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St Louis: The Latest Architecture and News

Tatiana Bilbao Selected for Urban Renovation Project in St. Louis

08:00 - 7 September, 2018
Tatiana Bilbao Selected for Urban Renovation Project in St. Louis

Emily Rauh Pulitzer, curator of the St. Louis Museum of Art and Steve Trampe of Owen Development, are spearheading a plan to transform a block near St. Louis's theater and museum district in the area of Grand Center. This project, (according to a story published on a local news site in St. Louis) is "a blank palette” and "an opportunity to take an entire block and make it different.”

The project is currently led by local architects Axi: Ome. Tatiana Bilbao has also confirmed her participation, in what should be an interesting addition to St. Louis's local architectural heritage. In an interview with Vladimir Belogolovsky, she explained that she considers that the legacy of Mexican architecture should expand to other sites:

Gateway Arch Museum / Cooper Robertson

17:30 - 3 July, 2018
Gateway Arch Museum / Cooper Robertson, © Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

© Nic Lehoux © Nic Lehoux © Nic Lehoux © Nic Lehoux + 32

Stoss Landscape Urbanism Selected to Design Chouteau Greenway for St. Louis

16:00 - 12 May, 2018
Stoss Landscape Urbanism Selected to Design Chouteau Greenway for St. Louis, Courtesy of Stoss Landscape Urbanism
Courtesy of Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Ever since the City of St. Louis approved a sales tax to fund public greenways in 2000, citizens and planners have imagined a bike and pedestrian path along the city’s main east-west corridor. Last week, that vision was brought to life as Stoss Landscape Urbanism was selected to design the Chouteau Greenway. Their proposed strip of green space and walkways will stretch from the iconic Gateway Arch at the city’s eastern end to downtown, from there extending to Foster Park, which sits adjacent to Washington University in St. Louis on the city’s western edge.

Spotlight: Minoru Yamasaki

06:00 - 1 December, 2017
World Trade Center / Minoru Yamasaki Associates + Emery Roth & Sons. Image <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Twin_Towers-NYC.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a>. Part of the Carol M Highsmith Archive donated to the Library of Congress and placed in the public domain
World Trade Center / Minoru Yamasaki Associates + Emery Roth & Sons. Image via Wikimedia. Part of the Carol M Highsmith Archive donated to the Library of Congress and placed in the public domain

Minoru Yamasaki (December 1, 1912 – February 7, 1986) has the uncommon distinction of being most well known for how his buildings were destroyed. His twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York collapsed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and his Pruitt-Igoe complex in St. Louis, Missouri, demolished less than 20 years after its completion, came to symbolize the failure of public housing and urban renewal in the United States. But beyond those infamous cases, Yamasaki enjoyed a long and prolific career, and was considered one of the masters of “New Formalism,” infusing modern buildings with classical proportions and sumptuous materials.

Chouteau Greenway International Design Competition

17:30 - 13 October, 2017
Chouteau Greenway International Design Competition, Chouteau Greenway International Design Competition
Chouteau Greenway International Design Competition

Great Rivers Greenway is leading a major public-private partnership to establish the conceptual plan for the Chouteau Greenway in St. Louis through this design competition. The goal of the project is to connect the areas of Washington University and Forest Park to Downtown and the Gateway Arch and Mississippi Riverfront. With spurs north and south and many other destinations along the way, the greenway will connect area neighborhoods, employment centers, parks, transit, and dozens of cultural and educational institutions.

AD Classics: Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project / Minoru Yamasaki

04:00 - 15 May, 2017
AD Classics: Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project / Minoru Yamasaki, An aerial photo by the US Geological Survey compares the narrow, monolithic blocks of Pruitt-Igoe with the neighboring pre-Modernist buildings of St. Louis. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Junkyardsparkle (Public Domain)
An aerial photo by the US Geological Survey compares the narrow, monolithic blocks of Pruitt-Igoe with the neighboring pre-Modernist buildings of St. Louis. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Junkyardsparkle (Public Domain)

Few buildings in history can claim as infamous a legacy as that of the Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project of St. Louis, Missouri. Built during the height of Modernism this nominally innovative collection of residential towers was meant to stand as a triumph of rational architectural design over the ills of poverty and urban blight; instead, two decades of turmoil preceded the final, unceremonious destruction of the entire complex in 1973. The fall of Pruitt-Igoe ultimately came to signify not only the failure of one public housing project, but arguably the death knell of the entire Modernist era of design.

