Preservationists Surrender to Hopeless Battle for Prentice

© C. William Brubaker via Flickr user UIC Digital Collections

In response to the Commission on Landmarks’ decision to reject landmark status to Prentice Woman’s Hospital for the second time in three months, the two preservationist groups challenging the City of have withdrawn their lawsuits. This eliminates the last barrier standing in Northwestern University’s way to demolish the historic, Bertrand Goldberg structure for a new biomedical research facility.

“We felt that we had done as much as we possibly could to demonstrate the significance of the building and ways to ,” stated Christina Morris, a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We just couldn’t see that we’d have any other outcome.”

For many, this news is disheartening as architects and preservationists from around the globe have fought in solidarity for much of the past year in an attempt to illustrate the importance of this one-of-a-kind structure.

More after the break…

AD Classics: Chicago Federal Center / Mies van der Rohe

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

The Federal Center, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1974, actually consists of three buildings which are arranged around and define the Chicago Federal Plaza. On the eastern side of South Dearborn Street sits the 30-story Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse. On the western side, the 42-story John C. Kluczynski Federal Building and the single story Post Office define the plaza.

Studio Gang Breaks Ground on Ecologically Diverse Urban Mecca

Courtesy of Studio Gang Architects

For the past several years the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago have been working on appropriate uses for Northerly Island, a 91-acre man-made peninsula in Chicago, . The lakefront site branches off from Museum Campus, a section along Lake Michigan that is home to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. Serving as an expansion to these programs, Studio Gang Architects, in collaboration with SmithGroupJJR, have created an innovative design that integrates educational, cultural, social, and recreational activities into Northerly Island.

Read more about Northerly Island’s future after the break!

ACTIVATE! Public Space Design Competition

Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity Chicago recently announced the launch of their 4th annual ACTIVATE! Design Competition, which is free and open to the public. The competition challenges participants to redefine a public space on a temporary basis and on a budget of $1,000. The designs should aim to leverage community development through the implementation of small scale place making infrastructure. This will be a partnership with Chicago Department of Transportation as part of the ‘Make Way for the People’ initiative. It will focus on four sites in the city: Old Town, Pilsen, Woodlawn, and East Garfield Park. The deadline for entries is March 15. For more information, please visit here.

Wheels of Chicago Proposal / Hapsitus Architects

Courtesy of

Inspired by the Ferris wheel, ‘Wheels of ’ consists of seven revolving wheels proposed for Olive Park and its vicinity. Designed by Hapsitus Architects, five of them will be placed above the circular fountains, with the circumference of each wheel mirroring that of its fountain. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Chicago’s Cook County Aims to Eradicate Demolition Waste

Image via

Cook County, Illinois, recently brought the elimination of construction waste to a new level by creating the first demolition debris ordinance in the Midwest. This groundbreaking ordinance requires most of the debris created from demolition to be recycled and reused instead of being sent to the landfill. The ordinance helps contribute to Cook County’s zero waste goal, part of the Solid Waste Plan Update.

The new law states that at least 7 percent of suburban construction and demolition debris must be recycled, and an additional 5 percent must be reused on residential properties. This new legislation will have a great impact as it affects about 2.5 million suburban Cook County residents.

More after the break…

Northwestern University confirms the demise of Prentice Women’s Hospital

© C. William Brubaker via Flickr user UIC Digital Collections

The new year is off to a rough start for the of modern architecture, as Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital appears to be joining Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center on the list for 2013. Northwestern University senior vice president for business and finance, Eugene S. Sunshine has confirmed that, despite strong opposition from architects and preservationists worldwide, the university will be replacing the historic, Chicago icon with a new biomedical research facility.

“The new building on the Prentice site will be connected on a floor-by-floor basis with the existing University research building just to the west of the site,” announced Sunshine in a press release. “Doing so will bring researchers together and thereby enhance the chances of finding breakthroughs in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders, among others. The site is the linchpin for what will be a major new medical research hub.”

More on this controversial decision after the break…

Book Presentation and Signing of Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References

Courtesy of

The Graham Foundation of will host a book presentation and signing of Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References, a new book edited by Robert McCarter and designed by Irma Boom exploring the notion of ‘A Wonderful World’. The event will take place Friday, February 1st at 6:00pmCST. The evening will begin with a discussion and debate between Arets and McCarter, introducing the book’s origins as well as the work of Wiel Arets Architects, after which signed copies of the publication will be available for purchase. More information after the break.

Chicago Riverwalk Proposal / Sasaki Associates + Ross Barney Architects

Courtesy of

Sasaki Associates, along with , Alfred Benesch Engineers, and a broader technical consultant team, were tasked this year with creating a vision for the six blocks between State Street and Lake Street in Chicago. Building off previous studies, the team’s Chicago Riverwalk Concept Plan, which is currently in progress to be completed, provides the last, critical link between the lake, the city’s circulation, and the river’s urban branches. Once a meandering marshy stream, the river became an engineered channel to support the industrial transformation of the city, making this riverwalk an instrumental design in the city. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

© Tom Rossiter

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects’ highly anticipated multidisciplinary arts center has opened at the in Illinois. Serving as a landmark on the south end of campus, the 184,000 square foot Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts is the new home to UChicago’s academic and extracurricular programs in cinema and media studies, creative writing, music, theater and performance studies, and the visual arts.

