Spaces, Places, and Architectural Projects
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No place ever stays the same for long. Maybe that's why we're all always thinking about place, how to define it, and what our own involvement is in it — because there's no place like home, and we all just want a place to call our own, and we don't like feeling out of place. The projects below range from outdoor spaces to neighborhoods to hotels and more, but they have one thing in common: they all focus on a memorable physical location of some kind. And as always, you can find more space-related projects here.
NYC's SoHo has changed a lot over the years, morphing from a tight-knit neighborhood where everyone knew each other, to an artist haven, to the glitzy shopping district that many people think of today. But until now, there's been no organization dedicated to the preservation of SoHo's multifarious history. Artist Yukie Ohta, who grew up in the neighborhood, is taking on the monumental task with the SoHo Memory Project. As she puts it: "Knowing the story of our neighborhood and its significance in the larger history of New York City will enrich the experiences of SoHo residents and visitors alike and will influence how they interact with the people, streets, and idea of SoHo."
If Toby Atticus Fraley has his way, Pittsburgh International Airport could become the only airport in the world with a robot repair shop. The art installation was housed in downtown Pittsburgh for 17 months, but was recently forced to vacate to make room for a new restaurant. It's an homage to the past and the future at the same time — the aesthetic is reminiscent of vintage issues of Popular Mechanics, but at the same time, the idea of home robots still seems somewhat futuristic (though we're certainly getting closer to it being reality for all). At any rate, the weird time warp of the Robot Repair Shop should feel right at home in the liminal space of an airport, where people are always coming and going.
The Jennings is a hundred-year-old hotel in a small town in Oregon — a historical building near some of the Northwest's most breathtaking wilderness areas. Greg Hennes is refurbishing it and turning it back into both a working institution as well as an artist residency. The Jennings Hotel will be open for accommodations, and simultaneously, artists residing there will teach, inspire and collaborate with the community while making work and giving talks. Sounds like a dream.
We learned the word "lido" from this project; it means an area meant for open-air swimming, such as a pool or beach, and it comes from the Italian word for beach (it's also the name of several Italian beach towns). But we digress. This project is cool because it's setting the stage for there eventually being an open, public, swimmable pool right in the Thames in London. What's more, the Thames Baths would use the Thames' own water, filtering it constantly — thus cleaning the river at the same time.
The Glass House Lantern is a redesign of an already-existing community garden in London's Kings Cross. The illuminated greenhouse-like structure will provide a beacon of light for the weekly twilight gardening sessions that draw everyone from students to bankers.