Wednesday, August 25, 2010

clyfford still museum: the final design [video]

description from the museum's website:

The Museum is conceived as a solid, a mass of concrete, deriving its presence from the earth—a single construction that is opened up by natural light and that itself becomes the source of light for the art within. The museum structure will exist, simply and elegantly, to make room for the voice of a single artist.

The Still Museum’s final design envisions a two-story 28,500 square foot structure made of highly textured and resurfaced concrete that will modify light on both the exterior and interior of the Museum. The landscaped forecourt will serve both as a place of refuge and repose, transitioning from the urban neighborhood to the experience of viewing Still’s art within the Museum. A cantilevered canopy of concrete will lead visitors into the first-floor lobby, and glass walls will allow visitors to see into the conservation studio and collection storage. An open corridor will include educational materials, and its two-story expanse will provide views from below of the second-floor galleries and views from above into the library and study areas on the first floor. The Museum’s open design embodies the founding principle of the institution, the revealing to the public of this once-private and very personal collection.

A beautifully-crafted wooden staircase will lead visitors to the second floor, which consists of a series of eleven distinct galleries, having varying ceiling heights and proportions designed for the optimal display of the different elements of the Still collections. The galleries, totaling approximately 10,000 square feet, will feature changing exhibits of work from throughout Clyfford Still’s career and will enable visitors to progress chronologically through Still’s works. One of the singular features of the Museum will be its daylight system that includes diffusing skylights and motorized shades situated above a custom-formed, surprisingly delicate concrete tracery ceiling that almost disappears in the scattered light. The intensity of each gallery's light will vary with changes in daylight, and electric lighting will further enhance curatorial flexibility to modify the tonalities in each exhibition space. The Museum is currently expected to open in the fall of 2011.

this will take more study, but our first impression [mostly questions]:

1] The approach is one of the best things going for the design if the wild flower meadow "forecourt" stays intact through the design process. a nice entry to a long expanse of glass, beneath the cantilevered upper level.

2] what is with the monster trees in the "forecourt"? every denver-ite knows that trees in this city take 200 years to get that tall. there is simply no water...maybe they will transplant full grown maples or oaks to the site...

3] Exteriors:
the textured concrete looks promising with the subtle random vertical shadow pattern, but how does this translate to the interior? Also-what is the significance of choosing this method of concrete and its aesthetic? What is the significance to Clyfford Still/Denver/museum-goers? is it just to look "cool" or does it have a deeper meaning to place and culture? and please don't tell me it is to imitate the nearby mountains [libeskind...argh!]. if we want to experience mountain textures and forms, making a 30 minute drive would allow you to experience the real thing.

4] Interiors:
oh we get it now! the random vertical wood panelling references the exterior concrete texture [kind of...sort of...]. the animation doesn't do any favors to the interior experience, but the main level is definitely non-hierarchical in organization [also a theme in adjaye's mcart denver]. the entrance is very un-monumental [no atrium, no grand staircase, etc.] but maybe that is okay. not sure though...the ambiance of the random lighting layout and glowing stairwell is another play of subtlety, but it doesn't make for a public space you want to linger in--more like a interstitial space to grab tickets and be herded through the galleries. libeskind's denver art museum has the great atrium that while even though induces vertigo, at least makes you feel something special about the place spatially.

5] Gallery Ceilings:
not sure what that perforated sunscreen/sunshade is or how it gets manufactured / built, but it looks like it has potential. a bit of a rip-off from renzo piano, but if you are going to plagiarize, do it from the best [which renzo is the master of daylight manipulation]. from the description above, it sounds like GFRC [Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete] to us.

6] Animation/presentation:
this may be perceived as a minor issue, but does it bother anyone else that there are no shadows or reflections on the floor for the people in the animations? because it is driving us absolutely mad! very distracting and also a little creepy to not have the kind of depth that is created by those little details [pay attention young architecture students]. the autumn setting is very nice and sets a good mood, but we are suckers since autumn is our favorite season in denver.

all in all, we are eagerly awaiting the completion, and one cannot truly judge a work without being inside it, around it, immersed in it... while this critique may be somewhat cynical, it is merely curious and has anxious questions to the incomplete. follow the construction progress on the museum's website here:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

pech kucha vol. 11

this wednesday evening [Aug. 25th]:

Pecha Kucha Night is non profit and is now running in 340 cities globally.