After two decades of crime and increasing maintenance issues, Pruitt-Igoe was ultimately demolished between 1972 and 1977. ImageVia pruitt-igoe.com The gleaming towers of Pruitt-Igoe were to have been a “Manhattan on the Mississippi.” . ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Cadastral (Public Domain) Courtesy of "The Pruitt Igoe Myth" Much of the landscaping and community amenities Minoru Yamasaki originally proposed were never built, contributing to Pruitt-Igoe’s eventual downward spiral. ImageVia pruitt-igoe.com + 8

Studio Gang Designs Tiered Mixed-Use Tower on Forest Park in St. Louis

14:45 - 9 December, 2016
Studio Gang Designs Tiered Mixed-Use Tower on Forest Park in St. Louis, Courtesy of Studio Gang
Courtesy of Studio Gang

Studio Gang has revealed their design for One Hundred, a mixed-use tower to be located on Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri. Studio Gang’s first project in the city, the tower will rise over 350 feet and include retail, amenities, parking and residential apartments featuring views of the park and the Gateway Arch.

US Architecture School Bans Styrene as Model Making Material

14:00 - 20 April, 2016
US Architecture School Bans Styrene as Model Making Material, via Madeleine Underwood, Student Life
via Madeleine Underwood, Student Life

By next Fall, the architecture students of Washington University in St. Louis will no longer be allowed to use Styrene on their projects. The university's newspaper, Student Life reports that the commonly used white plastic material was deemed in 2014 by the National Research Council's National Toxicology Program as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." Thus the Sam Fox School of Design is taking its own measures to protect their student's health. A number of other schools and cities have already banned Styrene since the NRC's ruling.

The Best US Architecture Schools for 2016 are...

14:30 - 6 November, 2015
The Best US Architecture Schools for 2016 are... , The Trays at Harvard GSD. Image © Kris Snibbe/Harvard University News Office
The Trays at Harvard GSD. Image © Kris Snibbe/Harvard University News Office

DesignIntelligence has released their 2016 rankings of the Best Architecture Schools in the US for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Nearly 1500 professional practice organizations were surveyed this year, as part of the survey's 16th edition, and were asked the following question: “In your firm’s hiring experience in the past five years, which of the following schools are best preparing students for success in the profession?”

This information, along with detailed accounts on the best programs that teach skills in design, communication, sustainability and technology, resulted in the 2016 rankings. The two top schools, Cornell for undergraduates and Harvard for graduates, held their positions as the best programs to attend, according to the study.

Without further ado, the top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs in the US are...

The Power of Photography: How Images Continue to Shape the Built Environment

09:30 - 12 October, 2015
The Power of Photography: How Images Continue to Shape the Built Environment, © Iwan Baan for New York Magazine
© Iwan Baan for New York Magazine

In a culture dominated by smartphones and Instagram, with estimates that over one trillion photographs will be taken this year alone, it might seem impossible for photographs to make and shape issues in the ways they once did. Despite this, images still steer debates with shocking resiliency and, with luck, become iconic in their own right. As architecture is synonymous with placemaking and cultural memory, it is only logical that images of the built environment can have lasting effects on the issues of architecture and urbanism. It's never been easier for photographs to gain exposure than they can today, and with social media and civilian journalism, debates have never started more quickly.

Pulitzer Arts Foundation and Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Announce Second “PXSTL” Design Competition

16:00 - 4 October, 2015
Pulitzer Arts Foundation and Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Announce Second “PXSTL” Design Competition, Last year's PXSTL Structure by Freecell Architecture. Image Courtesy of Freecell Architecture
Last year's PXSTL Structure by Freecell Architecture. Image Courtesy of Freecell Architecture

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis are inviting architects, designers and artists to propose a temporary structure in St. Louis, Missouri, for the second cycle of “PXSTL”. The competition aims to transform an under-used lot in the heart of St. Louis’ Arts and Culture district, catalyzing creative intervention and artistic programs. Nominations will be solicited from deans of architecture, art, and design programs; editors of art, architecture, and design publications; distinguished practitioners; and directors and curators of arts institutions. Read more about this competition after the break.

The 9 Most Controversial Buildings of All Time

01:00 - 29 November, 2014
The 9 Most Controversial Buildings of All Time

It is now just over a year since the unveiling of Zaha Hadid's Al-Wakrah Stadium in Doha, Qatar, and in the intervening twelve months, it seems like the building has never been out of the news. Most recently, remarks made by Hadid concerning the deaths of construction workers under Qatar’s questionable working conditions created a media firestorm of legal proportions. Hadid’s stadium has been widely mocked for its ‘biological’ appearance, not to mention the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for which the stadium will be built, has encountered a storm of controversy all of its own.

The criticism surrounding Al Wakrah has prompted us to look far and wide for the world’s most debated buildings. Could Al Wakrah be the most controversial building of all time? Check out ArchDaily’s roundup of nine contenders after the break.

Find out which buildings top our controversial list after the break

Latest New Yorker Cover Addresses Ferguson Rift With Saarinen's Iconic Arch

00:00 - 28 November, 2014
Latest New Yorker Cover Addresses Ferguson Rift With Saarinen's Iconic Arch, The Cover of The New Yorker's December 8th Issue. Image © The New Yorker / Bob Staake via newyorker.com
The Cover of The New Yorker's December 8th Issue. Image © The New Yorker / Bob Staake via newyorker.com

With their latest cover, The New Yorker is addressing the tragic unrest in Ferguson which has followed Monday's decision not to indict the officer who shot Michael Brown in August, using an image of Eero Saarinen's iconic Gateway Arch. The image, designed by Bob Staake, shows the arch divided, black on one side and white on the other in reference to the racial tensions that underpin the dispute. "At first glance, one might see a representation of the Gateway Arch as split and divided," says Staake, "but my hope is that the events in Ferguson will provide a bridge and an opportunity for the city." To read more about the ideas behind Staake's design, visit The New Yorker's website.

Understanding St Louis: The Activism of Bob Hansman

00:00 - 1 September, 2014
Understanding St Louis: The Activism of Bob Hansman, Pruitt Igoe was just one step of the process that led to St Louis' current state. Image by US Geological Survey via Flickr CC User Michael Allen. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Pruitt Igoe was just one step of the process that led to St Louis' current state. Image by US Geological Survey via Flickr CC User Michael Allen. Used under Creative Commons

For the past few weeks, events in Ferguson, Missouri have prompted many debates over what can or should be done to ease tensions in this suburb of St Louis. But Bob Hansman, a professor at the Washington University in St Louis, is taking a different approach: understanding it first. This interview with Hansman, originally published on the Washington University in St Louis Newsroom, unearths a few of the issues that have made some areas of St Louis so severely dispossessed.

It’s 10am, and Bob Hansman is on a bus addressing students, brandishing a St. Louis guidebook like a prosecutor at trial.

“Today isn’t this,” he growls. “Get ready.”

Discover more about the work of Hansman after the break.

Drawings from Famous Architects' Formative Stages to be Exhibited in St. Louis

00:00 - 17 August, 2014
Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum
Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum

As a student of architecture, the formative years of study are a period of wild experimentation, bizarre use of materials, and most importantly, a time to make mistakes. Work from this period in the life of an architect rarely floats to the surface - unless you're Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, that is. A treasure trove of early architectural drawings from the world's leading architects has recently been unearthed from the private collection of former Architectural Association Chairman Alvin Boyarsky. The collection is slated to be shown at the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, as a part of the exhibition Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association from September 12th to January 4th, 2015.

Take a look at the complete set of architects and drawings for the exhibition after the break.

Bernard Tschumi, #4 K Series, 1985. Study for La Case Vide: La Villette, Folio VIII, 1985. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum Lebbeus Woods, Center for New Technology, Montage 1, 1985. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum Alex Wall, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), The Pleasure of Architecture, 1983. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum Coop Himmelblau, Super Spaces, c. 1969. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum + 10

PXSTL / Freecell Architecture

01:00 - 21 May, 2014
PXSTL / Freecell Architecture, Courtesy of Freecell Architecture
Courtesy of Freecell Architecture

Courtesy of Freecell Architecture Courtesy of Freecell Architecture Courtesy of Freecell Architecture Courtesy of Freecell Architecture + 11

Freecell Wins Competition to Transform St. Louis Vacant Lot into Cultural Destination

01:00 - 5 September, 2013
Freecell Wins Competition to Transform St. Louis Vacant Lot into Cultural Destination, Courtesy of Freecell Architecture
Courtesy of Freecell Architecture

Freecell Architecture has been announced as winner of the urban design-build competition, PXSTL. Organized by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, PXSTL challenged US artists, architects and designers to propose a small-scale intervention for a vacant lot in the St. Louis Grand Center cultural district that could possibly spark large-scale urban transformation.

Among 60 candidates and three shortlisted finalists, Freecell's winning proposal "Lots" was selected for its “innovative design and approach to the space as a gathering catalyst, hosting social and cultural activities to bring focus on activities of people unifying a community.” The project intends on activating audience engagement by hosting a series of concerts, dance performances, community celebrations, film screenings, and art exhibitions.

Read on for more about “Lots”...

PXSTL Competition Finalist Proposal / Freecell Architecture

01:00 - 2 August, 2013
PXSTL Competition Finalist Proposal / Freecell Architecture, Courtesy of Freecell Architecture
Courtesy of Freecell Architecture

Freecell Architecture's proposal for the PXSTL Competition was recently announced one of the three finalists by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University. Participants were asked to reimagine a vacant lot in St. Louis’ Grand Center cultural district while exploring the critical role arts and culture play in creating vibrant, growing communities. The competition aims to demonstrate how small-scale interventions can spur large-scale urban transformation, and Freecell's proposal was selected for their ability to visualize Grand Center’s long-term vitality, emphasizing community engagement, interactive elements, and cross-disciplinary collaboration among St. Louis’ many cultural organizations. More images and information after the break.