flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Ars Gratia Artis: A North Carolina architect emphasizes the value of art in its designs

Architects

Ars Gratia Artis: A North Carolina architect emphasizes the value of art in its designs

Turan Duda says clients are receptive, but the art must still be integral to the building’s overall vision.


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | March 20, 2016

A sculpture by the Italian artist Giovanni Balderi stands in front of a travertine curtainwall in the lobby of 601 Massachusetts Avenue, a mixed-use building in Washington, D.C., designed by Duda|Paine Architects, which encourages clients to consider the inclusion of art in their new buildings. Image: Courtesy Duda|Paine

Like many architects before him, Turan Duda initially wanted to be an artist.

He went the architecture route instead, which he views as an art form. As a Partner with the Durham, N.C., firm Duda|Paine Architects, Duda, FAIA, has made it his mission to include an element of art in every project his team gets involved in.

The relationship between art and architecture is as old as history. But lately, clients and businesses seem to be catching on to the connection linking art and design, employee productivity, social responsibility, and customer satisfaction.

A recent survey conducted by ICM, a London-based research firm, and Art & Business, a non-profit network that builds partnerships between businesses and the arts, found that 73% of employees polled want more art in the workplace, stating that it both motivated and inspired them.

“The inclusion of art in the workplace is not a decorative gesture,” wrote Harlan Levey, a lecturer, art consultant, and owner of Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels; and Denis Maksimov a cultural critic and associate curator at that gallery. “It is not the same as buying some new plants. On the contrary, it can have several positive impacts and play an important role in your business. Art in the workplace can encourage employees to think creatively. It can create conversations amongst them while actively constructing an image of corporate culture, values and ambitions. It can also create revenue and diversify the company portfolio.”

Duda says this connection began to resonate with him when he was a student at Yale, where he recalls a “wonderful” studio with Peter Eisenman, a Principal with Eisenman Architects. “He asked us ‘what is architecture?’ and described it as a building with multiple readings that do more than one thing.”

After nearly two decades with Cesar Pelli & Associates, Duda and Jeffrey Paine, AIA, launched their firm in 1997. Over the years, Duda|Paine has built a reputation for using art to help clients express their vision.

Duda says that art is now “almost expected” in civic and public works. He speaks admiringly of the water walls at Millennial Park in Chicago as examples of the communal aspect of art. He has also seen art being included in new buildings in Austin and Asheville, N.C., “which are centers for creative folks.”

But for many nonresidential building clients, art “is an afterthought” that gets moved to the forefront of projects only when “it’s integral to the architecture.” Duda paraphrases the artist and MacArthur Fellow James Turrell that the most beautiful thing about art is when it doesn’t look like art. 

The criteria for using art in nonresidential settings are site-specific, he explains. “We think of our work experientially; what is the experience we want people to have as they arrive at the building.” And it’s much easier to have discussions about art and budgets at the beginning of a project, “when we can make art part of the design of the building.”

One of Duda|Paine’s first noteworthy attempts at incorporating art into its designs was a commission by Bank of America in 2000. The architect, working with the artist Ned Kahn, developed “Wind Veil,” 80,000 small aluminum panels that covered a 260-ft by six-story-tall façade of the parking garage at Gateway Village in Charlotte, N.C. The panels were hinged to the building to move freely in the wind, “creating an impression of waves in a field of metallic grass,” according to Kahn’s website.

Last year, owner-developer Boston Properties opened 601 Massachusetts Avenue, a 650,000-sf, 11-story building with offices and retail in Washington D.C. In the lobby of that building, Duda|Paine installed a 30-ft stone travertine curtainwall supplied by the Italy-based artisan Henraux, which Duda describes as “a piece of art.” Also gracing the lobby is a freestanding stone sculpture called Le vie della luce (“the ways of light”), created by the Italian sculptor Giovanni Balderi.

 

Huge glass walls, backlit by LED fixtures, are prominent art elements in the lobby of Colorado Tower in Austin, Texas. Image: Courtesy Duda|Paine

 

Another recent Duda|Paine-designed project is the Cousins Properties-owned Colorado Tower, a 29-story, 650,000-sf mixed-use building in Austin that opened in January 2015. Colorado Tower’s lobby is distinguished by huge glass walls that Duda|Paine developed in collaboration with the glass artist Kenneth von Roenn. Jr., who was a classmate of Duda’s at Yale. 

