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ST U D I O I N C H I C AG O AW J O U R NA L 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 I SSU E # 1


In Chicago Issue #1 Decline AW Journal 2015/2016 In Chicago studio from chair Complex Projects is an architectural studio from TU Delft Netherlands, visiting the city of Chicago in Fall 2015.

Graphic Design: DOMAIN Office Typeface: Akzidenz Grotesk Akzidenz Grotesk Light Baskerville Cover image: by Jorik Bais

Editor in Chief: Mitesh Dixit

Paper: Arctic Paper G-Print 130 Bulk 1.0

Art Director: Roland Reemaa

Printing and Binding: Tallinna Raamatutrükikoja OÜ, Estonia

Assistant Editors: Hrvoje Šmidihen Andrew Balster Yanthe Boom Wouter Kamphuis Jorik Bais Kelly Kleijweg Roman de Weijer Felix Ahuis Floris van der Burght Maria Rohof Esmeralda Bierma Bob Robertus

Contributers: TU Delft Brian Lee from SOM Derek Hoeferlin, Donald Koster, Nick Chilton from Washington University Claudia Wigger from University of Michigan Wayne Steger from DePaul University Maggie Queeney, Katherine Litwin from Poetry Foundation Michael Zanco from Chicago Public Schools Chad Adams from Sullivan High School Luis Monterrubio from Chicago LAB App. Adam Frampton from Only If Bianca Diaz from Marwen

Research Team: Andrew Balster Hilary Gabel Marlo Carthen Jody Zimmer Tomás Cantú-Martínez Ryan Nestor Text Editors: Davi Weber Mitesh Dixit

Sponsors: Brian Lee, FAIA - SOM Novak Construction Barker / Nestor Cedar Properties Reinier de Graaf - OMA Vishaan Chakrabarti - PAU

CP


In Chicago Issue #1


In Chicago Issue #1


In Chicago Issue #1


In Chicago Issue #1


In Chicago Issue #1


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C O N T E N T S

Page

In Chicago Issue #1

Contents

Decline

Foreword by Mitesh Dixit

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Border Crossing

Essay by Jorik Bais

3

In Naperville

Project by Floris van de Burght

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Normal

Project by Yanthe Boom

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Brian Lee

Interview by Maria Rohof, Floris van der Burght

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SOM & Legacy

Essay by Yanthe Boom, Roman de Weijer

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Border

Project by Felix Ahuis

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Smart City

Project by Wouter Kamphuis

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St Louis

Essay by Esmeralda Bierma

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Kees Kaan

Interview by Yanthe Boom, Wouter Kamphuis

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Chicago Public Schools

Project by Kelly Klejiweg

63

Loop

Project by Maria Rohof

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Reinier de Graaf

Interview by Jorik Bais, Kelly Kleijweg

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Enter the Solid

Project by Jorik Bais

85

Sears Chicago Tower

Project by Roman de Weijer

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Detroit Still Exists

Essay by Bob Robertus

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Vishaan Chakrabarti

Interview by Felix Ahuis, Roman de Weijer

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18th

Project by Esmeralda Bierma

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Freedom

Project by Bob Robertus

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Chicago (1983)

Text by Floris van der Burght


D E C L I N E Foreword Mitesh Dixit

The continued decline of the United State’s Midwest regions, specifically the last decade, has not escaped Chicago. In the era of rapid urbanization and appearance of megacities, Chicago seems to have missed the memo. Of the 15 largest cities in the United States in 2010, Chicago was the only city to see its population decrease. While New York and L.A.’s populations reached record highs in 2010, Chicago’s population drops to a low not seen since 1910. In countries such as India and China, Chicago would not even be legally defined as a city. Within this decline, Chicago’s heydays from the roaring 20’s and post-war 50’s are not only remembered with nostalgia but maybe even retrospectively misused. It is no surprise that architecture, which once brought Chicago to the world map, is to be exploited again. The Chicago Architectural Biennial can be seen as a thrust to demonstrate the city’s role again as one of the global centers in the contemporary (architectural) scene. Is it? As part of the Complex Projects objective, it is precisely this search for definition of ‘city’, which guides the In Chicago studio in its most direct way. Instead of importing and celebrating distant ideas that serve as commodity goods for the day of opening the exhibition, the goal of the studio is to reveal what truly lies underneath a globally determined city and this, we believe, can be only done when doing it in Chicago. The goal of the studio is to examine the very condition of Chicago itself - a center of culture, diversity, education, civic institutions, and freedom of thought. Understanding the hard and soft layers that actually define the values of a contemporary city can lead towards ambitions to follow. Fall 2015, 10 Master students from TU Delft, moved to Chicago for their MSc2 Graduate Architecture & Urbanism studio. The studio was led by Mitesh Dixit, Roland Reemaa with seminars by Andrew Balster and Ryan Nestor. In additional to TU Delft, Archeworks provided local coordination and resources in Chicago. The goal of the studio was simply to be in Chicago to take a critical stance to the consumption of culture, disprove cliches, avoid tourism traps - and instead experience the city in its most crude way. In addition In Chicago and Archeworks organised public lecture series under the theme Critical Regionalism - a revised approach from Kenneth Frampton. Contemporary architects working on a global scale, yet base their methods on their regional and native ideologies & methods were invited to share their work and process. Could a hybrid between global tools, which are imbued with local techniques, or vice versa, provide a model for the contemporary practice? Lectures by Reinier de Graaf, Kees Kaan, Brian Lee, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Mitesh Dixit were given and interviews with the students are included in the current journal.

In Chicago Issue #1

Foreword


B O R D E R

C RO SSI N G

First encounter with the individual American Dream. Jorik Bais

Upon entering the United States, you enter a land with a dream of equal opportunity to success through hard work. An ‘eden’ of infinite possibilities. This land is, at all times, heavily protected from intruders that may harm this american dream. Border control makes sure only the worthy, or harmless tourists, enter the United States; “business or pleasure?”

in the ultimate dream of living behind a white picket fence in suburban houses. Another interesting notion about the dream is its individualistic character. The french political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville made the noted expression about his encounters in America the same year as Adams wrote his book. His quote being that every man he encountered “apt to imagine that their whole destiny is in their own hands”. The dream is still alive, but the way it is perceived and pursued by the public today has changed significantly over time. A recent poll shows that 75% thinks the american dream is not as attainable today as it was at the beginning of the century.

When waiting in line for approval to enter, the long wait is eased by a repeating short movie which is synchronically displayed on multiple screens across the border control booths. It’s a video put together by the american travel society and propagates diversity and greatness, aiming to excite the non-american citizens. An orchestra accompanies the slow motion portrait shots with a triumphant tune. The resemblance with a Disney commercial is undeniably present. Different stereotypic portraits are displayed, all within their ‘habitat’; The elderly happily gardening, the business man already thinking about his next appointment in downtown. Skylines at dusk, as portraits of the city, metaphorically start the movie. However, merely shots of downtown cities are displayed within this abundance of happiness. The question arises wether this video is showing reality or is in fact mirroring a wish of how this nation wants to be perceived; a simulation? If a correlation can be found between disneyland and the united states within this juxtaposition, does this also account for the elitist character of the theme park and that of the downtown city?

Limitless Expansion Upon arrival the settlers stood on the brink of an seemingly endless frontier. An adventurous land of prairies, deserts and mountains soon came to be known as the ‘wild west’. Fear was born amongst the explorers, and with it bravery. The land expanded rapidly till there was nothing more to explore. Communities spread vastly across the nation resulting in a lack of law enforcement and violent cultures. Danger thus persisted and with writing the ten amendments the right to bear arms for personal protection was legally bound. The limitlessness of land is still visible today. Cities stretch out vastly across acres of land, instead of densifying within their boundaries. Culminating in often desolated suburbs. The isolation of communities thus has never vanished. The same violence as decades before due to lack of law enforcement. Are the suburbs the revival of the wild west? Meanwhile the will to explore adventurous lands has found a new destination. The will to expand limitless is rooted at the very core of the american dream. Not only within the previously explained expansion of land but simultaneously within the individual pursuit of happiness and of course space exploration. Danger lies in the limitless urge for more. This urge is visible in the significant growth in income of the top 1% opposed to the rest that grew rationally or did not grow at all. Limitless expansion is a capitalistic mentality. To counter the speed of capital growth (and thus spending) in the free market economy, which would ultimately lead to huge inflations, the federal reserve bank was founded as a monetary institution controlling rates of interest to keep the inflation at a steady rate. Free market economy offers limitless growth within a supply and demand society but also bears the danger of the pursuit of profit above all, ultimately culminating in capital growth for the richest. Owned ‘things’ become the expression of wealth and within this individual pursuit, the fellow man without it is not a matter of interest.

The American Dream The mentality towards America as ‘the land of opportunities’ and ‘hope for a better future’ originated with the arrival of early european immigrants. They fled european religious oppression in search for freedom. It is however widely believed that the name ‘American Dream’ as a state of mind was originally coined by James Truslow Adams in his book ‘the Epic of America’ in 1931 by the following phrase; “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” At its core, the American Dream is about equal opportunity to reach success and happiness through hard work. It is an optimistic state of mind towards growth and prosperity. In the post-war fifties also the materialism found it’s way into the mentality. People were tired of living on rations during the war, the country was flourishing and were thus flooded with commercials about abundance of ‘things’. Later resulting

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The wild west is alive. In space, in the suburbs and even in downtown. Every man earning prosperity merely for himself and his family, fighting for ultimate wealth of his individual bubble. Simultaneously, the war of poverty is fought in the lawless suburban communities. Resulting in the infinite growth of inequality.

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Dare to dream reductive, reorganisation through subtraction and densification of the urban and its vicinity to cope with demographic and geographical trends. Floris van der Burght

Chicagouao, Chikago, Chicago,Chi-town, City of Broad Shoulders, Chi-raq, Chi, INCHICAGO, Windy city, Chicagoland, Chicago, In Naperville, Second City, Queen of the Lakes, Second city, ‘My kind of town’ for Frank Sinatra and ‘Chi-City’ for the slightly more contemporary Kanye West. You might say that this multitude of names depicts the plurality of the city and region it is referring to, each nickname given to the city, formed by its own unique set of conditions. Cities develop for certain reasons at certain sites, each with her own story and set of conditions. What were the prevailing dynamics that shaped Chicago and her turbulent ride from the start? Grid & Field Where to start with this brief description - the grid because it is seemingly everywhere in the Midwest. The Land Ordinance of 1785 projected a rectilinear grid over the open territory of the West, with as basic unit a township of six miles square, composed of one mile squares. These could be subdivided in quarter sections of half a square mile. On their turn could divided in streets and building plots. Grid an adequate mean of managing large territories and a symbol of democratic equality. The grain size alters and adepts at places, cities become local interactions, complexities and disturbances of the projected grid. Chicago and the region it resides in is based upon this continental ever expandable grid system, at first theoretical and superficial as time progresses more visible and tangible. Cities and Farmland based on the same ordering principle, which is a continuation of which? Stan Allen identifies these cities as Field Condition or Configuration: inherently expandable through local interconnectivity; loose and porous; overall shape is fluid; reiterating structures. “A Field Condition would be any formal or spatial matrix capable of unifying diverse elements while respecting the identity of each.” Revealing Potential Chicago’s urban development was from the beginning In Chicago Issue #1

In Naperville

bound to that of its potential for transportation and infrastructural connections. The potential of the transport connection during the first two decades, combined with Booster rhetoric and the projected theoretical grid spurred speculation in real estate. The government founded Chicago and stimulated private investment with prospects of profitable returns.

exponentially from around 300 inhabitants at the time of the town founding in 1830. In 1848 the initial reason for the inception of Chicago: the Illinois and Michigan Canal was completed, the city counted 20.000 inhabitants ,and when in 1890 Chicago passed Philadelphia to become the Second City the city counted around 1.2 million people.

The potential of the site for creating a passage into the interior of the continent and thereby connecting Florida with the Great Lakes was already noted back in the 17th century by French settlers. The United States of America almost doubled in size through the ‘Louisiana Purchase’ in 1803, in this shift of territorial ownership the true potential of the location revealed itself; located at the southern tip of the Great Lake system, astride the Great Waterways in the Mid Continent, located at the edge of different pristine ecosystems/natural landscapes and urban centers with investment capital on the Eastern shores of the continent. A City was destined to become the centre of the Mid Continent, acting as a linchpin for its surroundings and connecting these resources with the world. Urban Development Urbanization from planned to process evolution and pinpoint inadequacies of Chicago region to cope with this. No tradition in planning, market is the tradition. It is a flow of forces, a field condition. This field condition accelerated through modernization, harder to grasp. Decentralization is part of this field condition, where things become more adaptable yet more unclear. Temporality, non-place (real Utopia) Jeffersonian Grid and zoning inadequate tools, combined sprawling region that covers multiple legislative, political and spatial boundaries. Different residential occupation over time, smaller families and larger homes. Change in importance of Built Environment as driver of Economic ‘motor’ - brainwashed from day one (Bob the Builder TV-show).

The contours of Chicago as it is today were already tangible after a few decades, commercial and industrial concentration and density near the port. Radial infrastructural lines converging near the concentrated center. Centre commercial and industrial development pushed residential development north, west, and south, in the periphery/fringes speculation in housing thrived.

Around the year 1920 a majority of the people living in the United States became urban dwellers. The population of Chicago by that time was around 2.7 million people. The population of the city grew 3

From the start this process developed a dual physical character; one of these was urban, the other mediation between town and country. The periphery conditions developed in these circumstances of rapid residential and industrial growth. The rich owned a house in the city and one in the countryside, the poor lived in the city and the middle-class lived in and around the periphery of the city, defining there appropriate material culture in a zone of contest. New geographical freedom through technological development of at first the horsecar to electric trolley line, and later the takeover by the automobile. The ideal of a House, Land and later Community became a prospect for larger parts of society. Trees, Pastures, Flowers, Dwindling Paths, House, No Pollution, No Epidemics, No Economic Stress of the city, Community, Land, Speculation, Car, Repetition, Free(way), Federal Subsidies, Homogenous zoning, Lobby, do I need to say more. Oooh I forgot… a Lawnmower. By the year 1960 a majority of the people living in the United States became suburban dwellers. America had entered the automobile properly with about one car per family in 1950, dependence on this mode of transport grew. Driving is becoming the dominant mode of transport, representative is that in1965 Kevin Lynch co-authored a book with the title “The View from the Road”, about perceiving the city from the viewpoint of a driver. New cheap tracts of land came


Native indian trails

Urban development 1850

Urban development 1915

Urban development 1945

City of Chicago

Counties

Townships

Chicago metro area

Green recreational

Green agricultural

Rail/Water Network

Road Network

Residential

Retail

Cultural/Education

Industrial

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in sight of development with this infiltration of car ownership in society. Resulting in outward expansion and geographical dispersal of the built environment, partly fueled by white flight and the accompanying abandonment of traditional urban areas. Next phase, continuing geographic dispersal accompanied by the adjustment to the newly found reality by companies and relocating to outlying areas in the region in close proximity of built car orientated infrastructures. From manufacturing to service? By the year 2000 more people in the United States are dwellers in the suburbs then rural and city inhabitants combined. Traditional notion of city as historical, institutional and entertainment core with surrounding suburbs is replaced by a kind of sprawl that is polycentric with different overlapping networks in terms of infrastructure, production, consumption, communication and with global and/or local range/

reach. Political and spatial boundaries lose in significance; the market is driven by ‘invisible’ forces and disregards these boundaries. Horizontal expansion patterns, inward and self-containing forms, attempts of differentiation for a marketable image, and creation of risk-free environments with high security levels are all characterization of current urban development. Urban Field United States and in Chicago planning has had minimal impact upon the built environment. Driven by idealization of the private house in a ‘pastoral’ setting and the Freeway, a radical horizontal urban field has developed. A dispersed region, vast mat like fields with scattered pockets of density connected by Freeways. Homogenous zoning. Shopping malls. Is there a possibility for a different urban fabric then the current state? Summarizing the current state;

Clustering residential

capable of acting like one due to the administrative borders dividing it and the prevailing market conditions, which have lack on these borders. These dynamic causes inter competitiveness between the different legislative entities within the region, which makes it impossible to plan. Not able to take on issues that will be beneficiary for the region. Process and Directionality of Field In analyzing the corridors further - realization that the corridor development is a large dynamic and needs an intervention. It is the initiator of outbound fringe, of dispersal, of suburban expansion. It is the shift of a non visible center negotiated by the market creating spatial non desirable outcomes; shifting edge nodes; shifting work; shifting residential; shifting fringe; shifting generic; shift in scale; shifting local to global; shift in tax base; when do we reach the pivotal point for In Chicago Issue #1

In Naperville

Clustering amaneties

diseconomy of scale, already reached. Leaving marks in the urban landscape as it progresses. These marks are the current urban fabric shortcomings, it’s potential unrevealed. The continued expansion of corridors more west wards; the accompanying alteration of arable land into (sub)urbanized areas, the increasing size of retail and accompanying diminishing of local. BigBox development versus local enterprises can be summarized in a contemporary way. #HelloCategoryKillers and #NoCompetition. This moves the fringes of the area that comprises Chicago more westwards in a continuing search for the solving of its own inner crisis. What is happening is that the area is stretched in the northern, west, and southern direction, 7

Decentralization of office, commerce and retail space; low density of dwellings surrounding it. Development of corridors along the infrastructural lines that fan out from the city center of Chicago forming a radial pattern. These corridors consist of office space mainly formed along the highway; industrial development concentrated along the waterways and Railroads; retail follows mainly the Highway and roads for automobiles. At junction of the same type or different modes of infrastructure clustering takes places. In between these corridors low density suburban dwelling typologies rest. The area is defined by corridor development with as infill low density residential urban development with complementary retail functions. Clustering occurs at points of intensity such as airports and some traditional clusters of industry. Project is about addressing the counties that make up the Metropolitan Area of Chicago, it’s one entity that isn’t

Clustering landscape Area of intervention

Decentralizing; dispersing; dispersal of interest; dispersal of identity; catalogue of ‘lots of choice’; altering grain size; outbound craving; outbound fringe; beneficiaries of accelerated depreciation, are not the common people; who is the owner? Repeat; on and on; cycle. A new frontier? A generic one, A not planned one, A coincidence that can be traced back to 1785. Mr. President Jefferson we became an urban nation instead of a rural. Needs the fringe a change in its state of arable commodity into a suburban one, and rank itself between the prevailing conditions of corridor development surrounded by the expansionary generic rhythm of suburban, with accompanying functions. Plan the expansion; Plan the stagnation; Plan the contraction; all can be accompanied by growth; added value, with different implications for density. But no plan is subjecting/exposing you as region to the prevailing


……..nothing ……..no nothing …….. ……. …….. oohhh the ……..market now I get it. ……..eclectic catalogue or is the catalogue the beauty. Beauty and the Beast. Disney was right after all.

taking into account the factor time, changing local relationships. Clear in size the moments make an area more readable, alternating the concept of size. Moments throughout define an area, in relation to one another creating a sense of unity. Define area’s / place making on different scales, relational to one another. The different shapes relate to one another, creating relational space between them. Volumetric complexity managed through rupture of the elements in smaller scales; patterns and juxtaposition. The provision of edge end-nodes for the outbound movement of the ‘Golden Corridor’ and the ‘Technology Corridor’ Place for a real SCBDFP (Sub Center Business District Focal Point). Development and planning to emphasize on linkage in form, shared amenities, possibility of transformation and improvement through time. The linearity and the limiting cross section to be avoided.

Intervention Chicagoland; dare to dream reductive, reorganization through subtraction and densification of the urban and its vicinity to cope with demographic and geographical trends. Eliminating the borders, seeing the region as an entity and create a proposal for the region is the task, different interest have to be taken in account. Relation between the city of Chicago and the adjacent region is even dispersed as the people are spread out, balance and interests. Territory… Gregotti?

A North-South infrastructure strip to accompanying bi-polar density. Rail from North to South, adding an extra infrastructural line is ‘one’ moment. Crossing different existing infrastructural lines and adding points/nodes of intensity; the act of adding infrastructure gives direction towards intensity. Hacking with the urban form introduced into the prevailing urban conditions. The one of easy math; at a junction the corridors multiply in 3 times 1 =…. or 4 times 1 =.…

Perceivable Form What to address is the notion of the kind of intervention, in the area where form is derived from the logic of the marketplace. The invisible hand of the marketplace has shaped the environment we live in and Adam Smith is frowning in his invisible coffin. An intervention which addresses the prevailing problems within a city or region; make Patrick Geddes proud, survey before plan and look at the region. Form of the intervention should be distinctive and clearly planned.

