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01.30.15 - 03.08.15 | SCI-Arc Library Gallery
Opening reception: Friday, January 30, 7pm, Moderated by Todd Gannon
What’s a Guggenheim?
A group exhibition of design proposals by SCI-Arc directors & faculty

On view January 30-March 8, 2015 in the SCI-Arc Library Gallery
Exhibition discussion & Opening Reception: Friday, January 30, 7pm

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation continually re-invents the contemporary museum experience through their commitment to architecture. Architectural masterpieces such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim New York and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao not only speculate on new ways of organizing art and space, but they create alternative worlds. At the close of the era of mega-projects and the globalization of the art world, the question is: what’s next?

After failed attempts to build in Vilnius in 2008 (with architect Zaha Hadid), and then in Helsinki in 2012, the Guggenheim Foundation has once again set out to build. The socio-political climate has changed since Bilbao, and architecture, too, seems to be at a crossroads. What will this new attempt do for art? For Helsinki? What new worlds will it construct? How will architects respond differently in this century than in the last? Will a contemporary sense of austerity and local culture transform the architectural icon?

This SCI-Arc Library exhibition will engage some of these questions through proposals made by SCI-Arc directors and faculty. An opening discussion moderated by Cultural Studies Coordinator Todd Gannon will invite participants to discuss their competition entries. The exhibition will feature design proposals by Hernan Diaz Alonso (Xefirotarch), Griffin Enright Architects, Hodgetts + Fung, Jones, Partners: Architecture, Eric Owen Moss Architects, Oyler Wu Collaborative, Pita & Bloom, Russell Thomsen (Idea Office) and Tom Wiscombe Architecture.

Henry N. Cobb: Hypostyle
Opening reception: Thursday, April 2, 7pm
Architect Henry Cobb and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss the installation

Throughout recorded history, hypostyles have been constructed as halls wherein ordered arrays of massive columns take pride of place and interstitial spaces are experienced as residual. By contrast, in this installation the hypostyle is populated by planar elements joined to form vertical constructs that shape figural spaces both within and between them, creating a complex interplay that blurs the distinction between solid and void.

The installation also departs from precedent by omitting or displacing some of the vertical constructs in such a way as to disrupt the grid and create a variety of spatial configurations, the effect of which is further enhanced by rotating the H-shaped verticals ninety degrees in alternating rows along the length of the Gallery. Above two of the spaces thus formed, roof panels are so positioned as to frame narrow openings through which projected light from overhead sources is admitted, spending itself on the vertical and horizontal surfaces below. Finally, the installation provides a spatial setting for eight color photographs mounted on the Gallery’s perimeter walls and four black-and-white images displayed in the hypostyle’s central space, all depicting built works representative of my practice.

About Henry N. Cobb
Henry N. Cobb is a founding principal of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, based in New York City. During the six decades since his firm was established in 1955, his practice has embraced a wide variety of building types in cities across North America and around the world. Throughout his career, he has coupled his professional activity with teaching, most intensively during a five-year term (1980-85) as Studio Professor and Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he continues to teach occasionally as a visiting lecturer. He is a recipient of the Gold Medal for Architecture, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education, awarded jointly by the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.