Demolition of the Paul Rudolph-designed Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, New York, has accelerated, and the full destruction of the housing complex is being stalled by a single tenant. John Schmidt has refused to leave his unit in what remains of the brutalist buildings, despite having received an eviction notice, over what he feels are strong-arm tactics from developer Norstar Development Corporation.
Throughout history shifting economies, disasters, regime changes, and utter incompetence have all caused the evacuation of impressive architectural structures. From the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine that rendered a region of the then-Soviet Union uninhabitable, to the decline in public transport that saw a number of US train stations becoming superfluous, the history of architectural abandonment touches all cultures. And, without regular maintenance, structures deteriorate, leaving behind no more than awe-inspiring ghosts of the past to fuel the ever-growing internet trend for "ruin porn." Below are 8 abandoned buildings slowly being reclaimed by nature:
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library of Buffalo, New York, has recently opened a new exhibit at their Central Library titled Building Buffalo: Buildings From Books, Books From Buildings. The exhibit will feature a large selection of rare, illustrated architectural books from the Library’s collection dating from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The bonus for those who are geographically distant from Buffalo is that, as part of the exhibit, the Library has also made dozens of historical architecture books available online, completely digitized and free to the public.
The "Rust Belt," a region of north central United States, is well known as an area where once thriving industrial cities have declined in economic health and population. As a result, many of the region's cities have been subject to grand proposals that aim to fix these city's problems--but could such schemes also provide a way to intervene in other serious global issues? In a recent article, Metropolis Magazine’s Web Editor and former ArchDaily Managing Editor Vanessa Quirk argues that refugees could reinvigorate such cities, describing how refugees are “boosting American’s legacy cities,” but simultaneously “encountering resistance from residents.”
Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery has selected OMA to expand and refurbish the historic museum and its campus. The project team is being lead by OMA New York’s Principal, Shohei Shigematsu, who will spend the next year in partnership with the museum and in consultation with the community on how to renew and revitalize the august institution. Known as AK360, the building will be OMA’s first art museum project in the United States, and the Albright-Knox’s first expansion in more than a half-century. According to the museum, the project’s name is a reflection on this being the institution’s third expansion in its 154-year history, in addition, it establishes an embrace of public feedback and the acknowledges the condition of being encircled by parkland.
Five major firms have been shortlisted for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's $80 million expansion in Buffalo, New York. Chosen for their "design intellect" and ability to collaborate, the competing firms will envision ways to expand the gallery's exhibition space and create a new public urban area that maximizes the site's potential, as the Albright-Knox campus is located on the edge of Delaware Park - one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s major works.
“The selection of the architects reflects that malleability, because none of them has a fingerprint style,” Albright-Knox director Janne Sirén said. “All of them, almost, specialize in an ability to build for a given context.”
One of the most fascinating things about vernacular architecture is that, while outsiders may find a certain city fascinating, local residents might be barely aware of the quirks of their own surroundings. In this photographic study from Issue 4 of Satellite Magazine, originally titled "The Telescope Houses of Buffalo, New York," David Schalliol investigates the unusual extended dwellings of New York State's second-largest city.
The first time I visited Buffalo, New York, I was there to photograph the great buildings of the city’s late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century expansion for the Society of Architectural Historians: monumental buildings designed by Louis Sullivan, Fellheimer & Wagner, and, later, Frank Lloyd Wright. Many of these architects were the period’s leading designers, outsiders from Chicago and New York City hired to announce the arrival of this forward-looking city at the connection of Lake Erie and the Erie Canal.
These remarkable buildings, and the grain elevators that made them possible, have been thoroughly documented and praised, but they are also a far cry from the vernacular architecture I typically study. When I returned to Buffalo for the second, third, and—now—sixth times, I became fascinated by another building type: the Buffalo telescope house.
Urban waterfronts have historically been the center of activity for many cities. They began as economic, transportation and manufacturing hubs, but as most industries changed their shipping patterns and consolidated port facilities, many industrial waterfronts became obsolete. In Europe, smaller historic ports were easily converted to be reused for leisure activities. However, in North America, where the ports were larger, it was more difficult to convert the waterfronts due to logistical and contamination issues.
Over the past 40 years or so, architects and urban planners have started to recognize the redevelopment potential for waterfronts across the United States and Canada, and the impact they can have on the financial and social success of cities. Though cold-climate cities pose a unique challenge for waterfront development, with effective planning waterfront cities with freezing winter months can still take advantage of the spaces year-round.
Many architects have portfolios full of projects that were never built, and Frank Lloyd Wright is no exception. Now, however, the Buffalo Pierce-Arrow museum in New York has brought one of Wright’s more imaginative conceptual projects to life. In this article from Metropolis, we are introduced to a gas station designed by Wright for his (also unbuilt) Broadacre City project.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the Richardson Olsmted Complex, a National Historic Landmark that is widely considered to be one of Buffalo's most important and beautiful buildings, will be rehabilitated and reused as a hospitality venue and cultural amenity for the city. The design team, including New York-based Deborah Berke of Deborah Berke Partners and Buffalo-based Peter Flynn of Flynn Battaglia Architects, have high hopes of transforming the unused building into a "thoroughly modern travel and cultural experience" while maintaining a deep respect for its long history.
"Working on the rehabilitation of the Richardson Olmsted Complex is an extraordinary design opportunity," said Deborah Berke. "We are designing a 21st-century architectural addition to H. H. Richardson's spectacular 19th-century buildings that is both rooted in history and forward thinking."
HOK recently unveiled their design for the state-of-the-art medical school and integrated transit station at the University at Buffalo's Downtown Medical School, which will anchor the vibrant mixed-use district. Designed for the new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the seven-story medical school will bring 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students daily to downtown Buffalo and, at more than 500,000-square-feet, will be one of the largest buildings constructed in Buffalo in decades. More images and architects' description after the break.
HOK was recently selected to design the new University at Buffalo (UB) School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on its downtown campus upon winning a global design ideas competition. Located at the center of the region’s emerging bio-sciences corridor, this new transit-oriented medical school development will anchor a lively, urban mixed-use district on campus and bring 1,200 students, faculty and staff downtown. With the goal of fostering collaboration and interdisciplinary care, the new academic medical center will create connections that allow students, faculty, biomedical researchers and clinicians to move easily from classroom to bedside to lab. More images and archtiects’ description after the break.