Pastoral Illusion The divide between (sub)urban and rural is seen as a commodity. This must then be noticeable. The desire to life in a rural pastoral setting, dynamic is flawed creates expansionary drift. Dynamic of outbound fringe is the one of gentrification in the inner city areas. is it? Take in account the region, different parts different interests. The interests of the long time residents must be taken in account. Outbound fringe to San Francisco. Instead of further sprawling the need incubated in strip field.

The separation between city and rural is a commodity worth cherishing. The region is scattered with areas that have been marked as area’s for natural preservation, jagged and cut into pieces by the grid and it’s ongoing development in which it resides. Address the outbound rural fringe towards San Francisco creating a “NoStop City” from the hinterlands that once the reason was for the founding of Chicago and spurred it to it’s greatness as the linchpin of it’s surroundings. This outbound/ expansive dynamic of the urban left a dispersed region in which people still tend to relate to the city of Chicago but life far from it. The outbound fringe is complex in dynamics; rural fringe is passive and clear in position. Introducing Moments By introducing different moments within the region that are superimposed on the existing fabric forming a new order and principle; a new kind of infrastructure, address, distinctive in form. Moments are interventions within the Urban Field,

Reductive Dream reductive. What is reductive if you place a superimposed new infrastructure in the region? Is this reduction? It is reduction in the sense that the focus will lie upon the region, on what is there / already present. Pinpointing the amenities and qualities present. It is reduction in the time spent as commuter, by increasing the density in certain parts for living and working. It is reduction through adding better quality public transport, reducing the time spent in transit, reduction in mileage on the roads; reduction in CO2 emissions. Reductive in urban expansion, which would not consume ‘Greenfields’ but will develop inward. ‘Brownfield’ development. To come up with a new definition for ‘Greenfield’ is a necessity in the time we live in. The Pacman of no-density will behave pro-density. Frames for people in transit on the present, the present are those notable shifts. 8


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N O R M A L The norm of the outstanding. Yanthe Boom

How to find out what is normal in a city and culture that is completely new to you? Being in Chicago, this question stuck in my mind. In order to find out what’s normal, I needed a clear definition of ‘normal’. Synonyms for normal are easy to guess: average, common, ordinary, standard and things we take for granted. Unfortunately writing down these synonyms do not make it more clear what ‘normal’ means for a city and what is considered as ‘normal’ in specific neighborhoods. It is important to understand that definitions of ‘normal’ vary by person, time, place, culture and situation. For me, the definition of ‘normal’ is formed by a group of people who share the same norms. The method I used to explore ‘normal’ was making photo series of objects of the everyday life. Coffee cups, toilets, street patterns and doors all became subject of my camera. After capturing 1000 doors, the door became a character which expresses the personality of the residents and has a Chicago style to it. Wandering through town in order to capture ‘normal doors’, the homogeneous facades of the towers which form the skyline of Chicago caught my eye. Do all the doors of the tenants look identical to their neighbors? Why do all residential towers look the same and how do residents identify themselves with their homes? Another question you can ask yourself is, why are there still apartments built in a city that is not growing? If you take a closer look to the city’s census and data of housing, which give the impression that Chicago is declining. But in fact growth is shifting towards Downtown, South Loop and Near North and these neighborhoods are definitely booming. In the coming years 10 000 apartment towers in this area will be added in the so called construction boom. With the globally need to build dense city’s, living in high-rises in city centers is becoming more normal than ever before. But is building a huge amount of identical glassy luxury towers in Downtown Chicago the best option to house the population in a segregated city that is famous for its Chicago style? In order to criticize the spatial and social impacts of growing number of glass residential towers close to downtown, I first had to find the norm. Therefore I unpacked 6 towers that are currently under construction or proposed in the coming years in Chicago’s downtown area. Although the towers may vary from height, they have quite a few similarities. Before anything is build or analyzed the first resemblance is already visible in the streets. Slogans like “luxury rentals”, “luxury for rent” pop-up on construction sites to attract affluent millennials to the city. And with success, the luxury amenities, great In Chicago Issue #1

Normal

locations, awesome views is everything you desire in one place and prevent tax payers from fleeing to the suburbs. The architecture, however, is not surprising. Some architects have been ‘creative’ and came up with different tints of glass and used a variation of diagonal mullions to gussy up the façade, but most of the towers consist of 100% glass facades with a small openable window as the only exception. Behind the facade the towers always consist out of the same elements: core with elevators and staircase, x number of copied levels and a ground floor with lobby and retail or hotel. On top of the blind block of parking levels, the identical apartment levels house almost 500 households. The ratio m2 of apartments, core and hallway of these apartment levels is with no surprise alike for the 6 buildings, which suggest the most efficient proportion. The towers are placed in the existing grid. It looks like the development plans do no cover the necessary infrastructure outside the plot needed to house thousand new residents. Schools and supermarkets, parking places and traffic jams are thing that concerns the neighbors, but it seems that these aspects are not high on the agenda of the developers and alderman. This small study confirmed my own observations after three months in Chicago. Architecture in Chicago is dominated by something other than we learn in school, namely economics and power. This architecture of diagrams for profit results in standardized homogeneous ‘luxury’ residential towers. Whereby on the scale of the building and of the city are no surprises. I can conclude, I found the norm, and it’s boring.

“What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” Charles Addams Although I had never expected my search for ‘normal’ would lead me to towers, and architecture of standardization was new to me, this phenomena is not new at all. Constraints that created the towers we see today are over a 100 year old. In 1893 Barr Ferree at the AIA national convention in Chicago already said: “Current American architecture is not a matter of art, but of business. A building must pay or there will be no investor ready with the money to meet its cost. This is at once the curse and the glory of American architecture” (Igor Marjanovic, 2010). Since the beginning of the skyscraper end of the 19th century the tower is shaped by the highest amount of rentable space to let the construction pay within 11

the tight parameters of zoning ordinances, location and program. As Carol Willis points out in Form Follows Finance the rise of the skyscraper and the development of downtowns cannot be interpreted without understanding the economic aspects of urban architecture, these tight parameters of program, economics and a speculative market make formal inventions unusual (Willis, 1995). Architects usually have concentrated their work on the development of practical solutions, which could be reduced to some form of mass manufacture and modular construction without reconsidering the typology. What once shaped the design of an office tower, is now visible in the designs of residential high-rises despite its change in function. Designing with economic parameters is part of the American culture and fits in the history of the skyscraper and construction booms. But should we, young architects, take this for granted? No, and therefore criticism regarding the livability of city full of towers is as old as the tower itself. Critique concerning the human values, homogenous skylines, and dead streets play a role in books, manifests and studies. A good example is the book The Highrise of Homes written by SITE, an architecture studio founded in New York, in 1980. It criticizes the disappearance of human values when stacking homes: “However, industrialization and standardization, while expediting multiple-story housing construction, have eclipsed the personalization and variation evident in pre-industrial housing. With land use becoming more stringent, verticality has become an urgent requirement in many areas of the world, yet the need for individualized and visually divers housing had not changed. Rather, it is overlooked by contemporary housing practices which too often confuse economics, efficacy and architectural formulae with human values.” The design solution SITE gives is a frame to let the residents built their own home to express their individuality. These ideas, and more recent ones like SOMs ‘bold architecture’ during the architecture biennale are inspired on the 1909 Theorem the Skyscraper as Utopian Device stay on paper, whether that is good or bad case. Even in Chicago architects made efforts to improve livability of the particular building type. Educated at the Bauhaus Bertrand Goldberg knew how to industrialize the structure to reduce its costs. Goldberg: “I wanted to get people out of boxes, which are really psychological slums. Those long hallways with scores of doors to the core opening anonymously are inhuman. Each person should retain his own relation to the core. It should be the relation of the branch to the three, rather than that of the cell to the honeycomb” (Igor Marjanovic, 2010). Additionally, the doors in the circular corridor in


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Logan Square

Logan Square

Near North Side

Near North Side

Near North Side

Near North Side

Near North Side

Near North Side

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park

Near North Side

Near North Side

Near North Side

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Marina city had individual colors to enhance orientation. Despite Goldberg’s efforts to change the structure of the high-rise, he had not many followers and the rectangular glass boxes with long straight corridors concurred territory in downtown Chicago. Not only architects addressed the development of high-rises in Chicago, even the government made plans to regulate the growing amount of towers in the city. The Mayor Task force’ s plan High-rise high-density, concerning the livability on street level is spoken of ‘the problem’: “Without a clear vision and strong plans, undirected high-rise, high-density development will undermine the diversity and other urban qualities that have made these neighborhoods desirable. It will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.” Concerns like traffic jams; fight for parking places; poorly located high-rises that ruin good streets with cold walls of parking structures; a limited amount of best views and every new high-rise

will neglect the views of the high-rises already there. Regardless of the efforts of the mayor’s task force, the ad hoc planning, deal making by developers and alderman without listening to the neighbors is still happening nowadays. The criticism covers different scales, from standardized units, anonymous doors, hallways without daylight and no interaction between neighbors to traffic problems, parking shortages, ad hoc planning, politics and economics. Although the critique is dating back to the last century, it already contained the same frustrations that I had from my own observations in Chicago. Unfortunately, it looks like not much has changed despite the criticism, even worse it became luxury! What started as modern way of building, affordable industrialized housing with light and air for everybody, changed in something outstanding for the rich. The standardized residential high-rise with an economic

structure is camouflaged with amenities like pools, gyms, dog runs, security and air-conditioning and sold with profit as luxury and unique. Everybody buys a “luxury” box in the sky, which in fact is the same and normal all over the world. The only thing unique is the view, which is easily replaced with another tower any time soon. What is not often enough emphasized, in my opinion, is the divisions these towers cause within the society. Cost-effectiveness with the development of public housing and high profitability in the private sector keeps pushing down the costs against the real needs of their tenants. Examples of American public housing towers like Pruitt Igoe in St. Louis and Cabini Green in Chicago are labeled as inhuman and torn down neglecting its failure. Whereas the same typology with higher rents, maintenance service and a pool on top is celebrated as best you can get luxury for the affluent.

The vernacular of capitalism, skyline facades in 19th and 21st century

Especially in a segregated city like Chicago I think this ‘luxury’ way of building is as much responsible for segregation as the ‘bad’ neighborhoods with lower incomes and high vacancy rates. By attracting the upper middle class to live in luxury, the gap between these classes will look bigger. Besides, the architecture of the tower itself enhances the separation visually. A closed of block of parking levels, a luxury lobby, a guard and valet parking on street level emphasizes the fact that this way of living is not accessible for everybody passing by. The towers become arrogant structures in the city, built for the wealthy individual and not for the city as a whole. While observing Chicago, I saw that the growing number towers under construction are proof that that city centers are getting denser. Living is towers in dense city centers is needed to make room for In Chicago Issue #1

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agriculture to feed the population. Unfortunately, in Chicago is that not the only reason why it’s becoming more normal to live in towers. During my search for normal, I became aware of a more imposing fact that the high-rises built in Chicago are designed to make profit thru a standardized architecture. Building cities became marketing and do not satisfy the needs and individuality of the citizens. If living in high density close to city centers is going to be the future, I think a clear vision on the city’s zoning policies, public transport, dealing with segregation, sustainability and room for innovation is needed and not let developers form the city by repeating the profitable tower. With the current mindset I do not think it is likely that the structure of residential tower is going to change. If the parameters are that determining in the design of a tower, it is not the shape of the tower that is going to change it all, but the parameters itself. 13

Otherwise it would just be another form of camouflage in the form of the façade or amenities. If the motivation of building houses would change into housing the population of the future someday, architects can focus on human values and development of the city instead of cost reducing design solution in favor of making profit. This problem I addressed with residential towers goes way beyond architecture alone and is not only to be answered within our profession, but at least young architects can be aware and start a conversation. Question the developers demands, and think what would be best for the community and the city as a whole. Architects should be aware of the economic situation and use it as a tool to convince the developer to invest in good design with a smart economic plan and not, instead, in themselves.


41 flrs 149 m

48 flrs 160 m

48 flrs 173 m

Section Elevation

Apartment floorplan

Ground floorplan

Apartment Core Hallway

GFA

50 670 m²

56 24 m²

69 069 m²

FAR

18

24

25

509 units, range 46 - 170 m²

402 units, range 60 - 125 m²

500 unit, range 50 - 122 m²

180 places

156 places

240 public places

Retail

1853 m²

2043 m²

743 m²

Hotel

-

-

-

Amenities

Each amenity at Wolf Point West has been designed to deliver both remarkable beauty and flawless functionality. Amenity spaces feature pool, hot tub, spa, golf simulator, fitness centre, business center, club room, bike storage, sky and river lounge, dog run.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find here. All the things that make life more liveable. From 24/7 room service to concierge and valet service, fitness, yoga studio, outdoor terrace with televisions, grilling, game areas, rooftop pool, sundeck, and lounge.

Tower will also include a lavish amenity deck with a pool and a green roof.

Apartments Parking

Location

200 N Michigan Ave

343 W Wolfpoint Plaza

1326 S Michigan Ave

Architect

bKL

bKL

Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Developer

John Murphy

The John Buck Company

Hines Interests, Magellan Development Gr

Name

MILA

Wolf Point West

-

Slogan

Luxury perfectly placed

Luxury apartment living at the Chicago River’s edge.

Luxury, but affordable apartments

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93 flrs 351 m

86 flrs 314 m

54 flrs 184 m

65 344 m²

112 638 m²

148 735 m²

22

36

25

454 units, range ?

506 units, range 40 - 210 m²

406 units, range ?

155 places

598 places

346 places

646 m²

100 m²

-

276 rooms

-

205 rooms

Amenity deck and outdoor pool for the apartments. Two rooftop bars, for residents and public, that would look over Grant Park through a criss-cross of beams connecting to the high-rise's upper floors.

At the very top 86th floor is a residential amenity deck that would be located at a far higher elevation than any other such space in Chicago.The podium roof contains another amenity deck, this one largely outdoors with a green roof.

The tower will feature a lobby lounge, two full service restaurants, a bar and a spa. In addition, the building would feature a 5,400 square foot ballroom, a new public art sculpture.

800 S Michigan Ave

1000 S Michigan Ave

375 E Wacker Drive

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

Helmut Jahn

Studio Gang, bKL

Oxford Capital Group, Quadrum Global

Crescent Heigh

Wanda Group, Magellan Development Gr

-

-

Wanda Vista Tower

-

-

Luxury condominiums at lakeshore east, a crystalline form inspired by nature.

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B R I A N

L E E

Of work and decline. Interview by Maria Rohof, Floris van der Burght

Can we take pictures? I should have cleaned up my office No no no It’s perfect actually. You got a lot of books. Not only coffee table books. That was given to me by a client who had his own art gallery; an Indian Client. So Maria Rohof and Floris van der Burght [laughing about pronunciation]. I don’t know if you guys know but I actually did some work in The Netherlands, early in my career I worked for a design partner who did the Shell headquarters in The Hague. Do you know that building? I do know that the Headquarters moved from Amsterdam to the Netherlands but can’t recall that building. Ok, so it’s an older building, traditional and we did another building next to it. I wouldn’t say it was postmodern, but it was anti-modern. How did you relate to the surroundings, did you do an investigation of the urban?

People liked the building when it was finished, they felt it was a nice way of fitting into the context of The Hague. A part of the design studio is the creation and publishing of a magazine with the overall theme ‘Decline’ Each student is addressing this topic in his or her own manner. This interview is going to be featured in the magazine. What are the first phrases or pictures that come up when you hear the word ‘Decline’? Yeah it’s tough because I’m kind of new to Chicago myself, having lived here for eight years now. So I’m not a booster. Do you know what a booster means?

“I think there are people who immediately would take offence by the word decline.” Yeah I think so. Is it not a typical Chicago thing? Chicago grew as part of the boosters, Boostertown. You actually know many of the terms.

Yes obviously; there was a Berlage building close by, yeah fairly traditional details but the guy I worked with was Jack Basset who was an architect I admired he came from the Saarinen School so he didn’t have hang-ups doing buildings that had a base of stone; had a love of brick; properly detailed brick wall with openings around it; even to use traditional elements like bronze window frames with additional elements like arms that would drop down for an awning, to deal with sun. It was a courtyard building; everybody had access to light, from the courtyard or the space. So it was actually a very interesting project. Did you encounter an different world while designing, more European?

I think there are people who immediately would take offense by the word decline why is it declining; is it really declining; is the area losing population; is the region losing population; but the city centre is gaining population and then so when you talk about decline I guess the most people the most americans would see it as a negative word and view it in the context of design even though incline decline I mean if you come over an other side of a hill it doesn’t have any negative connotations at all. But I think in Chicago’s context, because it always has been the second city, you know after New York that people would probably. That it would be provocative to them. To say oh ehm… Chicago in decline.. you know…

It was actually much more European than American.

They are not growing as fast as New York or LA.

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It would be interesting, I actually don’t know how fast New York is growing. New York is growing at a higher rate then Chicago. It would be interesting to compare the Metropolitan Region; the actual city / core district, compared to the suburban district. If you look at the Metropolitan Area of Chicago, the region is growing. If you look at population growth/inhabitants. The suburban area is growing more then the city/core district. There are a couple of things that stand out to anybody in the region. That is crime… In terms of crime being significant killings/gun killings. Which is I am sure Europeans don’t understand at all… That we have this fascination with guns, you know. You know it’s so embedded in the psyche of the Americans this kind of independents; social equality is surprising to me because I kind of grew up in a period where especially being a minority, that ehm.. I had thought we had passed that… issue. Do you mean the social inequality and the race issues? Yes and especially the race issue. Because I experienced a little bit of that, not especially myself but my father. To have a mayor of a major city propose maybe it would be good to intern the Syrians in camps. Well, that was just shocking to me that anybody would even mention that because the Japanese/Americans were in internal camps and that was awful awful injustice to the people and then you care about all these issues police and African Americans. The whole issue about racial inequality between the backs and the whites is something that we thought that we went through that back in the 50’s. You would think that subsequent generations would become more tolerant, smarter, accepting, more diverse. Anyway so I think that part of it is ;crime, social inequality, education issues in Chicago are significant, why can’t we get


enough money to educate people. These problems can be understood as facts, dealt with simple actions? You think simple actions but then it is tight up into unions, what people believe is entitled to them and what other people believe is not fair and they don’t believe that people believe that they don’t deserve it. It is a huge issue in the United States right now. Individualism in approach / take on society? There is always this aspect that people should be able to self reliant.. you know. To understand America, this kind of came to me in the last few years, I never understood the Republican Party, why are these conservative values. I mean the word conservative is like a downgrade or negative to a lot of people and yet one of the big things is that even the people who have benefitted from the government. Who have been able to make something of their lives, they look back and they see other people who still take advantage of the government benefits and say why are buying steaks or lobster and why aren’t you working. If you could get a job why don’t you get a job. It is that aspect, people resenting other people.

have walkable cities, the overall quality of live, mixed use, inviting schools and universities to downtown. Having a more diverse population. I’m thinking about architecture, this is a city that thinks about architecture, you know trying to be inventive, having a focus, we are having a biannual. Is the Biannual a start or start-over? Start-over right… I think that part is. It is interesting were you go then with decline. [Telephone call, Brian takes a business call for 13 minutes] Is decline a too broad topic? One of the things I noticed, it is very interesting how Mitesh runs his studio. Because a lot of times you run into conditions of a typical architectural studio: there is a site, there is a program, go at it and come up with something and we can talk about…you know different degrees of technical expertise and also the different levels of how it is actually relevant to society. But I can’t see that from the studio point of view it’s very much trying to understand a larger role that designers can have and place, to me that is interesting.

