Rockford Valley College May Axe Booth Hansen / Jeanne Gang Project

Midwest
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
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A plan for Rock Valley College's unbuilt Arts Instructional Center. (Courtesy Booth Hansen)

A plan for Rock Valley College’s unbuilt Arts Instructional Center. (Courtesy Booth Hansen)

A push to consolidate art classrooms and performance venues on the campus of a prominent Rockford, Illinois college seems to have hit the doldrums, as Rock Valley College (RVC) administrators shake up priorities and pull back the budget. The Rockford Register Star reported RVC’s new arts instructional center, which received plans from Booth Hansen and Jeanne Gang, may get the axe.

Continue reading after the jump.

“Future Prentice” Proposals Imagine Reuse for Threatened Chicago Icon

Midwest
Friday, November 16, 2012
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The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says. (Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta)

The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says. (Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta)

On the heels of a surprising, if tenuous, victory in court, preservationists gathered Thursday evening at the Chicago Architecture Foundation to celebrate the opening of Reconsidering an Icon: Creative Conversations About Prentice Women’s Hospital, an exhibition that showcases re-use proposals for Bertrand Goldberg’s threatened icon.

Some of the 71 ideas presented addressed Northwestern University’s stipulations for high-density wet-lab research space on the site, while some imagined other uses for the cloverleaf tower and its blocky podium.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pedal On, Columbus: Bike Share Contract Approved

Midwest
Friday, November 16, 2012
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Columbus will become the first city in Ohio to offer a bike share program. (Courtesy Gary Brown/Flickr & ser_lorenz/Flickr

Columbus will become the first city in Ohio to offer a bike share program. (Courtesy Gary Brown/Flickr & ser_lorenz/Flickr

Bicyclists, add Columbus to the list: the capital of Ohio approved a $2.3 million contract with Alta Bicycle Share on Monday. Starting in May, users will be able to pay $5 per day via credit card to roam the greater downtown area on a three-speed bicycle. Yearly memberships will be about $65, which will include unlimited 30-minute rides for the year, but they will have to pay more for longer rides.

Columbus is the first city in Ohio with such a program, but there has been talk in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Milwaukee Rails-to-Trails Project Would Bridge Racial Gaps with Repurposed Tires

Midwest
Thursday, November 15, 2012
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The abandoned rail line eyed for The Artery. (Courtesy Matireal)

The abandoned rail line eyed for The Artery. (Courtesy Matireal)

Two students in Milwaukee have grand plans for their own version of the High Line, or Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, albeit at ground level. The 2.4-mile trail would connect racially segregated neighborhoods and turn an abandoned railroad line into an outdoor artwalk.

Keith Hayes and Rob Zdanowski crafted a profile of the geo-textile called “matireal” that they hope will comprise Milwaukee’s “Artery” — an 18-inch-by-4-foot reduction of car tires set in a polycarbonate case. Some of the materials come directly from the trail itself, including the tires’ rubber and the gravel that fills the cells in between.

Continue reading after the jump.

UPDATE: Preservationists Sue to Save Chicago’s Prentice Hospital, Win Temporary Protection

Midwest
Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Old Prentice Women's Hospital, now the subject of a legal battle. (Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Estate of Bertrand Goldberg/ Strawn.Sierralta with Plural Design)

Old Prentice Women’s Hospital, now the subject of a legal battle. (Hedrich Blessing, courtesy of Estate of Bertrand Goldberg/ Strawn.Sierralta with Plural Design)

A bizarre parliamentary maneuver two weeks ago granted and subsequently revoked landmark status for Bertrand Goldberg’s embattled Old Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, leading some to speculate about legal recourse for a coalition of preservationists who have fought owner Northwestern University’s plans to demolish the building. Today members of that coalition took their battle to court, alleging the Commission on Chicago Landmarks “acted arbitrarily and exceeded its authority.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Two Designs Take First at 2012 Cleveland Design Competition

Midwest
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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“Bridgewalk” from New York’s Archilier Architecture reimagined Cleveland's Detroit-Superior Bridge.

“Bridgewalk” from New York’s Archilier Architecture reimagined Cleveland’s Detroit-Superior Bridge.

The annual Cleveland Design Competition, organized by architects Micahel Christoff and Bradley Fink, called on designers to imagine a revitalized Detroit-Superior Bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River. The jury unanimously awarded first prize to two submissions that highlighted the bridge as a catalyst for urban reinvigoration.

“Transforming The Bridge” asked competitors to redesign the abandoned lower deck of the bridge, also known as Veterans Memorial Bridge, which connects downtown Cleveland with its industrial Flats neighborhood and west side.

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Cincinnati Gets Ohio’s Third Platinum School

Midwest
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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The North College HIll High School / Middle School recently became Ohio's third LEED Platinum public school. (Courtesy SFA Architects Inc.)