On the Kaiser/von Roenn Studio website, von Roenn states that the objective of the glass walls—which are visible from the street—is “to create a soothing/calming effect” by referencing the Colorado River, which is only three blocks from the building. LED lighting illuminates the walls, which were painted in colors that create the appearance of undulating water.

Ultimately, says Duda, what his firm is attempting to achieve by including art in its designs is to “control the view, control the experience.”

 

 

Related Stories

Sports and Recreational Facilities | Mar 30, 2023

New University of St. Thomas sports arena will support school's move to Division I athletics

The University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minn., last year became the first Division III institution in the modern NCAA to transition directly to Division I. Plans for a new multipurpose sports arena on campus will support that move.

Warehouses | Mar 29, 2023

Construction completed on Canada’s first multi-story distribution center

Construction was recently completed on Canada’s first major multi-story industrial project, a distribution center in Burnaby, British Columbia. The project provides infrastructure for last-mile delivery in a world where consumers have come to expect next-day and same-day delivery, according to Ware Malcomb, the project's architect of record.

AEC Innovators | Mar 27, 2023

Leading architecture, engineering firm HED appoints new co-CEOs

As children of immigrant families, Van Herle and Suarez will bring a diverse perspective into a historically underrepresented industry and advance the firm’s mission of creating a positive impact for clients, communities, and the world.

Healthcare Facilities | Mar 26, 2023

UC Davis Health opens new eye institute building for eye care, research, and training

UC Davis Health recently marked the opening of the new Ernest E. Tschannen Eye Institute Building and the expansion of the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC). Located in Sacramento, Calif., the Eye Center provides eye care, vision research, and training for specialists and investigators. With the new building, the Eye Center’s vision scientists can increase capacity for clinical trials by 50%.

Libraries | Mar 26, 2023

An abandoned T.J. Maxx is transformed into a new public library in Cincinnati

What was once an abandoned T.J. Maxx store in a shopping center is now a vibrant, inviting public library. The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library (CHPL) has transformed the ghost store into the new Deer Park Library, designed by GBBN.

Multifamily Housing | Mar 24, 2023

Multifamily developers offering new car-free projects in car-centric cities

Cities in the South and Southwest have eased zoning rules with parking space mandates in recent years to allow developers to build new housing with less parking.

Multifamily Housing | Mar 24, 2023

Coastal multifamily developers, owners expect huge jump in insurance costs

In Texas and Florida, where Hurricane Ian caused $50 billion in damage last year, insurance costs are nearly 50% higher than in 2022.

Multifamily Housing | Mar 24, 2023

Average size of new apartments dropped sharply in 2022

The average size of new apartments in 2022 dropped sharply in 2022, as tracked by RentCafe. Across the U.S., the average new apartment size was 887 sf, down 30 sf from 2021, which was the largest year-over-year decrease.

Government Buildings | Mar 24, 2023

19 federal buildings named GSA Design Awards winners

After a six-year hiatus, the U.S. General Services Administration late last year resumed its esteemed GSA Design Awards program. In all, 19 federal building projects nationwide were honored with 2022 GSA Design Awards, eight with Honor Awards and 11 with Citations.

Transportation & Parking Facilities | Mar 23, 2023

Amsterdam debuts underwater bicycle parking facility that can accommodate over 4,000 bikes

In February, Amsterdam saw the opening of a new underwater bicycle parking facility. Located in the heart of the city—next to Amsterdam Central Station and under the river IJ (Amsterdam’s waterfront)—the facility, dubbed IJboulevard, has parking spots for over 4,000 bicycles, freeing up space on the street.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category


Warehouses

Construction completed on Canada’s first multi-story distribution center

Construction was recently completed on Canada’s first major multi-story industrial project, a distribution center in Burnaby, British Columbia. The project provides infrastructure for last-mile delivery in a world where consumers have come to expect next-day and same-day delivery, according to Ware Malcomb, the project's architect of record.



Healthcare Facilities

UC Davis Health opens new eye institute building for eye care, research, and training

UC Davis Health recently marked the opening of the new Ernest E. Tschannen Eye Institute Building and the expansion of the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC). Located in Sacramento, Calif., the Eye Center provides eye care, vision research, and training for specialists and investigators. With the new building, the Eye Center’s vision scientists can increase capacity for clinical trials by 50%.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: