A daily blog on architecture in Chicago, and other topics cultural, political and mineral.
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Sunday, January 22, 2012
A winter's tale: stitch embroidery on a Miesian grid
This is what the curtain wall of the Mies van der Rohe designed IBM Building (aka 330 North Wabash) looks like normally . . .
click images for larger view
. . . a monochrome grid of strip windows, spandrels and soaring I-beam mullions.
But throughout the city, winter - cold, and, more specifically, snow - changes the acoustic. Newly fallen, it turns sidewalks to sand . . .
. . . and. multiplying the light, transforms night into a strange cousin of dusk . . .
And on the classic glass tower on Wabash, there was a small, subtle subversion. Thin sills of snow formed on the spandrels, creating a new visual tension by bringing forward the horizontal elements to break the accustomed dominance of the verticals . . .
One day, a day we hope will not be too distant, sun and blue sky will return, to again animate the glass boxes with color, in backdrop and reflection.