Showing posts with label event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label event. Show all posts

Saturday, March 19, 2011

BOK Center Hosts NCAA Tournament

This week the BOK Center was in the national limelight as Tulsa hosted the NCAA Tournament. The striking stainless steel structure has become a nationally renowned venue for sports and entertainment, and a catalyst for the rebirth of downtown.

But it wasn't an easy road.

What we know today as the BOK Center took three attempts at the ballot box and a lengthy public debate to become reality. The package known as Vision 2025 bundled the new arena with other downtown renovations, residential incentives and a proposed airplane factory. Tulsa County voters approved that measure in 2003, Cesar Pelli was asked to submit a design for the arena and the airliner deal lost out to Everett, WA.

The proposed design was mocked and criticized. Naysayers complained about the size, the cost, the location, the parking- and once the design was approved- the aesthetics. Detractors have called it everything from a crushed beer can to a steel tornado.

Cesar Pelli's arena design was the result of Tulsa's request for a building that would become an architectural icon. Pelli considered many aspects of Tulsa's heritage- and the final design "resonates with Tulsa’s Native American past, but the modern materials and scale look to the future." In 2008 the BOK Center opened after 3 years construction and a total cost of $198 million.

But the primary goal of Vision 2025 was not merely, well... visual. Improving infrastructure and boosting the rebirth of downtown Tulsa was a big part of the proposal's pitch to voters. To gauge that aspect just drive downtown any weekend. You'll probably find something scheduled at the BOK: concerts, big name acts, local sporting events- maybe even a nationally televised basketball tournament!

Judging from the success the BOK Center has enjoyed since 2008, and the positive reaction from the general public, it's managed to fulfill the vision civic leaders hoped for. And personally, I think it looks really, really cool.

The stainless steel skin reflects the sun even on a cloudy day.
The BOK Center has hosted everything from Elton John to Arenacross.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Two Okies in the Mecca of Mod

Modernism Week in Palm Springs

We'd been hearing about this desert city full of Mid-Century Modern architecture for years. But it's difficult to comprehend until you actually experience that cool-building-on-every-corner aspect of Palm Springs, California. The celebrities who frequented this city in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties built cutting-edge homes to use as their Winter retreats. Today this city of approximately 45,000 is awash in well preserved examples of Streamline Moderne, International, Brutalist and Postmodern architecture.

And fortunately for us the civic leaders appear to understand the power of architecture as a tourist attraction. Preservation has saved many important buildings, and many commercial structures are protected from any visual alterations or possible "remuddle" jobs. New construction also leverages the  modern look by incorporating classic Fifties styling cues like a butterfly roof or aluminum brise-soleil.

If you love modern architecture you'll enjoy visiting Palm Springs. Unless it's August.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Maple Ridge Poolhouse

It's another Mod of the Moment!

Photo courtesy of Northeast Oklahoma Real Estate Services
If you've seen this house you don't quickly forget it. Reactions are polar- you either love it or hate it. Never in between. And thanks to Modern Tulsa you can drop in and form your own opinion this Sunday!

Mod of the Moment
March 6, 2011
4:00 to 6:00 PM
1220 E. 21st Place 

The home, known as the Scherbatskoy house, began life as a typical Maple Ridge home from the Twenties. It appears in the book One Hundred More Historic Tulsa Homes, where John Brooks Walton calls the chapter How a Swimming Pool Designed a House.

In 1957 the owners asked Robert Buchner to design a natatorium and integrate it into the east side of the house. A few months later fire partially destroyed the roof of the original house- so Buchner was called in again. The final result is a distinctive swimming pool with a house attached!

For more details on the event, the organizers or who the heck Robert Buchner is visit Modern Tulsa.

Go here for listing information...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Slipstreaming Through History

Philbrook's latest exhibit was scheduled to open last week, but a record-breaking snowstorm changed that plan. So if you're a procrastinator, or didn't even know about this exhibit, consider yourself lucky! American Streamlined Design will open on Sunday, February 13 at Philbrook.

The exhibit features streamlined objects that exemplify the Golden Age of Aerodynamics, from the Twenties through the Fifties. Many of the objects on display are household items that borrow from the flowing lines of period aircraft, automobiles- even locomotives. This style celebrated the vision of a technological future where industry and science could overcome any obstacle- and do it with class.

So hop in the De Soto, or gas up the dirigible, and join us in the world or tomorrow!


American Streamlined Design
February 13 - May 15, 2011
Philbrook Museum of Art

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let's Go: Modernism Week in Palm Springs

For the last couple of years we've been hearing more and more about Modernism Week in Palm Springs. Held each February since 2006, this week-long celebration of modern aesthetics has become the place to be for stir-crazy modernists.

The Palm Springs Visitor Center is located in a
super groovy gas station designed by Albert Frey.
Photo: Lydia Kremer
Sixth Annual Palm Springs Modernism Week
February 17 through 27, 2011

Today Palm Springs, California is a mecca of Mid-Century Modern architecture. In the postwar years this desert oasis attracted the Hollywood elite and became symbolic of the Rat Pack lifestyle. The annual Modernism Week celebrates this unique "desert modern" with art exhibits, architectural tours, lectures, and sales. What began as just a show and sale back in 2001 has evolved into a huge citywide happening that attracted over 9,000 visitors last year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

George Nelson Exhibit at the OKCMOA

George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher
February 3 through May 8, 2011
Oklahoma City Museum of Art

George Nelson is probably best known for his modern lighting and  furniture designs. His bubble lamps are an icon of Mid-Century Modern design, and today are considered a requirement on the set of any trendy video shoot.

But Nelson's influence reached well beyond home furnishings.

Saucer Bubble Pendant by George NelsonHis talent as a writer, educator and architect was well known before he became an accomplished industrial designer. In fact, when he became the Director of Design for the Herman Miller Company in 1945 he had not designed a single piece of furniture. But fortunately for us, that was not the case for long!

The exhibition features works by Nelson organized into three categories- home, office and literature.
The Nelson Ball Clock- designed in 1948.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ranch Acres Mod of the Moment

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Just what we wanted...

It's Modern Tulsa's second holiday season Mod of the Moment!

This time it's a snappy 1954 ranch near 36th and Delaware complete with four bedroom, 3 and half baths and the requisite walkaround fireplace. Nicely updated and fully kitted out with mod furnishings. It's so cool it even has its own website!
www.35thplace.com


Mod of the Moment
Sunday, December 5, 2011

3:00 to 5:00 PM
2882 E 35th Place

Friday, November 26, 2010

Modern Tulsa Kicks Off Holidays with Mod of the Moment

Get your holiday season started right with the first of two Mod of the Moment events, sponsored by Modern Tulsa and the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture.

First up is this ultra mod 4,300 square foot home designed in 1959 by Tulsa architect Gene Starr. It is located near Utica Square and will be auctioned December 16, 2010. Talk about the perfect Christmas gift!

Mod of the Moment
November 30, 2010
2829 S Victor, Tulsa, OK
RSVP on Facebook

Mod of the Moment open house will be Tuesday, November 30th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm and is free to attend. Don't miss this unique opportunity to bask in the Rat Pack-ambiance of this unique Tulsa home!




Live Modern

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ten/Ten/Ten

October 10, 2010— Exploring the power of perspective.

Shane Hood of Modern Tulsa
coordinated the presentations.
Charles and Ray Eames sought to vindicate the lowly zero in their 1977 short film, Powers of Ten. Each year on October 10th aficionados celebrate everything Eames with ceremonial viewings of the film. This year was extra special as numerology added another ten.

Philbrook Museum of Art hosted a Powers of Ten Celebration today. Co-sponsored by the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture and Modern Tulsa, it featured 5 short films by Eames and 5 brief presentations. Like a total of ten. Get it?

I was happy to be one of those presenters, and related the story of Jackie and her red LCW chair. Some revelers even recreated the picnic scene featured in the film. But the really big news was delivered by Philbrook director, Rand Suffolk, when he announced a five year deal with Vitra. Beginning in 2012 Tulsa will see some exciting modern exhibitions produced in collaboration with the German company.Two will premiere at Philbrook.

