Posts tagged with "Chicago":

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See what quirky period rooms are hiding in Cards Against Humanity’s Chicago office

Chicago-based Cards Against Humanity is not a typical company. And, working with von Weise Associates, the company now has an office space that is anything but typical. For those not familiar, Cards Against Humanity is a party game in which players are forced to match often slightly obscene or risqué cards with other players. Founded by a group of high school friends who still make up most of the company, the simple set of cards became the most popular game on Amazon in 2011, just one year after crowdfunding its startup.

With its success, the original Cards team had big ideas of how not only it could move forward as a company, but also how it could support other young creative people along the way. The first step would be to move out of its small storefront office and into a larger space. Brought in early in the process, von Weise searched for a space with the team, eventually settling on two adjacent buildings just east of the Bucktown neighborhood on the Near North Side of Chicago. Much larger than what would be needed for just the eight employees, the new space is more than just an office.

Closer to a coworking or shared space, Cards Against Humanity lends or donates desks to young people and small business who are working on their own projects. At any given time, it can be filled with over 40 people, sharing ideas and motivating each other. To accommodate the wide range of thought, a diverse set of resources and programs fill the office. In the main work area, a large open bowstring-trussed space, three shipping containers divide the room. Each container offers an escape from the more familiar desk space in the form of a Japanese tearoom, a Moroccan hookah lounge, and private phone booths. “There is a Lego room; they wanted a Lego room,” said principal Chip von Weise. “They also gave us images of Japanese spaces they wanted, and we brought in the idea for the Moroccan room. We had a lot of fun with them.” The rest of the office continues this theme of atypical spaces. A darkroom, a gallery, and studio for recording podcasts can be found. Tying back to the game’s roots in improv comedy, an 80-seat black box theater was also built out. After working with the local alderman, the theater recently received a zoning variance, and can now be opened to the public. Anticipating the long zoning process, the space was originally listed as a “training area” in the initial permit set.

The office does, however, have some more recognizable spaces as well. A kitchen and large dining area were a must, as the office is in an industrial area of the city. A large conference room also plays a key role in the business. Once a month the entire team comes together to write new cards to expand the game around a large table. Locking themselves in the room for a few days, covering the dry-erase walls with writing, they ensure the game stays fresh for its loyal fans.

For a company that has run (anti-)Black Friday promotions—raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity—that have included raising the price of the product, selling boxes of sterilized bull feces, and digging a “Holiday Hole,” a typical office was just not going to cut it. Yet the unorthodox makers of an obscene game are not the only ones to see the value in their new office. AIA Chicago awarded von Weise a 2016 Interior Honor Award for the project. And who doesn’t want a Japanese tearoom to unwind in after an intense brainstorming session?

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General Contractor Wigmore Construction 312-544-0742

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Sign designating honorary “Trump Plaza” in Chicago removed

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It’s your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]archpaper.com.

It took over a month, but the sign designating the stretch of Wabash Avenue in front of Trump Tower in Chicago as honorary Trump Plaza was removed in mid-December. The City Council had voted unanimously to remove the sign late October after Donald Trump had referred to Chicago as a “war zone” during the third presidential debate. After the election, when the street sign was still there, some feared the city would go back on its plan out of fear of reprisal from the President-elect. For the weeks after the election, the street became the focal point of protests against Trump.

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A newly remodeled 1920s building adds to Chicago’s growing list of boutique tower hotels

Apparently, Chicago has an insatiable hunger for boutique hotels in vintage Chicago skyscrapers. In 2015, the newly renovated downtown Chicago Athletic Association (CAA) became the go-to hang-out for architects during the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Virgin opened anew hotel in the 1928 Old Dearborn Bank Building; Goettsch Partners has completed the LondonHouse Hotel in the 1923 London Guarantee Building; and the 1928 Chicago Motor Club, the 1929 Carbon and Carbide Building, and the Burnham and Root–designed 1895 Reliance building have been converted into a Hampton Inn, a Hard Rock Hotel, and Kimpton Burnham Hotel, respectively. Now, another “new hotel, old building” is opening outside of this downtown cluster, to much fanfare.

