Granny’s so metal: Granoff wins architecture awards

Metalmag has joined the New York Times in giving mad props (but sadly no medal) to the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. The 38,815-square-foot, three-story art house recently won a 2012 Metalmag Architectural Award in the Metal Buildings category for its overall design and innovative use of metal—in particular, its eye-catching pleated zinc skin.

Quoth a jurist on the starchitecture: “This is not only the best metal building, this is the best entry period […] It creates a new architecture.” And another: “You look at it, you look at it again, and you keep staring at it […] you’re left scratching your head as to how you can possibly do this with metal.”

MetalArchitecture also granted it a 2012 Design Award (Judges Award) this summer, citing the “quiet simplicity to the massing.” Yeah, whatever that means.

Opened at the beginning of spring semester 2011 for interdisciplinary classes, installations, and events, Granny was created at a $40 million project cost by NYC-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro, whose impressive portfolio also includes collaboration on the High Line (which this blogger can affirm is quite pleasant during these not-yet-over dog days). Love it or loathe it, the modern piece of “architecture parlante” has since attracted plenty of media attention for its striking avant-garde looks, to say nothing of its boldly inventive interior and sustainability.

Indeed, one hater critical ProJo columnist called it “cliché” and “darkly silly.” He even held a contest for the best insulting nickname back when it was new, receiving entries such as “The Stretch Marks,” “The Accordion,” and the winner, “Darth Vader’s Mini-Blinds.”

But what does he know? I doubt he’s ever strolled on The Walk and peered inside the campus space to glimpse a cheery bit of light, color, and Brunonian imagination on an otherwise dreary winter evening. “Granoff is a place for free spirits,” after all—perfect for a school like ours.

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