The North College HIll High School / Middle School recently became Ohio’s third LEED Platinum public school. (Courtesy SFA Architects)

As part of an ongoing relationship with the North College Hill school district in Cincinnati, fellow Cincinnatians SFA Architects helped the district consolidate its many facilities into the space of one city block. The combined Middle-High School building, completed in 2010, last week received LEED Platinum certification, making it the third public education facility in Ohio to earn the green building ranking system’s top honor.

Continue reading after the jump.

New SLU Renderings Sow Worry for Suburbanizing Downtown St. Louis

Midwest
Thursday, November 8, 2012
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SLU Law Chestnut Street. (Courtesy NextSTL)

SLU Law Chestnut Street. (Courtesy NextSTL)

Saint Louis University announced in January that its law school would move downtown, winning praise from many who saw the move as a reinvestment in the city’s urban core.

NextSTL sounded an alarm, however, over new renderings of the Joe and Loretta Scott Law Center that show a closed circular driveway along Chestnut Street—a downtown thoroughfare whose theoretical closure would amount to “suburbanizing the central business district,” in the words of NextSTL writer Alex Ihnen. The Board of Public Service would have to okay such a closure, which according to the Street Department has not yet been submitted for approval.

Stalled Wacker Drive Development Breaks Ground Once More

Midwest
Friday, November 2, 2012
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Developers, construction workers, and 42nd ward ald. Brendan Reilly break "ground" on the 28th floor of the Waterview Tower. (Chris Bentley / The Architect's Newspaper)

Developers, construction workers, and 42nd ward ald. Brendan Reilly break “ground” on the 28th floor of the Waterview Tower. (Chris Bentley / The Architect’s Newspaper)

For years Chicago’s celebrated architectural boat tour has started its journey at 111 W. Wacker, a 28-story symbol of the great recession and stalled real estate development. Now they are one step closer to a launch more fit for neck-craning. Construction workers broke ground Thursday on the dormant project once again, reviving the high-rise once intended as the first Shangri-La Hotel in the United States.

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Slideshow> AIA Chicago Honors 39 Projects

Midwest
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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The Poetry Foundation in Chicago's River North neighborhood won an honor award in the distinguished building and interior architecture categories. (Courtesy wjcordier / Flickr)

The Poetry Foundation in Chicago’s River North neighborhood won an honor award in the distinguished building and interior architecture categories. (Courtesy wjcordier / Flickr)

Friday marked Designight 2012—AIA Chicago’s annual awards gala—which brought nearly 1,000 members of the area’s design community together at Navy Pier to recognize 39 projects in four awards categories: Distinguished Building, Interior Architecture, Divine Detail, and Sustainability Leadership.

John Ronan’s Poetry Foundation; Perkins+Will’s Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda, Angola; Sheehan Partners’ Facebook Data Center in Prineville, Ore.; and David Woodhouse Architects’ Richard J. Daley Library IDEA Commons in Chicago (featured in the October Midwest issue of AN Midwest) were among the repeat winners of the night.

Helmut Jahn accepted a lifetime achievement award, calling on the designers present to imagine a better future and then “make that future happen.” On behalf of his firm, Jahn also formally adopted the changes reported earlier—a new name, JAHN, and the ascension of Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido to share design leadership with Jahn.

View a slideshow of the winners after the jump.

Plans move ahead for downtown mixed-use in Indianapolis

Midwest
Monday, October 22, 2012
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CityWay, a mixed-use project planned for an overlooked section of downtown Indianapolis. (COURTESY BUCKINGHAM COMPANIES)

CityWay, a mixed-use project planned for an overlooked section of downtown Indianapolis. (COURTESY BUCKINGHAM COMPANIES)

CityWay, a $155 million mixed-use development planned to revitalize Indianapolis’ Southeast downtown quadrant, could mean big things for the city’s redevelopment. The Indianapolis Star released this interactive map of the project’s features, which include a flagship YMCA planned for 2014, 250 apartments, a 209-room hotel, 10 restaurants and shops and land targeted for 400,000 square feet of future development.

As AN reported in August, the project counts Gensler and OZ Architects among its designers. The 14-acre site is near several of Indy’s major employers, as well as cultural attractions like Super Bowl locale Lucas Oil Stadium and the cultural trail.

Doha Tower Named World’s Best by Council on Tall Buildings

International, Midwest
Saturday, October 20, 2012
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Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

Doha Tower façade (Jean Nouvel)

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat held its 11th annual awards symposium Thursday, bestowing architect Helmut Jahn and structural engineers Charles Thornton and Richard Tomasetti with lifetime achievement recognition and awarding Doha Tower the title of 2012’s Best Tall Building.

Ateliers Jean Novel’s cylindrical landmark for the burgeoning Qatar capital is the first tall building to use a diagonal grid of reinforced concrete columns in a cross shape. This innovation leaves open the central core, creating a stunning space at the tip of the tower that makes perhaps the best use of the building’s intricately detailed facade.

Continue reading after the jump.

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