Archinect
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for marcel breuer's admirers

573
brian buchalski

well, i think the first deadline we need is to compile our reference material and place it on the ftp site. as i understand it right now, we won't have the drawings from the library picked up & scanned until this weekend or early next week. at that point, i think we open the charrette up to everyone who's interested for about a two week time frame. maybe even start a seperate thread for archinecter's to easily post their work and/or comment. then close that portion which should give us about a week to compile whatever is necessary for whatever presentation/exhibit we have with the grosse pointe people.

it might only be a handful of proposals, but then we might also get dozens of quick-n-dirty suggestions too (and we will retain the right to edit the dirty for the presentation if anyone gets the wrong idea)

the other thing we need is firm dates for this presentation/exhibit so that myself & other can plan to take the necessary adjustments to our schedule if needed.

Feb 1, 07 11:08 am  · 
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JMBarquero/squirrelly

I do like the quick n dirty approach as well, as nothing really can be finalized and it helps in the true spirit of the charrette.

Feb 1, 07 11:12 am  · 
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snooker

It might be worth contacting the Architects and Landscape Architects who have recieved the Chrysler Design Award between 1993- 2001: They might be honored to contribute back to Motor City:

Achua Benzinberg Stein, LA 1994

Jame Wine, Site 1995

Frank Ghery 1995

Mack Scogin/Merill Elam 1996

Craig Hodetts/Hsin-Ming Fung, Architects 1996
[UCLA TOWELL LIBRARY]

Allan Wexlar

E. Diller/ R. Scofido 1997

Tod Williams/ Bille Tsei 1998

Steven Holl 1998

Jesse Reiser/ Nanako Umetto, Architects 1999

James Corner, Landscape Architect 2000

Will Bruder 2000

Thom Mayne 2001


Also important to note Will Bruder was born in Michigan.


Feb 1, 07 11:23 am  · 
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as i noted yesterday, the aia's urban priorities committee, has offered to help organize a space and an 'event'. the cochair, derek roberts, is in the process of "trying to secure a date and a space to publicly display / present the work generated from the charretting." tentatively, february 27, 28 and march 1 work with aia detroit's schedule.

Feb 1, 07 11:32 am  · 
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AP

i agree that the wide open 2 week work session - you did mean wide open like any archinect member or other that wants to put something together is welcome to submit, right?

any other thoughts on inviting various architecture firms (such as those listed above by snooker) to participate in the 'graphic proposals' aspect of our effort?

as per vado's point on quickly figuring out who will be involved...if we are able to put the charette info together quickly, is there any harm in inviting/notifying firms to contribute?

Feb 1, 07 11:41 am  · 
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joshcookie

Very cool about the local AIA we will be sure to get them something to display from way out here on the Left Coast.
j

Feb 1, 07 11:42 am  · 
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vado retro

actually the two week open idea is good. i guess i just want to have an idea about participation. if there is a two week opening, and archi schools get notified quickly then something could happen with those. since there are quite a few students on this site, put down the damn xbox and go notify some studio people, people.

Feb 1, 07 11:44 am  · 
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joshcookie

I am trying to get a hold of Josh Weinstein at the University of Minnesota, he was running the Architectural Youth Program when I was there. You may know him from SITE architecture fame. If anyone can throw a quick student charrette together he can.
j

Feb 1, 07 12:37 pm  · 
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JMBarquero/squirrelly

That's another great idea Josh.....

Maybe Chili can also get some of his comrades to get involved with a charrette.

Chilli???

Feb 1, 07 12:45 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

my intent was as wide open as possible...in the true spirit of the chaotic, grassroots, time-person-of-the-year manner.

people can choose to participate however they want. as individuals, as students, as collaborative. if you have an arch firm and you want your staff to spend two weeks on this, that's fine too. if your names are leon krier and rem koolhaas and you want to work together for the library that's great too.

the library has a building program...but there won't really be an charrette program. i imagine that some entries will focus strictly on the building, some on the larger site (with town square, school, etc), some. some might save the building, some might raze it, some adaptively re-use it. participants may submit written proposals if they like, maybe a poem. feel free to work with a developer and include a proforma financial analysis...literally whatever.

since this isn't a competition but just an idea generator, we reserve the right to make some of this up as we go. in other words, depending on the response, we'll decide how to actually present the work in a few weeks. if it ends up on being 3-4 quality entries, then maybe we can print up 24"x36" boards, but if we get hundreds then maybe we just print on 8.5"x11" black & white paper. i don't know. we'll deal with that after the open submittal period (which is why i suggested a week for pulling it all together).

personally, i'm interested in getting some quality suggestions (and i know that many of you are very talented so i don't doubt this) but i'd also love to see a large quantity of submittal. in keeping with steven's suggestion to make some noise if we had 100 submittals from architects across the globe then i still be that would be a strong sign to the library board that their building is more important than just within their community and that they do have the responsibility & the opportunity not to rush this project through in the business-as-usual manner.

