Chicago Architecture Center Will Open to the Public


Chicago Architecture Center Wacker Street

The Chicago Architecture Foundation, a non-profit cultural organization that has been promoting Chicago’s architecture since 1966, is about to get a revamp. On August 31, 2018, CAF will open the Chicago Architecture Center on East Wacker Drive, providing a new cultural destination for the Windy City. Located inside an architecturally significant building designed by Mies van der Rohe—a pioneer of Mid-Century Modernism—the center will sprawl across 20,000 square feet.

The CAC is strategically located above the dock for the Foundation’s acclaimed river cruises. Designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS + GG), the space will include areas for public programs, an award-winning store, and innovative exhibitions to help the public understand Chicago’s rich architectural history.

The CAC will also be a space to learn about international architecture, with the second-floor Skyscraper Gallery including large-scale models of famous skyscrapers around the world. AS+GG specifically designed an almost 40-foot-tall model of the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabi for the installation.

“We can’t wait for people to visit the CAC and experience how Chicago architects have influenced the world through their innovation and vision,” said Lynn Osmond, the President and CEO of CAF. “We’ve engineered a stimulating and immersive space where visitors can have fun discovering Chicago’s groundbreaking architecture—and appreciate its profound impact on the world.”

A little over 50 years after its founding, CAF has grown into one of the largest cultural organizations in Chicago. Through tours, field trips, mentorships, and professional development events, the Foundation continues its mission to show why design matters.

The retail store and walking and bus tours will begin from 111 East Wacker Drive during the first week of August, building toward a week of celebrations leading up to the August 31, 2018 inauguration.

Opening on August 31, 2018, the Chicago Architecture Center is strategically inside a historically significant building along the Chicago River.

Chicago Architecture Center Wacker Street

Photo: Angie McMonigal

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Interactive exhibitions across two floors will explain Chicago’s rich architectural history.

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The center will also be a place of learning, with lecture halls and a design studio for professional development.

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Chicago Architecture Foundation: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use images by CAF.

Installation Artist Olafur Eliasson Unveils His First Building as an Architect

Olafur Eliasson - Fjordenhus

Photo: David de Larrea Remiro

Four conjoined cylinders rising from the water form the core of Olafur Eliasson’s first foray into architecture. The Danish-Icelandic artist recently finished his first building, an office located in the Vejle Fjord in Denmark. The Fjordenhus is the base for Kirk Kaptal, a holding and investment company. Not only did the firm hire Eliasson to execute the building, he also designed all the office furniture. The experience was a moment for Eliasson to pull together all the lessons learned from years of creating large-scale art installations and focus it into a piece of architecture.

The inspiration for the structure, which is composed of 970,000 bricks, was the beauty of the surrounding environment. “[The clients said] we would like to build a working environment for the foundation that we have, we would like to emphasize the qualities that are important to us: nature, light, the weather, the seasons and the Vejle Fjord,” Eliasson shared.

The structure rises from the water, seated on slender raised pillars that were created by selective cutouts in the cylinders. Eliasson was especially attentive to the brick exterior, selecting 15 shades of unglazed brick as well as glazed brick in hues of blue, green, and silver. Eliasson then strategically placed the bricks to create different patterns and effects along the exterior, while the colors of the interior were chosen to match the rooms’ function. For instance, grey and silver bricks were installed exclusively in the stairwell.

Fjordenhus is part of a larger plan for redeveloping Vejle’s harbor and is also a step forward in solidifying Eliasson’s journey into architecture. In 2014, Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann established Studio Other Spaces, an architectural practice tied to Eliasson’s studio—a sure sign there’s more to come from Eliasson the architect.

Olafur Eliasson - FjordenhusOlafur Eliasson ArchitectureOlafur Eliasson ArchitectureOlafur Eliasson ArchitectureOlafur Eliasson - FjordenhusOlafur Eliasson Interior FjordenhusOlafur Eliasson - FjordenhusOlafur Eliasson - FjordenhusOlafur Eliasson Interior FjordenhusOlafur Eliasson ArchitectureOlafur Eliasson: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [It’s Nice That, Dezeen]

All images via Anders Sune Berg, except where noted.

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