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Chicago

In "Horizontal City," 24 Architects Reconsider Architectural Interiors at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

10:20 - 25 September, 2017

Horizontal City is one of two collective exhibitions (the other being Vertical City) at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. 24 architects were tasked by artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee to "reconsider the status of the architectural interior" by referencing a photograph of a canonical interior from any time period.

Their challenge was in considering the forms and ways that their selection "might extrapolate out from the cropped photographic frame into a spatial and lifestyle construction across a larger, horizontal site" – in this case, a field of plinths, the size and positioning of which is a direct reference to the footprint of Mies van der Rohe's 1947 plan for the IIT Campus in Chicago.

15 Must-See Installations at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

12:00 - 22 September, 2017

With the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial in full swing and open to the public until January 7, 2017, we've scoured the galleries, halls and corridors of the Chicago Cultural Center to bring you our favorite fifteen installations. Documented through the lens of Laurian Ghinitoiu and assembled by our Editorial Team on location, this selection intends to shed light on the breadth, scope and preoccupations of Make New History – the largest architecture event in North America.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 45

Chicago Works: Amanda Williams at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

16:00 - 21 September, 2017
Chicago Works: Amanda Williams at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago , Amanda Williams, Flamin’ Red Hots from Color(ed) Theory Suite, 2014–16. Courtesy of the artist/ McCormick Gallery
Amanda Williams, Flamin’ Red Hots from Color(ed) Theory Suite, 2014–16. Courtesy of the artist/ McCormick Gallery

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents the first-ever museum exhibition of breakout Chicago artist Amanda Williams, featuring a new addition to her highly acclaimed project, Color(ed) Theory, which debuted at the first Chicago Architecture Biennial. The bright, monochromatic houses painted as part of Color(ed) Theory bring attention to the overwhelming number of vacancies on Chicago’s South Side, reflecting Williams’ perspective that architecture serves as a microcosm for larger social issues. Together with new works such as A Dream or Substance, a Beamer, a Necklace or Freedom? -- where Williams invited Englewood-based collaborators to gild a room in imitation gold leaf in the same proportion of a Chicago lot, and then sealed off the room with just a small gap for viewing the gleaming interior -- Williams’ solo debut creates an experience that comments on race, class, and urban space. Chicago Works: Amanda Williams is organized by MCA Curatorial Assistant Grace Deveney and is on view from July 18 to December 31, 2017.

SOM Exhibits 30 Structural Skeleton Models Showing Evolution of Tall Building Design

14:00 - 17 September, 2017
SOM Exhibits 30 Structural Skeleton Models Showing Evolution of Tall Building Design, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

When it comes to tall building design, it’s often the structural system where the most groundbreaking innovations are made. Premiering this week in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial is a new exhibition highlighting the innovative structural systems of an architecture firm that has completed their fair share of tall buildings: SOM.

Titled SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture], the exhibition uncovers the concepts and forms of the firm’s greatest achievements, including revolutionary tall buildings such as the John Hancock Building, the Willis Tower and the current world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The exhibition reveals the research and thought processes through a range of media: hand-drawn sketches, interactive sculpture, immersive video, and most notably, a lineup of models at 1:500 showing the structural skeletons of 30 significant projects.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 25

Curators Johnston Marklee Introduce the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, "Make New History"

11:15 - 15 September, 2017

As the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial prepares to open its doors, curators Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee) introduce Make New History – the theme of the second edition of North America's largest architecture and design exhibition.

Understanding the trace of history is more important than ever. Maybe now it's a good time to take stock and reevaluate to see what architecture could do better, and there are certain issues that other disciplines address better than architecture itself.

