Chicago Architecture Biennial attracts more than double the attendees of Venice Biennale

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: organisers of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial have counted more than 500,000 visitors and the city has renewed its commitment to host another edition in 2017. The biennial drew a total of 530,551 visitors, which includes totals from the Chicago Cultural Center main venue (276,806), the Stony Island Arts Bank (8,100), the Lakefront More

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“Chicago boldly imagines its own definition of what a biennial might be”

Opinion: the Chicago Architecture Biennial stands out from an avalanche of pointless events by doing things its own way, says Sam Jacob. But can it be sustained? This is the age of “inalification”. Every city, every form of creative practice – at vast expense and even greater effort – mounts gigantic productions that celebrate… well, what […]

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Lateral Office redesigns the Canadian campsite for the 21st century

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Toronto studio Lateral Office has developed five city-inspired proposals for campsites suited to 21st-century lifestyles (+ slideshow). Instead of the typical arrangement of single tents scattered around a site, the architects believe camping areas can offer more to their occupants, from digital technology, to improved safety and sustainable living. “An architect should speculate and […]

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“Academics need to break out of their loop and get back into the real world”

Opinion: dominated by old boys who think their view is the only one that matters, architecture academia in the US has become insular and out of touch, says Reinier de Graaf, who finds a perfect illustration in a recent debate at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. “Can I see some hands raised? Who in the audience […]

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Kuehn Malvezzi’s House of One installation represents a house of prayer for three religions

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: An installation by the German firm Kuehn Malvezzi portrays its design for a religious building in Berlin that would contain a synagogue, church and mosque – all under one roof. The House of One would serve as a place of prayer and learning for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as well as […]

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MOS Architects creates modular house made entirely from corridors

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: New York-based studio MOS Architects has created an installation that explores the possibility of building homes using only corridor and hallway-like spaces (+ slideshow). The Corridor House is a series of plywood modules, staggered and layered to create a puzzle-like dwelling with a courtyard in the centre. Each unit is designed to resemble a […]

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“Architecture is finally moving beyond a homogeneous status quo”

Opinion: the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s diverse range of participants and mediums offers hope for the future of the discipline, despite protestations from self-appointed “gatekeepers” of the profession like Patrik Schumacher, says Mimi Zeiger. There is a letter in a drawer in Chicago’s Graham Foundation library; a sheet of Orange Coast College stationary dated 8 April 1980. The letter is from […]

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“Lack of demand” is holding back Chicago’s young architectural talents

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Chicago might be the city that invented contemporary high-rise architecture but lately it has been left standing by New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Is the Windy City stuck in the past or is its first ever architecture biennial a sign that things are changing? “Chicago is where all the good ideas […]

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Vo Trong Nghia Architects’ low-cost housing moves towards mass production

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Vietnam-based Vo Trong Nghia Architects has unveiled a fourth prototype of its low-cost housing design, which is now moving towards mass production (+ slideshow). The S House – a project that has been ongoing since it was first unveiled in 2012 – was developed by Vo Trong Nghia’s studio in response to Vietnam’s housing crisis. […]

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David Adjaye retrospective at Art Institute of Chicago includes a full-size pavilion

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: the first career retrospective of architect David Adjaye has opened at the Art Institute of Chicago, featuring a full-size replica of his 2007 Horizon pavilion (+ slideshow). Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye spans more than 20 years of architecture, furniture design, and urban planning. The exhibition, spread across galleries on two floors, […]

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Mies-inspired pavilion with “biggest wooden roof possible” opens on Chicago lakefront

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: architecture studio Ultramoderne has completed its competition-winning Chicago pavilion, which was built using the largest lengths of timber that can be shipped across North America (+ slideshow). Named Chicago Horizon, the pavilion was the winning design in the Chicago Lakefront Kiosk Competition, organised as part of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial that […]

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WORKac and Ant Farm design a utopian floating city for humans and marine animals

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: WORKac has teamed up with the founders of 1970s art collective Ant Farm to design a floating city based on drawings that were lost during a fire decades ago (+ slideshow). Using a handful of salvaged drawings as reference, the New York firm worked with the collective to fill in the gaps in their archive. […]

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Micro dwelling by All(zone) could be erected within abandoned towers

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Bangkok studio All(zone) has conceived a small temporary home intended to be set up inside unfinished high-rise buildings in tropical cities (+ movie). The project, called Light House, is featured in the Chicago Architecture Biennial, which opened on 3 October and continues to 3 January 2016. Encompassing 11.5 square metres, the boxy micro […]

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Tatiana Bilbao addresses “urgent need” for housing Mexico’s poorest inhabitants

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Tatiana Bilbao presents a flexible building prototype that offers a solution to Mexico’s social housing shortage during the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial (+ slideshow). The Mexican architect has designed a low-cost house that can be adapted to suit varying numbers of residents, and can be expanded as a family grows. It can also be altered to suit the variety […]

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ArandaLasch presents art park designs for sensitive ecological site in Bali

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: US firm ArandaLasch has unveiled plans for an art park for a Chinese-Indonesian philanthropist, proposed on terraced rice paddies in the Bali countryside (+ slideshow). The project, called Budidesa, is featured in the Chicago Architecture Biennial, which opened on 3 October and continues to 3 January 2016. The development will encompass 161,000 […]

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Theaster Gates transforms abandoned Chicago bank into public arts centre

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: artist Theaster Gates has converted a derelict bank building in a low-income Chicago neighbourhood into a cultural venue with galleries, event space, and libraries for books and vinyl records (+ slideshow). Called Stony Island Arts Bank, the project is the latest by Gates, a social activist artist and urban planner known for […]

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Local architects take on Windy City challenges at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: a capsule exhibition within the Biennial’s main show focuses on the future of Chicago, with proposals including a peninsula on the Chicago River and a landscape of sunken spaces. While much of the show – which is located at the city’s Cultural Center – focusses on international architects and projects, the Bold: Alternative Scenarios for […]

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First Chicago Architecture Biennial is a “site of experimentation” say curators

The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial opens to the public this weekend. Speaking at a preview today, curators Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima said the exhibition showcases architects who are carving out new ways to practice. “We really see the exhibition as a site of experimentation,” Herda told journalists. “This is not a place to look at pictures […]

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Rural Urban Framework awarded Curry Stone Design Prize at Chicago Architecture Biennial

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015: Hong Kong design and research group Rural Urban Framework has been awarded the 2015 Curry Stone Design Prize for humanitarian architecture (+ slideshow). The non-profit company was presented with the $100,000 (£66,117) award during a ceremony ahead of the official opening of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. Related story: Rural Urban Framework […]

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10 of Chicago’s lesser-known architectural gems

Feature: visitors to the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, which opens later this week, will discover a raft of architectural treasures that are often overshadowed by the skyscrapers and institutions the city is famous for (+ slideshow). While the biennial has concentrated most of its exhibitions near the downtown business district of the Loop and the lakefront, organisers […]

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