Distinguished Dutch, Irish, African-American Architects and Planners to Speak at UB School's Annual "Atelier"

Speakers to include award-winning designers of elementary schools and colleges

Release Date: February 20, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning has announced events planned for "Atelier '04," its annual celebration of student work to be held March 5 and 6 at various venues.

It will feature receptions, exhibitions, the school's annual Beaux Arts Ball and presentations by architects widely recognized in their fields, including the celebrated and award-winning Dutch architect and urban planner Francine Houben, who will deliver the annual Atelier lecture.

Relevant to Buffalo's effort to renovate and build new city schools, three award-winning architects involved in such efforts will present a workshop on the subject.

Presenting the workshop will be Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey, an Irish architectural partnership whose widely published and exhibited work has received many national and international awards, and Jack Travis, an African-American architect known for his cutting-edge views on the fusion of culture and design.

The weekend will begin with a welcoming reception for faculty, students, alumni and guests from 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 5 in the Dyett Gallery, 334 Hayes Hall on UB's South (Main Street) Campus. The reception also will mark the opening of the school's "Urban Design Project Exhibition."

This will be followed at 5:30 p.m. by Houben's "Atelier '04" lecture in 301 Crosby Hall, adjacent to Hayes Hall.

Houben, a professor at the Netherlands' Technical University of Delft, is a founding partner of the Delft architectural firm Mecanoo, where she works in the fields of architecture, urban design, landscape and open-space planning.

The firm's recent projects include the master plan and library for the Technical University of Delft, the Faculty of Economics and Management at Utrecht, St. Mary of the Angels Chapel in Rotterdam, Nieuw Terbregge Housing and the National Heritage Museum in Arnhem. Houben has lectured internationally. Her manifesto on architecture and the city, "Composition Contrast Complexity," was published in 2001. In 2003 she was named director and curator of the First International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, the theme of which was "Mobility, A Room with a View."

More information on Houben's work and firm can be found at http://www.mecanoo.nl.

Houben's lecture will be followed by another reception and viewing of students' works-in-progress, which will take place at exhibition sites throughout Crosby Hall.

On March 6, an invitation-only continental breakfast for alumni and guests will be served at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. This will be followed at 10:45 a.m. by a tour of the gallery's "Mori on Wright" exhibit, introduced by the exhibition curator, Kent Kleinman, chair of the UB Department of Architecture. This event will introduce alumni to Kleinman and Kate Foster, chair of the school's Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

From 1:30-4 p.m., "Education by Design," a workshop on the interaction of design and education will be held in 301 Crosby Hall. It will feature a discussion with O'Donnell and Tuomey about their experiences designing new schools and colleges in Europe. Jack Travis will speak about the design programs he has developed in American schools.

O'Donnell and Tuomey are principals in their own firm and teach at University College Dublin. The excellence and originality of their work has been widely recognized. They have received the Downes Medal for Excellence in Architectural Design from the Architectural Association of Ireland six times in the 12 years in which it has been awarded and were short-listed for the Mies Van der Rohe Award for European architecture in 1999 and 2003.

The team has designed a number of award-winning educational projects, including the Irish Film Centre, Dublin's Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School and the Furniture College in Letterfrack, County Galway.

One of their most recent projects is Kindercluster Witerwin, a cluster of independent and shared structures housing two elementary schools in the new Netherlands' town of Leidsche Rijn, which began construction last spring. The work of O'Donnell and Tuomey has been exhibited in Japan, Switzerland and Spain, and they have served as visiting critics at Princeton, Harvard and Yale universities.

More about them and their work can be found at http://www.odonnell-tuomey.ie/webpage/off/office1.htm.

Travis, a resident of Harlem, is an architect and founder of JTA, a New York City-based practice that has worked on more than 100 interior residential and commercial design projects with such notable clients as Spike Lee and Wesley Snipes.

He encourages investigation into black history when appropriate and includes forms, motifs, material and colors that reflect this heritage in his work. His early career focused on the exploration of culturally specific alternative designs related to passive solar energy techniques.

Travis is also an adjunct professor at Pratt Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. Along with other well-established professionals in his field, he runs a summer workshop for students in design to study black cultural themes in architecture. He also founded the Studio for Afri-Culturalism in Architecture & Design, a not-for-profit organization that collects, documents and disseminates information on the relationship of African-America culture to architecture throughout the African continent and in the Diaspora. More information about Travis and JTA can be found at http://www.sitejta.com/.

An alumni reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. will be held prior to the students' annual Beaux Arts Ball. Both will take place in the Century Grill, 320 Pearl St. Further information can be obtained from Ruth Bryant, 829-3485.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan has retired from University Communications. To contact UB's media relations staff, call 716-645-6969 or visit our list of current university media contacts. Sorry for the inconvenience.