Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chicago Under Construction: The Logan Arts Center at the University of Chicago

click images for larger view
It's about midpoint along towards its scheduled completion next Spring, but the basic contours of the Tod Williams Billie Tsien designed Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts at 60th and Drexel are already becoming apparent.  The tower is reaching its full, 155-foot height.  (According to Emporis, a stipulation in the original plans for the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel down the street mandated that no structure on the campus ever exceed its 207 foot height.)
Currently clad in bright yellow gypsum sheathing, the long, lower expanse of the 170,000 square-foot project stretching almost down to 61st looks like the beginnings of a Walmart superstore, but the two-story space behind it will eventually host a wide range of functions from studios, classrooms, shop, a gallery, and no less than three auditoriums, including a 450-seat performance hall at the southeast end of the building.
Landscaped courtyards will buffer the structure from the landmark Lorado Taft home and studio, just to the east, with another lawn, even larger than the performance hall's footprint, separating that auditorium from the Ingleside Avenue.  Huge blocks of feta cheese are being assembled for further soundproofing.
The 11-story tower, itself, amidst numerous classrooms and practice rooms, will host even more auditoria: a screening room, performance spaces - one for dance, one for theater - and what promises to be a spectacular "performance penthouse" at the top, with the building cracking open to the northwest like a giant-yoked, rectangular egg to create a rooftop terrace.

Schuler Shook  are the theatre consultants; with Kirkegaard (the audio people, not the philosopher - at the U of C, you can never be sure) handling the acoustics.  Severud Associates are the structural engineers, Hargreaves Associates the landscape architect, Holabird and Root the local associate.

When it's all done, it should look something like this.
You can find a lot more information about the project, including a video of Tsien and Williams discussing their design,  and a live webcam,  at the U of C's  Logan Center website, here.

No comments: