Renowned designers, educators, AIA gold medalist to share work

One of the world’s premier architects, Antoine Predock, whose buildings have earned universal acclaim, is one of seven renowned designers and educators who will present a variety of projects past and present during the spring 2018 Department of Architecture Lecture Series at Texas A&M.

The public lectures are scheduled at 5:45 p.m. on the dates noted below in the Preston Geren Auditorium, located in Building B of the Langford Architecture Center on the Texas A&M campus.

Feb. 5 | William Green

Industrial designer and inventor

William Green, associate professor of industrial design at Virginia Tech, will discuss developments in his field and the work of Jean Prouve (1901-1984), a French metal worker, self-taught architect, and designer

Prouvé, widely admired because of his rare ability to combine design and engineering in his work, created a wide range of objects, including furniture, door and window fittings, lighting, façade elements, prefabricated houses, modular building systems and large exhibition structures – and almost anything else suited to industrial production methods.

Green’s projects employ a similar design and engineering approach, including a car he and a fellow inventor created with a Chrysler four-cylinder engine and composite parts that averaged 103 miles per gallon on a trip from Mexico to Canada.

 

Feb. 26 | Marc Frohn

Architect

Marc Frohn co-heads FAR, an architectural design and research firm headquartered in Berlin, where he seeks to stretch disciplinary boundaries and investigate “deep structures” that affect the development of new projects, such as legal and financial constraints, power structures and the technological, ecological, material, and institutional frameworks that shape the built environment.

His firm designed the award-winning Wall House on a Santiago, Chile suburban lot with a rural ambience created in part by tall hedges that surround the lot.

“We came to see the hedges as a sort of outer layer of building skin, then designed the house based upon a series of additional, separated wall layers,” said Frohn.

The firm also created an award-winning design proposal for a new central library at the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, an iconic facility which hosted tests of some of the world's first aircraft, housed World War II prisoners, and provided the people of West Berlin a vital lifeline to the outside world during the Cold War.

The firm’s work has been published in numerous leading publications, including Architectural Record, Icon, Architectural Review, Azure and Domus.

 

March 5 | Thomas Leslie

Educator, architect

Thomas Leslie, the Pickard Chilton Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University and an internationally recognized expert on the history of technology and architecture, will present highlights from his book, “Beauty’s Rigor: Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi.”

Born in Italy in 1891, Nervi expanded the possibilities of structural form with his pioneering design and engineering work with reinforced concrete.

His masterful designs and building methods resulted in numerous, celebrated buildings including Palazzetto dello Sport, built for the 1960 Rome Olympics, The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, and the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Leslie’s book about Nervi is a “superbly conceived and argued presentation of the work of a designer who commands a surprisingly meager bibliography despite his historical importance, contemporary relevance, and stunning corpus of masterful designs that are still prominent in the cityscapes of two continents,” said Barry Bergdoll, the Shapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University.

 

March 19 | Andrei Martin

Architect

Andrei Martin, partner at PLP, a London-based architecture firm, has more than 15 years’ experience creating innovative commercial, residential, retail and master planning projects in the U.K., Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East.

Martin, also a senior lecturer of architecture at the University of Westminster, is interested in the potential of new architectural typologies to transform urban experience and reshape contemporary culture.
Two of his residential project designs in London, are, respectively, the largest and tallest buildings in the world that contain microhousing — small studio apartments with less than 350 square feet.         

“Both these unprecedented buildings create new typologies that redefine the architecture of contemporary living and working and form a strategy for the future of collective urban housing,” said Martin.

He also created the winning contest design for the Yuyao, China, International City of Culture and Arts masterplan that integrates twenty-five museums and performing arts centers in one of China’s most historically significant cultural cities.

 

April 2 | Ivan Blasi

Curator, van der Rohe Award

Ivan Blasi is the curator of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, granted every two years to acknowledge and reward exceptional architectural projects in Europe.

Sponsored by the Barcelona, Spain-based Fundació Mies van der Rohe, and one of Europe’s most prestigious architecture prizes, the award stimulates the circulation of architects throughout the European Union who respond to transnational commissions, and supports young architects as they begin their careers.

The award also offers individuals and public institutions an opportunity to reach a clearer understanding of the cultural role of architecture in urban areas.

In addition to conserving and disseminating knowledge about the van der Rohe-designed German Pavilion, an important building in Modern architectural history, the Fundació fosters debates on and an awareness of themes related to contemporary architecture and urban planning.

 

April 16 | Antoine Predock

Architect

Antoine Predock, described by the Washington Post as “architecture’s poet of sky and earth,” has designed buildings that range in scale from the famed Turtle Creek House, built in 1993 for bird enthusiasts on a prehistoric trail in Texas, to a $285 million ballpark for the San Diego Padres that reinvents the concept of a stadium with numerous design features not found in sports complexes, such as surfaces that mirror the city’s physical features and a public park.

“Arguably, more than any American architect of any time, Antoine Predock has asserted a personal and place-inspired vision of architecture with such passion and conviction that his buildings have been universally embraced,” said Thomas S. Howorth, chairman of an American Institute of Architects’ committee that presented Predock in 2006 with the AIA’s Gold Medal, which honors an individual whose body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

“He designs buildings that grow out of their unique landscapes, creating, at the same time, symbols that are fearlessly expressive and sincere, simultaneously complex and guileless,” said Howorth. 

The medal lifted Predock’s work alongside his field’s most accomplished practitioners, including Thomas Jefferson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Louis Khan, and I.M. Pei.

Predock’s list of prestigious awards also includes: the American Architecture Award, Pima Community College Learning Center, Green Valley, Ariz.; GSA Design Award, U. S. Federal Courthouse, El Paso, Texas; the Tucker Architectural Awards, Shadow House, Santa Fe, N.M.; the AIA Western Mountain Region Honor Award, Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, Pueblo, Colo., and the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, Alto, N.M.

 

April 30 | Tim Love

Architect, educator

Tim Love is the founding principal of Utile, an architecture and planning firm committed to the revitalization of the American city through proactive planning that bridges public and private jurisdictional boundaries, and an associate professor of architecture at Northeastern University.

In his design research, Love focuses on what he calls the “schizophrenia of contemporary architectural practice,” the result of a division between two kinds of architectural production: one, supported by institutions and patrons, and another, which serves the commercial marketplace.

He believes that there is an overemphasis on patronage architecture in academic discourse and correspondingly little theoretical interest in the building types and design processes of the market-driven economy, despite the fact that these buildings make up the vast majority of the built environment.

At his firm and in his writing, “Double-Loaded”, “A Minor Theory of Architecture”, and other works, Love has demonstrated a critical need to focus on the broader cultural and societal context of market-driven building types and their aggregation into new urban districts.

Utile was recently selected by the city of Providence, Rhode Island and the state’s Department of Transportation  to lead two significant transportation initiatives in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

Richard Nira
rnira@arch.tamu.edu

 

 

posted January 30, 2018