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Chicago Architecture Biennial Special Projects To Inhabit a Series of Architectural Landmarks

10:00 - 19 July, 2017
Chicago Architecture Biennial Special Projects To Inhabit a Series of Architectural Landmarks, Farnsworth House. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC user Jonathan Rieke. (Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)
Farnsworth House. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC user Jonathan Rieke. (Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Chicago Architecture Biennial and it's artistic directors, Johnston Marklee, have revealed a collection of Special Projects designed to harness the curatorial vision of the event—entitled Make New History—and bring it to a number of significant landmarks in the city and in it's surrounding area. Featuring a SO-IL and Ana Prvački collaboration, a Francois Perrin installation, a new performance artwork by Gerard & Kelly at the Farnsworth House, photographs by James Welling, and films by Gerard & Kelly, the projects will inhabit some Chicago's greatest "architectural gems."

A Different Kind of Sharing Economy: How the REAL Foundation is Building Social Equity Into the Nuts and Bolts of Architecture

04:00 - 13 July, 2017
A Different Kind of Sharing Economy: How the REAL Foundation is Building Social Equity Into the Nuts and Bolts of Architecture, Interior design by REAL Foundation for Common Stock: Sharing as Luxury, the fourth tower in the Derivative Architecture series. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation
Interior design by REAL Foundation for Common Stock: Sharing as Luxury, the fourth tower in the Derivative Architecture series. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America, and the blog invites designers and other contributors—such as —to express their perspectives in a range of formats. The 2017 exhibition, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

Courtesy of Real Foundation
Courtesy of Real Foundation

Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB): We want to start by noting that REAL foundation, which stands for "Real Estate Architecture Laboratory," is not a typical design practice. You design spaces, but you also make books, exhibitions, a magazine, and tools for advocacy. Why?

Jack Self (JS): The REAL foundation is an unusual model for an architectural firm. We're a normal architectural practice, but we are governed by a very strict set of conditions that allow us to pursue certain political and economic ideologies. We see the social role of the architect, as well as the structure of the architectural firm, as a subject for design as much as buildings.

The Ingot, a proposal by the REAL Foundation for The Ingot, a gold-plated tower sited next to London Bridge, and designed to house low-paid, precarious workers. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation Interior view of Default Grey, a proposal for a domestic tower that provides inhabitants autonomy from debt and enough anonymity to shield them from surveillance. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation Installation view of Home Economics, the British Pavilion curated by Jack Self with Finn Williams and Shumi Bose at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Each room in the pavilion addressed a different facet of the contemporary crisis of living. Photo by Cristiano Corte. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation Installation view of Home Economics, the British Pavilion curated by Jack Self with Finn Williams and Shumi Bose at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Each room in the pavilion addressed a different facet of the contemporary crisis of living. Photo by Cristiano Corte. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation +6

Mies van der Rohe's Other Illinois Home, the McCormick House, to Undergo Restoration

16:05 - 3 July, 2017
Mies van der Rohe's Other Illinois Home, the McCormick House, to Undergo Restoration, © Heritage Architecture Studio, LLC and LP Studio Inc. Via Curbed
© Heritage Architecture Studio, LLC and LP Studio Inc. Via Curbed

As Mies van der Rohe’s adopted city, Chicago and its surrounding area are home to more of the Modernist architect’s projects than anywhere else in the world, from Crown Hall to Federal Center to the Farnsworth House. Perhaps for that very reason, the McCormick House, located in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, is one of the lesser known projects in the architect's’ oeuvre – despite being one of just three single-family homes in the United States completed by Mies.

Built in 1952 for Robert McCormick Jr. – the owner of the land where Mies' 860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive was constructed – the house was moved down the street in 1994, where it was attached to the newly built Elmhurst Museum of Art via a 15-foot-long corridor. While its relocation allowed the building to remain in good care over the next 23 years, it also obscured the home’s front facade, “camouflaging one of the most prized objects in the museum's collection.”

But that’s all about to change, thanks to an upcoming restoration that will remove the offending corridor, allowing the original architecture to shine once again.

