WEISS / MANFREDI: Diana Center

Barnard College’s Diana Center, a 98,000 SF multipurpose arts building designed by Weiss / Manfredi, has recently opened for use. The competition-winning design aims to transform the project from simply an art facility into a “social nexus”, creating new spaces for interaction and collaboration between the building’s users.

The 7-storey structure includes architecture and painting studios, a 500-seat performance space, black box theatre, cafe, dining room, reading room, classrooms, and exhibition galleries – all contained within facade of 1,154 clear and color-integral glass panels, intended to reference the brick and terra cotta used  in the surrounding neighborhood.

The project’s most striking feature is a diagonal void carved through the building, creating double-heigh glass atria that connect the building’s interior with the surrounding campus and the city beyond – while also creating informal spaces for the interaction and collaboration mentioned above.

The public-space volume twisting out from the main structure, creating views and social interaction, etc, actually reminds me of Steven Holl’s Linked Hybrid (oddly enough).

::info + images provided by WEISS / MANFREDI::

Ninja Arithmetic LXVI

[Equation: pencil sharpener - trojan horse x oil money = Godolphin Parks]

WOW… this project, the Godolphin Parks project proposed for Dubai, is absolutely ridiculous – possibly one of the silliest projects I’ve ever seen. I mean, not only is there a silhouette of a horse cut out of this building – but they actually want to build it an eye? WTF?

Thanks to our ninja Devan for submitting this edition of Ninja Arithmetic.

If you’re inspired with an idea for a Ninja Arithmetic post by a project that you come across, don’t hesitate to contact AMNP! You don’t have to make the graphic yourself – simply explain the equation to me in an email, and I’ll handle the rest. Simply end your suggestion to architecture@myninjaplease.com, with “Ninja Arithmetic” in the subject line.

Preston Scott Cohen: Taiyuan Museum

Currently under construction, the Taiyuan Museum of Art was selected as the winning proposal in an international design competition. Designed by Preston Scott Cohen (currently a professor at the GSD), the building’s dynamic bending/twisting/folding form – and its creation of a number outdoor spaces – is said to be based on the local agricultural landscapes of Shanxi Province.

“Just as the landscapes of curved terraces in Shanxi respond to the laws of irrigation and topography, the curved and tessellated surfaces of the Taiyuan Museum of Art respond to contemporary technologies for controlling natural and artificial light.
The spatial effect recalls the multiple perspectives of traditional Chinese landscape painting.”

In particular I really enjoy the “bow tie” effect here – with the building tying itself around the central entry volume. These angular volumes, as mentioned above, also enclose a number of courtyards + terraces (I’m not sure how many) in what looks to be a successful way. While wrapping a building partially around an outdoor space to claim it as part of the program is nothing new, the Taiyuan Museum of Art is achieving this effect in a particularly dynamic way.

I also appreciate the fact that the rendering of the interior (the only interior shot I’ve seen) shows a space that is understandable (based on one image, at least). I feel as if oftentimes complicated forms seen from the exterior then seem to lead to complicated/jumbled forms on the interior. Here the museum looks engaging and energetic within, without losing a sense of  direction. This coud, however, be a bunch of BS, as I’ve obviously never been insude the building… we’ll see.

Lastly – sorry for the single plan. I couldn’t get them to a size that was particularly legible in AMNP’s layout, so I figured I’d toss one in just to give you a sense of how complicated the interior spaces are. For the rest of the plans, which you definitely need to check out, head over to Preston Scott Cohen’s site and go through the museums slideshow.

The project also received a P/A award.

.:images+info via->Preston Scott Cohen Inc