1st Presentation to ELC Building Committee


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I was invited by the Emmanuel Lutheran Church Building Committee to discuss design issues related to adding on to an historic structure.

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1st Presentation to ELC Building Committee

  1. 1. Emmanuel Lutheran Church<br />Designing in an Historic Environment<br />
  2. 2. Emmanuel Vision<br /><ul><li>“Great care has been taken over the years to make sure that any renovation or new construction matched with the original architectural design of our church building. As we move ahead with… further development of our campus… the filter of historic sensitivity must be applied.” (Building Faith, pg. 10)
  3. 3. “If we move forward with our plans and do so in a way that honors the preservation efforts made by our neighbors, our credibility and reputation in our community are strengthened .” (Building Faith, pg. 24)</li></li></ul><li>Community Vision<br /><ul><li>“Promoting Preservation – Embracing Diversity” (West Central Plan)
  4. 4. “Different styles of architecture – asset” (West Central Plan)
  5. 5. “Encourage new construction designs to be complementary to the historic nature of the neighborhood.” (West Central Plan)
  6. 6. “New construction must harmonize with existing, adjacent buildings and neighborhood character in terms of height, scale, mass, setback, materials, rhythm, proportion, and color. Contemporary design and architectural expression in new construction that follows the preceding guidelines is appropriate and strongly encouraged. New construction should be dated.” (City of Fort Wayne, Historic Preservation Guidelines, pg. 8)</li></li></ul><li>Attempting to Define the Terms<br /><ul><li>Design guidelines help assure that, when new building occurs, it will be in a manner that reinforces the basic visual characteristics of the area. This does not mean, however, that new buildings must look old. In fact, imitating historic styles… is generally discouraged; historians prefer to be able to “read” the evolution of the street, discerning the apparent age of each building by its style and method of construction. They do so by interpreting the age of a building, placing its style in relative chronological order. When a new building is designed to imitate a historic style, this ability to interpret the history of the street is confused.</li></ul> Rather than imitating older buildings, a new design should relate to the traditional design characteristics of a neighborhood while also conveying the stylistic trends of today. New construction may do so by drawing upon some basic building features—such as the way in which a building is located on its site, the manner in which it relates to the street and its basic mass, form and materials—rather than applying detailing which may or may not have been historically appropriate. When these design variables are arranged in a new building to be similar to those seen traditionally in the area, visual compatibility results. Therefore, it is possible to be compatible with the historic context while also producing a design that is distinguishable as being newer.<br /> Some people may be confused about this concept; for many, the initial assumption is that any new building should appear to be old. On the contrary, the design guidelines for site design and infill … encourage new buildings that can be distinguished as being of their own time. At the same time, they do promote new building designs that would relate to the more fundamental similarities of traditional buildings.”<br />
  7. 7. Selected Examples of…<br /><ul><li>Imitating historic styles (false historicism)
  8. 8. Looking old
  9. 9. An inability to interpret the history of the street
  10. 10. Structures indistinguishable as being of their own time</li></ul> (A new building or addition should seek to contribute to the resource’s future evolution just as the existing building shows its past development.)<br />
  11. 11. Superior Ink Condos and Townhouses, NYC<br />
  12. 12. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  13. 13. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  14. 14. St. Joe River Pump Station, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  15. 15. Trinity English Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  16. 16. Selected Examples of…<br /><ul><li>Preserving significant historic materials and features</li></ul> Avoid constructing an addition on a primary or other character- defining elevation to ensure preservation of significant materials and features. <br /> Minimize loss of historic material comprising external walls and internal partitions and floor plans. <br /><ul><li>Preserving the historic character</li></ul> Make the size, scale, massing, and proportions of the new addition compatible with the historic building to ensure that the historic form is not expanded or changed to an unacceptable degree. <br /> Place the new addition on an inconspicuous side or rear elevation so that the new work does not result in a radical change to the form and character of the historic building. <br /> Consider setting an infill addition or connector back from the historic buildings wall plane so that the form of the historic building--or buildings--can be distinguished from the new work. <br /><ul><li>Protecting the historical significance by making a visual distinction between old and new</li></ul> Plan the new addition in a manner that provides some differentiation in material, color, and detailing so that the new work does not appear to be part of the historic building. The character of the historic resource should be identifiable after the addition is constructed. <br />
  17. 17. Crandal Public Library, Glen Falls, NY<br />
  18. 18. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME<br />
  19. 19. Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR<br />
  20. 20. J.P. Morgan Library, NYC<br />
  21. 21. Carl A. Fields Center, Princeton University, NJ<br />
  22. 22. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME<br />
  23. 23. Boston Public Library, Bryant Park, MA<br />
  24. 24. Farnsworth Art Museum, Maine<br />
  25. 25. Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH<br />
  26. 26. Maine Historical Society Library, ME<br />
  27. 27. Burke High School and Library, Boston, MA<br />
  28. 28. Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain<br />
  29. 29. Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Sciences, NY<br />
  30. 30. 475 Greenwich Street, NYC<br />
  31. 31. Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge, LA<br />
  32. 32. National Women’s Hall of Fame, NY<br />
  33. 33. Prado Museum Annex, Madrid, Spain<br />
  34. 34. Hayden Planetarium, NYC<br />
  35. 35. Hearst Tower, NYC<br />
  36. 36. The Porter House, NYC<br />
  37. 37. Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England<br />
  38. 38. Victoria Hall, Staffordshire, G.B.<br />
  39. 39. Le Carred’Art, Nimes, France<br />
  40. 40. The Louvre, Paris, France<br />
  41. 41. One Canal Street, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  42. 42. St. John’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  43. 43. Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  44. 44. Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN<br />
  45. 45. Avoid “Jarring”<br />Preservation philosophy suggests that successful additions be sufficiently distinct from the buildings to which they are being added to avoid confusion or false history. But the distinction need not be jarring; indeed, compatibility often demands otherwise. <br />
  46. 46. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto<br />
  47. 47. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto<br />
  48. 48. Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington D.C.<br />In approving the wildly modern design for the Corcoran gallery addition, the Historic Preservation Division staff report noted that, “[W]hile the historic preservation guidelines stress … compatibility … it does not necessarily serve the purposes of preservation (to say nothing of design) to oppose attempts at very fresh, contemporary architectural expressions in the urban environment, especially when they can read from the exterior as essentially separate structures … Adding a watered-down classical background addition would be a legitimate alternative, but the present proposal is arguably as good an option, and undoubtedly a more interesting one.” In Re 500 17th Street, NW, (Corcoran Gallery) H.P.A. No. 02-284 (Sept. 19, 2002). <br />