Archive for February 20th, 2011

February 20, 2011

Marks Barfield’s Gold Coast Competition Entry

Marks Barfield have released these striking images of their design competition submission for a multi-use tourist destination resort on The Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia.  The proposed design for Ridong Gold Coast comprises approximately 800,000sq.ft of premium, luxury, and serviced apartments and a 5* hotel arranged around a central landscaped garden on a 1.2 hectare site which opens up onto the beach.

Designed to stand out and fit in at the same time, the development is designed to maximise value while creating a development that is green.  The buildings, distributed around the perimeter of the site in order to create a public amenity in the heart of the scheme with a vibrant, welcoming and ’open’ urban character, are all designed to maximise the benefits of the natural climate, facilitate wellbeing, healthy living and encourage the residents and visitors to live with minimum environmental impact while providing high quality living spaces.

A 3-storey ‘skybeam’ housing premium apartments with sensational views over the coastline spans the void between two 50-storey high towers housing luxury apartments, a 5* hotel, and serviced apartments, creating a distinctive and recognisable landmark on the skyline.  Three shorter, 15-storey high, beachfront condos provide premium apartments with 180 degree views above a doughnut shaped podium housing restaurants, shops and spa.  All residential units are designed with generous wind-sheltered balconies to allow the most to be made of the great climate on the Gold Coast.
A formal announcement on the competition results is expected shortly.

http://www.marksbarfield.com/press.php?pressid=93

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=15274

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February 20, 2011

Norwegian Wood / The Lantern Pavilion | Atelier Oslo

Glowing sustainable structure by AWP + Atelier Oslo encourages social interaction

In 2008, following the selection of Sandnes and Stavanger as ‘Cultural Capitals’ of Europe, a competition was launched to promote the innovative use of sustainable timber in contemporary architecture in the public domain. A French-Norwegian team of AWP + Atelier Oslo was chosen as the winner with its design for The Lantern Pavilion.

The structure was located in central Sandnes, incorporating architectural elements from both sides of the divisive railway tracks that separate the city into two poles. One section of the city is defined by more historic, classical architectural development, with small wooden houses and shops, while the modern extension of the city towards the harbour displays more contemporary architectural design work on a grander scale.

AWP + Ateliers Oslo’s Lantern Pavilion blends these two elements together, with a sculptural wooden frame topped with a modern, patterned-glass roof, to provide the people of Sandnes with ‘a strong, clear but also delicate image of their urban reality’. Four groups of oak columns support the roof with steel reinforcements in the joints, manipulated in the corners to create benches for local residents and visitors.

The glossy pitched roof has been created using individual glass slates which overlap one another in a clear reflection of the classic architecture displayed in the older section of the city. A translucent pattern has been printed on these panels, creating a regimented shadow imprint on the ground as the sun shines through. At night the illuminated Pavilion glows from inside like a lantern.

Whilst the key focus of the competition was to highlight the innovative ways in which sustainable timber can be utilised ‘to make the region an international display window for innovative and environmentally friendly architecture’, the winning project has also been designed to encourage public interaction. The flexible space can be utilised as a social gathering spot, a market venue, a small arena for informal music concerts and so forth. Initially situated in the city of Sandnes, the 140 sq m structure has now been relocated to an exhibition in New York entitled Nordic Models + Common Grounds.

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=15821

 

 

February 20, 2011

72 Collective Housing Units, Bègles, France | LAN Architecture

Project Details:
Location: Bègles, France
Architects: LAN Architecture – www.lan-paris.com
Program: Construction of a complex of apartments, shops and business premises
Timetable: 2009
Client: Ataraxia, Saemcib
Cost: €7,5 M excl. VAT
Surface: 6 500 m²
Phase: Design Phase

For this first Focus On, Umberto Napolitano and Venezia Ferret present a housing project in Bègles. The project principle underlying the approach was that of stacking containers, and careful study of new habitat modes. The idea of variable compactness introduced the notion of a housing unit’s adaptability to seasons and times of day.

<iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/19070112?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ffffff&#8221; width=”400″ height=”225″ frameborder=”0″></iframe><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/19070112″>FOCUS ON_BEGLES</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5812396″>LAN architecture</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

A new, ecological and social living space geared to the 21st century. The project’s richness and major interest lies in the possibility of inventing an urban lifestyle set in a highly experimental framework enabling the affirmation of new ecological and contemporary architectures. The diversity of architectural propositions and communal and private spaces had to ensure and enhance this specificity. The first stage was to ‘sculpt’ the volumes in order to exploit their urban potential and intrinsic spatial qualities. We directed our research towards a hybrid typology combining the house and the apartment.

The principle underlying our approach was that of stacking containers, and careful study of habitat modes, climatic conditions and the sun’s trajectory throughout the year suggested the way to organise this. The project’s column-slab supporting structure has a system of lightweight façades providing ultra-high performance insulation levels. The relative narrowness of the buildings dictated a strategic search for compactness. The idea of variable compactness introduced the notion of a housing unit’s adaptability to seasons and times of day.

All residents have the possibility of using their exterior space as a windbreak, a mini-greenhouse or, conversely, as a means of cooling or ventilating. The morphology of each unit stems from the wish to develop housing units enabling a variety of uses very simply and with no extra technological input. We are therefore proposing cross-building units with adaptable exterior spaces and at least two different orientations.

http://architecturelab.net/02/72-collective-housing-units-begles-france-by-lan-architecture/

 

February 20, 2011

SAP Labs Latin America | Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitetos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

SAP Labs Latin America / Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados © Eduardo de Almeida, Shundi Iwamizu Arquitectos Associados

ground floor plan ground floor plan

second floor plan second floor plan

north elevation north elevation

longitudinal section longitudinal section

transversal section 02 transversal section 02

transversal section 01 transversal section 01

Architects: Shundi Iwamizu Arquitetos Associados
Location: 
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of 

a. Create a high performance administrative building integrated to the urban context of UNISINOS Campus, but with strong identity and architectural quality, where spacial, environmental and technical solutions are harmonically combined.

b. Provide comfortable, efficient and stimulating workspaces.

c. Use rational and economical energetic systems.

d. Design simple volumes clearly expressing the technological nature of the building and its contemporarity.

e. Create a building that can fulfill all the requirements for obtaining the US Green Building Council LEED Gold Certificate.

f. Adoption of a linear scheme along an axis parallel to the rear limit of the site for future expansion.

g. Take advantage of small difference of level existent in site for future cafeteria.

h. Distribution of space requirements in 4 floors, emphasizing the horizontality of the building in harmony with the scale of the Campus architecture.

i. Adoption of a modular grid for the whole design, in order to establish a flexible co-ordinate system.

j. Definition of double office blocks 12m wide separated by open spaces thus promoting views as well as fruition of natural light and ventilation.

k. Use of “brise-soleils” in north and south façades for protection against excessive sunlight and heat.

l. Localization of the building 30m from rear boundary of site, along East-West axis, and North-South orientation.

m. An internal alley, organizes circulation as well as access to parking (200 cars uncovered and 100 covered), to future unloading docks services and main reception.

http://www.archdaily.com/113026/sap-labs-latin-america-eduardo-de-almeida-shundi-iwamizu-arquitetos-associados/

 

 

 

 

February 20, 2011

Smart Grid City | AS+GG

An analysis of carbon emissions in the Chicago Loop. The buildings coded in green emit the least carbon, yellow the second least, orange the third, and the red buildings emit the most carbon per square foot.

AN ANALYSIS OF CARBON EMISSIONS IN THE CHICAGO LOOP. THE BUILDINGS CODED IN GREEN EMIT THE LEAST CARBON, YELLOW THE SECOND LEAST, ORANGE THE THIRD, AND THE RED BUILDINGS EMIT THE MOST CARBON PER SQUARE FOOT.
COURTESY ADRIAN SMITH + GORDON GILL ARCHITECTURE

Chicago’s historic skyline has always been a source of pride for city residents. And while few new buildings are currently going up, building owners have developed a plan to capitalize on the latest advances: Smart-grid technologies that will convert the city’s iconic skyline into what backers call a “virtual green generator” by retrofitting highrise buildings and the existing electrical grid to a new hyper-connected intelligent-communications backbone. Simultaneously, researchers at local universities, among them the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, have been developing their own cutting-edge smart-grid technology.