The Robey hotel, named after the historic street name of what is today Damen Avenue, is located at the major intersection of Damen Avenue, North Avenue, and Milwaukee Avenue, an area called Six Points in Wicker Park. Located in a 1929 building officially known as the Northwest Tower, and more locally known as the Coyote Building, the 12-story art deco tower is the tallest building by far in the neighborhood. It is a local icon, and for decades it was the center of an annual arts festival called Around the Coyote. In the more recent past, however, the tower has laid largely empty, often on the verge of bankruptcy.

Over the last three years, the Coyote Building has been transformed with major brickwork repair, all new windows, and a flagpole and Robey flag atop the building’s cupola. Chicago-based Antunovich Associates was the architect of record on the project, with design work by Brussels offices Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merckx Interiors. The hotel is being managed by the Mexican hoteliers Grupo Habita.

Along with the hotel, the building includes a hostel called the Hollander, three restaurants, two bars, and a small rooftop pool. The hotel itself has 69 rooms, including rooms in the sharp southeast corner with unblocked views of downtown, three miles away. The rooftop Cabana Club bar and restaurant on the roof also offers panoramic views of the city.

When the Northwest Tower was designed by Perkins, Chatten & Hammond in the 1920s, it was one of the first towers outside of Chicago’s downtown. Since then, it has remained one of the tallest to not be in the city’s center or along the lakefront. Though a handful of slightly shorter transit-oriented developments are popping up in the Robey’s vicinity, it is unlikely that it will lose its status as an icon of the near northwest side.

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Michelle and Barack Obama ask for input on Presidential Center

In a video address, former President Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama asked for input on the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center, the Presidential Library to be built on the South Side of Chicago. The directs the public to www.obama.org to give input on what it might want from the new institution. “The center will be based on the south side of Chicago, but it will have a projects all over the city, the country, and the world,” explained the former President. ”More than a library or a museum, it will be a living working center for citizenship. That’s why we want to hear from you. Tell us what you want this project to be. Tell us what’s on your mind.” “Tell us about the young leaders, companies, and organizations that inspire you,” added the former First Lady. “This will be your presidential center as much as it will be ours.” Planned to be built in Jackson Park, on Chicago’s South side, the Obama Presidential Center will be designed by New York-Based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners (TWBTA). No renderings or design details have yet to be released, and the exact location within the park has not been announced. TWBTA was chosen first from 150 firms, then a short list of seven, which included Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Snøhetta, SHoP Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and the one local office John Ronan Architects.
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The Line opens seasonal store in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood

New York–based lifestyle store The Line has opened a seasonal store in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Located in the ground-level retail space of the Lucien Lagrange-designed Waldorf Astoria Chicago, The Line will be open through January 31, 2017. Like its permanent New York and Los Angeles stores, the Chicago iteration presents clothing, design items, and beauty products in a home-like space. As such, clothing is displayed in a bedroom setting, beauty products in a vanity, and general home goods in a living room space. The carefully displayed objects in the store come together as an ideal home. Along with the merchandise, the store also provides complimentary services, including interior design consulting. A series of special events will also be held throughout the holidays.

The Line – Chicago Waldorf Astoria Chicago 11 East Walton Street, Chicago Tel: 917-460-7195 Architect: The Line

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Stacking glass bars in Chicagoland