A Coruña, Aalen, Aarhus, Adelaide, Aguascalientes, Amersfoort , Amman, Amsterdam, Arnhem, Asheville, Asunción, Athens, Atlanta, Auckland, Austin, Bahia Blanca, Bahrain, Bali, Bandung, Bangalore, Bangkok, Barcelona, Basel, Beaufort SC, Beijing, Beirut, Belfast, Belgrade, Bemidji , Berkeley, Berlin, Bern, Bielefeld, Bilbao, Birmingham, Bogota, Bologna, Bordeaux, Boston, Boulder, Bratislava, Brighton, Brisbane, Bristol, Brno, Brussels, Bucaramanga, Bucharest, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Buffalo, Calgary, Cali, Canberra, Cape Town, Caracas, Cardiff, Catania, Champaign-Urbana, Charleston, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chennai, Chicago, Christchurch, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cluj-Napoca, Cologne, Columbia, SC, Columbus, Concepción, Copenhagen, Cordoba, Coventry , Dallas , Damascus , Dar es Salaam, Dawson City, Dayton, Delhi, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Doha, Dortmund, Dresden, Dubai, Dublin, Dunedin, Durban, Edinburgh, Edmonton, Eindhoven, El Paso, Eugene, Ferrol, Florence, Frankfurt, Fresno, Funchal, Gainesville, FL, Gdansk, Genève, Ghent, Ginowan , Gisborne, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Greenville, Groningen, Guadalajara, Guangzhou , Guayaquil, Halifax, Hamamatsu, Hamburg, Hamilton, Helsingborg, Helsinki, Hengelo, Hobart, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston, Huancayo, Huddersfield, Hyderabad, Indianapolis, Istanbul, Jacksonville, Jaen, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kaiserslautern, Kalmar, Kampala, Kansas City, Kaunas, Kingston, Knoxville, TN, Kolding, Kosice, Koszalin, Krakow, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kuwait City, Kyoto, Lagos, Lake Ridge, Lakeland , Las Palmas GC, Las Vegas , Lausanne, Leeds , Lexington, Lima, Lincoln, NE, Linz, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Lodz, London, Los Angeles, Louisville, Loviisa, Luebeck , Luxembourg, Maastricht, Madrid, Málaga, Mallorca, Malmö, Manchester, Manila, Mar Del Plata, Maribor, Marseille-Provence, Mauritius, Melbourne, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Milwaukee, Minneapolis St.Paul, Montevideo, Montreal, Morioka, Muenster, Mumbai, Munich, Nagano, Nagoya, Nairobi, Nancy, Naples, Nashville, Nelson, New Haven, New Orleans, New York, Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nishinomiya, Norrköping, Nottingham, Nuremberg, Oaxaca, Okayama, Omaha, Orange County, Orebro, Oslo, Osnabrueck, Ostersund, Ottawa, Oulu, Palmerston North , Panamá, Parana , Paris, Peoria, Perth, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsboro, Pittsburgh, Pontevedra, Pordenone, Portland Maine, Portland Oregon, Porto, Porto Alegre, Portsmouth NH, Poznan , Prague, Providence, Pune, Quebec, Queenstown, Queretaro, Quito, Raglan, Raleigh, Redding , Regensburg, Reykjavik, Riga, Rijeka, Rimini, Rio de Janeiro, Rockland, Maine, Rome, Rosario, Rotterdam, Sacramento, Saint-Etienne, Salisbury, Salt Lake City, Salzburg, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, CA, San Jose, Costa Rica, San Luis Obispo, San Sebastian , Santiago, Sao Paulo, Savannah, Schiedam, Seattle, Semarang, Senigallia, Seoul, Sevilla, Shanghai, Sheffield, Shenzhen , Singapore, Sofia, Sophia Antipolis, Southend-on-Sea, St Louis, St.Petersburg, Stockholm, Stoke-on-Trent, Stuttgart, Sundsvall , Sunshine Coast, Surabaya, Sydney, Tacoma, Taipei, Tallahassee, Tampa Bay, Tampere, Taos , Tel Aviv, Tenerife, The Hague, Thessaloniki, Tijuana, Tokyo, Toledo, Ohio, Toronto, Treviso, Trieste, Tromsø, Turin, Turku, Udine, Umeå, Utrecht, Vaduz, Valencia, Vancouver, Växjö , Venice, Victoria, Vienna, Vilnius, Wagga Wagga, Warsaw, Washington DC, Waterloo, Wellington, Whangarei, Whistler, Whitehorse, Winnipeg, Winter Harbor , Maine, Worcester, Wroclaw, Xalapa, Yerevan, Zagreb, Zaragoza, Zilina, Zürich. Find a location and join the conversation.

