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Architecture
Photo by Lee Bey.

Architecture Beyond the A-List

October 12, 2017 Ι CityLab Away from the main exhibit of the Chicago Architecture Biennial—the country’s biggest architecture festival, on show through January—there are a half-dozen smaller “anchor” shows, hosted by neighborhood arts organizations far from downtown. These reveal a different side to Chicago’s architectural legacy, famed for the White City of 1893, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the rational Modernism of Mie
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Frank Lloyd Wright Was a Proto-Algorithmic Architect

Metropolis Ι Oct. 12, 2017 Frank Lloyd Wright’s field of influence is so wide, it’s hard to tell where it starts and ends. As America’s foremost architect, he helped popularize design concepts that are held up as evidence of progressive values and progressive architecture. His notion of building with natural landscapes takes on new meaning in the era of low-carbon energy efficiency. His penchant for incorporating loc
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Is Beige the New Black in Architecture?

CityLab Ι Sept. 22, 2017 One of the most emotionally resonant exhibits in the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is a quiet one: a set of tan-glazed tile arches in a hallway. The arches form a colonnade of sorts, which better defines a space that’s too wide for a hallway but too narrow for a gallery. For its designers Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner, and for me, it’s a powerful callback to childhood. The smooth tile
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UIC’s Instagrammable Moment

Architect Magazine Ι Aug. 31, 2017  The piñatas that hang over a wide, terraced stairwell are distinctly biomorphic but don’t resemble any earthly species of fauna. There are bulbous limbs and neon colors, but these David Cronenbergian monstrosities are rendered in papier-maché. Antonio Torres, the architecture professor whose studio created them, says the project was about “articulating bellies and using appendages
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Here Comes Chicago’s Architecture Bonanza

CityLab Ι June 29, 2017 In 2015, Chicago launched the largest contemporary architecture event in North America—the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Staged at multiple sites around the city (including the lakefront) and drawing more than half a million visitors over three months, it was a wide shotgun blast in terms of content, with techno-psychedelic body-horror sketches, demonstrations of material fabrication, and soc
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Marion Mahony Griffin, Unbound

Architectural Record Ι Oct. 31, 2016 The historical record left by architect Marion Mahony Griffin has been obscured by time, distance, and the prejudices of her age and profession. To begin with, much of her built work was on the other side of the globe, in Australia. She disdained self-promotion and the public spotlight, rather literally—she seldom faced a camera. She’s primarily associated with Frank Lloyd Wright,
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Toyo Ito’s Next Architectural Feat: Revitalizing Omishima Island in Japan

Redshift Ι Oct. 25, 2016 Last year, as construction at his National Taichung Theater in Taiwan was winding down, Toyo Ito found himself at a crossroads. A 10-year project in the making, the gargantuan cultural beacon is made of biomorphically curved concrete walls that wind together like a knot of arteries, creating an otherworldly experience for arts patrons. It’s every bit the landmark project you’d expect from 201
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4 Ways JGMA Empowers Modest Clients With Marvelous Architecture

Redshift Ι Oct. 24, 2016  Juan Moreno’s eponymous Chicago architecture firm brings design to neighborhoods and communities that don’t normally see much infrastructural investment, let alone aesthetically exciting architecture. Working largely with Chicago’s Hispanic community, Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects (JGMA) offers more than design to underserved communities. The firm fosters the most important asset in a susta
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