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.
Inspired by the Ferris wheel, ‘Wheels of Chicago’ 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.
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…
The new year is off to a rough start for the preservation of modern architecture, as Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital appears to be joining Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Center on the demolition 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…
The Graham Foundation of Chicago 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.
Sasaki Associates, along with Ross Barney Architects, 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.
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects’ highly anticipated multidisciplinary arts center has opened at the University of Chicago 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 Chicago”, 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…
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 Chicago 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.
The preservation battle continues over the fate of Bertrand Goldberg’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.
Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects, is the first solo exhibition dedicated to the work of Studio Gang, which will be on view at the Art Institute of Chicago until February 24, 2013. The show immerses visitors in the energy of the studio’s creative process and the stream of ideas that connects its growing body of work. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.
The Chicago Architectural Club, along with its partner, the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects, just announced the 2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice. The competition is intended to act as a platform for public debate about the future of one of Chicago’s most architecturally significant Modern buildings, Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital. Located in the downtown Chicago neighborhood of Streeterville, this concrete, clover leaf-shaped structure is considered an iconic piece of architecture for the city by some and an eyesore by others. Today the building is in imminent danger of being torn down by its owner, Northwestern University, but it’s fate ultimately lies in the hands of the city’s administration. The submission deadline is October 15. To register and for more information, please visit here.
Designed by Illinois Intitute of Technology architecture students, Andrea Zuniga and Daniel Caven, the winning proposal in the Powerful Design Competition held this summer in Chicago will redefine Chicago’s south side skyline, adding a new member to the series of local landmarks: a skyscraper made of light. Sponsored by ComEd, this will not only serve as the company’s icon, but also as a symbol for environmental awareness, heightening the aesthetics of the area. With the aim to design a new LEED certified training facility in the south side of the city, ‘The Seed of Light’ will travel along the Chicago River to spread the knowledge of smart grid technology and promote the company name as a responsible and environmental friendly entity. The estimated completion for the project is April 2014. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Provost Alan Cramb announced today the appointment of Wiel Arets as the new dean of the IIT College of Architecture. Born in the Netherlands, Arets, an internationally acclaimed architect, educator, industrial designer, theorist, and urbanist, is known for his academic progressive research and hybrid design solutions. He is currently the professor of building planning and design at the Berlin University of the Arts. His architecture and design practice, Wiel Arets Architects, has multiple studios throughout Europe and its work has been nominated for the European Union’s celebrated ‘Mies van der Rohe Award’ on numerous occasions.
Arets, who was dean of the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam from 1995-2002, will join IIT this fall and will lead an academic program originally shaped by the vision and work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Considered by many to be one of the founders of modern architecture and design, Mies chaired the IIT architecture program from 1938-1958 and designed the IIT Main Campus, home to many of his iconic structures including S.R. Crown Hall.
Continue reading for more.
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 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, Illinois. The project was partly funded by the Illinois 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, designed by Daniel Caven at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, 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.