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  #81  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wrabbit View Post
Chicago may yet again take on a vanguard role - perhaps a synergy of organicism & cutting-edge green technology. Both are stepchildren of the Chicago School, of Sullivan's maxim that "form follows function" - or, at least, they fit comfortably within Chicago's funtionalist traditions.
chicago is HARDLY the cutting-edge in green technology...
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  #82  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 12:58 AM
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^^ No, but perhaps in 5-10 years...
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  #83  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 12:58 AM
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we do have a lot of green roofs...
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  #84  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 1:20 AM
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Well, the dialogue for this kind of thing has grown exponentially in the last 5 years. I think we may be gaining steam toward something good.

Speaking of which, how is Bruce Mau's move coming along?
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  #85  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 4:24 AM
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double
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  #86  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 4:27 AM
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wikipedia.com

in the spirit of distraction...

i would be interested to hear where skyscraper enthusiasts place this sullivan building.

i'll add not much: all of the new construction i see in chicago is both thrilling and disappointing. for instance, i've seen new construction in wicker park sloppily built around existing pine telephone poles in alleys.
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  #87  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 5:26 AM
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Originally Posted by SuburbanNation View Post

wikipedia.com

in the spirit of distraction...

i would be interested to hear where skyscraper enthusiasts place this sullivan building.
this building is beautiful. this building is an excellent demonstration of sullivan's base, shaft, capital design principle. it has really great ornamental details; and the strong verticality achieved from 10 stories is impressive... but then again, sullivan buildings tend impress just kind of in general...
this and the prudential building in buffalo are two very awesome, and largly over-looked, chicago school buildings; they're just as amazing as any sullivan in chicago and great examples of the chicago school's brief presence outside the second city... what else do you want to know?
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  #88  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 5:53 PM
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Alliance - So, there is no disctintion in Chicago architecture?

No. . . there's nothing distinct about what's going on here now. . . other than the architects are building taller thinner buildings than most cities in North America. . .

. . .
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  #89  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 8:07 PM
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Since I brought up Lee Bey as we were discussing architecture dialogue in Chicago, I figured I'd mention here that he is alive and kicking and still writing on architecture in Chicago. The things he has to say are a little tame these days - obviously due to the various high-profile positions he's held and still holds. But it's great that he continues to comment, and as usual, I agree with his interests, taste, and opinions most of the time.

Plus, his photography skills leave me very jealous! Check out the September archive to see what I mean. http://leebey.com/blog1/2007/09/
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  #90  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:28 PM
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The state of Chicago architecture is great and I am enjoying the ride. We are right in the middle of a historic building boom, I love it.
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  #91  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Thank you, Alliance, for starting this thread.

That said, I never advocated POMO, though I'm unsure of the definition of that movement. Of course we shouldn't just stay in the past. I merely said that good architecture should move forward and look back on what's around it. It shouldn't just attempt to slap something unrelated to the area in there.

Especially if a building is going up in a rowhouse neighborhood in Hyde Park for example. You don't just put a 30 story highrise there. What a developer should do is spend more money to construct a development that either:

1. Introduces new ideas, but is still a row house, incorporates a few important elements of the surrounding homes, and is in scale with the area.

2. Attempts as well as possible to construct a rowhouse in the vein of what's in the area. That is to say, I would in fact advocate repeating a past movement in that particular case. As long as money is spent doing this. If the developer wants a cheap knockoff then the development shouldn't happen at all.


I personally don't like bioarchitecture or the geometry thing we've got going on, because as an engineer I think that the most beautiful buildings' facades don't completely hide the structure of the building. I think that facade embellishments and details are appropriate, as in Sullivan buildings. But I believe that bioarchitecture and the geometry movement thing don't change the same steel structure, and just hide it with an unrelated facade. Thus they don't have that same utilitarian feel to them that Chicagoan buildings do. Nor do they seem to have any relation to ideas that are from here. I thus do not support more than a smattering of those buildings here, barring very good architecture, like smith's building, which manages to have some Chicagoan ideas in it.

I think buildings here have to be cohesive utilitarian to remain relevant. I think the POMO movement sucked ass because the developers were too cheap to realize that building like the past costs a lot of money, and when they cheap out, they just produce half-baked shit. Additionally, movements back to the past should be small and simply keep the sometimes too liberated (by construction and engineering advances) architects in check.