That resentment against somebody else, jealous or don’t you have that in each country? It is. But it is a very deep issue in our culture that causes people then to take sides and then go to there own tribes, in which they think to belong. In terms of amenities, social, economic or philosophical believes. So anyway…. You do see the demographic in cities tend to be more liberal, due to more colleges, universities, bla bla bla. I think a lot of those issues of decline relate to some of the big larger societal issues, that I don’t know if designers architects can make a big impact. You know somebody who is dealing with policy, politics, economics can make a big impact, but designers can you actually setup environments have interventions that speak to it. You know in sense almost like artist, make a commentary, trying to do something. The different fields are shrugged against each other; urbanism and policy making, urbanism and architecture. Interaction between fields. Domino effect between them. You would wish you would get that architect became a president in that sense. At least somebody would think about the physical environment. Once an actor managed to become a president of the United States. When you talk about decline, for me decline has something to do with larger societal problems/issues. Rather then the environment, because you know the last 8 years here in Chicago I have seen an incline of the physical environment. In terms of the quality of the open space, the nature of transportation, the ability to

Brian Lee’s lecture evening at ArcheWorks

It’s about developing a method for yourself, so that you partly get to know yourself and thereby understand the role you could play in the environment. Develop what is your point of interest, in this complicated field of work. Quite hard to find your own topic, your quest. If people get passioned about something and feel that something is important to fix then that works pretty well. Do you think this works better then here is your site, program, goal? Yes. We admire that you are now quite a long time at SOM, How do you end up here? How did you experienced that time frame, because it was a very interesting time? My father was an architect, so I kind of knew the profession a little bit. So I had a great interest in. That’s what he did but also what his friends did. He went to school in Berkley, he would drive me out when he 20

goes visited his friends I was kind of small. I would see these great studio’s, where people would be working in literally in white coats. They would have…… I tell this to different people…. There where window shades inside a brick wall, they would pull them down and there would be a full-size detail drawing of the window. That was pretty cool. I thought wow this it the life where you can really make things and focus on making things. So I was asked to…. as a student to work at SOM at the urban design department, then they asked me if I was interested in architecture so I did that, than I graduated from school, I was gonna work in New York, than I got a project in Sacramento California, Sacramento California, that’s where you originally from? Right, that where I started my first job, student housing for two years and after that I went back to west coast, I wanted still going back at eats coast, I worked in San Fransisco at SOM, projects where interesting to me and for me if you have interesting projects, interesting clients, and there is a kind of a critical mass of talented people around you, that seemed big exciting. So in 1979 you started to work in the San Fransisco department? So I spent 28 years there as a designer, a license. I felt that to becoming a complete architect, I was checking shop drawings, understanding how things actually go together. Because when you draw things, it was at the department of New York, actually in that time we had a design and a technical department, you would have architects and a draw room, but if you would jump to the third part and really check the drawings that become to the manufactures. This is how we are going to make this, these are the dimensions, understand the process, go on the site, etc. So my expertise is design, to say that, I like to understand the conception, how to start a project, the fact that so uncertain is about things that even when I was in school, I remembered actually a question: How we start? I sat there with different professors and they would have different answers, because everyone starts in different ways. That’s also a part of your method in a way. It is, because I think for us we try to ask that question really early. Like we don’t want to copy something what has been done before and put it there. We don’t usually like the clients who just tell what they like to do, because they hired us. We try asking the question about the project, is it about the facade, is it about the culture, some sort of preservation that we found that the client doesn’t even know about, it’s about the program, those ideas to me are quite interesting, not only at the beginning but even at the end. Even if your would have like two people that we wanna to outfit uniforms, as people that are serving a hotel. You would say okay, how would you actually dress you? It is all part of that design idea. Architects are really multitalented in a way. They


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can ask a question and device it into a design. There where in the Nike board a couple architects placed. They have a point of view on things how they analyze it in a way.

corporate headquarters is a kind of easy for is because it was how we kind of were. So there are some great corporate headquarters that represents, you know, this whole 50’s idea of potentially leading the city.

be a pretty basic fee. I think that the aspect of doing developer work probably was very important for the firm but it also moved us in a direction that maybe wasn’t so great.

There is a sort of notion of solve a problem, on a basic kind of level. But how to solve that problem, and than try to turn in into something that’s quite beautiful and inspiring.

When you joined SOM, was it expanding globally? That the global headquarters are expanding and countries are industrializing?

You mean in status?

So 28 years in San Fransisco, but that timeframe is from 1997 till almost 2000 and than you moved to Chicago in 2007, but did SOM changed in these years? Yes, they did very much. SOM changes according to the leadership of the partners. You could be design partner, very strong in terms of this is what I think we should do, to something to design partners that say anything goes, which lead to very interesting projects to some managing partners, we gonna do this sort of work, because this is the most profitable way, to running a good business. To some people who would say, It’s all about design, somehow to support design. So I think the firm has changed, from the beginning. Skidmore Owings and Merrill were three guys, very cooperate America, they were product of it where people want to work for.

I think that really actually dive into those others that written about it, Mick Adams wrote a really good book related to SOM history, because I don’t know if the global expansion was tight in corporation expanding or is just being opportunistic. Somebody saw something here and how to do it over there? Of course, the reference to corporate America is always there also in the companies and also for Chicago architecture.

But still my favourite building in Chicago is Inland Steel. Inland Steel is a scale its operating at that level. Saarinen would do a building like that.

Yes, I spend time in San Fransisco, I think there was a group that came out of these 50’s and 60’s, where you have the corporate America. But then it started to changed, into some more development based, the firm had a very strong focus on people who were speculating on developers.

Is Eero Saarinen an example for you?

SOM never built a balloon framing suburban neighborhood right? As an ultimate speculative?

Mies was a very discipline, very predictable. Le Corbusier was a philosophy about architecture and engineering design. It was in Le Corbusier’s portfolio, over those eight volumes, you would see that there was very interested in many different things, always with a very …..

A mimic construction of the corporate business? They didn’t realize it at the time, but they where responsive on the structure of corporate America. Where you would have a strong CEO or chairman. He would have …. I mean America invented many management processes right. You would have people that would worked underneath these people that would take care about different units and you would have core people that really worked into the development. So corporate America is a kind of like that. Doing all this

In status yes, because it was more about building as commodity, you could see it by Selled. I read a couple of articles where people said, the ten best investment buildings in the country, I think we did six or seven from them, it not put you on the same level as maybe Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn or other people.

No, not really, but that’s a kind of low end. Actually it did something …Oak Ridge

Yes, to me he is an interesting architect, because he was highly skilled. But also never felt compelled to be locked by a similar philosophy or style. I still like Le Corbusier.

In wartime. You know the history quite well, that good, scary [laughing]. No because I think the urban development is more urgent rather than small scale suburban houses, you suppose to be built 100.000 houses and you collected $2000 dollar for each one, that would 22

He was really interested in the regionality of architecture. That’s very modern, speculative. I think to me Saarinen was a more modern version of that.


“It’s hard for me to design with just words, so I do have to think about things.”

How is the structure organized partners and directors, and what is the difference, different expertise. How is the structure of SOM organized/setup? We have partners who own the firm, usually divided in managing and design partners, we now have one technical partner. I include in the design partners the engineering and the urban design. We then have directors, who mainly are very very capable could be principals or partners in their own firm or firms elsewhere. But they are people who are very as I said skilled. And what they do we use the term extend the reach of the partners, they are not a partner but like I said they are very capable and often times in charge of a functional or geographical market. Functional means Interiors, urban design, structures, geographical, China, Middle East. That is also the corporate part in the structure of the firm, the portfolio? Part of it is that, for a while there was a high degree of expectation of specialization, “I want to hire the best health care architect I can find, who is that person?” Okay, would you hire somebody who has never done a hospital before” Probably no. Maybe now, because before you would say I would hire that person who did ten hospitals. But maybe now you might hire a design architect and you put him with a firm that has done ten hospitals, but you want that other great architect to help ask the right questions to redefine it. Have you been director before you became partner?

No we initiated the directors after I became a partner. Before director I used to be associate or staff. Usual you become associate more or less after five years. That is kind of the expectation. Then associate partner, those are often times people who work there entire careers as great careers, great architect, great engineers, then partners. In a partner you are looking for certain qualities in leadership and a voice, judgment, making the right calls. SOM is the multidisciplinary firm, do you this an asset? Do you gather more work by being this large firm with multiple expertice? More contracts? I’m not so sure about getting more contracts, often times we get excluded because we say this is how we want to work. Some developers, I won’t mention any names But you get some developers say no no we want architect, good design architect. We don’t trust that design architect we don’t like the way how they come up with something. Therefore we want to have this engineer and make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid and that we get the most efficient engineering as possible, because we know that the engineering costs is one third of the building. Maybe we are going to get even another architect who is going to do all of the working drawings. Because we maybe we need to make sure the building is not going to leak… To us this is not the right way of practicing architecture, because you get people who are you know, in American terms “Silo’s”. We believe this idea of me being Bill Baker you know. He shows me stuff right there…. come on come on come on look at this. And this is part of the asset and the added value given by SOM? Yes you all probably think as I think, we can all do

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urban design, I can do Interiors I can well maybe not structures. But to actually have people who have some speciality and some real kind of elevated ability in those fields, it is very fun being able to interact with those people. But I think it is interesting to you can talk to someone who is not directly super designing person, but as how he or she looks to certain things. How different fields can interact and have interplay with one another? Yes, we kind of take that as a given how we operate our studios is that designers are sitting with the technical architects and the structural engineers sitting in the same team. So that’s really like a design team, multi disciplinary then you might also create something new.. through synergy of the different fields. Brain Lee; I don’t know how many times I had a structural engineer say to the team: are you guys really wanna do that? You know like asking the question to the team is it the most sufficient way to do that. Maybe could we try this or this…. that’s where the kind of magic happens. It’s hard to.

But still …having large firms and small firms both have a different role to play in the built environment, addressing the current situation. The limitations we do have is that we do have clients, who don’t often times think about being super provocative or always trying to make a statement. You know that is were we have to kind of jab ourselves every ones in the while let’s do something that is interesting and something different, and causes some change maybe.


Did you ever thought of starting an own firm. [Laughing] Yes often times… but then to operate on a different scale. And I think that there’s after lot’s of opportunities of operating at this scale. I have gone on to realize to do something different make change. I mean I know I could probably will eventually when I retire. Because I do retire. You do? Oh yeah…We actually have an mandatory retirement age. When I retire I would like to have an small studio and do small things. Would be fun In the Chicago area or in the Bay area? Not sure. Probably Bay area. How do envision that when you retire, you maybe move back to the bay area? Then you have your own studio. You will definitely have those sunshades with the 1:1 details on it. Green eye shades hahaha; white coats; drawing a little and inking [laughing]. Oh yeah… That would be good. You have this idea of actually branching off. We at this firm try to do things at different scales. I mean small scale housing or little library in Chinatown, little office development in Chicago. Is that keeping you here that difference in scales? What is keeping me here is; and this is I hope that we develop as a spirit here. If we get a design problem. Let’s think about how we can do something that really is, that it has something that says something. That can be lot’s of different things, for instance doing more with less, economize on everything. On energy, materials or we even we are going to use the cheapest materials possible.

certain amount of power we could have those other projects support, you lack when you are a medium size or small firm.

sit in the Philip Johnson Glass House for the day… We also did tours to the other pavilions… some where very strange…

What is better… You think there is an ideal number for an office/firm, a mix of people, should there always be an engineer, climate specialist, interior.

Surrounded by design and talking about design?

We see that as a convenience, to be creative. There are great structure engineers and climate engineers outside are very happy to collaborate. I think it is nice to have the same ideas. If you have to have to work with an climate engineer, what you want to is not the same but. Mutual understanding get in aline with one another. When I worked at an office. Interior office. Different speeds of designing. Lack of integration. This might speak for a larger firm, to have this synergy. I think here are lots of different models to achieve design excellence, we have some consultants that are absolutely fantastic; Jamie Carpenter, the guy who deals with glass, great collaborator. Some landscape firms have really added immeasurably to the success of the projects. So it’s all different. What is your memorable day at work? I saw that one, the most memorable day… I do remember when I was made associate.. when you are staff you are part of a large large group of people in that office. At that time we where probably with 300 people in the San Fransisco office. And then. becoming an associate the firm thinks that you have some promise, the benefits are not that great. But it means that we think you have potential and we like to keep you and are given more responsibility. That was significant to me. That was like ok, I get it. Many people thought I would work at SOM for a few years and then move on, right. Did you change by that gesture of the company?

Or decline? Did I drink some CoolAid and…. I don’t know about decline, maybe lesser expectations. You know. We said we are going to do it. In a beautiful way. Or somebody says we are going to do an officebuilbing, but we are going to do it in all wood, it represents an building material we have forgotten, embedded carbon/low embodied carbon and we think it actually represents a new way to build, even that it is old. Somebody wanted to do a tall building, there were no columns. Divide between a small firm and a large firm. A large firm has infinite/more possibilities of making something new / inventing / fun. Small firm can maybe make easier big statement, but maybe confined in ways of doing. Yes in an large firm we can do research and make that wood building work, we can have the other projects support that research (keep people busy), there is an

Very informal we just sitting around in T-shirts or shirts open slacks. Drinking and having lunch. Showing slides to each other and talking about design and what felt as important. Interesting significant or forgettable. To be able to do that with your colleagues especially at a more elevated level were you don’t worry about hurt feelings but just talking about design that is what we do in the studio’s right? Put the drawings up on the wall, I don’t care who did them. But I want to people talk about them. But even as I have an idea about what I want to do already anyway. I want that people discuss design like this. It is a good chance to practice and become more more hem capable of making presentations. Are you designing still. What are you doing? I’m in charge of the design, so I lead the design effort. Sometimes I do draw a lot. Like for the library pretty much myself, for the whole thing. I draw the sketches, the overview drawings everyday, say what we wanna do. It was a struggle. Cause the first design wasn’t like that, I liked it better but we just got, it was a design built. The contractor was in charge we had a kind of compromise. So I had a lot of different projects where I design things, for big tall buildings, kind of the party that sketch a lot, [Secretary enters the room reminding the meeting at four o’clock meeting on the line.] But let me say one thing. I do think that uh, it’s hard for me to design with just words, so I do have to think about things, just say about things and just thinking about it anytime on a plane, on a car or at home or even just do it through sketches. It’s important for me to do that to take those sketches, I suppose to make a lot of models because I think that working with hands you can understand how things look in three-dimension maybe people are more skilled now on the computer, cause in the computer we build three-dimensional.

Maybe…. No I think every designer has a high degree of ego.. self… necessity to belief in the things you do. Coming to SOM and understanding the power of the company, power of the idea was kind of around that time. Before I was just one of the thirty people working in the studio like everybody else. Then I was like what is about SOM what is so significant, the group practice. I remember that time more then I became a partner. One other time we had a very interesting time. When the design partners got together. It was one of the first times…. difficult to talk about design before … hard to criticize a senior architect when the design is awful… but we said let’s talk about design. One of these New York guys.. I don’t know how they swung it, probably contributed money, we were able to 24

Of course, but I still really like to work with my hands. To built models from time to time you really understand how the thing exist. So that really a great thing. …. Really trow me into a project and step back to it…..how other people like to develop ideas So it’s also a combination of other things. It’s more and more more more its kind of immediately involved.


In Chicago Issue #1

Brian Lee

25


SO M

&

L E G AC Y

Panel discussion with Reiner de Graaf, Kees Kaan, Brian Lee Yanthe Boom, Roman de Weijer

On the 5th of October I, together with 9 Dutch students that live and work in Chicago for three months, visited SOMs office in Chicago for the second time. A week before we had an tour on the 10th floor, this time we had a chance to see the 5th floor of the in Chicago style railway exchange building designed by Frederick Dinkelberg of Burnham & Company. Welcomed by a table full of food and an Eames chair, the vibe is set. We enter the light colored lecture room with view on the lake. The room is full of empty chairs, the group takes advantage of the situation and occupy the first two rows. The crowd fills the room with employees, not really sure if it is the talk or the delicious food that attracts people to leave their desks and join the discussion.

Reinier first makes clear that what other people read into you can be more interesting than what you think of yourself. “The same cluelessness that prevails in architecture, prevails at my office too.” Then he moves on with his two fascinations, with no surprise SOM is one of them the other might surprise you more: German prefab communism housing. Although we are very curious about the second fascination we elaborate on the first, SOM. The magic of it, according to Reinier de Graaf, is architecture that is separated from author. “Architecture is objectified as knowledge to pass on.” As I started a new sandwich, the architects started on their 5 slide presentation. The idea was that they showed projects that influenced them. Or not… All three seemed to interpreted this in a different way.

In front of the beamer three architects: Brian Lee, partner of SOM; Kees Kaan, founder KAAN Architecten; Reinier de Graaf, partner of Office of Metropolitan Architecture. Next to them Roland Reemaa, visiting professor of the TU Delft and our moderator, he kicks off the conversation: “Unfortunately Mitesh Dixit cannot be here, but because of him we are here. According to him these tree man have made him an architect and he will be their student forever. For him seeing these three men sharing their ideas behind one table was a dream from the beginning when we started putting together the In Chicago studio.”

First off was Brian Lee. A serious series of slides showed that SOM is a corporate firm that matches the corporate economy of their clients and likes to use structural expression in their designs based on Mies’ design ethos. Part of the legacy is an ‘anonymity’ in their works. He concludes that SOM strives for universal architecture that applies to a place, an idealized box. Next was Kees Kaan, who showed his own projects that referenced to work of SOM. He particularly seemed to like the air force academy chapel, because it was in line with the design ideals he later explained. A project should explore one subject or ‘idea’ that’s well thought out. In the case of the chapel “Religion and Technology”. When researching that one topic, a narrative for the building will come out of it, creating an understandable design.

What we do know, after attending the lectures in by the panelist during the Chicago Architecture Biennale at Archeworks, is what the practices from the man in front of us have in common. Firstly: an outstanding ability to understand their clients. Secondly: deliver great architecture. Thirdly: also not deliver architecture only for clients. What we don’t know is the reason why we are here together under the title SOM and Legacy, so in order to clear that up. Brain Lee gives us the answer: a free meal.

Reinier chose satire as his means to make clear to us what SOM’s legacy is. Presenting his 5 favorite works of ‘SOM’: starting the Neue Galerie, the Seagram tower and the post office at the Federal Centre in Chicago. All works of Mies. Followed, more serious, by the wooden skyscraper concept and the Aon tower. Congratulating SOM with these projects on outperforming Mies and later outperforming the outperformer: their own office, through imitation. Telling the audience “There’s something great about being the first, but it’s much harder to be the third.” Brian Lee reacted by telling Reinier that the Aon center isn’t designed by SOM. All three architects had no idea who to compliment on the design. Reminding me of an earlier bet between our tutor Mitesh Dixit and Andrew Balster, head of Archeworks about who designed the Daley Center: SOM or Jaqcues Brownson. Mitesh still owes Andrew $1000.

When I started eating a some salad, a more elaborated reason why Mitesh brought us here follows. “All of us, designers, think about design. SOM is the first place Mitesh worked at, so in his formative years he got to know the work of SOM. SOM has a passionate work atmosphere and formed the touchstone for the rest of his life. People think they have the best time working with SOM; clients and situations are interesting.” If Brain had the best time of its live at SOM? “No, but it kept me interested.” It’s Kees turn. A summary of SOM in 28 words: “The ethos of SOM is to provide high quality architecture for a commercial client by being a professional and equal sparring partner through mirroring their organization or format.” What follows is a more detailed explanation with the familiar Dutch words intertwined once in a while. The lesson I, as a young architect, learn: In practice stay away from personal hunches, like at SOM the name of the architect is ‘hidden’. In practice, an ‘impersonal’ explanation gives you a method to explain clearly and with sincerity. You are free to do what you want as an architect if you mirror the organization. One last addition form Kees Kaan to make it more clear: “We were the SOM of the Netherlands.” Reinier de Graaf raises eyebrows: “I thought it was us?”

What became most apparent after the presentations was that no one seems to know who designed what modern building anymore. With the last few bites of the scrumptious buffet food, the discussion went on about the current way of working in an office. Stating that referencing seems to take the overhand in designing. All firms dive into their own archives to see who is first and research nowadays consists of googling projects. Prototyping seems to be forgotten. With an empty plate on my lap, I came to hear the inevitable question posed in every architectural discussion. Brian Lee asked Reinier de Graaf ‘What’s next?’ In my humble opinion, no architect seems to know so they just ask each other. As was the case here when Reinier, after telling they just keep on working out as many ideas as possible with hope on an answer. “I don’t know.”

With that said, Roland moves the conversation to Reinier: “We cannot talk about Chicago if we don’t talk about Mies van der Rohe’s significance. You mentioned once that the essence of SOM is that they took the corporate architecture into a generic position, democratized the Mies. What does this mean?”

In Chicago Issue #1

SOM & Legacy

27


B O R D E R Conditions of the prejudice. Felix Ahuis

In Chicago Issue #1

Border

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“He was checking you out you just like me and my neighbour, because nobody stands here on the corner like you did.”

