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Performing arts center uncovered


Kauffman Center

Kauffman Center

Principal Isaac Franco AIA and associate Sarah Lindenfeld of Moshe Safdie and Associates join the Performing Arts Design Committee at The Architects Building on Friday, May 22 at 8:00 am to discuss the much-anticipated Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. Currently under construction, the project includes a 1,800-seat proscenium theater, 1,600-seat concert hall, banquet hall and grand foyer. Dynamic forms, dramatic views and expressive lighting add to this project’s compelling design. No RSVP is needed for morning meetings.

Cross published from Boston Society of Architects

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Endangered Historic U.S. Places 2009


Unity Temple, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his own Unitarian congregation in Oak Park, Illinois, remains an icon of early modern architecture, with its geometric design, strong massing, characteristic detailing, and use of exposed concrete.

But despite ongoing maintenance of this National Historic Landmark, the 1909 building has suffered extensive damage from years of water infiltration. Its precarious state prompted the National Trust for Historic Preservation to name Unity Temple one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” for 2009.
The annual list highlights architectural, cultural, and natural heritage sites at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. This year’s sites range from a single school building in Georgia to an entire mountain in New Mexico, from a 19th-century factory complex to such modern landmarks as Minoru Yamasaki’s 1966 Century Plaza Hotel.

Neglect, lack of funding, insensitive public policy, and natural forces — often working in combination — have put many of these buildings in jeopardy. Several of the listed sites are threatened with demolition to enable redevelopment.

Wright’s Hometown Masterwork

Reflecting on Unity Temple near the end of his life, Wright said, “That was my first expression of this eternal idea which is at the center and core of all true modern architecture. A sense of space, a new sense of space.”

Full article via Architecture Week

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Troy’s celebrated solar house left in dark


Facility touted as next big thing still shut

Shawn D. Lewis / The Detroit News

Troy — It was supposed to be a shining example of the green movement — a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups.

Seven months ago, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $900,000 house owned by the city of Troy that was to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot.

But it never opened to the public. And it remains closed.

Frozen pipes during the winter caused $16,000 in damage to floors, and city officials aren’t sure when the house at the Troy Community Center will open.

“It’s not safe right now, and there’s no estimated opening time because it depends on when we can get funding,” said Carol Anderson, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

That surprised the Oakland County Planning and Economic Development Department, which advertised tours of the house for its Tuesday Oakland County Green Summit.

“No, I didn’t know anything about it,” said Steve Huber, spokesman for county planning.

Bret Rasegnan, planning supervisor for the department, said the solar tours have been removed from the finalized agenda for the summit.

“It is disappointing that we can’t tour, but the summit will still be of great value. I don’t think it’s reflective of the technology.”

Lawrence Technological University, with help from DTE, mostly paid for the building. Its students built the 800-square-foot home, which was supposed to be livable year-round, free from the grid and churn out enough solar power to support a home-based business and electric vehicle.

So what caused the flood?

The city says it was a mechanical problem. University officials heard it differently.

Jeff Biegler, superintendent of parks for the city, said the flooding occurred from a glitch in the heater.

“The system was designed to kick a heater on to keep water from freezing,” Biegler said.

“The heater drew all reserve power out of the battery causing the system to back down and the pipes froze.”

Joe Veryser, an associate dean of architecture at the university, said he heard otherwise.

“What I heard repeatedly was that somebody turned off the breaker during the winter and forgot to turn it back on, which caused the pipes to freeze and then break.”

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New condominium building adding to Chicago skyline?

Chicago based developer Urban R2 hopes to move their project forward.  The condominium building named Catalyst designed by Lucien Lagrange Architects is located at 123 N. Des Plaines Street in the West Loop.


Catalyst designed by Lucien Lagrange Architects

Catalyst designed by Lucien Lagrange Architects 123 N. Des Plaines Street

123 N. Des Plaines Street

123 N. Des Plaines Street

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