“Architecture as intellectual inquiry needs to take more risks”

The second Chicago Architecture Biennial tackles the broad and tempestuous topic of history, but plays it too safe, says Mimi Zeiger in this Opinion column. I’m not going to define history. No matter how heavily that word weighs on the Chicago Architecture Biennial, which opened last weekend. Neither will artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark

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Obama calls on architecture and tech firms to support Chicago presidential library with apprenticeship schemes

Barack Obama has urged top architecture studios and tech firms like Amazon, Google and Microsoft to take on paid apprentices from Chicago’s South Side at a public consultation event for the Obama Presidential Library. The former US president spoke to the audience and answered questions through a video live-stream at the event, which took place last

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SOM exhibits architecture models with stripped-away skins to reveal engineering beneath

A row of intricately detailed architectural models take centre stage at this pop-up exhibition celebrating the beauty of engineering by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, which coincides with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The 30 structural models presented at 1:500 scale are arranged in ascending height order across the breadth of the exhibition space at the Mana Contemporary Chicago art

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Architects reimagine Chicago’s Tribune Tower with abstract skyscraper models

Fifteen alternative visions for the famous 1920s Tribune Tower competition are presented as giant models at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Architects, studios and teams from around the world have contributed their abstract skyscraper designs for the Vertical City exhibition at the biennial, which opened to press today. They were asked to interpret the brief for

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Chicago Architecture Foundation plans move to Mies van der Rohe-designed tower

The Chicago Architecture Center will take over a space inside a riverfront building by modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which will be designed by US firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill and is set to open summer 2018. Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) announced its move ahead of the second Chicago Architecture Biennale, which

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Second Chicago Architecture Biennial will “look back to look forward” say artistic directors

This year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial will ask architects to consider history in order to shape a direction for future architectural practice, say artistic directors Johnston Marklee. Set to open next week, the second Chicago Architecture Biennial will show “a cross-section of the best and most innovative work from around the world” according to Mark Lee,

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Five skyscrapers set to transform Chicago’s skyline

Chicago – the birthplace of the skyscraper – is poised to host its second architecture biennial, so we’ve rounded up five of the tallest towers either approved or underway in the city. Vista Tower by Studio Gang Set to reach 1,186 feet at its highest point when it completes in 2020, local architect Jeanne Gang’s

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Blue and yellow fins wrap sculptural academic building in Chicago by JGMA

Canted walls covered in colourful louvres define this urban building for Northeastern Illinois University by architecture firm JGMA, which sits next to a major highway. The El Centro facility is part of an urban satellite campus established by Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) to help serve the Latino community. Occupying a former industrial site in Chicago’s Avondale

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Helmut Jahn’s 1000M skyscraper poised to rise in Chicago

New renderings have been released of American-German architect Helmut Jahn’s tower for Chicago’s South Loop, as preparations for construction begin and sales of its luxury condominiums get ready to open. Due to imminently rise from a vacant lot at 1000 South Michigan Avenue, the residential skyscraper dubbed 1000M will reach 832 feet (254 metres) once

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Brutalist library in Chicago gets interior update by Woodhouse Tinucci

US firm Woodhouse Tinucci Architects has spruced up reading room in the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library, a 1970s building originally designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Totalling 18,000 square feet (1,672 square metres), the project entailed transforming a ground-level reading room of the brutalist library into a space more suitable for group meetings

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple was the “first expression” of modern architecture

We’re continuing our look back at Frank Lloyd Wright’s most important projects, in celebration the anniversary of the American architect’s 150th birth last week. Next is Unity Temple, the Prairie-style concrete church that he considered to be his first contribution to modern architecture. Wright designed Unity Temple in 1905 for the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Oak Park Unity Church,

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House was his most “consummate expression” of Prairie style

This week marks the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth and to celebrate we’re looking back at five of the American architect’s most pioneering projects. First up is Robie House, now recognised as a symbol of the Prairie style. Frank Lloyd Wright completed Robie House in Chicago in 1910, seventeen years after establishing his practice and towards

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Obama Presidential Library concept design unveiled in Chicago

