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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, staunchly stands apart from Netsch
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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 interior decor goes out of its way to accentuate the
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Obama Presidential Center Lawsuit Will Proceed, Slowing Progress of Construction

Architectural Record Ι February 20, 2019  A federal judge’s decision yesterday to allow a lawsuit against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Parks District to proceed will delay the progress of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), which has been designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburg Associates.  Controversially sited on public land—Frederick Law Olmsted’s Ja
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Can Artist Theaster Gates Help Bridge a Town-Gown Divide?

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι April 5, 2019  The newly renovated Keller Center, home to the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy on Chicago’s South Side, is crafted from a 1963 building designed by the architect of New York’s Radio City Music Hall and D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Edward Durell Stone. On the outside is a colonnade of delicate columns etched with a hexagonal motif. Stone’s original interio
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‘Dimensions of Citizenship’ Dreams of Belonging Best at the Smallest and Largest Scales

Architectural Record Ι March 19, 2019 The opening of “Dimensions of Citizenship,” shipped from the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale to Chicago, was delayed by the government shutdown in January, caused by President Trump’s insistence on funding for a border wall. Which was an unanticipated irony: it’s a show whose politics are also our national conversation. The exhibition investigates the inter
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To Fix Its Aging Infrastructure, the US Could Learn a Thing or Two From Chicago

Autodesk’s Redshift Ι May 16, 2019  In its latest report card, released in 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave US infrastructure a D+. Two years on, this rating still stands—and in the seven times the association has assessed the nation’s infrastructure since the 1980s, scores have steadily declined. By infrastructure type, the best score (for rail systems) is a B. The worst, for public tr
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‘The Whole World a Bauhaus’ Reveals a Movement’s Fault Lines

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι March 13, 2019 The centenary exhibition “The Whole World a Bauhaus” is touring the globe, and is now making its only U.S. stop, through April 20, at the Elmhurst Art Museum in the western suburbs of Chicago. (The Elmhurst has earned its stripes, boasting a house on its campus designed by a Bauhaus director, Mies van der Rohe.) More than 400 objects, mostly photographs, are crammed into
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The Bauhaus in the Age of Frictionless Design

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι March 14, 2019  The Institute of Design at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) may be the most direct offspring of the Bauhaus, which was the most influential design school in the world. Founded by former Bauhaus faculty member László Moholy-Nagy in 1937, and later absorbed into IIT (whose architecture school was then led by Mies van der Rohe, himself a former Bauhaus direc
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Do Legacy Construction Companies Have the Inside Track on Modular Building?

Redshift Ι January 8, 2019  Fresh-faced, tech-oriented startups get most of the attention in the modular-building world, but despite their “it” factor, they’re still startups. Is there a market share in modular just waiting for companies with the approach and know-how that come with legacy experience? Chicago-based legacy construction company Skender has been researching modular construction for years and is now gett
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The Design Media Needs to Examine Its Own Privilege

Common Edge Ι Nov. 20, 2018 Kate Wagner grew up in rural North Carolina. As a kid, her mom, who never went to college, worked in a grocery store deli and later in childcare. Her dad had a steady government job with a pension, and his time in the military meant he had the resources and benefits needed to get a college degree. Wagner describes her economic background as “one foot in the working class and one foot in th
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