“We want to make Chicago a hub for smart-grid manufacturing and deployment,” said Andrew Barbeau, the managing director of the Center for Electricity Innovation at IIT. “Energy generation, delivery, and management is a trillion-dollar marketplace, and we are really trying to make Chicago a center for that.” Chicago has long been a leader in innovation for electrical utility and power industries, he added, even when the West Coast was attracting much of the software and tech jobs. “Chicago never gave up on what its strengths are, and is prepared to make a comeback,” he said.

Elements of a smart grid system.ELEMENTS OF A SMART GRID SYSTEM. 1. SOLAR PANELS 2. WIND TURBINES 3. SMART APPLIANCES 4. REMOTE CONTROL FOR NON-ESSENTIAL APPLIANCES 5. PLUG-IN HYBRID CARS 6. LOCALLY GENERATED POWER 7. WIRELESS COMMUNICATION BETWEEN USERS AND URILITY COMPANY 8. WEB AND MOBILE DEVICE INTERFACES TO MONITOR USAGE FROM A DISTANCE 9. ENERGY STORAGE.

In fact, the Windy City is a likely birthplace for what could be the largest-ever smart-grid pilot. It has a captive market of building owners—interested in reducing their utility bills and attracting green-conscious tenants—cheek-to-cheek with top electrical engineering universities. Public support and cooperation from local utilities has also made for fertile ground. The Chicago Climate Action Plan, launched in 2008 by Mayor Richard Daley, plans on retrofitting 50 percent of industrial and commercial buildings by 2020.

And while cities in other countries, such as China and Dubai, are rapidly growing in population and new construction where sustainable design choices are a natural for new buildings, Chicago’s population peaked in the 1960s. The city can’t rely on new green construction. It has to look at existing building stock.

“The most sustainable building is one that already exists,” said Barbeau. In the city where skyscrapers were born, the sheer square footage of Chicago’s commercial high rises means that their reductions are proportionally bigger than in private homes.

Smart grid cities.

ELEMENTS OF A SMART GRID CITY INCLUDE CAPACITY FOR PLUGIN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLES.

Building Owners and Managers Association Chicago (BOMA), an organization that represents nearly 300 Chicago commercial buildings including the Aon Center, the Willis Tower, and the Hancock Center, has partnered with the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) and other groups interested in smart-grid technology. According to back-of-the-envelope estimates by BOMA engineering consultants, the downtown buildings could jointly reduce usage by 200 megawatts by linking into smart-grid technologies—an amount equivalent to the production of a fully functioning coal-plant.

“In a much more decentralized grid, each building can function as a power plant,” said Roger Frechette, president of PositivEnergy, a consulting firm launched by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) following the development of their so-called Decarbonization Plan for the Loop. “Some days the buildings are consuming, some days they’re producing.” AS+GG’s plan also includes a smart-grid initiative and intends to reduce net carbon emissions by 100 percent by 2020.

On a large scale, a smart grid—where the supply is distributed to many sources—would provide more reliable energy. Currently, the U.S. alone loses $100 billion on average each year to blackouts and energy failings, according to an IBM consumer survey. If a transformer fails somewhere down the line, a smart grid could instantly pull energy from other locations with excess.

Funding the smart-grid project, however, which will cost millions in retrofitting and research, is no simple task.

In July, Chicago building owners seemed to have found a lucky break. Along with ISTC and the Citizens Utility Board, BOMA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Korea to bankroll the multimillion-dollar development-and-research initiative. Public and private Korean groups, including LG Electronics and KT Corporation, were hoping to partner with the city. The deal made business headlines and seemed to be a windfall for the smart-grid initiative.

The year before, BOMA was denied a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for stimulus funds earmarked for smart-grid projects—even as ConEd received $5 million for a similar project in residential Chicago neighborhoods.