The first images and models of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects’ plans for the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago have been revealed. Former US president Barack Obama and wife Michelle presented the concept design and site plan for the library set for the city’s Jackson Park at an event earlier today. The proposal includes a

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Riverside office tower in Chicago by Goettsch Partners rises from sharply tapered base

US firm Goettsch Partners has completed a glass skyscraper with a compact footprint, which responds to its placement next to active train tracks and the Chicago River. Called 150 North Riverside, the commercial tower is located on a prominent waterfront site in the city’s West Loop. Rising 54 storeys, the glass-faced skyscraper sharply tapers inward

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Patchwork of stone, brick and glass fronts Chicago townhouse by HBRA Architects

HBRA Architects drew inspiration from historic Chicago residences by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and Henry Hobson Richardson while conceiving this contemporary urban residence in the city’s Lincoln Park neighbourhood. The private residence, located on Chicago’s North Side, is part of a mixed-used development that includes a tower, a multi-level parking garage, private townhouses and a shaded

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Chicago’s century-old Navy Pier revitalised by James Corner Field Operations and nArchitects

Kiosks with stainless steel canopies and a towering glass and chrome sculpture are among the recent enhancements made to Chicago’s Navy Pier, one of the largest public piers in the world (+ slideshow). Called Pierscape, the project was designed by James Corner Field Operations, the landscape studio behind Manhattan’s High Line, with architectural elements by More

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Studio Gang clads Chicago student housing complex in wavy strips of concrete

US firm Studio Gang has completed a student residential complex for the University of Chicago that features towers sheathed in glass and sculptural white concrete panels (+ movie). Scheduled to open on 17 September 2016, the complex – called the Campus North Residential Commons – is the latest addition to the university’s campus, which features works More

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Obama selects Chicago’s Jackson Park for presidential library site

US president Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park in Chicago as the site to build the library that will commemorate his term in office. Although the official announcement is not due until next week, the Chicago Tribune has revealed that the location was selected over Washington Park – another green space in the city’s South Side. The historic More

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Summer Whites

Mix fresh and crisp whites with textures for our summer mornings. Blend the usual oversized sunglasses with the timeless aviator style, while staying true to our love and appreciation of authentic handmade craftsmanship. Dropping a layer when temperatures begin to … Continue reading

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects chosen for Obama Presidential Library

Breaking news: architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have won the long-running competition to design the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago. Announced by the Barack Obama Foundation today, the New York-based firm will partner with local practice Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) on the project to create a cultural venue in commemoration of the US president’s More

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George Lucas abandons Chicago museum proposal in favour of California

Filmmaker George Lucas has confirmed that he is pulling his MAD-designed museum from Chicago and plans to move the proposal to America’s West Coast. The Star Wars creator announced last week that he is ending his bid to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on a lakefront car park in the Illinois city, after an More

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WATG wins competition to design freeform 3D-printed house

A team of architects in Chicago has proposed a house made of 3D-printed plastic and carbon-fibre panels wrapped around glazed walls (+ slideshow). The members of international firm WATG’s Urban Architecture Studio took out first prize in the Freeform Home Design Challenge, which invited architects, designers, engineers and artists to propose a 3D-printed dwelling. Their More

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Gensler unveils skyscraper design for site of Calatrava’s ill-fated Chicago Spire

Global firm Gensler has proposed an alternative skyscraper concept for the waterfront site in Chicago where a spiralling, supertall condominium tower by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was slated to rise. For the recent conceptual proposal, Gensler asked: “How do you succeed with a $50 million dollar failure?” – referencing the money spent on constructing the More

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Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveils forum building for University of Chicago campus

The University of Chicago has approved a preliminary design by New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro for a facility devoted to hosting talks and events. The David M Rubenstein Forum will provide the institution with 90,000 square feet (8,360 square metres) of meeting and event spaces, described as a “hub for convening and More

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Aerial cable car proposed for Chicago by Marks Barfield and Davis Brody Bond

Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond have teamed up to design an aerial “gondola” that would stretch over the city of Chicago and serve as a major tourist attraction. Dubbed the Chicago Skyline, the cable car would transport passengers from the city’s Navy Pier to the Riverwalk and Millennium Park, right by the downtown district More

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New location proposed for MAD’s Lucas Museum in Chicago

Chicago’s mayor has suggested moving the proposed location for the controversial museum dedicated to film director George Lucas in order for the project to go ahead. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to save the proposal, after a judge upheld the lengthy legal battle over the plan to build the museum on a lakeside car park, More

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Studio Gang’s supertall Chicago tower will include $17.1 million penthouse

New images of architect Jeanne Gang’s Vista Tower in Chicago have been released to entice buyers to purchase luxury condominiums within the supertall skyscraper (+ slideshow). The development features a trio of connected glass towers arranged in a row, with heights of 46, 70 and 95 storeys. It was designed by Studio Gang, the Chicago More

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Valerio Dewalt Train uses stone and glass to build angular arts building in Chicago

US firm Valerio Dewalt Train Associates has completed a stone and glass arts centre in Chicago for a progressive private school for children (+ slideshow).  The building, called the Gordon Park Arts Hall, is located on the main campus for the University of Chicago Laboratory School, often referred to as Lab School. It serves as a More

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Port Urbanism proposes two bike and pedestrian bridges for Chicago’s Goose Island

A proposal for two bicycle and pedestrian bridges could connect Chicago’s industrial Goose Island to surrounding neighbourhoods and transit points. Chicago-based developer R2 and urban design studio Port Urbanism are campaigning to regenerate the island, which occupies a central site in the city. Their proposal includes a curving span at Ogden Street, designed by local firm Hartshorne Plunkhard Architecture, which More

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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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SOM creates a circular library wrapped in aluminium fins for Chicago’s Chinatown

Architecture firm SOM incorporated principles from Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese design philosophy, while conceiving the new Chinatown Branch Library in Chicago (+ slideshow). Encompassing 16,000 square feet (1,490 square metres), the new library is located in Chicago’s Near South Side, on an urban site near a busy intersection and elevated metro station. “The building sits at More

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David Adjaye, Renzo Piano and Snøhetta among seven-strong shortlist for Obama Library

Breaking news: the Barack Obama Foundation has revealed the names of the seven architecture firms it is inviting to pitch for the official presidential library in Chicago. The seven shortlisted architects are: » David Adjaye » Diller Scofidio + Renfro » John Ronan » Renzo Piano » SHoP Architects » Snøhetta » Tod Williams Billie Tsien More

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Dezeen’s A-Zdvent calendar: BP Pedestrian Bridge by Frank Gehry

It’s day two in our Christmas countdown of contemporary bridges, one for every letter of the alphabet. For the letter B, it’s Frank Gehry’s first bridge – a serpentine structure between two Chicago parks. With a length of 285 metres, the winding footbridge creates a wheelchair-friendly crossing over Columbus Drive, connecting Millennium Park with the lakefront Maggie Daley Park. Brushed stainless […]

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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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Chicago approves MAD’s George Lucas Museum plans

Chicago City Council members have voted in favour of MAD Architects’ controversial design for the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on the shore of Lake Michigan. MAD’s proposal for the museum, which will host the private art and memorabilia collection of film director George Lucas, is expected to cost $400 million (£260 million) and […]

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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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Helmut Jahn’s Thompson government centre faces demolition threat

The governor of Illinois has announced plans to sell Helmut Jahn’s James R Thompson Center in Chicago – a move that could lead to the demolition of the Postmodern government office building. Located in Chicago’s core central business district, known as The Loop, the full block-long building by the German-born, Chicago-based architect is a prime candidate for redevelopment. The […]

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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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“Chicago is a living laboratory of future infrastructure”

Opinion: Chicago may have been the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, but the city is now more interested in landscape projects that make New York’s High Line look like small fry, says Jonathan D Solomon, director of architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In his 1970 essay Chicago a la Carte: […]

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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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Explore Chicago’s contemporary and historic architecture on our new Pinterest board

