There’s a certain dorky pleasure in the reading lists of teams vying for design competitions. The big names paired with the dependable locals. The firms with very busy dance cards that everyone seems to want. The odd random people with no discernible reason to be involved. The 52 teams that responded to the Navy Pier RFQ have all those in spades. Zaha! Foster + Partners, BIG, OMA! Every prominent Chicago architect! Hoerr Schaupt Landscape Architects on no less than four teams! We’ll be watching to see who makes the next round. Amusement aside, it’s great to see so many prominent local and international designers vying to improve the iconic pier.
Ten Sukkahs—small temporary structures built for the Jewish festival of Sukkot—will be on display at Washington University in St. Louis. The ten winning projects, by architects and designers from across the country, were chosen out of a group of 40 competition entries. Sukkot recognizes the struggle of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, and Sukkahs recall the fragile structures they inhabited.
The craze for architecture festivals is not just consuming New York and Los Angeles, it’s also sweeping the Midwest! On October 15 and 16, the Chicago Architecture Foundation will present the inaugural year of Open House Chicago, with over 100 sites open to public access like the Garfield Park Conservancy, above.
But that’s not all! Cincinnati is getting into the action with a week long festival called, ArchiNATI, sponsored by the Young Architects and Interns Forum of AIA Cincinnati, running October 14 through the 21st. Events range from walking tours to a screening of design lover film of the year, I Am Love. Go see stuff!
A passerby might mistake the Art Museum at DePaul University as an enduring Lincoln Park fixture, even though the brand new building just opened. Bucking the trend for cutting-edge art museum architecture in favor of a contextual approach was a deliberate decision by the university and its longtime architect, Antunovich Associates.
Charles Woodyard has been appointed chief operating officer the of the Chicago Housing Authority. Woodyard has served in a similar capacity for nine years at the Charlotte Housing Authority. Woodyard will be tasked with completing the “Plan for Transformation,” which cleared most of Chicago’s large-scale public housing developments, displacing nearly 17,000 people and opening up vast tracks of land. Rebuilding is only partially complete, a process that has been slowed by the still-stalled real estate market. Read More
Navy Pier has launched an international search for a team to re-envision its public spaces. The multi-tiered process includes a RFQ for design teams, followed by a selection 10 teams who will be asked to supply additional information about key members. Five finalists will receive will be asked to submit design proposals, and given a $50,000 stipend. The winning team and design will be selected in mid February. Read More
Today the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced their 22 new fellows, including Chicago architect Jeanne Gang. Congratulations to Jeanne and everyone at Studio Gang. Best known for the Aqua Tower, the firm has generated consistently innovative solutions for houses, community and cultural projects, beginning, most notably, with the Starlight Theatre in 2003 all the way through their contribution to MoMA’s Foreclosed exhibition, currently in development. One of the most prestigious awards in the country for artistic, intellectual, scientific, and professional achievement, the MacArthur also comes with a $500,000 prize, doled out over five years.
File under: “Say What?” Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has joined the jury for the Pritzker Prize. Prize organizers say the Justice has a long and demonstrable interest in architecture. Who knew? Also joining the jury is 2004 laureate Zaha Hadid. Is it just us, or does it seem strange for Zaha to be upstaged by a guy in a black robe known for his rigorous legal scholarship and even temperament? Read More
Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Broad center for contemporary art features a distinctive structural honeycomb facade. It may be getting a neighbor with another notable facade, a new 19 story apartment building with staggered windows in a variety of sizes designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica. According to blogdowntown, the building would include 258 units with 52 set aside for affordable housing and 308 parking spaces in a three level below-grade garage. Developed by Related Companies, the tower would share the plaza with DS+R’s museum and back up to the planned Regional Connector light rail station.