Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stacked Box Gateway: Pelli Clarke Pelli's new DePaul University Theatre School

DePaul University is celebrating the opening of its new Theatre School building by architects Pelli Clarke Pelli. Blair Kamin offers a full-up review in today's Chicago Tribune.

[Inexplicably, although the print version of Blair's review includes three black-and-white photographs, the web version has only a single shot of the black box theater interior.  Apparently, the Trib still hasn't figured out the basic concept that photos draw readers to a website, and once you've gone through the cost of shooting them, posting them is essentially free.  The web version of Kamin's review also carries a different address for the building than the one on the school's own website.]
Update: a gallery of striking photographs from Tribune staff photographer Antonio Perez was added  this afternoon
central staircase
In any event, we thought we'd supplement Kamin's thorough review with some shots we took yesterday.  You can find a lot more interior shots and renderings on the Pelli Clarke Peilli website, and see Jeff Goldberg's shots on the DePaul website here. Through November 24th, the DePaul Art Museum, on Fullerton at the L, has an exhibition, Designing for Performance: Cesar Pelli at DePaul University.

At the corner of Fullerton and Racine, the new $73 million, 165,000-square-foot structure provides a new visual gateway to the campus.  Along with steel exoskeleton of Antunovich Architects' 2006 Loft-Right dorms, now known as 1237 West, the articulated massing and the facades of white Turkish  Limra limestone marks a major break with the university's traditional affection for vaguely Prairie School brick buildings.  Cannon Design, Schuler Shook and Kirkegaard Associates contributed to the design.  Full list of credits here.
The Theatre School building finds a visual strong counterpoint in two industrial loft buildings across the street.  One is now the Lincoln Park Library; the other is a U-Haul facility.
The Theatre School's name tastefully inscribed in the limestone of the pristine blank white wall of the black box theater finds its traditional down-and-dirty Chicago doppelganger in the reflection of the painted U-Haul painted signage of the water tower reflected in the DePaul theatre's front glazed facade.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are we entering an age of NeoBrutalsim.

What's there really to like, at least from the outside?