Tomorrow legislators are due to decided the fate of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center. The midcentury icon, listed on the World Monuments Fund’s global watch list, has been the center of a prolonged debate challenging its right to be preserved.
“The plan is to gut Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center, strip away much of its distinctive, corrugated concrete and glass exterior and demolish one of its three pavilions, replacing it with a big, soulless glass box,” says architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. “[The legislators] can do the right thing Thursday. They can overturn the veto and reconsider demolition.” More on Kimmelman’s call to save the Rudolph landmark, here.
Having joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill after World War Two at the age of 27, Walter Netsch was promoted to become a partner at the age of 31. Netsch entered the firm during what was arguably its defining era, when the reputation of Gordon Bunshaft and the image of a corporate-driven, teamwork-minded made SOM one of the most recognizable practices in the US. He was also, at the age of just 34, responsible for one of SOM’s most recognizable projects of the decade, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and its striking geometric chapel.
To honor what would have been Netsch’s 95th birthday, SOM recently republished an interview between Netsch and architecture theorist and writer Detlef Mertins, which had originally been published in 2001 in SOM Journal 1. In the following extract from this interview, Netsch discusses the story of how he developed the design, and what it was like to participate in one of America’s most influential practices among a host of strong characters.
New York-based firm HWKN have revealed the design for what is to become the University of Pennsylvania’s latest hub for entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators. Dubbed “The Pennovation Centre,” the project is the first major development within the Pennovation Works, and will occupy a 58,000-square-foot footprint on the campus’ south.
A rejuvenation of the former DuPont laboratory, it is hoped that The Pennovation Centre will become an “iconic landmark” for pen, providing a “dynamic environment” for innovation in varied fields.
Despite his status, Le Corbusier never had the opportunity to build in New York – in fact he only had one chance to build in the United States at all, completing Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in Cambridge in 1963. But this doesn’t mean his influence isn’t visible all over the Big Apple. Originally published on 6sqft as “Towers in the Park: Le Corbusier’s Influence in NYC,” this article takes a look at three examples where Le Corbusier’s “Radiant City” ideals were transplanted to New York.
Even before taking his first trip to New York in 1935, Le Corbusier described the city as “utterly devoid of harmony.” After seeing it in person, his feelings didn’t soften. He wasn’t impressed by the tall towers, rather stating that they were the product of an inferiority complex, and he thought the city’s leaders were too timid to hire him. He wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times saying that “American skyscrapers have not attained the rank of architecture; rather, they are merely small objects such as statuettes or knick-knacks, magnified to titanic proportions.” He thought the city would benefit from buildings that “don’t try to outdo each other but are all identical.”
Images have been unveiled of BIG and Heatherwick Studio’s design for Google’s Mountain View headquarters. The plan, submitted to city council today, proposes to redevelop and expand the company’s home office with a series of lightweight canopy-like structures organized within a flexible landscape of bicycle paths and commercial opportunities for local companies.
“It’s the first time we’ll design and build offices from scratch and we hope these plans by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working,” says Google. “The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas… Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.”
A video about the design and a statement from Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, after the break.
The Lyceum Fellowship Inc. and Transsolar KlimaEngineering have been awarded the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The annual award is intended to “recognize and encourage distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.” Both winners will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta.
Location: The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Sharon School Circle, Clifton Forge, VA 24422, USA
Professors In Charge: Marie Zawistowski, Keith Zawistowski
Student Team: Landon Williams, Molly Vaughan, Mitchell August, Ryan Myers, Julia Vasquez, Xiao Fu, Ellie Burns, Forrest Bibeau, Mykayla Fernandes, Kellen McGinley, John Iaconis, Chanel Carter-Harris, Barbara Dior, Nancy Redenius, Tom Powers
Photographs: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO, Courtesy of design/buildLAB
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, and Thomas Luebke, FAIA, to receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, recognizing their excellence for architectural advocacy and achievement. This year’s award recipients will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. Learn more about the winners, after the break.
OMA has unveiled plans for a mixed-use project that will consolidate facilities for the growing, selling and distribution of food for local farmers in Louisville. A collaboration with the non-profit Seed Capital Kentucky, the 24-acre “Food Port” will transform a former tobacco plant into an “active economic and community hub” that shapes a “new model between consumer and producer.”
“The diversity of program reflects the full food chain, as well as a new foodscape of public spaces and plazas where producers and consumers meet,” said OMA’s Partner-in-Charge Shohei Shigematsu, who is also leading the Alimentary Design research studio at Harvard University. “The Food Port acts as a catalyst to activate the surrounding neighborhoods, exemplifying one of the complex urban relationships between architecture and food that our studio is investigating.”
The expandable campus, which is expected to break ground this summer, will include an urban farm, edible garden, market and food truck plaza, retail space, classrooms, a recycling facility, and more. Continue after the break to learn more.