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A major addition to Frank Lloyd Wright's Unitarian Meeting House in Madison, Wisconsin, by The Kubala Washatko Architects, stands for itself elegantly, even while deferring to the masterwork it supports. Photo: © The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc./ Mark F. Heffron
AN EXCELLENT ADDITION
by Michael J. Crosbie
Designing an appropriate addition to almost any National
Historic Landmark should be seen as a challenge. When
the landmark building is by Frank Lloyd Wright, the
challenge acquires its own dimension in history.
In their new addition to an American masterpiece of
religious architecture — Wright's First Unitarian
Society Meeting House in Madison, Wisconsin — The
Kubala Washatko Architects has risen beautifully to such
The large new annex contains an auditorium, social/
fellowship space, offices, a library, and support
spaces. Yet it looks as though it was always meant to
be there, showing deference to Wright's opus yet
asserting its own quiet identity. In the spirit of
Wright's approach to "designing with nature," as he
often described it, the Meeting House addition is
The addition has also earned LEED Gold certification and
is one of the Top Ten Green Projects chosen for 2011 by
the Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the American
Institute of Architects (AIA).
The new expansion project had a long genesis. Wright's
original building was designed in 1946 and completed in
1951. Relatives of the architect had been founding
members of this Unitarian congregation, and Wright
himself was a member. He designed a facility to
accommodate 150 parishioners.
Wright's building is iconic with its triangular glass
prism form under a broad A-frame roof, an architectural
composition that suggests an abstraction of Albrecht
Dürer's drawing The Hands of the Apostle. That part of
the building contains the tall worship space, with a low
wing extending to the west containing classrooms and
social spaces. >>>
Christie Walk consists of 27 dwellings ranging from single-family cottages to townhouses and apartment buildings, achieving a site population density of around 200 people per hectare (about 80 people per acre).
by Ross Chapin
Architect Ross Chapin defines a "pocket neighborhood" as a "cohesive cluster of homes gathered around some kind of common ground within a larger surrounding neighborhood" — achieving a small scale at which meaningful neighborly relationships are fostered. Here he discusses a 19th-century precedent for the pocket neighborhood, along with three modern examples. —Editor
Workingmen's Cottages of Warren Place
Alfred Tredway White, the son of a wealthy New York importer, built affordable housing for over a thousand working families in Brooklyn in the late 19th century.
While making house calls to newly settled immigrants in his church district, White experienced firsthand the terrible living conditions of the urban poor. His efforts with housing reform created fireproof brick buildings with sunlit rooms and private toilets (what luxury!), always surrounding a shared green or park.
The Workingmen's Cottages of Warren Place, built in 1878, were a cluster of 26 row houses facing a garden mews and flanked by eight end houses.
Spanning between two parallel streets at mid-block, the formal garden is a semipublic space buffering the private entrances from the street. A second entrance is provided at the rear along a common, undivided walkway in the back. Each row house is just 11 feet (3.4 meters) wide, about 30 feet (nine meters) deep, and three stories tall. >>>
The Whitney Museum of American Art and the City of New York have broken ground adjacent to Manhattan's High Line park for the Whitney's new museum building, designed by Renzo Piano in collaboration with Cooper, Robertson & Partners. Courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Cooper, Robertson & Partners
People and Places
by Nancy Novitski
Renzo Piano with Cooper, Robertson & Partners in New York, New York —
Gensler in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania —
Sam Marshall and NSW Government Architect in Sydney, Australia —
EwingCole in Edgewater, Maryland —
Interactive Design in Chicago, Illinois
New York, New York 2011.0524
The Whitney Museum of American Art and the City of New York have broken ground for the Whitney's new museum building in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano in collaboration with Cooper, Robertson & Partners of New York City, the building will be located on a site acquired from the City of New York at the southern end of the High Line, a park recently created atop a defunct elevated rail line. Creating an asymmetrical form, the upper stories of the building will stretch toward the Hudson River on the west side and step back from the High Line on the east side. A dramatic cantilevered entrance will shelter an 8,500-square-foot (790-square-meter) plaza.
The new building will include more than 50,000 square feet (4,600 square meters) of indoor galleries, including ground-floor exhibit space that will be accessible free of charge, an expansive column-free gallery for temporary exhibitions, and other spaces. The building will also feature an education center, two theaters, and a ground-level retail shop, along with outdoor exhibition space on a series of rooftops facing the High Line. Targeting LEED Silver certification, the Whitney building is scheduled to open in 2015. Some demolition of existing buildings on the site has already occurred, and more will be performed in summer 2011.
A special exhibit on the architectural design of the new building, "Designing the Whitney of the Future," runs through early 2012 at the Whitney's current uptown building by Marcel Breuer.
The Whitney recently announced a multiyear agreement, in principle, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in which the Met will present exhibitions and educational programming at the Whitney's Breuer-designed building beginning in 2015. Ê
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I Am Drafter! - Cadalyst, 2011.0527
Project Vasari Technology Preview 2.0 Now Available - Autodesk Labs Blog, 2011.0526
Intel Might Make Chips Based on Non-Intel Cores - Reuters, 2011.0526
Bentley Introduces AECOsim Suite for Building Design - TenLinks, 2011.0526
VariCAD 2011-1 Released - TenLinks, 2011.0525
Have the BIM Truth Talk with Your Boss - Cadalyst, 2011.0525
All Government Projects to Use BIM within Five Years - Building (UK), 2011.0520
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Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week
Ancient arcade. Top to bottom: roughly squared stone; diaper brickwork, courses of stone and Roman brick, weathered tile with substructure, brick-and-stone arches, coursed-ashlar stone (WA-286)
A 2:12 roof slope is how many degrees above horizontal?
What is concrete curling and what is the typical cause?
Classic Home 069 — Five-room brick bungalow by George W. Repp
"An attractive face brick bungalow containing five rooms and bath. The roof of this house should be of masonry- or slate-surfaced shingles. Interesting features of this plan include a fireplace with large inglenook arranged as an extension of the living room. ...
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