Friday, March 31, 2006

Infill: The Low-Rise Side of the Boom

After you've done your bit to protest the Plumbers Union's potty policy (Sunday, 1 p.m. in Love Park), stroll a few blocks south to Gallery 339 (21st and Pine Streets) to join the opening reception of a new exhibit devoted to small-scale architecture projects. Called Infill, it examines the type of buildings that creep in on cat's paws and take up residence in the city's empty spaces. The opening runs from 2 to 4 p.m. The show features work by three cutting-edge local firms: QB3, which designed the exquisite Gallery 339; Plumbob, the collective that built Rag Flats and Onion Flats; and Diagram/Richard Taransky Studio, a firm that does more theorizing than building.

I play a small part in the show, having written some ruminations on the nature of infill for the catalogue. Infill housing has become almost a dissident form in Philadelphia's current developer-driven, skyscraper-dominated boom. These small projects, I argue, are "everything a skyscraper is not: gentle, organic, non-invasive, anti-heroic. Since each one is made specifically for its location, infill buildings are effectively hand-crafted..."

And so on. The show runs through May 7.


Blogger starApple said...

While Diagram, Rich Taransky's latest incarnation, was born of his theoretical work, Mr. Taransky is a veteran practitioner. After 25 years of building, his current practice allows him to approach design as a poet would. Hopefully we as the public can see that the same mind that can move one's soul can also keep water from falling on our dining tables.

10:48 AM  
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