Booth Hansen, UrbanLab, SOM, more take home 2014 AIA Chicago awards

Architecture, Awards, Midwest
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
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Urban Lab's live/work residence (top) and studio on Morgan Street in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. (Chris Bentley)

Urban Lab’s live/work residence (top) and studio on Morgan Street in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. (Chris Bentley / AN)

Via the Chicago Tribune, here are AIA Chicago’s 2014 architecture award winners, revealed Monday:

View the winners after the jump.

Pictorial> Minneapolis’ downtown transit hub by Perkins Eastman, “green central”

Minneapolis hosted the Major League Baseball All Star Game this year, and many of the 41,000 people in attendance used some new public transit to get there. In May the city opened Target Field Station—a multimodal transit hub and public space at the foot of the Twins’ Target Field that designers Perkins Eastman hope will catalyze development.

More photos after the jump.

Tour 150 of Chicago’s architectural gems this weekend for free at Open House Chicago

The 190 South LaSalle building was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1968 as an homage to Burnham & Root’s demolished 1892 Masonic Temple Building. (Eric Allix Rogers)

The 190 South LaSalle building was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1968 as an homage to Burnham & Root’s demolished 1892 Masonic Temple Building. (Eric Allix Rogers)

Open House Chicago is this weekend, October 18 and 19, when 150 of the city’s architectural gems—both new and old, well-known and obscure, public year-round and off-limits but for now—open their doors to enthusiasts of the built environment, free of charge. Read More

Shanghai talks: How to avoid homogenous skylines

Shanghai sunrise, before the construction of the Shanghai Tower. (Jose Maria Cuellar via flickr)

Shanghai sunrise, before the construction of the Shanghai Tower. (Jose Maria Cuellar via flickr)

In September, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for their Shanghai symposium, entitled “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.”

Read More

Long-vacant grain silos in Chicago up for auction, future uncertain

One of Chicago‘s most visible rust-belt remnants is up for sale, just in time for its cameo in the Transformers 4 movie. The derelict Santa Fe grain elevator has been a favorite hangout for squatters, graffiti artists and ruin-porn enthusiasts since 1977, when a fire and explosion ended 70 years of industrial history there.

Continue reading after the jump.

Michigan Avenue’s newest high-rise by bKL Architecture is under construction

from left: Charles Becker, Becker Ventures; Dan Raleigh, Partners Group (USA)Inc.; Carrie Meghie, Becker Ventures; John Buck, The John Buck Company; Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago; Michael Glandt, Fifth Third Bank; Mark Degner, Partners Group (USA Inc.; and Scott Egarian, Partners Group (Donna Binbek)

from left: Charles Becker, Becker Ventures; Dan Raleigh, Partners Group (USA)Inc.; Carrie Meghie, Becker Ventures; John Buck, The John Buck Company; Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago; Michael Glandt, Fifth Third Bank; Mark Degner and Scott Egarian, Partners Group (USA)Inc. (Photo: Donna Binbek)

Last year AN broke news of plans for the first residential high-rise on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue in decades. Last Friday, James McHugh Construction Company and Pepper Construction Company broke ground on the 41-story tower at 200 N. Michigan Ave., which is expected to be complete in mid-2016.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cook County mulls options for long-abandoned, beaux-arts hospital in Chicago

(Courtesy Chicago Architecture Foundation)

(Courtesy Chicago Architecture Foundation)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle briefly took the lectern at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) Tuesday night to welcome presentations on the future of an infamous white elephant structure on the city’s near West Side: the old Cook County Hospital building. “We believe that this building has inherent value,” Preckwinkle said, “and that a thoughtful process like this can help unlock that value.” Read More

Saturday> Fire Festival to light up the Chicago River

Architecture, Art, Midwest
Friday, October 3, 2014
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The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival takes place October 4. (Redmoon Theater)

The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival takes place October 4. (Redmoon Theater)

A new downtown festival launching tomorrow celebrates the “grit, greatness and renewal” of Chicago by paying tribute its greatest tragedy. In a move reminiscent of Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain, The Chicago Fire Festival will float some theatrical pyrotechnics down the Chicago River on Saturday evening. Read More

Beer, Shakespeare, and hip hop take over a vacant lot in Downtown Louisville

ReSurfaced, a pop-up festival occupying a vacant lot in downtown Louisville. (Urban Design Studio)

ReSurfaced, a pop-up festival occupying a vacant lot in downtown Louisville. (Urban Design Studio via Flickr)

What can you do with a vacant lot? Urban activists in Louisville have set out to show just how much with an ongoing pop-up festival of sorts at 615-621 West Main Street, an empty plot of land in the heart of downtown where REX‘s Museum Plaza skyscraper was once set to rise.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chicago’s big building owners embrace the smart grid

Chicago is one of 10 cities targeted by philanthropies for energy efficiency savings. (josh*m via flickr)

Large downtown buildings make up a disproportionate share of the built environment’s energy usage. (josh*m via flickr)

The members of Chicago‘s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) control nearly 80 percent of downtown Chicago’s rentable building area. That makes them critical to local energy efficiency initiatives that aim to reduce the nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy that is consumed by buildings. Read More

Talking tall buildings in Shanghai

In September the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) gathered high-minded designers, developers and engineers for a conference in Shanghai. CTBUH, which often partners with AN on conferences, including our own Facades+ events, invited me to serve as a special media correspondent for the conference, held September 16–19. I spent most of the time conducting video interviews with the symposium guests, which we’ll post here on the AN blog as they become available. For now, here’ a quick overview of the topics discussed.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minnesota state fair redesign goes beyond the corn dog

Architecture, Midwest, Preservation
Monday, September 29, 2014
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The Blue Barn restaurant (Cunincgham Grou)

The Blue Barn restaurant (Wheelock Photography)

Almost 2 million Minnesotans poured through the gates of St. Paul‘s state fair grounds this year, and many are attributing that record-breaking attendance number to a redesigned West End Market. Local designers at Cuningham Group Architecture led the largest Fair expansion since the 1930s, replacing an array of nondescript vendor booths with 15 new buildings.  Read More

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