Daily digest: Jean Dubuffet sculpture to depart Chicago’s Thompson Center, inaugural Design Miami/Paris fair nixed, and more

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Daily digest: Jean Dubuffet sculpture to depart Chicago’s Thompson Center, inaugural Design Miami/Paris fair nixed, and more

Monument Standing with Beast by the late Jean Dubuffet in front of the Thompson Center in Chicago. (Ken Lund/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

It’s a Monday and, also—believe it or not—the first day of August. (Where did the summer go?) To kickstart the week, here are just a handful of notable news items on our radar:

Inaugural Design Miami/Paris gets the axe in Place de la Concorde

The first Parisian edition of Design Miami/ has been cancelled after Laurent Nuñez, the freshly appointed Paris police chief, ruled the planned venue of Place de la Concorde to be a no-go due to potential “security problems.” Ranking as the largest public square in Paris, the obelisk-anchored Place de la Concorde spans 19 acres in the eighth arrondissement.

Announced in January, the fair was set to take place in October to coincide with Paris+, the first offshoot of Art Basel to be held in the French capital city. (That event is being held at Grand Palais Éphémère, a temporary exhibition hall in the Champ de Mars.) The 46 exhibitors that were set to attend the inaugural edition of Design Miami/Paris have been refunded in full. Fair organizers announced the cancellation in a statement, citing “unexpected challenges to public event permitting in Paris.” Organizers plan to return to the City of Lights in 2023.

“Design Miami has been working to secure an alternative venue suitable to the scale of the show, however the timeline has proved too short to proceed this autumn,” the statement, shared by The Art Newspaper, continued. The next Design Miami/ event is the 18th edition of its flagship South Florida fair, kicking off November 30 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

Monument with Standing Beast will be relocated as part of Thompson Center sale

As the State of Illinois prepares to vacate the James R. Thompson Center to make way for Google, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the state is taking with it an iconic piece of public art located just outside of the postmodernist office building: French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet’s Monument with Standing Beast.

Dubuffet’s 10-ton fiberglass sculpture debuted on the Loop just ahead of the opening of the Thompson Center (née the State of Illinois Center) in 1985. (Dubuffet died the same year.) Monument with Standing Beast has long been viewed as an extension of the Helmut Jahn–designed Thompson Center, each work—building and sculpture—is rubberneck-inducing in its own unique way. The state-owned sculpture, however, isn’t straying from the Loop and will find a new home at the SOM-designed 115 S. LaSalle Street, where the State of Illinois is establishing new offices following the sale of the Thompson Center.  As reported by the Sun-Times, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services has not announced a move date.

Reactions to the planned relocation of the beastly 29-foot-tall work of public art—locals have nicknamed it “Snoopy in a Blender”—are mixed, with some decrying the move.

“The Dubuffet deserves better than standing in the shade,” Rolf Achilles, an art historian and professor at School of the Art Institute in Chicago, told the Sun-Times. “It won’t have the impact it has now; in other words, Dubuffet is going to be in exile.”

H/t to Chicago Sun-Times

Multi-speciality veterans care facility opens in Phoenix

The Phoenix 32nd Street VA Clinic, a 275,000-square-foot facility situated on 15 acres that ranks as one of the largest veterans care centers in the nation, wrapped up construction at the end of June. Equipped to provide care to a half-million patients annually, the five-story clinic was designed by Kansas City–based architecture firm Hoefer Welker, a specialist in VA facilities, with Jacobsen Construction serving as general contractor.

Major elements of the Phoenix VA Health Care System–operated facility include 180 exam rooms spread across three floors, an education center, pathology and imaging services, an outpatient mental health clinic (one of the largest in the region) and a spacious ground-floor kitchen and canteen for patients and staff. Awash in natural light, the complex also features ample outdoor green space and mountain views while high-performance glazing and perforated solar panels help to keep things inside cool and efficient. As detailed by Construction Dive, the completion of the state-of-the-art facility in Phoenix’s Gateway neighborhood comes as part of a larger push to shutter aging VA hospitals in regions including the Northeast and Midwest to better accommodate an influx of veterans moving to the Southwest and Sun Belt at multi-specialty, community-based facilities.

H/t to Construction Dive

Art Omi announces two forthcoming installations

Nonprofit arts center Art Omi has announced two major new works set to debut later this month at the 120-acre sculpture and architecture park in New York’s Hudson Valley. The first is Ensemble, a collaboration between architect Hana Kassem, a principal at KPF, and sound artist Spencer Topel that takes form as a “space-defining instrument” exploring the “spatial and acoustic resonance of our surrounding environment.”

The installation features a series of 17 “reeds” of varying heights fabricated from hollow steel pipes, as Art Omi explained in a press release. “As visitors engage with and move around the field of reeds, their gentle movement activates sound elements which resonate through the chambers of the pipes. They range in tone quality and volume based on the reed’s height and positioning to create a collective soundscape and a constantly shifting environment.”

The second new work to be realized at Art Omi in August is Drawing Fields No. 6, the latest—and largest—work in Outpost Office’s ongoing Drawing Fields series of large-scale ephemeral installations created by GPS-controlled painting robots. “The notational assemblies of Drawing Fields challenge architecture’s tenets of permanence and material accumulation,” explained the announcement. “The project eschews the waste often associated with temporary architecture. Each installation is water-soluble, non-toxic, and disappears with rain, sun, and growth. Within a few weeks, the site returns to its original state.”

The public is invited to watch Drawing Fields No. 6 come to life on August 13More information about visiting the Art Omi campus can be found here.

Colossal spa complex in the Atlanta exurbs is one step closer to reality

Passport Springs & Spa, an EPCOT-ian aquatic wonderland billed as the largest facility of its kind in North America, is one major step closer to becoming a reality 40 miles northeast of Atlanta. On July 21, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional-use zoning permit for the tourism-spurring project; securing a development permit is now needed before construction can commence. Passport Springs is set to sprawl across nearly 11 acres including 150,000 square feet of outdoor space and 40,000 square feet of indoor space with its myriad watery attractions populating four themed pavilions—Rome, Japan, Costa Rica, and Israel—that will “replicate the architecture, landscaping, sights, sounds and cuisines of its international source destination, as well as the mineral profile of its hot springs,” according to the Passport Springs website.

Passport Experiences, the company behind the development, tapped Irvine, California–based spa resort specialist Voelker Gray Design to serve as project architect and designer with Atlanta’s Kimley-Horn acting as civil engineer.

H/t to Urbanize Atlanta