Dezeen is reporting from the first Chicago Architecture Biennial this week. Browse the city’s newest projects, historic icons and lesser-known gems on our new Pinterest board, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and the University of Chicago’s Joe and Rika Mansueto Library by Helmut Jahn. Follow Dezeen on Pinterest | See the latest stories on Chicago

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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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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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Rafael Viñoly unveils designs for pair of Chicago skyscrapers

New York-based Rafael Viñoly Architects has conceived a pair of residential towers for Chicago’s growing South Loop neighbourhood, on a site overlooking a park. Viñoly was chosen for the project by the developer, Crescent Heights. The first phase calls for a 76-storey skyscraper with 792 rental units, to be built at 113 E Roosevelt Road. […]

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The 10 projects that sum up Chicago’s architectural history

Feature: With the first Chicago Architecture Biennial kicking off later this week, Dezeen picks 10 of the projects – past and present – that have helped shape the city that gave birth to contemporary high-rise architecture. New York might be North America’s architecture and design capital, but Chicago is where all of the good ideas originally emerged. […]

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Chicago’s Vista skyscaper by Jeanne Gang will be world’s tallest building designed by a woman

In a newly released video, American architect Jeanne Gang explains how natural crystal formations inspired the shape of Vista Residences, a new skyscraper proposed for Chicago that will be the world’s tallest building designed by a woman (+ movie). Along with the video, the developer has released new interior and exterior images of the 1,140-foot-tall (348 […]

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MAD Architects unveils slimmed-down design for Lucas Museum in Chicago

The team led by MAD Architects has presented revised designs for the proposed George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art along Chicago’s lakefront (+ slideshow). The controversial project’s square footage has been reduced by 25 percent to 300,000-square-feet (91,440 square metres) and its footprint has been cut by 40 percent. The project has faced lawsuits and […]

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Renzo Piano and Diller Scofidio + Renfro competing for Obama Presidential Library

At least 11 firms have been invited to apply for the Barack Obama Presidential Library design contract in Chicago. Prominent firms from Chicago, across the US, and a handful of international architects have all been contacted by the Barack Obama Foundation to submit qualifications for the project, according to Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin. According to Kamin, Renzo Piano […]

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Ross Barney Architects wraps a Chicago rail station in a perforated tube

US firm Ross Barney Architects has completed a transit station for an emerging Chicago neighbourhood, featuring a tubular structure made of stainless steel and polycarbonate panels (+ slideshow). The Cermak-McCormick Place station is located in the Near South Side district and is a short walk from McCormick Place, America’s largest convention centre. The station is […]

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Architects team up with universities to design kiosks for Chicago Architecture Biennial

Chilean firm Pezo Von Ellrichshausen and Nigeria-based Kunlé Adeyemi are among the architects collaborating with Chicago design schools to create lakefront kiosks for the city’s first design biennial. The organisers of the Chicago Architecture Biennial unveiled the three kiosk designs today. The structures, intended to be used for commercial purposes, will be constructed at various […]

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Ultramoderne wins competition to design lakefront kiosk for Chicago Architecture Biennial

A wall-less pavilion with a rooftop viewing platform has been named the winner of the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s competition to design a lakefront kiosk. Named Chicago Horizon, the pavilion designed by Team Ultramoderne will contain a small lending library with architectural books, topped by a large, flat roof made of cross-laminated timber. Visitors to the viewing […]

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Studio Gang’s riverside skyscraper could be Chicago’s third tallest tower

Architecture firm Studio Gang has unveiled its latest design for a 348-metre-high Chicago skyscraper made up of three towers with zigzagging profiles. Billed to become the city’s third-tallest building, behind the Willis Tower and the Trump International Hotel and Tower, Studio Gang’s riverside Wanda Vista Tower is proposed for the north edge of the 11-hectare […]

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MAD and Studio Gang reveal concept design for George Lucas’ Chicago art museum

News: Beijing firm MAD and Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects have unveiled the initial design for an art museum on Chicago’s lakefront, which will house the collection of American film director George Lucas. The two firms were selected by Star Wars creator George Lucas in July to design the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) and […]

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for George Lucas’ Chicago art museum
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