Kimmelman: Have your Prentice and Build It, Too

Midwest
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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Options exist beyond demolition and preservation as-is. (Courtesy Studio Gang, Jay Hoffman)

Options exist beyond demolition and preservation as-is. (Courtesy Studio Gang, Jay Hoffman)

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman waded into the controversy embroiling Chicago’s old Prentice Women’s Hospital Wednesday and wound up soliciting a unique solution from Jeanne Gang that has already garnered praise from the coalition of preservationists fighting to save the building from demolition.

Noting the “familiar” tone of the dispute between landowner Northwestern University, who wants to demolish Prentice to make way for up to 500,000 square feet of medical research facilities, and preservationists seeking landmark status for the distinctive 1970s Bertrand Goldberg structure, Kimmelman called for a third approach: incorporate old Prentice into a new design on the site. As the pendulum begins to lean towards demolition, with 42nd ward Alderman Brendan Reilly saying he supports Northwestern’s decision, the critic asked Gang what she thought.

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Facades+Innovation in Chicago: Romero’s reunion, adaptive glazings and more

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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IIT's Mccormick Tribune student center. (courtesy Charles MacEachen via Flickr)

IIT’s Mccormick Tribune student center. (courtesy Charles MacEachen via Flickr)

AN’s Facades + Innovation Conference wrapped up last Friday in Chicago, rounding out the event’s inaugural run from New York to San Francisco and ending at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Architects, engineers, builders, and designers at today’s symposium plumbed the conceptual depths of form as well as the materials, programs and trends that could guide the future of design.

Fernando Romero, founder of architecture firm FREE, kicked off the morning with a tour of his facade work, from the hexagonal network of mirrored steel tiles enclosing the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, to IIT’s McCormick Tribune Campus Center just two blocks from the conference hall. Romero worked on the McCormick Center while at OMA, but had never before visited the completed structure. Walking through the building after his talk, delivered on his 41st birthday, the architect said it was a gift to finally visit.

Continue reading after the jump.

AIA to Honor Helmut Jahn with Lifetime Achievement Award

Midwest
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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Helmut Jahn in the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago. (Courtesy University of Chicago)

Helmut Jahn in the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago. (Courtesy University of Chicago)

AIA Chicago will honor German-born architect Helmut Jahn later this month with a lifetime achievement award during its Designight event Oct. 26.

Jahn is president and CEO of Murphy/Jahn, a firm with a formidable track record Chicago, including U of C’s Mansueto Research Library, O’Hare’s United Airlines Terminal and the state of Illinois’ Thompson Center. His work in Germany is also extensive, including the well-known Sony Center in Berlin and the Messeturm in Frankfurt.

Jahn will also receive a lifetime achievement award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Thursday. AIA’s Designight is open to the public. Tickets are available at aiachicago.org or by calling (312) 376-2725.

Event> DLECTRICITY Lights Up Detroit

Midwest
Friday, October 5, 2012
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DLECTRICITY begins today and runs through Saturday. (Courtesy DLECTRICITY.)

DLECTRICITY begins today and runs through Saturday. (Courtesy DLECTRICITY.)

Not long after the Detroit Design Festival, Detroit’s design enthusiasts have another event to celebrate: DLECTRICITY begins today and runs through Saturday.

The “contemporary light art festival” features 35 local, national, and international artists who will illuminate historic structures in Midtown Detroit. Buildings including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, and the Detroit Public Library will become canvases for 3D video mapping, laser displays, and light sculptures.

Click here for a full schedule and map of the events.

Cermak is Next: New CTA Stop Primes Chicago’s South Loop

Midwest
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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Rendering of the CTA's new Green Line station. (Courtesy CTA)

Rendering of the CTA’s new Green Line station. (Courtesy CTA)

The CTA is abuzz with new projects these days, having successfully avoided fare hikes during dire budget negotiations this summer. Now another $65 million investment will deliver the new Cermak / McCormick Place El Station Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised early this year, as well as new library, school and three-story building rehab for the South Loop.

New renderings presented by the Mayor on Friday show the new Green Line stop, which will be designed by Carol Ross Barney, principal at Ross Barney Architects. It’s a sleek tunnel shape, reminiscent of Rem Koolhaas’ IIT Green Line stop.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minnesota Taps HKS for New Vikings Stadium

Midwest
Monday, October 1, 2012
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An image from HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, submitted as part of its proposal for the new Vikings stadium contract. (Courtesy HKS Sports & Entertainment Group)

An image from HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, submitted as part of its proposal for the new Vikings stadium contract. (Courtesy HKS Sports & Entertainment Group)

Twin Cities sports fans may be most excited about Sunday’s victory on the field, but a twinge of that satisfaction could be due to the team’s new stadium. Minnesota’s Sports Facilities Authority chose HKS architects to design a new home for the NFL’s Vikings.

HKS also designed Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Cowboys Stadium in their home base of Dallas—two of the most high-profile NFL construction projects in recent memory. A decision on the lead contractor for the project has yet to come down, but news of the $975 million stadium’s designer is the latest announcement in a long and at-times contentious political process that subsidizes professional sports in Minneapolis.

Face-painted fans turned out to city council meetings as the deal cleared hurdles. With respected stadium architects on board, supporters may anticipate validation for their use of public funds. Those opposed maintain only time will tell, no matter the designer.

Bloomingdale Trail Plans Come Into Focus With New Renderings

Midwest
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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Proposed view of Milwaukee Avenue Bridge and Overlook Stair. (Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates)

Proposed view of Milwaukee Avenue Bridge and Overlook Stair. (Courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates)

Last night, updated plans for Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail were presented at a public meeting—the public session’s last chance to comment on the design before final plans are presented this December. The trail is an elevated linear park designed by a team including Collins Engineers, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Frances Whitehead on a former rail viaduct running through Chicago.

AN contributor and sustainable transit enthusiast Steven Vance attended the meeting at the Humboldt Park Field House, recapping the event on the GRID Chicago blog. Among the details confirmed at the meeting, construction is set to begin summer 2013. While the trail will open for bikers and pedestrians in Fall 2014, landscaping and art installations will continue into 2015.

View a slideshow of new images after the jump.

Save Prentice Coalition Delivers Petition to Chicago Mayor’s Office

Midwest
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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Typical bed tower floor plan at the Prentice Women's Hospital. (Courtesy G. Goldberg + Associates)

Typical bed tower floor plan at the Prentice Women’s Hospital. (Courtesy G. Goldberg + Associates)

The ongoing saga of Bertrand Goldberg’s Old Prentice Women’s Hospital continues, with members of the Save Prentice coalition delivering a petition with more than 3,500 signatures Monday to the offices of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Brendan Reilly, and the Landmarks Commission.

They include Pritzker-winning architects as well as preservationists and ordinary citizens from Chicago and beyond. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks said earlier this month it would take up the issue before the end of their fall session, possibly as early as October 4. Emanuel, Reilly, and the Commission could grant landmark status to the iconic 1975 structure but have so far remained neutral on the issue.

Forest Retreat: Studio Gang Groundbreaking in Kalamazoo

Midwest
Monday, September 24, 2012
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The Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College will break ground in October. (Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)

The Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College will break ground in October. (Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)

Studio Gang, which recently kicked off the first solo exhibition of their work at the Art Institute of Chicago, will celebrate another opening event next month: the architects’ Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College will ceremoniously break ground October 9.

Gently curving wood walls demarcate a 10,000-square-foot space for social justice leadership development in the woods. The structure uses local white cedar, engaging its environment while transparent façade elements honor the building’s goal to facilitate conversation. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the project will source sustainably harvested wood for its low-impact, highly insulating structure.

Continue reading after the jump.

Detroit Design Festival Kicks Off Today

Midwest
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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Detroit, on the water. (Image courtesy Bernt Rostad via Flickr.)

Detroit, on the water. (Image courtesy Bernt Rostad via Flickr.)

The Detroit Design Festival kicks off today, celebrating the city’s resilient design community with five days of events, installations, lectures and workshops.

“It is a call to action for the community,” reads the festival’s webpage, “to improve quality of life in and around Detroit.”

Among the sights this week is an inflatable structure named Spacebuster first designed for New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture. It will take up residence outside Mies’ Lafayette Park Friday.

A full schedule of the events, which take place through Sunday, is available here. The kick-off party is tonight at 6:00 p.m. at 3011 W. Grand Blvd.

Unveiled> Abu Dhabi’s Second CBD?

Midwest, Newsletter
Friday, September 14, 2012
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(Courtesy Goettsch Partners)

Goettsch Partners designed the Al Hilal bank flagship office tower for a new business district planned in Abu Dhabi. (Courtesy Goettsch Partners)

Abu Dhabi’s dizzying building boom slowed down somewhat after the 2008 financial collapse dried up the liquidity that inspires big projects. The damage appears not to have been permanent, however, as the UAE capital will forge ahead with a 24-story speculative office tower—part of a new central business district on Al Maryah Island.

Continue reading after the jump.

Construction Fully Funded for St. Louis’ Loop Trolley Project

Midwest
Monday, September 10, 2012
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One of the vintage trolley cars that will eventually traverse St. Louis' Delmar Loop. (Claudia Daggett/Flickr)

One of the vintage trolley cars that will eventually traverse St. Louis’ Delmar Loop. (Claudia Daggett/Flickr)

Plans for a fixed-track trolley system in St. Louis got a $22 million infusion last week, when the Federal Transit Administration followed through with plans to fund construction of the city’s long-awaited Loop Trolley system.

The Loop Trolley Transportation Development District would administer a 2.2-mile track from the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park to the University City Library—part of a regional plan for more sustainable transit. Three hybrid electric trolleys will make nine stops along the way, offering connection with the existing light rail MetroLink system.

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