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Architecture Tue Jun 24 2008

Plan(ing) a Celebration

As first reported by the Chicago Tribune's Blair Kamin, world class architects Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel will be designing temporary pavilions for the Centennial Celebration of the Chicago Plan. Continuing what is sure to be an onslaught of articles, exhibits and events celebrating the historic document, the selection of Hadid and Berkel is sure to get the architecture community excited. This will be both architects' first foray into Chicago. The exhibits, as stated in the press release from the University of Chicago, will be installed next summer and fall in Millenium Park. Few design details were released but the exhibit will incorporate video displays explaining the history of the plan and how it may shape the future.

Other celebration events are in the planning stages. Currently listed on the Celebration's website, programs begin in March and revolve around commentary, recent work, and "the next 100 years." Check back here for more details on specific events as they are released.

Iraqi-born, "starchitect" Zaha Hadid became the first female to win the coveted, Chicago-based Pritzker Prize. It is unfortunate for her American followers that the balance of her work has been completed abroad. Of Hadid's limited exposure in the United States, a great example of her architectural sensibilities exists in Cincinnati. The Contemporary Arts Center is a starkly modern symbol of rejuvenation among Cincinnati's struggling downtown area. Hadid embodies this contrast with a dynamic, perhaps even jarring juxtaposition of the opaque and transparent and dark and light. Inside, the building's form inspires self-awareness as one interacts with the powerful volumes of concrete and glass. However, many of Hadid's design seem to suffer from an academic obsession to expression and the expense of usability. The staircase to the basement of the Cincinnati Arts Center was built with treads turned askew to focus the eyes away from your path of travel. While poetic, the stairs can be difficult to use and even dangerous. These instances notwithstanding, Hadid's fresh and exciting structures demonstrate both her intellect and daring. Hadid and the pavilion typology should be a great match.

(more on UN Studio shortly!!)

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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