Chicago’s New Apple Store Installs Giant MacBook Roof

08:00 - 1 July, 2017

Taking a page from its own products, Chicago’s new flagship Apple Store will have what appears to be a MacBook-inspired roof topping its entrance. Videos from the Chicago Tribune and Twitter surfaced earlier last week detailing its roof installation complete with a white apple logo. The Foster + Partners design will offer unobstructed views towards the Chicago river as a tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style homes outside the city.

Imagining the Future of Suburbia, From “Freedomland” to “McMansion Hell”

04:00 - 22 June, 2017
Imagining the Future of Suburbia, From “Freedomland” to “McMansion Hell”, Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial
Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial

This article was originally published on the blog of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The blog invites designers, writers and other contributors to independently express their perspectives on the Biennial across a range of formats. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

Some works of architectural writing can be taken at face value as stark manifestos for a new aesthetic. Keith Krumwiede’s Atlas of Another America is, instead, a constantly unfurling satire that offers layers upon layers of artfully imagined social commentary. Like McMansion Hell, my own long-form satirical project, Krumwiede’s “architectural fiction" sends up American ideas about economics, politics, and culture by picking apart our outrageous suburban housing types. The project will be on display at the Chicago Architecture Biennial this fall, delivering a sardonic vision of American architecture that comes out of academic theory, but has a potent message for anyone who has spent time in suburbia. 

Helmut Jahn-Designed Skyscraper to Rise on Chicago's Historic Michigan Avenue

16:30 - 16 June, 2017
Helmut Jahn-Designed Skyscraper to Rise on Chicago's Historic Michigan Avenue, Courtesy of 1000M
Courtesy of 1000M

Renderings have been revealed for a new 832-foot-tall skyscraper that will rise from a current vacant lot on Chicago’s historic Michigan Avenue. Known as 1000M, the tower has been designed by JAHN, the practice helmed by one of Chicago’s most prolific architects, Helmut Jahn. The 74-story building will feature a blue-green glass curtain wall subdivided with metal horizontal spandrel panels, and a metallic mesh crown hovering over a rooftop terrace.

AD Classics: World's Columbian Exposition / Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted

04:30 - 14 June, 2017
AD Classics: World's Columbian Exposition / Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted, Viewed from the far end of the Great Basin, the Administration Building looms over the court of honor and the surrounding great buildings of the fair. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user RillkeBot (Public Domain)
Viewed from the far end of the Great Basin, the Administration Building looms over the court of honor and the surrounding great buildings of the fair. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user RillkeBot (Public Domain)

The United States had made an admirable showing for itself at the very first World’s Fair, the Crystal Palace Exhibition, held in the United Kingdom in 1851. British newspapers were unreserved in their praise, declaring America’s displayed inventions to be more ingenious and useful than any others at the Fair; the Liverpool Times asserted “no longer to be ridiculed, much less despised.” Unlike various European governments, which spent lavishly on their national displays in the exhibitions that followed, the US Congress was hesitant to contribute funds, forcing exhibitors to rely on individuals for support. Interest in international exhibitions fell during the nation’s bloody Civil War; things recovered quickly enough in the wake of the conflict, however, that the country could host the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Celebrating both American patriotism and technological progress, the Centennial Exhibition was a resounding success which set the stage for another great American fair: the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.[1]

Courtesy of Wikimedia user RillkeBot (Public Domain) Although the building itself was handsome, the exhibits of the United States Government Building failed to entice many of the fair’s visitors. In the foreground stands the Ho-O-Den, a replica medieval Japanese palace. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user RillkeBot (Public Domain) Courtesy of Wikimedia user scewing (Public Domain A map of the 1893 Exposition shows how much of the fair’s buildings were laid out on axis with the court of honor. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user scewing (Public Domain) +16

Cut Triplex Townhouse / SPACECUTTER

13:00 - 5 June, 2017
Cut Triplex Townhouse  / SPACECUTTER, © Michael Vahrenwald / ESTO
© Michael Vahrenwald / ESTO

