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Rafael Viñoly Proposes Twin Residential Towers for Chicago's South Loop

14:15 - 29 September, 2015
© Rafael Viñoly Architects
© Rafael Viñoly Architects

Rafael Viñoly Architects has presented plans for a two-tower residential project in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood. The phased Crescent Heights development hopes to be home to Chicago's 6th tallest building, rising 829-feet on the south end of Grant Park. If approved, the project would be completed in three phases; the first realizing a 76-story, 792-unit apartment building on the eastern portion of the site. 

Chicago Tribune Says 11 "High Caliber" Architects Asked to Submit Qualifications for Obama Library

14:15 - 23 September, 2015
The University of Chicago's two proposed sites. Image © OPLSouthSide.org
The University of Chicago's two proposed sites. Image © OPLSouthSide.org

Update: The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has now reported that 140 architects from 60 cities have expressed their interest in designing the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago by submitting qualifications. Of these, 99 are based in the United States, although names have not been released. The below article, originally published on September 1st, lists 11 architects that Kamin was able to confirm had been invited to submit qualifications by the Barack Obama Foundation.

Last week, it was reported that the Barack Obama Foundation was searching globally for an architect to design Obama's Presidential Library and Museum (officially known as the Barack Obama Presidential Center). With the list of invited candidates for Obama's Presidential Center still a closely-guarded secret, though, the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin has turned investigator, uncovering a list of 11 firms among the "fifty or more" which are believed to have been invited. Kamin states that the 11 firms he has confirmed to be in the running are "A) Of high caliber; B) Represent a broad geographic and aesthetic spectrum; and C) Include the established firms one would expect to be invited."

Alternative Realities: 7 Radical Buildings That Could-Have-Been

09:30 - 21 September, 2015
Alternative Realities: 7 Radical Buildings That Could-Have-Been, Masterplan for the World Trade Center by Richard Meier & Partners, Eisenman Architects, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, and Steven Holl Architects. Image © Jock Pottle. Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Masterplan for the World Trade Center by Richard Meier & Partners, Eisenman Architects, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, and Steven Holl Architects. Image © Jock Pottle. Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects

In It’s A Wonderful Life the film’s protagonist George Bailey, facing a crisis of faith, is visited by his guardian angel, and shown an alternate reality where he doesn’t exist. The experience gives meaning to George’s life, showing him his own importance to others. With the increasing scale of design competitions these days, architectural “could-have-beens” are piling up in record numbers, and just as George Bailey's sense of self was restored by seeing his alternate reality, hypothesizing about alternative outcomes in architecture is a chance to reflect on our current architectural moment.

Today marks the one-year-anniversary of the opening of Phase 3 of the High Line. While New Yorkers and urbanists the world over have lauded the success of this industrial-utility-turned-urban-oasis, the park and the slew of other urban improvements it has inspired almost happened very differently. Although we have come to know and love the High Line of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations, in the original ideas competition four finalists were chosen and the alternatives show stark contrasts in how things might have shaped up.

On this key date for one of the most crucial designs of this generation, we decided to look back at some of the most important competitions of the last century to see how things might have been different.

Joseph Marzella's second-place design for the Sydney Opera House. Image via The Daily Mail Designs for the Chicago Tribune Tower by Adolf Loos (left) and Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz (right). Image via skyscraper.org Design for the High Line by Zaha Hadid Architects with Balmori Associates, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and studio MDA. Image via University of Adelaide on Cargo Collective Moshe Safdie's design for the Centre Pompidou. Image Courtesy of Safdie Architects +16

New Horizon_architecture From Ireland

07:00 - 18 September, 2015
New Horizon_architecture From Ireland, Credito Irish Design 2015
Credito Irish Design 2015

New Horizon_architecture from Ireland, a series of presentations of the work of emerging Irish practices in three high-profile venues around the world, opens at Chicago Design Museum on October 3rd and runs until January 3rd, 2016 as part of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Presented by Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) in partnership with Chicago Design Museum, this flagship exhibition of Irish architecture and the built environment is a key element of ID2015, a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally.

Liquid Happening: A Living Architecture Ball

19:30 - 7 September, 2015
Liquid Happening: A Living Architecture Ball, Liquid Happening: A Living Architecture Ball | graphic design by ALLL
Liquid Happening: A Living Architecture Ball | graphic design by ALLL

Aboard a private yacht, this event will break traditional molds of evening public lectures that promote excellence, diversity, as well as engaging the public about the impact and relevance of architecture, good design including providing continuing education. Attendees and guests will come out reenergized, as they mingle, tour Chicago through Lake Michigan and Chicago River in a private yacht, and engage in dialogue with Keynote Speaker, Dr Rachel Armstrong. The evening's topic centers on an ecological age of design and construction that seeks to develop new ways of choreographing space by working along with natural systems. The black-tie and tie-dyed evening cruise will culminate at the rooftop of a secret high rise building location (to be revealed on the day of the event) for a viewing of the Living Ball installation of the Leapfrog Project.

