Collective-LOK’s Roche/Dinkleloo Double contrasts vernacular with the institutional

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Collective-LOK's Amherst installation contrasts vernacular with the institutional. Concrete looms over half of the diamond-shaped space (Courtesy Collective-LOK).

In July 2018, Collective-LOK (CLOK) unveiled their Roche/Dinkeloo Double, a temporary installation located below a cantilevered section of UMass Amherst’s Fine Arts Center. CLOK is a collaboration formed by architects Jon Lott, William O’Brien Jr., and Michael Kubo.

The Fine Arts Center, designed by firm Roche-Dinkeloo in 1975, is located on the border of UMass Amherst’s campus. According to architect Jon Lott, the structure was conceived as “a bridge to the Mass campus, operating as an entry point between the town of Amherst and the academy’s campus. An arcade of V-shaped pillars line the structure’s south and north elevations, supporting studio space above and providing glimpses of the campus’s central quadrangle.

The Roche/Dinkeloo Double is a two-sided wooden frame, measuring 24 feet in all dimensions. To match the scale of the abutting concrete structure, CLOK bundled their Douglas Fir 2 x 4’s to effectively create 4 x 8 super studs. The wood-framed structure meets the corners of the V-shaped pillar, resulting in a diamond-shaped room. A walkway diagonally runs through the installation, embedding it within an actively-used campus thoroughfare.

The Roche/Dinkeloo Double located under a cantilevered section of the Fine Arts Center (Courtesy Collective-LOK)

Drawing on the familiar vernacular of wood-framed construction, CLOK views their installation as questioning the relationship between Roche-Dinkeloo’s brutalist intervention and the largely Italianate and Colonial Revival character of the surrounding context. From within the installation, the view upward is sliced in two. Half of the structure is weighed down by a looming triangle of concrete, while the other faces the open sky.

Past work by Collective-LOK includes Heart of Hearts, a circle of nine, ten-foot-tall golden hearts installed in Times Square in 2016, and the Van Alen Institute’s 2014 redesign.

The installation is in place until October 2018.