Category Archives: Issues

Place Matters: Tradition and the American West

“If you don’t know where you are, you can’t know who you are.” Wendell Berry

MadridChristine G. H. Franck’s Lecture “Place Matters: Tradition and the American West” is now available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYhi3afgwG0.

Franck delivered this invited lecture in Madrid at the International Architecture and Humanism Seminar organized by the Rafael Manzano Martos Prize and the School of Architecture of the University of Notre Dame in collaboration with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio and supported by INTBAU Spain and the Centro de Investigación de la Arquitectura Tradicional ( CIAT ) and held at the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid in October 2015.

 

Place Matters: Tradition in the American West

Next week, I am honored to be presenting a lecture at the Seminario Internacional Arquitectura y Humanismo being held at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in conjunction with the Premio Rafael Manzano Martos. I will be presenting the rationale and work of our new center, CARTA, and my thoughts on the role of place, particularly in the American West. An excerpt from the catalog accompanying the symposium follows the break below, the full text of which may be downloaded by clicking HERE.

Denver's Larimer Square.

Denver’s Larimer Square.

As America rebounds from the Great Recession of 2008, cities such as Denver, Seattle, and Portland are experiencing rapid growth, in both city-center infill projects and expanding suburban development. This building boom, driven as much by demand for new housing and commercial space as it is by capitalism, is unfortunately characterized by buildings that all too often lack durability, sustainability, and beauty. Many of the buildings being built, especially in historic neighborhoods, have nothing in common with their contexts.

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Christine G. H. Franck Presents on craft in building arts

Christine G. H. Franck, Director of Contemporary Traditional Architecture Initiatives in the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning, last month delivered a lecture in Nashville, Tenn., entitled “The Art of Craft Today.”

 10357260_10152461489262135_6838694622414314626_nSpeaking to the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Tennessee Chapter, Franck examined the role and nature of craft in the building arts with a particular focus on those related to contemporary classical and traditional architecture.

 Franck’s lecture looked at various aspects of the building crafts today, including the important role of craft traditions in enhancing the character of a place, contributing to robust local economies, and preserving and advancing knowledge of best practices. She also discussed the need for a greater focus on building crafts in architectural education, an issue the Contemporary Traditional Architecture Initiatives includes in its mission.

The lecture, organized by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Tennessee Chapter, concluded a year-long focus by the chapter on traditional building crafts. Following the lecture, attendees discussed ways to advance the understanding and practice of the art of craft today, including taking lessons from successful cultural shifts, such as the increased acceptance of the importance of local foods to community health and the rise of the ‘maker movement,’ or do-it-yourself, culture.

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FROM: CU Newsroom: About our Colleagues

For images from Nashville, see my flickr collection.

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Declarations, Charters and Manifestos of Modern Classical and Traditional Architecture

Cover of An Architecture For Our Time: The New Classicism by Charles Siegel.

Here below are links to different declarations, charters, manifestos and short treatises about modern classical and traditional architecture. Please advise me of others and I will add them to this list.

2013, A Treatise on Modern Architecture by George Saumarez Smith, RIBA: http://astore.amazon.com/christinefran-20/detail/1905622503

2010, What Makes a Building Classical by Dino Marcantonio: http://blog.marcantonioarchitects.com/what-makes-a-building-classical/

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The Will to Build Locally

“A place is not a place until people have been born in it, have grown up in it, lived in it, known it, died in it – have both experienced and shaped it, as individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities, over more than one generation.”– Wallace Stegner, The Sense of Place, 1992

Through my windshield I watch the sinuous River Road fade into gray as a summer storm lets loose its rains on waving fields of sugar cane. Here in southern Louisiana, driving between Laura and Oak Alley plantations on a sultry August afternoon, I am reminded of how powerful and precious place is to who we are and how we live.

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What Can You Do About Gehry’s Ike Memorial?

In early April, the National Capital Planning Commission will likely review Frank Gehry’s design for the Eisenhower Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C. Criticism after criticism has been leveled at the design, its urban impact, durability, and symbolism. There are few things we build of greater import than our civic memorials, for they record our history and values and transmit them to future generations. With this in mind, please review the information below and make your opinion known by writing to the following agencies.

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Palladio as Paradigm for Education and Practice Today

Lecture delivered at the University of Notre Dame’s conference: From Vernacular to Classical: The Perpetual Modernity of Palladio, June 10-12, 2011

Dean Lykoudis, faculty, alumni, students, and colleagues it is a pleasure to be back at Notre Dame for this remarkable conference and exhibition. I offer my sincere thanks to the School of Architecture and Lucien for organizing the conference, to Lucien and Ali for their thoughtful and thought-provoking New Palladians, to the RIBA for their inspirational exhibit celebrating 500 years of Palladio, to Calder Loth for his inimitable contributions to Palladio’s Transatlantic journey, and last to my fellow Institute of Classical Architecture & Art trustee, Anne Kriken Mann, for ensuring that the Palladio made it to America.

Reflecting upon the conference theme of the “Perpetual Modernity of Palladio,” I began to question Palladio’s value today. What lessons can Palladio teach us?

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