Tag Archives: Architecture

2018 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Architectural Education goes to Jorge Silvetti

COPIED IN FULL FROM THE  AIA.

Search “Harvard Graduate School of Design” on Menokin’s blog for more posts about their collaboration with The Menokin Glass House project.

2018 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Architectural Education
Jorge Silvetti, Int’l Assoc. AIA
Jorge Silvetti-02
2018 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Architectural Education Recipient

Born in Argentina, Jorge Silvetti has taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 1975, serving as a gifted professor and mentor, and with Rodolfo Machado has worked as a design leader in Boston since 1974. While his influence at GSD was most strongly felt from 1995–2002, when he served as chair of the architecture program, he has propagated a distinct school of thought among the design professionals who have graduated in the past 42 years.

“This is not a stylization of architecture that is visually and immediately identifiable, but a way of thinking about history, precedent, and the contextual complexities of architectural production that has inspired generations of architects and educators such as myself,” wrote Christian Dagg, AIA, head of the Auburn University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, in a letter nominating Silvetti for the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion.

Currently the Nelson Robinson, Jr. Professor of Architecture at Harvard, Silvetti leads design studios and delivers regular lectures on history, contemporary theory, and criticism. His groundbreaking 1977 essay “The Beauty of Shadows” provided a compelling argument for how a profession caught between postmodernism and deconstruction should proceed. Later works co-authored with Machado that expanded upon his arguments have greatly influenced his students as well as other schools of design nationwide. The list of deans and department chairs who were former students, colleagues, or employees of Silvetti is long and impressive.

“As chair of the architecture program at Harvard, his emphasis on design as a form of research, coupled with his expansion of the field of architecture to include other design practices, had a profound effect on the discipline at large—an influence that can still be felt today,” Mónica Ponce de León, dean and professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture, wrote in a letter supporting Silvetti’s nomination. “Through conferences, symposia, and exhibitions, Silvetti brought allied disciplines in conversation with architecture—long before interdisciplinary became a catchphrase in academia.”

Since 1986 Silvetti has overseen a number of research programs, including an examination of Sicily’s urbanism and architecture that won a Progressive Architecture award. Other projects have explored the future of public space in the shifting metropolis of Buenos Aires and the future development of previously industrial Bilbao, Spain. He is a recipient of the Rome Prize, and since 1996 has served as a Pritzker Architecture Prize juror. In 2000, he was a juror for the former Mies van der Rohe Prize for Latin American Architecture.

Beyond academia, Silvetti’s work in association with Rodolfo Machado since 1974 and under different professional firms that they founded and led (presently MACHADO SILVETTI), has been widely celebrated. Run like a studio where all employees contribute ideas and everyone shares in the learning experience, the firm’s notable projects include work at many major Universities and Colleges in the U.S., (among them Dartmouth and Bowdoin Colleges, Princeton, Harvard, Rice, and Arizona State universities), abroad at the American University in Beirut and the Vietnamese and German University in Vietnam, as well as notable cultural and educational institutions such as the Getty Trust in the U.S. The firm received the First Award in Architecture from the American University of Arts and Letters in 1991 and numerous design awards and citations from AIA.

“After teaching for many years and participating in many conversations, he stands among a select group of peers,” wrote Machado in a letter supporting his partner’s nomination. “In fact there are only a few still fully engaged in teaching, who have witnessed and indeed participated in the wild swings of academic pedagogy—from the post-modern to the parametric to the current heterotopic panorama. Throughout all of it, Jorge has been committed to teaching the core canons of architecture while simultaneously supporting those innovating people and emerging projects that benefit the core and expand the reach of architecture.”

Jury

Chere R. LeClair, AIA, Chair, LeClair Architects, Bozeman, Montana

Don Keshika De Saram, Assoc. AIA, AIAS President, Washington DC

Donna Kacmar, FAIA, University of Houston, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, Houston

Toshiko Mori, FAIA, Toshiko Mori Architect, PLLC, New York City

Nader Tehrani, Dean, The Cooper Union, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, New York City

Image credits

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The best 2.5 minutes you will ever spend watching a video.

