Research task 2: Architecture is everywhere

For this exercise I have carried out some research into artists and designers who have challenged and embraced the perception of scale in their work. This was a fun exercise, each piece of research has sparked a fun imaginative side of me, each and every single image made me smile and it was great reading the back stories.

Longaberger Company Headquarters, Newark, Ohio building was inspired by a hand-crafted maple wood basket, the Longaberger’s most selling product. The building consists of seven storeys with basket handles that are heated during the cold winter months.

The Longaberger building has a steel structure faced with painted stucco over wire mesh, formed to create the woven bands of the basket. Window placement was held to the location of vertical splints, in order to maintain the visual imagery. The building’s exterior is further enhanced by details such as applied stucco discs to replicate tacks, steel rivets for the handles that are painted to mimic copper, and large handles arching over the building’s roof. These handles presented the biggest engineering challenge in the project: the 150-ton galvanized steel handles are heated to stop ice build-up. The final touch is the building’s signage: a 700-pound tag with the Longaberger name on the north and south elevations, replicating the brass tags of the company’s special edition product. (Wright, s.d)

Since the death of the founder, the company left the building in 2016, a developer purchased the building in 2017 with plans to turn it into a luxury hotel. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020. What an amazing idea to let the building live on as a hotel, one of a kind!

People waited in line for up to two hours to step inside the Basket.
Fig. 1 Longaberger Company Headquarters, Newark, Ohio

Claes Oldenburg was famous for creating a series of large-scale public sculptures far too big for a gallery. During the late 50’s and early 60’s he played with soft sculpture consumer objects like hamburgers or toilets made oversized and inflatable and soon enough his art began to become increasingly creative. Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen,  were commissioned in 1992 to design a sculpture for The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. They responded to the formality of the Museum’s 1933 neoclassical building and the green expanse of its lawn by imagining the Museum as a badminton net and the lawn as a playing field. The pair designed four birdies or shuttlecocks that were placed as though they had just landed on opposite sides of the net. Each shuttlecock weighs 5,500 pounds, stands nearly 18 feet tall and has a diameter of some 16 feet. (google, s.d)

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Shuttlecocks, 1992. Photo by jpellgen, via Flickr.
Fig. 2 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Shuttlecocks, 1992.

He created his first “architectural-scale sculpture.” the 45-foot-tall Clothespin, which looms over an entrance to the subway across from Philadelphia’s City Hall. It was also his first public commission, funded through the city’s progressive “Percent for Fine Arts” program that required any redevelopment project to devote a percentage of its budget toward commissioning original, site-specific public artwork. Although its shape is immediately recognizable, Oldenburg took liberties with certain details—the hinge, for example, is bent into the shapes of a 7 and 6 to represent the year it was commissioned (also the year of the city’s bicentennial). (Cain, 2017)

Claes Oldenburg, Clothespin, 1976. Photo by John Vosburgh, via Flickr.
Fig. 3 Clothespin (1976) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Referencing

(Wright, s.d) https://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/OH-01-089-0096 (accessed 03.08.20)

(google, s.d) https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/shuttlecocks-claes-oldenburg-and-coosje-van-bruggen/0QGRtnVFsCMZIQ?hl=en (accessed 10.08.20)

(Cain, 2017) https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-claes-oldenburgs-supersized-pop-sculptures-made-public-art-fun (accessed 10.08.20)

Images

Fig. 1 https://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/OH-01-089-0096 (accessed 03.08.20)

Fig.2 https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/shuttlecocks-claes-oldenburg-and-coosje-van-bruggen/0QGRtnVFsCMZIQ?hl=en (accessed 10.08.20)

Fig.3 https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-claes-oldenburgs-supersized-pop-sculptures-made-public-art-fun (accessed 10.08.20)

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