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Chicago architects Goettsch Partners, along with Clayco and Thornton Tomasetti, among others, have achieved U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum certification on a new North American headquarters for Zurich Insurance. The campus, located in suburban Chicago is the largest LEED Platinum Core and Shell v2009 project in the U.S. and the only LEED Platinum CS v2009 project in Illinois. The building achieves a 62.7 percent whole-building energy cost savings, making use of multiple green roofs, energy efficient technologies, rainwater harvest and re-use, accommodations for electric and low-emitting vehicles, and native landscaping with more than 600 trees on 40 acres.
  • Facade Manufacturer FacadeTek (Indianapolis) for Ventana
  • Architects Goettsch Partners; Clayco (developer/design-builder)
  • Facade Installer CK2 installer (contracted by Ventana)
  • Facade Consultants Thornton Tomasetti (sustainability consultant / daylighting / façade performance); CDC (unitized curtain wall design for Ventana / FacadeTek); Sentech (engineering of glass fin lobby wall and ventilated double skin façade)
  • Location Schaumburg, IL
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Unitized curtain wall with integrated horizontal aluminum sunshades, structurally glazed ventilated double wall
  • Products Shanghai Pilkington / Carey Glass / PPG-Oldcastle (exterior glazing); Ventana / FacadeTek-CDC/ Active Glass (Curtain wall and storefront systems); Ventana / Sentech (Structural glass systems); Prodema (exterior soffits); Horiso (Double-skin façade cavity shading); Lutron (Interior solar control shading)
The building is composed of three primary “bars” stacked and arranged to maximize views of the surrounding landscape and optimize solar orientation. The composition is benchmarked off the top volume, which was rotated 22-degrees. Paul De Santis, principal of Goettsch Partners, said this calculated move aligns the building with downtown Chicago, over 30 miles away. "The idea that you are in the suburbs but have a visual connection to the city resonated with Zurich's leaders." The lower bar on the east side of the campus is set 90-degrees off of the top bar, which helps to deflect northern winds and buffers sound from a nearby highway. Its rotation allows for direct sun in the courtyard near midday, promoting outdoor campus usage during the lunch hour. The curtain wall facade wraps outboard of three super scale trusses that are set 60 feet on center, achieving an 180-foot span over the middle of the campus, and a 30-foot cantilever at the perimeter. Michael Pulaski, vice president of Thornton Tomasetti, said that their team fine-tuned the glazing characteristics on the building, and custom designed a shading system that reduces peak gains and optimized daylighting. Detailed daylighting studies, using parametric software like Honeybee, were used to evaluate the effects of automated interior blinds and fine-tune the depth of the exterior shading devices for each orientation. The analysis optimized the depth of the shades for energy performance, which reduced peak solar gain for better thermal comfort and the size of the mechanical systems. De Santis said that in addition to this significant work to manage electricity usage, the management of water on site helped the project achieve its LEED Platinum rating. To push the project from a gold to platinum rating, De Santis said, "it comes down to two things: energy and water." The project team also incorporated features such as 1 acre of green roofs, native planting strategies, and large water retention areas for landscaping irrigation. The most advanced facade assembly occurs along the glazed south-facing wall of a three-story cafeteria where a ventilated double-wall facade was specified. Here, to verify performance and optimize the façade for reduced energy consumption, Thornton Tomasetti provided computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling. The 4.5-foot-wide double wall with integrated shades is designed to reduce solar gains in summer, while increasing the gains in the winter, as well as to improve daylighting, resulting in an estimated 33 percent energy savings in the adjacent space. Elsewhere, a single low-e coating on the number two surface (inner side of the exterior layer) continues through the insulated spandrel panels to produce a more uniform aesthetic while helping to minimize solar heat gain. The ground floor features a more transparent recessed glass, which De Santis said was an aesthetic and compositional move to help the upper floors read as "floating" volumes. With approximately 2,400 employees moved into the facility, the campus was designed to accommodate up to 2,800 employees. De Santis said the two lower bars are designed to extend an additional 100-linear-feet if and when more space is needed in the future: "It's very rare to work on a 26-acre site. We're used to working in very urban conditions. So the idea that the land allows for some of these growth strategies is very natural for the project. The longer these bars get, the more elegant the architectural expression will be."
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New food hall opens in Chicago’s Daniel Burnham–designed National building

