Seven exemplary projects in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and urban design have been named winners of the 2013 Great Places Awards and were honored during the 44th annual conference of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) earlier this month. The EDRA Great Places Awards recognizes professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design and pay special attention to the relationship between physical form and human activity or experience.
The winners after the break…
Now in its 14th year, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards is continuing its legacy to recognize outstanding achievement across a variety of disciplines in the design community. The awards were established to “promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world”. This year the recipients will be honored at a gala in October during National Design Week in New York City. The goal of recognizing this achievements is to reinforce the idea that “everything around us is designed” and the potential for innovation and creation is present across all types of development. The winners of this year’s design awards were selected based on excellence, innovation and public impact.
Join us after the break for a look at the 2013 Winners.
For the past several years the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago have been working on appropriate uses for Northerly Island, a 91-acre man-made peninsula in Chicago, Illinois. The lakefront site branches off from Museum Campus, a section along Lake Michigan that is home to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. Serving as an expansion to these cultural programs, Studio Gang Architects, in collaboration with SmithGroupJJR, have created an innovative design that integrates educational, cultural, social, and recreational activities into Northerly Island.
Read more about Northerly Island’s future after the break!
Back in July 2011 we announced the selection of Studio Gang Architects’ to design a new home for Chicago’s beloved Writers’ Theatre in downtown Glencoe and have since been eagerly waiting for the first schematic renderings to be released. Well, they are finally here! And, as usual, Ms. Gang does not disappoint. Situated on the sloped Tudor Court site of the Glencoe Woman’s Library Club, the glass encased timber theatre transforms the structure into a theatrical spectacle, as the main performance space lined with a second story catwalk peers through the transparent facade and grasps the attention of anyone passing by.
More renderings and the architects’ description after the break.
Jeanne Gang is about to make her New York debut, as the Chicago-based architect just unveiled the latest project planned to border New York City’s beloved High Line. The 180,000 square-foot office tower with ground level retail will replace an existing, disused meatpacking plant along 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th streets. It will feature a “gem-like”, glass facade that is intelligently shaped to avoid the disruption of light, air and views from the High Line.
Dubbed the Solar Carve Tower, the mid-rise structure is currently pending city approval and is planned for completion in 2015.
Continue after the break for the architects’ description.
The preservation battle continues over the fate of Bertrand Goldberg’s 1970’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital. As we reported in July, an ever-growing community of prominent architects – such as Frank Gehry, Jeanne Gang, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien – have joined preservationists in the fight to save the late modernist structure that is at risk of being replaced by a new biomedical research facility for Northwestern University.
The seven-story concrete cloverleaf, cantilevered 45 feet from the supporting core and floating atop a glass and steel box, is an engineering feat ahead of it’s time as well as an important icon within the Chicago skyline. As architecture critic Michael Kimmelman argues, “Great late-Modernist buildings, innovative and ruggedly beautiful, deserve respect and, increasingly, careful custody. Prentice is a good example.” However, it is not suited for 21st-century research labs and many Chicagoans hate it. Currently, Northwestern University is leading the debate by arguing that a new building would “bring to the city millions of investment dollars, create jobs and save lives”.
Could there be a compromise? Solutions are rarely black-and-white. Kimmelman has consulted Chicago architect Jeanne Gang to envision a proposal that would satisfy both opposing sides. Continue reading to learn more.
Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects, is the first solo exhibition dedicated to the work of Studio Gang, which will be on view at the Art Institute of Chicago until February 24, 2013. The show immerses visitors in the energy of the studio’s creative process and the stream of ideas that connects its growing body of work. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.
Studio Gang Architects and Kalamazoo College have announced plans to break ground October 9, at 4PM, on a new campus building to house the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in southwest Michigan. The 10,000 square foot, wood masonry center will be the world’s first purpose-built structure for social justice leadership development, integrating a study, meeting, and event space where students, faculty, visiting scholars, social justice leaders, and members of the public will come together to engage in conversation and activities aimed at creating a more just world.
Set to be completed in Fall 2013, the Arcus Center is targeting LEED Gold certification. Continue after the break to learn more.
Our friends from Studio Gang Architects recently sent us their new book Reverse Effect. ”The culmination of a yearlong collaboration between Studio Gang Architects and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Reverse Effect is dedicated to exploring the importance of the Chicago River and the possibilities for its 21st-century transformation. Both an information-rich resource and a catalyst for action, this book’s diverse content, perspectives, and visions illuminate potential trajectories for the future of our city.”
If you are in the Chicago area, Jeanne Gang, 2011 MacArthur Fellow and lead architect of Studio Gang Architect, will be joined by Henry Henderson, Midwest Program Director of The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to discuss the new book, Reverse Effect: Renewing Chicago’s Waterways. The book explores the importance of the Chicago River and the possibilities for its 21st century transformation.
The program is moderated by WBEZ’s Steve Edwards and is presented in partnership with NRDC.
The event starts at 6PM (CST) at the Harold Washington Library Center in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium.
Registration is not required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
Jeanne Gang presents Studio Gang’s vision for the transformation of Cicero, Illinois, a 1920’s suburb that suffered greatly from the foreclosure crisis. Studio Gang is one of five interdisciplinary teams participating in “MoMA’s Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream.” Each team is challenged to re-imagine struggling American cities and suburbs, seeing the current economic crisis as an opportunity to evolve.
Jeanne Gang, principal and founder of Studio Gang Architects, has been named as one of this years prestigious MacArthur Fellows. The second female recipient in architecture selected for the grant (Elizabeth Diller from Diller Scofidio + Renfro was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999), Gang is among a total of 22 recipients who will receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. The recipients fields are quite broad ranging anywhere from biologist to radio producer, but regardless of their chosen profession all were selected for their ‘creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future’.
