The words “Archive” and “Architecture” have similarities beyond a common root, the Indo-European “arkhein” (to begin, command, rule). You build an archive by collecting and curating the writings, objects and memories of a group of people. Architects build by beginning with an idea, and placing layer upon layer of intent on that original idea. Both are a collection of parts adding to a greater whole. Architecture and Archives have stories to tell.
The Jesuit Archives of the Central United States are in the process of re-imagining their home, and have selected a team lead by Fox Architects for this effort. We could not be more excited to be a part of their project!
The existing facility on West Pine in the Central West End is a place filled with stories of the past and knowledge for our future. The archives staff, lead by David Miros Ph.D. share a contagious enthusiasm for the collection and their work. They are growing, and with growth comes opportunity.
Their new facility (farther east on West Pine, near SLU) will feature an expanded US Central and Southern Province archives and as such is poised to become a major center for the American Jesuit community, researchers and scholars. It has the potential to radically broaden the audience and mission of the archives.
The team includes BSI Constructors, McClure Engineering and KPFF Structural Engineers.
This morning every St. Louis media outlet detailed Billy Busch‘s Business Plan for the future of Grant’s Farm. Billy’s plan illustrates an existing future for this treasured St. Louis landmark. Key elements in Billy’s plan include the building of a new Kraftig pavilion and a Bavarian Style Demonstration Brewery. Included in this morning’s press release were Fox Architects renderings of these new facilities. We are proud to support Billy’s efforts to keep future control of Grant’s Farm with the Busch Family.
Spring Semester 2016 for the Alberti Program at Washington University is here, and once again Fox has delivered a lecture, this time on “Mid Century Modern Housing in St. Louis”. Why the topic? None other than Fox Architects Alum and Maryville University Professor Jessica Senne joined me for this presentation. Jessica was recently awarded the prestigious CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation) 2015 Award for Excellence Honorable Mention for her exhibition of the work of Ralph Fournier. Mr. Fournier was a Wash U grad and designer of many Mid Century Modern houses in the St. Louis area. His work has long been recognized by a small group of devotes for it’s timeless, simple elegance: lately there has been a resurgence of interest in the designs of this era. It is easy to understand why. These designs make the most of their surroundings. They “bring the outdoors in”. The best of them have a serene, peaceful quality. They make excellent use of natural light. And they can be budget friendly compared to the value received.
Jessica lives in a Fournier house which we used as an example of Mid Century Modern design. We built our own Mid Century Modern house in Sketchup, and went through the process with the students. Afterwards, led by their professor Gay Lorberbaum and a cadre of Wash U student teachers, the Alberti students went off to construct models of their own Mid Century Modern house.
Alberti takes elementary school students from across the St. Louis area. The program is free but selection is limited to students chosen by their principals and teachers. They learn about design through lectures like mine and hands on work. I can tell you from watching them, they have a great time. If you want to help out the program or offer your services to the Alberti program please contact Washington University, Sam Fox School.
Warming up the Crowd
Jessica discussing the important aspects of Mid Century design
Our Sketchup House
A full house!
Ralph Fournier’s original drawing of Jessica’s house
A Student Creation
Students and their work
Have you been to the new Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop yet? If not you definitely should. New stores are opening close to your home and workplace. We have had the pleasure of working with Show Me Hospitality, the franchisee for Tim Hortons, on all of the locations.
We have recently completed two stores. One store is located on BJC’s CWE campus and another in downtown St. Louis. The downtown store is located in Park Pacific Building and the grand opening will be on Wednesday, February 3rd.
BJC Tim Hortons Grand Opening
We have also completed construction documents for the first metro-east Tim Hortons Cafe in O’Fallon, IL. This location will be a bit different than the other in the sense that it will be shared with Reliance Bank. The concept of combining these two entities was tested at Reliance Bank in Frontenac with a Tim Hortons kiosk. Even though this is a relatively new concept, both clients see the benefits and expect great results. Construction for the O’Fallon store is expected to begin in few weeks.
Tim Hortons – O’Fallon
Belleville News-Democrat has published an article on the new O’Fallon cafe-bank. Please click here for the full article.
We would love to hear what you think about Tim Hortons and the concept of combing Tim Hortons with Reliance Bank. Be sure to leave us a comment below.
Our Office was recently featured in the Saint Louis Business Journal as one of the coolest offices in Saint Louis. Come on by to experience it for yourself. Our giant Red Door is always open. Click on this Link for more on our office.
