The Architectural Review, a prestigious British Publication, just announced the Architect of the Year in its Women of Architecture 2016 awards, and its none other than the ‘genius’ Jeanne Gang of Chicago.
The winning project, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, was judged by the star studded panel of Norman Foster, Martha Thorne and Iwan Baan.
Tri-axial in nature, the low-lying yet high-flying structure has three major walls in three concave curves. The external masonry constitutes timber, Jeanne Gang’s favourite material, due to its malleable and sustainable nature.
This beautiful amalgamation of campus, grove and neighbourhood, serves as a forum to break down psychological and cultural barriers between people, and create spaces for informal interaction, chance courtesies and stir a general abode of positive vibes.
Architecture will undoubtedly do well and remain healthy with more such break out spaces isn’t it?
Jeanne Gang loves birds.
3D printed elements along with hi-tech materials used within didn’t stop her from creating a bird screen externally keeping in mind the diversity scuttling within the grove.
“In the past social justice and activism seems like it’s always happened in invisible places,” explained Jeanne Gang, describing her design for the Arcus Center. “With this project there’s an actual building, something that embodies the idea of social justice in every way from its outside to its inside.”
Jeanne Gang, alumni of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Harvard Graduate School of Design, is famously known for her magnificent 82 storey Aqua Tower, Chicago.
The skyscraper that took the world by its reins and proved to us cantilevers are more than mere projections and parametricism doesn’t always scream for an elliptical building. When completed in 2010, it was one of the tallest buildings in the world designed by a woman.
Jeanne, the protégée of Rem Koolhas, founded Studio Gang in 1997. Studio Gang gorge on careful responsiveness to materials and persistent research leading to improvements in terms of sustainability and fabrication.
A true example is the Lincoln Zoo South Pond Pavilion, where her love for the city is embraced.
Her latest project, the Writers Theatre – a $34 million dollar fundraiser – Chicago, and is all set to launch their first play on the 16th of March 2016, 3 days before the humble Jeanne Gang turns 52.
The 36,000-square-foot of artistic haven was founded in 1992, is the epitome of arts and crafts embossed into architecture. The visual connectivity of a quadrilateral with four major materials, wood, glass, concrete and space smartly enhances the well-lit boundless arena.
Jeanne Gang is known for her bold and efficient designs that incorporate economically friendly technologies which conserve resources, decrease urban sprawl, and increase biodiversity. It seems like each design has been spun out of thread specifically woven according to the constraints of each one, with the best of silk.
Need we say more?
Women have always been a sensitive topic in Architecture. Yet Jeanne Gang has proved many a times that the hullabaloo about gender restrained actions doesn’t bother her, and her constructions speak for themselves.
She firmly took control of her wings and steered her firm to success, building it one masterpiece by another. Literally. Gang once told her now-husband: “I didn’t want to work for men, I didn’t want to be bossed by them. It made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be shunted into interior design, and I saw how these practices work. I wanted the freedom to explore my own interests.”
Gang has now scored big with the contract to design the new U.S. embassy compound in Brasilia.
And we can’t wait to see the magic fly.
Written by: Ekshikaa