang has been announced as the design architect for the $55-65 million expansion of the Arkansas Arts Center (AAC), located in Little Rock, Arkansas, beating out finalists Allied Works, Shigeru Ban Architects, Thomas Phifer and Partners and Snøhetta. Consisting of a renovation to existing theater and studio spaces, new education facilities for families and gallery space to house the museum’s expanding art collection, the project will be Studio Gang’s first art museum commission.
The California College of the Arts (CCA) has selected Studio Gang out of three finalists to design an expanded art and design college campus for the school in San Francisco. Currently split between San Francisco and Oakland, CCA’s expansion in San Francisco will allow all of the school’s programs to be housed in one location.
Over the next five years, Studio Gang and CCA will collaborate to create a new campus to host 2,000 students, 600 faculty members, 250 staff members, and 34 academic programs, and to be a model of sustainable construction and practice.
The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has selected 26 architecture firms to be pre-qualified to design new public projects throughout the city’s five boroughs. In effect until 2019, these firms will be given exclusive access to Request for Proposals (RFPs) for public works projects with an estimated budget of $50 million of less. These projects will include new constructions, additions and renovations of existing public buildings, parks and plazas.
The program, known as the Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Program, was established in 2005 to increase the efficiency and quality of procuring design services. Recent successes of the program include the Times Square pedestrian plaza by Snohetta, Dattner and WXY’s Spring Street Salt Shed, Studio Gang’s Fire Rescue 2, and BIG’s 40th precinct police station in the Bronx.
The California College of the Arts (CCA) has selected 3 top firms as finalists to design “a new, ground-breaking art school that will redefine 21st century arts education.” Chosen from an original pool of 75 architects, the three firms will now interview for the chance to design a new campus that aims to unify the college’s Oakland and San Francisco campuses into one vibrant Bay Area institution.
The chosen firm will work together with the school over the next five years to create a plan that will bring together 2,000 students, 600 faculty members, 250 staff members, and 34 academic programs to a consolidated campus located at the intersection of the city’s innovation corridor, the new DoReMi (Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, Mission) arts district, and Mission Bay. The primary project site will be a 2.4-acre lot that borders the college’s existing San Francisco campus buildings. The campus will house all of CCA’s programs, including art, crafts, design, architecture and writing, fostering interaction between the different disciplines.
The Ensemble Immobilier Tour Maine-Montparnasse (EITMM) has selected 7 notable firms to continue to the second round in a competition for the renovation of Tour Montparnasse in the Montparnasse district of Paris, France.
Often cited as one of the architecture world’s most hated buildings, Tour Montparnasse has been criticized for its discordance with the Parisian urban landscape – just two years after its completion, new buildings over seven stories high in the city centre were banned, leaving the tower as an alien presence on the skyline.
With the launching of the competition, the EITMM hopes to transform Tour Montparnasse into a beloved landmark with a complete renovation of the facade, the building entry and all interior spaces. The budget for the project is estimated to reach over 300 million Euro ($330 million USD), and will be funded in entirety by the building owners.
The Arkansas Arts Center has selected five top architecture firms to compete for the design of a $55 million to $65 million museum expansion project in Little Rock, Arkansas. The project will include a renovation to existing theater and studio spaces, as well as new education facilities for families and gallery space to house the museum’s expanding art collection.
An advisory panel and selection committee named the finalists following a RFQ process featuring 23 local and international firms.
The 5 firms selected as finalists are:
The Nolli Map made history when it was created in 1748, largely because of its focus on public spaces. With it, Giambattista Nolli highlighted the fact that public places don’t exclusively exist in the forms of streets and parks, but also in enclosed spaces. Yet the importance of our communal areas is constantly being undermined. Our public areas exist to promote inclusion and equal opportunities, but despite that they are being forgotten and abandoned, debilitating their ability to bind communities together.
Given that the main goal of Studio Gang’s newly released, free, downloadable booklet, Reimagining The Civic Commons has been to “help communities everywhere activate their civic commons,” then, it is unsurprising that the booklet includes graphic maps reminiscent of Nolli’s visual aim. The booklet, which arose from work funded by the Kresge Foundation and Knight Foundation, focuses on the advancement of 7 types of “existing assets”: libraries, parks, recreation centers, police stations, schools, streets and transit. Since the start of Studio Gang's research, a larger, $40 million initiative has begun—funded by the JPB Foundation, The Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation along with a multitude of local donors—with plans taking shape in Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and Akron. The graphic guide is designed to offer adaptable, cost-effective and flexible approaches to these spaces, so that it can be implemented over time and in a variety of different communities. Read on for our summary of the report’s 7 strategies for improvement.
Today, the MacArthur Foundation announced the 23 recipients of their 2016 MacArthur Fellowship Grants, which are awarded annually “to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.” Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000 for the recipients to use for individual pursuits, paid out in equal quarterly installments over a five year period. Fellows are selected based on 3 criteria: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.
This year’s fellows include artists, playwrights, geobiologists, poets, jewelrymakers, novelists and historians, but, for the fifth straight year, no architects. In the program’s 36 year history, just 6 recipients have come from architecture-related fields.
Studio Gang has been selected to design next year’s installation of the Summer Block Party at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The temporary exhibition will be the latest in the Museum’s annual series, after this year’s ICEBERGS by James Corner Field Operations, and previous installations like Snarkitecture’s The BEACH in 2015, and Bjarke Ingels Group’s BIG Maze in 2014.
Kerez, Herzog & de Meuron and Studio Gang Shortlisted to Design London's Royal College of Art's Battersea Campus
London's Royal College of Art (RCA) have revealed seven invited shortlisted practices for its new state-of-the-art £108million Battersea South campus. Featuring a smattering of architects from Europe, including Herzog & de Meuron and Lacaton & Vassal, and from the USA, such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Studio Gang, the organisation intends to announce the winning scheme in October 2016.