OFFICE 52 at Carnegie Mellon

Form and Dichroic Light Scott Hall at Carnegie Mellon University Michelle LaFoe and Isaac Campbell OFFICE 52 Architecture Forward by Cesar Pelli, FAIA Introduction by Michael J. Crosbie, FAIA Leete”s Island Books, Maine USA Hard cover; 96 pages in color ISBN 9780918172709

 

 

In his introduction to Form and Dichroic LIght, Michael

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Expansion Strategies for a Challenging Campus Site

by Stanley Collyer

OFFICE 52 Higher Education Presentation 2015.05.13.indd
Winning proposal by Office 52 (courtesy ©Office 52)

Already ranked as one of the top engineering programs in the U.S., Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is hardly resting on its laurels. Scott Hall, anew Nano‐Bio‐Energy Technologies building scheduled for completion in early 2016, will undoubtedly enhance the University’s standing as a cutting edge research institution. Contrary to most curricula in the field of engineering, Nanotechnology is not based on a narrowly defined area of study; rather it is interdisciplinary in nature and can span the sciences and even reach into the arts. As a landlocked campus, a major challenge facing Carnegie Mellon is finding space for the construction of new facilities. The site chosen for Scott Hall in 2011 was at the western edge of the historic campus property, perched at the top of a neighboring ravine, Junction Hollow, and barely separated from three adjacent buildings. Although the campus master plan had already pinpointed a location for the new building, the University conducted a design competition to explore alternative solutions to a challenging site and a demanding interdisciplinary program.

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SMÍCHOV ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: An International competition in Prague

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Addressing Affordable Housing in Bentonville

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Adelaide Contemporary Art Museum Winner Announced

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Adelaide Contemporary Art Museum Submissions Revealed

 

The designs of the six shortlisted teams that entered the Adelaide Contemporary competition are now on display.

 

Adjaye Associates and BVN with McGregor Coxall, Steensen Varming, Plan A Consultants, Barbara Flynn, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Aurecon Group and Front Inc

 

 

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and JPE Design Studio with United

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News from COMPETITIONS 12/20/2017

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Munich Concert Hall Competition

 

1st Prize project by Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten (image © Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten)

 

Until the early 1970s, architecture in Bavaria, and in Munich in particular, was not only viewed as traditional, but even leaving the impression to some as being ‘quaint.’ Then came the 1972 Olympic Games, which marked a watershed moment in

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Review: A Rift in the Earth

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Interview: William Pedersen FAIA (Winter 1996/97)

 


333 Wacker Drive – view with Chicago River in foreground (photo: ©Barbara Karant)

 

COMPETITIONS: When you are called on to design a ‘foreground’ building for a corporate client—although it’s usually an office building, it could be any number of building types—how do you balance the private and public interest beyond the usual zoning regulations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

left and below
Gargoyle Club Prize
Best Architectural Thesis, University of Minnesota School of Architecture (1961)
Theme: Hospital Project


Images: courtesy William Pedersen

 

Pedersen: The interest of the client as it relates to the quantity of the construction they wish to place on a site is perhaps the most difficult issue, particularly during the 80s, when a tremendous amount of construction was taking place in the United States, and one more office building was not hailed by anybody as a contribution to society. The situation has changed rather dramatically in the 90s, when almost none of them are being built; so the issue is not as pressing. But there always is the question, ‘Is a building, given the bulk proposed, appropriate for its specific condition?’ One’s ability to deal with that issue is somewhat limited because zoning establishes what is of right, and not of right. Therefore, the battle has largely been fought prior to our entrance on the scene.

 

Past that point, the relationship of our buildings to a specific context has been a fundamental issue of our architecture. This is particularly how we take tall buildings, which are in themselves somewhat insular, autonomous and discrete, and bring them into a more social state of existence. That’s been the subject of our study for the last twenty years. We’ve developed strategies for doing that, of which I’ve spoken at length. The preoccupation of making the tall buildings—part of a more continuous, overriding fabric—that’s been central to our architecture.

 

COMPETITIONS: The most obvious argument against contextualism—as many people understand it—would be the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which has turned out to be the most visitied and popular building in that city. Wouldn’t that seem to give architects a good argument for doing something different? Was that even a lesson?

 

WP: Juxtaposition is a fundamental contextual strategy; but it has to be used sparingly and has to be introduced at exactly the right moment for it to have a powerful effect. For example, the Seagrams Building on Park Avenue—before any of the other buildings followed suit—was exceedingly powerful and very successful as a result of the juxtaposition at that particular place. I would argue that our building in Chicago (333 Wacker Drive) is an equally successful contextual building. It’s on the only triangular site of the Chicago grid at a bend in the Chicago River, and it sits within a context of totally masonry buildings, largely of the classical derivation. Somehow the relationship between those very distinct parts works. We were asked to build a building right next to 333 Wacker Drive, which did not occupy a unique geometric piece of property, but in fact became more of a continuation of the street wall leading up to 333 Wacker. We elected there to utilize a more Classical language in total juxtaposition to our own 333 Wacker in an effort to try to achieve the continuity of the wall that we thought was necessary, but also to maintain that poignancy of a juxtaposition to 333 Wacker Drive to the rest of the context. It would weaken it tremendously if it had been reproduced next door.

 

The same is true of the Pompidou Centre. If one were to tear down that section of Paris around it and build a number of Pompidou Centers there, it would lose its impact, because ifs impact is an object set within a very careful framing in that traditional neighborhood. Without the dialogue between the two, the game is over.

 


AAL Hqs. building addition (1971), Appleton, Wisconsin


AAL Hqs. original building


AAL rendering

 

COMPETITIONS: Most people seem to believe that 333 Wacker is the best building you have done. Maybe it was the time and unique site. It was one of those projects where one announces, ‘Well, here I am.’ Sometimes it’s difficult to top a wonderful building like that, though you may believe your next building is the one you like best.

 

WP: I think that 333 was a product of my sensibility at that point in time. It was a building that tended tobe an intuitive response to the site. In terms of it language, it came out of a couple of other buildings I had done immediately prior to that—one being the Aid Association for Lutherans in Appleton, Wisconsin, the other being the Brooklyn Criminal Courts Building, which had very similar geometric ideas in terms of its relationship to context. The very conscious attitude of trying to make the tall building part of a larger urban contet preoccupied us for the next five years. As a result, we used a more classical language to try to develop connecting strategies, because a Classical language is largely built on ideas of connection of pieces and parts, one to another…buildings connect well because they have parts that are combined and are part of a central language.

 

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