UPDATE: Cover: Art Building U of Iowa

UPDATE: Steven Holl – interviewed by Charlie Rose. I was very happy and excited to see a bit of the University of Iowa’s new Art Building be a part of the noted work discussed in the interview by Charlie Rose. I have to say that having been a part of the team for the Art Building and from the architect-of-record point of view, this was one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences I’ve had. I think it is important to note how many times Mr. Holl refers to “we” or “us” when describing the process. It begins with a strong idea that a group can work upon and with.

The “we” expands and contracts of course throughout process but ultimately boils down to recognizing the power of a strong client / architect / builder – with these three willful partners in this process a lot of great work and ideas can be accomplished.

Well, it’s fun to see your work, whether it’s a photograph, or a project, or both/and – published.

Art Building – School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa
Steven Holl Architects – Design Architect (Project link)
HLKB Architecture – Architect of Record

More photo’s of the project here

A review by Blair KaminChicago Tribute architecture critic here in ArchRecord (full article in January 2007 ArchRecord magazine).

Best experienced as is all good architecture… in person…

Intersecting Images: Fragments [as seen through the lens]

Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility – Photographs from Iowa

Well, in the vein of shameless self promotion, this is an image from a group of photos that I have been working on that to me pose a question about the photographic cliche. Just where does that line fall? I don’t know sometimes – it depends.

Since I’m away from these places now for sometime, the images have become more important to me – perhaps a kind of sentimental transference – who knows.

Village View Farm 1904 [West Central Iowa 2006] by Matt Niebuhr

Village View Farm 1904 [West Central Iowa 2006] by Matt Niebuhr

Untitled [Barn, North elevation, East central Iowa] by Matt Niebuhr

Untitled [Barn, North elevation, East central Iowa] by Matt Niebuhr

As more time passes, I think these two tap into my own mental “memory image” of what I picture a barn or crib might look like – iconic might be better word to describe them in my opinion. More like an iconic memory.  More here at www.mattniebuhr.com

Crib [near Rockwell City, Iowa]

A special thanks to FILE magazine for presenting a selection seen here from Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility.

More of this may be seen here:  www.mattniebuhr.com

Village View Farm 1904 [West Central Iowa 2006]

One in a series entitled Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility

Pictured this way, this particular subject grouping becomes iconic – almost too much so perhaps. For me it is precisely this issue. This is the quintessential farmstead of 1904 pictured in 2006. Do we really see these farmsteads as symbols anymore or has this way of life receded into personal memory only?

More of my project work here: www.mattniebuhr.com

Des Moines / Manhattan Deli

, posted by Matt Niebuhr.

This is part of an initial collection of photographs from a Saturday afternoon on Ingersoll Ave. A lunch time hangout – the Manhattan Deli is part of a unique collection of diversity that can be found along this street. A “mom and pop” ambiance – with terrific picture windows. This is the sort of business along this street that embraces the sidewalk and the street – as opposed to the fast food chain businesses. It’s the sort of place you want to become yours and sit and read a paper. There is a delicate balance between new development along this street and redevelopment of existing businesses. This collection is intended to show over time how the community treats these opportunities.

More here on Ingersoll

Untitled [Crib, North elevation, East central Iowa]

Untitled [Crib, North elevation, East central Iowa]

Untitled [Crib, North elevation, East central Iowa] 2006 – Matt Niebuhr

Found another crib structure – alone on a hill top. Suppose it was convenient at one time to store ear corn close to where it was harvested. Peeked inside to see a sturdy set of “X” bracing of 2×12’s. The sides of this one have horizontal flipper style doors at the bottom of the bins that would likely have been used to rake out the ear corn upon either feeding time or shelling. The structure appeared in generally good shape – good bones… skin weathered. Somewhat time worn but sturdy for years to come, pending no further attention, I’d imagine this old bruit will be around. Here in east central Iowa, the land is gently rolling – the landscape as depicted in a stereotypical portrayal like Young Corn by Grant Wood.

One in a series entitled Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility

Corn Crib [ West Central Iowa]


Corn Crib [ West Central Iowa], posted by Matt Niebuhr.

One in a series entitled Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility

The stark geometric form and color of these corn cribs continues to hold interest for me. Simple, direct, matter-of-fact (now useless) function. Slowly fading and exhibiting a quiet struggle with time and the scale of the farming today.