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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is Chicago offering the world of architecture right now? This city has for most of the last century been on the vanguard of that field--the first skyscraper, the first modernist skyscraper, the tallest building in the world, etc, etc--but for about three decades, it seems as if we've been sleeping. The 90s saw the cutting edge of architectural design move to Asia and the Middle East; within the last few years, some Western cities have picked up too. (London and New York come to mind, two cities with several absolutely breathtaking projects proposed or underway.)

Where does that leave us? We're just beginning to emerge from the period in which we scarred River North with a few dozen concrete cookie-cutter condos. Is anything going on right now in this city that the world is looking at and taking notes on? Will there be in the near future?

Millennium Park certainly comes to mind. Maybe the rest of the forum can add to that list.
 

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Chicago's innovating architecture scene isnt dead, its just in a coma and on life support. The new talls sure are bland and crap, but take a look at Skybridge, Eire on the Park, 340 on the Park, Kingsbury on the Park, etc.

Trump, Waterview, and One Museum Park are also rather decent as well, although nothing really new or cutting edge. But hey, we are definatly getting there, just slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^ It's true we've had a handful of great buildings recently--I'd add to your list the Sofitel Hotel in River North. But for whatever reason, those buildings don't really seem to gather much steam in terms of propelling architecture as a whole in this city.
 

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if you accept the concept of Asian architectural innovation exceeding ours, how much of an edge does Asia have when it designs it super tall buildings in setting that allows the buildings to be seen from base to roof, the whole organic thing, that would not be possible in most Chicago building?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^ That may help the kind of skyscraper-as-sculpture genre in Asia and the Middle East, but it's certainly not the only reason their recent skyscrapers have been superior. Furthermore, London and New York--possibly other cities, but those are the ones that come to mind--are two cities that do not have any more open space than Chicago and yet are building some spectaculr stuff.
 

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oshkeoto said:
^ That may help the kind of skyscraper-as-sculpture genre in Asia and the Middle East, but it's certainly not the only reason their recent skyscrapers have been superior. Furthermore, London and New York--possibly other cities, but those are the ones that come to mind--are two cities that do not have any more open space than Chicago and yet are building some spectaculr stuff.
I, for one, do not find recent NYC architecture to be better than recent Chgo architecture. Meanwhile, I believe NYC chose a totally uninspired design for its new signature building, Freedom Tower.

So much of the new New York architecture is of the "come look at me" variety; I would not like to see Chicago go in that direction.
 

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The worst thing to happien to the Chicago architectureal scene was the rise of the star architect. In todays age if it is not a Ghery, Pi, etc it does not seem to register as a great piece of work.

Also, a big issue is the money. When chicago was the home of the new styles of architecter it was still young and growing where there was much more freedom allowed to create new and innovated designs. But, now Chicago has a context of buidlings around it that make any striking designs look out of place in the city. It would be the same as if paris decided to allow modern and post modern buidlings to pop up all over the place amoungst the mid rises. The individual buidling might be breathtaking but the context would be ugly and pointless.

This is why the asian cities have the cutting edge, they are mostly building from scratch and this gives them an advantage in allowing a totally new style to devolpe. And dont forgot Smith is from Chicago and many of his buildings are the Asian buildings that people look too. I can also see the possiblity of a new generation of building styles being built in chicago as it starts its large scale devolpment towards the south in the former industrial zones where there is little context that needs to be taken into account.
 

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edsg25 said:
I, for one, do not find recent NYC architecture to be better than recent Chgo architecture. Meanwhile, I believe NYC chose a totally uninspired design for its new signature building, Freedom Tower.

So much of the new New York architecture is of the "come look at me" variety; I would not like to see Chicago go in that direction.
I totally disagree (except on the point about Freedom Tower). I was just in NYC and I remember telling my friend that whenever I go back to Chicago I'm going to be under-wealmed by the architecture. It's not a bash on Chicago, it does have some great architecture, but when talking about innovative design, Chicago is far lagging behind NYC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"I, for one, do not find recent NYC architecture to be better than recent Chgo architecture. Meanwhile, I believe NYC chose a totally uninspired design for its new signature building, Freedom Tower.

So much of the new New York architecture is of the "come look at me" variety; I would not like to see Chicago go in that direction."

80 South Street? BoA? The Gehry tower? The New York Times Building, Conde Nast (which is at least daring), that other building that looks like a cartoon--go through the New York Rundown on SSP. They have a plethora of great, cutting-edge stuff. We don't have nearly as much.

London and New York are moving on from their traditional architecture. We need to too.

"But, now Chicago has a context of buidlings around it that make any striking designs look out of place in the city."

Given, that's a problem that a lot of Asian and Middle Eastern cities don't have to deal with. But New York and London absolutely do, and they're finding ways to make it work. These things don't necessarily have to be Dubaiesque in their glitter; look at London Bridge Tower, or that other scraper in London shaped like a giant glass wedge.
 
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