Algae Green Loop / Influx Studio

Courtesy of

Every industrial energy system inscribes its technological order into the urban fabric. Therefore, what shall be the shape and the fingerprint of the next zero carbon economy in the big cities? While the world is looking for alternatives to fossil fuels, Algae is an unlimited source of energy, food, and most important, a remarkable natural CO2 absorber. So, which spatial implications shall have Algae’s new technologies, and which potential integrations could be imagined for Algae bioreactors in central urban areas? Influx Studio believes re-use is by far the most sustainable option: that’s why the key issue is how to anticipate Algae’s green future in the core of the major cities, transforming existing buildings, where most people live and where emissions of CO2 are the most important. More images and project description after the break.

Bertrand Goldberg Architecture of Invention Exhibition / John Ronan Architects

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

Architect: John Ronan Architects
Location: 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, , USA
Project Team: John Ronan AIA, Lead Designer; Marcin Szef, Tom Lee
Graphic Designer: Studio Blue
General contractor: Art Institute of Chicago
Project Area: 6600 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

Uno Charter School Proposal / STL Architects

Courtesy of

The concept for the new UNO Charter School by STL Architects has been conceived as a response to the organization’s bold vision for the Latino community in . Rather than replicate a tired, traditional school archetype solution, the design embraces the challenge of modernity with heroic determination. The heart of the building is an abstract yet powerful multinational expression of the neighborhood cultural identity – an environment to fuel the aspirations of students and community. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The Gary Comer Youth Center / John Ronan Architects

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

Architect: John Ronan Architects
Location: 7200 S. Ingleside Ave., , , USA
Project Team: John Ronan AIA, Lead Designer; Evan Menk, Project Architect; Brian Malady, Project Architect; Yasushi Koakutsu, Oscar Kang, Brad Kelley, Micah Land, Nageshwar Rao
Project Area: 75,000 sqf
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing, Chris Lake

Poetry Foundation / John Ronan Architects

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

Architect: John Ronan Architects
Location: 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, ,
Project Team: John Ronan AIA, Lead Designer; Tom Lee, Project Architect; Evan Menk, Senior Technical Coordinator; John Trocke, Marcin Szef, Wonwoo Park
Program Manager: U.S. Equities Realty
Project Area: 26,000 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

SOM receives 2011 Firm of the Year Award

The AIA Chicago chapter has awarded the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP () the 2011 Firm of the Year Award for 75 years of global design excellence. The chapter recognized the outstanding achievements and excellence in the firm’s body of work and their contribution to the advancement of the architectural profession in areas of design, research, planning, technology and architectural practice. This is the highest AIA award a firm can receive.

The Firm Award Jury stated, is the jury’s unanimous choice for AIA Chicago’s 2011 Firm of the Year. It is evident in the submission that SOM has a distinct culture that is collaborative and team-oriented with a history of high aspirations for design excellence. For the professional community, SOM’s innovation continues to impact and inform tall building design around the world, while it is also evident that SOM is an involved and active citizen of Chicago, reaching outside of itself to positively impact the community and its organizations.”

A celebration will take place at the AIA Chicago annual meeting and awards presentation on Friday, December 9th, 2011 at ReBuilding Exchange in Chicago, Illinois.

Here are a few SOM projects featured on ArchDaily:

Meditation Hut III “Victor” / Jeffery S. Poss Architect

© Jeffery S. Poss

Architect: Jeffery S. Poss Architect
Location: Champaign, ,
Design Associates: Workus Studio LLC, Crete, Illinois
General Contractor: Dreamworks Construction
Structural Consultant: PREPA.R.E. INC.
Geotechnical Consultant: Midwest Engineering Services, Inc.
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Jeffery S. Poss

Update: Navy Pier Competition Shortlist

© 2011 Navy Pier, Inc.

Navy Pier officials listed the five design teams selected to compete in the final phase of the Navy Pier competition. Each international design team, consisting of architects, urban designers, landscape architects and many other design professionals, is required to submit design proposals for the Chicago Pierscape and undergo an oral interview with officials. The schematic designs will be exhibited to the public in early February and the winning proposal will be announced later that month.

The five teams selected are lead by AECOM, Aedas Architects, James Corner Field Operations, !melk and the Xavier Vendrell Studio – the only team lead by a Chicagoan. Continue reading after the break for the complete list of the teams.

Video: Waterline Chicago

Recently completed by Spirit of Space, the film above displays the cadence of morning rush hour reflecting the rhythm of the River, but how often do we allow the river to reflect a wandering glance from us? This “glance” aims to bring to light the potential of ’s socially under utilized, aqueous artery.

‘Waterline’, commissioned by Phil Enquist (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) in junction with the eponymous studio at the Harvard GSD for Fall 2011 allows students to explore the realities of three sites along the South branch of the river and think of ways to make it more relevant to the public.

