We signed the contract this week, so it's official - Quinn Evans has been selected to investigate and design the potential for expansion and renovation of the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, MI. This building consists of two dissimilar parts: a 1927 English Tudor/Arts and Crafts Library and a Modernist addition designed by Gunnar Birkerts in 1981. For more than 30 years, this addition, designed to contrast with the original structure, has received much praise and criticism. Taking the good, the bad, the functional, and the not-so-functional into consideration, this project creates an exciting opportunity for the QEA team to showcase library talent and expertise in working with different architectural styles.
Staccatos, rests and crescendos. Like writing a musical score, I've always believed designing a building's interior space is about the artfully intelligent use of all the elements of form, organization, color, texture and light. Pools of light or color along an otherwise dark corridor can create a happy experience for the traveler. Instead of stepping one foot after another with nothing to grab the mind, the child in us wants to "hop" through the space -even if you don't act on this impulse, you feel it. The child kicks in.
The recent article in the Wall Street Journal, "The Library's Future Is Not an Open Book" by Julie V. Lovine (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324000704578386500193028168.html) is an interesting read. Lovine questions the future of large, urban libraries. Focusing on specific examples, her article discusses where all libraries need to head. the library is one of the few building types which constantly need to justify its existence, despite the fact that these buildings occupy a central place in our collective cultural well-being. For the past 25 years, justifying the importance or even existence of "library" as a physical presence in a community has existed.
The Michigan Historic Preservation Network held its annual conference in Marquette, Michigan last week and the focus was on Place-Making: the process of creating vibrant places, attracting talented people and generating economic activity in communities.
Friday, May 17th is National Bike-to-Work Day and cyclists are out in numbers in Ann Arbor, thanks in part to the beautiful weather.
During my last trip to the Colorado Capitol Dome Restoration project, I had a chance to visit the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company. CC&V is the last commercially operating gold mining company in CO and donated 75 ounces of gold leaf to the project.
Within a single week, I visited two rather exemplary university campuses: Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Initially, their differences are what I found remarkable. After a point, their similarities became even more interesting to me.
Major Security Threat to United States may come from Global Climate Change!
It is always an exciting moment when you are able to experience a space that you had once imagined. The design for the Franklin Court Museum was an especially exciting opportunity for QEA that started in 2009. After many iterations of the design and input from a wide range of stakeholders including the original architect, Robert Venturi, and Denis Scott Brown, the final design allows for the expansion of the museum entry at ground level and also fits within the context of the site.
This month marks my four-year anniversary of working on the renovations for the Robert S. Vance Federal Building and Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama. This equates to 8,000 hours of time, more than 50 plane trips, and close to 100 nights spent in Birmingham. Needless to say, this has been one of the largest projects of my career and, once complete, will become one of the significant projects in QEA’s 25 plus years of history.