One thing struck out in particular about Chicago, the segregation in the city. All these homogeneous neighbourhoods, ranging from differences in ethnic to income and education. Jane Jacobs stated in her piece ‘The death and life of great American cities’ that: “Diversity is natural to big cities”. But can you speak of diversity in a city when it’s actually a collection of homogeneous neighbourhoods. If you as a citizen of Chicago are afraid to enter certain parts of the city, this is not your Chicago. The homogeneous part of the city you life in, is your Chicago. My perception of Chicago was therefore a collection of segregated neighbourhoods forming the city. Giving the impression that a great amount of the Chicagoans live in their homogeneous bubble, not interacting with one another. Clear borders on the ethnic demographic map between each homogenous neighbourhood only affirming this perception. But I am wondering is this actually true or are the demographics of segregation an exaggerated view on the city and its neighbourhoods? And are those borders really there and visible on the street? One way to find an answer to these questions is to investigate the borders of two extremes. With borders I mean the place where the borders of the homogenous ethnic neighbourhoods meet, the edge. In this case the street that divides Austin and Oak Park, Austin boulevard. I chose to focus my investigation on these two neighbouring neighbourhoods because, if we have to believe the statistics, are two opposite extremes. Oak Park, a rich suburb within Cook County adjacent to the city of Chicago, is one of the most affluent multicultural municipalities in the U.S. which successfully repelled segregation by selective integration policies. Directly next to Oak Park is the neighbourhood of Austin located, part of the city of Chicago. It is the largest community area by population in Chicago and can be seen as the opposite of Oak Park. A homogeneous (African American) neighbourhood, coping with poverty and high crime rates. All these statistics so far and different from each other, but geographically so close together. Just a street separating the neighbourhoods, like a border dividing two different countries. To understand these border conditions I did research based on multiple topics during my time in Chicago. Topics consisting out of: maps/space/functions, facts and figures, my own perception/observation of the neighbourhoods and those of its residents and the extreme scenario’s. This to really get a grip on and understand the area in different ways and not only the prejudice of an unsafe and uninhabitable environment (e.g. Austin) we can find on the internet. Understanding and mapping the area, consisting out of space and functions, gave me an insight in how Oak

Park and Austin are formed and used. But also what functions they do share or don’t and if this already translates in a physical or non-physical border or some kind affiliation between one and another. The topic of facts and figures is primarily collecting the information of both neighbourhoods and understanding what makes these border conditions in a factual way. - The racial diversity in Oak Park versus the ethnic homogenous Austin - A huge gap in median income between one another - The immense difference in crime rate - Education level of its residents, and Oak Park with some of the best schools in Chicago versus a great amount of poorly achieving schools in Austin - House value and mortgage rate Al these facts and figures creating a border between the neighbourhoods, but is this border really as strict as we see on the demographics and infographics? Do you see this on street level as well and do they really live this segregated or are these facts and figures just an exaggerated view on real life? One way to find out, is to see for myself and observe and write down my thoughts and observations while being there. So I did. During the metro trip heading to the border of Austin and Oak Park, I caught myself on being a bit nervous. I was made nervous because of the negative image created by the facts and figures, although I had never visited the area before. During my metro ride to the Austin boulevard, I passed right through the centre of Austin. A place where you don’t want to walk in at night or even during the day if I have to believe the crime statistics. But from above, riding the CTA metro line looking down I got my perception. All these open parcels, boarded up houses and people hanging out and drinking during the day, are the demographics really as bad as they seem? The first thing I noticed when leaving the station entering Austin boulevard, the so called border, was the chain of apartments on the Oak Park side. A chain of multifamily houses giving me the impression of a brick wall delimiting the east border of Oak Park. On the Austin part on the other hand mainly single family houses or big parking areas giving the opposite impression of a delimiting. A different observation after walking for an hour, was the feeling of being in a homogenous ethnic neighbourhood, although theoretically I was on the border of a multi-cultural municipality. I had the impression that the ethnic divers neighbourhood of Oak Park, was actually a statistic created by housing the African American community along Austin boulevard. Creating a kind of border in Oak Park itself in a way. Another thing that really caught my attention was the physicality of the border. Not only the chain of 30

multifamily houses delimiting Oak Park, but also the poor accessibility from Austin to Oak Park. More than 90% of all the roads coming from Austin are not continuing and blocked in some way. If it’s not by the chain of apartment blocks, then it’s a fence on the middle of the road, a one way road coming from Oak park or a random strip of vegetation across the street. On the streets that did continue, the immediate change at the cross-section was striking, the Oak Park side well maintained and nice green scenery, on the other side of Austin boulevard the complete opposite. It felt like two different streets carrying the same name. These physical boundaries really reminded me of Delmar boulevard in St. Louis, coping with similar segregation problems. A street separating two different neighbourhoods, or actually two different worlds. But what is happening at Austin boulevard is maybe even worse. In Delmar there is also a clear border, but it is a border which brings both communities together, the Caucasian and African American communities. Austin boulevard on the other hand is in my opinion the opposite, it’s also a border, but rather an extension of the homogeneous neighbourhood of Austin. But I was asking myself, how do the residents perceive and explain their neighbourhood? During one of my many trips to the Austin boulevard I made a survey. I showed some residents a ‘neutral’ map of Oak Park and Austin, which was not indicating a clear border between neighbourhoods so that it wouldn’t lead to any assumptions. I asked them to point out on the map where they live and to draw the area they perceive as their neighbourhood. Next to this I also asked if they visit Oak Park/Austin often and if they felt like there is some kind of border between the neighbourhoods or something holding them back to visit one of the neighbourhoods, in addition I asked them to point out what they really appreciate in Oak Park or Austin. Almost every individual I spoke drew a clear border of their perceived neighbourhood along Austin boulevard, also a lot of the people I talked with said: “Be careful out here!” I spoke to multiple residents along the Austin boulevard, one of them was Gerald. I asked him if he perceived Austin boulevard as a kind of border and if there is a big difference across the street, he instantly said yes. “At this this side of Austin boulevard people know and take care of each other, on the other side no one does. I know my neighbours and they know me, even the police officer that’s passing by just a second ago knows me. He was checking you out (me) just like me and my neighbour, because nobody stands here on the corner like you did. But that’s also the difference, police here in Oak Park arrives within 2 or 3 minutes when something happens, on the other side of the street they arrive within 20-30 minutes, it happened a


week ago with a car accident just around the corner! That’s one of the problems, Chicago doesn’t want to work together with the police in Oak Park”. “For me there is a clear border, it’s not about white or black because you also have a lot of whites living in Austin, it’s the way of living. You see kids riding their bike on the sidewalks and cursing, you don’t have that on this side of the border (i.e. Oak Park). Even if you look at the paper pickup we have here in Oak Park, in Austin you don’t have things like that. But I would say that till Menard avenue it’s still kind of Oak Park and safe to walk, after you pass it you’re entering the real Chicago. There is also a myth going on, that everybody is rich on the other side of the street (i.e. Austin Boulevard), but actually where all the same”. I also spoke to Dave in his realtor office, who is a real estate agent in Oak Park, but owns a lot of houses in Austin as well (including the oldest house in Austin). He

grew up in Austin, but during the seventies he and his family were one of the last white families in Austin due to the white flight which eventually led them to move to Oak Park as well. “Oak Park is a model of diversity for other neighbourhoods like Austin which really got struck by the white flight and also nationwide. But the problems we now see is not a racial thing, it’s the poverty and drugs on the street. Of course both neighbourhoods are different, Oak Park is like Alice in Wonderland for residents of Austin. When I ride along Austin boulevard the difference is clearly visible, but I think throughout the years we are comfortable with each other, we tolerate each other and our differences. I think Oak Park side of the border is an aspiration zone for them (i.e. residents from Austin), which is a good and a bad think, I guess.”

Next to him is Pamela, resident of South East Austin, she drew the area’s on the map you see in the beginning of the chapter, showing me the area’s that are ‘safe’ to walk through. She told me that although there a certain parts that are not safe, you have other parts in return that have beautiful architecture, some even one of the oldest in Chicago. The Walled City In an attempt to understand the border and intervene in a more utopian way, I used all the research I got, maps, statistics, interviews and implemented this in the notion of the wall. It was a research about the wall as a way to intervene in an extreme and utopian way, with the intention to eventually use certain aspects of this utopian way of thinking to change the current conditions. How could this translate in different scenes, ranging from extreme to more extreme interventions, where a physical ‘wall’ intervention breaks or even

Local real estate angency in Austin

creates segregation and stimulates interaction. Division, inequality, isolation, aggression, distraction, all the negative aspects of the wall, could be ingredients of a new phenomenon: architectural warfare against undesirable conditions like Koolhaas said in his exodus. As previously discussed I investigated an extreme way to direct and force interaction between people ranging from different ethnic, level of education and income. But how can this be done in a more natural and humane way while focussing on the good parts of the area? The First Steps At the end of my stay and investigation in Chicago one thing became clear, there is a border. Perhaps it is not a strict as one street (Austin boulevard) or as physical, although the residents tolerate each other, they are two In Chicago Issue #1

Border

different worlds not interacting with each other. And in my view that is one of the fundamental problems of the homogeneous and segregated neighbourhoods. Austin has got itself a bad name over the years, people are afraid to go or live in Austin. I think if you manage to create an interaction with a ‘good’ neighbourhood (in this case Oak Park), even if it’s just within a small part of the neighbourhoods, it can work as catalyst for the rest of the area. So what I tried next is to define the border in a more natural and human way and to focus on the good things of both neighbourhoods. It is collaged in an urban axonometric plan which gives an impression about how the residents see Oak Park and Austin and what they think as the good parts of their neighbourhood. It also shows what is important for the neighbourhood. In short it means reinventing or re-presenting Oak Park 31

and Austin. An example shown on the axonometric drawing is the Rockne rugby stadium, a sport becoming increasingly popular under the youth in both neighbourhoods. People call it an unifier, a place where everybody comes together during match day. Another one to mention are Schock’s famous residential houses in Austin, which are one of the oldest houses in Chicago. When I spoke with some residents from Austin, they were proudly making me aware of this fact. This is for me an example that people still care and are proud of their neighbourhood, no matter what prejudice tells me other. Sometimes doing nothing and showing what qualities it already has, is the best thing to do. The area has lots of potential and making the residents, but also outsiders, aware and curious of these qualities can trigger interaction between one another. And I think those are the first steps of a desegregated Chicago.


Built area

Infrastructure

Public transport

Single family residential

Multi family residential

Commercial

Education

Parks and sports

Religious

Healthcare

Industry

Vacancy

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In Chicago Issue #1

Border

Border by Teresa

Border by Madison

Border by Gerald

Border by Delphina

Border by

Border by Loera

Border by Teresa

Border by Madison

Border by Gerald

Border by Delphina

Border by

Border by Loera

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In Chicago Issue #1

Border

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In Chicago Issue #1

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37

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S M A RT

C I T Y

What’s the smartest for Chicago? Wouter Kamphuis

Chicago seems to not be able to stabilise it’s population. After years of excessive growth the city is currently (and has been since the 50s) shrinking. In light of current events such as gentrification and the anticipation of the ‘move back to the city’ it is remarkable how the city has actually never found an answer for the occurrence of decline and suburbanisation. With their applaud for companies moving back to the centre and announcement of the next giant hike in property tax, leaders of Chicago appear shortsighted to the fact that gentrification is likely to launch yet another wave of people moving away from the city, but this time through force rather than choice. This project launches a conversation on how Chicago could be smart, capitalising on it’s strengths to benefit city and citizens alike. It approaches Chicagoland as network of cities and shows a growth strategy focused on multiple subcenters as apposed to seemingly endless urban sprawl. This strategy is based on implementing a notion of transit oriented development for the metropolitan area that would better connect people to the centre of Chicago and surrounding areas and might relieve stress from the forced displacement of citizens. Smart City The newest label to qualify a city with it’s meaning somewhat difficult to define. After research on the topic I would simplify that a smart city aims to enhance quality, reduce cost, engage citizens and use ICT (information communication technology). It is important to understand that technology and urban planning do not always align. The lifecycle of technology advancement is often measured in years. Urbanism is frequently meant for longer durations nearing 50-100 years in the future. This makes it important to asses developments in their importance and sustainability in the long term. Furthermore it is important to note that technology is simply a means to an end, and should never be the goal in itself. Understanding this is key in realising what developments are more valuable to a city. A smart city meets the demands of it’s citizens so they are not required to live elsewhere. This is In Chicago Issue #1

Smart City

done by improving the quality of its citizens’ lives by sustainable social, economic and urban development both simultaneously and transversally, acknowledging and using technological advancement to provide more efficient management of the city’s services and resources. Decline A major issue in a number of American cities like Chicago is decline. Dense cities that have experienced notable population loss. In Chicago this is mostly due to people moving to suburbs. Since the infrastructure of the city was built to support a larger population, its maintenance can become a serious concern. Large American cities appeared in a time of high industrialisation and rapid immigration. Chicago’s population multiplied tenfold from 1850 to 1870, endured the 1871 Great Chicago Fire and rose to more than 500,000 by 1880. This figure entered the seven digits by 1900 as it became a center for railroads, meat

No zoning ordinance, still the most frequent tool of American local landuse planning, explicitly anticipates that the locality or its neighbourhoods will lose population.

processing, timber brokering, and finance. The overall boundaries expanded, with affluent neighbourhoods for the local elites and ethnic enclaves for the working classes. During the 20th century, American city and regional planning tried to manage the pressures of rising urban and later suburban populations, as well as the effects of industrial growth by means of local zoning ordinances, state land-use regulations and a multitude of laws. Population and economic growth provided both the norm and the ideal to guide development. In the following decades American planning devices focused on growth control, growth management and eventually smart growth, not showing signs of understanding it’s 39

position as declining. (Popper & Popper, Smart decline in post-carbon cities, 2010) Suburbanization Suburbs first emerged on a large scale in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of improved rail and road transport, which led to an increase in commuting. A suburb is a residential area or a mixed use area, either existing as part of a city or urban area or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city. Census shows that since the 50’s the population of the metropolitan area is growing, whilst the population within city limits is shrinking. A suburb is attractive because of an abundance of adjacent flat land, Bigger family size homes, space for children to play and good quality public schools. When simplified this can be shown as a suburban formula aimed at improving quality and reducing cost. Considering desired qualities are not the same for every person I believe this is mostly due to one’s moment in the cycle of life. Starting with the age to leave home (18-30) and live on one’s own. Either going to college or start working. This phase connects with small one person living spaces or couples moving in together, located near multiple amenities. Lower income effects ways of travel and needs in housing both on location and quality level. This changes when people get children (20-50) as this is likely to cause a shift in preferred amenities. A higher income gradually makes travel more affordable. At the age of 50-60 the raised children probably leave the house and start their own 18-30 life cycle. They will come over sometimes but the home has a chance of being underused. Coming up on 60-80 years of age possible grandchildren further change the demands on housing and amenities. At a certain old age it is common to move to specialised homes where there is better care for elderly health and safety. ‘’Now it is a problem that after young people live in a prosperous city for a few years, they’re finding it increasingly hard to get the economic foothold that would allow them to leave. Median wages have fallen for millennials almost across the board, which means young people have had a hard time saving money and


Railway

Primary roads

Secondary roads

Industrial corridors

Principal cities

Airports

QUALITY - Campus

QUALITY - Food processing QUALITY - Technology hub QUALITY - Network core

QUALITY Rural

QUALITY - Rail industry

QUALITY - Rural POTENTIAL - US High speed rail hub

Clustering

Quality and potential

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Vision


Accompanying its strong asset base, Chicago has significant challenges. After a strong post-industrial economic recovery in the 1990s, growth in population, employment, productivity, and GDP all underperformed trends in other major U.S. cities in the first decade of this century. This is partly because the region is not fully utilizing its stock of labor, as persistent concentrated poverty, high crime, and underperforming schools curtail economic opportunity in African-American and Latino communities. Chicago’s struggles with local accessibility also contribute to the underutilization of labor. The City of Chicago boasts one of the more comprehensive public transit systems in the country, and local leadership has recently stressed alternative forms of travel, including bike lanes and car-sharing programs. But where the region struggles is connecting workers to jobs. Nearly 80 percent of the metropolitan area’s working-age residents live near a transit stop (the average among top 100 U.S. metros is 69 percent), but only 24 percent of the region’s jobs are reachable via transit in under 90 minutes, well below the 100-metro average of 30 percent.15 Decades of sprawl have pushed two-thirds of jobs beyond 10 miles from the downtown.

OUTSIDE INWARD - High speed rail - Commuter rail - Metro (subway) - Car (inner city) - Light rail (L) - Streetcar - Bicycle - On foot 60 km / 37 mi 24 km / 15 mi 13 km / 8 mi 8.8 km / 5 mi 6.9 km / 4 mi 2.7 km / 1.7 mi 2.5 km / 1.5 mi 1.2 km / 0.8 mi -

SOURCE: the brookings institution; the 10 traits of globally fluent metro areas

Downtown commute from:

Time in minutes 0 15

30

45

60

1. Waukegan National Airport (45 miles) 2. Dupage County Airport (41.8 miles) 3. O’hare International Airport (18 miles) 4. Bolingbrook’s Clow InternationalAirport (32 miles) 5.Chicago Midway International Airport (10.8 miles) 6. Gary Airport (24.5 miles) 7. City of Joliet (39.7 miles) 8. Village of South Holland (22.7 miles) Commuter rail Metro Car Light rail (L) Streetcar Bicycle On foot

In Chicago Issue #1

Smart City

Commuter distance: analyses of travel times, connecting people to jobs.

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16

4 10 kilometers

miles 1.6 6.4 16

1 4 10

Agriculture Conservation Open space Industry

Open space Agricultural Conservation Infrastructure Industry Haarlem, NL

10

Amsterdam, NL

16

4

Gouda, NL

West Chicago, DuPage

6.4

1

Zoetermeer, NL

6.4

1

1.6

The Hague, NL

O’Hare, DuPage

Food processing

miles

Dordercht, NL

Chicago, Cook

Tech hub

kilometers

Bolingbrook, Will/DuPage

Network core

Leiden, NL

Waukegan, Lake

Campus

Land use

Rotterdam, NL

Rural

1.6

Joliet, Will

High-speed rail hub

miles

Chicago Heights, Cook

Rural

kilometers

Gary, Lake (IN)

Rail industrial

Type Space

Industry Non-project space

42

Reference Projection


decline

smart city

gentrification

Decline Caused by not meeting needs

Smart city Focuses on development, improvement and renewal

Gentrification Happens when citizens are not included

Is caused by not meeting needs

Focuses on development, improvement and renewal

Happens when we do not include all citizens

Social development

Economic development Increase quality

Improve sustainable

Urban development citizens not required to live elsewhere

Services Reduce cost

Improve city management efficiency of

Resources

building the good credit needed to secure a mortgage and buy a house elsewhere.’’ (Frey, W. Brookings Institution, 2015) Gentrification Although the opinions on the origin of gentrification vary, there is an overlap in the overall definitions as to the effects that occur. Gentrification is concerned with a middle-class oriented transformation of an area, effecting local housing stock price appreciation, growing house expense burden for low-income and working-class households, and inso doing changing the local social composition. Seeing that modern household sizes are getting smaller I believe that when younger people move in to a home previously owned by a low income family the number of residents per household will keep shrinking. This is why addressing gentrification is of importance to the decline happening in Chicago. In Chicago Issue #1

Smart City

Beside simple numbers of population, gentrification progresses class inequality and undermines diversity. After years of excessive growth the city is currently shrinking. In light of decline, suburbanisation, gentrification and the anticipation of the ‘move back to the city’ the smart thing for Chicago is to establish a plan of growth for the region. Proposal To group industrial corridors, residential areas and airports in subcenters spread over the metropolitan area, connecting them with a commuter rail improved to meet an average speed of 160mph. All subcenter hubs will be within 17 minute travel of downtown. 8 Mile radius circles approximate 15 minute travel by subway between edges. 8 mile circles are placed to cover hubs and most amounts of industry. This way the positioning near a subcenter combined with the 43

high speed commuter rail results in an average 30 minute commute to downtown. Both the global average and the same as taking the light rail ‘L’, green line from Harlem. All subcenters posses potential in local qualities making it possible to establish Chicagoland as independent network of agriculture, education, technology, food processing, commerce and rail industry. After tracing agriculture, conserved areas, and certain woodland land-use, the remaining space is divided in industrial zones and mixed use areas both expected to grow. Each subcenter requires a specific inner plan of mobility to connect the area to the center and every area demands it’s own urban program. As a reference I projected 8 cities of the Dutch Randstad (7.2million people) onto the Metro area of Chicago (9.1million people).


