This article, by Michael R. Allen, was originally published on Next City as “Prentice Hospital Could Become Modernism’s ‘Penn Station Moment’“
When the concrete cloverleaf of Prentice Hospital sprouted from the Chicago ground in 1975, its award-winning design met the praise of critics and the admiration of many Chicagoans. Architect Bertrand Goldberg drew from Brutalism, but with a symmetry and grace that distinguished Prentice from more angular works in that style.
This week, as Goldberg’s famous work is pulled apart by wreckers, nothing about its loss seems symmetrical or graceful. Within 40 years, the building transitioned from a proud symbol of civic renewal and design innovation to the victim of old-fashioned Chicago politics. The controversy surrounding the demolition of Prentice, however, injected the preservation movement into an urban design discussion with a presence not seen in a long time.
Architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli has been selected to design the new $195 million McCormick Place Event Center in Chicago that will double as home for the DePaul Blue Demons basketball program. With 10,000 seats, the building will also house large business and professional meetings as well as concerts and special events.
Stanley Tigerman, an outspoken force on the Chicago architecture scene, was recently bestowed (much to his amazement) AIA Chicago’s highest honour: the Lifetime Achievement Award. “I’ve done some damage to them and I’m aware of it. I’ve challenged them…” he explains to Meg Graham of Chicago Grid. “So that they then turn around in a way and turn the other cheek and give me this award does not go unnoticed by me. And I’m thrilled by it.” You can find the full, wonderfully entertaining interview, in which he discusses the award, keeping up in a digital world, and getting older (without becoming “ridiculous”),here.
In the year 1940, Armour Institute and Lewis Institute merged in Chicago to create the Illinois Institute of Technology. The merging of these two schools called for a new master plan for the university, and Mies van der Rohe was commissioned for the job. Mies’ plan for the IIT campus was one of the largest projects he ever conceived and he developed it for twenty years. Today the campus contains 20 of his works, including the famous Crown Hall. Enjoy the video and don’t forget to check our AD Classics on the IIT Master Plan and Buildings.
The Graham Foundation recently announced their upcoming exhibition, Environments and Counter Environments. “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape,” MoMA 1972, which opens to the public on September 18th with a short talk by curators Peter Lang, Luca Molinari, and Mark Wasiuta followed by a reception. This exhibition highlights the lasting significance of MoMA’s groundbreaking 1972 exhibition, Italy: The New Domestic Landscape. Presented for the first time in the United States outside of New York, the Graham Foundation’s iteration of Environments and Counter Environments highlights both the dynamic context of radical Italian design and architecture in the 1970s, as well as the innovative exhibition that first presented this work in America. The exhibition will be on view until December 14th. More information provided by The Graham Foundation after the break.
Spirit of Space has shared with us their most recent collaboration with Phil Enquist of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: Art in the City. Pairing powerful quotes with imagery from the Chicago’s most prominent works, the film “expresses the vitality and vibrance that public art can bring to the urban environment by experientially including the viewer in the making of place.” As Spirit of Space describes, “The art is a reflection of the City, the art becomes a part of the City, the art is instrumental in making the City.”
Featured works include Picasso’s sculpture for Daley Plaza, along with Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate and Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.
Currently on display until August 22, AIA Chicago is honoring its Small Project Awards winners at 23 E. Madison in downtown Chicago as part of the Chicago Loop Alliance’s Pop-Up Art Loop initiative. Designed in collaboration with Chicago-based branding firm a5, the exhibit offers yet another opportunity for AIA Chicago and its Small Practitioners Group to showcase the smaller-scale innovations that architects work on in their day-to-day practice. The third annual Small Firm/Small Project Award program recognizes high quality work from small Chicago architectural firms and exceptional small local projects. More images information after the break.
“Increasingly we experience cities mediated by digital technology — whether that’s via smartphone maps, digital transit signage, or texting a friend that you’ve arrived at a destination. How our city is built to support residents, businesses, and visitors [...] is now part physical and part digital.”
To embed more and more digital information into the physical world, a growing number of digital specialists are beginning to embrace the worlds of architects, planners and urbanists. But, so far, it has not been a two way street to make the digital leap.
Find out why architects should be at the forefront of the digital/spatial overlap, after the break…
City Works: Provocations for Chicago’s Urban Future, an exhibition that debuted last year at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice (2012), has returned to the city of its origin. Currently on display though September 29th at the City of Chicago’ Expo 72 Gallery, the exhibition re-envisions a series of typical Chicagoan urban environments in an effort to examine alternative ways in which architecture can engage the city.
Studio Gang Architects will design a new residence hall and dining commons for the University of Chicago, officials announced today. Expected to open in 2016, the new facility will stand at the corner of 55th Street and University Ave and will act as a gateway connecting the Hyde Park community to the rest of the University. Jeanne Gang’s studio was chosen out of dozens of entries, in a process that called upon the input of faculty, staff, students, as well as community and University stakeholders.
Mies van der Rohe’s last constructed skyscraper, the IBM building in Chicago, recently underwent a significant transformation: the modernist office building is now a 316-room luxury hotel. An interesting post on the ArchitectureChicago Plus blog weighs in on the building’s history and ponders: will Mies’ minimalist aesthetic be compromised by its new lavish furnishings? Read it all here.
We’ve talked at length about the future potential of 3D Printing for Architecture – from rapidly producing emergency shelters to putting structures on the moon - but The Chicago Architecture Foundation has already found a way to make 3D Printing practical for architects – today. Since 2009, the foundation has been using 3D Printing to make models of all the buildings of the city of Chicago (that’s over 1,000 buildings in a 320 sq ft area). The idea is to let native Chicago-ans and tourists alike get a better sense of the city, seeing the city grid, the relationship of heights between the tall buildings, its patterns of development.”
As 3D Printing technology gets more and more sophisticated, it’s easy to imagine that every architect will soon have a 3D printer that could do the same – allowing him/her to instantly visualize not just his/her design-in-progress, but every surrounding building as well.
Check out some cool videos of this 3D printed Chicago, after the break…
Shortly after confirming the demise of Bertrand Goldberg’s beloved Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, Northwestern has released a shortlist of three firms competing to design the school’s new biomedical research facility. This comes with the support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and despite strong backlash from architects and preservationists worldwide.
The finalists are:
As a continuation to their in-depth review on the render, CLOG has selected 60 images from an international group of architects and design studios – including Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, Mansilla+Tuñón Architects, and visualhouse – to serve as case studies in the exhibition New Views: The Rendered Image in Architecture. Now on view at the Art Institute of Chicago through January 5th, 2014, New Views will explore the diversity of rendering types being produced today and their effect on contemporary architecture. More information can be found here.
Three cutting edge designs were just selected as the winners of the 2013 Burnham Prize competition, organized by the Chicago Architectural Club and Chicago Architecture Foundation, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority, and the Chicago Bus Rapid Transit Steering Committee. Titled, ‘NEXT STOP: Designing Chicago BRT Stations,’ the competition asked participants to integrate innovative and compelling transportation design into Chicago’s urban fabric. Awarded the first prize was the ’Form vs. Uniform: Generative Chicago BRT Stations’ proposal by designers Hesam T. Rostami and Bahareh Atash. More images and information on the winning entries after the break.
SOM has come up with a structural system for skyscrapers that uses mass timber as the main structural material and minimizes the embodied carbon footprint of the building. The firm believes that their proposal is technically feasible from the standpoint of structural engineering, architecture, interior layouts, and building services and would revolutionize the traditional skyscraper as we know it.
Read on to learn more about The Timber Tower Research Project.