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Willis Tower To Receive $20 Million of New SkyDeck Attractions

14:15 - 24 March, 2017
Willis Tower To Receive $20 Million of New SkyDeck Attractions, Courtesy of Morningstar. Via Crain's
Courtesy of Morningstar. Via Crain's

Adrenaline junkies rejoice: the Willis Tower has announced plans for $20 million dollars of improvements to their popular glass-bottom SkyDeck observation attractions. Among the additions will be a series of new all-glass protrusions from the building, as well as a chance to rappel down a glass shaft suspended from the building’s 103rd floor.

3 Top Architects Selected to Design Community-Oriented Housing Library Developments in Chicago

12:20 - 24 March, 2017
3 Top Architects Selected to Design Community-Oriented Housing Library Developments in Chicago, Initial renderings for the Roosevelt Branch, designed by SOM. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority
Initial renderings for the Roosevelt Branch, designed by SOM. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority

The City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority have announced the selection of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Perkins + Will and John Ronan Architects to lead in the design of three new “co-located” affordable housing and library developments in the Chicago neighborhoods of Little Italy, West Ridge, and Irving Park.

Selected from a shortlist of nine firms, the three Chicago-based teams were chosen for their “innovative ideas that will ensure that each community will have a design that best reflects its needs.” The practices will work intimately with their respective communities to develop their designs.

Initial renderings for the Roosevelt Branch, designed by SOM. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority The Northtown Branch at Western and Pratt avenues in West Ridge will be designed by Perkins + Will. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority The design of the Independence Branch at 4022 N. Elston in Irving Park will be lead be John Ronan Architects. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority SOM will design the Roosevelt Branch at Taylor and Ada streets on the Near West Side (Little Italy). Image Courtesy of The Chicago Housing Authority +4

Chicago Architecture Biennial to Exhibit 16 Tribune Tower Redesigns

16:30 - 7 March, 2017
Chicago Architecture Biennial to Exhibit 16 Tribune Tower Redesigns, Designs for the Chicago Tribune Tower by (left to right) Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer; Max Taut; Adolf Loos; and Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz. Image via skyscraper.org
Designs for the Chicago Tribune Tower by (left to right) Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer; Max Taut; Adolf Loos; and Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz. Image via skyscraper.org

The Chicago Architecture Biennial has announced the first exhibit that will on display during the event’s second edition from September 16 to January 7, 2018 – a contemporary reboot of one of architecture’s most well-known competitions, the Chicago Tribune tower design contest. Sixteen young architects from around the world will contribute new versions of the iconic skyscraper that will be displayed as a series of 16-foot-tall architectural models in the Chicago Cultural Center, the Biennial’s main venue.

3 Success Stories Show How to Apply Road Safety Through Public Health Plans

06:00 - 1 March, 2017
3 Success Stories Show How to Apply Road Safety Through Public Health Plans, © Flickr User: NYCDOT. Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
© Flickr User: NYCDOT. Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Vision Zero is an initiative that started in Sweden in 1997 when the country began implementing a series of road safety measures to reach their goal of zero deaths from traffic accidents. As a result, the country managed to reduce the number of deaths to 3 people per 100 thousand inhabitants.

Since then the plan has been adopted by different cities and has inspired the creation of various organizations that are looking to make our streets a safer places. One of them being the Vision Zero Network that brings together traffic engineers, health professionals, local leaders, and policy makers.

Willis Tower to Receive $500 Million Renovation

16:20 - 7 February, 2017
Willis Tower to Receive $500 Million Renovation, Courtesy of Blackstone and Equity Office
Courtesy of Blackstone and Equity Office

One of the United States’ most recognizable skyscrapers, the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), is set to receive a $500 million renovation designed by the Chicago office of Gensler. Announced by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel with real estate holders Blackstone and Equity Office, the project will transform and reinvigorate the 43-year-old building, which held the title of world’s tallest building for nearly a quarter century. 

Courtesy of Blackstone and Equity Office Courtesy of Blackstone and Equity Office Courtesy of Blackstone and Equity Office Courtesy of Blackstone and Equity Office +14

Chicago Announces Controversial Plans to Replace Helmut Jahn’s Thompson Center with 115-Story Skyscraper

14:00 - 26 January, 2017
Chicago Announces Controversial Plans to Replace Helmut Jahn’s Thompson Center with 115-Story Skyscraper , 115 story skyscraper that could replace the Thompson Center. Image © Adrian Smith Gordon Gill Architecture. Via Crain's
115 story skyscraper that could replace the Thompson Center. Image © Adrian Smith Gordon Gill Architecture. Via Crain's

Chicago may be about to receive a new supertall skyscraper in the heart of the Loop – but it would require the demolition of one of the city’s most polarizing buildings, the James R. Thompson Center, designed by Chicago architect Helmut Jahn.