44


smart city strategy

kilometers miles

1.6

6.4

16

1

4

10

Linetypes

Program

U.S. High-speed rail

Transporthub

Commuter rail

Residential Office

Subway / Lightrail

Retail

Contemporary borders

Education Research Health

CHARACTERISTIC Campus

Hotel Production

CHARACTERISTIC Food processing CHARACTERISTIC Technology hub CHARACTERISTIC Network core

CHARACTERISTIC Rural

CHARACTERISTIC Rail industry

POTENTIAL US High speed rail hub

CHARACTERISTIC Rural

In Chicago Issue #1

Smart City

45


ST

LO U I S Esmeralda Bierma

After our intense first three weeks of absorbing ‘the big city’ Chi-town, it was time to explore the Midwest more and get a feeling of the scale by taking a roadtrip to St. Louis.

its simplicity but yet so rich in everything. The love, the care for proportions, the integration with nature, the materials, the expression of its time... Vasily Kandinsky says: ‘a true work of art speaks immediately to the spectator. The spectator should immediately respond to the work of art’. Farnsworth House certainly does speak directly to the spectator. I could not wait to take off my shoes (this was obligatory for entering the interior) and walk on my socks in this weekend house like it was my very own holiday home. The wooden block that creates zones within one space is my favorite – the setback between, above and under the panels makes the object friendly. Futhermore I loved the mini beam handles on the kitchen cabinets – you see it when you open the cabinet and hold the small section of the beam in your hand.

Pruitt Igoe, the social housing project in St. Louis in 1951, was thought to be the epitome of modernist architecture - high-rise, ‘designed for interaction’, and a solution to the problems of urban development and renewal in the middle of the 20th century. Instead, it was big failure. Around 1970 the building was almost abandoned and two years later they decided to demolish it. It was Charles Jencks who wrote that the destruction of Pruitt-Igoe was ‘the day Modern architecture died’. The documentary Pruitt-Igoe Myth gave us a good insight that it is not just the architecture that failed and even blinded us to the real problems that led to decline of social housing: the social, economic and legislative issues. With this food for thought from watching The Pruitt-Igoe Myth movie, we finished the night and next morning 8 o clock we left the city with our 12 person Ford van.

Our journey continued along Road 53. It was still a few hours drive to St. Louis. On our way we saw the landscape pass by. Mainly corn agriculture and farming, one of the biggest drivers of local economies in the Midwest. The sun set in the gently undulating landscape of Illinois and we drove into St. Louis by night. After dropping our stuff at hostel Huckleberry Finn, where we slept together in a single creepy room with bunk beds, we hit the town. Beers and pizza and we ended up seeing two live bands performing: The Yanks in the Irish pub and Kim Massie, the soul mama of St Louis in another bar. Kim was big and fat and had a great and powerful voice that blew us away. Roman fell in love immedeatly and bought the CD as a souvenir.

The first stop one was in a South West suburb of Chicago: Bolingbrook, a typical democratized american dream neighborhood - driving through empty curved streets with perfectly mown lawns on both sides and of course the catalogus houses that seemed straight from the sitcom Desperate housewives. On some of the houses was a sign for an open visit. We got excited to see one of these ‘dreamhouses’ from the inside and parked the car. We rang the bell at the frontdoor, but nobody answered - than we realized that you always enter a house through backdoor. The office was in the basement, which was almost as big as the house itself. The office-woman said we were allowed to walk through the house on our own. It was enormous and the interior confirmed our image of how a ‘dreamhouse’ should look like: all the rooms had their own walk-in closet and bathroom, the masterbedroom even had a jacuzzi, most materials looked expensive but were fake. The double high entrance with a balcony from where you can look down on the people entering the house, french balconies that you can not use and a Mexican garderner. We took a photo of Jorik – our American Dream expert with the secret desire to live here once – standing in the double height entrance hall behind the balustrade. We left quickly. Back in the van we noticed geese flying around everywhere. Roman remarked: ‘The mexican gardners drive around, releasing geese to enhance the scenery: ‘He esse the gringos are here. Release the geese!’ We were all laughing – even the flying geese look like if they are part of the idealized streetscape. The mood was settled and we continued our trip to Farnsworth, just one hour to go.

The next day we felt like Chinese tourists doing Europe in one week (one day Paris, one day Rome, one day Londen and so on). After this rush they can show the pictures at home, proving to themselves and others where they have been. We had the morning at WashU with a lecture of Derek Hoeferlin on Dutch and American water management, a campus tour by Donald Koster and a 30 minute visit at the museum of St. Louis with the extention of David Chipperfield. With Nick Chilton, a local student, we went to the Pruit-Igoe site, where nobody took care since the demolishing of the building – the site was fully taken over by nature, everything wiped as if there never was a building before. In the afternoon we finally made it downtown, where Nick showed us around. Walking between the cluster of St Louis’ early skyscrapers of the late 19th century, we encountered the most important one of them: Wainwright Building of Louis Sullivan. It was Frank Lloyd Wright who called the Wainwright Building ‘the very first human expression of a tall steel office-building as architecture’. The walk continued to the Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen which is an icon of St. Louis. Normally it is possible to enter the 630-foot monument and go up, but as the site was under construction we could only touch the skin of this tallest stainless steel monument of the world.

After having had so many lectures during our Bachelor of Architecture, where they show and talk about the Farnsworth House of Mies van der Rohe, we finally got to the meet the masterpiece itself. A great opening scene which slowly revealed the floating inside-outside piece. Our tourguide was talking about the relation between Farnsworth and Mies van de Rohe and the issues with flood waters. Meanwhile my mind wandered off a bit: this steel and glass house was really beautiful:

In Chicago Issue #1

St. Louis

Grabbing some snacks and drinks for the way back, we left the town. Still a long drive back home but finally out of the rush. Sleeping, reading, listening to music or playing games and meanwhile Roland drove us home savely into Chicagoland.

47


K E E S

K A A N

How to spend time. Interview by Yanthe Boom, Wouter Kamphuis

The Architectural Biennale draws many a creative mind to the city of Chicago. In search of a more global recognition it attempts to create opportunity for designers, planners, shapers of the world to discuss the future of cities, buildings and the people that live there. One of these minds is Kees Kaan from KAAN Architecten. Kaan was invited to lecture and join a discussion panel on ‘SOM Legacy’ with Brian Lee (SOM) and Reinier de Graaff (OMA). We met up with Kaan to discuss his interest in Chicago, Zeitgeist, Beautification and what determines his method & praxis.

and make them your own, become really good at it and only then you get an eye for the things you normally wouldn’t see. Is that the reason we see so many Mies towers in Chicago? No, I don’t think so. The towers of Mies have been copied a lot.

I use Zeitgeist to tell that, as an architect, you do not have to reinvent the wheel every time in each project. Be innovative, but not every project can be original, because we are trapped in the box called Zeitgeist. Even if you built the craziest imaginable building, it is still embedded in convention; it is being used by the people of today. Innovative in terms of formalistic architecture is not innovative, but just looks different. You see a lot of buildings in which too many ideas are tried to fit in, and in the end it is just rubbish. Mies van der Rohe, on the contrary is an example of an architect who does the same thing in his projects and becomes really good at it. “I don’t want to be original, I want to be good.” In other words, study certain topics very well In Chicago Issue #1

Kees Kaan

Next stop is a small restaurant located at the Riverwalk. The transition from overview on top to getting right in middle of it all on street level. Many viewpoints, great architecture from many decades and the colour of the bridges complimenting the river. The Beauty of experiencing a city by having dinner in the streets. The title of the lecture during the Chicago Architecture Biennale was Beautification. We did some ‘research’ a.k.a. googled beautification and found a reliable source that says: “With regard to a city, or urban area, this most often involves planting trees, shrubbery, and other greenery.”1 Probably not what you are trying to tell; what does beautification mean to you?

We met Kees around 5PM in the lobby of the Hardrock Cafe on Michigan Avenue and suggested we’d have a night out in Chicago and let him decide where to go. First stop, the Hancock Tower. In your article (the building site of modern architecture, on louis Sullivan in Chicago) in Lectures on Architectural design (fall 2014) you wrote about zeitgeist: ” ‘Normal buildings’, the ones architects try to develop on a daily basis are mostly commissioned by professional clients. Being strongly embedded in reality, this ‘normal’ architecture reflects ‘Zeitgeist’”. Would you consider The Hancock as a normal building, because it fits in a certain period in time?

see what followed from Burnham’s grid, the impact of developments the city has been through.

Interior of the Auditorium Building

Can zeitgeist be seen as the context in which you design? Certainly in time, technology and cultural sense; it contains everything. It’s the context you work with and work in. You can’t look out of the box actually. Even if you think you do, you don’t. If you have the ability to zoom in on certain things in the box, you put limitations on yourself and you can really focus, like Mies did. By not doing too many themes, the universal themes will become the important. Though, it can be quite tricky; quality that is not always immediately appreciated and not always easy to explain to clients. Especially in these times with commercial clients who change their minds every day, it is very hard to stick to precision. If you want to do something with great precision you need alternative clients. Now the Hancock Tower is a great place to start in Chicago because of the view. It’s distance from the downtown core presents a good position to fully take in everything that goes on in a city this scale. You can 49

When preparing the lecture, I wanted to tell something about what I have seen and learned in this city. And that has to do with Louis Sullivan on one hand, and Daniel Burnham on the other. Architects from the end of the ninetieth century, who both put a mark on the city, and in a way to America. Sullivan, with his one-liner form follows function, could be seen as a forerunner of modernism who claimed the skyscraper and designed influential buildings in the city. Daniel Burnham was less rigid in term of following the rules of the Chicago school. He was responsible for the World Fair of 1893, which, for me, marked the beginning of a new period and the end of the Chicago School. Burnham turned away from what he called ‘the black city’ and introduced a more classical vocabulary with the World Fair. He paid a lot of attention to the landscaping and public realm and with its white classical buildings it turned out to be the white city. Chicago was eager to show they had culture, were civic and civilized and not only wild and commercial. The white city became a symbol for that. Later, Burnham switched more to urban planning and made a masterplan for Chicago. He had to convince the business men in Chicago that it was important to make the city beautiful and that they had to invest in the city. At first my interpretation of Burnham was


50


In Chicago Issue #1

Kees Kaan

51


‘’Focus on one idea and execute that perfectly rather than multiple ideas that are executed decent.’’

that he wanted to go back European classism, which is not really progressive. Later, I understood that Burnham realized that it is important to look after the visual interests of clients, but also collective interests: boulevards and parks. In short, let the whole city benefit from the project and improve the quality of life. Beautification in that sense is to convince the market to do collective efforts to make cities better.

person. Back in the day everyone knew each other, Wright worked for Sullivan and had Dinners with Burnham. Architecture critics tend to put everything in boxes, styles and lose the fact that it’s just a dirty reality where a lot of elements pass by each other, in times just coincidence. The reason why I am telling this is that I want students to understand that they have to think as an architect and not as an architecture critic. As an architect it’s important to move beyond

Are zeitgeist and beautification topics that influences your work for a long time? Yes, in the lecture I explained this implicit on the basis of my projects. I always seek to explain the general values. How can you make something with your architecture that escapes the issues of the day, the zeitgeist. Try to keep it simple so you can achieve higher qualities. Additionally, each project must somehow make the collective better. The city has to become better from the project and not draw too much attention without content. What started your fascination about Chicago? What first brought me to Chicago was back when I just started Claus&Kaan and we went to New York and we’re really intrigued by this scale of a city. I was fascinated by the buildings like they are personalities. I started reading and that is the way the snowball effect started. At first thoughts similar to Frank Lloyd Wright and later architects like Sullivan and Mies. What always gets me is the personal, the story of the architect as

Kees Kaan lecturing at ArcheWorks

the scientific, the categorised, and understand what it really is, how it works. Often is the reason behind a design more practical than architecture critics might trying to let you belief. Do not take anything for granted (zoete koek) I know, because I read what critics write about my designs and it’s remarkable how often I see something that just isn’t true. It’s nice to hear a glorified story to it, but often it’s just much more simple and determined in practice. After dinner we would like to watch a show downtown. 52

We head over to the Auditorium Theatre on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Congress street. One of the best known designs by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, it was completed in 1889. The building is still being used for a number of different events such as opera, concerts and dance. What is your method or way of work as you enter a new project? We look at how we spend our time. The most important thing is the concept. We put most of our effort into thorough research, we’re almost always find our concept. and this concept will last us the entire project. We often try multiple concepts simultaneously to see what every concept means towards certain elements of the project. This way we tray to estimate when and where the design proces might get though. This mostly intuitive. We always arrive at a certain narrative to give shape to the project. At a certain moment the project shows what i wants to be. For example with the NFI (Dutch Forensic Institute) I knew this was what the building wanted to be. But what do i have then? How will i arrive at this point. It is most important to incorporate all input and obstacles you are dealing with. Sometimes the track of a project offers you one month to come up with a clear vision while the same project will last you about 10 years of work. This really shows why it’s so important to have a sharp clean concept that will carry all the way through the project.


In Chicago Issue #1

Kees Kaan

53


C H I C AG O

PU B L I C

SC H O O L S

W he n co mpl e xi t y bec omes obstacle - the CPS c ausing ov erc ro wdedness, u n de r u tilization, division and c ompetition in itself. Kelly Kleijweg

Willis Wagons used to relieve overcrowdedness in the 1960’s

In Chicago Issue #1

Chicago Public Schools

55


Air Force High School

Chicago Military High School

7.15 am

6.00 pm

Military Academy 329 9-12 1 U

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

8.00 am

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Perspectives - Math & Sci High School 8.00 am

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Charter 535 6-12 2 U

8.00 am

6.30 am

Selective Enrollment 1672 9-12 1+ E

8.00 am

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Neighborhood 1687 9-12 2+ E

8.00 am

Neighborhood 634 9-12 2 U

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Charter 416 9-12 2+ U

YCCS - McKinley

YCCS - Youth Connection

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Charter 193 10-12 1+ E

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Charter 174 10-12 2+ E

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Asian Black Hispanic White Other U Underutilized E Efficient

56

Career Academy 746 9-12 2 U

Unknown

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Charter 329 6-12 2 E

Urban Prep - West High School

4.00 pm

8.00 am

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

4.00 pm

Charter 331 9-12 2 U

Young Womens High School 7.15 am

Charter 258 10-12 2+ E

3.16 pm

Perspectives - Joslin High School

Urban Prep - Bronzeville High School 3.15 pm

7.00 am

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

6.00 pm

YCCS - Addams

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

4.30 pm

Juarez High School 4.30 pm

Phillips High School

5.30 pm

Dunbar High School

Contract 324 9-12 2 U

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Jones High School 2.45 pm

Special Education 136 9-12 ? U

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

3.05 pm

Military Academy 323 9-12 1 U

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Graham High School 7.15 am

6.30 am

Chicago Tech High School

Type: Number of students: Grades: Perfomance: Utilization:

Charter 341 8-12 2+ E

3.30 pm


Long hallways lined with lockers and classrooms, bustling with happy students going about their day in school. Large cafeteria’s where every clique has their own designated tables and no one dares to mess with the status quo. Big yellow school buses, after school sports in the gym or under the lights during Friday night football game. Everyone knows what American high school life is like; or so they think. We’ve seen it portrayed so often in movies and TV shows, it’s become some sort of enchanted world. The first time this enchantment broke for me was when I arrived at my high school in a small town in Pennsylvania. Fascinated by the America(n high schools) shown on TV, I felt the need to experience this life for myself, during a yearlong exchange. While the main picture painted on TV was quite accurate - the hallways lined with lockers and the importance of sports and school spirit - this small rural high school was also quite different. Since everyone had pretty much known each other since birth and the amount of students was quite low, it was an environment where no real groups were to be distinguished, the jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, etc all mingled together during lunchtime and after school activities. Apparently not everything shown on TV is what it’s really like. History When I first googled Chicago Public Schools, most news headlines weren’t positive. The third largest school district in the United States has quite a few issues with money, dropping enrollment numbers, school closings and just an overall bad reputation. These issues aren’t just a recent thing. Ever since the first official public school in Chicago was founded in 1834, there have been multiple events that show that problems within CPS have always been there. I think this also has a lot to do with the way Chicago has grown since it’s received its charter in 1837. The time before World War I was a time of rapid growth, with immigrants from all over the world settling in Chicago and the need for the public school system to ‘aid in the assimilation to American life’. After World War II, the superintendent aimed to end blatant political interference in public schools and CPS benefited from the postwar babyboom and the buoyant economy. The next major event that put CPS in bad light are the racial segregation issues of the 1960s. Chicago as a city has long been divided into different neighborhoods with different ethnic populations, but in the 1960s, with the migration of the white population to the suburbs and the growth of the African American population within the city, certain public schools in these African American neighborhoods had to deal with massive overcrowdedness. Instead of building new buildings or making predominantly white public schools in the area take in black students, the superintendent aimed to solve the problem by putting up temporary mobile classrooms near the overcrowded black schools, later dubbed ‘Willis wagons’. This situation led to protest and was not good for the reputation of CPS. Nor were the massive amount of teacher strikes in the 1980s. At one point CPS performed so badly that the US Secretary of Education called Chicago Public Schools ‘the worst in the nation’. Quite a few things have changed since then in the way In Chicago Issue #1

Chicago Public Schools

CPS operated, but with recent money issues and the massive inequality in the performance of the different schools within the system, troubled times are not over yet for CPS. Chicago schools After this historic research into CPS, I became curious about what the situation is like right now. You see the negative headlines, the comments on how it is still one of the biggest, but also one of the worst public school

72% CURRENT ENROLMENT OF IDEAL CAPACITY

An efficient school has an enrollment of 75-80%

systems in the nation, but what does that mean? In order to narrow down the topic, I focused solely on the high schools within CPS, which already encompasses 195 schools, and 8 different types of schools offered, from the ‘normal’ neighborhood schools with attendance boundaries, to special education and citywide schools with selective enrollment criteria. CPS provides data on all these schools regarding number of students, programs offered and performance rating. But what fascinated me the most, is when I came across something called ‘Space utilization’. Space utilization is the efficiency of space use in a school building. This means that the maximum capacity for a school is 30 students per permanent classroom in the building. The ideal enrollment of a school, which dubs it ‘efficient’, is 75-80% of the maximum capacity. Schools with an

OVERCROWDED

EFFICIENT

UNDERUTILIZED

Current enrollment in CPS high schools achieves only 72%

enrollment under this ideal enrollment are underutilized, if they’re over, they’re called overcrowded by CPS. According to this calculation of the current High Schools within CPS 9 are overcrowded, 78 underutilized, 97 are efficient and of the other 2 the status is unknown. Present Knowing the history of CPS and factoring in the decline of the population of Chicago within the CPS school dis57

trict and the tendency of more affluent citizens to send their children to private schools, this number doesn’t surprise me. It did however make me even more curious about the experience within the schools. Do they really feel underutilized? Is the performance level also reflected in the physical environment of the schools? What are these (large) urban high schools like? To get an answer to these questions, I visited 3 CPS high schools: Whitney M Young Magnet Charter school (efficient, selective enrollment), Benito Juarez Community Academy (efficient, neighborhood), and Roger C Sullivan High School (underutilized, neighborhood). The first school I visited was Whitney Young HS. Originally the plan was to go there to interview the principal, but the plan changed while I was there and it was actually more interesting to be able to walk around the school and see and feel the building and atmosphere. Whitney Young is different from the other two schools I visited in that it is a citywide selective enrollment school and serves grades 7-12 instead of 9-12 like the other two high schools. Walking around the building it really felt like an American high school, with the lockers, the massive hallways, the band room, auditorium, and even special dance classrooms. But because it teaches to young (7th&8th grade) and smart students, it also felt quite like my secondary school in the Netherlands, with the way the students behaved and how tiny some of the students were. Overall, the vibe was quite positive and it seemed like a good and enriching learning environment. The second school I visited was Juarez HS, a neighborhood high school in Pilsen, the area we lived in for 3 months. Although the Pilsen area has been getting better the past few years, some of the things at the school still reminded of the fact that it is meant for students from a less affluent neighborhood. I visited the school on the day they had an open house, which resulted in me spending an hour sitting with the security guard before the principle had time to speak to me. Instead of walking around the school by myself, I got a tour from two teachers, who told me a lot about the school. A few of the things that really made this school different from Whitney Young HS for me, was the auto shop they had in the school, which is meant for the education of students that want to pursue a career in that area, and the fact that the school is really open to the community. The building has a lot of useful resources, like gyms, a pool, and an outside soccer field, and instead of fencing in these areas, like Whitney Young does, these areas are opened to the community after school activities are over, and thus provide useful amenities to the surrounding area, which they can theoretically also get in the neighborhood park, but there is a long waiting list, while the school can also provide. This also brings in a little necessary extra money for the school, since due to its budget issues, CPS only provides a small amount of the money these schools need to function. Whitney Young has the ability to hold fundraisers for the maintenance of certain aspects of their buildings, because their students usually come from wealthier families, but schools like Juarez and Sullivan don’t have this ability. The last school I visited was Sullivan High School. This is the only underutilized school I visited and


though I hadn’t been at Juarez during a school day, it was quite striking how calm and quiet Sullivan was during the change of classes. (Although the principal usually stands outside his office in the upstairs hallway because it is a spot where a lot of fights used to take place during these class changes). The second time I visited Sullivan, to take pictures of the interior, the school was even more quiet, due to an assembly taking place in the auditorium. With most of the students in one place, it almost felt like an event during the weekend, which not every student has to attend. There are certain standard ‘American High School elements’ each of the schools had. The large hallways with lockers, the gyms, cafeterias, standard classroom furniture etc. But each school felt different, mostly because of the difference in students. The mixed ethnicities and younger students at Whitney Young, the

predominantly hispanic students at Juarez, and the little amount of students at Sullivan. The entrance into the building also played a large role in the feel of the building. At Whitney Young there were no metal detectors, though there was a security guard, and the main office is located directly across the main entrance. There is no direct connection to the classrooms on the other side and other floors of the building. At Juarez the metal detectors were put back in place when the open house was over, indicating that the entrance is quite a different situation on a normal school day. Sullivan high school also has metal detectors placed directly at the entrance, as well as machines through which the students should put their bags. I guess these measures are meant to make the schools safer, but they also set quite a grim tone as to what to expect beyond the entrance area. Having really thought about it now, with a little distance

from the project and Chicago, I think the thing that struck me most about CPS is the diversity of schools within one system. The statement I made a few weeks ago already covers this, but it’s quite weird to wrap your head around the fact that the system that is called ‘Chicago Public Schools’ has such a massive number of schools (almost 700), and such a wide range of school types, performance levels and inequality in the funding of the separate schools. Proposal The data CPS has about its schools, doesn’t tell everything about how the schools function. Yes, it is to some extent a way to protect a certain standard of education and makes it visible when those standards are not met, but the dry data also erases the differences in students these schools in different areas of Chicago face. Schools with students from a less affluent

Schools get federal funding through No Child Left Behind, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the National School Lunch Program, and a few specific Federal Grants.