“This has been a year of great change and extraordinary challenge, and we are once again reminded of the potential individuals have to make a difference in the world and shape our future,” said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “The MacArthur Fellows exemplify how individual creativity and talent can spark new insights and ideas in every imaginable field of human endeavor.”
In today’s world “going green” has become a top priority in our society, and sustainable buildings and design are at the forefront of this green revolution. While many designers are focusing on passive and active energy systems, the reuse of recycled materials is beginning to stand out as an innovative, highly effective, and artistic expression of sustainable design. Reusing materials from existing on site and nearby site elements such as trees, structures, and paving is becoming a trend in the built environment, however more unorthodox materials such as soda cans and tires are being discovered as recyclable building materials. Materials and projects featured after the break.
Writers’ Theatre recently announced the hiring of Studio Gang Architects to design a new home in Glencoe, Illinois. The award-winning Chicago firm (architects of the impressive Aqua Tower) will provide research and development concepts for the theatre’s current site located in downtown Glencoe. A Writers’ Theatre committee comprised of artists, board and staff conducted a thorough search for an architect, including local, national and international firms, for the project.
“After a rigorous process, we found in Jeanne an architect who embraces, understands and celebrates Writers’ Theatre. We look forward to working with Jeanne and her team to develop ideas of what Writers’ Theatre could be. We are confident that working with Studio Gang is the right match for the organization and for our community,” said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “Jeanne has a vision of architecture that is derived from her own equivalent of the word and artist: the material and the environment. It is my belief that Studio Gang offers the opportunity for people to arrive encountering a world class piece of architecture and leave having experienced a world class evening of theatre.”
We recently received the book Reveal: Studio Gang Architects. This monograph takes an in-depth look at several of firm’s extraordinary projects. Archdaily has featured many of the same projects, but our pieces are mere shadows of what is presented in this book. If you enjoyed the glimpses on our website you will love this book. It is rare that I find a monograph that goes into such great depth. Beside the standard plan, section and photographs, each project is accompanied by notes, research, sketches, histories, philosophies, and more. This allows for a much more rewarding conversation than the standard glossy monograph. By the end of each chapter you can easily understand why each design decision was made and how meticulous this studio is. The Aqua Tower, for example, without any additional knowledge holds its own amongst the architecturally cherished Chicago skyline; however, after you read about the design process behind it the tower becomes that much more wonderful. I highly recommend this book.
P.S.: You can watch our interview with Jeanne Gang.
The award winning Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center, designed by Studio Gang Architects, uses spatial layering and oblique compositional lines to create depths of field and light within the building. Studio Gang Architects, one of our favorite Chicago firms, are also the designers of the sculptural Aqua Tower.
This skillfully shot video was created by Dave Burk at Hedrich Blessing in collaboration with Thirst.
We are headed to the windy city of Chicago for this weeks Architecture City Guide series. Jam packed with architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, here are our 12 recommendations if you are visiting Chicago. Head to the comment section and share your recommendations for additional buildings to include on our list!
The Architecture City Guide: Chicago list and corresponding map after the break!
We’ve got another great project by Studio Gang Architects to share with you. The building, a former brown-field converted into a visitor center, speaks to Jeanne Gang’s idea of architecture being an all encompassing field with the built landscape playing a large role in shaping our enviornment. In our interview with Ms. Gang, the principal at Studio Gang along with Mark Schendel, she expressed her interest in “the horizontal plane” as a designed landscape can also function to compliment the built form. For their visitor center, which is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the project remediates its distressed site by reestablishing native species and habitat. Both site and building design work together to educate visitors about the region’s unique bio-diversity.
More about the Blue Wall Center after the break.
The project transforms a picturesque urban pond from the 19th century into an ecological habitat buzzing with life. With the design’s improvements to water quality, hydrology, landscape, accessibility, and shelter, the site is able to function as an outdoor classroom in which the co-existence of natural and urban surroundings is demonstrated.
At the 2009 AIA Convention in San Francisco I had the chance to attend a panel with Jeanne Gang (principal at Studio Gang Architects) who received her FAIA during the event. I was very impressed by her work, specially her proposal for a housing project in India as well as the Aqua Tower, which was under construction at the time. A year after I had the chance to visit Jeanne at her Studio to conduct this interview.
If you don’t know Jeanne, here’s the short bio: She studied at the University of Illinois where she received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture (honors), and then got her Masters degree (distinction) at the Harvard GSD. After working at OMA (where she participated in projects such as the House), Jeanne founded Studio Gang in 1997, where she is now a principal along with Mark Schendel.
Jeanne has taught architecture as an adjunct associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology since 1998. She was visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2004, held the Louis I. Kahn professor chair at the Yale School of Architecture in 2005, and was the Princeton University Graduate Design Studio visiting lecturer in the spring of 2007.
The work from Studio Gang is very broad, from private residences to community facilities, from a small pavilion to a 82-story tower, as you can see on our previous features:
- Lincoln Zoo South Pond Pavilion
- Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center
- Brick-Weave House
- Aqua Tower
- Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre
- SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center
But all of them have follow a clear line: careful attention to the materials, and a constant research leading to innovations in terms of sustainability and fabrication.
The firm has been involved in important international competitions, such as the Taipei Pop Center competition, where the firm received 2nd place. An interesting project, with a high level of development.
In the interview we talked about the importance of the Aqua Tower, an honor and a challenge for any Chicago architect, the home of the skyscraper.
Please find the rest of the interview below, with some photos of my visit to Studio Gang, a cool workspace with a very nice garden and common spaces, and some sneak peaks at the Great Wall, Solstice at the Park and Lincoln Park Zoo Pavilions projects which we will soon feature at ArchDaily.