Proposals: Collective—LOK, Winner
Street scenario. View large image.
Office scenario. View large image.
Lecture scenario. View large image.
Multi-projection exhibition scenario. View large image.
Dinner scenario. View large image.
Elements diagram. View large image.
Plan diagram. View large image.
Ceiling diagram. View large image.
Scenario diagram. View large image.
Jon Lott, William O’Brien Jr., Michael Kubo.
The new home of the Van Alen has to be many things at once. The brief requires curatorial flexibility for a breadth of public programming including exhibitions, lectures, reading groups, and book launches; a comfortable and efficient office environment for different scales and modes of work ranging from formal to casual; a framework that can grow to include the second floor and basement as the institution expands in the future; and a mobile street seat that will bring the Van Alen's mission into the urban realm.
To accommodate this range of possibilities within a limited square footage, we propose a Screen Play; a mechanism to order these spatial, curatorial, and temporal scenarios through a subtle interplay of surfaces that creates a complex and ambiguous presence in the city.
The project employs five types of screen play to enable and give shape to the broadest possible range of uses. Along the east face, a polycarbonate wall of fixed and sliding panels masks a dense pochÉ of private and semi-private programs, producing a figure in plan that is calibrated along its length to accommodate different scales of use from work areas to public events. Above, a synthetic ceiling houses projectors, track and fluorescent lighting, acoustic cones, and mechanical equipment within a module that inverts the traditional heavy coffer into an ethereal geometry of suspended scrims that both obscure and reveal what lies above. Along the west wall, a long niche provides a panoramic screen for continuous multi-projection as well as uninterrupted wall space for exhibition display, seating, and storage. Mirrored exterior screens extend the space outward to include the mobile street seat in front and an outdoor terrace in back, doubling the facade to create a layered threshold from the city into the institutional space of the Van Alen. Translucent interior scrims can be lowered from the ceiling to bracket different programmatic areas, allowing the scale of spaces to be controlled for curatorial and staff needs.
The complex interaction of these surfaces according to different conditions of use creates subtle, luminous effects of reflection, transparency, and translucency that alternately reveal or obscure the changing presence of these activities within the space of the city. Presented here are a few of the scenarios we imagine for the Van Alen’s future performance as a cultural and curatorial space. Screen Play provides a powerful spatial platform for these scenarios, one that we hope will come to be uniquely identified with the Van Alen and its public mission.
Jon Lott, William O’Brien Jr., Michael Kubo
Collective–LOK is a team formed by Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under). Our approach is shaped by an architectural mindset, but draws on a broad range of interests — historical, conceptual, curatorial, and cross-disciplinary — in order to shape discourse on design in the public realm. Our interest in the potentials of collaboration is rooted in an engagement with the history and methods of architectural practice as scholars, educators, and practitioners. We take inspiration from the rich legacy of firms that have shared a commitment to collaboration as the means to create a socially and culturally progressive architecture. Each project is regarded as a collaborative effort between a wide range of constituents, guided by the needs and curiosities of diverse clientele. Equipped with curatorial, editorial, research, and project administrative experience, our capabilities include the ability to manage complex projects involving multiple constituencies while maintaining a clear vision that reflects many voices and concerns. We join together in the conviction that our combined expertise across the material and conceptual domains of architectural production forms a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Jon Lott is principal of PARA-Project, PC. He holds the Master of Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo. He is recipient of the Architectural League Prize, a MoMA PS1 Young Architects finalist, and currently completing renovations to the Syracuse University School of Education. He has taught at Syracuse University, directing the School of Architecture’s New York City Program, is a Leopold Schepp and John E. Thayer Scholar; has been a project editor for PRAXIS: Journal of Writing + Building and an invited juror at Harvard, Princeton, Rice, Yale, Columbia, MIT, UPenn, Cornell, Toronto, and the Architectural League of New York. He is an NCARB certified architect, with licensure in New York and California.
William O’Brien Jr.
William O’Brien Jr. is principal of an independent design practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. He is the recipient of the 2012-2013 Rome Prize awarded by the American Academy in Rome. His practice was awarded the 2011 Architectural League Prize and in 2010 his practice was a finalist for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program and was recognized as a winner of the Design Biennial Boston Award. O’Brien has taught previously at The University of California Berkeley as a Bernard Maybeck Fellow and was the LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at The Ohio State University. Before joining MIT, for two years he was Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. At MIT O’Brien currently holds the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair and teaches design studios in both the graduate and undergraduate programs.
Michael Kubo is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture at MIT, where his work focuses on The Architects Collaborative and the emergence of collective and corporate architectural practices after World War II. He holds the Master of Architecture (Thesis with Distinction) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. With Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik, he is co-director of pinkcomma gallery in Boston and a collaborator in over,under, an interdisciplinary practice with expertise in architecture, urban design, graphic identity, and publications. Kubo, Grimley, and Pasnik are co-authors of HEROIC, an ongoing project on concrete modernism in Boston and other U.S. cities from 1960 to 1976. His writing has appeared in JSAH, The Journal of Architectural Education, CLOG, ArchitectureBoston, Architect, Volume, and The New City Reader. He has taught at Pratt Institute, the University of Texas at Austin, and SUNY Buffalo, where he was the Reyner Banham Fellow for 2008–2009.
Kyung Sik Kim
Chris Grimley / over,under
Robert Silman Associates
Accu-Cost Construction Consultants, Inc.