Federal

Debt

The state provides CPS with General State Aid, a poverty grant, and block grants, as well as a contribution directly meant for Capital.

Pensions

State

Schools

All schools get a certain amount of money per student: ‘student based budgeting’

Local

Most of the local funding for CPS comes from property taxes, which is also used for parks, the county and the city, amongst other things.

10% xE Residential

Chicago Public Schools

Capital

A small amount of the budget is directly invested in the buildings CPS owns

25% xE Commercial 25% xE Industrial

Property Tax

Central office

Investment

Network

Above: CPS funding system Right: Roger C.Sullivan High School

areas have always had more trouble with drop outs and more violence within the schools, while (citywide) selective enrollment schools don’t have to deal with these issues because they simply don’t allow these students to come into their school. I think this is one of the main problems within CPS. You have so many different types of schools, from small neighborhood schools in less affluent areas, to career academies, to citywide selective enrollment charter schools, that it is hard to maintain one way of dealing with schools within the system. Every type of schools and every specific school, needs a specific plan to deal with the problems and challenges it faces. This can’t be solved with architecture, it is to be solved on a management level within CPS, and thus not within my expertise to propose a solution for this problem. However, I do believe, because I have experienced it myself, that a

high school can play an important role in a community, when it comes to hosting events, playing a large role in the day-to-day life of students, staff and parents, besides just the mandatory education. If these schools offer more than just the standard curriculum, more even than the additional after school activities, the school and building can play a more important role in the lives of the surrounding community. By making the school more important, the community will be more connected to it, value everything the space and the building offer more, and this could have a positive effect on the performance of the school as educational institute. After proposing a ‘24H-school’/community school, I came across a page on the CPS website that states this is already happening in a few schools, where they also offer a medical clinic for students and the surrounding community, open the building to host events that aren’t 58

directly related to education and thus playing a larger role within the entire community. Especially in a city in decline it’s important to take a look at what the needs are, what is already there and how these two can be connected. When the need for public schools in certain areas becomes less, but the need for other amenities, like work centers, adult education, libraries, etc. rises, it’s useful to not always focus on building something new, but in also (re)using the resources that are already present. Especially in communities where education is valuable, but not valued, the combination of multiple uses and the connection of communities to these places can empower the community. A more efficient multi-use of educational institutes can benefit both the schools and the community.


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LO O P T he artefac t. Maria Rohof

The first notion of the Loop station in 1895 Sanborn map correction, pasted over the original drawing from 1891

In Chicago Issue #1

Loop

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Map of two blocks around the Loop, adapted from the original Chicago Sanborn maps, collaged with historic building development

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The title, Loop, a artefact, is coming from a large fascination that I found during the first weeks of my time in Chicago. I was looking to the city from a far distance at the lakeside, asking myself what of the city really interested me. I came up with the Loop but it was difficult to explain why so I started to make a short film about it. It this first film about the Loop I really try to capture what for me makes the loop so special. For me the Loop is maybe the most honest part of Chicago. By honest I mean that in my opinion a lot of architecture and culture in America is not original. The Loop is showing for me “the real”, in a way ugliness. Really showing it’s true identity, also in a transparant way, you can see through it, it’s not hiding anything. “What you see is what you get”. So where is the Loop coming from. Over 70 companies tried from 1869 till 1900 to built elevated railways but the South Side Rapid Transit Railroad Company (1888) was the first one who was capable to built it. On the 6th of June in 1892 they openend the line with steam locomotives. It was built in city owned ally’s because it was difficult to arrange all the signatures of the property owners along the street, the result was the nickname “Ally ‘L’”. It was located from old congress to 39th street and extended to Englewood and the Stock Yards.

Loop’s completion. The Metropolitan’s, for instance, went from 40,000 to 60,000; an increase of 50%. Story of Yerkes In 1881 Yerkes traveled to Fargo in the Dakota Territory in order to obtain a divorce from his wife of over twenty-two years. Later that year, he wedded the 24-year-old Mary Adelaide Moore and moved to Chicago. He opened a stock and grain brokerage but soon became involved with the city’s public transportation system. In 1886, Yerkes and his business partners used a complex financial deal to take over the North Chicago Street Railway and then proceeded to follow this with a string of further take-overs until he controlled a majority of the city’s street railway systems on the north and west sides. However, he never achieved his ultimate goal—a monopoly of the city’s streetcar lines: the South Side’s Chicago Street Railway remained forever out of his reach. Yerkes was not averse to using bribery and blackmail to obtain his ends.

As can be imagined, the Loop offered the citizens of Chicago advantages they’d never even remotely had access to before. Workers, shoppers and cross-town travelers could now be deposited directly into the central business district or change to another line’s train without walking anywhere. There were also direct entrances to various buildings, most notably the Carson Pirie Scott & Company’s department store. The public was quick to take advantage of the new facilities, as all companies had significant ridership gains after the In Chicago Issue #1

Loop

Yerkes, hoping to escape from a city he had grown to detest, embarked upon a campaign for longer streetcar franchises in 1895. He offered Illinois governor John Peter Altgeld an enormous bribe for his support, but Altgeld rejected the bribe and vetoed the franchise bills. Yerkes renewed the campaign in 1897, and, after a hard-fought battle, secured from the Illinois Legislature a bill granting city councils the right to approve extended franchises. The so-called franchise war then shifted to the Chicago City Council—an arena in which Yerkes ordinarily thrived. A partially reformed council under Mayor Carter Harrison, Jr., however, ultimately defeated Yerkes, with the swing votes coming from aldermen “Hinky Dink” Kenna and “Bathhouse” John Coughlin. In 1899, Yerkes sold the majority of his Chicago transport stocks and moved to New York Yerkes died in New York aged 68 in 1905, a victim of kidney disease The Project My end product really is a collection of things that followed up on each other. First I had my fascination, the elevated Loop from Chicago. I was really interested in the changing environment of the Loop, because that’s makes for me the Loop as a anchor in the city so interesting. It’s a special tension between the objects and his surroundings.

The second line of Chicago, the Lake Street L, built by Michael C. McDonald. His nickname was “King Mike” because he earned his fortune via gambling and after that he became a specialist in the field of public transportation. His line opened in 1893 and went from 52nd av. (Laramie Avenue) to the western city limits, Market & Madison. These elevated tracks where a lot faster than the early cable cars who where running in downtown. Charles Tyson Yerkes (1837 -1905) bought the road after “King Mike” left, really wanted to change this situation in downtown. So he started to built his Union Loop to connect all the elevated lines around the city. First he started to built in 1895 the first part to finished the last part in 1897. This was only possible because he had enough political deftness and power to convince store owners to sign consent forms allowing construction of the overhead structures on their streets (although alley routes were briefly contemplated). Though it was difficult- two segments had to be obtained under the names of existing “L” companies while for the two other legs, two companies, the Union Elevated Railroad and the Union Consolidated Elevated Railroad, had to be created- Yerkes managed to coordinate it all.

small irony that his greatest legacy to the city was The Loop—a rectangle of elevated tracks enclosing Chicago’s business district.

I was looking for detailed information like heights and other dimensions of buildings That was the reason to really dive into old maps. I called almost every library in Chicago to ask where I could get those information. I had luck with the Newberry library where Patrick A. Morris as Map Cataloger worked. I started with him a mail conversation about the Sanborn Maps of Chicago. Charles Tyson Yerkes

In an effort to polish a badly tarnished public image, Yerkes decided in 1892 to bankroll the world’s largest telescope after being lobbied by the astronomer George Ellery Hale and University of Chicago president William Rainey Harper. He had initially intended to finance only a telescope but eventually agreed to foot the bill for an entire observatory. He contributed nearly $300,000 to the University of Chicago to establish

‘The reality and reliability of the of the human world rests primarily on the fact that we are surrounded by things more permanent than the activity by which they were produced’ Hannah Arendt

what would become known as the Yerkes Observatory, located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. If Yerkes could have gotten his way, Chicago would never have had any elevated railroads. So it is no 65

These maps are made through a company that made over whole America very detailed fire insurance maps. All the city’s are divided into different area’s named as volumes. For the Loop area I needed Chicago Volume 1, South Division. Morris explained “Because every copy of a given Sanborn volume is unique in terms of how long it was revised by former owners, you should examine as many different hard copies of volume 1 as possible to see the Loop at different time periods.” He gave me a list where I could find the other Chicago Libraries that had holdings of the Sanborn Maps. So for now it was just collecting al these different editions. During this research I got a grip on how these maps were working, every volume 1, South division was divided into block numbers that mostly contains one or two building blocks, for my research I picked the building blocks next to the loop. In my case that were the numbers: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35, 39, 41, 43, 49, 44, 45, 50, 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69 & 70. This resulted in a big whole inside the overal map with these 45 block numbers on page…? But for me it was an system so I could just photograph these numbers and compare them in the end.


“Monumental space offered each member of a society an image of that membership, an image of his or her social visage ‌ It thus constituted a collective mirror more faithful than any personal one.â€? Henri Lefebvre

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I think this part of a monumental space is very important for the Loop, what kind of function has the Loop beside it’s obvious one? The Loops creates a monumental space inside the city of Chicago who gives the city and their people a identity. Collaps of the Mostar’s bridge at the Bosnian war: ‘Why do we feel more pain looking at the image of the destroyed bridge than the image of massacred people?….Perhaps because we see our own mortality in the collapse of the bridge. We expect people to die; we count on our own lives to end. The destruction of a monument to civilization is something else. The bridge In Chicago Issue #1

Loop

in all its beauty and grace was built to outlive us; it was an attempt to grasp eternity. It transcends our individual destiny. A dead woman is one of us - but the bridge is all of us forever.’ - Slavenka Drakulic For me the Loop has an expiration date. In the book The Chicago Union Loop Elevated Structure - Reasons for not listing there was an article from WLS-TV Editorial (1978). They wrote: “There’s no question right now the “L” is a vital part of Chicago’s downtown life. Each day it brings thousands of workers and shoppers to the heart of the city. Without it the city would be paralyzed. But, preserve it forever and ever??” I like this approach, 67

if there comes a time and the city don’t need the Loop anymore for his purpose the option to demolish it has to be there. Otherwise it becomes an attraction, or worse a museum piece, like Quincy station where it’s already done. It will lose it’s charme. For now the Loop has served for another 37 years after this article is written. The qualities that the Loop bring to the city like: the experience of the elevated/view on the city, the crumbling/imploding effect, grid awareness, transparency, orientation point, sound, traffic flow/movement, the continues, etc. are still there. For me they really make Chicago, Chicago.


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Screenshots from a final movie “See Know Love The Loop”

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R E I N I E R

D E

G R A A F

“Charisma can’t be learned, but it is often the architect’s last line of defense against demanding clients and unsavory economic realties.” Interview by Jorik Bais, Kelly Kleijweg

It is the key line of one of Reinier’s many written pieces.Although he refers to himself as having no charisma, he is a spellbinder when it comes to lecturing. The seriousness of the topics he discusses, get cooled off by a small side-note joke that makes everybody laugh, except for himself. A similar charismatic attribute we noticed during our very first encounter. The interview was supposed to be held in the lobby of the Hard Rock hotel in downtown Chicago. Upon arrival we pushed ourselves through the gold shimmering brass doors which distinctly signify the hotel class. Although one would expect the backstage appearance of black vinyl covered wood and metal, it is only the low light condition and the loud music that mimic the Hard Rock Stage. We noticed a ping pong table in the lobby and started playing to kill the time. When Reinier arrived he walked up to us with a stretched out hand, reaching for the pingpong bat. He was in for a game. Apparently Reinier has a past in playing ping pong and his determination of speaking is visible in his competitive way of playing. After hitting the Chinese business man sitting behind us several times, trying to master the effect ball with a by himself proclaimed bad quality bat, we started looking for a quiet place to start the interview. The game transformed the setting from formal to informal and thus we decided to have the interview in his hotel room at the end of the hallway on the 9th floor. You describe yourself as a man without charisma, yet you manage to control a crowd with humor during your lectures. How does that relate? I don’t really think about it. Humor is also a way of making yourself more comfortable in front of an audience. There’s not really that much behind it. Although, the piece I wrote about charisma is serious, because I do think that in architecture and architectural decisions there are a lot of things that need to be defended, but often the rational, quantifiable data to do so are missing, even though there is a feel for In Chicago Issue #1

Reinier de Graaf

the importance of those aspects. You get that a lot in discussions with clients, that words fail you. And that’s where charisma comes in. But it’s also rooted in a deep belief you have yourself in unarguable things. A reasoning is proof, and is the first destruction of belief. I’m not a religious person, but that’s also why God can’t be depicted. Because if you have to see it to believe it, then you can’t believe anymore. And architecture for that matter has a very large spiritual side, because it has to do with things like beauty and the perception of truth doesn’t come to you purely in language and numbers. Nevertheless, in a world where everyone owes everyone an explanation, those things are very important. Because if you believe, you can believe, but you also can be scammed.

was the pressure of this system that forced western civilization to appropriate behavior. When the alternative fades you see the emergence of economical inequality and deterioration of a system like pensions and such. That structure that was originally defined by the pressure of the alternative. But still, I don’t know. An architect does not create middle-class. But I think in the end it’s the architect’s obligation to dive into the financial situations that shape products and the production of them and be aware of these conditions. I don’t have solutions. The only thing we can do is realize the problem and then communicate it, because that is the initiation of any solution. Most architects however, don’t even think about that. The moment they design a white building without ornament they feel modern and progressive. It’s in the end submitting to something that everything but progressive. Is conducting research like that not very close to being a politician?

Reinier de Graaf visiting Farnsworth House

A city like chicago, a city where you can find a literal spatial translation of economic inequality in the morphology of the city, on which scale should we as architects address these problems, or should we even address them? I don’t know. First of all the United States of America have more socialist foundations than commonly thought. If you look at the ‘New Deal’ of Roosevelt, a collective idea to strengthen the middle class to help the nation out of its financial crisis, you realize that America is way more socialist than you might think. I also think that Western-Europe and America were more socialist under the pressure of the alternative. You have to give the masses just about enough to resist to a radically different system, like communism. So it 71

I think it’s something that applies to most people that have experience in their field, have seen something of the world and have done something and failed, because you usually learn the most from failure. Those are the people that are more experienced than most politicians, about whom you sometimes wonder whether they have ever been outside of their own country. And what of course has happened with privatization and the flight from the public sector, is that all talented people are seeking salvation elsewhere. There are very little talented people going into politics these days, they’re all in different jobs. It’s weird, we (OMA/AMO) made an exhibition for the Venice biennale, called ‘Public Works’. It’s about architects who never had their own firm, but always worked for the municipality or the government. And there was a period in the 50s, 60s where those people made masterpieces. There are great buildings that have the municipality as an author. The Greater London Authority had that, and that was a talent pool that later hatched people like Archie Gram. But that was a huge talent pool of people who took pride in working for the government. I mean, none of the students in your studio will probably apply to


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“There is no shame in not having a project as long as you produce the maximum you can, to make an intellectual attempt.”

work at the municipality in Rotterdam. But in essence, politics is a direct extension of that. In high school the biggest loser used to be the class president, and that is now pretty much the type that goes into politics. It has always surprised me. If you look at Diederik Samsom now, that’s the class president type. It’s not nice to say, but it’s the truth; the biggest losers of architecture are the ‘class presidents’ that work at the municipality or in-house departments of developers. That’s really the worst of the worst. There are similarities between our studio and the practice of AMO to some extent, amo being the conceptual side of OMA, why did the office make that distinction? It’s not really a physical distinction, it functions with people of the office within the office, but it’s more of an orientation. It’s the privatization of a type of work. It was the work we were already doing, because we were always thinking about more than just a building and space. But except for the fact that a building might be a little bit more intelligent because of that fact, you couldn’t really see the fruits of that study. It’s a lot of experience you carry with you because of previous work that finds true meaning within the privatization of its existence. Also, we had more and more clients in need of the autonomy of this system. Some clients think they are in need of a building, but in the end it is not the solution to their problems. If you as an architect only make buildings, you will in the end always claim that building a physical object is the only solution although you might know it’s not. So because of this distinction we can deliver objective research without it hurting the economics of the office. Some of your projects are more about doing research instead of just thinking about the physical appearance of it. At a certain moment you realize that you can’t solve the big underlying issue with architecture. Doesn’t this bother you? I don’t care if we lose a competition, although it has not always been this way. You always have to make sure to

keep a high tempo within the things that you are doing. You can be annoyed the next morning that you’ve lost, but you have to continue working on the next project in the afternoon. All our projects have that high tempo. I write a lot, but it’s more or less detached from my profession as an architect. Sometimes you just have to realize that you can’t do more than acknowledge a certain problem or condition. We work with a big group in our office and the notion of being able to address every problem by yourself is absent. Your incompleteness is being complimented by the qualities of the other. When I hear Kees Kaan talk about how he does everything by himself, like arranging taxes and such, I have respect for that, but I also know that an office can function differently. There is no shame in not having a project as long as you produce the maximum you can to make an intellectual attempt. Or that you have done everything to get to the bottom of a problem. Within that is shame, but not with the lack of having answers to everything. In our studio we are dealing with the topic of ‘decline’ and ‘urban decay’ within Cook county. How can we address a problem of this scale and complexity without working within a scale that forces an ideology onto people that might seem to work initially but ends up failing like Pruitt Igoe? Pruitt Igoe is more complex than that. Originally it was a neighborhood for the middle class. It was racially segregated, but because of that the neighborhood was mixed; you had one half for whites and one for blacks. That’s why nobody fled the city. People had the guarantee of segregated living conditions. When racial segregation became forbidden in 1956 the market formed its own segregation that initiated suburbanization. The fact that there was no fence between you and your poor neighbor resulted in fear and thus the white middle class massively fled towards the suburbs. If markets are free it results in the subversion of solidarity. This was still national, but today we see this problem worldwide. There is less and less work because companies find cheaper areas 74

to produce their products. In India people earn $1,70 an hour. If you would produce an iPhone in the United States it would cost $6000. At some point the whole world is going to be too expensive. Africa obviously is the next in line until it hits the equilibrium. As an architect you can’t deal with these kind of issues. This has to be addressed by politicians. And what irritates me in relation to the Architecture Biennial in Chicago is that because of the disability to solve these big issues, they tend to romanticize dysfunctional situations. For example; you end up with an analysis of patterns of movement through favelas and it is presented as the next intelligent thing, whilst it might not be the only possible model. It is in fact the outcome of something bad. I think that the statement that modernism ended with Pruitt-Igoe is a ridiculous supposition. Modernism has ended because of something completely different. Modernism has ended because of a system in which money was divided in an entirely different way. If you built economically, you build cheap houses. If you build economically now, you still build expensive houses, but with a huge margin of profit that disappears into the pockets of certain people. That’s exactly what is happening, and then you build the same white building, the same modern balconies, the same slab floors, the same modern construction technologies, that serve a completely different purpose than for which they were invented. The point is, Pruitt-Igoe has become a symbol for something that doesn’t work, but in the meantime you also have severely impoverished suburbs, so it has nothing to do with the architecture. Of course it does have to do with poverty and crime and everything that comes out of that, but for that matter you can also make numerous reports on South Central Los Angeles or go to Compton and make a documentary on that and conclude that the single family home doesn’t work. It was of course instrumental, that happening, in propelling the career of an architecture critic. Every generation has the urge to demonstrate that the previous generation has failed, in order to legitimize


their own existence. And in reinstating what they have torn down, I am essentially doing exactly the same. Because at some point you have the status quo, and then rebellion follows; but what follows after rebellion? It’s very hard, to rebel against rebellion, especially when it’s about a generation of baby boomers, because they are with so many, that you don’t believe the rebels. And what I also often do, is glorifying that which has demolished the previous wave of rebellion. Not necessarily because I believe that Pruitt-Igoe was 100% ideal, I just rebel against the rash conclusion that that was the problem. I only glorify Pruitt-Igoe because I’m extremely critical on the sort of observations that people like Jencks and Colin Rowe make.

