Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center is relocating to a new building in the downtown area, designed by Rand Elliott Architects, a native firm of the city. This exhibition and educational center, originally a community-oriented arts center founded in 1989, will be open to everyone and free of charge, in order to facilitate the public access for art and education.
Community Center: The Latest Architecture and News
As retail moves evermore online, vacant storefronts have become ubiquitous sights in American cities and towns. Often located in formerly prime downtown real estate, the darkened windows have a knock-on effect, sapping urban vibrancy and sometimes falling into disrepair. Discourse surrounding the predicament of dead malls and traditional retail space is ongoing, but a one-size fits-all solution clearly isn't the answer here.
Travel seven hours by car in a Southwest direction from Shanghai and you will arrive in Songyang County. The name is unfamiliar to many Chinese people, and even more foreign to those living abroad. The county consists of about 400 villages, from Shicang to Damushan.
Here, undulating lush green terraces hug the sides of Songyin river valley, itself the one serpentine movement uniting the lands. Follow the river and you will see: here, a Brown Sugar Factory; there, a Bamboo Theatre; and on the other side, a stone Hakka Museum built recently but laid by methods so old, even the town masons had to learn these ways for the first time, as if they were modern methods, as if they were revolutionary.
And maybe they are. Songyang County, otherwise known as the “Last Hidden Land in Jiangnan,” may look like a traditional Chinese painting with craggy rock faces, rice fields and tea plantations, but it has also become a model example of rural renaissance. Beijing architect Xu Tiantian, of the firm DnA_Design and Architecture, has spent years surveying the villages of Songyang, talking to local County officials and residents, and coming up with what she calls “architectural acupunctures.”
Thanks to Art Jameel, a Middle Eastern non-profit arts organization, a new arts district is taking shape in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Since the crowning of Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has shifted focus from oil to arts and technology. The new multidisciplinary art center, named Hayy, is a 17,000 square meter step in the right direction.
Soon the people of Stavanger, Norway will get to see the LERVIG beer brewing process at the new 11,000 square meter visitor center and brewery designed by Danish architects COBE. An iconic focal point on what was once an industrial pier, the building will offer many new amenities to central Stavanger. The brewery will be encircled by public spaces such as a harbour bath and Norway’s first west-coast ‘street-food’ market, complete with a green roof above. From these periphery spaces, guests will be able to view the brew tanks and fermentation process happening in the heart of the building.
“Vertical Landscapes” to Promote Cultural Exchange and Religious Coexistence for New York’s Muslim Community
New York based Büro Koray Duman Architects are collaborating with the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) to design a cultural center prototype, named Cordoba House, in order to facilitate the total integration of American Muslims, without compromising their religious identities. The center will be the first Muslim sponsored multi-faith community center in New York City, aiming to help promote “progressive change, inter-religious coexistence, and cultural exchange”.
Highlighting the necessity of such a project, the design team explain: “There are approximately 800,000 Muslims living in NYC. A majority of the gathering places for Muslims are Mosques that focuses on Religion as Practice, which does not leave enough room for developing Religion as Culture.”
Adjaye Associates have announced the design of a new 50,000 square foot library and event center in Winter Park, Florida, which will serve as a new civic hub and will compliment the nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The $30 million building also includes an 8,500 square foot civic center, combining as a manifestation of the city’s aspirations for library services.
“Winter Park’s vision for this project truly embraces the continued evolution of the library in the 21st century,” said Sir David Adjaye. “With a diverse program that recognizes it as a critical piece of cultural infrastructure, this will be a dynamic space for shared education, recreation, and interaction.”
New York-based Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects, in collaboration with Follow the Honey, National Beekeeping Supplies, and Nyuki Safari Company, have revealed designs for the Mizengo Pinda Asali & Nyuki Sanctuary in Dodoma, Tanzania. The grassroots-supported facility will provide a centralized hub for honey extraction, processing, and public sales, in addition to education for local villages on sustainable farming methods and resource management. The centre is set to become a bustling new community hive for Dodoma, and is envisioned as a case study of "how community-based resource management can stimulate return for all stakeholders and offer a means of economic independence to residents of rural communities."