Book Presentation and Signing of Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References

Courtesy of Architects

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

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 . Building off previous studies, the team’s 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 . 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…

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.

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

Image courtesy of Studio Gang Architects; Illustration, Jay Hoffman

The 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.

‘Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects’ Exhibition

Photo by Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of

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.

2012 Chicago Prize Competition: Future Prentice

Courtesy of Architectural Club

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, ’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.

‘The Seed of Light’ Powerful Design Competition Proposal / Andrea Zuniga + Daniel Caven

Courtesy of +

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.

Dutch Architect Wiel Arets Named Dean of IIT’s College of Architecture

Courtesy of IIT

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. 

Private Residence / Grunsfeld Shafer Architects

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing

Architects: Grunsfeld Shafer Architects
Location: , USA
Design Team: Thomas L. Shafer, Scott Crowe
Project Area: 6,500 sqm
Photographs: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing

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: Chicago, ,
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

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.

Noble Square Park Proposal / Martin Klaeschen & Carl Ray Miller

Courtesy of Martin Klaeschen &

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.

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