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Illinois: The Latest Architecture and News

Critics and Community: Reviewing the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

The third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) has opened in Chicago with a range of new exhibitions and installations across the city. Organized under the theme ...And other such stories, the biennial showcases the work of over 80 contributors, including MASS Design Group, Forensic Architecture, Theaster Gates, and more. Taking a look at the main venue, we’re diving into some of the exhibitions and emerging stories.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 26

SOM Designs Stereoform Slab Pavilion for 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

Architecture practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have designed a concrete pavilion for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Today, the practice is unveiling the work of its interdisciplinary practice with Stereoform Slab, a to-scale prototype of a future building system made using advanced robotic fabrication techniques. The project is simultaneously an activation and an exhibition that illustrates a design method that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete construction.

Courtesy of Dave Burk | SOM Courtesy of Dave Burk | SOM Courtesy of Dave Burk | SOM Courtesy of Dave Burk | SOM + 8

Obama Presidential Center Design Moves Forward as Federal Judge Rejects Lawsuit

The Obama Presidential Center by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Interactive Design moves forward as a federal judge tossed out the lawsuit against it. The planned $500 million, 20-acre campus faced an initial ruling from a district judge that allowed the lawsuit to proceed and stalled construction for four months. Now U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey stated there will be no halt in construction.

Obama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation Obama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation Obama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation Obama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation + 5

Stanley Tigerman Dies at 88

Architect and godfather of Chicago's architectural community, Stanley Tigerman, has passed away. At 88 years old, Tigerman died in his home town of Chicago after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Former director of the architecture school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he founded his own practice, Tigerman McCurry, in the early 1960s.

Mies van der Rohe's McCormick House Transformed by Color Installation

The Elmhurst Art Museum has unveiled details of a new installation taking place in the Mies van der Rohe-designed McCormick House in Chicago. Designed by Luftwerk, a Chicago-based artistic collaborative of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, the “Parallel Perspectives” installation is a site-specific exhibition that uses color and light interventions to activate and interpret the house, celebrating the use of geometry in the mid-Century prefab prototype.

© John Faier © John Faier © John Faier © John Faier + 14

Spotlight: Carol Ross Barney

Few architects have had a greater influence on civic design and the public realm than Carol Ross Barney. Advocating that excellent design is a right, not a privilege, Carol's career is marked by her sensitivity. Born in Chicago, Illinois on April 12, 1949, her work is characterized by a desire to bring dignity to the needs of users and the public alike. With a career that spans over 40 years, Carol founded her firm Ross Barney Architects in 1981. She is known for shaping the built environment, the profession, and architectural education. As an architect, urbanist, mentor, and educator, her work upholds a deep commitment to people and place.

Chicago Riverwalk. Image Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects 606. Image Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects McDonalds Chicago Flagship. Image Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects Ohio State University Chiller Plant. Image Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects + 9

OMA, Morphosis and Johnston Marklee Among Finalists for New Chicago Arts Center

The University of Illinois at Chicago has announced the shortlist to design a new $95 million Center of the Arts for the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts. Chosen from 36 teams, the shortlist includes OMA with KOO Architects, Johnston Marklee with UrbanWorks, and Morphosis with STL Architects. The new center will include a 500-seat concert hall, a 270-seat reconfigurable theater, an exhibition hall, rehearsal spaces, and a combination cafe and jazz club. The 88,000-square-foot building will be primarily used by the UIC’s School of Theatre & Music as the new public face of UIC’s East Campus.

New Images of Chicago's Tallest Residential Rental Tower Revealed

Architect Rafael Viñoly has revealed new images for NEMA, a skyscraper set to become the tallest residential rental tower in Chicago. Designed to evoke the structural system of the Willis Tower, the project is sited on the southwestern edge of Grant Park. The 76-story residential tower will create 800 rental units and is designed to be LEED Silver. The new skyscraper will include expansive views of the city's skyline as it frames Lake Michigan and Grant Park.

NEMA Chicago. Image Courtesy of Rafael Viñoly Architects NEMA Chicago. Image Courtesy of Rafael Viñoly Architects NEMA Chicago. Image Courtesy of Rafael Viñoly Architects NEMA Chicago. Image Courtesy of Rafael Viñoly Architects + 29

Chicago's $6 Billion Lincoln Yards Project Wins Planning Approval

The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the $6 billion Lincoln Yards project to develop 55 acres of riverfront land in Chicago. Proposed by real estate investment and development firm Sterling Bay, the project has the potential to reshape the city's skyline along the Chicago River. Lincoln Yards would include office, residential and hotel towers, as well as restaurants, retail and entertainment spaces along Lincoln Park and Bucktown.

