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Studio Gang: The Latest Architecture and News

Studio Gang, Shigeru Ban Among 5 Shortlisted for Arkansas Arts Center Expansion

The Arkansas Arts Center has selected five top architecture firms to compete for the design of a $55 million to $65 million museum expansion project in Little Rock, Arkansas. The project will include a renovation to existing theater and studio spaces, as well as new education facilities for families and gallery space to house the museum’s expanding art collection.

An advisory panel and selection committee named the finalists following a RFQ process featuring 23 local and international firms.

The 5 firms selected as finalists are:

Studio Gang Creates 7 Strategies to Reimagine Civic Spaces As Vibrant Urban Hubs

© Studio Gang
© Studio Gang

The Nolli Map made history when it was created in 1748, largely because of its focus on public spaces. With it, Giambattista Nolli highlighted the fact that public places don’t exclusively exist in the forms of streets and parks, but also in enclosed spaces. Yet the importance of our communal areas is constantly being undermined. Our public areas exist to promote inclusion and equal opportunities, but despite that they are being forgotten and abandoned, debilitating their ability to bind communities together.

Given that the main goal of Studio Gang’s newly released, free, downloadable booklet, Reimagining The Civic Commons has been to “help communities everywhere activate their civic commons,” then, it is unsurprising that the booklet includes graphic maps reminiscent of Nolli’s visual aim. The booklet, which arose from work funded by the Kresge Foundation and Knight Foundation, focuses on the advancement of 7 types of “existing assets”: libraries, parks, recreation centers, police stations, schools, streets and transit. Since the start of Studio Gang's research, a larger, $40 million initiative has begun—funded by the JPB Foundation, The Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation along with a multitude of local donors—with plans taking shape in Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and Akron. The graphic guide is designed to offer adaptable, cost-effective and flexible approaches to these spaces, so that it can be implemented over time and in a variety of different communities. Read on for our summary of the report’s 7 strategies for improvement.

The 6 Architects Who Have Won MacArthur "Genius" Grants

Today, the MacArthur Foundation announced the 23 recipients of their 2016 MacArthur Fellowship Grants, which are awarded annually “to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.” Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000 for the recipients to use for individual pursuits, paid out in equal quarterly installments over a five year period. Fellows are selected based on 3 criteria: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

This year’s fellows include artists, playwrights, geobiologists, poets, jewelrymakers, novelists and historians, but, for the fifth straight year, no architects. In the program’s 36 year history, just 6 recipients have come from architecture-related fields.

Studio Gang Selected to Design Next Iteration of National Building Museum's Summer Block Party

Studio Gang has been selected to design next year’s installation of the Summer Block Party at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The temporary exhibition will be the latest in the Museum’s annual series, after this year’s ICEBERGS by James Corner Field Operations, and previous installations like Snarkitecture’s The BEACH in 2015, and Bjarke Ingels Group’s BIG Maze in 2014.

Kerez, Herzog & de Meuron and Studio Gang Shortlisted to Design London's Royal College of Art's Battersea Campus

London's Royal College of Art (RCA) have revealed seven invited shortlisted practices for its new state-of-the-art £108million Battersea South campus. Featuring a smattering of architects from Europe, including Herzog & de Meuron and Lacaton & Vassal, and from the USA, such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Studio Gang, the organisation intends to announce the winning scheme in October 2016.

Studio Gang Designs a Chicago Charter School With Principles of Sustainability and Wellness

Studio Gang has designed a new home for the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), a Chicago Public Charter School in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. Established eight years ago with the operating philosophy that a more sustainable world begins at school, the proposed campus is an urban farm and educational institution wrapped into one.

Courtesy of Studio Gang Courtesy of Studio Gang Courtesy of Studio Gang Courtesy of Studio Gang + 5

National Aquarium / Studio Gang

Studio Gang has released images of the firm’s Strategic Master Plan for the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The driving force of this initiative is to identify opportunities for sustained growth, improvements to the visitor experience, and to reinforce the organization’s commitment to conservation and education at all scales.

Conceptual rendering of proposed architectural interventions with the urban wetland at the center. The design of the urban wetland is based on the geometry of Chesapeake Bay tidal meanders.. Image Courtesy of Studio Gang Conceptual rendering. The proposed Pier 4 addition unites existing and new building volumes. Visitors arriving from Pier 3 walk toward a covered entrance with views of a theater, restaurant, and the Pier 4 exhibit.. Image Courtesy of Studio Gang Conceptual rendering. Attracting wildlife and increasing biodiversity, the urban wetland offers a new physical center for the National Aquarium campus.. Image Courtesy of Studio Gang Conceptual rendering. A hub-like space within the Chesapeake exhibit on Pier 4                   provides a lounge space in which to relax and engage with the exhibit's local                   ecology. Exhibit developed in collaboration with Thinc Design.. Image Courtesy of Studio Gang + 8

New Images of Studio Gang’s Vista Tower Revealed

New interior images have been released of Studio Gang's's Vista Tower, a 95-story luxury residential high rise located in Chicago. Upon completion, Vista Tower will become the third tallest tower in the city.

Studio Gang to Design New US Embassy in Brasília

Studio Gang Architects has been chosen by the Department of State to design the new US Embassy compound in Brasília Brazil's federal capital. Selected from a shortlist of six, the Jeanne Gang-led practice won the commission with their "strong and cohesive team approach with more than 20 years of collaborative experience executing projects with complex constraints at challenging sites," says the report.