© Michael Vahrenwald / ESTO © Michael Vahrenwald / ESTO © Michael Vahrenwald / ESTO © Michael Vahrenwald / ESTO +41

  • Architects

  • Location

    Chicago, IL, United States
  • Area

    5300.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2017

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Releases New Design for University of Chicago's Rubenstein Forum

12:00 - 15 May, 2017
Diller Scofidio + Renfro Releases New Design for University of Chicago's Rubenstein Forum, Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The University of Chicago has unveiled new renderings of its planned David M. Rubenstein Forum that show major changes to the buildings’ form and relationship to the site. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the new scheme shows a more homogeneous structure featuring a uniform zinc and glass facade that will help to better signify the distinct “neighborhoods” located within the 8-story tower.

Call for Papers Chicago Schools: Authors, Audiences and History

19:30 - 6 May, 2017
Call for Papers Chicago Schools: Authors, Audiences and History, Symposium poster, please feel free to share.
Symposium poster, please feel free to share.

“Chicago Schools” is an international peer-reviewed graduate student symposium that explores the interplay between the individual and collective in the process of making history. The symposium, hosted by the IIT College of Architecture PhD Program in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, will engage with and enhance the dialogue around the Biennial theme, “Make New History,” by highlighting graduate student contributions in architecture, design, humanities, and architectural and urban history. Papers may revisit past and present Chicago Schools - from Henry van Brunt’s "School" and William James’ "Chicago School of Thought" to Sigfried Giedion’s "Chicago School of Architecture,” and beyond - as well as the emergence of new historiographic and architectural traditions within a global context.

150 North Riverside / Goettsch Partners

13:00 - 4 May, 2017
150 North Riverside / Goettsch Partners, Courtesy of Goettsch Partners
Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Courtesy of Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners +12

  • Architects

  • Location

    150 N Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL 60606, United States
  • Architects in Charge

    Jim Goettsch, Joachim Schuessler, Erik Harris
  • Area

    136.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017

Behind The Scenes at Studio Gang

06:00 - 4 May, 2017
Behind The Scenes at Studio Gang, Aqua Tower. Image © Victor Delaqua
Aqua Tower. Image © Victor Delaqua

Chicago Zoo Park. Image © Victor Delaqua Studio Gang HQ - Chicago. Image © Victor Delaqua WMS Boathouse in Clark Park. Image © Victor Delaqua Studio Gang HQ - Chicago. Image © Victor Delaqua +7

Last year I had the opportunity to visit Studio Gang, one of the most prestigious and inspiring firms around led by architect Jeanne Gang. I was able to talk with her team about the workspace, some of her projects, about the future of architecture, the role of women in the profession and even about the inspirations behind the United States Embassy in Brasilia.

Obama Foundation Unveils TWBTA-Designed Obama Presidential Center

13:50 - 3 May, 2017
Obama Foundation Unveils TWBTA-Designed Obama Presidential Center, View of the Obama Presidential Center plaza. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation
View of the Obama Presidential Center plaza. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation

The Obama Foundation today unveiled the design of former President Barack Obama’s Presidential Center, reports The Chicago Tribune. Designed by Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the center’s design comprises three buildings. At the north of the site, the tallest building will contain the center’s museum, while buildings to the south will house a library, auditorium, and restaurant, arranged around a public garden.

Conceptual Site Model. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation Conceptual Site Plan. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation Contextual Site Plan. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation Aerial Shot of the Existing Site. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation +5

Which Cities Have the Most Skyscrapers?

09:30 - 27 April, 2017
Which Cities Have the Most Skyscrapers?

There’s a lot that the presence of skyscrapers can say about a city. They can be indicators of anything from wealth to modernization to density, or a combination of all three, depending on where you look. This potential to observe trends in a city through the height of its buildings makes data on those buildings valuable to a multitude of industries, so companies like Emporis conduct and distribute research on topics like the newest, tallest, and most expensive buildings in the world. Keep reading to find out about the ten tall cities that are home to the largest number of skyscrapers—as defined by Emporis' definition of a building that is 100 meters or more.

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.