Now, BOMA Executive Vice President Michael Cornicelli says that Korea will no longer be funding the retrofitting project.

“We determined that their notion of funding the project was different than ours,” Cornicelli said. “We thought they would be providing a grant. Really, what they had in mind was a provision of some capital with the expectation of some return on the capital.”

The pilot project to retrofit volunteer buildings, including the Aon Center, will instead be put out for bids from public or private parties. According to Cornicelli, Korea will be encouraged to submit again. For others, the upcoming smart-grid RFP will be an opportunity to invest in Chicago’s green nest egg.

Smart grid cities.

A CENTRALIZED COMMUNICATION NETWORK HELPS MANAGE POWER SUPPLIES IN A SMART GRID CITY.

Researchers at Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, on the other hand, are still receiving funding from South Korean groups including KESRI, the Korean Electrical Engineering & Science Research Institute. In July, the university signed three memoranda of understanding with the Republic of Korea to develop smart-grid technology and workforce training programs. IIT has long been a frontrunner in smart-grid research; the campus itself runs on a smart grid called Perfect Power, which cost $12 million to implement.

“We’re looking at creating more efficient buildings,” Barbeau said. “We’re not talking about passive solar or double pane windows, we’re looking more at advanced technologies for businesses and home owners to cut down their electricity use.”

As a private resident, the smart grid could allow you to use cheaper off-peak energy to charge your car, run your washing machine, or manage your appliances that are using the most energy. Further, with a photovoltaic on your roof or a wind turbine in your backyard, you could sell extra energy back to the grid for income.

However intelligent grids seem to be, consumers and developers alike have reservations about some smart-grid technologies. Consumer blogs online have been posting medical studies—such as 2008 research by Samuel Milham, M.D., who focuses on occupational hazards—that link smart meters to radio-frequency radiation, which can pose health risks. The California-based consumer rights group Turn wants the utility PG&E to be held accountable for inaccurate smart-meters that are resulting in higher utility bills for consumers. Turn also argues that smart meters are eliminating traditional meter-reading jobs and are compromising consumer privacy.

“There are elements of the smart grid that are ready to go today,” said PositivEnergy’s Frechette. “There are other elements that are not.”

In Chicago, UIC researchers are working on cyber-security, which may address Turn’s issues with consumer privacy. Additionally, in contrast to Turn’s concerns about job losses, groups behind the Chicago initiative believe that the project will bring green jobs to the city.

The non-profit Clean Energy Trust and IIT have partnered to develop small-business cluster initiatives. They were awarded $1.05 million in stimulus money to invest in and provide seed money for local, clean-energy businesses. In smart-grid development, there is room for many industries: from manufacturing home management systems that would allow you to monitor your electricity usage, to iPhone apps that might help you sell your extra energy back to the grid, to a “Geek Squad” trained to come to private residences to retrofit electricity monitors to the new communications backbone.

“It’s all hands on deck,” said Frechette. “In terms of involvement, we’re going to need to look at how walls are put together, we have to look at glass, roof insulation, and the tightness of building skins—it’s all important.”

Smart grids will directly impact architects’ design strategies: Better performing buildings will also mean more profitable ones. When the technology is ready, inhabitants—with in-situ smart meters—will instantly be able to see how well their buildings are performing. Clients, already starting to gravitate towards buildings that are LEED certified, will find that when linked to a smart grid, investing in good design will return not just in savings, but also in terms of income.

“People are already designing positive-energy buildings,” said Matthew Summy, President of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. “What do you do with the excess energy? You could shift the load from one building to the next. Suddenly, you’re a virtual power plant.”

Today, visitors look at Chicago’s historic skyline and see the city’s architectural and economic heritage. In a few years, they may look up and see some of the world’s tallest sources of renewable energy.

Ann Lok Lui

 

February 20, 2011

David Logan Center for the Performing Arts | Tod Williams Billie Tsien

The Todd Williams Billie Tsien-designed Locan Center will be a beacon on the Woodlawn side of the Midway.

