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Obamas Select South Chicago Site for Presidential Library

16:15 - 28 July, 2016
Obamas Select South Chicago Site for Presidential Library, © PLSouthSide.org (image modified to show selected site)
© PLSouthSide.org (image modified to show selected site)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have selected Chicago's historic Jackson Park as the site of the Obama Presidential Library, the Chicago Tribune has reported. The park is located in Chicago’s South Side, the first lady’s childhood home and where Obama was first elected to office. Located at the eastern edge of the University of Chicago campus, Jackson Park beat out nearby Washington Park for the honor of becoming the library’s home. The design commission was awarded to Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects earlier this month.

Perkins Eastman Update SOM-Designed Laboratory at the University of Chicago

16:05 - 22 July, 2016
Perkins Eastman Update SOM-Designed Laboratory at the University of Chicago, Southwest Facade After. Image Courtesy of Perkins Eastman
Southwest Facade After. Image Courtesy of Perkins Eastman

Perkins Eastman has released plans for a two-story expansion and redesign of the SOM-designed Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research at the University of Chicago campus in Chicago, Illinois. Construction on the 63,500 square foot building has just begun, and once completed, will serve as the renewed home of the University’s Department of Physics. The addition and renovation will create a new physics hub on campus that will allow students of different sub-disciplines to collaborate under the same roof for the first time.

Soutwest Facade Before. Image Courtesy of Perkins Eastman Northwest Facade After. Image Courtesy of Perkins Eastman Northwest Facade Before. Image Courtesy of Perkins Eastman Aerial Perspective After. Image Courtesy of Perkins Eastman +6

Moving Everest Charter School / Team A

15:00 - 22 July, 2016
Moving Everest Charter School  / Team A, © Hedrich Blessing
© Hedrich Blessing

© Hedrich Blessing © Hedrich Blessing © Hedrich Blessing © Hedrich Blessing +13

  • Architects

  • Location

    416 N Laramie Ave, Chicago, IL 60644, USA
  • Area

    53000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

OMA Releases Images of Alternative Design for Lucas Museum

07:00 - 13 July, 2016

UPDATE: We've added the video produced for the proposal! (via Brooklyn Digital Foundry)

Following the news last week that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will abandon plans for their Chicago location, OMA has released images of their proposal for the museum, which had been beaten out in the original competition by MAD Architects' Volcano-like entry. OMA’s design attempts to preserve as much of the lakefront park space as possible, lifting the majority of gallery and educational spaces into the air and capping them with a sky garden enclosed within an ETFE envelope. The plan would have offered up to 8 times more public space than the footprint it occupies.

Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York Courtesy of OMA New York +13

Barack Obama Presidential Center Selects Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

13:26 - 30 June, 2016
Barack Obama Presidential Center Selects Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Previous work by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architecture. Images © Michael Moran, Norman McGrath and Tom Rossiter
Previous work by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architecture. Images © Michael Moran, Norman McGrath and Tom Rossiter

The Obama Foundation has selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) with partner Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) to lead the design of the Obama Presidential Center for Chicago's South Side. Chosen from a shortlist including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, John Ronan Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, SHoP Architects, Snøhetta and Adjaye Associates, TWBTA stood out for their “commitment to explore the best ways of creating an innovative center for action that inspires communities and individuals to take on our biggest challenges.”

SRAM HQ / Perkins+Will

13:00 - 30 June, 2016
SRAM HQ  / Perkins+Will

© Michelle Litvin Studio © Michelle Litvin Studio © Michelle Litvin Studio © Michelle Litvin Studio +15

Lucas Museum Abandons Plans for Chicago Location

12:00 - 28 June, 2016
Lucas Museum Abandons Plans for Chicago Location, Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts
Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

The Lucas Museum has been looking for a home in all the wrong places. Following months of fiery debate over the future of the museum’s proposed lakefront location, George Lucas announced that he is abandoning plans to build the project in Chicago and will instead return to looking for a site in California. This is the second failed location for the museum, after being rejected by San Francisco’s Presidio Trust in early 2014.

SAH 2016 Annual Awards Gala

22:42 - 20 June, 2016
SAH 2016 Annual Awards Gala

The Society of Architectural Historians will present its 2016 Awards for Architectural Excellence at the 6th annual SAH Awards Gala on Friday, November 4, 2016. The awards represent a unique coming together of architectural practice and academic study, honoring the contributions of individual projects to our built environment. Proceeds from the gala benefit the Society's educational mission and the ongoing restoration of SAH's headquarters, the Landmark Charnley-Persky House.