Lincoln Yards. Image Courtesy of Sterling Bay Lincoln Yards. Image Courtesy of Sterling Bay Lincoln Yards. Image Courtesy of Sterling Bay Lincoln Yards. Image Courtesy of Sterling Bay + 9

Five Designs for Chicago’s O’Hare Global Terminal go to Public Vote

Five design teams have been selected to present their ideas for the Chicago O'Hare Airport Global Terminal and Global Concourse expansion. The designs are on display at an exhibition opened by Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the Chicago Architecture Center. Teams include Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza, Foster Epstein Moreno, Studio ORD, SOM and Santiago Calatrava. Known as O’Hare 21, the project represents O’Hare’s first major overhaul in 25 years.

O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Studio ORD O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of SOM O'Hare International Airport expansion. Image Courtesy of Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza + 6

4 Projects That Show Mass Timber is the Future of American Cities

As architects face up to the need for ethical, sustainable design in the age of climate change awareness, timber architecture is making a comeback in a new, technologically impressive way. Largely overlooked in the age of Modernism, recent years have seen a plethora of advancements related to mass timber across the world. This year alone, Japan announced plans for a supertall wooden skyscraper in Tokyo by 2041, while the European continent has seen plans for the world’s largest timber building in the Netherlands, and the world’s tallest timber tower in Norway.

The potential for mass timber to become the dominant material of future sustainable cities has also gained traction in the United States throughout 2018. Evolving codes and the increasing availability of mass timber is inspiring firms, universities, and state legislators to research and invest in ambitious projects across the country.

Illinois Launches Autonomous Vehicle Initiative to Research Self-Driving Cars

The state of Illinois has launched a new testing program for connected and automated vehicles. Called Autonomous Illinois, the research initiative was announced by Governor Bruce Rauner's office. As Curbed Chicago reports, Created by executive order, multiagency program will be state-wide and led by the Illinois Department of Transportation to advance the state’s research in self-driving cars.

SOM Designs Kinematic Sculpture for Chicago Design Week

Architecture firm SOM has designed Kinematic Sculpture, an origami-like pavilion installation for Chicago Design Week. Exploring kinematics as the science of motion, the sculpture was formed as one of the firm's ongoing interdisciplinary research projects. As a test in integrated design, the structure aims to establish ideas that foster new architectural and structural solutions for pressing challenges in the built environment.

Kinematic Sculpture. Image © SOM Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan Kinematic Sculpture. Image © Benny Chan + 8

Second Chicago Architecture Biennial Closes with Over 500,000 Attendees

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the figures for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, which closed its four month run on Sunday, January 7th.

The second edition of the event, helmed by Artistic Director Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, was able to match the success of the inaugural edition, seeing 554,866 visitors from around the world.

Apple’s New Foster+Partners-Designed Chicago Flagship Store Battered by Winter Weather

Just a few months after the opening of Apple’s first town square concept retail store, the Foster + Partners-designed glass-box structure is facing the wrath of its first Chicago winter – and it doesn’t appear to be handling it so smoothly.

As reported by the Verge and 9to5Mac, nearly all of the store’s riverfront outdoor space has been roped off due to the presence of large and potentially dangerous icicles that have formed on the edge of the building’s MacBook-shaped roof. Signs reading “watch for falling snow and ice” now surround the store and at the entrance on Pioneer Court.

At the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Chinese Firms Look to Tradition to Write a New Chapter in Their Nation's Architectural History

This article was originally published on the blog of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

When we think of contemporary architecture in China, we often refer to the megaprojects by international architecture studios that tend to get covered most in the design media. From OMA’s CCTV Headquarters and Shenzhen Stock Exchange to the recently completed Tianjin Binhai Library by MVRDV and Poly International Plaza by SOM, these projects dominate urban skylines at a singular scale that suggests they were built to impress.

Beyond individual buildings, China’s mega-architecture boom is rapidly developing entirely new cities, a process designed to relieve the country’s principal metropolitan areas of their high density, while offering new prototypes for urban life. These highly branded environments are prompting displacement – as a form of rural exodus – and social stress throughout the country, while also ignoring the legacy of traditional Chinese architecture in urban centers.

Micro Yuan’er Children’s Library and Art Centre in the Dashilar neighborhood of Beijing, designed by ZAO/standardarchitecture. Image by Shengliang Su Installation view of Archi-Union projects at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image by Steve Hall © Hall Merrick Photographers Five Dragons Temple by URBANUS. Image by Yang Chaoying Fab-Union in Shanghai’s West Bund neighborhood, designed by Archi-Union. Images by Hao Chen (left) and Shengliang Su (right) + 8