January 5, 2017
A new business hub: Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
There will be buzz about the planned Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Striking new buildings will open along the Chicago riverfront and the Evanston lakefront. And Frank Lloyd Wright will re-enter the spotlight with the restoration of his Unity Temple in Oak Park and a major New York exhibition sparked by the 150th anniversary of his birth.
There will be plenty of architecture action, in short, during the first few months of 2017. Here’s a preview of what’s ahead:
Hints about the Obama library? New York architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, co-designers of the Obama library and museum, will lecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Crown Hall at 6 p.m. March 29 — their first public appearance in Chicago since being selected for the project last June. It will be fascinating to see what they reveal (or don’t) about the design for the project, which will be built in Chicago’s Jackson Park.
Top programs: Less than a week after President Barack Obama leaves office, the Chicago Architecture Foundation will hold an open-to-the-public program related to his presidential center. The Jan. 26 event features key designers of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock: architect Richard Olcott and landscape architect Mary Margaret Jones. The 6 p.m. event is at the foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave. Another must-see event: Chicago architect Jeanne Gang will lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fullerton Hall at 6 p.m. March 16.
A riverfront eye-grabber: For months now, the under-construction 150 North Riverside office tower has been attracting attention because of its unusual base, which tapers inward like an upside-down pyramid. Now the 53-story riverfront skyscraper is almost complete. It’s expected to welcome its first tenants in mid-February. Chicago’s John O’Donnell is the developer; the city’s Goettsch Partners are the architects.
The next Pritzker Prize winner: The annual announcement of the field’s highest honor, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is sponsored by the billionaire Pritzker family of Chicago, invariably sparks debate over the worthiness of the winner and what signals, if any, the jury is sending with its selection. This year’s winner will be named in March.
A new day for Unity Temple: The restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple in Oak Park, a masterwork of reinforced concrete, is expected to be completed in March or April. The project, which has restored the building’s once-crumbling exterior and installed modern amenities like air conditioning, is led by Chicago’s Harboe Architects.
A new business hub: Northwestern University will open its new Kellogg School of Management building, a curvaceous, glass-sheathed structure on its Evanston campus, during the week of March 27. The six-story building, called the Global Hub and designed by KPMB Architects of Toronto, incorporates classrooms, offices and gathering spaces.
Celebrating a landscape legacy: A traveling exhibition about the legacy of Dan Kiley, one of the 20th century’s most important and influential landscape architects, will debut at the Chicago Architecture Foundation on a still-to-be-determined date in early April. The show features newly commissioned photos of Kiley’s work, including the Art Institute of Chicago’s South Garden and the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Ind. The show was organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Cultural Landscape Foundation.
Upgrades at Wrigley Field: Fresh from winning their first World Series since 1908, the Cubs will continue their ongoing revamp of historic Wrigley Field. This year’s new wrinkle is a partial restoration of the Addison Street facade, which will remove ugly concrete panels and replace them with ornamental grille work. The project, which will follow the template of last year’s restoration of the Clark Street facade, is by the Chicago office of the global firm Stantec, with Chicago’s Harboe Architects. Wrigley’s home opener is April 10.
Mapping Union Station’s future: In January, four teams of developers and architects will submit conceptual plans for a revamp of Chicago’s Union Station to Amtrak, the station’s owner. The plans are expected to include an expansion of the historic eight-story station, as well as proposals for new buildings on land and air rights around the station. A new hotel, offices, residences and shops are among the possibilities. Amtrak is expected to select a winning team by late April.
New views of Mr. Wright: To mark the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth on June 8, 1867, New York’s Museum of Modern Art will mount a major new exhibition, “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive.” The show will feature about 450 works from the 1890s to the 1950s, ranging from architectural drawings to television broadcasts. The curator is Barry Bergdoll. The show opens June 12 and runs through Oct. 1.