A few days after announcing a new vision and upgrades to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, the arts complex’s Bradley Pavilion hosted the results Wednesday of an architectural competition to ideate on the site of the current Marcus Center parking structure a block north.
Entries by UWM architecture students were expected to incorporate the needs of the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, as well addition space and parking for the Marcus Center, in their proposals.
The results are interesting and range from the relatively modest to quite adventurous. Here are some of the ideas:
Remember: These are competition entries and even the winner (which hasn't yet been announced) won't necessarily be built. It's an exercise in thinking big, thinking out of the box and thinking about possibilities.
The competition is part of the biennial Marcus Prize, funded by the Marcus Corporation Foundation, which honors professional architects for their outstanding work. The competition aspect aims to encourage promising young architects from the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning.
In 2017, the seventh biennial prize was awarded to American architect Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, whose work includes Chicago’s Aqua Tower, New York’s Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History, San Francisco’s California College of the Arts and the new United States Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.
The award, which includes $100,000 – $50,000 to the winner and $50,000 to lead the design studio in collaboration with UWM SARUP faculty – is to be officially presented to Gang in a ceremony Wednesday afternoon, during the same event at which the student ideas for the Marcus Center parking garage site, bordered by Water and Edison Streets and State Street and Highland Avenue, were unveiled.
More than 70 students applied to take part in the studio and the field was narrowed down to 14 by Studio Gang and UWM SARUP Associate Professor Kyle Reynolds after looking at their portfolios.
Their work will be considered by a jury during the Wednesday event at which students presented their concepts and took questions and gathered feedback.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.