Owned by the state, the postmodernist Thompson Center and its colorful glass atrium have been the subject of both criticism and adoration since its opening in 1985. But wear on the building throughout the years has led to an estimated maintenance bill of $326 million, prompting the state government to find ways to rid itself of the potentially crippling costs.

Helmut Jahn's Alternative Proposal. Image © JAHN. Via Crain's 115 story skyscraper that could replace the Thompson Center. Image © Adrian Smith Gordon Gill Architecture. Via Crain's Thompson Center interior. Image © wikimedia user Tripp. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 Thompson Center from the street. Image © wikimedia user Primeromundo. Image released to public domain +5

TED Talk: Jeanne Gang on Buildings That Create Community

16:00 - 25 January, 2017

I’m a relationship builder

In this TED Talk, Jeanne Gang makes a case for the architect as community builder, and how design choices should begin with creating connections between people. In the 12 minute video, Gang walks through some of her firm’s more recent and successful projects, including the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Chicago’s Aqua Tower and a proposal for a completely reimagined police station, outlining the architectural decisions that helped to foster a sense of community.

"Through architecture, we can do much more than create buildings," says Gang. "We can help steady this planet we all share."

Theaster Gates Wins 2017 Edmund N. Bacon Award

16:00 - 13 January, 2017
Theaster Gates Wins 2017 Edmund N. Bacon Award, The Rebuild Foundation's Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative (DA+HC); Chicago / Landon Bone Baker Architects. Image © Barry Rustin
The Rebuild Foundation's Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative (DA+HC); Chicago / Landon Bone Baker Architects. Image © Barry Rustin

The Center for Architecture and Design has announced Theaster Gates as the 2017 recipient of its Edmund N. Bacon Award, which honors one individual who has advocated for excellence in urban development, planning, thought, and design.

A Chicago-based artist and community developer, Gates is the founder of the Rebuild Foundation, which focuses on improving the quality of urban life by planning and designing active and engaged communities. “Under Gates’ leadership, the Rebuild Foundation currently manages projects in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago. Program sites include the Stony Island Arts Bank, the Black Cinema House, the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, Archive House, and Listening House.”

University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons / Studio Gang

15:00 - 15 November, 2016
University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons / Studio Gang, © Steve Hall | Hedrich Blessing
© Steve Hall | Hedrich Blessing

© Tom Harris Photography © Tom Harris Photography © Steve Hall | Hedrich Blessing © Steve Hall | Hedrich Blessing +39

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center / SmithGroupJJR

17:00 - 11 November, 2016
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center / SmithGroupJJR, © Liam Frederick
© Liam Frederick

© Liam Frederick    © Liam Frederick    © Liam Frederick    © Liam Frederick    +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    836 W Wellington Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, United States
  • Area

    166000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Liam Frederick , Courtesy of SmithGroupJJR

Jeanne Gang: “Without an Intellectual Construct Life is Boring”

09:30 - 3 November, 2016
Jeanne Gang: “Without an Intellectual Construct Life is Boring”, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2014. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2014. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall

Jeanne Gang, the founder of Studio Gang Architects, has made a name for herself as a designer who can design both show-stopping skyscrapers and sensitive small-scale buildings. From her breakout 2009 Aqua Tower project, to the hypothetical “Polis Station” proposal presented at last year's Chicago Architecture Biennial, Gang has established herself as perhaps Chicago's leading architect.

Gang is also included as part of Vladimir Belogolovsky's ongoing City of Ideas exhibition tour, representing Chicago among 9 other significant architects, each from a different global city. With the exhibition currently in Gang's home city at the Chicago Design Museum until February 25th, here as part of his City of Ideas column on ArchDaily Belogolovsky presents a shortened version of the interview featured in the exhibition.

Aqua Tower, Chicago, 2009. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2014. Image © Iwan Baan Writers Theater, Glencoe, Illinois, 2016. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, Chicago, 2013. Image © Hedrich Blessing. Photographer Steve Hall +55

Chicago Riverwalk Opens to the Public, Returning the City to the River

16:25 - 1 November, 2016
Chicago Riverwalk Opens to the Public, Returning the City to the River, © Kate Joyce Studios
© Kate Joyce Studios

The third and final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk is officially open to the public. Designed by Sasaki and Ross Barney Architects, the 1.5 mile long promenade revitalizes an underutilized industrial area into an active public space featuring restaurants, cultural activities and amenities while reconnecting the Chicago River to the urban fabric of the city.

