Local artists ‘deconstruct’ loft

April 7th, 2009 § Manuel

Allison Paschke, a local artist, is awaiting the start of construction of a 3six0 designed residence (see model of wall design below) at her loft in the Jewelery District in Providence.

Jewelery District Loft Wall

Jewelery District Loft Wall

But, she’s not waiting idly.  She has organized and curated an exhibition of nineteen artists (see the exhibition images) that aptly explores the themes of architecture and ‘deconstruction’.  In anticipation of the demolition required for the renovation, the artists were given free license to paint, nail, drill and even tear open walls.  The result is widely varied and immensely engaging.  There are colorful murals, mysterious miniature constructions, and entrancing translucent glass panels that enliven the space with color and curiosity.  Walls peal back to create new paths through the space.  There’s several installations that seem to grow on the walls:  a sticky wallpaper that has become fuzzy from collected dust, elegant little paper shelves that have colonized a wall, and an pixelated topography that floats a few inches off the wall and casts shadows.

Together it gives the visitor the sensation that they have stumbled into an abandoned space where the curious has replaced the quotidian.  As if, while nobody was watching the space was colonized by creative little creatures of re-invention.  In that sense, it is easy to imagine this installation expanding to other abandoned, foreclosed or otherwise unoccupied spaces in the city.   It may just be the little bit of magic that is needed to enliven spaces at the edge of oblivion.

The show is open from 12-5pm until Sunday April 12, 2009.

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RISD Faculty Biennial

February 23rd, 2009 § Manuel

The RISD Faculty Biennial just opened at the Chace Center last week and 3six0 has several pieces on display.

Model of Stix restaurant in Boston

Model of Stix restaurant in Boston

Model of chapel at Shephard of the Valley Church

Model of chapel at Shephard of the Valley Church

In addition to full time faculty members, Kyna Leski and Chris Bardt, all four part-time faculty members in the office, Aaron Brode, Olga Mesa, Jack Ryan and Manuel Cordero, each submitted office work for inclusion.  Go check it out…it’s on display until March 15, 2009.

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Architecture as symbol

February 2nd, 2009 § Manuel

Over the last week we all shook our heads in frustration at the excesses of Wall Street and the banks that we, as taxpayers, are supporting.  We heard of corporate jets, billions in bonuses and an $87,000 area rug.

This all made me think of the streets of Buenos Aires after the economic collapse of Argentina in 2001.  Nearly a year after the protests quieted, these pictures captured the collective frustration of the Argentines as expressed on the canvas of architecture.  Old, new, local and foreign: the banks in Buenos Aires had been attacked, vandalized and covered with graffiti.  The graffiti accused the banks of robbery and even murder.  Architecture essentially became a proxy for failed government intervention and a symbol of fiscal malfeasance, and as such bore the brunt of the populace’s anger and frustration.  In response, banks were forced to board up all their doors and windows, only allowing entrance through a door (often steel) that was heavily guarded and equipped with a metal detector.  The banks, so often rendered in an architecture of strength, transparency and brilliance were suddenly forced to recede into an architecture of conflict.

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Lady snears in front of Bank of Boston in Buenos Aires

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Citibank in Buenos Aires

Last week we posted about the authenticity of materials and by extension of architecture.  The underlying idea that architecture can embody meaning and breed comfort points to the symbolic power of building.  Buildings express our yearnings and our fears – an expression in built form of a collective will.  One might say that the architecture of the last decade has been characterized by optimism, flamboyance and even excess.  This begs the question of what our response will be to the stark economic and social climate that we face.

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Shadow Model

December 10th, 2008 § Manuel

The sun hangs low in the sky, the brisk breeze stings our cheeks, the lethargy of the ever darker afternoons takes over…we are approaching the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.  As somebody who grew up much closer to the equator (where there is much less seasonal variation in the sun’s position in the sky) I love the immense variation of the sun and the shadows it casts: the impossibly long shadows cast by the sun throughout the day.

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This morning as I walked into the office the sun cast a shadow of a model (sitting on the window ledge) onto one of our translucent window blinds.  This simple projection of a model into a shadow-line drawing was striking in its stark and simple beauty.  But what drew me in was also the expression of a time of year, a time of day, a quantity of light, and a quality of light.

As an architect it is always wonderful to discover (and employ) the ever changing palette that nature washes across our buildings and spaces.

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Windows on Westminster

November 14th, 2008 § Manuel

Circa screen @ Eddy and Westminster

Circa screen @ Eddy and Westminster

I just found out that Providence Art Windows (PAW) is seeking proposals for 2009. For those of you who are not familiar with PAW, it is a program that exhibits art and art installations in several empty and occupied retail spaces in Downtown Providence. The juried exhibits change three times a year and feature a variety of local and national artists. In the past the installations have varied a great deal in their materials and engagement with the street.

But the most exciting prospect of this program is that is seeks to engage citizens, flaneurs and tourists alike, bring art down from its soapbox, and at the same time activate Providence’s streetscape. I have often wandered down the all too familiar downtown streets on my way home or just grabbing some food, when out of the corner of my eye something peculiar grabs my attention. The ever changing PAW streetfronts challenges the blandness that stems from the quotidian…

SO…

Proposals are due by December 12, 2008, which is plenty of time to prepare…(suspense builds)…

A 3six0 proposal!!!!

What better way for our third story office to establish a street presence on Westminster.

Check out the link below and the teaser below that:

http://providenceartwindows.blogspot.com

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