The Chicago Cultural Center at 78 Eaast Washington Street has been buzzing all week with visitors here to see the Chicago Architecture Biennial. During the opening festivities alone, more than 31,000 people attended Biennial events.
In fact, the Biennial generated the highest opening attendance in the history of the Cultural Center. A more typical four-day attendance is 8,800.
What is bringing the visitors out? A variety of exhibits, from scale models to fully-formed structures, all celebrating architecture and design in all of its forms. The theme of the Biennial is The State of the Art of Architecture. The idea is to stretch the creativity of participants (100 architects representing more than 30 countries) and provide them with a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and experiments.
The Biennial also allows anyone with an interest in design and architecture to think about the field in new ways. Choosing Chicago for the first architecture biennial in North America was a natural, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“The City of Chicago is synonymous with leading architecture, from the world’s first modern skyscrapers to the forefront of urban design, which is why Chicago is naturally suited to host an architectural event of this scale,” Emanuel said. “The study and discussion of architecture is engrained in the civic fabric of Chicago, and the first-ever Chicago Architecture Biennial provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for both seasoned professionals and everyday citizens to enjoy, discuss and critically examine the design that impacts the world in which we live.”
The Biennial continues through January 3, 2016. There’s no charge to visit the Cultural Center exhibits and most other events, which take place at the Cultural Center, Expo 72, City Gallery at the Water Tower and Millennium Park.