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Posts about Architecture

Minneapolis' Lakewood Mausoleum wins national architecture award

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: January 10, 2014 - 3:44 PM

Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace

Designed by Joan M. Soranno and John Cook, vice presidents of HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum is a breakthrough concept in funerary architecture, a serenely minimalist building nestled into a hillside overlooking a reflecting pool in a garden-like Minneapolis cemetery.

Soranno was the Star Tribune's 2013 Artist of the Year.

It was given a national 2014 AIA Honor Award for Architecture, top recognition in the field. Nearly 3/4 of the 24,000 sq. ft. building is concealed in the hillside, yet the white interior is suffused with light from skylights and south-facing windows. The exterior is clad in gray granite and the entrance surrounded with an abstract mosaic in white-marble. 

This is the second AIA Honor Award won by the Soranno-Cook team and the fifth for the HGA firm. Prevous AIA Honor Awards went to HGA's designs for the Bigelow Chapel at the United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, MN (2006; also by Soranno and Cook); the Colonial Church of Edina in Edina, MN (1980); New Melleray Abbey in Dubuque, Iowa (1977); and Saint Bede's Priory in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (1967).

The Garden Mausoleum has won 26 additional awards including the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design National Honor Award, and the IIDA Best of Competition Award.

See a Star Tribune video of Cook interviewing Soranno here.

Nine Minnesota firms win architecture honors

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: November 21, 2013 - 12:06 PM

Nine Minnesota-based architecture firms won Honor Awards in the 2013 competition sposored by  AIA Minnesota. Three firms won two awards each: Julie Snow Architects, HGA, and MSR. Chosen from 66 entrants, the winners were picked by a team of national jurors including Ben Gilmartin of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York; E.B. Min of Min l Day, San Francisco, and George Z. Nikolajevich of Cannon Design, St. Louis. The winners are:

 Julie Snow Architects, Inc.  in collaboration with Robert Siegel Architects for U.S. Land Port of Entry, a U.S. General Services Administration building in Van Buren, ME. Photo: Paul Crosby.

HGA Architects and Engineers for the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center at Macalester College, St. Paul. Photo: Paul Crosby.

MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. for the Drexel University College of Media Arts and Design URBN Center in Philadelphia, PA. Photo: Lara Swimmer.

MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD.) for the Weitz Center for Creativity at Carleton College, Northfield, MN. Phooto: Brandon Stengel.

Julie Snow Architects Inc., with Ryan A+E, Inc for Target Plaza Commons in Minneapolis. Photo: Paul Crosby.

HGA Architects and Engineers for the Union Depot Multi-Modal Transit and Transportation Hub in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul. Photo: Paul Crosby.

Leo A. Daly for the Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the State Capitol Mall in St. Paul. Photo: Bill Baxley, AIA.

 Salmela Architect for Hall House in Duluth, MN. Photo: Paul Crosby.

 Variable Projects for the Centennial Chromagraph sculpture at the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Photo: Adam Marcus.

Walker Art Center honors designer Mickey Friedman

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: October 17, 2013 - 2:53 PM
Mickey Friedman with artist Roberto Matta in 1966

Mickey Friedman with artist Roberto Matta in 1966

Aspiring designers apply from top colleges and universities around the country and world for the opportunity to intern in Walker Art Center's design office, founded by Mildred "Mickey" Friedman.  The year-long internship, which is now accepting applicants, has been named the Mildred S. Friedman Design Fellowship after Friedman who headed the department from 1970 until her retirement in 1991.

Among her pioneering exhibitions were shows of furniture and designs by  L.A. architect Frank Gehry (1986), the historic DeStijl movement (1986), and "Tokyo: Form and Spirit," an innovative 1989 exploration of Japanese culture that was co-organized with her husband Martin Friedman, then the museum's director.

 Prior to joining the Walker, Mickey had worked as a designer for Minneapolis architect Robert Cerny. In consultation with architect Edward Larrabee Barnes she designed furniture for the museum's 1971 building, and then developed an expansive design program for the Walker. Throughout the 1970s and '80s she edited Design Quarterly, a quixotic and influential Walker publication that dealt with everything and anything design-related from Julia Child's kitchen to typography and the course of the Mississippi River.

In 1980 she established the Walker's design internship program whose participants engage in all aspects of museum work from designing brochures and publications to exhibitions and public spaces. Graduates of the program have gone on to work at Apple, Dwell, Nike and other firms and  museums, to open their own studios, and to teach at colleges and universities around the country.

Minneapolis launches $75,000 Creative City Challenge

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: October 10, 2013 - 11:38 AM
Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation (MIMMI), 2013 plaza installation

Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation (MIMMI), 2013 plaza installation

Above: Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation (MIMMI), the 2013 Creative City Challenge winner

A consortium of Minneapolis arts and culture agencies is seeking entries in a competition to produce a $75,000 temporary art installation on the plaza adjacent to the Minneapolis Convention Center for the summer of 2014.

Entrants must be Minnesota residents. All proposals must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. central time, November 18, 2013. Three finalists will be selected by a professional jury and given $2,500 each to prepare a final proposal, due in December. Finalists will be judged by public voting in February 2014. The winner will be announced March 3, 2014.

Contest rules and information can be found online at http://www.minneapolis.org/minneapolis-convention-center/ccc/creative-city-challenge-submissions.

The 2014 Creative City Challenge is sponsored by the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy of the City of Minneapolis, and Meet Minnepolis, Convention & Visitors Association in collaboration with Northern Lights. mn and the Northern Spark festival.

Tall tales and "True Stories"

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: October 4, 2013 - 5:49 PM

In the 19th century, Richard Wagner was the prime exponent of Gesamtkunstwerk, the concept if integrating music, poetry, dance, and other visual elements into a single medium of dramatic expression. In the late 20th and early 21st, it's David Byrne. From his years with the Talking Heads through his Oscar-winning soundtrack for "The Last Emperor," his score for Twyla Tharp's dance project "The Catherine Wheel," his theater work, journals, and art installations turning old buildings into giant musical instruments, Byrne has employed every avenue of creative expression in one vast ongoing art project.
In 1986 he tried his hand at feature filmmaking with "True Stories," a look at a fictional Texas town and its off-kilter inhabitants. Byrne, who directed and co-wrote the script, appears in a 10-gallon hat as our deadpan tour guide, introducing us to the the optimistic, the lovelorn and the bedridden, the grandiose personalities and the wide open spaces. With a cast including John Goodman, Swoosie Kurtz and Spalding Grey, it's as eccentric as you would expect (well, more so), with a soaring soundtrack including "Radio Head," "Wild Wild Life" and "Puzzlin' Evidence."
Actor Stephen Tobolowsky ("Memento," "Glee"), who co-wrote the screenplay with Byrne will host a screening 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Walker Art Center. It's a rare chance to hear the true stories behind "True Stories." (Tickets $10 - $12; visit tickets.walkerart.org.)


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