Thursday, November 30, 2006

ghost in blueprint

featured in the most recent issue of BLUEPRINT magazine is an article on canadian architect brian mackay-lyons. he is best known for his book plain modern, on the subject of "regionalism in architecture" and the abstraction of the nova scotia housing vernacular into a modern idiom. every year, mackay-lyons holds a 2 week design-build seminar, dubbed the "ghost lab", on his coastal farmland located 1 hour south of halifax, ns. yours truly had the honor of being a part of ghost lab 8 this past summer, building a permanent structure only known to us as "the studio". the article's photos explain it best, but being apart of this phenomenal gathering was similar in spirit to programs like sam mockbee's rural studio. here are some scans of the article by oliver lowenstein.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

self "gratification" and the nasty-ness of it all

it's snowing outside, the roads are treacherous, it's blistering cold & windy [14 degrees F], and everyone's in a nasty mood. not just because of the weather, but because of the news-reeling from the new denver justice center design proposal.

after the recent firing of architect steven holl- this is the design that the local architecture firm klipp has been furiously trying to complete. a denver post article reports on the "gratifying" effort that have gotten the city officials' rocks off. architect dennis humphries states that the building:
"doesn't quite have the spirit" of the previous Holl design...

but forges on with the cliched sound-bites saying the design is:
"bold, fresh" and "a step in the right direction."

and since we're in a nasty mood here today [and eager to spread it], here are some images of the detention center slated to be adjacent to the courthouse. inspiring for all the kids, right?

and in an affort to make it an EXTREMELY nasty day for all...we seem to remember a previous design for the courthouse not long ago [2004] in a galaxy not too far away that was similar.


people must be wondering:
"...why did the city pay all the money and time to select a 'signature' architect, only to fire the architect, and end up with a similar design [with the pieces jumbled around] already done 2 years ago by yet a different firm?"
the answer is not yet clear.

maybe this design is good enough to arouse city officials [and get them out of hot water], but sorry guys-we've had clean up the mess.

Monday, November 27, 2006

allied works selected for clyfford still museum

it's official:


November 27, 2006 -- DENVER -- The Clyfford Still Museum announced today that it has selected Allied Works Architecture, led by Brad Cloepfil, to design its future home in Denver, Colorado. The approximately 30,000-square-foot museum will accommodate galleries for the legendary artist’s work, including some 2,400 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that have not been seen by the public for over 25 years. The building will also feature an education center, library and archives, collection storage, a conservation laboratory, and public areas.

“Today’s announcement of Allied Works as the architect for the future Clyfford Still Museum marks yet another milestone in the Mile High City’s growing cultural prominence,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper. “The Still collection is of tremendous international importance, and its presence in Denver will help further establish the city as a destination for those interested in 20th-century art.”

Based in Portland, Oregon, Allied Works Architecture is a globally recognized architectural firm with wide experience in the design of cultural, educational, and art institutions. Recent and current museum projects include the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, the Seattle Art Museum, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts & Design’s new facility at Two Columbus Circle in New York. The Clyfford Still Museum Architect Selection Committee chose Allied Works Architecture for its demonstrated ability to design inspiring buildings and museum spaces that are responsive to the needs of the institution, its collection, and community, and that provide visitors with a premium experience for viewing works of art.

“Throughout the selection process, Brad Cloepfil impressed the Clyfford Still Architect Selection Committee with his past museum experience, strong architectural vision, and shared respect for the artist, his work, and the mission of the Museum,” said Dean Sobel, Director of the Clyfford Still Museum. “We are pleased to be partnering with Allied Works Architecture in the design and creation of this world-class institution, dedicated to showcasing Still’s artistic brilliance and legacy.”

Allied Works’ proposal expressed a deep understanding of the Still Museum’s goals and collection needs as a single-artist institution, while thoughtfully responding to the surrounding architectural environment of Denver’s growing cultural center, which includes the new Libeskind-designed expansion for the Denver Art Museum. With roots in the Pacific Northwest of the country, Cloepfil also conveyed a profound sense of insight into the landscape that surrounded and influenced Still, who also spent time in that region.

Allied Works Architecture was selected from three finalists, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Ohlhausen DuBois Architects, who conducted public presentations to the Denver community and in-person interviews with the Clyfford Still Museum Architect Selection Committee in early November. The Clyfford Still Museum Board of Directors had initially invited 23 local, national and international firms to submit credentials by issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) in June 2006. Museum officials plan to unveil concepts on the building design in the coming months.

