Daily digest: The Venice Architecture Biennale jury, Arizona’s first CLT building, and more

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Daily digest: The Venice Architecture Biennale jury, Arizona’s first CLT building, and more

The Beam on Farmer, planned for downtown Tempe, will be Arizona’s first building constructed with structural cross-laminated timber (Courtesy RSP Architects)

Welcome back to another Tuesday. Getting ready to attend (or just speculate on) the Venice Architecture Biennale? The 17th edition of the international festival opens this Saturday, May 22, and AN will be ramping up its coverage accordingly.

Here’s what you need to know for today:

The 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale reveals its jury

With announcements ramping up in anticipation of the Venice Architecture Biennale’s opening this weekend, that includes the reveal of the festival’s international jury members. This year, the Biennale’s Board of Directors selected the following jury to award the Golden and Silver Lions (the award ceremony will be held on Monday, August 30):

  • Pritzker Prize winner Kazuyo Sejima will act as the jury’s president. Sejima cofounded (and co-owns) the Tokyo-based SANAA with Ryue Nishizawa;
  • The Peru-based Sandra Barclay, who co-curated the Peruvian pavilion at the 2016 Biennale;
  • Ghanaian-Scottish architect, educator, and novelist Lesley Lokko. After resigning as dean of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at City College of New York last year, Lokko is now a visiting professor at her alma mater, the Bartlett School of Architecture in London.
  • Italian curator, architect, and writer Luca Molinari, who curated the Italian pavilion at the 2010 Biennale;
  • Lebanese filmmaker and visual artist Lamia Joreige

H/t to Archinect

Arizona’s first cross-laminated timber building finally breaks ground

After a year-plus-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona’s first building constructed using structural cross-laminated timber (CLT) has finally broken ground in Tempe. Designed by the internationally established RSP Architects, The Beam on Farmer will bring 183,000 square feet of Class A office space to downtown Tempe once completed in May of 2022. The five-story complex is expected to have ceiling heights of up to 13 feet and, as is common with these types of projects, will leave its structural CLT beams and columns exposed for a warmer feeling.

H/t to Building Design + Construction

Jazz singer Nnenna Freelon memorializes her late husband Phil Freelon in a new album

Grammy-nominated jazz singer and producer Nnenna Freelon is releasing her first album in 11 years, and it’s a tribute to her late husband Phil Freelon. Phil Freelon, who passed away from ALS complications in July of 2019, ran the eponymous Freelon Group for nearly 30 years and helped realize the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., alongside Adjaye Associates and Davis Brody Bond.

Available on May 21, Nnenna Freelon’s Time Traveler is “a captivating mix of classic standards, jazz-infused re-imaginings of ’70s soul hits, and originals that were a part of the soundtrack of their life together,” according to a press release announcing the album. Freelon will also be hosting a new podcast called Great Grief with Nnenna Freelon, where real stories of loss and grief will be accompanied by new music.

D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts will close for two years

Just as Washington, D.C.’s museums begin to reopen, today the National Museum of Women in the Arts announced that it would be closing for two years for much-needed renovations. The 108-year-old former Masonic Temple, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, will undergo a $66 million renovation to modernize conservation capabilities, enlarge galleries, and create a new “orientation hall.” The historic facade will also be repaired. Baltimore-based architecture firm Sandra Vicchio & Associates is handling the project.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

The Baltimore Museum of Art used its deaccessioning money to showcase underrepresented artists

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA)’s controversial 2018 plan to deaccession part of its collection is finally bearing fruit. The $16.1 million raised from selling off seven pieces was funneled back into buying 125 new pieces from 85 diverse artists and art collectives; now, in Now Is The Time: Recent Acquisitions to the Contemporary Collection, 26 of those pieces are going on display for the first time. The show is currently running through July 18.

H/t to Hyperallergic

New York buildings emit more air pollution than any other state

Although New York City is trying to clean up its act with the implementation of Local Law 97, the city’s buildings are still dirty. A new report released earlier this month noted that New York City building pollution caused 1,114 premature deaths in 2017 and over $12 billion in health impacts, and the effect was especially pronounced in communities of color. The problem isn’t efficiency, but the burning of fossil fuels for power in the first place, and especially NOx, or nitrous oxides, emissions.

H/t to RMI