Venice Biennale 2012: Team Chicago City Works

© Nico Saieh

With Alexander Eisenschmidt as curator, five chicago-based practices presented together “Team Chicago: City Works”. In our age of extreme urbanization, says Eisenschmidt, “architects have been placed in the critical predicament that calls for a new attitude towards the city that highlights its potentials, engages with its problems, and understands itself as a catalyst”.

Team Chicago believes that Chicago has been particularly receptive to this new attitude. In the exhibition, the five practices pursued the concept through the presentation of projects -both real and imagined.

Eisenschmidt itself presents Phantom Chicago Panorama, “where the city is recreated through unbuilt visionary projects across the twentieth century -from Adolf Loos’s Tribune Tower to Griffin’s Plan for a Better Chicago to Greg Lynn’s Stranded Sears Tower.

See more pictures of Team Chicago: City Works exhibition after the break.

David Brown Available City maps Chicago disused, underused, or disregarded areas that are ripe for possible transformation. Studio Gang’s Reclaiming the Edge proposes a series of freshwater inland lagoons for the city, which provide new recreational waterfronts and spur urban revitalization.

© Nico Saieh

UrbanLab´s Free Water District project also imagines a future in which landscape and natural resources become central to Chicago´s development -creating new ater infrastructure that exploits the Rust Belt region´s abundance od fresh water, turning the crisis of industrial decline into a springboard of ideas.

© Nico Saieh

There is also built projects in the exhibition. Tigerman McCurry Architects and Studio Gang demonstrate how architectural elements, shapes and components -such as the prefabricated, bent-wood members and interconnected fiberglass pods of Studio Gang´s Lincoln Park Zoo Natural Boardwalk Education Pavillion- can relate to a specific local history and strive towards universal recognition.

“Throughout these projects, what unites the historical and the current scene in Chicago is an attitude towards the city, one that understands it as a catalyst and is determined to find the within it potentials for spatial, material, programmatic, and organizational invention”, says Eisenschmidt.

© Nico Saieh

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Cite: Nico Saieh. "Venice Biennale 2012: Team Chicago City Works" 14 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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