Inspired by the “flat prairies of the Midwest and the great towers of ”, the new arts hub is comprised of a light-filled glass and stone tower and a three-story “podium” with a saw-tooth roof. The 170-foot tower houses a performance penthouse, screening room, rooftop deck, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and performance labs, while the podium features studio space, music practice rooms, workshops, a café, a digital media center, production and editing labs, two theaters, and a 474-seat performance hall.

The University is pursuing LEED Silver Certification for the Logan Center, as the design features regionally sourced materials, a “green roof,” and solar panels.

More images and the architects’ description after the break…

Bucktown Three / Studio Dwell Architects

© Marty Peters

Architects: Studio Dwell Architects
Location: Chicago, IL,
Architect In Charge: Mark Peters
Project Manager: Gary Stoltz
Engineer: Louis Shell
: Julie deLeon
General Contractor: Matt Stedl
Area: 5,000 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Marty Peters

Winners of the Future Prentice Competition Announced

First Prize: “The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says.”

Amidst the longstanding, heated battled to save Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Prentice Woman’s Hospital, the results of the 2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice have been announced! Presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in collaboration with and the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the international competition intended to act as a platform for public debate about the future of the controversial Chicago landmark.

More information and the winning proposals after the break…

Save the Prentice Wrecking Ball: The Monument to Bruce / Design With Company

Courtesy of

The Save the Prentice Wrecking Ball: The Monument to Bruce, designed by Design With Company, is a response to the situation of the Prentice Women’s Hospital in which aims at creating a new narrative for the building’s afterlife. By combining literary and architectural narrative strategies, their design tries to recapture the narrative and produce the universe we need to steer us toward the conversations we want to have. This story is not a means to an end, it is the ends. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Prentice Granted Temporary Landmark Status as Preservationists Sue

Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Estate of Bertrand Goldberg/ Strawn.Sierralta with Plural Design via Chicago Architecture Foundation

Cook County Judge Neil Cohen has granted Bertand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital a temporary reprieve after preservationist filed a lawsuit against the city and the Chicago Commission on Public Landmarks yesterday afternoon. Plaintiffs, Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic claim that the commission “acted arbitrarily and exceeded its authority,” after granting and subsequently revoking Prentice landmark status in just a short afternoon on November 1. These proceedings, which typically takes months, followed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to publicly support Northwestern University’s plan to demolish the vacant icon.

More after the break…

Video: Cityscape Chicago

This mesmerizing film, by Eric Hines, captures the essence of the “Windy City”. The “Vimeo Staff Pick” is a compilation of over 30,000 still photographs shot between July and October of this year in downtown .

Helmut Jahn receives AIA Chicago’s Lifetime Achievement Award

German-American architect of Murphy/Jahn Architects has been announced as this year’s recipient of Chicago’s AIA Lifetime Achievement Award. Following his arrival to the U.S. more than 40 years ago, the Chicago-based architect has been lauded by some of the industry’s best for continuously breaking new ground with his postmodern steel-and-glass structures. Some of his most notable works include the SONY Center in Berlin and the University of Chicago Campus.

The film above, shared with us by our friends at Black Spectacles, captures the essence of Helmut Jahn’s work through images, videos and peer interviews with Jeanne Gang, FAIA, John Ronan, AIA, Ron Krueck, AIA, Werner Sobek and Franz Schulze.

The news of this award was followed by Jahn’s announcement that he will be changing the name of his firm to “Jahn”. Browse through some of Jahn’s most recent works, here on ArchDaily.

Mayor Emanuel supports Prentice Hospital Demolition

© C. William Brubaker via Flickr user UIC Digital Collections

Despite strong opposition from preservationists and architects world-wide, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced his decision to support the of Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital. In a op-ed piece released by the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel supported his stance by arguing that Northwestern’s new biomedical research facility would “bring 2,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment” to Chicago. Emanuel believes Goldberg’s “vision is alive in Chicago beyond one building” and allowing Northwestern to build the new medical center is crucial in keeping Chicago at the forefront of scientific innovation.

Emanuel stated, “Chicago’s architectural legacy is part of a larger story of a city that has been a trailblazer from the beginning and remains on the forefront of design and dance, medicine and manufacturing. To honor that legacy and build on it for the next generation of Chicagoans, we cannot simply preserve the past: we must promote opportunity for the future.”

In return, Northwestern has committed to “include a Chicago architect in its design process, adhere to the city’s minority hiring requirements, preserve other historic buildings and ensure public safety around the new building.”

via Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times

Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman’s proposal to save Prentice Women’s Hospital

Image courtesy of Studio Gang Architects; Illustration, Jay Hoffman

The preservation battle continues over the fate of ’s 1970’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital. As we reported in July, an ever-growing community of prominent architects – such as Frank Gehry, Jeanne Gang, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien – have joined preservationists in the fight to save the late modernist structure that is at risk of being replaced by a new biomedical research facility for Northwestern University.

The seven-story concrete cloverleaf, cantilevered 45 feet from the supporting core and floating atop a glass and steel box, is an engineering feat ahead of it’s time as well as an important icon within the Chicago skyline. As architecture critic Michael Kimmelman argues, “Great late-Modernist buildings, innovative and ruggedly beautiful, deserve respect and, increasingly, careful custody. Prentice is a good example.” However, it is not suited for 21st-century research labs and many Chicagoans hate it. Currently, Northwestern University is leading the debate by arguing that a new building would “bring to the city millions of investment dollars, create jobs and save lives”.

Could there be a compromise? Solutions are rarely black-and-white. Kimmelman has consulted Chicago architect Jeanne Gang to envision a proposal that would satisfy both opposing sides. Continue reading to learn more.