Feb 1, 07 12:48 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

ooh...i need to start watching my grammar & spelling a little more closely...or maybe my typing is just in the spirit of quick-n-dirty

Feb 1, 07 12:52 pm  · 
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Chili Davis

I will be sharing this information with studio heads as well as my AIAS chapter.

Feb 1, 07 1:00 pm  · 
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hckybg

though i agree with the premise of having open arms, i think the charrettes should have some sort of program--otherwise, how easy will it be for the library board to dismiss the suggestions as unreasonable, impractical, or worse, irrelevant? to my mind, the goal of the charrette is to show them the many ways their needs can be accomodated. it has to be more than just pie-in-the-sky ideas. if we do leave it wide open, then some of the ideas *might* involve razing the library, as puddles, said, and do we really want that? we know that is a possibility, but my understanding is that the purpose of this exercise is to show that is not necessary. indeed, we wouldn't have gotten to this point if we didn't believe in the integrity of the original structure. some basic ground rules/program requirements would go a long way towards directing the efforts towards some (widely-defined but still defined) outcomes

Feb 1, 07 1:07 pm  · 
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JMBarquero/squirrelly

good of you Chili, cheers mate.

and yes puddles, i think it's all in the spirit of the quick-n-dirty, as you and steven have loads to report and ideas to express, hence, no worries, we know you can spell!

Feb 1, 07 1:17 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

well, to address hckybg's concern...those of us who will be compiling the results (and it's not altogether who exactly that will be yet) do reserve the right to exercise some editorial and/or curatorial control over what is presented to the library board. mostly, i figure we'll deal with that after everything's been submitted. in the meantime, i feel a two week open submittal/charrette period should be encouraged.

as always, intelligence & sharing are appreciated.

Feb 1, 07 1:28 pm  · 
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AP

hckybg - i also think it's a good idea to have a charrette brief that calls for saving the bldg somehow. those that so desire will ignore the brief, however, our primary motivation is to save the bldg, and the efforts should be directed/encouraged as such...

Feb 1, 07 1:30 pm  · 
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yes, we need to be unified around the basic idea that the building should remain. that's the point, and why i'm involved, anyway. if this was just about building a library, we've got libraries being planned in louisville.

Feb 1, 07 1:46 pm  · 
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i think it's a great idea to invite as many people as we can, even for the charrette. a couple of issues that raises:

-if they're 'known', they're going to have questions about rights to use of their materials which i, for one, wouldn't know how to address.

-we'd have to streamline how things are submitted so someone isn't slogging through a variety of formats and means-of-delivery. we'd have to say in advance: .pdf, such-and-such file size, or jpg, or...whatever.

Feb 1, 07 1:56 pm  · 
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AP

Steven, I have an attorney collegue that I can ask about the "rights to use" issue. also, Smokety McSmoke has a law background (if I recall correctly). perhaps he has a clue regarding that issue...

Feb 1, 07 2:17 pm  · 
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aml

if it's going to be a competition, maybe the easiest thing would be to ask archinect for help. they might be able to give us space and organization so people can upload their submissions and find the necessary info. i'm not asking anybody yet but just putting this out there because if it's going to be big we'll need some backup.

Feb 1, 07 3:11 pm  · 
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i don't think it's a competition. none of us are angling for the job (i don't think) just trying to make the community aware of options.

Feb 1, 07 3:18 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

okay, we should direct that entries are to avoid demolition of the breuer.

and we probably should settle on some kind of format, although i'm not sure what yet. any ideas?

Feb 1, 07 3:19 pm  · 
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aml

well, a design charrette/ ideas charrette, but in the sense that people will be submitting things, needing to download info, etc

Feb 1, 07 3:20 pm  · 
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snooker

I just want to be sure a special invite is sent out to "Philip K R Nixon."
It would simply be amiss to not give him an opportunity to shine.

Feb 1, 07 3:24 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

definitely not competitive. much to open for that. more of a charrette since we'd like to have ideas flowing freely over the thread even before we wrap stuff up & submit.

hopefully there will be some cross pollinization. for example, i posted some photo montages and it wouldn't bother me in the least if these were used by many different people. authorship will, at times, be very ambiguous. it's not about us so much as it's about the ideas becuase that's what the library really needs right now. i'm really hopeful for a collective effort.

Feb 1, 07 3:26 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

of course...maybe nobody will participate and it will be a total failure.

Feb 1, 07 3:31 pm  · 
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hckybg

if to some extent this exercise is a counterargument to the existing "feasibility study," then do we need to provide some sort of feasibility study as well to show that in fact this is very practical? I am starting to worry that an array of beautiful boards will show that this can happen architecturally, but I assure you they (and the local politics) will be much more compelled by arguments involving dollars and "sense." to some extent, i feel our aim is to show 1. the site and the surrounding area can accomodate an addition that will meet their programmatic needs without affecting the existing building 2. this will not add additional cost 3. in fact, this will (in some manner) result in a better building overall. if we don't show that, then they might just say "hey, we owe this guy some work and he will give us a cheap design fee and do it as we ask." our mission should be to throw something so compelling in their lap that they see eye to eye with us. this might be the only thing to prevent the more drawn out steps that would follow a decision to demolish.

