Architecture schools and the students they house have a particularly unique and interesting building-user relationship. Architecture students value the buildings of their school not only for providing the valuable work space necessary for constructing studio projects but also as an example and model of a building in use. As the buildings are the places where students first learn how to read and understand architecture, design schools become full-scale teaching tools that help new designers grasp structure, details, how materials perform and interact, and so many of the other core concepts of architecture. While the scrutiny of students and faculty can be exhaustive, architects have embraced the challenge of creating engaging works of architecture that both suit the specific needs of a school and take on the pedagogical challenge of educating students by example.
Architecture Research Office: The Latest Architecture and News
Renderings have been revealed for another landmark addition to Brooklyn’s skyline: 80 Flatbush, a dual tower and school complex to be built in the borough’s fast growing Downtown.
Located on a triangular site directly across the street from TEN Arquitectos’ recently completed 300 Ashland and steps from the Barclay’s Center, 80 Flatbush will consist of a mix of new-built and renovated historic structures. Two towers designed by Alloy Development – the taller of which will reach 986 feet – will flank two new schools designed by Architecture Research Office and two 19th century buildings that will be repurposed as retail and cultural facilities. Open spaces will be designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.
New York’s Architecture Research Office (ARO) has been selected to lead in the renovation and master planning of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. The project aims to modernize and improve the renowned structure, which houses 14 monumental paintings by Mark Rothko in an interior space designed to meet the artist’s precise specifications, and its surrounding plaza and reflecting pool. The original building was largely designed by Rothko himself, with consult from a trio of architects including Philip Johnson.
Architecture Research Office and FilzFelt have teamed up to create ARO Block, a series of modular acoustic tiles that provide sound control in a customizable, easy-to-install system. Generated from remnant material of FilzFelt’s CNC cut products, which are often times small, ARO Block not only creates distinct felt tile patterns but also prevents leftover fabric from going to waste.
Architecture Research Office (ARO) and Heery International have designed the West Pavilion, a 115,000 square-foot extension to the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. Set at one of America’s most historic college football venues, the new expansion will stretch 450 feet in length —about half of the stadium—and “will introduce the program’s first true premium seating, club spaces, and high-end press facilities.”
In addition to being a part of university-wide expansions, the project is the centerpiece of the $86 million renovation of Nippert Stadium itself, which includes adding more restrooms and concessions, and better pedestrian circulation.
A few months ago I had the chance to visit and interview Architecture Research Office (ARO), just after they were announced as the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture.
Organized by MoMA and PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, the Rising Currents exhibit cannot be missed by architects, ecologists, or green enthusiasts…let alone any New Yorker. The exhibit is a cohesive showcase of five projects which tackle the lingering truth that within a few years, the waterfront of the New York harbor will drastically change. Dealing with large scale issues of climate change, the architects delve into a specific scale that we can recognize and relate to. The projects are not meant to be viewed as a master plan, but rather each individual zone serves as a test site for the team to experiment. The projects demonstrate the architects’ abilities to look passed the idea of climate change as a problem, and move on to see the opportunities it presents. Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, explained, “Your mission is to come up with images that are so compelling they can’t be forgotten and so realistic that they can’t be dismissed.”
More about each zone after the break.