The first Chicago Architecture Biennial debuts today showcasing the work and research of over 100 emerging and estabilished architects all over the panet. The event is titled The state of the Art of Architecture: until January 3, some of the most important cultural epicentres of the city will host theatre, art and music performances, stunning installations, lectures and workshops.
Co-Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda said at the opening press preview “This year Chicago hosts the first biennal for architecture in the history of North America. Not a simple display of pictures and models, but a real exhibition about the future of architecture”.
Indeed, the directors invited an international and intergenerational architectural network to explore how visionary design can take on the most pressing issues of today. Emerging talents showcase their projects and ideas along with estabilished practices.
Chicago Architecture Biennial works like a multiplatform spanned across the city and the region. The main venues are the Chicago Cultural Center, the Millennium Park and the Graham Foundation but the event colonizes also architectural landmark like the Water Tower and the Illinois Institute od Technology.
At Chicago Cultural Center, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich and the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT showcase a 3D printed rock installation using innovative robotic technologies developed in the past months.
Mexico City based architect Tatiana Bilbao presented a model for a sustainable house whilst Vietnamese studio Vo Trong Nghia presents a new low-cost house that is part of a project aimed at solving the country’s housing crisis.
The modular house is made with lightweight materials and solid pre-cast concrete that require smaller foundaments and can be easily trasported by small boats along Mekong river as well.
RAAAF showcase their office furniture-landscape project The End of Sitting – Cut Out. Almost all spaces are designed for sitting, evidence from medical research suggests that sitting for too long is unhealthy. The Dutch firm developed a concept wherein the chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points.
Visitors can explore different positions and move dynamically in an experimental work landscape. “The project marks the beginning of an experimental trial phase, exploring the possibilities for a radical change in the way we will work in offices in 2025” say at RAAAF.Chicago artist Amanda Williams presented her architectural Color[ed] Theory Series. What color is urban? What color is Gentrification? What color is privilege or poverty? As a search for answers, the artists has been painting abandoned houses on Chicago’s South Side using a palette of culturally coded, monochromatic colors. Amanda Wiliams says: “I’m working on a system that imagines artful ways to construct new narratives about zero value landscapes. That will allow them to shed an identity of victim and embrace instead the role of active protagonist”.MOS Architecture underlines how the modern fast-paced lifestyle led architecture to fill spaces with corridors to run and walk-through. With their corridor-house installation, the studio adapted living areas to the narrow trasitional space. From the static to the erratic.
New York studio SO-IL creates a portal-ramp made with inexpensive metal studs that leads the visitors with a cathedral effect.
Dutch-Nigerian firm NLÉ worked with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to present the Rock & The Bean site specific installation at Millennium park. The team created also a limestone-made kiosk overlooking Lake Michigan.
RELATED STORY: Chicago frontlake is animated also by other kiosks created by international studios in collaboration with local architecture schools and the contest-winning project by Team Ultramoderne. Read more…
In view of the opening of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Stony Island South Bank in the South Side will open to the public to becom a new cultural epicenter of the so-called Windy City.