August 20, 2011
It was news to most when Philip Glass came to Carmel Valley's Hidden Valley Music Seminars back in February to announce the launch of his annual Days and Nights Festival. Friday night, at the opening of the festival, Glass and co. discreetly tipped their hand to another surprise: They want to build a multi-use performance center in Big Sur for "dance, music, theatre and the exchange of ideas," complete with living quarters, kitchen and dining room, rehearsal space and performance hall. A home. They want to build a home.
The photo, which was printed and posted on a bulletin board at Hidden Valley, is an artist's rendering of the proposed site at Brazil Ranch in Big Sur and the building, to be named the Glass Center for Music, Art, Science and Conservation—it's the structure on the left; the one on the right is an existing farm, which will be converted to accommodate "performances, lectures, and environmental, conservation and educational activities." There is another farm on the opposite side of the proposed structure, but it is obscured by trees.
The architect who designed the building, Mary Ann Gabriele Schicketanz, was at Friday's opening concert and told the Weekly that in designing the performance space, she came to the realization that the best acoustics were to be derived, after all, from a "wooden box."
"There are two barns [there]," she said, "and a wonderful space in between. There's a hill in back and [the building] is open on one side. It's already a space…why don't we put a lid on top?"
That "open side," the front of the building, would be comprised of what she calls a "glass curtain" that will take advantage of the "Northern light." Her firm, Carver + Schicketanz, is described on its website as a "full service architecture firm providing a wide range of architectural and interior design services to the greater Monterey Peninsula…and the San Francisco Bay Are" that specializes in "custom building design, green, LEED certified sustainable architecture…historic preservation restoration and remodeling, land-use and coastal planning" and more.
The Days and Nights Festival managing director, Jim Woodard, said that they are still in early negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service to get a long-term agreement (but that the agency is supportive), that permits, fundraising and environmental reports will take time, and that the Days and Nights Festival will stay at Hidden Valley and Henry Miller for at least three years. But while all that is underway, they've gone public with the news in order to build "community support" for the project. Additional information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So. Considering its "glass curtain" and its patron namesake creator, it seems inevitable that the proposed building be christened the Glass House. Shall we agree on it now?