Leading architects fight to save Chicago’s historic Prentice Women’s Hospital

© C. William Brubaker via Flickr user UIC Digital Collections

Over 60 prominent architects, including Frank Gehry and Jeanne Gang, signed a letter asking Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to grant Bertrand Goldberg‘s Prentice Women’s Hospital landmark status and make it a permanent part of Chicago’s built environment.  ”A building this significant”, the letter read, it “should be preserved and reused.”  Goldberg’s architectural work has been iconic to Chicago’s city-scape.  Building such as Marina City, River City, Wright College and Astor Tower have all made a tremendous impact on the personality of the city.

More on the state of the building after the break.

The Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons / Solomon Cordwell Buenz

© Jim Steinkamp of Steinkamp Photography

Architects: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Location: , Illinois,
General Contractor: Pepper Construction
Consultants: Halvorson & Partners, Elara Engineering
Client: Loyola University
Size: 69,000 sf
Completion: 2007
Photographs: Jim Steinkamp of Steinkamp Photography

The Plant: An Old Chicago Factory is Converted into a No-Waste Food Factory

© Flickr user Plant

The old red-brick building sporting a “BEER” sign may not look impressive, but what is going on inside certainly is. “The Plant” is an indoor vertical farm that triples as a food-business incubator and research/education space located inside an 87-year old meat packing factory in the Union Stockyards of Chicago, .  The project was partly funded by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity with a $1.5 million grant.  Browse through the Plant Chicago’s Flickr Photostream and you can watch the space steadily transform into an urban farm that will grow fresh produce, farm fresh fish, brew beer and produce kombucha all while recycling the waste of the facility to make it a Net-Zero Energy System.

How does it work? Follow us after the break to learn more.

The Devoid Tower / Daniel Caven

Courtesy Daniel Caven

The Devoid Tower, designed by Daniel Caven at the Illinois Institute of Technology, , and featured in eVolo magazine, explores the passive systems that can be incorporated into high-rise design. Composed of a central volume that is pierced by a void, the tower’s design is influenced by a set of design rules, and tested using parametric and environmental analysis. More images and project description after the break.

Noble Square Park Proposal / Martin Klaeschen & Carl Ray Miller

Courtesy of &

Martin Klaeschen & Carl Ray Miller shared with us their first place winning proposal for the Noble Square Park in the Eckhart Park Design Competition. Their design focused on a donor recognition wall with an earthen mound that would act as both stage and seating for park activities. More images and architects’ description after the break.

“American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Classic Design” Exhibition

exterior St. Louis Union Station

From March 20 – May 11, the “American City: St. Louis Architecture: Three Centuries of Classic Design” exhibition will be up at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in downtown . The show consists of 83 large prints of over 40 historic buildings in St. Louis, including acclaimed landmarks such as Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building, James Eads’ Eads Bridge, Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch and Tadao Ando’s Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts Building. The timeline stretches from 1839 to 2010. The show is being staged in the Willis’ ground floor atrium and lobby and is free to the public. More information on the exhibition after the break.

James Corner Field Operations Team Wins Navy Pier Competition

Courtesy of

Today, the Chicago Tribune has reported James Corner Field Operations Team has been selected to redesign the 3,000 foot-long landmark, Navy Pier. Blair Kamin stated that the pier’s governing board approved the recommendation from the pier’s strategic planning committee to hire the JFCO team as they favored the team’s practical, yet still creative approach over the other, somewhat grandiose, schemes. It has been a big week for JCFO, as James Corner and Rich Scofidio’s latest ideas for the third section of the High Line were released on Tuesday. Continue reading for more information on the latest news regarding the winners of the international Navy Pier redesign competition.

Architecture and Design Film Festival 2012

Architecture Design & Film Festival

If you find yourself in for the weekend of April 12-16, be sure to check out the Architecture and Design Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre. A total of 31 Films running anywhere from a quick 3 minutes to 93 minutes will feature popular pieces such as EAMES: The Architect and the Painter and The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. The event will also include discussions with some of the filmmakers, architects, designers and other industry leaders about the design process, architecture in film and the innovative designs we see and use everyday. This highly anticipated film festival celebrates the creative spirit of architecture and design, so be sure not to miss it!

For more ticket information, visit the Architecture and Design Film Festival website.

Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy / JGMA

Courtesy of

Architects: JGMA 
Location: Chicago, , USA
Architect of Record: Ghafari Associates
Completion Date: September 2011
Owner: Instituto del Progreso Latino (IPL)
Design Team: Juan Gabriel Moreno, Cosmin Vrajitoru, Jason Nuttelman, John Rausch, David Ruffing, Linda Chavez, Michael Cady
Design Builder: McShane Construction
Project Area: 100,000 sf
Photographs: Courtesy of JGMA

   

Welcome Gallery / Thomas Roszak Architecture

Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing

Architect: Thomas Roszak Architecture 
Location: Chicago,
Photographs: Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing 

   

Luftwerk’s Luminous Field lights up Millennium Park

-based artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of Luftwerk have transformed Millennium Park into an interactive, choreographed light show titled Luminous Field. Colorful geometrical images set to music composed by Owen Clayton Condon of Third Coast Percussion illuminate “Cloud Gate”, commonly known as “The Bean”, and transform its surrounding plaza into a digital canvas. This site-specific video and sound installation is the first of its kind for Cloud Gate. Be sure to take part in this “immersive sculptural experience” before it concludes on February 20th. The spectacle begins each night at 6pm. Continue after the break for more images.

Great Pier / !melk + UrbanLab + HOK

Courtesy of

The competition for re-imagining Chicago’s historic Navy Pier has produced some ambitious examples of design ingenuity and innovation.  Feeding off of Daniel Burnham’s memorable quote “make no little plans”, this proposal comes from a design team led by !melkprinciple Jerry Van Eyck, UrbanLab and HOK - a series of “dramatic ideas to  reconceptualize Chicago’s preeminent exclamation point extending from the Great Lakes to the world”.  The intention behind this proposal is to provide a dynamic place in a historic area that provides a cultural landmark as well as a world-wide attraction that stems from the geological history of the site itself.

Follow us after the break for a more in-depth look at this project.

Pierscape / James Corner Field Operations Team

Courtesy of

James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) is one of five shortlisted teams invited to participate in an international design competition to renovate and reactivate ’s landmark Navy Pier. Unveiled to the public last month, the goal of the intervention is to refocus the experience of the pier to the lakeside. This is an opportunity for the city to reassess what the waterfront means to an urban center and the character of its identity.

Chicago Navy Pier / Team X, led by Xavier Vendrell Studio

Courtesy of

Led by -based Xavier Vendrell Studio, Team X seeks to respect, reveal and amplify the physical and experiential qualities of the authentic Navy Pier. Team X rejuvenates the Pier with a unifying system capable of evolving and changing over time, understanding that “the transformation of an existing place, done well, is responsive, organic and flexible”. A lush landscape contrasts the hardscape of Chicago, creating an urban park that functions like a plaza. Circular disks of varying circumferences puncture the landscape with various types of program and natural growth, accompanied by pocket parks, terraces and kiosks. “Horizon walk” platform attracts people to the Pier’s edge, as it the final destination that offers unobstructed views of Lake Michigan.

Continue reading for more!

PierESCAPE / Aedas Architects, Davis Brody Bond and Martha Schwarz Partners

Courtesy of Navy Pier

Aedas Architects, Davis Brody Bond and Martha Schwartz Partners proposal PierESCAPE goes beyond the Navy Pier Centennial Vision as it aims to strengthen the connections between water, land, nature, city, culture, civic space and infrastructure with a “series of dock-like extensions”. The proposal respects the history of the Pier while identifying unique opportunities that will them to create a 21st century waterfront experience that is both a historical and contemporary destination.

Continue reading for more information and video of the team’s presentation.

Pier+ / AECOM and BIG

Pier Park + Boardwalk - Courtesy of

A team led by AECOM and New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group () is one of five shortlisted teams invited to participate in an international design competition to renovate and reactivate Chicago’s landmark Navy Pier. This is a once-in-a-century opportunity that will redefine the character and focus of Chicago’s waterfront. It is part of an ambitious effort to create a new Navy Pier for the 21st century, and in doing so, to redefine what the pier and the waterfront means to the city.

Unveiled to the public on January 31, 2012 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the AECOM-BIG design vision aims to “re-colonize the people’s pier,” by maximizing opportunity through a holistic approach. The result is Pier+, a vibrant urban destination that creates a new amenity shared by all while making a positive and progressive statement about Chicago to the world.

Continue reading for more!

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Heller House on the Market for $2.5M

© Urban Search Realty

‘s 16-room, 6,100 square foot house built in 1897 for Isidore Heller was just placed on the market with an asking price of $2.5 million. Sitting on a large piece of land in Hyde Park, one of Wright’s more highly regarded house, is an architectural marvel with its high ceilings and and large rooms, which contrasts with the more well-known houses Wright is known for. The house also includes seven bedrooms, 33 stained glass windows, four fireplaces and an operational elevator. More images after the break.

Update: Navy Pier design teams present to the public

Existing Image of the Navy Pier © Stephen Hanafin via flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanafin/

Starting tomorrow, the five design teams selected to redesign the outdoor spaces of ’s Navy Pier will begin to reveal their schemes to the public. Lead by AECOM, Aedas Architects, James Corner Field Operations, !melk and the Xavier Vendrell Studio, each team will be given thirty minutes to present their ideas, followed by a ten minute question and answer session. The presentations will take place on January 31st and February 1st at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Continue reading for the presentation schedules and more information on the competition.