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The Towers Installed at the Burchfield Penney

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Front Yard's architectural addition of three 24-foot steel and glass-clad towers, each to house a 7500-lumen Christie DWU775-E WUXGA DLP projector, are installed on Wednesday, October 9 by a team from LPCiminelli. Details of paintings by Charles Burchfield from the Center’s collection: Moth and the Thunderclap (1961), Wind-blown Asters (1951) and Oncoming Spring (1954) are etched onto the stainless steel cladding of the sculptured units. In addition, audio will be presented through 6.1 channel surround sound comprised of six 112M, Pops15a speakers and two PopsSUBa sub-woofers by One Sound.

Initial tower designs were created in a competitive charrette format by a team of undergraduate and graduate students as part of Wales’ Small Built Works (SBW) class at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, working with media artist and software developer Brian Milbrand. Students participating in the initial design investigations included Brian Belluscio, Andrew Durkee, Ryan Dussault, You-chiang Feng, David Heaton, Hanna Ihrke, Ian Liu, Alex Marchuk, Mike Mieszczanski, Maya Shermer, Ryan Sidor, Trenton Van Epps, and Isabella Brito whose sleek shape & dot-pattern concept was selected for construction. The finished structures have been co-designed by Brito and Wales.

Professor Brad Wales, R.A. has been practicing sustainable architecture in Buffalo since 1989 including passive solar designs for SPoT Coffee, Buffalo Rising, and the Pilates Loft. He joined UB’s faculty in 1997 and, in 2001, established SBW, a design-build program dedicated to working in the city of Buffalo. The Front Yard is the culmination of 12 years of public art projects involving more than 400 students and over 40 local businesses. In 2005, SBW won the prestigious National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Grand Prize for the creative integration of teaching and practice. In 2012, Wales presented SBW projects at the 2012 Venice Biennale in Jordan Geiger and Joyce Hwang’s Workshop “CITTA” for the US Pavilion. Wales is the co-founder of Nimbus Dance and Gallery 164 in Buffalo’s eclectic Allentown neighborhood. He has been merging multi-media art and architecture for the past 30 years in Boston, New York, Princeton, Edinburgh, London, Barcelona, Rome, and Buffalo. Wales is a graduate of Princeton University.

Isabella Brito is a Brazilian architecture student from the Federal University of Goias currently enrolled at UB under a full scholarship from the Brazilian government. In addition to her designs for the UB Small Built Works Program, Brito has won prizes in domestic and international competitions including the International Student competition held by the Sao Paulo Biennial in 2011.

The sweeping curve of the Burchfield Penney’s exterior will become a projection surface, creating the world’s first permanent environmentally-responsive, outdoor audio and video environment. The Front Yard will turn the Center inside out both architecturally and socially. Installations are curated from image and sound art including new work created for this project, as well as from the Center’s collection.

The Front Yard Turns on Forever on October 18 at sunset.