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Snøhetta Charrette: Communal Landscapes

March 13, 2017

The 2017 Interdisciplinary Design weekend-long Charrette is just around the corner and will be led this year by principals of Snøhetta, the award-winning, internationally renowned design firm. Westphal faculty will be joining Snøhetta’s Craig Dykers, Founding Partner, and Elaine Molinar, Partner and Managing Director, in guiding the Charrette. Established in 1989 with offices in Oslo and New York City, Snøhetta is widely recognized as one of the most exciting and pioneering design firms in the world today, with a portfolio of visually stunning works that include the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Theater and the the expansion of San Francisco’s MoMA. Snøhetta’s just announced their latest project -- a memorial arch that will pay tribute to rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, that will be situated in Cape Town between St. George’s Cathedral, where Tutu served as Archbishop, and the National Parliament. The firm was also chosen to prepare a new master plan for New York’s Times Square. To kick of the Charrette, Dykers and Moliar will give a public lecture which we will detail in our next newsletter.

Communal Landscapes: Snøhetta Charrette focuses on the Mantua and Powelton neighborhoods that surround Drexel University, asking participants what could we design, enhance, discover or create that would transform the public spaces of these neighborhoods? Students will be challenged to recognize the existing characteristics of the area and propose design interventions that are at once appropriate and feasible while also forward-looking and imaginative. Drexel students from all disciplines and Colleges are encouraged to participate in a weekend of creative brainstorming, community conversation and collaborative design focused on re-imagining. This Charrette is made possible thanks to the support of the Rankin Artist & Scholar Residency program and the Sibby Brassler Distinguished Lecture Series.

Craig Dykers, Architect, AIA, LEED AP, Int FRIBA, FRSA, RAAR , was born in Frankfurt, Germany and has lived extensively in both Europe and North America. Dykers received a bachelor's degree in architecture at the University of Texas, Austin after initial studies in medicine and art. Dykers worked in Texas and California before co-founding Snøhetta in Oslo, Norway in 1989, and then in New York City in 2005. His work has received numerous awards from the World Architecture Awards as well as the Mies van der Rohe Prize. Active professionally and academically, Dykers has taught at the Architectural College in Oslo, at City College, New York City and Syracuse University. 

Elaine Molinar, Architect, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP, has held key positions throughout her time at Snøhetta in major cultural projects and competitions in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.  As Project Manager she leads general management, strategic planning and business development. With early training in classical dance and performance, Elaine brings a unique perspective to her participation in the design of performing arts facilities with a keen perspective as both an architect and user. In 2005, she helped found Snøhetta’s New York office after the firm was awarded the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center, the office’s first commission in the Americas. Elaine’s work has led to numerous international awards and recognition including the Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries, AIA/ALA American Library Award and an AIA Presidential citation, among others.  Elaine has served as guest lecturer, studio critic and awards juror in addition to daily practice. 

Charrette Schedule

Thurs. April 14 – Mon. April 17 // REGISTER HERE // All Drexel Students are encouraged to participate

Snøhetta Arfaa Lecture // Thurs. April 13 // 6:30pm

Charrette Kickoff // Fri. April 14 // 5:30pm

Charrette Work Day // Sat. April 15// 9:30-7:30

Charrette Work Day // Sun. April 16 // 9:30-7:30

Presentation Prep/Printing //Mon. April 17 //9:30-3:30

Charrette Presentation // Mon. April 17 // 4:00-6:00

Times may vary on Sunday for students observing the Easter holiday. 

Charrettes in the past have looked at water access, campus connections, transportation networks and neighborhood identity. Notable figures such as Cameron Sinclair from Architecture for Humanity have participated and shared their expertise in past years.