Why do we choose to make our buildings look one way and not another? How should our buildings look? Two different but related questions, the answers to which are many and difficult to tease apart, for architecture operates on many levels.
Today, many who regard themselves as classicists all
too often answer “how should our buildings look” with a resounding: classically
correct! This is understandable as 21st century classicism is still
operating in recovery mode. The lacuna of what we simplistically call modernism
nearly broke the chain of tradition preceding it. In this regard, we are not
unlike our Renaissance predecessors.
Late this summer, I was pleased to spend an afternoon with Spencer Campbell of 5280 Magazine, touring him around the city and looking at examples of new residential designs, discussing their positive or negative impact on the public realm.
His article is now out, and I am so pleased that 5280 Home is taking on the issue of design quality in Denver. To read the article, click here.
I enjoyed presenting this brief lecture at the 24th Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) on the panel discussion “Architecture of Urbanism,” along with panelists Vinayak Bharne, Gary Brewer, Ellen Dunham-Jones, John Massengale, Steve Mouzon, Stefanos Polyzoides, Dan Solomon, Paddy Steinschneider, Galina Tachieva, and Samir Younés.
The panelists examined the specific means by which architecture, one building at a time, forms the urbanism of a place. The issue of the role of architecture and architectural style and character has been a long-running debate in the CNU.
The Congress for the New Urbanism is an international nonprofit organization working to build vibrant communities where people have diverse choices for how they live, work, and get around. For more information see www.cnu.org.
Next week, I am honored to be presenting a lecture at the Seminario Internacional Arquitectura y Humanismo being held at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in conjunction with the Premio Rafael Manzano Martos. I will be presenting the rationale and work of our new center, CARTA, and my thoughts on the role of place, particularly in the American West. An excerpt from the catalog accompanying the symposium follows the break below, the full text of which may be downloaded by clicking HERE.
Denver’s Larimer Square.
As America rebounds from the Great Recession of 2008, cities such as Denver, Seattle, and Portland are experiencing rapid growth, in both city-center infill projects and expanding suburban development. This building boom, driven as much by demand for new housing and commercial space as it is by capitalism, is unfortunately characterized by buildings that all too often lack durability, sustainability, and beauty. Many of the buildings being built, especially in historic neighborhoods, have nothing in common with their contexts.
Baldwin Hardware Names Christine G. H. Franck One of Twenty-Five Prestigious Architects and Designers to Inaugural Baldwin Design Council
LAKE FOREST, CA–(Marketwired – Sep 15, 2015) – Baldwin Hardware, a leading brand of the Hardware & Home Improvement (HHI) division of Spectrum Brands Holdings (NYSE: SPB), today unveiled the members of the Baldwin Design Council — an advisory board of architects and designers sharing ideas and shaping the future of design.
DENVER, Colorado (September 10, 2015) – Christine G. H. Franck, Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture (CARTA) at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning, is featured in a major international exhibit at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Continue reading →
LAKE FOREST, CALIF.—March 3, 2014—Baldwin Hardware, a leading brand of the Hardware & Home Improvement (HHI) division of Spectrum Brands Holdings (NYSE:SPB), today announced Christine G.H. Franck has won the “Show Us Your Baldwin” design competition for her design of Chadsworth Columns founder Jeffrey L. Davis’ house: Chadsworth Cottage on Figure Eight Island, N.C. Franck’s winning project will be featured in a national Baldwin advertising campaign, and she was awarded a trip for two to Southern California and $10,000 of Baldwin hardware.
“Christine’s work on the Chadsworth Cottage incorporates Baldwin’s bold ideals and classic beauty; it exemplifies the core tenets for which Baldwin is known—quality, design and effortless style,” said PJ Rosch, brand manager of Baldwin Hardware. “We are thrilled with the response and look forward to recognizing more architects and designers through bold campaigns in the future.”
In addition to award-winning residential design and decorative projects, Franck teaches, lectures and writes on the topics of design and architecture, and serves as the first Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning. She earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and her master’s degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame.
The “Show Us Your Baldwin” competition invited architects and designers to submit projects that incorporated Baldwin Hardware. Ten semi-finalists were chosen and also received custom photo shoots of their projects. All 10 projects will be featured on the Baldwin Hardware website, as well as in other marketing initiatives. Semi-finalists included:
Patrick Ahearn of Patrick Ahearn Architecture
Shelby Fautt of Fautt Homes
Christine G.H. Franck, Christine G.H. Franck, Inc.
Stefan Hurray of ArchitectDesign
Amy Janof of Janof Architecture
Cassandra Olson of Beam and Board
Joyce Silverman of Joyce Silverman Interiors
Joe Thourot of Duket Architects
Diana Walker of Diana S. Walker Interior Design
Courtney Ziething of CC & Company Designs
Baldwin is part of Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI), a major manufacturer and supplier of residential locksets, residential builders’ hardware and faucets with a portfolio of renowned brands, including Kwikset®, Weiser®, Baldwin®, National Hardware®, Stanley®, FANAL®, Pfister™ and EZSET®. Headquartered in Orange County, California, HHI has a global sales force and operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Asia.
HHI is a division of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPB).
MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Suarez, 714-573-0899 x. 227 email@example.com
“We go eastward to realize history and study the works of art and literature, retracing the steps of the race; we go westward as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure.” Henry David Thoreau[i]
At dawn I jogged up the granite steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Reaching the top and turning to face Civic Center Park and its dramatic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, I succumbed to the awe any Easterner feels in the vast American West. Below me lay a graceful tableau of Beaux-Arts city planning painted in green grass and trees and white marble, purple mountains and Colorado-blue sky. It hardly seemed to contain the uncontainable space and energy of the West.
Figure 1 – My early morning view of Civic Center Park from the steps of the Colorado State Capitol.
In 2002, after running the then-named Institute of Classical Architecture’s programs since 1997, I decided it was time for a workshop to discuss the future of our educational programs. 2002 marked the end of our first decade. During that time we had experienced financial, geographic and student growth and were on the cusp of three of our biggest steps forward: merging with Classical America, launching our template for chapters, and hiring our first President, Paul Gunther. Over the course of the following two years we gathered twice, inviting all of our faculty and fellows together to discuss the current and future state of our educational programs. We sought to arrive at a shared vision of future needs and possibilities. Many of those things we identified a decade ago have come to be fulfilled, some have yet to be, and some are no longer relevant. It is interesting to look back on this now, a decade later, after just returning home from the ICAA‘s National Curriculum Conference in Newport.
ICAA Instructors and staff meet at the 2013 National Curriculum Conference