Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cleveland loves MVRDV + FOA + ?

The Cleveland Institute of Art has announced that Winy Maas + MVRDV will be designing the new CIA building. CIA's building will have a contemporary neighbor, FOA's Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. The carpetbagging firm Burt Hill will work with MVRDV and Cleveland's Westlake Reed Leskosky is currently working with FOA.

The next big announcement will come from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, when they pick their architect for the expansion of the Wade Oval institution.

BOTC applauds these institutions selecting bleeding edge international firms to design their future buildings. However, BOTC also wonders if given the chance, time, budget, and creative licence, could some local architects achieve a high level of design? Some could, many could not.

The lack of confidence in local architects by leading institutions is something that the local chapter of Cleveland AIA and local architects must remedy. This lack of respect for local design is one of the factors that is driving young architects to start design competitions, like the Cleveland Competition, start blogging, and seek to exhibit radical design work. Younger architects, already wary of corrupt local government entities, like Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland, are also wary of older generations of architects who pay to play, self-appoint themselves arbiters of design, and generally produce awful buildings that continued to tarnish local design ability.


Dru McKeown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dru McKeown said...

Oh, snap!

I am very excited to see what FOA and MVRDV are going to add to our alphabet soup and I also agree that there seems to be a severe lack of support for local talent.

Of course, it may be that the majority of the local client base (which does hire local firms) don't really allow (or want) anything "innovative" or "creative" because that isn't what they are used to seeing (and they may be scared off from "radical new designs" because some that proclaim to practice such rarely accomplish anything so grand - again, I am meaning regional firms).

Local institutions that exist for the purpose of explaining what architects and designers really do might want to help out a bit more in getting across what are local abilities, otherwise they might well find themselves with a complete lack of membership as those that want to do something interesting are driven away and those that are fed up with the way the system" works refuse to join what can be seen as a corrupt organization for fear of becoming tainted themselves.

What can be the answer? Forming radical groups to fight against the status quo? Pleading for local organizations to hold those that practice a craft accountable? Educating the general public and then expecting them to demand to be recognized?

Anonymous said...

Who's doing this blog? Very interesting. I'm in the process of moving back to NE Ohio after 45 years away. Anxious to find out what's going on.
Ron Filson

fine line said...

Cleveland Should Love MVRDV + FOA!
This is huge for the city and its cultural and civic community. Having a bleeding edge international design firm in MVRDV team with the young Burt Hill, who is committed to the local civic and cultural community, is a win win for the city. In the new "Flat World" as cronicled by Friedman, locals no longer have a monopoly over access. Communites are benefiting from the best talent regardless of where they are loacted on the planet. Its a whole new world, Doc, and Cleveland is the ultimate beneficiary.

Anonymous said...

'carpetbagging firm'? Do you even know what that means? I love a good bit of cynicism for dramatic effect but come on. You believe that the office was set up overnight and staffed by a crew of out-of-staters? I would assume you of all people would know how impossible it would be to get ANYONE to move to Cleveland. However, I see and understand your frustration.