About Allied Works

Founded in 1994 by Brad Cloepfil, Allied Works Architecture is a firm of 40 architects and support staff with offices in Portland, Oregon, and New York City. Known for the integrity of its design and detailing, Allied Works creates dramatic, involving and moving spaces. Recent and current museum projects include the Contemporary Museum of Art, St. Louis, the Seattle Art Museum, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts & Design’s new facility at Two Columbus Circle in New York. In addition to its work on museums, other Allied Works projects include the Weiden + Kennedy Advertising Agency headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and the Sun Valley Residence in Sun Valley, Idaho. Projects currently in design include a major renovation and expansion of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, in the Dallas Arts District, Dallas, Texas, and a weekend home, guest house and gallery for prominent art collectors, to be located on 350 acres in Dutchess County, New York.

About The Clyfford Still Museum

The Clyfford Still Museum was founded to promote public and scholarly understanding of the late artist’s work and legacy, through the presentation and preservation of the Clyfford Still Estate, totaling approximately 2,400 artworks bequeathed to the City of Denver in 2004. Considered one of the most important painters of the twentieth century, Still (1904-1980) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists who developed a new, powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II. Still’s estate—now understood to be 94 percent of the artist’s total output—as well as his extensive archive, have been sealed off from the public since 1980.

The Clyfford Still Museum will be located in Denver, Colorado, in the heart of the Civic Center Cultural Complex, near the Denver Art Museum and its new Daniel Libeskind-designed building, the Denver Public Library designed by Michael Graves, and the Colorado History Museum. For more information about the Clyfford Still Museum, please visit

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sugar³ architect eyes the justice center

yesterday, a press release announced that bruce kuwabara of the firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, will head up a "peer review panel" for the flailing denver justice center. this is an attempt by the mayor's office to inject the project with some life after a collaboration breakdown with architect steven holl [see previous]. kawabara's firm is based in toronto, and just recently broke ground here in denver for a multi-story residential project being dubbed: Sugar³. an article on its green intentions here.

oh...and i guess if you're interested- The Real World: Denver premieres tonight at 8pm on MTV. The only reason we're even mentioning this is because the loft [formerly "B-52" pub at 19th & Market] that was used is for sale at a very cool price of $3.3 million [complete with full size b-ball court and pool].
Here's a slideshow of the living quarters. some of the odder amenities include a jeep, ski lifts hanging from the ceiling, and yup...gang showers.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

bloch building blog

despite the obvious flaws of kansas city's nelson atkins website-bloch building blog -one being the backwards chronology of the posts-it is a priveliged glimpse into the final stages of construction and curation of the new building[s] by steven holl.

other photos of the nelson atkins at flickr

Friday, November 17, 2006

T_REX up and running

today at 11am, the $1.75 BILLION, 19-mile light rail expansion project-T_REX- will open it's rails to the first commuters along the I-25 and I-225 corridors. RMN has a story.
over a span of 5 years, the project was contracted out under a design-build delivery method, allowing the schedule to be cut down to one-third of the time compared to traditional methods. trip fares will range from $1.75 to $2.75, depending upon distance.
along with the new light rail expansion, the corridor gained 17 new miles of 2-lane highway on each side, making it one of the largest civil engineering projects in the nation. Other articles here and here.

denver plans to expand its light rail even further to connect denver with municipalities as far as boulder, longmont, golden and westminster under the name of the FasTracks Plan.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

life, truth & light

an upcoming film by darren aronofsky-the fountain- has been long awaited [by at least one person], and now finally has a new engrossing website with stunning visuals. the film includes topics such as: mayan mysticism, the tree of life, the fountain of youth, space/time travel, terminal illness, and of course-love.

in aronofsky's films, he takes the viewer to the extreme edges of known perception with the aid of obsession [pi], and manipulation of the senses [requiem for a dream] . the films are incredibly specific tales of the individual characters, yet vastly universal in the relevance to humanity. this one is no different, with the latter obviously standing out prominently. to tell his stories, the environment in which his characters reside make a huge impact on the experience of the film. for example, in pi, the director chose to limit the perception to very tight camera angles of only the protagonist's apartment, the subway, and of the protaginist himself when outdoors.

one intriguing aspect of the new film is that aronofsky decided to utilize footage of motion induced fluids at a microscopic scale, in lieu of digital cgi, to portray deep space environments.
whether this is a film you will see and enjoy or not, aronofsky presents an interest in the distortion of space and how that manipulation of reality can result in a new way of perceiving our world. and that is something all architects should be interested in.
the fountain opens november 22
image above from the film's website

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

[updated] friendly reminder

from a previous post
a guide to choosing your own adventure...

the clyfford still museum shortlist presentations will be airing on denver's local channel 8, rocky mountain pbs. check the website for upcoming scheduled broadcasts. let all your friends know that they have the option to see tod williams speak at cu denver monday night, and then watch the still museum presentations on tv later in the week.
that feels much better!

but you still have to choose...

thanks to epicureofepicures for the heads up