THE TODD WILLIAMS BILLIE TSIEN-DESIGNED LOCAN CENTER WILL BE A BEACON ON THE WOODLAWN SIDE OF THE MIDWAY.
COURTESY TWBTA

In early January, the University of Chicago announced that the long-empty Harper Theater and its neighboring office buildings will be ready for a Five Guys burger joint in the fall, along with other retail and commercial tenants. The Harper Theater, acquired by the university in 2003, is just one of many local properties it purchased that is slated to become part of a new commercial corridor along 53rd Street.

The adaptive re-use of Harper Theater is an example of the university’s plans to develop Hyde Park and expand into neighboring Woodlawn in unprecedented ways. Traditionally, the university has kept its dorms and facilities close to the chest; now, its real-estate purchasing record shows how the university is developing commercial properties in Hyde Park while expanding traditional projects like residence halls and classrooms to the north-edge of Woodlawn.

The new South Residence Hall, designed by Goody Clancy, has brought a large population of students to Woodlawn. The new South Residence Hall, designed by Goody Clancy, has brought a large population of students to Woodlawn.
The new South Residence Hall, designed by Goody Clancy, has brought a large population of students to Woodlawn.
VIEWS OF THE NEW SOUTH RESIDENCE HALL, DESIGNED BY GOODY CLANCY, WHICH HAS BROUGHT A LARGE POPULATION OF STUDENTS TO WOODLAWN. [CLICK TO ENLARGE.]
ANTON GRASSL/ESTO

“Obviously, the University of Chicago’s primary mission is not real estate development,” said Steve Kloehn, the associate vice president for news and public affairs. “But it is crucial that we help create and sustain what will attract the very best students and faculty members and staff we can.”

The University of Chicago has never had a simple relationship with its neighbors in the hundred years since its founding. Today, university projects in Hyde Park and Woodlawn garner both local criticism and support.

“There’s a perception that the university is an 800-pound gorilla coming in and doing things,” said Jane Ciacci, the president of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, a neighborhood organization. “It’s divided between people who think: ‘Yeah, we want development. We need a better grocery store,’ and other people who say, ‘What they’ve got is too expensive for us.’ So there’s a real division between whether gentrifying the neighborhood is a great thing or is ruining it.”

The university hopes the Midway will function as a new campus green.

Harper Court, a planned mixed use project, will activate Hyde Park. The Midway Crossings are meant to connect the campus across the park.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: THE UNIVERSITY HOPES THE MIDWAY WILL FUNCTION AS A NEW CAMPUS GREEN; THE MIDWAY CROSSINGS ARE MEANT TO CONNECT THE CAMPUS ACROSS THE PARK; HARPER COURT, A PLANNED MIXED USE PROJECT, WILL ACTIVATE HYDE PARK. [CLICK TO ENLARGE.]
COURTESY US, JAMES CARPENTER DESIGN ASSOCIATES, HARTSHORNE PLUNKARD ARCHITECTS RESPECTIVELY

Harper Court, a partnership between the university and the City of Chicago, is a 1.1 million-square-foot commercial hotel and retail facility, anchored by university administrative offices, that will be built in the first phase. The project, by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects, represents what Kloehn calls “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” for commercial growth after other piecemeal efforts failed to develop a retail-based district in Hyde Park. Commercial development by big-name schools like the University of Pennsylvania has been a recent trend, as many universities look to attract top students and staff. In Hyde Park, however, community leaders have had mixed responses to the university’s acquisition of vacant or recently vacated commercial properties in the 53rd Street area.

“The neighborhood is always ambivalent about the university,” said Jane Comiskey, a member of the 53rd Street Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Advisory Council, which is responsible for advising on the use of TIF property tax money in the area where the university intends to develop a commercial corridor. “They do good things, and then they do other things.”

In late 2009, the university acquired the site of a Mobil gas station at 53rd Street and Kenwood Avenue, three blocks down from the Harper Court site. The Mobil location marks a mid-point in the 53rd Street retail corridor, which developers see as ripe for commercial or residential use. Efforts to build so far, however, have been countered with concerns from local residents about the height of the proposed schemes and the cost of the condominiums.