Having the Arch as the backdrop to our office environment is a constant reminder to explore and engage one another in new ideas. Challenging each other to create, collaborate and connect.
I recently made a visit to the Chicago Cultural Center to take in the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The exhibit in the Cultural Center is only one part of the Biennial, but limited time made visits to some of the other sites impossible. It gives me a reason to go back.
There has been a lot of opinions expressed in the press about the Biennial, the most recent one to come across my desk was a piece in The Architects Newspaper entitled “Debating Schumacher’s Chicago Biennial Criticism”. Another one I would recommend is Arch Daily’s 15 Must See Installations at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. I tried to read up on the event before visiting, and I found it hard to understand how the whole event is organized, other than what’s in the Cultural Center. I’m still not sure I comprehend the scope of the event. I also don’t think that matters. You can try and figure it out online, but it doesn’t compare with an actual visit. Go. It’s great. Only in Chicago.
I believe the Biennial was put together with more of a view towards the general public than the architectural community. That’s a good thing. We are a pretty insular group.
Below are some of my highlights:
installation by Gramazio Kohler Research: Rocks with string – no glue. combination of ancient and new technology. Got to see the movie!
Moon Hoon’s notebooks titled “Doodle Constructivism”. My personal favorite. This photo does not do this drawing justice. Multiple notebooks with fantastical sketches.
Sou Fujimoto Architects, “Architecture is Everywhere”. Found objects with tiny white plastic men for scale. So much in common with the work of Leslie Laskey!
MOS Architects “Corridor House”. Not sure I buy the “corridor” idea, but this construction is a thing of beauty! I want one.
Exhibition space with “Architecture is Everywhere” and “Corridor House” in the background.
SO-IL’s “Passage”. Metal studs forming a cathedral like structure along a ramp in the Center.
Johnston Marklee , House is a House is a House is a House
Fox Architects has an Instagram account! Check us out at fox_architects and don’t forget to follow! We are posting interesting architecture related images daily, hope you enjoy them!
Summer sketching this year pushes into fall. We’ve spent a lot of time in Benton Park this year. The bridge and pond are a central focus, as are the buildings that surround the east and north sides. Frank used to live on the north side of the park. The scale of the neighborhood – tall brick buildings framing the edge of the park – are especially nice. Mornings bring the dog walkers and runners out. It is a friendly place to draw.
Now with the cooler weather we’ve retreated into the warm and inviting confines of the Gelateria Del Leone. You’ve got to love it when a building takes it’s name from the architecture (look for the terra cotta lion heads on the Grand Avenue facade). The coffee and baked goods are excellent, and opportunities to sketch abound.
Pen sketch of the bridge and surrounding buildings of Benton Park
Detail of the Bridge in pencil
Nice pen sketch of the bridge and pond by Mary!
Albie captures the streetscape around South Grand
Sketches and Coffee at the Gelateria Del Leone
Fifty Years ago today at 11:00AM, the last piece of the Gateway Arch was set in place. In celebration, The City of Saint Louis conducted a ceremony at the Old Courthouse steps this morning to commemorate this great accomplishment. Designed by Architect Eero Saarinen in 1947, the Gateway Arch took 2 years to construct and cost about $13 Million (2013 equivalent of $180 Million!). Today, the Arch attracts nearly 4 Million visitors a year.
The view from the West windows of our 18th Floor Suite in the Gateway Tower Building located at 1 Memorial Drive in Downtown Saint Louis. A crowd starts to gather for the 11:00AM ceremony to celebrate the Arch turning 50 years old.
At 11:00AM the Saint Louis Fire Department rang a bell 5 times to symbolize the 5 decades the Arch has been a completely freestanding structure.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of the Greater Saint Louis area receive the American Flag to be raised up the new flag pole at the entrance to the new Park Over The Highway.
The American Flag is raised as the National Anthem is played.
Francis G. Slay, current Mayor of the City of St. Louis quotes Leonardo Da Vinci during his speech: “An Arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning one against the other, make a strength.”
Fox Architects moved to its new location nearly 2 years ago, only 275 yards from the South leg of the Gateway Arch in the Gateway Tower.
Having the Arch as the backdrop of our office and studio space is a constant reminder of what great architecture can achieve. Saarinen’s ideas and innovations are what push the Fox team to challenge each other to create, collaborate, and connect with our work. It is these ideas that remind us that the work we are doing could inspire the world, much like Saarinen did in 1947.