I'd like to add that I agree with everything AdrianXSands said. And add that I'd ask honte once again how to get involved in preservation here, since I couldn't read a response last time before it was deleted.
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  #92  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2007, 11:57 AM
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^ Hi vxt,

My answer to your question was to concur that, within City limits, Preservation Chicago is the best way to get involved in preservation. They are very open to any contributions people want to make, and have a lot going on now in different avenues that could satisfy just about any particular form of activism you desire. For example, they are still thankfully active on the streets doing real advocacy, but they also are branching into more wide-reaching policy issues, newsletter, fundraising, etc.

If Hyde Park is your home (and not just a random example), the Hyde Park Historical society has a wonderful history / preservation committee that is doing some great research and projects too. They tend to collaborate with PC, LI, and the NTHP on various issues as they arise. But being Hyde Park, this is often less advocacy-based and usually takes on a more intellectual / informational tone. Also, the dragging issue with Promontory Point has consumed a lot of the talent and free energy of the people down in that neck of the woods.
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  #93  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 2:27 AM
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Well, now that we've created a thread with such a grandiose name, and one which starts off with a very negative tone, I am thinking we have a kind of obligation to compile here not just our negative ideas about what's going on, but also the good news. So, in that spirit, I am reposting Spyguy's post about the exciting new Helmut Jahn project in West Pullman.

I am even thinking that Alliance might want to turn the first post into a "Rundown" of the most exciting, architecturally distinguished new projects in the Chicago area? This could be a way to keep track of them in a way similar to Steely's God-like Boom Rundown list. I could rattle off about 15 projects city-wide that have the potential to help further reinvigorate the design scene here, and I am sure there are many I am missing. I recently stumbled across something similar on Wired New York, and I thought Chicago should have something along those lines.

Everyone, please chime-in if you think this kind of compilation is a bad idea. Should this thread remain less information-based, and more theoretical? Is this too much overlap with the General Developments thread?

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This would be Jahn's second building in the Pullman area - the first is already one of the more kick-ass buildings on the far South Side. I am pumped. Thanks, Spyguy, as usual for posting this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/n...27027&seenIt=1

Salvation Army to unveil community center plans
Nov. 05, 2007
By Brandon Glenn


The Salvation Army’s Chicago Metropolitan Division is set to unveil plans for a $160-million community center on the Southwest Side on Tuesday.

The 220,000-square-foot community center, designed by Helmut Jahn, is to be built on two vacant lots that stretch a combined 33 acres in the West Pullman neighborhood, said Lt. Col. David Grindle of the Metropolitan Division.
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  #94  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:05 AM
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thoughts of today.

*GOD DAMNIT*

...now that i've had a chance to evaluate a finished product, 340 actually turned out pretty nice... well just as long as you don't walk around to the north side of the tower... wow. can SCB make a habit of putting out nice designs? i doubt it... but hopefully.

Last edited by Tom Servo; Nov 6, 2007 at 10:03 AM.
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  #95  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:27 AM
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^ Don't know what you're talking about. The north side is the best side of 340.

SCB's work in general has been improving, so we will see what comes next.
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  #96  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:46 AM
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^ honte, I like the idea, even though I can't really contribute
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  #97  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 10:02 AM
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...more thoughts of today: SCB

opinions of this city's most prolific firm's work:

heritage: easily, and BY FAR, the worst piece of shit this city has seen from this firm. i don't know what's worse, the way the beautiful wabash buildings were DESTROYED, or the tower itself... wait... the tower. WTF!?? what the hell was the design concept behind that graceless, drunken giant. from the over-sized, awkwardly solid base, the basket woven alternation of curves, angles, squares, and rectangles, the horizontal splashes of vomit toned beige, the echos of greek revival, to the tower of light that caps off the whole amazingly confused composition. the only successful thing about this project was the marrage of bad design and bad planning in a perfectly awful package. heritage is the perfect complement to the equally awful millenium park. -666 out of 10

340: ehhh... not as bad as the renderings promised it to be. what it lacks, badly, in design, it makes up for in good planning. the materials, which SCB has a tendency to use, are top-notch... but why is that such a great thing? it should be STANDARD, not something that is surprising or refreshing. nonetheless... 5.5 out of 10.

