Hancock Highlighted as Google Honors Fazlur Khan
Apr03

Hancock Highlighted as Google Honors Fazlur Khan

Google has honored thousands of events, celebrities, scientists, and others over the years with its “Google Doodles,” the cartoons that often replace its logo when people search for things. Today, Chicago gets a two-fer. The primary beneficiary is Fazlur Khan, the legendary structural engineer who worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s Chicago office until his death in 1982. Today would have been his 88th birthday....

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A Photo Tour of Legat Architects’ New Gurnee Studio
Feb21

A Photo Tour of Legat Architects’ New Gurnee Studio

We’ve toured the offices of dozens and dozens of architecture firms in Chicago over the last 14 years.  A few look just like any other office churning out widgets and paperwork. But most are clearly designed to inspire their employees, impress their investors, and demonstrate that architecture is a both a creative art and a science. Legat Architects recently opened a new studio in north suburban Gurnee.  It’s about 15...

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TBT: Designing Architecture for Magic Space Wizards
Dec15

TBT: Designing Architecture for Magic Space Wizards

It’s not exactly a secret that there is considerable overlap between the group of people known as “architects,” and the group of people known as “Star Wars enthusiasts.”  Chances are you know someone who is going to see the new Star Wars Rogue One movie either tonight at midnight, or at least over the weekend. With that in mind, we set the wayback machine to August of 2015, when the architect of the Death...

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Former Chicago Spire Site Gets an Architect
Sep07

Former Chicago Spire Site Gets an Architect

We don’t do a lot of news about architects moving from one firm to another.  If we did, we wouldn’t have time for anything else. But some moves are bigger than the Iron Mountain box used to transport a favorite T-square, bobblehead hula girl, and “Architects do it with models” coffee mug from one office to the next.  They signal change coming. Such is the case with Michael Pfeffer.  Crain’s Chicago...

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Chicago Artist Does an Architecture and Video Game Mashup
Aug31

Chicago Artist Does an Architecture and Video Game Mashup

We don’t play a lot of video games here at the Chicago Architecture Blog, and when we do it’s generally on a funky-smelling Atari 2600 hooked up to a 65-inch display just to prove we can still kick ass at Asteroids. But a new game soon to come from Chicago artist William Chyr might make us actually plonk for a PlayBox 9 or whatever the kids are mashing buttons on these days. It’s called Manifold Garden, and throws...

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Passings: Alan F. Bombick 1955-2016
Jul06

Passings: Alan F. Bombick 1955-2016

It’s always sad when we have to report that Chicago’s creative community has lost a member.  Legat Architects‘ Alan F. Bombick has passed away. Mr. Bombick grew up in suburban Brookfield, and went to school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Among his projects you might have seen are the ABC7 State Street StudiosHyatt Place Chicago-South/University Center. Mr. Bombick was just 61 years old.  You can...

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Chicago Luminaries Publicly Support Lucas Museum… Now That it’s Gone
May09

Chicago Luminaries Publicly Support Lucas Museum… Now That it’s Gone

As George Lucas, his museum, and a $700 million investment in the city of Chicago slip into the distance, two groups of prominent Chicagoans are publicly voicing support for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Where were they six months ago? In separate letters to the editor of the city’s largest newspaper, the heads of ten top Chicago museums, and the board of the Chicago Architecture Foundation all pledged their public support...

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12 Minutes With Adrian Smith
Mar24

12 Minutes With Adrian Smith

  There are “starchitects” who are big names with few real world projects, and there are architects who are stars who actually build amazing, fantastic, envelope-pushing buildings.  Adrian Smith is one of those later stars — someone who actually gets things done. The Chicago-born industry leader is known globally for having his name on such projects as Canary Wharf, and the General Motors Renaissance Center while...

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VOA, Chicago’s Second-Largest Architecture Firm, Now With More “Eh?”
Feb11

VOA, Chicago’s Second-Largest Architecture Firm, Now With More “Eh?”

One of Chicago’s largest architecture firm is not completely a hometown company anymore. VOA Associates, which came in second in our annual Chicago Architecture Firms Expressed as Coffee Bubbles survey is being acquired by Stantec, out of Edmonton, Alberta. You may remember VOA from such local favorites as the University Center of Chicago on State Street; the Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier; and both the seventh and 12th...

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Passings: Sidney Epstein
Feb05

Passings: Sidney Epstein

2016 is barely a month old, and it’s been a very rough year already for high-profile deaths.  Now Chicago’s architecture industry has been touched by the passing of Sidney Epstein at the age of 92. Reflecting its later-day bias, sadly Wikipedia does not contain an entry for Mr. Epstein, who joined the family firm in 1945.  But a selection of the buildings his firm worked on while he was there includes The Chicago Federal...

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