Gensler Devises a Megatall Replacement for the Chicago Spire Site

14:15 - 6 June, 2016
Courtesy of Gensler
Courtesy of Gensler

Gensler’s “Gateway Tower” is a 2000-foot (610 meter) conceptual proposal for the Chicago Spire site. The project is the winning entry for a company-wide internal competition to generate a new megatall structure for the 2.2 acre plot at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive. The mixed-use proposal throws out the residential luxury model that drove Santiago Calatrava’s design, with a concept inspired by tourism and public engagement. Gateway Tower’s volume is still largely devoted to residential functions, but now condos and apartments are coupled with a hotel and public attractions that connect to the riverwalk, lakefront, and city. The building would include four unique experiences including riverfront public access at DuSable Park, a Funicular ride of pods ascending the building’s structural “leg” over Lake Shore Drive, a Skylobby with hotel and retail amenities, and a Skydeck with a restaurant and sky-garden at the building’s pinnacle.

Courtesy of Gensler Courtesy of Gensler Courtesy of Gensler Courtesy of Gensler +7

DS+R Reveals Design for the University of Chicago's Rubenstein Forum

12:00 - 27 May, 2016
DS+R Reveals Design for the University of Chicago's Rubenstein Forum, Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has unveiled its design for the David M. Rubenstein Forum at the southeast corner of Woodlawn Avenue and 60th Street on the University of Chicago's campus. The 90,000 square foot (8,500 square meter) facility has been devised as a place of intellectual, institutional, and educational exchange, fulfilling a variety of campus needs for meeting spaces. A collection of block-like volumes, the building’s two-story base is anchored by a narrow 165-foot (50 meter) tower, with the exterior materials and structure reflecting the programmatic divisions within.

Studio Gang Designs a Chicago Charter School With Principles of Sustainability and Wellness

12:00 - 24 May, 2016
Studio Gang Designs a Chicago Charter School With Principles of Sustainability and Wellness, Courtesy of Studio Gang
Courtesy of Studio Gang

Studio Gang has designed a new home for the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), a Chicago Public Charter School in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. Established eight years ago with the operating philosophy that a more sustainable world begins at school, the proposed campus is an urban farm and educational institution wrapped into one.

Courtesy of Studio Gang Courtesy of Studio Gang Courtesy of Studio Gang Courtesy of Studio Gang +5

Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond Propose Chicago Skyline Cablecar

16:00 - 4 May, 2016
Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond Propose Chicago Skyline Cablecar, Courtesy of Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond
Courtesy of Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond

Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond have revealed plans for the “Chicago Skyline” an aerial cable car attraction spanning from the Chicago Riverfront to Navy Pier and through Downtown along the Riverwalk. The project, still seeking permission, is meant to enable visitors to experience the fabled Chicago skyline in a new way, viewing the city and lakefront from custom-designed pods or “gondolas”. The design shares many similarities with the pill-like capsules surrounding the London Eye, which was also designed by Marks Barfield Architects. The Skyline is being marketed as a practical solution to link Navy Pier to the transit network within the Chicago Loop.

Brick by Brick LEGO Exhibition on Display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry

12:00 - 23 April, 2016
Brick by Brick LEGO Exhibition on Display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, Fallingwater. Image © J.B. Spector
Fallingwater. Image © J.B. Spector

Brick by Brick features a spectacular collection of more than a dozen LEGO-built structures of engineering marvels, constructed by LEGO Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker. These model structures include:

  • • A 60-foot-long Golden Gate Bridge
  • • The Hoover Dam, made with 42,000 bricks
  • • The American Eagle roller coaster from Six Flags Great America, and it even operates!
  • • The Roman Colosseum, whose oval structure was designed more than a dozen times to get it right
  • • A 9-feet-tall Burj Khalifa

Egyptian Pyramids. Image © J.B. Spector Colosseum. Image © J.B. Spector St. Louis Arch. Image © J.B. Spector Golden Gate Bridge. Image © J.B. Spector +16

Buy Land for a Dollar! Converting Chicago’s 15,000 Vacant Lots Into Booming Public Space

08:00 - 4 April, 2016
Buy Land for a Dollar! Converting Chicago’s 15,000 Vacant Lots Into Booming Public Space, The Available City exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Courtesy David Schalliol
The Available City exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Courtesy David Schalliol

At the Chicago Architecture Biennale, David Brown’s project “The Available City” addressed the fact that Chicago currently owns 15,000 vacant lots, many of which have become “havens for illegal dumping, weeds, rodents and street crime.” In this article, originally published on Autodesk’s Line//Shape//Space publication, Jeff Link takes a look at Brown’s project, examining its unique approach to developing the empty lots and converting them into public space. 