Chicago Architecture Club Announces 2015 Burnham Prize Competition: Currencies of Architecture

08:30 - 4 September, 2015
Chicago Architecture Club Announces 2015 Burnham Prize Competition: Currencies of Architecture, Courtesy of Chicago Architectural Club
Courtesy of Chicago Architectural Club

UPDATE: The deadline for submissions for the Burnham Prize has been extended to September 7th, 2015 with the announcement of the winning entries to occur on September 30th, 2015. In addition, student entry fees have been reduced to $25.00.

Affiliated with this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Chicago Architectural Club has announced the 2015 Burnham Prize Competition: Currencies of Architecture. This year’s Burnham Prize was inspired by the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s title, “The State of the Art of Architecture,” and explores the question: what is the state of the art of architecture today? Entrants are challenged to create a single image that exemplifies a point of view on the current state of architecture – whether it is a celebration, a challenge, a statement or anything else.

Spotlight: Louis Sullivan

10:30 - 3 September, 2015
Spotlight: Louis Sullivan, The Carson Pirie Scott Building in Chicago, Illinois. Image © Flickr CC User Chris Smith
The Carson Pirie Scott Building in Chicago, Illinois. Image © Flickr CC User Chris Smith

Known as Chicago's "Father of Skyscrapers," Louis Sullivan 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.

Official Trailer of the Chicago Architecture Biennial Released

12:08 - 2 September, 2015

On October 3 the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, The State of the Art of Architecture will commence. The “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America," the exhibition is designed to be a multiplatform event that will host an array of radical ideas, projects and spatial experiments from more than 100 international architects that "demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience."

Cermak McCormick Place Station / Ross Barney Architects

13:00 - 28 August, 2015
Cermak McCormick Place Station / Ross Barney Architects, © Kate Joyce Studios
© Kate Joyce Studios
  • Architects

  • Location

    Cermak-McCormick Place, Chicago, IL 60616, United States
  • Design Team

    Carol Ross Barney, FAIA; Eric Martin, AIA; Ryan Giblin, AIA, LEED AP; Andrew Vesselinovitch, AICP Mordecai Scheckter, LEED AP; Sung-Joon Kim, LEED AP; Anna Ninoyu; Huili Feng; Monica Chadha; Nicolas Sanchez, LEED AP; Sallie Schwartzkopf, AIA; Amy Chun; Corrine Knight
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Kate Joyce Studios © Kate Joyce Studios © Kate Joyce Studios © Kate Joyce Studios +24

Obama to Cast Global Search for Chicago Presidential Center Architect

12:18 - 27 August, 2015
Obama to Cast Global Search for Chicago Presidential Center Architect, Sites under consideration for the Barack Obama Presidential Center. Image © OPLSouthSide.org
Sites under consideration for the Barack Obama Presidential Center. Image © OPLSouthSide.org

In May, the University of Chicago was selected to host the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum. Now referred to as the Barack Obama Presidential Center, the building's task force is expected to cast a global call in search of an architect. As the Chicago Tribune reports, officials sent a request for qualifications to a select group of architects yesterday, although others are welcome to submit. All those interested must send their credentials by September 16. 

"The foundation and its advisers wanted to present the president and first lady with a strong and broad list of options," a foundation spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune. "We are looking at architects who represent a broad range of approaches and styles, but who all have a position of eminence within the architecture profession and have achieved some degree of public recognition."

Church Conversion into a Residence / Linc Thelen Design + Scrafano Architects

09:00 - 23 August, 2015
Church Conversion into a Residence / Linc Thelen Design + Scrafano Architects, © Jim Tschetter
© Jim Tschetter

© Jim Tschetter © Jim Tschetter © Jim Tschetter © Jim Tschetter +35

Inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial Reveals Official List of 2015 Participants

16:23 - 14 August, 2015
Inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial Reveals Official List of 2015 Participants, Chicago Biennial to feature photo series by Iwan Baan. Image ©  Iwan Baan
Chicago Biennial to feature photo series by Iwan Baan. Image © Iwan Baan

A 40-strong list of international studios has named the official participants of the first-ever Chicago Architecture Biennial - the “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America.” Chosen by Biennial Co-Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda - who are supported by an advisory council comprising David Adjaye, Elizabeth Diller, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry, Sylvia Lavin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Peter Palumbo, and Stanley Tigerman - each participating practice will convene in Chicago to discuss "The State of the Art of Architecture" and showcase their work from October 3 to January 3, 2016.

“The city of Chicago has left an indelible mark on the field of architecture, from the world’s first modern skyscraper to revolutionary urban designs,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “That’s why there’s no better host city than Chicago for this rare global event. The Chicago Architecture Biennial offers an unprecedented chance to celebrate the architectural, cultural, and design advancements that have collectively shaped our world.”

A complete list of participants, after the break. 

Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Lakefront Kiosk Winners

08:00 - 5 August, 2015
Chicago Architecture Biennial Announces Lakefront Kiosk Winners, Finalist: Lakefront Kiosk / TRU Architekten. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Architecture Biennial
Finalist: Lakefront Kiosk / TRU Architekten. Image Courtesy of The Chicago Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and BP, has announced the winner of its Lakefront Kiosk Competition, which sought out designs for an innovative lakefront kiosk to be inaugurated on October 3 for the opening of the Biennial.

In addition to the winner of the competition, the Biennial is also partnering with local schools—the Illinois Institute of Technology, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago—in order to build three more kiosks to be featured at the Biennial. View the grand prize design, as well as three competition finalists, honorable mentions, and the three architecture school designs after the break.

CAF Launches Open Competition for New Chicago Headquarters

16:00 - 14 July, 2015
CAF Launches Open Competition for New Chicago Headquarters, Chicago skyline. Image © Flickr CC User Derek Key
Chicago skyline. Image © Flickr CC User Derek Key

The Chicago Architecture Foundation has launched an open international ideas competition for a facility that will include a new headquarters, visitor center and exhibition space for CAF; a new headquarters for the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH); a design and allied arts high school; and flexible learning spaces for out-of-school-time youth programs. The project, dubbed the Center for Architecture, Design and Education (CADE) will a new kind of learning campus aimed to "equip young people to be stewards for the built environment of the 21st Century."

Design With Company + Arup Create “Shaw Town” Theatre in Chicago

16:00 - 11 July, 2015
Design With Company + Arup Create “Shaw Town” Theatre in Chicago , Courtesy of Design With Company
Courtesy of Design With Company

Chicago based architecture studio Design With Company, in collaboration with Arup, have constructed their winning proposal for the Ragdale Ring design competition, which asked entrants to redesign Howard Van Doren Shaw’s 1912 performance venue for a Chicago artists’ community. Their design lightheartedly references features of Shaw’s architecture, while creating a venue for acoustically unamplified performances.

Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company Courtesy of Robert Becker/Design With Company Courtesy of Allison Derr/Design With Company +24

The Top 10 Most Impactful Skylines

09:30 - 8 July, 2015
The Top 10 Most Impactful Skylines, Hong Kong Skyline. Image © Flickr CC user Brian H.Y
Hong Kong Skyline. Image © Flickr CC user Brian H.Y

Emporis, a German company that collects and distributes information on construction and the built environment, has released a ranking of the world’s 100 most visually impactful skylines, using statistical analysis to address a topic often made frustratingly subjective by civic pride. 

To create the rankings, Emporis used data from its archives to determine the number of high-rise buildings in the cities it studied, and applied a points system that gave each building a numerical value determined by the number of floors it has. To standardize their ranking process, the points system ignores spires and other ornament, and does not include television or antenna towers, masts, bridges, or similar architecture. 

Of the top 10 most impactful skylines, seven are in Asia, while North and South America combined have the other three. Notably, cities filled with rich architectural history fail to make the list, or fall surprisingly low in the rankings; London is number 44, Paris is ranked 66, and Rome does not make the cut. 

To see the top ten skylines, read on after the break, and click here to see Emporis' complete list.

PORT Urbanism and R2 Companies Propose Plan to Revitalize Chicago’s Goose Island

08:00 - 3 July, 2015
PORT Urbanism and R2 Companies Propose Plan to Revitalize Chicago’s Goose Island, An oblique aerial view of the Goose Island proposal. Image Courtesy of PORT
An oblique aerial view of the Goose Island proposal. Image Courtesy of PORT

Hoping to reverse the fortunes of this small but distinctive area of Chicago, real estate development firm R2 Companies and urban planning group PORT Urbanism have teamed up to devise a plan to renew Goose Island. A man-made island with a long history of manufacturing, Goose Island lacks the revenue stream of many other Chicago regions, but the development team hopes to improve conditions by 2025 by enabling it to develop into a sustainable, high-tech neighborhood connected to Chicago’s urban grid.

Diagram of existing conditions on Goose Island. Image Courtesy of PORT Diagram of proposed transportation improvements for Goose Island. Image Courtesy of PORT Rendered plan of the Goose Island proposal. Image Courtesy of PORT Diagram of the Goose Island proposal. Image Courtesy of PORT +11

Studio Gang to Design Net Positive Energy Campus for Chicago Children's Academy

16:30 - 9 June, 2015
Studio Gang to Design Net Positive Energy Campus for Chicago Children's Academy, Chicago Skyline. Image © Flickr CC User Derek Key
Chicago Skyline. Image © Flickr CC User Derek Key

Studio Gang has been selected to design a 60,000 square-foot campus for the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) in Chicago. Aimed to be the city's greenest campus, the net positive energy scheme will be designed as a space for learning that will "break down barriers between kids." The campus will include classrooms, an international learning laboratory, a teacher professional development center, an early childhood center, and an urban food production center.