In 1961, the architect Louis I. Kahn was commissioned by the Fine Arts Foundation to design and develop a large arts complex in central Fort Wayne, Indiana. The ambitious Fine Art Center, now known as the Arts United Center, would cater to the community of 180,000 by providing space for an orchestra, theatre, school, gallery, and much more. As a Lincoln Center in miniature, the developers had hoped to update and upgrade the city through new civic architecture. However, due to budget constraints, only a fraction of the overall scheme was completed. It is one of Kahn’s lesser-known projects that spanned over a decade, and his only building in the Midwest.
In this video, Spirit of Space visits Exhibit Columbus to see Wiikiaami, a parametrically designed structure by studio:indigenous. Beginning in 2016, Exhibit Columbus is an annual event which invites people to travel to the small, but architecturally fascinating Midwestern town of Columbus, Indiana. Free and open to the public through November 26th, Exhibit Columbus displays 18 unique, site-responsive architectural installations.
If I had to guess, I would say that it has been forty years since Columbus, Indiana, was the hot topic of cocktail conversations at design-related get-togethers in New York City. In those days, it was the supercharged patronage of industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his relationships with designers like Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard that spurred a wave of innovative and provocative architecture in the small Midwestern town. Columbus, with a population of 45,000, has a Robert Venturi fire station, a John Johansen school, a park by Michael Van Valkenburgh, and several buildings by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, including the younger’s iconic Miller House.
About twenty years after the last documentary on Kevin Roche was released, London-based film company Wavelength Pictures will produce an updated look at the life and work of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, with a section of the film focusing on his projects in Columbus, Indiana, reports local paper The Republic. Wavelength Pictures plans to come to Columbus in 2016, filming buildings that Roche designed and conducting interviews.
New York-based Deborah Berke Partners has been selected to design a $30 million headquarters for Indiana-based diesel engine manufacture Cummins. Planned for downtown Indianapolis on the former four-acre site of Market Square Arena, the project will provide office space for up to 400 employees, as well as ground-floor retail, parking and public green space. Berke was chosen over SHoP Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.
Here's a new definition for the phrase "Tree House."
Visiondivision's concession stand for 100 Acres, an Art & Nature Park in Indiana, is made entirely from one 100-ft yellow poplar tree. Not only does the trunk form the horizontal beam of the structure, but literally nothing of the tree was left to waste: bark became shingles; extracted pieces of wood became structural support, chairs and tables, swings; even the bark's syrup was extracted to be sold in the kiosk itself.
The architects who refined this tree into a building were inspired by an ethos of "gentleness" with nature. As they share in their architects' brief: "Our project is about trying to harvest something as gently as possible so that the source of what we harvest is displayed in a pure, pedagogic and respectful way—respectful to both the source itself and to everyone visiting the building."
A video, images, and the architects' brief, after the break...
Salvaged Layers; a Collaborative Site Specific Performance project was an interdisciplinary collaboration between two groups of students from separate Universities. The studio challenged students to explore issues of craft, making and place through a series of full scale built interventions in a historic Indianapolis theatre which had been gutted in anticipation of a planned renovation. The raw state of the theatre’s interior gave students a rich and evocative palette to engage while simultaneously liberating them from the conventional notions of stage and audience.
Architects: Students of Ball State University Department of Architecture; Faculty Coordinator Timothy Gray, Gray Architecture Location: 5505 E Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Project Team: Mark Vanden Akker, Austin Lucari, Jay Weeks, Brad Wanek, Veronica Eulacivo, Eric Jenson, Michael Neizer, Paul Reynolds, Greg Hittler, Luke Haas, Ben Greenberg; (Butler University) Jacqueline Vouga, Jeff Irlbeck, Jill Harman, Amanda Lynn Meyer, Amanda Miller, Joe Esbenshade, Chris Ziegler, Jessica Conger, Steph Gray, and Butler University Faculty Coordinator Melli Hoppe Client: Dale Harkin, Irving Theatre Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Greg Hittler, Courtesy of Gray Architecture