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    Upgrading the Mechanical Systems in Louis Kahn’s Richards Building

    By Matthew S. Chalifoux, AIA, Principal
    EYP Architecture and Engineering, Washington, DC

    Louis I. Kahn’s Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Laboratory (Richards Building) at the University of Pennsylvania holds a unique place in the history of 20th century culture as one of the most influential buildings of the post-war era. Designed 1957-58 and completed in 1961, the Richards Building received international attention for its design before it was even completed, garnering a solo exhibition of the design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but its considerable functional shortcomings have been the target of much venom for over fifty years.

    Post Modern Architecture: Documentation and Conservation

    By Peter Meijer, Docomomo US/Oregon

    At the Docomomo US, Modern Matters, conference April 2013 in Sarasota, Florida, Docomomo US/Oregon presented a debate on the merits of Michael Graves Portland Building and on the larger context of Post Modernism in general. A lively debate at the end of the presentation centered on the merits of Docomomo incorporating Post Modern under the mission of the organization. In general, the support, or lack of support, for an expanded interpretation separated into two distinct viewpoints.

    Aluminum Finishes in Postwar Architecture

    By Thomas C. Jester

    The twentieth century witnessed an explosion of new materials and assemblies for construction. Avant-garde architects who subscribed to the tenets of Modernism embraced reinforced concrete and glass to create remarkable new buildings. If concrete and glass were the first two critical material legs of the stool for Modern architecture, metals were the important third leg.

    A Chip Off the Old Block: Restoration of Concrete Masonry Units

    By Christa J. Gaffigan, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C and Anne E. Weber, FAIA, FAPT

    Concrete block developed in the early 20th century as an inexpensive yet durable material for vernacular construction. It was used extensively in industrial and commercial construction, and was also marketed heavily for agricultural and residential construction. By the 1950s, block was in wide use for schools and similar structures, and was available in many sizes, face finishes, and shapes.

    Bath House after restoration. Credit: Brian Rose

    Saving and Reimagining Modern Academic Buildings

    By Leland Cott, FAIA
    Founding Principal, Bruner/Cott & Associates

    My inspiring encounters with some of modernism’s masters while an architecture student at Pratt Institute and the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the 1960s shaped my early practice and laid the groundwork for our firm’s work today. Philip Johnson invited us to occasional evening talks at his New Canaan residence and project charrettes in his office. Paul Rudolph gave us and our professor Sybil Moholy-Nagy an animated tour of his new Art and Architecture building at Yale; and Josep Lluis Sert, dean of Harvard GSD, took us on site visits to his recently completed works there and at Boston University, projects my firm would renew decades later.
     
     

    IDS Center, Minneapolis

    By Todd Grover

    A series of fortunate events in the late 1960s lead Investors Diversified Services (IDS), Inc. to commission architect Philip Johnson to create a new interpretation of the glass skyscraper to serve as the company’s headquarters. The result is a property (we always say that IDS Center is more than just a building!) that has become a symbol of the region, but is also a story where persistent and thoughtful maintenance has sustained the iconic curtain wall.

    A Modernism on the Prairie Update

    By Docomomo US/Minnesota

    There have been some exciting changes at Docomomo US/MN! Our Board President, Todd Grover, has joined the National Board of Docomomo US, and we’re pleased to have him engaged at this higher level. Todd is stepping down from his local duties, and in his place, Amy Meller, an Architect at MacDonald & Mack Architects, was nominated and accepted the role of the new Minnesota Chapter President.

    Florida Tour of William Morgan's Police Administration Building

    By Glenda Puente, President Docomomo US/Florida

    Docomomo US/Florida members and guests took a tour of William Morgan’s Police Administration Building (1971-75) in Jacksonville on February 6, 2016. The tour was led by Gary R. Dickinson, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Staff, and included the interior of the building as well as the roof terrace.

    Photo Credit: Andrea Puente

    Mitchell Park Domes Threatened

    Docomomo US is following developments after an announcement last week by The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) regarding the indefinite closing of Milwaukee's Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (known as The Domes) due to pieces of concrete found on the floor of the Arid Dome that appear to have fallen from the facility's frame. A beloved landmark and tourist attraction, the Domes were designed by architect Donald Grieb and completed in phases between 1959 and 1967. Essentially a pre-cast reinforced concrete space frame and glazing system, the Milwaukee County Parks website goes on to state the "three beehive-shaped (not geodesic) glass domes are 140 feet in diameter at the base and 85 feet high and offer 15,000 square feet of growing space for plant display. Each dome (Desert, Tropical, and Floral Show) has a distinct climate and exhibit plants in a naturalistic setting."
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