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Center for Architecture. Image credit: Naked Pictures of Bea Arthur via Wikimedia // CC BY-SA 3.0

New Exhibit Highlights the Work of Black Architects

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Center for Architecture. Image credit: Naked Pictures of Bea Arthur via Wikimedia // CC BY-SA 3.0

When asked to name a famous architect, you might mention Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, or Zaha Hadid. But things get trickier once you narrow yourself down to black professionals. Even today, only two percent of America’s licensed architects are black. The New York Coalition of Black Architects and New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects are looking to bring visibility to this underrepresented group with their new exhibit “Say It Loud: Distinguished Black Designers of NYCOBA | NOMA.”

As Curbed New York reports, the show is currently running at the Center for Architecture in New York City. Twenty black architects, all members of NYCOBA | NOMA, are represented. Visitors can see the works of designers such as Roberta Washington, Yolande Daniels, and Mark Gardner accompanied by quotes and video interviews from the designers.

Marc Jacobs Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan

Marc Jacobs Tokyo Flagship Building by Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects. Image credit: Ken Lee // embedded via Flickr

A timeline of black designers in New York provides historical context, while projects selected from young architects pivot the exhibit toward the future. Award-winning architecture students and local high school students have their work displayed alongside the established professionals. The show opened on January 26 and will close on April 1. On Monday, February 27, the Center for Architecture is hosting a companion discussion on diversity in the field.

[h/t Curbed New York]

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Watch an Artist Build a Secret Studio Beneath an Overpass
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Artists can be very particular about the spaces where they choose to do their work. Furniture designer Fernando Abellanas’s desk may not boast the quietest or most convenient location on Earth, but it definitely wins points for seclusion. According to Co.Design, the artist covertly constructed his studio beneath a bridge in Valencia, Spain.

To make his vision a reality, Abellanas had to build a metal and plywood apparatus and attach it to the top of an underpass. After climbing inside, he uses a crank to wheel the box to the top of the opposite wall. There, the contents of his studio, including his desk, chair, and wall art, are waiting for him.

The art nook was installed without permission from the city, so Abellanas admits that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities dismantle it or it's raided by someone else. While this space may not be permanent, he plans to build others like it around the city in secret. You can get a look at his construction process in the video below.

[h/t Co.Design]

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One of Frank Lloyd Wright's Final Residential Designs Goes on Sale in Ohio
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In case you’ve missed the many recent sales of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed real estate, you have yet another chance to secure yourself a historical starchitect home. The Louis Penfield House is being sold by its original owners, and it could be yours for a cool $1.3 million. The restored Usonian home in Willoughby Hills, Ohio has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2003.

The house is currently a vacation rental and, depending on the preference of the new owner, it could continue to operate as a tourist destination. Or you could take it over as your private residence, which sounds pretty luxurious. It still has a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled living room that looks out on the Chagrin River, and comes with all the original furniture Wright designed. Like Wright’s other Usonian homes, it has a radiant-floor heating system that draws on a natural gas well onsite.

A retro-looking living room features floor-to-ceiling windows.
A bedroom is filled with vintage wooden furniture.

Around the same time as the original commission, Louis and Pauline Penfield also asked Wright to create another house on an adjacent property, and that home would prove to be the architect’s final residential design. It was still on the drawing board when he died unexpectedly in 1959. The sale of the Penfield House includes the original plans for the second house, called Riverrock, so you’d be getting more like 1.5 Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Seems like a pretty good deal to us.

All images via Estately

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