Video: Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream / Studio Gang Architects

Jeanne Gang presents Studio Gang’s vision for the transformation of Cicero, Illinois, a 1920’s suburb that suffered greatly from the foreclosure crisis. Studio Gang is one of five interdisciplinary teams participating in MoMA’s Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. Each team is challenged to re-imagine struggling American cities and , seeing the current economic crisis as an opportunity to evolve.

The video is provided by The Museum of Modern Art and was filmed by J6 Media Works.

Chicago Children’s Museum Out of New Plan for Grant Park

© Krueck + Sexton Architects

The glorious feeling of winning an architectural competition may quickly diminish after the realization that the achievement was only the beginning of the battle.

Officials have confirmed that Krueck + Sexton’s winning competition entry for the new home of the Children’s Museum has been removed from the redevelopment plan of the Richard J. Daley Bicentennial Plaza on the northeast corner of Grant Park.

Continue reading for complete coverage.

Colin Powell Middle School / Legat Architects, Inc.

© James Steinkamp

Architect: Legat Architects, Inc.
Location: Matteson, Illinois
Construction Manager: Louis Jones Enterprises, Inc.
Technology/Audio-visual/Security/Geothermal Feasibility Consultant: KJWW Engineering Consultants
MEP/Structural/Civil Engineer: Globetrotters
PhotographsJames Steinkamp

Designed by Architects, Inc. of , Illinois, the 122,000sf Colin Powell Middle School is an academic facility that serves grades 6-8 for Illinois School District 159.  According to the architect, “The design of Colin Powell Middle School responds to the client’s desire to provide a progressive symbol of education to its students and community.  Energy efficiency, environmental conscientiousness, and openness were all driving factors in the design.”  More images and description after the break.

37signals / Brininstool + Lynch

© Chris Barrett

Architect: Brininstool + Lynch
Location: ,
Project Year: 2009-2010
Photographs: Christopher Barrett 

The 37signals project is a 10,000sf commercial build-out for a software company in Chicago, Illinois.  The build-out was designed by Brininstool + Lynch of Chicago, Illinois and was completed with full occupancy in March 2010.  More images and architect’s description after the break.

College of DuPage Technology Education Center / DeStefano Partners

© Barbara Karant / Karant + Associates,

Architect: DeStefano Partners
Location: Glen Ellyn,
Project Year: 2o10
Photographs: Barbara Karant / Karant + Associates, Inc.

Pierscape at Navy Pier Competition

© 2011 ,

Navy Pier is the most popular attraction in Chicago, drawing nearly nine million visitors annually. Navy Pier, Inc., the newly formed not-for-profit entrusted with the redevelopment and operation of the Pier is conducting an international search for a Design Team to reimagine the Pier’s outdoor public spaces, or Pierscape.

This work at Navy Pier provides the opportunity for a Design Team to have a profound impact on one of the most important and visible public places in Chicago. Teams should have representatives from landscape architecture, architecture, urban design, communication and graphic design, lighting design, art curation, engineering, and other relevant disciplines. Navy Pier invites those interested in participating in this international search for a Design Team to respond to our Request for Qualifications and Design Proposals (“RFP”). More competition information after the break.

Mies van der Rohe: 1951-52 McCormick House Documentary

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DeStefano Partners shared with us their new documentary on Mies van der Rohe and his 1951-52 McCormick House in Elmhurst, by the Elmhurst Art Museum. Please refer to the above video for the complete documentary.

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Symposium

The CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) 2011 award winners will be recognized and awards conferred at the CTBUH 10th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner. The event will be held on Thursday, November 3rd at the Hermann Hall Auditorium and S.R. Crown Hall at Institute of Technology. All of the winning projects and finalists will be celebrated at this gala event. Additionally from the four regional best tall building winners, one ‘worldwide’ winner will be chosen and announced to close out the dinner event.

The Ceremony and Dinner will be preceded by a free afternoon Symposium which will feature presentations from all the 2011 winners. Join us to hear from senior representatives of these ground breaking projects, as well as from the two CTBUH Lifetime Achievement award winners who have influenced the tall building profession for decades. More information on the event after the break.

Lincoln Park Residence / SPACE Architecture + Planning

© Eric Hausman

This house had been sitting on the market for a few years, in short sale. SPACE Architecture + Planning‘s clients, looking for a family home with plenty of room for the kids, fell in love with it and its unusually large yard and lot (for ). This landmark presented several challenges, least of which was the outdated interior and poorly planned living spaces.

Architect: SPACE Architecture + Planning
Location: Chicago, , USA
Project Team: Jean Dufresne, Architect of Record; Irene Yuen, Project Architect
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Eric Hausman