Fazlur Khan Converged Engineering and Architecture at the Top of the World

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι April 7, 2020 Fazlur Khan’s achievements as a structural engineer will forever be tied to Chicago’s Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower), the tallest building in the world for a quarter century. But that long reign wasn’t stunt-architecture: The building, completed in 1973, represented a synthesis among structural possibilities, aesthetic exploration, […]

Chicago’s Bid to Reinvent the Corner Store

Bloomberg’s CityLab Ι July 31, 2020 When it’s completed, the corner grocery store at 63rd and Racine will look a lot different than the other carryouts and bodegas dotting this section of Englewood, on Chicago’s South Side. Designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects and developed by local nonprofit Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), the Go Green Fresh Market will essentially be […]

The National Public Housing Museum Eyes a 2021 Opening

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Dec. 3, 2019 When you’re working to establish a museum with such contested subject matter as the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM), it pays to have a few shorthand expressions within easy reach, lest anyone get confused about creating a curatorial platform for an institution many associate with failure. Crystal Palmer, […]

At Washington University, A Cluster of New Buildings Enlivens a Neglected Part of Campus

Metropolis Magazine Ι Oct. 18, 2019 A middle-American Oxbridge, the campus of Washington University in St. Louis is staunchly Collegiate Gothic, all nested quads and pink granite buildings. It’s often hard to tell where one building ends and another begins. But traverse the campus to its far eastern edge and this monotony starts to let up: […]

Design for all requires a culture change in architecture

The American Institute of Architects Ι Oct. 14, 2019  In 1978, John Catlin, who’d been a wheelchair user for four years after a spinal injury, began graduate school in architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In 1973, federal legislation was passed that prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities, including facilities designed, built, altered, […]

An Activist Architecture Stirs in Chicago

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Oct. 9. 2019 Perhaps the most compelling installation in this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial doesn’t feature a single architectural model, rendering, or image of buildings (or of anything else). It’s a series of short blocks of text, probing the Chicago police’s killing of Harith Augustus on the city’s South Side in July of last […]

How a Gehry building came back ready for the spotlight

The American Institute of Architects Ι Aug. 21, 2019  In the pantheon of Frank Gehry buildings, his American Center in Paris, completed in 1994, was a decidedly transitional artifact. Gehry was rebuffed from using steel on the building by planners with context-attuned designs for its newly redeveloped district on the banks of the Seine, so instead […]

Virgil Abloh’s MCA Exhibition Reveals the Power—and Limits—of Design Disruption

Metropolis Magazine Ι July 15, 2019 Architecture is an attractive medium for the trendsetter-turned-multidisciplinary designer and artist Virgil Abloh. Because buildings are often the face of the establishment, they are ripe targets for subversion—Abloh’s calling card. So it’s no surprise that bits of buildings are strewn throughout Figures of Speech, Abloh’s first solo museum exhibition now […]

Proposals for New Building at UIC Contend with Walter Netsch’s Brutalist Campus

Architectural Record Ι April 8, 2019  Last week, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) unveiled three short-listed proposals for a performing arts center. Two of the finalist designs, by OMA and Johnston Marklee, take strong cues from Walter Netsch’s arch-Brutalist UIC campus—one of Chicago’s least understood bits of architectural history. The third, by Thom Mayne’s Morphosis, […]

Sunlight and Landscape Views Shape Studio Gang’s Latest Chicago Tower

Metropolis Magazine Ι April 16, 2019 Solstice on the Park, the new Studio Gang–designed rental apartment tower in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, doesn’t want for inspiration. The building is within spitting distance of Lake Michigan and Frederick Law Olmsted’s Jackson Park, where the Obama Presidential Center may soon rise (pending the outcome of a lawsuit). The […]