Monday, September 30, 2013

Views of the Loyola University Campus on a Crisp Fall Day

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Michael Cudahy Science Hall. 1912

Dumbach Hall, 1912, Worthmann and Steinbach
Los Lobos de Loyola, C. Francisco Cardenas Martinez, sculptor

Richard J. Klarcheck Information Commons, 2007, Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Madonna della Strada Chapel, 1939, Andrew N. Rebori

Elizabeth M. Cudahy Memorial Library, 1930, Rebori,Wentworth, Dewey and McCormick

Chicago Under Construction (or not) - Seven Sites Along the River to Fulton Market

111 West Wacker (click images for larger view)
3D Printing Experience
River Point
Wells Street Bridge
The Catalyst, Washington and Desplaines
abandoned construction site, Morgan and Kinzie
Soho House Hotel (Allis Building, Green Street)
1K Fulton (former Fulton Market Cold Storage)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tigerman, Adrian Smith, Dominque Perrault, Toyo Ito, Playboy Architecture, Open House Chicago, Edgar Allan Poe and much more - it's the October Calendar!

Stanley Tigerman receives AIA Chicago's Lifetime Achievement Award
Will we be adding more? You betcha, but right now, there's almost 60 great items on the just-published October Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events.

Things start fast and furious this week, with Adrian Smith talking Wednesday. the 2nd, about Supertall Towers and Green Cities at the Logan Center for the Arts. Also on Wednesday, Anthony Denzer is at CAF talking about his new book, The Solar House: Pioneering Sustainable Design and 6:00 p.m. at IIT, Christophe Cornubert of PUSH is in from L.A. to deliver a lecture at the McCormick Tribune Campus Center.

Architects? At IIT, at Crown Hall we've got Dominque Perrault  on Tuesday, the 8th, and Iñaki Alday, founder, Arquitectura y Paisaje, on Wednesday the 13th, Alphonse Sarthout and Hugo Haas of Ciguë Agency at the Alliance Française.

Monday the 14th, and 2013 Pritzker Prize Laureate Toyo Ito at the Art Institute on
Tuesday, the 15th. Ito will also participate, along with Yusaku Immura, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho, at an Art Institute Public Forum, A Conservation on Beauty earlier in the day. Then, on Friday the 25th, Stanley Tigerman will receive AIA Chicago's Lifetime Achievement Award at the 58th Annual Designight, at Navy Pier.
Princeton's Beatriz Colomina's talks about Playboy
Architecture: 1953 - 1979 at the School of the Art Institute on Thursday the 10th, the same day that Tony Tasset of Eye fame is at Unity Temple in Oak Park.  On Thursday the 4th, the Graham is screening Drop City, a documentary about artists who created their dwellings from “the scrapheap of a wasteful society.” This Saturday the 5th, Hedrich-Blessing's Dave Burk will be leading an Architecture Digital Photography Workshop at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Open House Chicago is back for its third year.  The Chicago Architecture Foundation event  will give participants access to 150 buildings on Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th.

Jeffrey Boyer and Sachin Anan of dbHMS will be at the Chicago Center for Green Technology to talk about the Decarbonization Plan and Triple Net Zero Design of Nalanda University. CAF lunchtime on Wednesday the 16th, there'll be a presentation of Design Evanston's Jack Weiss, Stuart Cohen, Kris Hartzell, Heidi Hoppe and Laura Saviano on the new book, Evanston: 150 Years, 150 Places. The next week - same time, same place - Michael A. Hirsch of Pelli Clarke Pelli and John Culbert, Dean, will discuss their new Theatre School at DePaul University.

Meg Kindelin of Johnson Lasky discusses Highland's Park International Style Battledeck House at the Cultural Center for Landmarks Illinois on Thursday the 17th, the same day that Dianne Harris will be at the Graham in the evening discussing her new book, Little Houses: Race, Space, and the Ordinary Postwar Home, at the same time that Patti Philippon will talk about The House (Mark) Twain and (Louis Comfort) Tiffany Built at the Driehaus Museum. Also at the Driehaus on Thursday, the 29th, architect Richard Economakis will discuss The Civic Hall and New Town of Cayalá, Guatemala.

Architect and urban designer Marshall Brown will talk about The Speculative City at the American Planning Association Tuesday, the 22nd. Also on the 22nd, Steven Monz talks about the Architecture of Benjamin Marshall at the Glessner House Museum, where, just in time for Halloween, the museum sponsors its 27th Annual Edgar Allan Poe Readings on Saturday the 26th.

On October 24th and 25th, there's not one, but two, two-day Facades+Performance at IIT, and Building for Sustainability at the Center for Green Technology. On the 25th, Openlands has its 50th Anniversary Luncheon at the Hilton Chicago.   On Monday the 28th at the House of Blues, there'll be a special Pecha Kucha Chicago/Chicago Tribune Photojournalism, featuring the work and stories of a dozen photojournalists.

As you might imagine, these are just some of the highlights.  You can check them all out on the October 2013 Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The redesign of the interior of Mies van der Rohe's Crown Hall: Glass Boxes within the Ultimate Glass Box

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The new academic year has brought some interesting changes to the interior configurations of Mies van der Rohe's iconic Crown Hall, home to the School of Architecture of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
At 220 by 120 by 18 feet tall, it's sometimes been described as the world's largest single-room schoolhouse.  Still, Mies split up the space with subtle low partitions, primarily the free-standing oak panels that define the center core.  Along with the student desks, those panels were renovated as part of a major 2005 restoration, as well as the student storage lockers that also served as de facto dividers.
Now those lockers are gone . . .  
They've been replaced with twin, newly-constructed blocks of spaces along the building's north side.
No ceilings.  Boxes within a box, the new rooms mirror in miniature Crown Hall's exterior structure - glass walls within painted metal frames, complete with Miesian corners.
New Dean Wiel Arets and other administrators now have their offices on the same floor occupied by their students.
Previously, the Dean's office was in the building's basement lower level, where the redesign has been much more radical.   Ironically, as open as Mies made Crown Hall's first floor, the lower level was a rabbit's warren of offices and meeting spaces.  Now, it's a truer expression of Mies concept of universal space. Specifically, the Center Core was once confined to the area between the two central staircases.  Now it's essentially one continuous space that traverses the entire length of building . . .
Similarly, what was previously a sequence of closed-off rooms is now two open studio spaces, one in the northeast corner . . .
the other in the northwest . . .
What used to be the Dean's office has now become part of an expanded Graham Resource Center, allowing the library added room to breathe, and, as needed, fill up with more stuff.
The day I took these pictures, nothing was going on in the lower core, and judging from some comments to this post, that might be for the best.  There are reports that the space is an acoustical nightmare, loud and buzzy to the point of dysfunction.  Some students have complained that the removal of the lockers have left them no place to store their supplies.  The redesign appears to have become a lightning rod for those unenamored of the changes Arets has made both to the building and the curriculum.

One interesting change that may not be new but that I just noticed is the central staircases . . . the east staircase retains its original Miesian right-angled purity . . .
. . . but the west staircase, retrofitted with rails for a universal access lift, has taken on a curvy, almost Art Nouveau vibe . . .
A refinement of philosophy is encapsulated in these changes.  In place of Miesian reserve, the Dean has now placed himself in the midst of the students.  Hierarchy is softened, but remains clearly expressed - if with shortened proximity - in a glass-walled “almost nothing” expression of separation.
Less than a decade after its last major renovation,  the structure of Crown Hall endures intact even as its universal space evolves.

Read More:

Mies Resurrected - the story of Crown Hall
Crown Hall - Decline and Rebirth
Crown Hall - The Legacy of Crown Hall