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Wisconsin: The Latest Architecture and News

SOM Reveals Inaugural Mulva Cultural Center in Wisconsin

SOM recently unveiled their new design for the James and Miriam Mulva Cultural Center, a institution for cultural programming in De Pere, Wisconsin. Clad in a curtain of transparent glass, the center will serve as a destination and cultural nexus for the city and region, with an array of spaces designed to celebrate De Pere’s creative community. As a new home for the creative arts, it will host traveling exhibitions from leading global institutions, diverse cultural programming, and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Winners of "The Rust Belt" Contest Offer Ideas for a 107-Acre Former Factory Site

Across industrial North America, many small working class cities are faced with a plethora of abandoned property due to the downfall of the automotive industry. The prolific ruins of the largest abandoned factory in North America, Detroit's Packard Motor Plant, have served as an emblem for dozens of similar plants dotting the landscapes of cities across the continent. In 2010, shortly after the beginning of the global economic crisis, Chrysler closed a sprawling engine factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The factory has since been demolished and is now at the beginning of a five-year cleanup. Located adjacent to a densely populated suburban development, the 107-acre property begs the question: what can be done with such a massive piece of land?

In response to Kenosha's Chrysler problem, a team of urbanists, architects and researchers known as Urban Design for Everyone (UD4U) launched a global competition to reinvigorate the former industrial property. Proposals had to take the adjacent neighborhoods into consideration, with the ultimate goal of bridging gaps between disparate communities at opposite ends of the property. The winning proposals range widely from a stylized village of housing, to the creation of enormous urban farms, to the construction of an innovation park featuring a series of vast artificial lakes. After receiving 43 entries from 17 countries, a jury of local architects selected three exceptional proposals and five honorable mentions. Find out what the teams proposed after the break.

First Renderings of Populous' Downtown Milwaukee Stadium

The Milwaukee Bucks have just unveiled Populous' initial renderings of their downtown revitalization plan for Milwaukee’s sports and entertainment district, anchored by a multi-purpose arena. The first step in their vision, the arena hopes to be a modern expression of Wisconsin’s heritage and a vibrant cornerstone to the growth of downtown Milwaukee.

James Corner Field Operations Amongst Frontrunners for Milwaukee's Lakefront Gateway Plaza

The City of Milwaukee has announced the four finalists in a competition to redevelop the city's lakefront, naming OJB, James Corner Field Operations, multidisciplinary firm AECOM, and Wisconsin-based consulting firm GRAEF. Selected from 24 entrants, the shortlisted teams are competing for a chance to revitalize the Milwaukee lakefront as part of the Lakefront Gateway Project masterplan. Each firm must now submit specific proposals for the Plaza project in time for a June deadline, after which all proposals will be made available to the public and judged by a selection committee. Learn more about the project after the break.

Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Research Tower to Be Restored

Partially credited to the spotlight cast by MoMA’s "Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal" exhibition, SC Johnson (SCJ) has agreed to restore their 15-story Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower as a museum and corporate office in Racine, Wisconsin. Wright’s only constructed taproot-core, the 1950s tower is “an inspiring example of cantilever construction with an inner core extending 50 feet into the ground that provides support for the 16 million pound structure,” described SCJ. “The taproot core bears a strong resemblance to the lily pad-like columns seen throughout SC Johnson’s Administration Building, another Wright-designed facility.”

Urban Edge Symposium

Curated by Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss of Weiss/Manfredi, the biennial Urban Edge Award Symposium titled 'Evolutionary Infrastructure / Evolving Practices' will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Taking place April 5th at 10:00am, the event focuses on expanding the definition of ‘infrastructure’ to address an escalating set of design challenges that are at once cultural, architectural, and environmental. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will host a series of cross-disciplinary talks and discussions between innovative architects, artists, ecologists, engineers, and theoreticians. For more information, please visit here.

Request for Proposals: Downtown Master Plan Update

Adopted by the City of Green Bay in 2003, the Smart Growth Plan 2022 relied heavily on the participation of the citizens of Green Bay and provides city leaders with a guide to use while assessing policy and development proposals. The city of Green Bay Planning Commission is now accepting proposals for the Downtown Green Bay Master Plan Update. The selected firm must have a deep portfolio in results-proven city planning and design projects with an understanding of the urban redevelopment process. In demonstrating competence in developing and translating context-minded plans into actionable implementation strategies, the firm must be capable of creating an exciting and supportable vision for downtown that is grounded in local opportunities and realities.The deadline for submissions is March 25. To download the full RFP and for more information, please visit here.

Field House / Wendell Burnette Architects

Field House / Wendell Burnette Architects © Bill Timmerman
Field House / Wendell Burnette Architects © Bill Timmerman

Architect: Wendell Burnette Architects Location: Ellington, Wisconsin Project Size: 5,000 square feet Photography: Bill Timmerman

Field House / Wendell Burnette Architects © Bill Timmerman Field House / Wendell Burnette Architects © Bill Timmerman Field House / Wendell Burnette Architects © Bill Timmerman Field House / Wendell Burnette Architects © Bill Timmerman + 23

Layton Pavilion / Johnsen Schmaling Architects

© John J. Macaulay
© John J. Macaulay

Architects: Johnsen Schmaling Architects Location: Greenfield, Wisconsin, United States Project Year: 2011 Project Area: 200 sq ft Photographs: John J. Macaulay

© John J. Macaulay © John J. Macaulay © John J. Macaulay © John J. Macaulay + 11

Taliesin - A Guided 360 Virtual Tour

Courtesy of Tour de Force 360VR
Courtesy of Tour de Force 360VR

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin turned 100 this year. As part of the commemoration Tour de Force 360VR produced an award winning “guided” 360 degree virtual tour of the estate. The center of Frank Lloyd Wright’s world was Taliesin near Spring Green, Wisconsin. It was his home, workshop, architectural laboratory and inspiration for nearly all his life. Our international award winning Tour de Force, allows visitors from around the world to experience this place in ways only a personal visit could provide before. The response has been dramatic. More information on the tour after the break.

SC Johnson to Exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright Wright Artifacts

Johnson Wax Headquarters (exterior), Racine, Wisconsin. Photo by Jack E. Boucher, National Park Service,August, 1969.
Johnson Wax Headquarters (exterior), Racine, Wisconsin. Photo by Jack E. Boucher, National Park Service,August, 1969.

SC Johnson and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation entered into a long-term loan agreement on July 14, allowing the company to display artifacts highlighting Wright’s impact on families and the home. The agreement is an exciting addition to the wealth of Frank Lloyd Wright-related sites around Chicago, but raises questions about Wright’s place in popular conceptions of architectural history.

Taliesin East Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

Two thousand eleven marks the 100th anniversary year of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal home and “laboratory” in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Taliesin represents more than just great design—it exemplifies Wright’s philosophy that the true sense of organic architecture is the integrated oneness of the land, the building and spirit of life.

Green Mosque / Onat Oktem, Ziya Imren, Zeynep Oktem, Uri Tzarnotzky

Courtesy of Onat Oktem, Ziya Imren, Zeynep Oktem and Uri Tzarmotzky
Courtesy of Onat Oktem, Ziya Imren, Zeynep Oktem and Uri Tzarmotzky

‘The Building: Problem or Solution?’ competition, managed by Faith in Place, encouraged the creative design of religious buildings through the re-use and modification of existing structures. Through the collaborative ideas of architects Onat Oktem, Ziya Imren, Zeynep Oktem and Uri Tzarmotzky, their Green Mosque won the competition’s, “Best Freestanding Religious Structure”. More on the architect’s description and images after the break.