Advanced Studio, Spring 2012: Cruse

  • Work by Allison Conley for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
    Work by Allison Conley for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Allison Conley for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
    Work by Allison Conley for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Raymond Chau for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
    Work by Raymond Chau for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Raymond Chau for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
    Work by Raymond Chau for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Haitao Zao for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
    Work by Haitao Zao for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Matthew Carlson for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.
    Work by Matthew Carlson for advanced studio taught by Andrew Cruse, Spring 2012.

Advanced Studio, Spring 2012
Masons Learning Latin: An Architecture Museum in Grand Center

Andrew Cruse, Visiting Assistant Professor

How can an unapologetically contemporary architectural imagination address historical cultural monuments to produce compelling buildings? Although facile historicism and slavish preservation may have left a bad taste in the mouths of many architects, the last decade has seen a range of innovative contemporary practices engage directly with historic buildings.

St. Louis' solid stock of empty or underutilized early twentieth-century buildings begs to be reimagined as part of a living urban fabric. Often these buildings are located on important civic sites and constructed of materials that would not be typically available for new construction.

Beginning with historical research and spatial explorations, this comprehensive studio examines how "existing" and "new" can merge conceptually, statially, and materially to form a complex, dynamic whole. The primary project is the design of an architecture museum in St. Louis' Grand Center district.

How best can architecture itself become the subject of cultural display to address its historical development and current trajectories? New curatorial agendas have recently emerged around architectural themes. Barry Bergdoll, chief curator of architecture and design at MoMA, is developing "activist exhibitions" that act as incubators to engage in contemporary debates and experimental research relevant to the culture of architecture and of cities. Elsewhere, Kurt W. Foster has suggested that the best way to exhibit architecture is not the white cube of the gallery space, but the museum building itself.

By examining strategies of architectural display and local architectural archives, this studio engages with architecture both as subject and object, consciously foregrounding historical and contemporary themes to explore some of the many ways architectural narratives can be constructed.