From the same people who created some of Chicago’s trendiest restaurants and bars, the Revival Food Hall brings together 15 fast-casual local food stalls for downtown office workers. Situated in the historic Daniel Burnham–designed National building, the 24,000-square-foot marketplace gives stall space to restaurants from around Chicago’s neighborhoods. Each stall space, which includes local favorites such as Smoque BBQ, Antique Taco, Black Dog Gelato, and Furious Spoon, is finished in a range of eclectic materials and layouts. Once patrons get their “grab-and-go” fare, they can either head back to their offices or sit in the variety of seating options throughout the space. From casual leather couches to more typical bistro tables, the Hall is no typical cafeteria.

Revival Food Hall 125 S. Clark Street, Chicago Tel: 773-999-9411 Architect: HBRA Architects

This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.

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Protests challenge new development in Chicago’s Logan Square

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It’s your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]archpaper.com.

Developers are continuing to run into opposition in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. At a recent community meeting to discuss revised plans for the CLAYCO-designed eight-story development, community leaders weighed in on the scale of the many new projects in the area. With more than five transit-oriented developments either planned, built, or under construction in the neighborhood, locals have been vocal about their opposition to the increased density and the possibility of rising property taxes. More than one protest has marched through the neighborhoods streets in the past year. Protestors carry signs reading, “STOP GENTRIFICATION EL BARRIO NO SE VENDE” (Our neighborhood is not for sale).

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Chicago’s new Viñoly tower breaks ground and gets new name

Construction has begun on the 76-story Rafael Viñoly-designed tower in Chicago’s South Loop Neighborhood. Located at the southern end of Grant Park, the new tower has also been given a name: One Grant Park. The new skyscraper will go a long way to completing the urban wall that lines three sides of the large park and museum campus in Chicago’s downtown. It's one of the last major portions of the Central Station master plan, which has been underway for over 25 years. Currently approved as a single tower, plans have already been floated to build a second adjoining tower, which would over double the size of the complex. “To have the opportunity to bookend this remarkable open space is a responsibility that we continue to be aware of every day,” Viñoly said in a recent press release. “One Grant Park takes on the structural clarity, and the logic of purpose, that characterizes Chicago’s great high-rise building tradition.” The 829-foot-tall tower will bring 792 new apartments to the booming South Loop. The form of the tower echoes that of the iconic Willis Tower. Units will range from studios to three-bedroom apartments, with many having balconies. The large setbacks that define the building's silhouette will be used as terraces and its 17-story plinth will contain amenities including a community space, a pool, fitness center, and retail space.
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Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood gains landmark status

The Chicago City Council has voted to bestow landmark status on the Uptown Square District on the city’s north side. The designation protects 42 historically significant structures including some of Chicago’s most notable theaters. “Characterized by highly stylized, mixed-use buildings and performance spaces, the area is considered one of the best-surviving commercial and entertainment districts developed in Chicago in the early part of the 20th century, according to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, which recommended the designation in October,” noted the City Council in a press release. The area is filled with structures clad with intricately detailed terra-cotta facades. A wide range of styles is represented in the area including Art Deco, Venetian Gothic and Spanish Baroque Revival. The work of important Chicago architects such as Marshall and Fox, Rapp and Rapp, John Eberson, J.E.O. Pridemore, Walter Ahlschlager, and Huszagh and Hill are also represented in the district. The district is home to the Riviera Theater, the Aragon Ballroom, and the famed Green Mill jazz club. There are also individually landmarked buildings including the Uptown Theater, former Sheridan Trust and Savings Bank, and the Mutual Insurance Building. The district is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, which makes available Federal Historic Tax Credits, but does not protect the buildings from demolition or alteration. Landmark Illinois, a preservation advocacy group, has been working to get the Uptown district for the past 15 years. The designation from the city provides protection through the building permit process. Any work involving designated properties must be approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. Along with reviewing permit applications, the Commission works with applicants in providing guidance on preserving significant historical or architectural features. The year also saw Row Houses in Lincoln Park, the Plymouth Building in the South Loop, and the Bertrand Goldberg-designed Marina City, among others, given status as historic landmarks.
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Art Institute of Chicago now free to local teens