© Iwan Baan © Kate Joyce Studios © Kate Joyce Studios © Kate Joyce Studios +37

Ansarada Chicago Office / Those Architects

13:00 - 18 October, 2016
Ansarada Chicago Office / Those Architects, © Luc Remond
© Luc Remond

© Luc Remond © Luc Remond © Luc Remond © Luc Remond +27

  • Architects

  • Location

    Chicago, IL, United States
  • Design Team

    Ben Mitchell (project director), Simon Addinall (project architect), Karoline De Mendonça, Luke Hallaways
  • Area

    880.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

The Tallest Timber Tower Yet: Perkins + Will's Concept Proposal for River Beech Tower

09:30 - 6 October, 2016
Courtesy of River Beech Tower
Courtesy of River Beech Tower

As part of a masterplan along the Chicago River, the River Beech Tower is a residential high-rise which, if built, would be taller than any existing timber building. The collaborative team behind River Beech consists of architects Perkins+Will, engineers Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge. Currently a conceptual academic and professional undertaking, the team state that it could potentially be realized by the time of the masterplan’s final phases.

Johnston Marklee Named Artistic Directors of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

07:10 - 21 September, 2016
© Eric Staudenmaier Courtesy Chicago Architecture Biennial
© Eric Staudenmaier Courtesy Chicago Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) has announced that Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, of the Los Angeles-based firm Johnston Marklee, have been named Artistic Directors for the 2017 event. Following a successful inaugural run in 2015, the second edition of the biennial will take place from September 16 - December 31, 2017.

Speaking exclusively to ArchDaily, Artistic Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee said:

We are thrilled with the invitation to be the Artistic Directors for the second edition of the largest exhibition of contemporary architecture in North America. To have a global platform to address current ideas and showcase the talent in the field of architecture in a city with such an extraordinary architectural pedigree is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Spotlight: Louis Sullivan

08:00 - 3 September, 2016
Spotlight: Louis Sullivan, The Carson Pirie Scott Building in Chicago, Illinois. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/cjsmithphotography/8656829487'>Flickr user cjsmithphotography</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>
The Carson Pirie Scott Building in Chicago, Illinois. Image © Flickr user cjsmithphotography licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Known as Chicago's "Father of Skyscrapers," Louis Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) foreshadowed modernism with his famous phrase "form follows function." Sullivan was an architectural prodigy even as a young man, graduating high school and beginning his studies at MIT when he was just 16. After just a year of study he dropped out of MIT, and by the time he was just 24 he had joined forces with Dankmar Adler as a full partner of Adler and Sullivan.

"Unofficial" Design for Obama Presidential Library Provides "Second Home" To Visitors

08:00 - 27 August, 2016
"Unofficial" Design for Obama Presidential Library Provides "Second Home" To Visitors, Courtesy of Raynaldo Theodore Design Studio
Courtesy of Raynaldo Theodore Design Studio

Just as the competition to design the official Obama Presidential Library in Chicago was heating up, Arcbazar orchestrated a simultaneous, open-call for ideas competition asking  “What sort of Presidential Library would the people design?." Raynaldo Theodore Design Studio (RTDS) led by Raynaldo Theodore, Ryan Ridge, and Kalvin Widjaja responded with a proposal that focuses on Obama's peaceful and inclusive spirit to create a place of welcome and community. Dubbed The V-House, their design is comprised of a series of indoor/outdoor sequences which reference Obama's life and significant points in its Chicago context.   

Courtesy of Raynaldo Theodore Design Studio Courtesy of Raynaldo Theodore Design Studio Courtesy of Raynaldo Theodore Design Studio Courtesy of Raynaldo Theodore Design Studio +29

8 Things You Should Know About Fazlur Khan, Skyscraper Genius

12:45 - 18 August, 2016
8 Things You Should Know About Fazlur Khan, Skyscraper Genius, © flickr user achimh. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
© flickr user achimh. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

When it comes to skyscraper architects, the first name that comes to mind is often Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. No firm has completed more supertall buildings than SOM, and to this day, they remain a leader in the field, designing both the western hemisphere’s and the world’s tallest buildings in One World Trade Center and the Burj Khalifa. Yet, arguably, the height of their powers came in the 1970s, directly following a lull in skyscraper construction that allowed the Empire State Building to retain the status of world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years.

It was then that Falzur Khan, a SOM architect and structural engineer, came up with the structural innovation that revolutionized the skyscraper industry, leaving lasting impacts on the construction methods of supertall buildings today.

Drawing from a recent story published by Mental Floss on the designer, we’ve come up with a list of facts about his life and role in the world of architecture.  

Continue reading for the 8 things you should know about Falzur Khan.