Out in the open. Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership by Studio Gang Architects

PROJECT Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership
ARCHITECT Studio Gang Architects
LOCATION Kalamazoo, Michigan, Usa
YEAR 2014
PHOTO Iwan Baan, Hedrich Blessing
AUTHOR: Aurora Maria RIVIEZZO

During the early colonization of the old continent, a European construction system spread through the northern regions that with whatever variety of raw wood available on site, allowed the creation of highly resistant surfaces with perfect thermo-acoustic insulation. Variable sections of trunks were cut to the same length, overlapped and assembled with a mortar obtained by mixing water with coarse aggregates, earth and sand.


This same low-tech methodology, known as “cordwood masonry” and now no longer used, was however re-employed in 2014 for the construction of a public infrastructure building in a small university campus in Kalamazoo between Detroit and Chicago. In this suburban Georgian town, the Studio Gang Architects designed a piece of architecture of 930 square metres with a continuous curvilinear casing of logs of white cedar and mortar with a steel frame.


The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership is a project created to promote free confrontation and interaction on ideas between individuals of different backgrounds and training with an investment of $5 million from the foundation of the same name. The building extends over one floor and follows a Y-shaped planimetric configuration with three unequal sides.
The extreme sections open onto a glazed space towards the residential areas, the campus and a virgin grove of trees (following the concept of community, training and origins) and symbolically come together inside a living area with kitchen and fireplace.

BIOGRAPHY
STUDIO GANG IS AN ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN PRACTICE WITH OFFICES IN CHICAGO, NEW YORK, AND SAN FRANCISCO. LED BY AMERICAN ARCHITECT AND MACARTHUR FELLOW JEANNE GANG, THE STUDIO IS RECOGNIZED INTERNATIONALLY FOR A DESIGN PROCESS THAT FOREGROUNDS THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS, COMMUNITIES, AND ENVIRONMENTS.

MAIN PROJECTS
United States Embassy, Brasilia, Brazil, forthcoming
Gilder Center at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, Usa, forthcoming
Folsom Bay Tower, San Francisco, California, Usa, forthcoming
Amsterdam Tower, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, forthcoming
Writers Theatre, Glencoe, Illinois, Usa, 2016
University of Chicago Campus North Residential
Commons, Chicago, Illinois,Usa, 2016
Aqua Tower, Chicago, Illinois, Usa, 2010