Fiona Connor & Erin Besler - Photo by Tom Harris, courtesy of Chicago Biennial.

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017: Fiona Connor & Erin Besler – Photo by Tom Harris. All images courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017.

Chicago 2017Make New History is the theme of the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial running until January 7, 2018. Artistic Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee invited studios from around the world to look back in order to inform the present.


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VERTICAL CITY, Tatiana Bilbao - Photo by Tom Harris. courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial .

VERTICAL CITY: Tatiana Bilbao – Photo by Tom Harris.

At a time when there is too much information and not enough attention, understanding the channels through which history moves and is shaped by architecture is more important than ever.” Explain Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, co-founders of Johnston Marklee architecture studio. Should then architecture find the motivation for new work within the discipline itself? Probably yes. Indeed the curators of Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017 asked participants to reimagine spaces of the past as ideas for the future. Long-story-short: Make New History!

Ania Jaworska - Photo by Kendall McCaugherty. courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Ania Jaworska – Photo by Kendall McCaugherty.

The epicenter of the biennial is the Chicago Cultural Center where over 140 studios showcase installations, drawings, and immersive environments throughout the building’s three floors. They also transform the spaces of the venue turning long corridors into arcades, creating intimate salon-style galleries, and punctuating the exhibition with a series of unique lounges.

VERTICAL CITY, Ensamble studio - Photo by Tom Harris. courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial .

VERTICAL CITY: Ensamble studio – Photo by Tom Harris.

VERTICAL CITY- At the Chicago Cultural Institute’s Yates Gallery, 15 monumental skyscraper models reimagine the historic 1922 competition won by Howells and Raymond Hood to re-design the Chicago Tribune Tower by John which hosts the city’s leading newspaper. Boston-Madrid based studio Ensamble envisioned a construction of aluminium tubes. 6a Architects proposed a totem of turned materials while New York practice MOS designed a stack of cast-glass cubes.

VERTICAL CITY, 6a Architects - Photo by Tom Harris. courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial .

VERTICAL CITY, 6a Architects – Photo by Tom Harris.

HORIZONTAL CITY – Another highlight is a collection of scale model dioramas reconsidering the interiors of some of architecture most iconic buildings. Karamuk Kuo chose the 1908 Adolf Loos’ American Bar in Vienna. “A bar he actually imported from Chicago. Given the political situation now, we reimported it back into the US as a kind of cultural exchange” Explains Jeannette Kuo.

German-American practice June 14 chose the notorious Folies-Bergère bar in Paris painted by Manet. The studio re-designed it as a mirrored bar defined by the simplified silhouettes of bottles and fruit in the painting. REAL Foundation merged the interior design of Lilly Reich and Mies ve Der Rohe’s Glass Room in Stuttgart with the apartment where Freddy Mercury house cleans in drag in the I want to break free video.

Caruso St. John & Thomas Demand - Photo by Tom Harris, courtesy of Chicago Biennial.

Caruso St. John & Thomas Demand – Photo by Tom Harris.

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017  features also 5 paper maquette Caruso St. John’s projects. The studio teamed with architectural photographer Hélèn Binet and artist Thomas Demand. The installation includes 2016 Stirling Prize Winning project for Newport Street Gallery developed in collaboration with Damien Hirst and the biomedical lab building for the University of Basel.

Caruso St. John & Thomas Demand - Photo by Tom Harris, courtesy of Chicago Biennial.

Caruso St. John & Thomas Demand – Photo by Tom Harris.

Other studios exhibiting at the Chicago Cultural Center are Tatiana Bilbao, Jimenez Lai, Junya Ishigami, Sou Fujimoto, Francis Keré, Ania Jaworska, Sam Baron and Studio Gang. Studio Mumbai and more…

Toshiko Mori - Photo by Tom Harris, courtesy of Chicago Architecxture Biennial.

Installation by Toshiko Mori – Photo by Tom Harris.

Visitors to Millennium Park can plunge into a series of psychedelic, hand-colored photographs by artist James Welling at a larger-than-life scale, installed on the facade of the Chicago Cultural Center. These and other cutting-edge works are curated by Jesús Vassallo as part of a show-within-the-show entitled A Love of the World.

James Welling - Photo by Tom Harris, courtesy of Chicago Architecxture Biennial.

James Welling’s installation – Photo by Tom Harris.

Photos: Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017.

Caruso St. John & Thomas Demand - Photo by Tom Harris, courtesy of Chicago Biennial.

Caruso St. John & Thomas Demand – Photo by Tom Harris.