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…
In a word, yes.
The Report, a consolidation of 15 years of research involving over 800 building projects and 500 organizations, gathered hard evidence to find out: what influences a cultural building’s success or failure? The question is a relevant one: between 1994 and 2008 there has been a building boom of performing arts centers, museums, and theaters in the U.S., costing cities billions of dollars. And unfortunately, supply has outrun demand.
The biggest problem the Report identifies is that cities and towns, many of which have recently experienced improved education/income and enthusiastically undertake these projects, often overestimate the actual need for these centers in their communities. Thus, when they run into financial difficulties (most do: over 80% of the projects surveyed ran over-budget, some up to 200%), the centers become economic drains rather than cultural boons.
In other words: Just because you build it, it doesn’t mean they will come.
So what does make for a successful Cultural Center? More after the break…
The project for a new chiller plant at the University of Chicago provided the opportunity to design for function, performance, materials, construction while simultaneously considering how the technical equipment could be displayed as if it were a piece of art. The resulting expression of the South Campus Chiller Plant is a modern celebratory display of technical equipment. As the utility equipment is exposed, other elements of construction remain “uncovered” – concrete walls and floors, steel structure, ducts, light fixtures, and pipes.
The University of Chicago – South Campus Chiller Plant received the 2009 AIA Chicago Chapter Award, the 2008 Chicago Architecture Foundation Patron of The Year Award, and the 2008 Midwest Construction’s Best Award.
Architects: Murphy Jahn
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Client: University of Chicago
Lead Designer: Helmut Jahn
Structural Engineer: Burns & McDonnel, Werner Sobek Engineering & Design
MEP: Burns & McDonnel , Primera
Project Area: 26,400 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Rainer Viertlboeck
Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, University of Chicago / Tod Williams Billie Tsien & Associates
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, a renowned practice with expertise in public/cultural buildings, just unveiled the details for the new Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Chicago.
This new building will offer 170,000sqf for studios, rehearsal space, director’s cut screening rooms, state–of–the art acoustical theaters, lecture rooms and set–building shops, that will be shared by many departments including visual arts, theater, music, as well as cinema and media studies.
The project includes a 11-story tall tower, which will become a new landmark at the south of the campus. At the top of this tower we find the Performance Penthouse, a tall space for performances and rehearsals with an amazing view over the city (see render below).
The rest of the complex is distributed on smaller buildings, with an interesting set of skylights to naturally lit the interiors.
As usual in Tod Williams Billie Tsien works, such as the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the Phoenix Art Museum and the East Asian Library at Berkeley, the simplicity of the materials (stone and glass) give the building a contemporary yet ageless look, a building that will stand over time, not just a fad.
More renderings after the break.