David Brown’s Chicago Architecture Biennial project, The Available City, responds to a striking fact: Chicago, in an exodus story echoed across the rust belt, owns 15,000 vacant lots.

The parcels, many of them on the South and West Sides, don’t generate tax revenue, but the city is obliged to maintain them. Outside the watch of homeowners, many are havens for illegal dumping, weeds, rodents, and street crime.

Chicago hasn’t exactly turned a blind eye, says Brown, associate director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture and the author of Noise Orders: Jazz, Improvisation, and Architecture. Through the Large Lot Program—a pilot that began in Chicago’s Englewood, East Garfield Park, and Austin neighborhoods—individuals and nonprofits that live on the same block as a city-owned vacant residential lot can buy select pieces of land for a dollar.

It’s a compelling idea, and through it and the related Adjacent Neighbors Land Acquisition Program, about 1,000 lots have been purchased in the past five years. But Brown says the city can do more; he suggests thinking of architecture and urban planning like jazz: a formal compositional structure inside of which experimentation can take place.

Debate Over the Future Site of George Lucas Museum Heats Up

12:00 - 5 March, 2016
Debate Over the Future Site of George Lucas Museum Heats Up , Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts
Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

Over the past few months, Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has been caught in the crossfire between two groups who have very different opinions on the future home of the George Lucas Narrative Art Museum. The site in question is a 1,500-space parking lot situated north of the McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center and just south of Soldier Field. The commission for the museum was won in July of 2014 by MAD Architects. Their design proposes a large, white, sculptural “mountain” which rises up from the site and is topped by a “metallic crown”.

"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design

09:30 - 3 March, 2016
"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

For a number of years now, Smart Cities and Big Data have been heralded as the future of urban design, taking advantage of our connected, technological world to make informed decisions on urban design and policy. But how can we make sure that we're collecting the best data? In this story, originally published on Autodesk's Line//Shape//Space publication as "'Array' of Possibilities: Chicago’s New Wireless Sensor Networks to Create an Urban Internet of Things," Matt Alderton looks at a new initiative in Chicago to collect and publish data in a more comprehensive way than ever before.

If it hasn’t already, your daily routine will soon undergo a massive makeover.

For starters, when your alarm clock goes off, it will tell your coffeemaker to start brewing your morning joe. Then, when you’re on the way to work, your car will detect heavy traffic and send a text message to your boss, letting her know you’ll be late. When you arrive, you’ll print out the agenda for today’s staff meeting, at which point your printer will check how much ink it has left and automatically order its own replacement cartridges.

At lunch, you’ll think about dinner and use your smartphone to start the roast that’s waiting in your slow cooker at home. And when you come home a few hours later, your house will know you’re near, automatically turning on the lights, the heat, and the TV—channel changed to the evening news—prior to your arrival. It will be marvelous, and you’ll owe it all to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Competition: Chicago Sukkah Expo 2016

06:30 - 2 March, 2016
Competition: Chicago Sukkah Expo 2016

Chicago Sukkah Expo ’16 is a national design competition that challenges entrants to re-imagine the sukkah. The sukkah, a temporary structure that is built during the Jewish festival of Sukkot, commemorates the 40 years that Jews spent wandering the desert (Leviticus 23:42-43). The impermanence of the sukkah reminds us that many community members do not have adequate shelter and are threatened by the dangers of homelessness. We must devote attention and support those without a permanent home.

Chicago’s Marina City Complex Officially Named City Landmark

08:00 - 26 February, 2016
© "Marina City Complex" by Flickr User TRAFFIK [US] is licensed under CC BY 2.0
© "Marina City Complex" by Flickr User TRAFFIK [US] is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Fifty-two years after its completion, the Marina City Complex in Chicago has been named an official architectural landmark. Following a 48-0 vote by the City Council, the buildings by Bertrand Goldberg will be given their official designation on March 16, reports The Architect Magazine.