Happy Thursday and welcome to a roundup of notable news at the end of the day. Below are some stories to know as we head into the first weekend of June…
Portland Museum of Art asks architects to submit qualifications for expansion project
The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) in Maine has announced an international design competition inviting architects and design teams to submit qualifications for a 60,000 square foot expansion of the museum’s current footprint, which includes several buildings downtown Portland landmarks. Over the past decade, the cultural institution has recorded record attendance and is seeking to double the size of its campus to house new collections, exhibition and performance venues, offices, as well as a restaurant on the roof and a sculpture garden.
“We are thrilled to invite experts from around the world to internalize the goals of the PMA Blueprint and turn them into physical spaces that bring them to life,” said Mark Bessire, Director Judy and Leonard Lauder of the Portland Museum of Art. “This is no easy task, as our communities have made clear their expectations for open and innovative spaces that allow for a flexible range of programs, exhibitions and art. Beyond this, architects must understand the unique characteristics of Portland and Maine, while showing enthusiasm and respect for the long-term impact of this project.
The competition will take place in two phases with the winning team and design proposal unveiled in December 2022 and plans to open its doors to the public in 2026.
Steelcase and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation team up for office furniture collection
Steelcase, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based office furniture heavyweight, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation have partnered to launch the Frank Lloyd Wright Root Collection. Using the Foundation’s archives and Wright’s founding design principles, the series will include chairs, desks, textiles and wallcoverings, all of which reinterpret Wright’s vision with updates for modern comfort. Steelcase has a long-standing working relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright that began in 1939 when the company fabricated original designs for the SC Johnson Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin.
“The Foundation is thrilled to work alongside Steelcase to further Wright’s legacy,” said Stuart Graff, President and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “While people know Wright for his work in architecture, his passion for creating equitable and inspiring work environments was visionary. We are proud to partner with an organization like Steelcase that shares these values with the Foundation, helping to inspire designers, managers and associates through Wright’s ideas, which have become more relevant over time.
The collection will be presented at NeoCon in Chicago from June 13-15.
Barack Obama will take the stage at the AIA 2022 conference
Former U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to speak in a moderated conversation during the closing session of the AIA 2022 Architecture Conference. The event will take place in Chicago at the McCormick Place Convention Center on June 24. This isn’t the first time an Obama has made an appearance on the AIA stage; in 2017, Michelle Obama spoke about equality and diversity in the design industry at the event.
Other headlining speakers include AIA EVP/CEO Lakisha Ann Woods in conversation with Madam Architect founder Julia Gamolina, and Jeanne Gang, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Renée Cheng and Jeanne Gang in conversation with photographer and architecture critic Lee Bay. A full list of speakers can be found here.
The AIA 2022 conference will span four days from June 22-25.
ASLA’s Women of Color Licensing Advancement Program Awards 10 Women in Inaugural Class
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) fund has announced the first class of its licensing advancement program for women of color. The program, launched in February 2022, supports women of color practicing landscape architecture, providing them with mentorship and assistance in navigating the licensing process. It stems from ASLA’s 2020 Racial Equity Action Plan.
The inaugural class includes 10 women who identify as African American, Latina, Asian, and Native Hawaiian, the “most statistically underrepresented” groups in the field of landscape architecture. They come from all over the United States, including Hawaii, California, Texas, Tennessee, Ohio, and Florida.
Each woman will receive a scholarship of up to $3,500 to cover the cost of the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (LARE), as well as exam preparation courses, resources, and mentorship from a licensed landscape architect. .
Colorado is about to get hit by a beaver with a gigantic Buc-ee’s
Buc-ee’s executives are opening a store next week that is expected to be tied to the Texas-based rest stop chain’s largest location.
Downtown Johnstown, Colorado at 5201 Nugget Road will be Buc-ee’s first store in the state. Like other Buc-ee’s, it will be heavily beaver-themed and serve favorites “including Texas BBQ, homemade fudge, kolaches, beaver nuggets, dried and fresh pastries.” Customers driving between Denver and Fort Collins will also be able to enjoy the “cleanest bathrooms in the world.”
With 115 service stations and With 74,000 square feet of interior space, the Johnstown store will be the same size as a location under construction in Sevierville, Tennessee. When the latter is completed, it will become the largest travel center in the world. (For motor vehicles, at least. Airports apparently don’t count.) The pickaxe is scheduled for June 7, 2022.
H/t at GlobeNewswire