The Parliament for a Material World

The Parliament for a Material World is housed at the Toledo headquarters of the Great Lakes Architectural Expedition. A new model for the expanded role of architectural practice in the Lake Erie watershed, the Expedition’s office houses classrooms, public squares, design offices,  conference rooms, and the Parliament chamber. Reflecting the Expedition’s mission as educators, designers, and advocates, the office facility uses a series of discrete pavilions connected by an enfilade of exterior courtyards leading to the edge of the Maumee River. Drawing on examples from the Netherlands and Minnesota, the Parliament gives voice to the Watershed and places architects at its’ service.

The Parliament chamber itself facilitates the representation of Lake Erie in all building proposals within the watershed; a representative from each of the Lake’s watersheds is elected to advocate for the watershed’s public materials and resources. These representatives negotiate with the Expedition’s clients for public concessions, and can initiate Expedition projects at their request.

Project Team: Anthony Selvaggio, Melissa Folzenlogen, Noël Michel, Sofia Kuspan, Kate Lubbers, Patrick Sardo

Photography by Stephen Takacs; Philip Arnold; and Galen Pardee