So if you missed the festivities today- here's a small condolence: the Powers of Ten.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bruce Goff Exhibit Opens in Norman

Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind
October 9, 2010 thru January 2, 2011
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Norman, OK
www.ou.edu/fjjma

A collection of works by celebrated architect Bruce Goff will be on display in Norman beginning this weekend. Featuring projects never realized, the exhibit offers several original drawings along with 3-D renderings and computer animations based on Goff's plans. The exhibition will include a symposium and reception.

Special events that coincide with this display are also being planned by Friends of Kebyar, an organization devoted to "non mainstream" architecture. After the run in Norman the exhibit will be on display in Bartlesville at the Price Tower Arts Center beginning January 21, 2011.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman, Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville and the OU Colleges of Architecture and Engineering. Extra spice was added through animations and 3-D renderings created by Skyline Ink of Oklahoma City.

Perfect Prisms: Crystal Chapel, 2009
Ellen Sandor, Chris Kemp, Chris Day, Ben Carney, and Miguel Delgado, (art)n
30x40 PHSCologram: Duratrans, Kodalth, Plexiglas
This work was inspired by Bruce Goff’s breathtaking designs for a
nondenominational chapel at the University of Oklahoma. The chapel has been
constructed with an array of various prisms advancing out into space. Refraction
of light and reflection color break up the serene environment and awaken it with
new energy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home of ORU Architect on the Auction Block

Frank Wallace is best known as the man behind the futuristic look of the Oral Roberts University campus. On October 14, 2010 his unique home overlooking ORU will be sold in a public auction conducted by Mister Ed's Auctions. Jackie and I recently had a chance to visit with Mr. Wallace and learn more about the house, his career and his thoughts on architecture.

The Frank Wallace HouseWhen we visited we expected to snap a few photos of an empty house and speak with a rep- resentative from the auction company. To our surprise the door opened and we were greeted by Mr. Wallace himself. After assuring him we were not architects, he let us look around. Unfortunately we were not prepared to interview the man whose buildings incite such extremely diverse reactions- but that didn't stop me from asking him several questions anyway. 

The home, completed in 1980, was designed and built by Wallace who is now 87. The expansive home is so large that Wallace spends most of his time in a room that was his late wife's studio. At more than 5,000 square feet (over 6,000 if you count the indoor pool) the house isn't enormous compared to nearby McMansions, but still mighty large for one person. Out front you're greeted by immense metal gates that were built locally by Ernest Wiemman Metalcraft, a firm better known for more traditional iron work.When Wallace initially approached the firm about fabricating the two gates Wiemann wasn't interested. It took persuasion from the workers who thought the job looked more fun than their usual fare.

The front door is also an extravagant unit that was built on-site, and Wallace claims "cost more than either of my first two houses." It's heft is obvious as you open it, yet it moves freely on the massive hinges that support it. Even the knob is huge!

Once inside, the entryway curves off to your left past the indoor pool. There's a den to your right, and steps lead down to the main living area. The entire floor plan is a semi-circle, and the round theme is carried throughout the house. I found one of the showers especially interesting because it used this theme to maximum effect- by curling the wall around like a conch shell, it negates the need for a shower door.

Dominating the center of the house is the swimming pool. Wallace was an avid swimmer, and used the pool every day for over a year. Another notable feature is the masonry. All of the rock work is geometric cut stone. This gives the house an interesting aesthetic- sculpted yet organic. Natural light pours in all around us through windows and skylights, even on this overcast afternoon.

Outside, the house still has a few surprises to offer. A deck extends across the rear of the house. In addition to the breathtaking view, a walkway connects to a unique gazebo. The angular shape suggests a pine cone floating high above the hill below.

Back inside the house I couldn't help but notice design cues reminiscent of other architects. The organic lines and asymmetric shapes certainly suggest Bruce Goff. The use of structural glass and built-in features might suggest Frank Lloyd Wright. Yet the functionality and structural integrity trump either in my opinion. Despite the unconventional design, no sign of a roof leak or masonry crack were visible anywhere. Despite its location on the side of a hill, and Tulsa's notorious clay soil, the structure appeared as sound as the day it was built.