AR Shortlists 15 for Women in Architecture Awards

The Architectural Review (AR) has unveiled the candidates for its 2016 Woman Architect of the Year and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture awards. Tatiana Bilbao, Jeanne Gang, Kazuyo Sejima and Charlotte Skene Catling are all being considered as the woman of the year for their impact and ability to inspire change within the profession.

Eleven women are being considered for the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture prize for their "use of innovative architecture to effect positive social change." Read on to see them all. 

Jeanne Gang to Expand New York's American Museum of Natural History

A conceptual design by Studio Gang was unveiled today as the preferred expansion to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. The proposed building, named the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, aims to host an array of public exhibition space as well as become a premier "active scientific and educational institution" that enhances connections with the existing Museum and encourages exploration amongst its users.

“We uncovered a way to vastly improve visitor circulation and Museum functionality, while tapping into the desire for exploration and discovery that are emblematic of science and also part of being human,” said Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang. “Upon entering the space, natural daylight from above and sightlines to various activities inside invite movement through the Central Exhibition Hall on a journey towards deeper understanding. The architectural design grew out of the Museum’s mission.”

Studio Gang to Design Net Positive Energy Campus for Chicago Children's Academy

Studio Gang has been selected to design a 60,000 square-foot campus for the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) in Chicago. Aimed to be the city's greenest campus, the net positive energy scheme will be designed as a space for learning that will "break down barriers between kids." The campus will include classrooms, an international learning laboratory, a teacher professional development center, an early childhood center, and an urban food production center.

MAD Architects + Studio Gang Selected for Chicago's George Lucas Museum

After the controversy surrounding their rejection by San Francisco and subsequent relocation to Chicago, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts has today announced a team of MAD Architects and Studio Gang as the designers of their new building in Chicago's museum district near Northerly Island.

The building itself will be designed by MAD Architects, chosen "because of its innovative approach to design and the firm’s philosophy of connecting urban spaces to natural landscapes." In this case, that landscape will be designed by Studio Gang, who will also add a bridge to Northerly Island, an area which they have worked on turning into an ecologically diverse urban park.

Jeanne Gang Selected to Design San Francisco Skyscraper

Though few details have emerged, developers Tishman Speyer have confirmed that they have selected Chicago-based architects Studio Gang to design a skyscraper in San Francisco. Gang's tower will be one of three Tishman Speyer projects in the city. We'll be sure to update you as more information becomes available. Via SFGate.

Zoning Exception Will Not Be Made for Studio Gang's Solar Carve

The developers behind Studio Gang's Solar Carve have withdrawn their request for a zoning variance that would have allowed for an increase in the tower's rentable space. The Board of Standards and Appeals rejected the solicited exception, despite the developer's claim that the expensive pilings necessary for the sandy, non-bedrock site adjacent to New York's High Line posed a "financial hardship."

Studio Gang's 213 foot tower was slated for completion in 2015. Although "the bid for additional floor has been dropped from the application," said the project's land use attorney, a hearing for special permitting that will allow for a modified setback is scheduled for March. 

Studio Gang Chosen to Convert Power Plant to Rec Center

Render of Studio Gang's Dining and Residence Hall at the University of Chicago. The project is expected to be completed in 2016. Image © Studio Gang Architects
Render of Studio Gang's Dining and Residence Hall at the University of Chicago. The project is expected to be completed in 2016. Image © Studio Gang Architects

Beloit College has chosen Studio Gang Architects to convert a century old power-plant into a campus recreation and activity center. The project was born out of an ongoing partnership with Alliant Energy Wisconsin, the local utility company that currently holds the space, who has been in talks within the college for over a year.

“The Studio Gang team is very excited to partner with Beloit College,” stated Jeanne Gang. “Together we can transform this historic structure into a new hub for wellness, green power, and great architecture. By reflecting Beloit’s core values in the design, values shared by our team, we will create a model that will bring many benefits to the college, city, and region. This is a project that has the potential to inspire other communities around the globe.”

Jeanne Gang Named as a 2011 MacArthur Fellow

Jeanne Gang, principal and founder of Studio Gang Architects, has been named as one of this years prestigious MacArthur Fellows. The second female recipient in architecture selected for the grant (Elizabeth Diller from Diller Scofidio + Renfro was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999), Gang is among a total of 22 recipients who will receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. The recipients fields are quite broad ranging anywhere from biologist to radio producer, but regardless of their chosen profession all were selected for their ‘creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future’.

“This has been a year of great change and extraordinary challenge, and we are once again reminded of the potential individuals have to make a difference in the world and shape our future,” said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “The MacArthur Fellows exemplify how individual creativity and talent can spark new insights and ideas in every imaginable field of human endeavor.”

Update: Foreclose: Rehousing the American Dream / MoMA

PS 1
PS 1

This weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Open Studio event at MoMA’s PS1. As we mentioned earlier, this project posed the daunting question of how to re-think, re-organize and re-energize the concept of an American suburb in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. As MoMA’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Barry Bergdoll explains, “Projects will aim to challenge cultural assumptions concerning home ownership and associated settlement patterns, such as suburban sprawl, and assist the public in contemplating a potentially different future for housing and cities. The workshop and exhibition are premised on reframing the current crisis as an opportunity, an approach that is in keeping with the fundamental American ethos where challenging circumstances engender innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. It is our hope that new paradigms of architecture and regional and transportation planning become the silver lining in the crisis of home ownership.” The five multidisciplinary teams chose five different American suburbs to explore, and this Saturday, we jumped from Oregon to Florida, to Illinois, to California and New Jersey, to observe their five quite different solutions.

Check out our preview of the teams’ work-in-progress projects which will be exhibited at the MoMA this February.