In "Vertical City," 16 Contemporary Architects Reinterpret the Tribune Tower at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

20:55 - 14 September, 2017
© Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

In a large-scale, central installation at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the likes of 6a architects, Barozzi Veiga, Kéré Architecture, MOS, OFFICE KGDVS, and Sergison Bates—among others—have designed and constructed sixteen five meter-tall contemporary iterations of the renowned 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower design contest.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 56

SO-IL with Ana Prvački Debut Musical-Spatial Performance at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial

23:00 - 13 September, 2017
SO-IL with Ana Prvački Debut Musical-Spatial Performance at 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, L'air pour l'air / SO-IL and Ana Prvacki. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
L'air pour l'air / SO-IL and Ana Prvacki. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

Today SO-IL, in collaboration with Ana Prvački, debuted L’air pour air on the occasion of the press preview of the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The performance explores the art of performing behind a filter in an age where many cities suffer from the environmental impact of human habitation. Described as "part installation and part musical performance," the creators have drawn inspiration from abundant plant life and the interconnectedness of people and nature.

Ahead of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Co-Curator Mark Lee Discusses Its Contemporary Relevance

04:00 - 11 September, 2017
Chicago Cultural Center, home of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image Courtesy of Holabird & Root
Chicago Cultural Center, home of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image Courtesy of Holabird & Root

In this episode of GSAPP Conversations, ahead of the opening of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, co-curator Mark Lee (of Johnston Marklee) and Dean Amale Andraos discuss the theme of the show—"Make New History"—and it's relevance to the field today.

New Chicago Architecture Center to Open in 2018

16:15 - 7 September, 2017
Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation
Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) has announced the creation of the Chicago Architecture Center, a new headquarters and experience center that will invite visitors to discover “Chicago’s architectural legacy and its role in shaping cities everywhere.”

Located within the Mies van der Rohe-designed 111 East Wacker Drive along the Chicago River, the 20,000-square-foot center will provide space for a variety of exhibitions and educational initiatives, including direct access to the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. The new interiors will be designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Spotlight: Louis Sullivan

14:00 - 3 September, 2017
 © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagoarchitecturetoday/8400309871/'>Flickr user chicagoarchitecturetoday</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>. Image © Flickr user chicagoarchitecturetoday licensed under CC BY 2.0
© Flickr user chicagoarchitecturetoday licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image © Flickr user chicagoarchitecturetoday licensed under CC BY 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.

The Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York. Image © Jack E. Boucher (public domain) 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 Wainwright Building in St Louis, Missouri. Image © University of Missouri The Wainwright Building in St Louis, Missouri. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2010-07-04_1880x2820_stlouis_wainwright_building.jpg'>J. Crocker</a> + 8

This Map Shows The Evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Designs

16:00 - 17 August, 2017
This Map Shows The Evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park Designs, © Phil Thompson
© Phil Thompson

Home to Frank Lloyd Wright for many years, Oak Park, Illinois is also the site of the greatest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes and buildings than anywhere else in the world. Having designed structures for the neighborhood for nearly four decades, Wright used Oak Park as a place to try out new techniques and evolve his personal style.

Picking up on this, Illustrator Phil Thompson of Cape Horn Illustration has created a new map of Wright’s Oak Park designs. Organized both chronologically and by location, the map allows viewers to make connections between the structures, as their lines evolved from gabled to flat roofs and expanded in scale and in ambition.

New Renderings Revealed for Helmut Jahn's Upcoming 832 Foot Skyscraper in Chicago

08:00 - 9 August, 2017
New Renderings Revealed for Helmut Jahn's Upcoming 832 Foot Skyscraper in Chicago, Courtesy of 1000M
Courtesy of 1000M

Updated renderings have been revealed for renowned architect Helmut Jahn’s 1000M, an upcoming 832-foot skyscraper that will take the place of a currently vacant lot on Chicago’s historic Michigan Avenue. Accommodating 323 luxury residences and over 40,000 square feet of amenities, the building will be clad in a green and blue glass curtainwall, with horizontal metal spandrels running across and dividing it. The roof terrace is covered by a hovering metallic mesh crown, which is shown in the new renderings.

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 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.