But ask Wallace about his architectural influences and you'll get a surprising answer. He doesn't see himself as a modernist architect. In fact, he seems to eschew the entire title of architect and likens himself more to a sculptor. His whole career in architecture came in quite a roundabout fashion.

Wallace is from Afton, Oklahoma and, despite never graduating from high school, received his architectural degree from the University of Arkansas in 1952. After serving in the Infantry during World War II, he returned home and took advantage of the G.I. Bill to attend college. His good friend was confined to a wheelchair and was headed to Fayetteville. Since the friend needed someone to help him get around campus, Wallace decided to come along. Then it came time to pick a major. Someone had told him about a man they knew who was an architect and "made lots of money." Wallace wasn't even sure what an architect was. When he asked someone they told him architects drew plans for buildings. That sounded like art, and he had always enjoyed drawing, so architecture is what he studied.

For much of his life Wallace enjoyed wood carving, or whittling as he called it. This "whittling" was far from folksy craft, based on the one example we saw in his living room. It was a pair of figures reminiscent of the finest in Danish design. I thought they looked like giraffes, Jackie thought they were reindeer. The cool thing was the shape of these small wooden figures echoed the sculptural lines of the curvy room we were standing in. For me it was sufficient evidence to substantiate his claim as a sculptor.

The futuristic and angular buildings of ORU are what Frank Wallace will be remembered for, and eventually appreciated for. But the fluid lines of a couple of wooden giraffes are forever etched in my memory.

Here's a video segment from Jack Frank's on the Wallace home...





Frank Wallace Home Auction
October 14, 2010
www.mredsauction.com/auction_detail.php?id=143590

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Open House: Meet Modern Tulsa

This Thursday evening the modnauts from the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture (TFA) will be hosting a free open house: Meet Modern Tulsa.

Modern Gems from Tulsa
Modern Tulsa Gems: can you name them all?
The Modern Tulsa group is a part of the TFA that focuses on Tulsa's more recent architectural past. The movers and shakers of this intrepid group (including yours truly) have selected some juicy bits of Tulsa mod from the extensive archive of architectural drawings, photographs and ephemera in TFA's collection.

This is a chance for people outside the preservation and architectural communities to learn more about Modern Tulsa, and the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture. On display will be architectural drawings, photographs and video of historical building and homes from the heyday of postwar design. Refreshments will also be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

Meet Modern Tulsa
Thursday, August 26, 2010
5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Kennedy Building, 321 S. Boston map



Monday, June 14, 2010

International Style Open House

One of Oklahoma's Most Significant Modern Homes Open for Public Viewing Next Week

On June 24, 2010 an open house will be held at the recently-restored Robert Lawton Jones House in Tulsa. A Look magazine article called it the International House of Style. This 1959 beauty is a textbook example of the International Style, and the first Mid-Century Modern house in Oklahoma to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The R.L. Jones House in 2008Robert Lawton Jones was a principal architect with Murray-Jones-Murray, a firm familiar to any Tulsan who appreciates the art of minimal design. These are the folks that gave us the Tulsa International Airport, First Place Tower, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church and the Tulsa Assembly Center. Jones studied under Mies Van der Rohe, and it shows in much of his work. The simple lines and sparse ornamentation are hallmarks of his work.

This tree narrowly missed the Jones HouseBack in 2008 I snapped these photos after an Oklahoma storm had toppled trees near the house. Fortunately the falling foliage did not land squarely on the home, and only caused minor damage.

The Jones house restoration will showcase interior upgrades and landscaping intended to highlight this showplace of modernism. A $10 donation is suggested, and all proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Interior Design Coalition.

Open House: Robert Lawton Jones House
Thursday, June 24, 2010
2:00 - 7:30 pm 1916 E 47th Street, Tulsa

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dallas Mods on Display at Upcoming Home Tour

Here's a little news from "south of the border" for all you mod-lovin' Okies.

This weekend there's a home tour in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. This is the fifth year for this event and most of the homes are Mid-Century Modern. Hours are noon to 5:00 pm on both days and advance tickets are available at area merchants.

