Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Chicago Architecture Center - A Third Place
2014, Illinois Institute of Technology, Professor Thomas Hoepf

The project presents a number of design challenges concerning mixed‐use program, constricted site,
density, and sustainability, as well as the problem of creating an identity for a new institution within the
context of Chicago’s iconic skyline.

With regard to the urban condition, students are faced with a site that is extremely challenging
geometrically, and that lends extraordinary visibility to an “institution” dedicated to Chicago’s cultural and
physical legacy, adjacent to one of the city’s primary public spaces – Millennium Park
and among a cluster of complimentary civic institutions, including the Chicago Cultural Center and the Art Institute.

Further, students will also redesign the first two floors of the adjacent Doral Plaza along Michigan Avenue for purposes of re‐energizing this currently dead strip between the parks, the river and North Michigan Avenue. In doing so the student will also be challenged with questions of context and appropriateness as to how one adds on to existing buildings.

With regard to the building, our particular concern will be the challenge posed by the extraordinarily small site footprint, AND a program that brings together a mix of functions (cultural, commercial and residential) and user groups (public and private). Students will focus on the sectional development of the tower, seeking to create vertically linked spaces that address issues of spatial quality and visual connectivity, while solving aspects of connection and separation.

here to download the project brief.

Carla Carrescia, Mingshan Fang and Chong Sun
Our building embraces a diverse array of users and allows for each individual to create a journey most suitable to them. Users experience their journey by following one of many implied paths through the building, inspired by movement, discovery, and time.

Advaith Bhaskar, Emma Cline and Shanglin Li
In developing our concept we looked to the Rubik’s Cube, where algorithmic “rules” are manifest in varying cubic arrangements. Like Rubik, our strategy consists of a series of grouped programmatic zones, connected with practical, experience-driven circulation, that are articulated through the insertion of gaps (roof gardens).

Jarrett Abenstein, Suzanne Stawiarski and Yuchen Bai
Like a “Wellspring,” the Architecture Center is a place where everyone is welcome and networking/interaction between different demographics is fostered. We aimed to create an open, pure and interactive building in the community.

Architectural Hub: Intertwine
Garrett Chow, Alejandro Fernandez-a-De-Buer and Kajie Zhang
The Architectural Hub is a weaving and integration of public and private. Our strategy is to reflect this concept through the employment of the diagrid structure. A single diagonal can take no force. However, when multiple diagonals are interwoven, they form an exceptionally strong, efficient and beautiful structure.

Jennifer Pisano, Jing Wang and Xiangyu Wang
A seam joins two things together to form a connection. Without the seam, a connection would not exist. Our building is full of moments similar to a seam. The program comes together and overlaps to form connections between different spaces.