An expanse of sustainable timber just clinched the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s Lakefront Kiosk Competition

Chicago Architecture Biennial officials today announced "Chicago Horizon" by Ultramoderne as the winner of the inaugural design festival's Lakefront Kiosk Competition. (Ultramoderne)

Chicago Architecture Biennial officials today announced “Chicago Horizon” by Ultramoderne as the winner of the inaugural design festival’s Lakefront Kiosk Competition. (Ultramoderne)

Officials with the Chicago Architecture Biennial today announced the winners of the Lakefront Kiosk Competition, choosing a team whose stated goal was “to build the largest flat wood roof possible.”

Continue reading after the jump.

The Chicago River was reversed 115 years ago—this infographic tells its story

Midwest
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
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The Chicago River downtown is now the subject of an expansive riverwalk project, opening over the spring and summer.

The Chicago River downtown is now the subject of an expansive riverwalk project, opening over the spring and summer.

Via Chicago Line Cruises, this infographic tells the tale of one of the greatest engineering projects ever completed: the reversal of the Chicago River. Chicago was booming in the late 1800s, but like many cities of the day it lacked proper sewer infrastructure. As a result the city was choking on its own waste.

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The water is so clear right now in Lake Michigan, you can see sunken ships beneath the crystal waves

The 121 foot brig James McBride ran aground during a storm on October 19, 1857. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City)

The 121 foot brig James McBride ran aground during a storm on October 19, 1857. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City)

Winter ice is melting around the Great Lakes, revealing cerulean waters below—and, in northern Lake Michigan, an open graveyard of shipwrecks.

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Jeanne Gang, Wanda Group unveil new renderings for supertall Wanda Vista tower in Chicago

(Studio Gang Architects)

(Studio Gang Architects)

Studio Gang’s Wanda Tower may climb even higher than originally planned. New renderings revealed Monday night show the tower topping out at 93 stories instead of the previous 88. At 1,144 feet, the tower, whose development is being bankrolled by Beijing-based Wanda Group, would be the third-tallest tower in Chicago (provided it fits the standards of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, who arbitrate such matters.)

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Crumbling temples, South Side landmarks, neon signs top list of Chicago’s “most threatened” buildings

The altar at Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, closed since 2008. (Chris Bentley)

The altar at Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, closed since 2008. The Uptown building is among Preservation Chicago’s most threatened buildings. (Chris Bentley)

Preservation Chicago Wednesday named the seven Chicago structures on their annual list of the city’s most threatened historic buildings, calling attention to vacant or blighted buildings from Englewood to Uptown that include a crumbling masonic temple, defunct factories, and even a South Side city landmark. Read More

Wrecking Keck & Keck? Chicago preservationists target North Shore landmark ordinance

Architecture, Midwest, News, Preservation
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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Keck & Keck's Blair House in Lake Bluff, Illinois. (Griffith, Grant and Lackie Realtors)

Keck & Keck’s Blair House in Lake Bluff, Illinois. (Griffith, Grant and Lackie Realtors)

One of the Chicago area’s last remaining homes by brothers and modernist architects George Frederick and William Keck faces likely demolition later this year, despite a long-running preservation campaign to save it.

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Unveiled> George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art by MAD architects

"Rising up from the land and crescendoing to a “floating” disc, the tallest points of the Lucas Museum will feature an observation deck, providing visitors with stunning views of both Chicago and Lake Michigan." (MAD Architects)

The forthcoming museum, as described by its design team: “Rising up from the land and crescendoing to a ‘floating’ disc, the tallest points of the Lucas Museum will feature an observation deck, providing visitors with stunning views of both Chicago and Lake Michigan.” (MAD architects)

Ma Yansong‘s new museum for George Lucas wouldn’t look out of place on a Star Wars set. Renderings made public Monday show a white, undulating dune of sorts, its stone surface ascending into a metallic “floating” disc. Read More

Milwaukee breaks ground on new 32-story tower complex

Northwestern Mutual's updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Northwestern Mutual’s updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Construction has begun on the latest addition to Milwaukee’s lakefront skyline, a sleek curving tower from Pickard Chilton. Gilbane Building Co. and C.G. Schmidt broke ground in August on the new 32-story headquarters of insurance giant Northwestern Mutual. Read More

Obama library round-up: Woodlawn, Lakeside, Bronzeville and more vying for nation’s 14th presidential library

(HOK)

HOK’s scheme for Bronzeville. (HOK)

Speculation over the future site of President Barack Obama’s presidential library has picked up as a slew of Chicago sites—as well as some in New York, Hawaii, and even Kenya—made the June deadline for proposals. Ultimately the decision is up to the President and the board tasked with developing what will be the nation’s 14th presidential library, but dozens of groups are attempting to tug at that group’s ears. (Even I used AN‘s June editorial page to consider the library’s urban impact.) Here’s a round-up of some of the Chicago proposals made public so far.

Continue reading after the jump.

Ahoy! Chicago entrepreneur wants to park a floating pool in Lake Michigan

breakwater-chicago-01

(SPACE Architects + Planners)

Party boats are common in Lake Michigan off the shores of Chicago’s more well to do neighborhoods. But local entrepreneur Beau D’Arcy wants to corner that market with Breakwater Chicago—a floating club and leisure destination anchored in the city’s downtown harbor year-round. The 33-year-old engineer told the Chicago Tribune he’s hoping to create the city’s “next Bean,” referencing Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate sculpture.

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Shields back on Milwaukee Art Museum overhaul, new designs unveiled

01-milwaukee-art-museum02-milwaukee-art-museum

 

The Milwaukee Art Museum revamp’s previous design and current iteration. (Courtesy HGA Architects & Engineers)

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s long-planned expansion and renovation has become somewhat of a saga.

Plans for a new addition with an entrance along Lake Michigan were announced in 2012, but hit a snag when HGA Architects and Engineers’ Jim Shields walked off the job in February. In April Urban Milwaukee first broke news that Shields, somewhat of a local design celebrity, had left the project amid quibbling over the design. Read More

Milwaukee Art Museum expansion moves ahead with changes

Midwest, News, Newsletter
Friday, April 11, 2014
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An updated design adds a cantilever, but the original lead architect says he recently left the design process. (Milwaukee Art Museum)

An updated design adds a cantilever, but the original lead architect says he recently left the design process. (Milwaukee Art Museum)

The Milwaukee Art Museum announced in 2012 that it would add a new entrance as part of a $15 million project to renovate the museum’s permanent collection galleries. Two years later, with $13 million raised and public support secured, the project is ready to move ahead. Read More

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