The university is also using its purchasing power to bring nightlife to the area, acquiring the 5201 South Harper Avenue building where the Checkerboard Jazz Club reopened in 2005, and 53rd Street Hollywood Video rental store location in January 2009.

The old Shoreland Hotel in Hyde Park is being renovated into luxury rentals by Studio Gang.

Studio Gang is renovating the old Shoreland Hotel.
THE OLD SHORELAND HOTEL IN HYDE PARK IS BEING RENOVATED INTO LUXURY RENTALS BY STUDIO GANG. [CLICK TO ENLARGE.]
COURTESY STUDIO GANG

Debate surrounds the latter property as well: According to reporting by The Chicago Maroon, the district manager of Hollywood Video claimed that the branch shut down because the university purchased the building.

“There’s a great concern in the neighborhood: What kind of development will this be?” said Ciacci. “Will there be affordable housing? Will the people who have always lived here still be able to live here?”

According to Kloehn, the commercial development is a product of “visioning workshops” with the neighborhood and university representatives that have gone on for many years. “From our point of view,” said Kloehn, “the key will be the mix: We’re all in this together, and the 53rd Street corridor should reflect that.”

The university has also sold properties in Hyde Park that are now being privately developed, such as the old Shoreland Hotel. Once a fashionable hotel, the university later acquired it for a dorm space, but according to a university spokesman, it was always too detached from campus. The university eventually sold the building, opting to build new dormitories elsewhere. Studio Gang is now converting the building into some 350 rental apartments for Antheus Capital.

Parallel to the university’s move into commercial real estate, the focus for traditional development projects like libraries, dorms, and administrative centers has moved south below the Midway. Standing by a Civil Rights–era agreement with Woodlawn community leaders not to build below 61st Street, the University of Chicago is developing the thin strip of land below the park. In the last few years, the university has built south of the Midway, a new residence hall, parking, and office facilities, renovated Eero Saarinen’s Law School, and planned on a new home for the Chicago Theological Seminary. It is in the process of constructing the Logan Center for the Arts by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

Extending the campus south below the Midway poses a few challenges, however, including questions of safety and the distance of new buildings from the main campus. Two years before the completion of the South Campus Residence Hall, a massive new dorm designed by Goody Clancy, a Senegalese chemistry student was shot on Ellis Avenue near 61st Street, prompting concerns about safety in the neighborhood.

“In terms of the relationship to the original quadrangles,” said Steve Wiesenthal, the university architect, “the center of gravity is north of the Midway, so the south campus schools are feeling quite isolated from each other—and from the rest of campus. We have this great challenge. How do we change the perception and the reality of distance to the land on the south end, so that the Midway itself can become this great intersection—the world’s largest college green?”

The Todd Williams Billie Tsien-designed Locan Center. A new parking garage is wrapped with a thin perimeter office building.
THE LOCAN CENTER BY TODD WILLIAMS BILLIE TSIEN ON THE THE MIDWAY (LEFT) AND A NEW PARKING GARAGE BY ROSS BARNEY ARCHITECTS IS WRAPPED WITH A THIN PERIMETER OFFICE BUILDING (RIGHT). [CLICK TO ENLARGE.]
COURTESY TWBTA AND KATE JOYCE/HEDRICH BLESSING

Architects working on the projects south of the Midway have developed different means of addressing the unique site, from a tower at the Logan Center for the Arts symbolizing a signal to the rest of campus, to visually accessible gardens at the residence halls that make the building feel less closed-off from the community.

It is unclear how commercial development in Hyde Park juxtaposed with traditional building in Woodlawn will affect the existing contrast between the already divided north and south sides of the campus. However, both the Harper Court development, with its adjacent commercial corridor, and the new projects south of the Midway promise to keep redefining the relationship between the University of Chicago and its neighbors.

“We have a very lively debate on campus about architecture,” said Wiesenthal. “The way that we’ve looked at these new projects is less about style and more about guiding design principles, not just spatially, but creating places and spaces where people can interchange ideas.”

Ann Lok Lui
and from architect website: