Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Future Prentice: ideas for saving endangered Bertrand Goldberg building subject of Chicago Architectural Club's 2012 Chicago Prize competition

Northwestern wants to destroy Bertrand Goldberg's iconic Prentice Hospital Building.  They say there's no other way.

The Chicago Architectural Club begs to differ.  Partnering with the American Institute of Architects/Chicago, it's made the structure the focus of FUTURE PRENTICE, it's 2012 Chicago Prize Competition . . .
. . . an international, single-stage ideas competition open to anyone with a vision of what the former Prentice Women’s Hospital could become: students, architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, artists and concerned citizens alike.
click images for larger view

The FUTURE PRENTICE Competition seeks to explore alternative solutions for this historic piece of architecture. What would you propose to do with this structure? What other uses are possible? How would you re-envision this iconic building? How can a building that changed the course of modern hospital design and structural engineering be re-used for the future? What new business models for healthcare, eduction and research would you propose to bring continued economic prosperity to an urban neighborhood defined by an interconnected hospital and university campus.
The hospital is considered ground-breaking for its cutting-edge architecture and advanced engineering, as well as for what was a progressive design approach to organizing medical wards and services. Prentice Women’s Hospital received international press coverage and an award from Engineering News Record for its innovative tower and open floor-plate layout that eliminated the need for structural support columns. Partially occupied until fall of 2011, the structure has been determined to be in sound condition, but in need of repair.
Today the building is in imminent danger of being torn down by its owner, Northwestern University, but it’s fate ultimately lies in the hands of the city’s administration. A study was commissioned by Landmarks Illinois in 2011 to propose alternative uses for the structure, which is now vacant, as Prentice Women’s Hospital had moved into a new structure less than a block away. The three schemes produced were rejected by Northwestern University as either not needed or too limiting for the university’s research agenda.
Entrants may consider just the actual site of Prentice Hospital, or also use the two-block square site across the street which has remained vacant and chain-linked since Northwestern demolished Schmidt, Garden and Erikson's Lakeside Veterans Hospital four years ago.

First prize is $3,000; second $1,500 and third $750, with up to three honorable mentions.  A QandA sessions closes September 15th, with online submissions due by October 15th.  Winners, "decided by a jury of notable professionals and academics",  are scheduled to be announced in November.

More information on the Architectural Club website here.   You can download the competition brief here.

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