Chicago Architecture Biennial
While I was home in Chicago, my dad wanted to visit and exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center. At the time they were holding a biannual architecture exhibition. And the sheer number of contributors and pieces was astonishing. We spent at least a couple hours there, taking one of their guided tours, and saw some amazing things. It was still probably at most a half of the things that were on display, and we certainly didn’t examine many of the pieces for long.
There were a few inspiring exhibits like one about the re-purposing of hutongs in Beijing. The displayed designs were the work of ZAO/standardarchitecture, and their first piece of work, a children’s library and art center, was completed and has been in use. Another exhibit I enjoyed was one that gave a nod to the Chicago Tribune Tower architectural competition. Instead of sketches, architects who participated had 13 story models for different buildings, with many different designs, colors, and more.
The tour even touched on the Cultural Center itself. It’s a really beautiful building, with a couple of different domes, and many jeweled inlays. There’s a lot of history, as half the building was actually designed for Civil War veterans, and the other half was used as a library. So it’s a large contrast to have such a majestic bejeweled part of the building that was made to be the library (we were told that the inlays were done by Tiffany Co.) while the other part was very dark and somber for the veterans and for the Civil War memorial.