Decades before the Americans With Disabilities Act, Frank Lloyd Wright designed an accessible home for a World War II veteran. Now Wrightâ€™s only home designed for a person with a disability will open to the public.Â Wrightâ€™s Kenneth & Phyllis Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois opens for tours on June 6, two days before what would have been its architectâ€™s 147thÂ birthday.
Ludwig Mies van der Roheâ€™s archetypal modernist home, the Farnsworth House, is drowning. The banks of the Fox River served as an idyllic setting for the buildingâ€™s white steel and glass when it landed in Plano, Illinois. But lately the Fox has gone rabid, spilling over its banks three times in the past 18 years. So what to do? Preservationists are looking at installing hydraulic jacks to lift the house during floods, to the tune of about $3 million. Call it the Three Million Dollar Modernist. Ironically Mies put the house on stilts to prevent such flooding; I guess you canâ€™t outwit a wily Fox.
Visitors to Chicago’sÂ John Hancock Tower this weekend were, of course, treated to the skyscraperâ€™s stunning views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, but the thrill-seekers among them also had another option. On the 94thÂ floor, up to eight people at a time can stand in a glass box that tilts out 20 degrees, dangling them 1,000 feet above the street.
bKL Architecture is going as bullish as any Chicago-based firm in this start-and-stop economy, embarking on big commissions in Beijing and Toronto while committing to more and more work at home. The firm bunks with Magellan Development in ground floor offices at Aqua Tower and has partnered with the Lakeshore East progenitor on a number of buildings including two phases of the new GEMS Academy private school.
And now that kinship is extending into River North. Fresh off the drafting table is a 38-story rental tower slated for 720 North LaSalle Street (at Superior) on the present site of a Howard Johnson Inn, one of downtown Chicagoâ€™s last remaining suburban-style motelsâ€”and a relic of affordability.
Friday> Freecell & Pulitzer Foundation turn a vacant lot in St. Louis into a parade of public programs
Last year, a vacant lot across the street from theÂ Pulitzer Foundation in St. Louis became the site of a design competition for a temporary built-environment installation. New Yorkâ€™s Freecell Architecture won PXSTL’s $50,000 project budget and $10,000 honorarium for a proposal to erect an adjustable canopy for performances and gatheringsâ€”an idea Kristina Van Dyke, director of the Pulitzer Foundation, called â€œboth monumental and ephemeral at the same time.â€
[Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted responseÂ toÂ the article â€œA Manifesto from the Architecture Lobbyâ€ (ProtestÂ ANÂ 01_01.22.2014_MW). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email email@example.com. ]
I read the article, â€œA Manifesto from the Architecture Lobbyâ€ and found every single word applicable to my own situation and my own firm. While we architects enjoy the perceived honor of our profession, it undermines the vocationâ€™s viability as an occupation versus a good hobby.
Chicago‘s most famous architect has just acquired a New York City pied-Ã -terre. Studio Gang has opened an office on Water Street in Lower Manhattan, which will be led by Weston Walker, a design principal. â€œThis is a natural next step for the firm,â€ said founding principal Jeanne Gang in a statement. â€œWe have been working in New York for the past several years and are excited by the variety of work currently in design, along with potential engagements in the city and beyond.”
The firm is currently working on a Fire Rescue facility for the New York City Department of Design and Construction and on the “Solar Carve” tower adjacent to the High Line. That project met resistance from the community for its height. There is no word yet on how tall it will be or how it will be redesigned.
Six months after its proposal for a mid-sized development on the site of Chicagoâ€™s one-time â€œpunk rock donut shopâ€ raised height concerns, developer BlitzLake Capital Partners has scaled back its plans. Now the mixed-use development at the corner of Belmont and Clark in the Lakeview neighborhood is hoping for eight stories instead of 11.
My Florence: Photographs by Art Shay
Museum of Contemporary Photography
624 South Michigan Avenue
Through May 24
My Florence is a photographic project by renowned Chicago Photojournalist Art Shay. For over six decades, Art Shayâ€™s photographs have appeared in such periodicals as Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. In Shayâ€™s words, My Florence â€œis the story in pictures of our 67 years of marriage.â€Â The photographs in this show are primarily candid andÂ capture moments beginning with the first photograph ArtÂ took of Florence, his wife, the day they met in 1942 as 20-year-old camp counselors in the Catskills.
Eavesdrop attended the opening of William J. Oâ€™Brienâ€™s mid-career solo show on view through May 18 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago. 2014 is shaping up to be a strong one for Chicago-based artists, with this show clearly thrusting Oâ€™Brien into the upper echelon.