Have you watched this video? It doesn’t take long. Saving Menokin is important. This video tells you why. (Here’s a hint: there’s something in it for all of us.)

Smashing Glass Tour!

BY: ALICE FRENCH

On June 13th, Mrs. Smith’s 11th Grade Advanced Placement History  class from Richmond County High School visited Menokin as guinea pigs to test out a new tour style being developed here: a Smashing Glass Tour!

The students participated in a dynamic tour which integrated the use of smart phone technology, social media, and physical activity.  They learned about Francis Lightfoot Lee and the history of Menokin, architecture and building trades.

For an activity, we practiced some of the things we discussed about architecture by first working in teams to build structures with blocks.  And then…oh yes, body building- making architectural forms out of humans.

Of course, after all the fun, we still had time to take a selfie with Frank.

17_selfie with Lee


The Menokin Visitor’s Center has new Hours of Operation, which now include scheduled times for guided tours.

VISITOR’S CENTER

OPEN 
Wed | Thurs | Fri:  10 am – 4 pm
Sat: May – September: 12 pm – 4 pm

CLOSED
Sun | Mon | Tues

PAID TOUR HOURS
Wed: 11 am and 2 pm
Thurs: 2 pm and 6 pm
Fri: 11 am and 2 pm

(Paid tours available by appointment; some restrictions apply.)

 

Email Alice to schedule a special Smashing Glass Tour.

Menokin Offers Education Building Blocks (Literally!)

BY:  ALICE FRENCH

Earlier in June, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders from Aylett Country

ACDS students hiked to Cat Point Creek on their recent visit to Menokin
ACDS students hiked to Cat Point Creek on their recent visit to Menokin.

Day School came to Menokin with their teachers, Mrs. Katona and Ms. Brooks.  While here they hiked down to Cat Point Creek and learned about the wildlife which lives in the Rappahannock River Valley Watershed.

After the trail hike we went and visited the house and talked about how buildings are made and what Menokin looked like before it fell down.

Then we ran across the fields back to the Visitor Center, (because, well, that’s how these kids travel) and took a lunch break.

After lunch, the group went into the barn to learn a little about how buildings get made.  We talked about the different professions involved in building and what architects do.  Building with blocks is a great way for students of all ages to use critical thinking skills, cooperatively make design choices, learn to take turns,  and build a structure through teamwork.

Great day of learning with a great group of kids!

Mock-up: Before and After

We have talked and talked about the amazing stabilization and preconstruction work that has been taking place at Menokin.

But as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  The photography of the completed Northwest Corner reconstruction took my breath away. This before and after photo from 2015 shows the remarkable accomplishments of our preservation effort.

Mock-Up---Before-and-After
(click on image to see enlargment)

I hope you also feel the excitement and pride that I feel when I see this sneak preview of Menokin in her glory days.

If you’d like to help with our efforts, please consider making a donation.

 

ACDS Visits Menokin for Fun and Fibonacci

Today Ms. Dillard’s 8th grade class from Aylett County Day School visited Menokin.
   The group learned about the relationship of the Fibonacci Sequence and the golden ratio as it related to the enlightened thinkers of 18th century Architecture and Design.
   
   
Afterwards they toured the Menokin Visitor Center and House, and hiked down to Cat Point Creek to get a view of the new kayak landing.  
This bright group of students was able to see how conservation at our site teaches about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through architecture, history and science.
It was a great day! Enjoy your holiday break!  

A Visit With William Buckland

I was on a personal pilgrimage while in Annapolis this weekend to visit the Hammond Harwood House.

William Buckland, who most likely had a hand in the carved panelling of Menokin, was the commissioned architect of this house.

If you look closely at the carved pattern directly over the doorway you’ll recognize the frieze on the best chamber mantelpiece from Menokin.

Being inside HHH was the closest I’ll probably ever come to being inside the original Menokin. The floor plans are almost identical. And I got to meet Buckland firsthand in this copy of his portrait by Peale.

While much more ornate throughout than Menokin, it was fun to catch glimpses of some familiar carvings. I highly recommend a visit.

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