White Rock Home Tour
April 24-25, 2010
Dallas, TX

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the event. More information on the homes, sponsors and tour details are available online at www.whiterockhometour.org

If that whets your appetite you might also want to know about the Ju-Nel Homes exhibit at the Dallas Center for Architecture. These homes, designed by Lyle Rowley and Jack Wilson, are considered modernist jewels. This exhibit kicks off in conjunction with the White Rock Lake event because many of the houses on the tour are Ju-Nel homes.

Ju-Nel Homes: Dallas Jewels of Mid-Century Modernism
April 23-May 28, 2010
Dallas Center for Architecture

A special reception and speaker forum will be held April 23rd from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and RSVP is required. After that the exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Check out our Mod Map of Dallas for locations of this and other cool places!

Image courtesy of Josh David Jordon

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Center 1 Soiree

How's this for short notice...

March 11, 2010.

Yeah, as in tomorrow.


Click it and it will get bigger. : )

Saturday, January 16, 2010

TFA Open House

Here's your chance to see some of Tulsa's unique architectural history. This fifth annual event is open to the public and there is no charge. White gloves provided, formal dress optional.

White Glove Open House
Tulsa Foundation for Architecture Archives
321 S. Boston
Kennedy Building, lower level
Tuesday, January 19
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm

The Tulsa Foundation for Architecture maintains a huge collection of original drawings of some of our most historic buildings. With over 35,000 articles in the collection, the TFA archive is an impressive resource maintaining a link to many aspects of our city's past. And all too often, this may be all that remains of an important piece of Tulsa's skyline.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Tulsa Mod of the Moment Event

Modern Tulsa has announced an open house event this Sunday, January 17, 2009. This Mod of the Moment event is the first of what we hope will be many!
Modern Tulsa's first Mod of the Moment open house

I think this is a really great idea. During the 2008 National Preservation Conference we were fortunate enough to catch a presentation about Houston Mod presented by Anna Mod (and yes, that is her real name). This non-profit group has accomplished some pretty impressive feats. One that really resonated with me was their "Mod of the Month" program.

The idea is not just to connect buyers and sellers- it's also about educating real estate professionals to recognize there is a market for these "unusual" houses. Homes are often needlessly "improved" to increase their mass-market appeal. This type of relationship with local realtors is a win-win for our community. It's been a huge success for Houston, hopefully we can capture a little of that magic!

To learn more about Houston Mod visit www.houstonmod.org

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eames at Philbrook

Mark your calendar for January 21st and plan to be at Philbrook for a special evening with Eames Demetrios, grandson of Charles and Ray Eames. It's part of their Third Thursday event.

Read more on the What's Up at Philbrook blog. They have also posted an interesting video that shows the making of an Eames aluminum task chair.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Discover Downtown Gems on Tulsa Treasures Tour

This Saturday you can tour some of Tulsa's most important buildings. TulsaNow is sponsoring a walking tour of architecturally significant downtown Tulsa buildings. The free tour will allow visitors to see the ins and outs of four historic buildings. Art Deco to Mid Century Modern is on the menu!

First National Autobank
Just one type of Zig Zag you'll see on the tour.
The event comes on the heels of a recently completed survey of Tulsa's architectural assets located within the Inner Dispersal Loop. The survey cataloged over 500 buildings and evaluated their historic and economic assets. This information is valuable to developers seeking tax credits for restoration, or submitting a structure for addition to the National Register of Historic Places.

Tulsa Treasures Tour
Saturday, December 5, 2009
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Begins at the ONG Building
624 S Boston


For more information contact TulsaNow at info@tulsanow.org

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Better Living by Design Video

We've neglected these modern pages recently because I've been ultra busy with a video project called Two Wheel Oklahoma. I'm happy to report it's now airing every Saturday morning at 9 AM on KMYT-TV in Tulsa.

Speaking of video- the folks at Winston Media put together a great little clip show from the Modern Tulsa event held last month at Philbrook and Cucine Moderne. The event was held September 10, 2009 and showcased a new collection of modern objects from the George Kravis collection. A thunderstorm was also added at the last minute.

Did you miss it? Wish you could have been there? 

Wish no longer...

Postscript.