Pecha Kucha Night is for CONTENT and not profit As always - thank you for your amazing support.

Friday, August 06, 2010

secret ghost garden

a terrific write-up on brian mackay-lyons ghost village by elena safronsky for hgtv canada:

at the bottom of the article is a more extensive slideshow, and this is only part I. stay tuned for part II.

Monday, August 02, 2010

the tent and the whale's smile

apologies for such a lag on the draw, but here is calatrava's proposal for adding a south terminal at denver international airport, including rail station/overpass bridge and 500-room hotel.

from the denver post:

video animation of new DIA south terminal [calatrava architects]

Day said the south terminal project includes at least 100,000 square feet of retail and other concession space that — along with the hotel — will generate revenue and help offset the cost of the project.

Calatrava's design calls for the hotel-train station-plaza complex to dominate the view of the terminal from the south, but those traveling to DIA will retain a view of the terminal tent through a low, saddle-like space between the hotel's twin towers.

The south terminal project also includes a commuter-rail bridge over Peña Boulevard just east of the E-470 interchange that will accommodate the $1.2 billion East Corridor train from Union Station to the airport. Train service is expected to start in 2016.

rendering of interior at new south terminal & rail stop [calatrava architects]

And of course the money has yet to be thrown down:

DIA still must determine if it can afford the Calatrava-designed commuter-rail bridge.

The airport has proposed "enhancing" RTD's design for the bridge and paying the difference between the "base price" the Regional Transportation District will budget for the bridge and what it would cost to build it according to Calatrava's design.

RTD recently selected a consortium of private companies to build the East Corridor train under a public-private partnership.

On Aug. 12, RTD and the firms will be able to identify the amount of money they have for the rail bridge after they complete financial terms of the public-private partnership, said RTD spokeswoman Pauletta Tonilas.

DIA will have until Jan. 31 to decide whether it can afford to pay the difference between the base price for the bridge and the amount needed to realize Calatrava's design, said Day, DIA's manager. When an early Calatrava design came in around $60 million, airport officials said they could not afford that price.

a glowing, but still somewhat deprecating write up from the Post's Architecture critic:

This bird has beaks too. On both its north and south side, large curved roofs cant outward to create giant covered plazas between the two buildings.

While the main terminal — with its iconic, pointy tents — pushes downward, the expansion appears to lift off like a gravity-defying jumbo jet. It is very much in the space-age school of Eero Saarinen, designer of the landmark TWA terminal at JFK and St. Louis' Gateway Arch, except that like all of Calatrava's designs, it is lighter and brighter, an awing combo of engineering and fine details.

Is it a bit too obvious for an airport building to reference both birds and planes? Perhaps. Architects have made it routine. Still, Calatrava's design feels new, and aside from its overwhelming size, it is a kind neighbor to Denver architect Curt Fentress' 1995 terminal.

now do you see what I mean by "whale's smile"? imagine a giant humpback whale skimming for plankton...

I'm not sure what is going to be the first thing to hit the chopping block: the over-emphasized rail bridge or the 500 room hotel?

the article mentions calatrava's sensitivity to the original tent structure, but the above rendering seems to tell a different story...