legacy: what looks like will become the latest in the destruction of our inner-city. these facade jobs NEED to stop. i expect a nice looking heritage. i fear it will be too tall. but i look forward to some nice glass to shoot out over the mich. ave. street wall. 3.9 out of 10 (well, let's see how it turns out)

b37 towers: i'm actually looking forward to these. perfect height, a GOOD simple design with subtle details (from what i've seen), and expect the smooth glass wall and horizontallity will flow very nicely with b36, the joffrey tower, the oriental theater, the delaware building, and delay... side note about b37... the p+w 22 w. washington tower is one of the more beautiful things seen in the loop in a while... 7 out of 10 (we'll see though)

parkview towers: FLOP. waste of a GREAT opportunity. LAME tower, LAME park, BAD planning, BAD design. 0.0 out of 10

streeter towers: i gotta say, the design really works. the tower flows well with the area, the height is great, the two tower(s) are (will be) a great addition for streeterville, i LOVE white buildings, the garage looks GREAT... only downside, i hate the landscaping and the drive-way entrance thing going on between the two towers... WHAT IS THAT? 5.0 out of 10

50 e. chestnut: PATHETIC, though saved by the fact that the height works very well with the area, as does the base. all around a shitty design that works and flows, unfortunately, well with the area. 0.1 out of 10

wells street tower: despite a pretty sloppy base, another glimmer of greatness from SCB. PERFECT height, PERFECT fit. they should stick to white. solid 5 out of 10, with a base that matched the rest of the concept, easily an 8/10.

the near north side is PLAGUED by bad design, these two aren't too bad amongst a sea of horrid design that is down right depressing.
sterling: pretty alright tower. terrible base. 2 out of 10
bristol: pretty alright tower. TERRIBLE base. 1 out of 10.

sky55: another glimmer of greatest from SCB. the height of the tower is perfect. the base flows well. the design of the tower flows well. it's a great tower that fits the south loop well. 7 out of 10.

111 w illinois: some of SCB finest work thus far if you ask me. chicago needs more buildings like this, more designs like this, more SCB like this. 9 out of 10.

215 w washington, millennium park plaza, and 200 w lake: too early to tell, but they're all looking good. potentially great.

the mandarin and the fairbanks: too early to tell, but they're not looking good. potentially awful.

the rest of SCB's work that i know of belongs in the trash can and is among chicago's worst architecture: library tower, the sheraton, embassy suites, kingsbury plaza, left bank, millennium centre, the fordham, 400 n lasalle, park place, AMLI 900, chicago place, plaza 440, the chicagoan, huron club, presidential towers... the list goes on and on...
over-all, i blame SCB for doing the most destruction to architecture in this city. SCB has almost single-handedly RUINED the near north side with their countless highrises. what used to be a beautiful area filled with rows and rows of old chicago brick beauties and handsome warhouses is now home to god awful highrise after god awful highrise via SCB. and what's worse is they keep getting taller and taller.
SCB: please, please try harder.
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  #98  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 1:04 PM
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^ Wow, you and I have very different taste. However, at the bottom of the barrel, I think we agree about the worst SCB projects. I also agree that their work is far too repetitive and there are far too many of their works in the same area.

But the worst firm doing the worst things? Please. What happened to Loewenberg, LaGrange, Antunovich, etc? Even the old DeStefano buildings were clunkier and crappier than SCB's work.

I give them a lot more credit than you do. I think the Streeter is among the very best residential high-rises in America I've seen in the last 15 or so years. Parkview is lovely. 340 is classy, although I think the design overall is bizarre. And you have to admit, of all the painted concrete buildings in the city, SCB produced some of the nicest ones.

Meanwhile, I think Sky55 sucks, and I don't see much hope for projects like 200 West Lake.

The heights and materials of these buildings were probably not chosen by the architects. The only reason we're seeing buildings like the Streeter with better facades is due to the newer energy codes. SCB faced the classic dilemma as a firm - do we pass on a bad job, or do our best knowing that if someone else takes it, it might be even worse?
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  #99  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 3:22 PM
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I realize that we already have a parking podium thread, but I don't think we can have a discussion about architectural firms RUINING whole downtown neighborhoods without discussing the podium effect. I honestly believe that without those butt-nasty crap-a-toriums of despair overlooking the street, much of this discussion about recent highrises "ruining" the near north side would be moot.
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  #100  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 4:13 PM
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Originally Posted by AdrianXSands View Post
SCB: please, please try harder.
No. Just do better. We don't have room for trying.

however, I'm absolutely pumped about legacy. Thier best proposal yet. And I agree that 340 OTP should be considered a baseline standard for "acceptable"
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