Feb 1, 07 3:33 pm  · 
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joshcookie

I agree, the focus is ideas.
Format, should keep things on the cheap. So formated to print on 8.5x11 or maybe 11x17. Say 200 dpi, max. PNG or TIF so it doesn't degrade with copying like jpg. Pdf would also make my short list of good formats but since it doesn't integrate as well for web embed, I would limit it to things meant for printing. I can see us setting up a flickr group where people could share their designs and everyone could comment on them. The real value of the ftp is sharing other types of media, ie. .doc .dwg .rvt sketchup. It doesn't lend itself well to critiquing peoples work imo.
j

Feb 1, 07 3:38 pm  · 
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vado retro

well formatting is an issue. i always envisioned a space where folks would be able to walk in and view the proposals. this i guess would require larger boards. but, i don't know how many people are that keen on doing that. i don't envision doing any supergraphics but i think to communicate graphically it has to be at least in the 18X24 range. i am thinking about the people who will use the library etc who should see these proposals. if its all just electronic many folks won't bother. if its in the lobby of the library or in some public spot that's different.

Feb 1, 07 3:48 pm  · 
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JMBarquero/squirrelly

I was sort of thinking the same thing Vado.....
hence it is why I suggested something a little larger in my email.

I know josh's suggestion for it to be 11x17 for rfp and hand outs be used and it could be "handy" pardon the pun, but my thoughts are about presentation as well (to the community)

Feb 1, 07 3:58 pm  · 
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joshcookie

I can see both points, ultimately, we will know better once the location of the display is known. If it is a hallway, you won't gain anything from the larger size, if it is a full on gallery exhibit, we better put out some big stuff too.
j

Feb 1, 07 4:02 pm  · 
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i thought it was about time there was some drawing up here.

so here's my first sketch, done on a yellow sticky pad while i was talking on the phone about a hardware submittal:



not my best or final answer, just my first marks on paper.

bring 'em on!!!

Feb 1, 07 4:21 pm  · 
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darn it.

Feb 1, 07 4:21 pm  · 
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Feb 1, 07 4:22 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

thank you steven

Feb 1, 07 4:31 pm  · 
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Chili Davis

Nice Steven, but I think 3" x 3" is a bit small for display purposes.

Feb 1, 07 4:32 pm  · 
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it would be unique, maybe a good gimmick. a grid of 3x3's filling at wall! all different pastel colors!

Feb 1, 07 4:33 pm  · 
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liberty bell

So now the Breuer is saved, but all the cabinets on your current project will have Disney-character knobs. Damn!

Thanks for getting the ball rolling! I am eager to do one of my own but have to leave in ten minutes for daycare.

Feb 1, 07 4:34 pm  · 
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Chili Davis

I think I've seen the pastel grid used before. Perhaps in the Whitney Building lobby?

Feb 1, 07 4:36 pm  · 
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vado retro

actually my ex went to this vermont artists/writer retreat a few years back and one of the artists did all his work on post it notes.

Feb 1, 07 4:40 pm  · 
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AP

indeed.


hckybg,
your point above is a good one...
to throw something so compelling in their lap that they see eye to eye with us...

agreed, we do need to give them confidence that all needs can be met...but graphics and statistics don't have to do all of the work. a narrative could go a long way to this end. we have to create the will to retain the breuer building and with it a piece of GP's history.

Feb 1, 07 4:42 pm  · 
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vado retro

also, i was thinking that if boards were done, the charetters would just mail them on up to the michiganistaners who have spearheaded this cause.

Feb 1, 07 4:42 pm  · 
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AP

("indeed" was intended to follow puddles' initial remark to Steven's sketch)

Feb 1, 07 4:44 pm  · 
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Chili Davis

At which point all materials would become property of Chili Davis, to use at his discression, particularly to submit as his studio project. If you would like your work returned, please submit a S.A.S.E. plus a $250 nominal fee to cover packaging charges, made out to "Chili Davis' wedding fund." Thank you for your cooperation.

Feb 1, 07 4:46 pm  · 
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vado retro

way to be a team player chili!!!

Feb 1, 07 4:55 pm  · 
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JMBarquero/squirrelly

lol chili
always looking out for himself!

Feb 1, 07 5:07 pm  · 
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snooker

I vote for the post a note format.....I'm sure nixon would go along with this novel aproach....since were working for free.

Feb 1, 07 5:14 pm  · 
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joshcookie

I am for the post it note format, but they keep gumming up my printer.

More fuel for the fire. I am exploring a central atrium so we can keep those windows on the back side usable.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17556660@N00/376878367/

(steps back from the board, and looks apprehensively at the jurors)

j

Feb 1, 07 5:46 pm  · 
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yay! another drawing. great start, josh. i was thinking about those windows, too. would be great to keep them 'live', even if they're inside.

modeling already even! whoo. ah.

Feb 1, 07 8:04 pm  · 
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brian buchalski

nice start gentlemen...great, but now i'm already behind...guess i'll be pulling all-nighters before the deadline again. on the other hand, i did just run 10 miles.

Feb 1, 07 9:09 pm  · 
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