“A police station could be welcoming...And if you can remake space, you can change a culture."
Out of that comes Polis Station...Working in their home city, [Studio Gang] looked at a typical station on the troubled West Side. Their proposal reimagines the station house, placing the secure areas at the back and a variety of public services – a library, daycare, mental-health-care providers and a community room – all sharing a grand public entrance and adjacent to new park space. — The Globe and Mail
It was supposed to be a strutting 150-story lakefront symbol of the city's virility — but eight years after construction of the Chicago Spire skyscraper ground to a halt, the gaping hole where it was to have stood has instead become an enduring reminder of the Great Recession.
So owner Related Midwest is now hiding the unsightly circular hole that would have formed the foundation of the world's second-tallest building behind a pile of dirt. — chicagotribune.com
I’ve been asked to do a lot of direct-action things, but have been hesitating to commit to anything. I feel like I need a strategy for this next step so I don’t get mired in the social activism and lose track of the art and architecture. It doesn’t mean that activism isn’t important, but it is a slippery slope to start advocating all the time instead of using my unique lens to focus on these issues. — design.newcity.com
Most modern Chinatowns are serving less as a singular manifestation of Chinese-American life than as a central gathering place for people to experience Chinese culture...And indeed, Chinatowns themselves were often built on the ground of former ethnic enclaves that had organically dissolved...But as Chicago’s Chinatown demonstrates, this is not a predictable story. More than a hundred years after its founding, the neighborhood has a dynamism that can’t be neatly scripted. — Next City
In a filing Tuesday, the city asked the judge in the case to lift an order barring Lucas from starting construction before the legal fight is resolved. The city argues the order "puts the entire project at risk" because the museum "may choose to leave Chicago and relocate to another city." A status hearing is set for Wednesday. — Chicago Tribune
...it's tempting to turn cartwheels over the Chicago City Council's vote to grant permanent landmark status to Marina City, the city within a city best known for its iconic corncob-shaped towers.
Marina City was a landmark building that lacked official landmark status and was therefore vulnerable — if not to demolition, then to insensitive additions that chipped away at the sculpted beauty of its curving concrete. — Chicago Tribune
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city's major airlines have struck a deal to build the final runway envisioned in the city's multibillion-dollar modernization of O'Hare International Airport, but new gates that experts agree are key to significant reductions in long-standing flight delays are not part of the pact.
The agreement, which the mayor formally announced Saturday, calls for spending $1.3 billion to build a sixth east-west runway at the airfield’s north end [...] — chicagotribune.com
Shanghai Tower has officially completed as the tallest building in China and the second-tallest building in the world. [...]
The completion of Shanghai Tower is especially notable for pushing Chicago’s 442-meter Willis Tower (originally Sears Tower), once the world’s tallest building, out of the Top 10 list for the first time since it completed in 1974. Willis Tower was among the Top 10 Tallest Buildings for 41 years — ctbuh.org
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat goes on to say: "Given the rapid development of urban centers in these regions and the new heights that are being realized by contemporary tall buildings, CTBUH data projects that it will be less than five years before Willis Tower also falls out of...
Today, The Barack Obama Foundation issued a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to seven architectural firms, one of which will ultimately be selected to design the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) on the South Side of Chicago. [...]
Although the RFP process is not a design competition, the RFP will require defined, visual responses from each candidate to present creative ideas in response to the Foundation’s project goals. — barackobamafoundation.org
Architectural photography is supposed to be different from the airbrushed images of nude women that are about to disappear from the centerfold of Playboy magazine. But what if an edited photograph of a building doesn't just crop out visual clutter like street lights but alters the contours of the building itself? What should we think about an architectural award that was bestowed on the basis of such a doctored image? — Blair Kamin | Chicago Tribune
Look closely and you might find that the two operations are connected: Bureaucracy turns out the statistical slurry, and architecture reconstitutes it into built form. And since the actual process of making architecture occupies the lower half, as it were, of this digestive cycle, it is generally held to be an ancillary thing, tedious and occult. — Ian Volner | Art Forum
Five people were injured in a fire that broke out Saturday afternoon in a bedroom on the 50th floor of the John Hancock Center, officials said. [...]
The cause of the fire has not been determined, officials said. [...]
Earlier Saturday, flames could be seen shooting out of a window on the 50th floor, catching the attention of Michigan Avenue shoppers, some of whom were getting ready for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. A smoky smell lingered near the ground several hours later. — chicagotribune.com
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