Thanks to a major gift, admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is now free for Chicago high school students. Philanthropists Glenn and Claire Swogger of Topeka, Kansas, gave the undisclosed gift to ensure that Chicagoans between the ages of 14-17 can visit the Art Institute for free for at least the next 25 years. Children 13 and under are already admitted free of charge. As a teen, 81-year-old Glenn Swogger was a student at the School of the Art Institute. The gift will help bring more teens into the museum, introducing them to the collection of masterpieces. Along with viewing art, the museum provides many programs for young adults. After-school labs, workshops, and events match teens up with artists and mentors, all while providing space to create art. Teens looking to visit the Art Institute need only a student I.D. from a Chicago school, a report card, or a piece of mail to establish residency to get in for free. Everyone over 18 can visit the Art Institute for no charge every Thursday afternoon from 5pm to 8pm. The second largest art museum in the United States, the Art Institute is home to a massive architecture and design collection. Special architectural exhibitions will soon be joined by permanent architecture and design gallery, which is currently being organized. Currently on show, Who Builds Your Architecture? follows the politics behind what it takes to build around the world. The museum also contains the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, a repository of hundreds of thousands of drawings, renderings, and publications.
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The much-anticipated final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk is complete after years of planning and construction

It has been over a decade since Chicago began to redevelop its downtown riverfront, with Ross Barney Architects and Sasaki leading the design. With the recent completion of Phase III, the new mile-and-a-half public park known as the Riverwalk is now open. Divided into separate “rooms” between the famed bascule bridges, the Riverwalk provides a series of new programs for the downtown.

While the dream of swimming in the Chicago River is still far from reality, Chicagoans are now able to get closer to the river than ever before. Since the completion of phase two, the Riverwalk has become a favorite gathering space for downtown business people at lunchtime and a weekend hotspot for tourists. New restaurants and bars provide outdoor seating along the water, while kayaks can be rented for those looking to get up close and personal. A grand staircase-ramp between upper Wacker Drive and the river, known as the River Theater, can often be found filled with people sitting, reading, exercising, or simply people-watching. Those with their own boats can pull up to multiple tie-ups, drawing many large yachts from Lake Michigan. Part of phase three includes large floating planters, as well as one of the most anticipated additions to the Riverwalk, a large interactive water plaza. 

A major challenge in realizing the continuity of the Riverwalk was connecting the separate rooms. The seemingly simple task was made more complicated by the fact that pedestrians frequently pass under the bascule drawbridges, whose permeable decks see some of Chicago’s heaviest traffic. In order to separate the public from the mechanics of the over one-hundred-year-old bridges and shield them from any falling debris from the road above, Ross Barney Architects designed canopies to cover the floating paths between the rooms. These canopies are wrapped in metallic paneling, reflecting the dappled light off of the water.

Along with Ross Barney Architects, a large team was brought together to realize the project, including Chicago-based landscape architects Jacobs/Ryan Associates, with Massachusetts-based Sasaki acting as prime consultant. Outside of the design, Friends of the Chicago River and Great Rivers Chicago advocated for the Riverwalk. Both groups are dedicated to remediating the river, with a goal of a clean, swimmable river by 2040.

Ever since the opening of the first sections of the Riverwalk, the new park has been showered with praise and awards. This year, AIA Chicago gave the Riverwalk with its highest honor, a Distinguished Building Honor Award. In addition, the project was awarded the 2012 Divine Detail Award by AIA Chicago, the 2010 Architect magazine “Move” Citation, and AIA Illinois’s 2007 Daniel Burnham Award, among others. Most recently the Riverwalk was awarded The Architect’s Newspaper’s 2016 Urban Design Award.