But heritage is just like putting money in a foundation. When you put money in a foundation, the money is dead. That’s also what happens with a building, you can’t do anything with it anymore. And besides, the weird thing in particular with modern architecture, is that it was never meant to be eternal, it was never built to last forever. But nevertheless, by developing an emotional relationship with it, you make it eternal, which it was never meant to be. And you create more problems that are then attributed to modern architecture.

That is also what you meant yesterday, when you said ‘we have to get clients involved again’. How do you achieve that? Well, I went to visit the Farnsworth House, and Mies knew how to do that. That even the subsequent generations sell the house by auction and that the price is driven up so much, that even the Preservation Society can’t afford it anymore and government money has to be used in order to buy it. It’s a beautiful black hole he created. But he is of course a cheeky one, Mies. What did you do think of the state of the Farnsworth House? Well, they refurbished it nicely. You know, it’s a museum. And Peter Smithson said that very nicely about villa Savoye, and about Corbusier homes. He used to have all these pictures of how they used to be when people lived in them and every now and then there was just a Persian carpet or a wicker chair or a piano in the wrong spot. And at one point the Fondation Le Corbusier took it over and put all Corbusier chairs in it. And Peter Smithson said: ‘You see what happens, it becomes a Richard Meier’ so I thought that was very strong. In Chicago Issue #1

Reinier de Graaf

Reinier de Graaf lecturing at ArcheWorks

In relation to your article about the international mayors convention; cities are continuing to grow and thus gain more power. Do you agree with benjamin barber that mayors will form a new type of parliament? I don’t believe that you can tackle problems of the biggest scale via means of the smallest intervention. The moment you give mayors the same power as the higher politicians they will show the same shortcomings in the end. Mayors are mostly popular because they just because they are not dealing with the big scale national problems. They can steal the show with quick results. 75

Cities are indeed growing and more and more people move to the cities. Some cities are in fact bigger than nations. Democracy has always been about the question of amount so it is undeniable that there will be a shift in which cities become more important in the political constellation. The question however is, if a parliament controls power, who controls the government? You would end up with a parliament of mayors whilst not having a world government. It would be a kind of talk-show. In the end it comes down to subsidiarity; dealing with problems on the appropriate scale. I continue to think there will be a shift with more power of the city in relation to the nation. I was invited to one of those mayor conventions and asked a couple of critical question and because of that there was no room for any public intervention afterwards, so he got mad. So the whole parliament of mayors became an easterneuropean parliament on the very first day. It was also a very bizar convention. For example, the mayor of New York sat next to the mayor of some unimportant small city. But the idea in general also causes problems. If you look at big cities, like Atlanta for example, what Atlanta are we then talking about? Atlanta is a metropolitan area of a bit more than 5 million inhabitants, but Atlanta as a city has less inhabitants than Rotterdam for example; 450 thousand inhabitants. The mayor thus has a mandate over those 450 thousand whilst the problems are in fact the result of urban sprawl. So in the end it affects 5 million people. On that level you have a friction that has to be solved in advance in terms of city councils and such before burdening mayors with world politics. Probably a lot of people that are not inhabitants of the city but only work there, cause huge traffic jam issues. These are issues he can’t deal with because they are bigger than the city itself. So first and foremost a city must be able to govern itself. I see that mayors will become more important, but i think any notion and conclusion by Benjamin Barber in relation to this topic is very sad. He is operationalizing it solely to strengthen the sales numbers of his book. Those solutions are merely quick-fix solutions and gimmicks.


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Privatized public realm and publicly accessible private realm result in a lack of citizenship to act according to preference. Jorik Bais

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Building heights

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Once a rapidly expanding city, Chicago needed a system to facilitate efficient navigation throughout its period of vast growth: the grid. This rigid matrix distinctly separates the American city from any other. It is mesmerizing to let your eyes glide along vastly spread high-rises until they meet the horizon, ornamented and modernist facades illuminated by the flashing lights of Chicago’s elevated transit system, as its cars make 90-degree turns. The built appears as solid, while the grid forms the void that forces it into a system: a systemized repetition of poché and blank space. It never fails to impress. Significance lies in the differences between the public and private realms. In the wake of suburbanization, corporate ownership has taken over the heart of the city, creating a center of companies and firms with 9-5 schedules. A monotonous loop of movement during the day, a repetition of glooming monoliths at night.

undeniably fail to impress on an aesthetic level. The vertical is vague in its function and accessibility, which begs the question: what is truly private/public? To investigate this question, it was necessary to map the land use of the city’s central business area to find its most vertically dense and corporately privatized region. The project thus focused on the space between Washington, Adams, Canal and State streets. The exploration started at a plaza, where a bronze plaquette conveniently and explicitly stated its public character: “Right of access by permission and subject to control of owner — property line” This message founded the interest in the complex threshold of publicly accessible space in Chicago. What are the actual borders of the public realm, and in which ways are they subjectively perceived? I tested these In Chicago Issue #1

Enter the Solid

Origin of the Figure Ground Map In ancient cities like Rome, the public/private distinction was clear. Streets were accessible, the ground floor was consumer-oriented and the upper floors were residential and thus privatized individually. The unbuilt and ceremonial spaces were the publicly accessible realms of the city. In 1784, Giambattista Nolli drew the most famous precedent of all figure-ground maps: the Nolli drawing of Rome. It found its purpose as a city planning map until 1970. Although commonly misperceived as showing public/private distinctions, it in fact illustrates which parts of the city are open to reinterpretation (poché) and which parts are not (void). Ceremonial spaces are mapped as voids, showing their indefiniteness as iconic inheritance. Apart from mere poché and void, there are also courtyards, separated by fences to indicate private ownership, but which

borders by walking through buildings until I was either sent away by security, or would find myself in front of a locked door or a clear message denying my access. The first day of exploration led to the preliminary conclusion that urban poché (the private) and void (the public) was not enough to map these entangled categories: in addition to the complexity found on the ground level, verticality adds a tremendous amount of layers unseen in any figure-ground map, resulting in the statement: Contemporary spatial privatization creates a complex set of conditions which blur the public/private distinction within vertical cities. Method and Practice The distinction between public, publicly-accessible and private space is determined by conditions that define 79

were nevertheless accessible to the public to find and explore these hidden ‘edens’ and use them as shortcuts. In the present day, most of them are now closed to the public. The Nolli map questions the border of the built fabric, either as a representation of existing conditions, or as the reactionary of an ideal. This map does however not show the individual perception of a border, and could not be used as an actual guide through a city, which appears to be fully closed off. Solids and voids of Chicago In contemporary Chicago, the streets are filled with cars, leaving only a sidewalk for the pedestrian. Ground floor consumer space remains, but it is interspersed with corporate lobbies. We can find functional similarities between the hidden courtyards of Rome with the alleyways of downtown Chicago, but the latter

personal perception based on either instinct or trial: a clear message of denied access, or a failed attempt to open a door that seemed welcoming. The conditions thus can be inviting, neutral or rejecting, and are based on sensory perception. The perceptions are mapped according to a scale of intensity, which is solely subjective, using individual thresholds. The thresholds then determine whether or not a person would enter a particular space. Apart from sensory conditions determining the inviting character of a space, personal conditions also affect the intensity. For example, a craving for coffee makes its smell more inviting, while the sight of a mainstream coffeehouse chain or a memory of poor taste might be rejecting: Starbucks Coffee -25 sight, -50 taste, + 75 smell. The project’s initial aim was to map individual rooms as a digital 3D model with software called 123D. However


OBJECTS 1. Police Cars [-100] 2. Calder Flamingo [+100] 3. Security Camera [-100] 4. Mies Facade [+100] 5. Security Gate [-100] 6. Security Officer [-100] 7. Vista Federal Plaza [+100] 8. Toilet [+75] 9. Working lady [-25] 10. American Flag [+25] 11. ATM [0] DISTINCTON

INTENSITY

PERCEPTION

12. Mies Chair [+75] 13. Chase mini-mart [-25] 14. Starbucks [-25]

+100

15. Vista Exelon plaza [+50] inviting

public

+75

16. Marble table L [+25] 17. CHASE bank logo [-50]

+50

+25

publicly accessible

conditions

neutral

0

-25

18. Security cameras [-100] sight

19. Art Piece [+75]

hearing

20. Fountain [+75]

taste

21. McDonalds sign [-25]

smell

22. Property line [-100]

touch

23. Metro sound [-50] 24. Traffic lights [+100/-100]

-50

rejecting

private

25. Canopy [+50] 26. Chesterfield bench [+50]

-75

27. Stairs [-25] -100

28. Cassette Wooden wall [+75] 29. Comfortable bench [+50] 30. Office desk [+25] 31. Cassette ceiling [+50] 32. Chandelier [+75]

instinct / trial

Jorik’s threshold

33. Civic opera sign [+100] 34. Security guard [-75] 35. Elevator [+25] 36. Stairwell [-25] 37. View 1 [Trump tower] [-75] 38. Old firehose [+100] 39. Locked door [-100] 40. View 2 [+100] 41. Personal tag [+100]

Above: explanation of the method used Next pages: plates of mapping Chicago

the software failed to collect all of the data needed to fully map the room, instead only mapping the areas that it could bind together from 2D imagery. This first process, though ineffective, laid the foundations of the project’s method. By drawing an isometric view using only the essential parts, the personal perception of a room was revealed, focusing on the subjective experience of key elements rather than every wall, ceiling, doorframe, and so on. This project aims to

analyze and systematize these essential objects in a subjective way, questioning the thresholds and ultimately breaking through them. Product & Conclusion Enter the Solid reveals the city’s hidden spaces through a subjective interpretation of accessibility and illustrates ways to legally or illegally enter them. Compared to the Nolli map, it does not present a method that can 80

be used for city planning, but rather focuses on the character of the hidden courtyards of the city. It is a personal interpretation of how distinctions between public and private are perceived in a contemporary city. It maps unexpected places of beauty, which remain unnoticed if not documented or consciously explored. Enter the Solid is a reality game with a versatile outcome. It is universally accessible and most participants play unconsciously.


FEDERAL CENTER ENTER THE SOLID / JORIK BAIS

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EXELON PLAZA ENTER THE SOLID / JORIK BAIS

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CIVIC OPERA ENTER THE SOLID / JORIK BAIS

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Enter the Solid

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SE A R S

C H I C AG O

TOW E R

Chicago needs to reevaluate it’s downtown office towers in favour for livable contemporary global city. Roman de Weijer

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Sears Chicago Tower

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Urban Sprawl: Fordist and post-Fordist planning Urban sprawl is happening. After the second world war, suburbanization has created a mass move away from the city. Government subsidized Mcmansions became available at the same price as an apartment in the city. After the moving of people, businesses followed, leaving office towers downtown partially vacant. Functions got spread out, only reachable by car. This automotive centric planning creates an urban environment of underutilized mass transit and a large amount of parking spaces and roads. It’s what Vishaan Chakrabarti calls ‘the worst of both worlds’ in his book A Country of Cities. Both car based and mass transit systems need to be maintained and a space for both systems is needed in both the dense city center and suburban areas, leading to uninviting urban space, lower livability, inactive areas and an unsustainable metropolis.

Peter Blake states that a certain chaos of human life is missing in these cities. Admirable goals like creating ‘mass-production architecture to serve the needs of a mass society’ have failed. ‘While socialistic and egalitarian in spirit’, the modern, or Fordist cities that resulted have produced ‘traumas of a horrendous nature’. “Architects such as Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier were abstract artists, really. They produced symbols of a new world, a new age, a new life-style. It never occurred to them that people would have to live, work and make love in those spaces. The urban restructuring in ‘post-Fordist’ cities, foremost in the development of inner-city areas, is increasingly focused on a ‘unidimensional logic of commodification, monofunctionality and control.’ (Groth, 2004, p1) In Chicago this trend was also followed. Instead of

New suburbs

Suburban center

Old suburbs

introducing mixed use in even the most inner-city parts, functions are still separated and buildings still monofunctional. Each with their own usage in their own time frame. The north and south side of downtown Chicago are for living, in between on the west is the office quarter, and on the east is the tourist quarter with the millennium park, hotels and the magnificent mile among other tourist destinations. Neighbourhoods In the massive Kobe earthquake of 1995, the Mano district in the Japanese city of Kobe suffered fewer losses than did any other neighborhood in the city. The newer residential neighborhoods, with wider streets and better-engineered buildings, didn’t fare well. It turned out that, in those area’s people didn’t know one another well enough to know who was missing or where they might have been at the moment the earthquake hit.

City housing

Office center

“Fig 1: According to Chakrabarti, automotive centric density and underutilized mass transit create the worst of both suburban and urban neighborhoods.”

Above: automotive centric density and underutilized mass transit create the worst of both suburban and urban neighborhoods Right: Empty spaces in Sears Tower Chicago

Mano was different. An area that appears to be a firetrap of old buildings with little separation and almost unpassable streets survived the quake literally through neighborliness and community. In this odd, but human-scaled place, people knew one another. They knew who was missing, and they knew where to look for them. They understood how to work together, where to go for help, and who to turn to for each kind of need. They had well-known gathering places that in that critical time became the focus of ad hoc self-help organizations. Mano was, in the best sense of the word, a neighbourhood. The epitome of a monofunctional office is the sears tower in Chicago. At the scale of a small city, you’d think a mixture of uses would be evident in the building. Yet, almost all the space in the building is given the function of office space(how much, percentage). As a result, a building that is the icon of Chicago and should be close to everyone in the city appears distant. Unable

to enter higher levels, unless you pay $20 for entrance to the Skydeck. Only a small number of people actually see the building as part of their lives. And even for them It’s only their workplace. As a result, the usage of the building is set from 9 till 17,the livelihood of the area surrounding the building is low and 290.488 square feet 7.6% of the tower is officially empty. The plan is to rezone these parts of the tower to make it a livable neighbourhood. To create a livable neighbourhood, diversity of all kinds is needed. A multitude of functions integrating different age groups, different income levels, and different family types is a basic responsibility of the neighborhood, a responsibility that no amount of busing, social programs, or government intervention can replace.(Calthorpe, 2001) To be able to redesign the building, I need to know what space I can work with. Although officially there’s only 7.6% vacant, other sources say it is as much as 16% vacant. To figure out what spaces are empty, 86

I have to get in the building and see for myself. Explanation of how I tried to get in the building, talking to the officers didn’t work, contacting Brian Lee was fruitless, hairdresser and renting a single person office space for a day are still options. The new functions will provide both single resident, multiple resident (with roommates) apartments and family apartments. Buyable and rentable. An event space, a free for all study/work space that’s open till late, an exhibition space, an indoor park, a changing pavilion, workshops, a communal kitchen, public sky lobbies (it’s fine to scan for bombs, but not to reject people out of the building), grocery/drug store. Instead of that building at the horizon, people will say: That’s where I saw a movie last week, that’s where that gallery is, that’s where that nice study place is, that’s where the Chicago pavilion is in, that’s where I hosted a dinner party, or even that’s where I live.


A

Office space Office vacant Retail Mechanical Lobby Skydeck

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Sears Chicago Tower

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Mappings of the currently unused spaces in the Sears Tower

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D E T RO I T

ST I L L

E X I ST S

Bob Robertus

After a long week of work for our Friday presentations we got a friendly reminder from our project leader: “Everyone will be in Studio, both Saturday & Sunday from 1100 - 1800. This is not up for discussion... or we simply cancel the trip to Detroit.” It slightly altered the atmosphere in the group; we cancelled our Halloween weekend plans and reported back for duty at Archeworks on Saturday. The Monday presentations went well and by Tuesday morning 8 a.m. we hit the road, heading to the ‘Motor City’ in our Ford Transit van. The drive from Chicago to Detroit, with an overnight stay at students from Ann Arbor University, took us about a day. The closer we got to Detroit, the more objects started to ‘pop up’ alongside the bumpy road. By the time the city’s skyline emerged, with Marvin Gaye pumping through the speakers, old car tires, a broken bumper and an office chair already had passed us by.

neighbourhood”. There is a strong bond within the community of Lafayette park, where she and her husband started living in 2010. The design by Mies van der Rohe breathed his modern minimalistic style, the housing project beautifully contrasted with the yellow and green trees that marked the season of autumn. With the people on their block Claudia and her husband constitute a so called ‘co-op’, participants of this cluster pay a monthly amount of $700,- to maintain the communal greenery and the quality of the houses, a social system that isn’t often seen in America. They bought the house for an amount of $100.000,which turned out to be a bargain since one of the houses recently sold for three times the money. But this raise of property value also shifted the social structure of the neighbourhood. “The new people are nice but they are just a bit different, the old neighbours all know each other and interact in social activities. The new people don’t care for this aspect. It’s not bad, it’s just different.”

Detroit; United States’ fourth biggest city during the 20th century, with a population of nearly 2 million people. The strong automotive industry during the post-second world war era, brands like Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler all started in Detroit, kept the city running. Unfortunately for its industry these major companies moved their businesses toward low-wage countries, leaving the city in a deep financial crisis. How would a city look like, that lost more than 50% of its inhabitants?

After the tour in Lafayette park and her own house we got in the van and started of a true cultural drive by. We captured some of the most desolated places of Detroit. sitting in the back of the car we passed old industrial areas, abandoned utility buildings where only the contours of old fast food franchise signs were visible, neighbourhoods in decay and urban arts projects. Claudia was eager to show us the beautiful side of Detroit, after bribing a security guard with twenty dollars she showed us the Michigan theatre. The place used in Eminem’s ‘8 Mile’ was constructed in 1925, but got converted into a parking garage in the 1960s. The ornamented plaster ceiling, the proscenium arch and the upper balcony all referred back to its prior function, as a building it’s the perfect metaphor for Detroit, a place in decay, utilised by just a handful of cars as a parking garage in the abandoned Downtown area; the car left his hometown in a state of crisis with all its dark consequences, hitting an all-time low in 2013 when it was declared bankrupt.

The two day excursion was meticulously planned by Roland, except for the on hour time difference between Chicago and Detroit; time got up in smoke when driving towards the East. This little error resulted in a rollercoaster ride for the whole trip. Ten tall Dutch students, accompanied by our guide Claudia (a German architect working for Ann Arbor University), and 2 Estonians, packed up together in one big van with blinded windows, that suddenly seemed smaller then on our trip to St. Louis. The suburbs of Detroit played an important role in the city’s’ history since the beginning of the 20th century. Due to the implementation of a high tax system within city boundaries and the expansion of industrial areas, residents moved to the outskirts of Detroit. In regard to the economic decline that’s been on-going for the last 5 decades the populations of the metropolis area stayed on a constant level of approximately 4 million people. These people, who made a clear decision to keep living in the periphery of the city, made it easy for Claudia to move to Detroit. “They care for the city and want to make something of the situation which brings positive energy to the

In Chicago Issue #1

Detroit Still Exists

But Detroit still exists, it may not be the booming metropolis it once was, but the people still living there made the decision to stay, some probably didn’t have a choice, but some did, and they decided to make the best of it. As for my personal experience I need to say that Detroit was a relaxing tour to get away from Chicago, an American city where the capitalistic system temporarily failed. Claudia asked us to write something nice about the city, but a nice story is something the city doesn’t need, it showed the world it doesn’t need anything but people who care for it.

