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BY ZACH MORTICE

Alfred Caldwell. Image courtesy Deborah and Richard Polansky.

“The house is not a machine for living—it is the man’s sense of himself,” Alfred Caldwell once said. And in designing his own home and farm compound in rural Wisconsin, Caldwell forged a bridge between Jens Jensen’s Prairie style and International style modernism, an intersection of design currents that never solidified as much as its forebears. His most cherished project might be Chicago’s Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, where whorls of meandering paths orbit and shield views around a pond and an earthy, horizontal pavilion. But he was also one of the first American faculty members hired by Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and his lush landscape at the architect’s austere Lafayette Park neighborhood in Detroit provides a poetic counterpoint to van der Rohe’s crystalline rationality.

The landscape architecture school of the IIT is offering a multidisciplinary slate of programming through winter, “Alfred Caldwell and the Performance of Democracy,” which will harness the midcentury landscape architect’s legacy and character into a series of performances and archive workshops the school hopes will bring both greater public appreciation and study within the discipline. (more…)

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stair-cross-section

The redesign will open the stairwell for better light circulation. Credit: Gensler.

For the next eight months or so, the ASLA national headquarters building, located in the heart of Chinatown in Washington, D.C., will undergo renovations to transform its outdated interior into the new ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture. The society sees the renovations, designed by D.C.-based Gensler, as an opportunity to fully represent the “image and ethic of its great profession.” The ASLA staff is eager to see the sunlight-filled space and a vast, open-floor layout for conferences and events.

Starting December 16, ASLA will be temporarily relocated to 601 13th Street NW in Washington, D.C., while renovations take place. All staff phone and emails will remain the same, and any mail addressed to ASLA should continue to be sent to 636 I Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

While all of ASLA’s many services will be available during this time, ASLA’s library and archival collection will be temporarily unavailable, including all awards materials, membership handbooks, past LAM issues, and Fellows files. However, Brooke Hinrichs, ASLA’s Research/Collections Analyst, will still be able to access the Fellows database and conduct searches for magazine citations. For more information or library contact info, please visit here.

For more information on the new ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture, please visit here.

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