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V I SH A A N

C H A K R A BA RT I

On experiencing the city between the sky, materiality and social framework. Interview by Felix Ahuis, Roman de Weijer

From a very young age Vishaan Chakrabarti already knew he wanted to be an architect. Building with legos was his favourite thing to do as a kid. Getting his dual Bachelors’ degrees in Art History and Engineering from Cornell University and his Master degree in architecture at the University of California at Berkeley he started working at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, where he ended up as Associate Partner and Director of Urban Design, as well as a transportation planner at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. From 2002 to 2005, he made the choice to move from SOM to serve as the Director of the Manhattan Office for the New York Department of City Planning. Where he, among other projects, worked on several urban rezoning’s to reshape the west side of Midtown Manhattan and to direct the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan after 9/11. From there he In Chicago Issue #1

Vishaan Chakrabarti

moved to Related Companies to direct the Moynihan Station Project and oversee the planning and design for the firm’s development throughout the United States. In 2009, Chakrabarti became the director of Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate, and was the inaugural Jaquelin T. Robertson Visiting Professor in Architecture for the University of Virginia as well. Next to education His latest venture is the starting of his own business this October, Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism, a design firm “dedicated to the advancement of cities through cosmopolitan architecture and strategic urban planning.” A busy man indeed, as is noticeable moments before we start our interview. Shifting between phone calls, reading documents, giving interviews and going through the slides he is about to present in an hour, only ten minutes are available 93

for our interview. Starting though, his undivided attention is given to us. First of all congratulations with your own firm. A lot must have been happening this week. How was your week? Thank you! Yes there is a tremendous amount of happing right now. How’s the transition from working at SHoP to starting your own office going? It’s crazy there is millions things to do, starting with a small firm you have to think of about everything, what kind of work you want do first of all, what kind of people you want to bring in to your new office, where do you want the office to be, what kind of environment and culture you want to create. And there are a bunch


In Chicago review with Brian Lee, Vishaan Chakrabarti and Mitesh Dixit

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of pragmatic things like human resources, computers and setting up payrolls, very basic things right. So my hands a very full.

architecture and then went to work for the city of new York and did a bunch of things around the high line to support the city.

What’s your motive to make the move and what’s the difference going to be in your work at PAU compared with the work you did at SHoP?

Was that a conscious choice?

I wanted to start a firm that’s really about the city, its primarily about two things, urban architecture and what I like to call urban strategic urbanism, and what I mean with urban architecture is that the with the architecture practice we want to engage buildings to enhance or amplify the experience of the city, in terms of the public realm, the sky, the materiality of the city, the social framework. And the strategic urbanism is in my mind really everything from master planning but then with an architectural intervention, not just master planning from 30000 feet in the air, but kind of more tactical kind of urbanism. As well as, you know sometime clients just need help thinking what do with a large piece of land, just thinking of the future of the city in some way. Sometimes it is the city government. It is very broad, but also very focussed on the city itself and the fabric of the city itself.

Yes, it was a very conscious choice. I actually then worked in development around public/private partnership for pen station or train station and then I went to Columbia to write and teach. So I was really outside of architecture for 10 years, I was always affiliated with it and I always thought about design. But I wanted to have a much brighter base and the finally after those 10 years I kind of got over my dissolution and wanted to get back in design and did so. So it is interesting, for me I see it as a very natural progression but it is an unusual path.

Andrew Baster from Archeworks, who’s hosting the lecture by Vishaan, asks if everything’s ok and if Vishaan needs his laptop to prepare, he looks at his watch. There’s only time for one last question before he wants to withdraw to prepare for his lecture. We have read about you that one of your main hobbies is photography. So we came up with the following hyptatical question; now you’re in Chicago with your camera, but you forgot your negatives and you only have one shot left in camera to make a picture of Chicago, of what would that shot be and why? Uuuhm…you know it would propably be some mies detail haha. A detail of when it meets the ground. Well again I mean, it so interesting how modernism meets the city, that notion of the building floating on the horizontal plain of the city, moving through it, this very different idea about how buildings meet the city.

Before starting your own firm you’ve switched between a lot of career fields, do you think that’s part of your ‘success’ right now? Yes I hope so. One of the things of is unique that happened with me in a way in that I did not plan In way I was working as an architect and I was a associate partner at SOM and then 9/11 happen, I will talk about in the lecture today, and then I became quite disillusioned with architecture and the role of

Well it doesn’t have to be a lot of people in a small space, if you think about a traditional Japanese farming village, it is quit dense. You can go to a Japanese farming village and its actually quite dense, everybody lives along a mainstreet. It is more the way how people are interacting together, as supposed to people living in separate homes and very spread out the area.

In your book Manifesto to densify cities. The term city is clearly defined: An urban area dense enough to support mass transit. How do you define density ? Do you think there’s a limit on how dense a city should be, like Barcelona where people think of the city as too dense?

Just as we got a bit comfortable we were already walking away. Thank you for freeing up some time. And good luck with your lecture, Vishaan.

“I wanted to start a firm that’s really about the city.”

Vishaan at ArcheWorks

In Chicago Issue #1

Vishaan Chakrabarti

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1 8

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Living and studying the 18th street. Esmeralda Bierma

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A Walk - 18th Pilsen Moving cars, people waiting. The light turns green I cross Ashland. Listening to spanish chatter. My secret - I know their language. Trash. I smell the alleys. Bulging bins on the sidewalks are colourful mountains, fitting perfect in the street. Close to where the South Blue Island Avenue cuts the 18th, I enter a cafe – my favorite. Sounds of a coffeemachine. People gather, read and eat. I’m taking my time. The frontpage of the South Side says: What’s Next? Vacant lots, buildings vacant and decayed, home to who? An old Czeck opera, Thalia, 1892. The exfoliated paint on the facades showing layers of time. I look down. Concrete pavement with leaves. Autumn started. I am searching for something, still uncertain of what it is. Again moving cars. This time above me. No people. Light reflections on the structure move with 30 mph. A rope dances in the wind. I continue. Vacancy and homeless people. Industry and the Chicago river: The birth of Pilsen. At the horizon the downtown towers rise. The trains under my feet crisscross into and out of the city. I am looking into the light, silence. Nothingness, emptiness has become rare, the place where things get their own way. Something we can not understand nor program. I enter the void. Space For Imagination Flying into Chicago - out of the farmlands into the grid. On the corner of 18th and Paulina, where we lived for three months, I told a Mexican guy that I wanted to walk the 18th street until the waterfront of Lake Michigan in order to experience an American street that is based on a grid plan. The fact that you can simply walk one street that brings you to the other site of the city was new for me and therefore seemed interesting.

The guy looked open-eyed and started to laugh: ‘that is way too far, you wont make it’. I started to laugh too, because his response only triggered me more that I wanted to walk the whole street. In this one and half hour journey I took photos of what caught my interest and saw that walking a few blocks can totally change the street and her experience. The observations triggered me to really understand the street in multiple ways, what defines it and how does it work? The 18th became a living and studying place. In order to get an answer to the question a research on different scales and manners were essential. Examining the street by drawing a detailed plan of the 18th Pilsen and South Loop where the width of the street, parkinglanes, bikelanes, sidewalks, place of the building lines, the fences, movement of cars become visible. On a smaller scale were counted per block the street furniture: how many streetlights, bins, waterpomps, benches, trees are there and how does this relate to the program and use. Often the blocks that were confronted with an increase of vacancy also had a lack in street furniture or a bad maintenance of the sidewalks. The importance of trees on the sidewalk for creating a intimate space where people are more likely to gather. Meanwhile, walking on various days and times the street, there were unexpected encounters with the users and residents. Some of them even showed their life behind the facade. One of them was Willy Wagner living with his parents and sister in an old Czeck theatre. He told his story of growing up in the 18th between violet gangs and how the street in Pilsen changed in the last 5-10 years partly due to gentrification. I got into meeting different people, but a bit lost with my project. Was there a need to do something for the community or was it the street itself that should be reconsidered, or maybe not both of them at all. The research was continued: the landuse/program of the street, the neighborhood differences in income and ethnicity and their effect on the creation of different zones. All open spaces were mapped and how people personalize it or not do anything with it. Noticing the different sounds and smells while you walk the street: the everpresent sound of cars, the sirene of the police that use the 18th daily, the trains and trams that cut the street, the chatting people and how the language changes from Spanish to English when you cross the river. The smell of the trash in the alleys changing in tortilla-, coffee- and barbeque smell, emissions of cars and sometimes fresh breeze passes by. Understanding the last layers and ingredients of the street and putting them together resulted in an analysis of three seperate transitional spaces which are void and unseen between relative lively zones (see detailed 98

streetdrawing p..). These voids had an intriguing character and although almost unnoticed, they play an important role in a street/city where everything is fixed, designed and planned for. They are the only places that contest the spacial hierarchies of the ordered city. Places where things get their own way. It is poetic that it is not (yet) determined and still open to anything - a space for your own imagination or thoughts. In general, people see these abandoned sites as a problem or something which need to be filled in. If the research is done remotely or simply from behind the computer, it is logical to think similar. Nevertheless, being in and around these places provided new insights: it dismantled richness in the seemingly emptiness. The project about the voids carries the potential of these sites, being as they are, with my experience and associations with these non-empty spaces. Instead of filling the void it is about showing a different perspective towards it, which could influences the way people will look next time to the void when they pass by it. What I observed on the 18th, was that the street was mainly used to get from point A to point B. Usually at such a pace that people pass by the street without even noticing the buildings, shops and other persons. Of course, some people use the street as a gathering place, but in general it is used as a passage. In my point of view, the street is a symbol for acceleration of daily life. In the midst of the busy, dynamic life of the street, the voids stand out in their appearance of quietness and deceleration. These characteristics had such an effect on me that I spended more time in and around the voids in order to study and experience them. The empty spaces only become legible through slow down and focus on detail. A form of close-reading the wasted and abandoned. Doing this I discovered the fullness and in a poetical way the potential of the sites - the paradox of emptiness. The voids might evoke two feelings: one of expectation/projection and the other of melancholy. The expectation stands for that what is still posible, the future, the imagination. On the other hand the melancholy stands for what is - probably - not there anymore. The project captures these intensities and characteristics through film, sounds and my association of being there. It is the way of seeing that opposses a consumerist eye, and therefore can liberate and activate the void. The voids in the 18th are all characterized by being enclosed by fence, railway, bridge, highway and neigboring houses. In order to enter the void I had to break in.


Vacanty Vacant undeveloped Vacant commerical Vacant industrial Vacant undefined

Residential

Vacant Undeveloped Land

Multi-family

Vacant Commercial Land

Single-family attached Multi-family detached

Vacant Industrial Land Vacant land - undefined

Multi -family Single - family attached Single - family detached

Retail Retail

Open space leisure Open space recreation Open space entertainment Open space community

Amaneties Reiligious Education Medical

Open space - Primarily recreation Cultural entertainment Common - open space - in Residents

Industrial General industry Storage Manufacturing

Religious Facilities Educational Facilities Medical Facilities

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Voids on the 18th street in Pilsen and South Loop

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Void 1 - Wasteland and found objects The site surrounded by houses and fenced is taken over by nature. The ground is still partly of concrete once a parking lot. The materials found on the site; the piles of concrete and sand, pieces of wood, brick and glass, tell the story of a demolished building. The trash spread out over the site shows how people use and treat the space. Not just a bag of chips or a paperbag but also whole objects like chairs and clothes you can find there. In the abscence of people the objects become part of the scenery, as if in a still life. The wind is spreading out the forgotten objects and the vegetation is absorbing it. Even between the concrete pavement and piles it seems that the nature is winning. In the void itself it is relative quiet, you can see and hear the birds in the thicket on the side. Sounds close by like the rustling of the grass. In the distant sounds of engines of the bus that comes by every 10 minutes and cars that use the 18th. Two lifes next to each other: the one of the void, where things get their own way, and the street/city, where everything is fixed. Most people who use the 18th have a destination and will not notice the space. By putting the objects out of the context and photographing them professionally (see img .. on page ..) I awaken the seemingly unsignificant by given them connotation. The items have a story behind it: the concrete-, brick- and wood pieces were the building blocks of a building in a different time. The combination of found body oil next to the onion chips directly speaks to the imagination of a fictive story and the flower is a symbol for the new rich vegetation on the site.

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18th

Void 2 - Life under highway Again it is about slowing down and focus on detail. Everyting moves in its own rythm: the cars that cross each other under the highway, the rope that dances in the wind and the light reflections that move on the structure. These subtle observations in contrast with the stagnant architectural structure of the highway and its seemingly endless void vanishing point gave me poetical and beautiful film- and sound material. The 24/7 use of the highway above me with continuous sound of cars makes you believe of being underwater. Literally you are confronted with the continuous notion of life.

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Void 3 - Industrial landscape with downtown horizon Industrial area that is partly empty, next to the Chicago river and railways. Historically, this is the birth of Pilsen: it is born out of industry. The voids that I found in this industrial zone are fenced with wires. Only when the weather destroyed a part of the fence I was able to enter the site whereas before, I could only observe the place from the bridge. Entering the spaces I saw that the voids became landscapes including even watersources. The materials on the site are similar as in void 1 but the amount of wilderness is in a more advanced stage. Sounds of birds living in the place, distant sounds of the ordered city and train sounds that come from far, come close and far again, sometimes it is really silent for a moment.


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Screenshots from a final movie “Voids”

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F R E E D O M The rewarding crime. Bob Robertus

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“We don’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish. I don’t know who discovered water, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fish. The fish will be the last to discover water.” This project eventually didn’t turn in to an architectural design, since designing anything for graffiti would kill the power of the act of ‘getting up’ in one instance. The project became a personal discovery of a sub-cultural phenomenon, only possible due to a critical distance from Chicago’s society.

if the characteristic American freedom could actually be called a rapist, known as “free-doom”. What if the individual freedom is actually holding back the country? The original album cover depicts two nude people and therefore got rejected by music stores, a second cover, with a proper ballerina, eventually made it on the cover. The artist who designed the images later stated that Kanye West wanted a cover that would get banned because of its obscene images.

West By using an extended metaphor, a childhood lover named Windy, Kanye West personifies Chicago in his ‘Homecoming’ song.

Moving to New York made it possible for him to reflect on Chicago: a rough metropolis with a strong contrast between the bright and rich downtown area with its gang affiliated surroundings. But it’s his home, a place that made him the person he is today, there is no place of bigger importance to him. He can “reach for the stars” in his new city but if he falls down he can always “land on a cloud” in Chicago. When listening to the song on Youtube whilst being in America you’ll notice the lyric “I Never blew her off” is beeped out, it’s a reference to the ‘Windy City’, but authorities probably linked it to oral sex. On the 2007 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, West keeps expressing his critical perception on American society.

Miguel Aguilar

Space Jam During the 1990s, the well-known Michael Jordan era, the Chicago Bulls crowned themselves six-times national champions. For every 90s kid it’s a must to visit the United Centre for one of their games. “Everybody get up it’s time to slam now, We got a real jam goin’ down, Welcome to the Space Jam.” Quad City DJ’s – Space Jam Walking around the stadium, buying food and drinks during the game, catching t-shirts fired by highpressured air guns, cheering for an animated donutbagel-coffee race (made possible by Dunkin’ Donuts), and cheering for a free Big-Mac. The Bulls’ spectators didn’t came across as a crown highly critical on the actual game.

“Penitentiary chances, the devil dances and eventually answers to the call of Autumn. Face it, Jerome gets more time than Brandon, And at the airport they check all through my bag and tell me that it’s random.” The song ‘Gorgeous’ narrates about the poorer parts of America where ‘the devil’ is dancing around, the devil being a metaphor for criminal activity where vulnerable people eventually engage in since, according to West, they have no other choice. Criminality is a problem with deep-rooted underlying causes, it’s extremely superficial to operate just against its outlet. The most critical song might be the final song of the album where he re-mastered the “Comment #1” poem by Gil Scot Heron. In “Who will Survive in America?” the country is depicted as a bastard, historically, bastards where looked down upon and where assumed trouble makers who had no future, were poor and often involved in crime. Kanye questions In Chicago Issue #1

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“Soma is what they would take when, Hard times opened their eyes.” The Strokes – Soma It’s a small step from Aldus Huxley to George Orwell’s 1984. In his dystopian view, society is divided in different social classes and controlled by ministries that uses brutal force, torture, mind control and surveillance [Big Brother is Watching You] to keep rebellious individuals in line.

“I met this girl when I was 3 years old, And what I loved most she had so much soul, She said “Excuse me little homie, I know you don’t know me but, my name is Windy and I like to blow trees, and from that point I never blow her off.” Borrowing this first line from a fellow Chicagoan rapper and friend ‘Common’, he shines his light on his difficult relationship with the city, being a place he loves but where he “can’t come back home” to.

The new world is built upon the principles of Henry Ford’s assembly line: mass production, homogeneity, and predictability. Consumption is made a religion, Society is controlled with the help of biological technologies and by a drug named Soma.

Online graffiti removal service

Dystopia “And that ... is the secret of happiness and virtue liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.” Henry Ford is worshiped as a god in Aldus Huxley’s “A Brave New World”, the book reveals a futuristic new world’s value system. The authors pessimistic view on this future comprehends the idea that modern technologies could have bad effects on our society. Huxley made clear that power can be achieved via knowledge and that due to new technologies “Man had built higher than he could climb”. According to him Science and Technology should be inferior to mankind. 109

Elements of both novels can be seen in modern day society, whereas A Brave New World depicts more of a Western society, 1984 relates to the more totalitarian countries, ruled by dictators. As stated by Neil Postman in his review of both books: “In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.” Graffiti Removal Service The service program took off in 2009 after an episode of ‘Shark Thank’, a TV show where a panel of ‘shark’ investors can team up with entrepreneurs to develop their ideas. Paul Watts, the initiator of the removal service, got his idea during an afternoon of community service where he noticed the civic pride that his fellow volunteers experienced as they stripped graffiti from buildings and poles in their neighbourhoods On yearly basis the City Removal Service of Chicago erases approximately 120.000 writings of graffiti. “Graffiti is vandalism. It scars the community, hurts property values and diminishes our quality of life. The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation offers free graffiti removal services to property owners to help maintain the beauty of our communities.” City of Chicago The city uses an online open interface which makes it possible for anybody, who has a connection to the internet, to report a piece of graffiti. The next day, cleaners who drive around with special equipped vans, will either restore the surface in its original state or paint it over with brown paint. Kane Miguel Aguilar, who goes by his nickname KANE ONE, is a Chicago based graffiti writer since 1989. He started writing when he was only 13 years old and founded the Graffiti Institute in 2012. In an interview with him he stated that mayor Rahm Emanuel, when he took first office for his first term, cut the budget for Graffiti Removal in third. When I asked why he replied: “Just to shrink the deficit and he also changed the strategy of how it was being removed, because before that, when [Richard] Daley was in office, it was on a


by call sort of purpose, and then by cutting the budget he also kind of systematised regions of the city. So no matter how long ago you called or how recently you called, your call would get answered by the city like in this sort of grid system, so I guess it was to cut manual labour as well.” In graffiti history writers’ main goal is to “get up”, train yards are places most liked by writers since the trains get a lot of exposure in the city, but in Chicago I didn’t see any ‘defaced’ train. When asking Miguel about these clean trains his answer surprised me. “They still get painted a lot, and it becomes this inner circle of a practice that a lot of other graffiti writers don’t even get to see. Because the stakes are higher it becomes still that much more rewarding for people that do it. And the only way that anybody knows, is by

those graffiti writers documenting it themselves and keeping their own archive, and only sharing it in very secure circumstances with other graffiti writers. For the most part they only share it within their crew, there is only three crews that do train yards in Chicago, so they all know each other and they have to communicate together. Whether or not they like each other, they have to communicate to keep the heat off, if everybody is painting the same yard it wouldn’t work. You would still be able to see it if you take a particular train line at 3:30 in the morning or a particular train line on a Saturday afternoon.” Unfortunately he didn’t want to tell me what the exact line where he was referring to. Two weeks later the Chicago Tribune reported on the following headline.

source says has no cameras.” Miguel still participates in illegal graffiti writing but he feels the stakes or really high. Giving lectures and being an excisable public figure people he feels people are almost hoping that he messes up. “But when I travel to another city all bets are off like I’m a kid again I can just do as much crazy illegal stuff as possible. Just because I’m in and out. I feel a lot less consequence, I feel a lot freer.” Perception Living in Chicago for three months with 9 peers from the same cultural background, makes you think about your developed perception.

“CTA hit by vast graffiti attack on Red Line yard that

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are” - Anaïs Nin A perception is the result of many (unconscious) impulses. It’s important to understand that the work produced during the semester in Chicago is highly subjective, it’s perceived through my own mind. Graffiti is often categorised as either vandalism or art, questioning if it’s cultural productive or reductive. The consensus on graffiti must shift from this urge to categorise the scene into these two corners, towards the realisation that graffiti is a result of the way we live, attacking the outlet of the graffiti scene is just fighting symptoms, by systematically doing so one demonstrates its own ignorance.

The removal of graffiti from public space of the city of Chicago doesn’t allow for the agonistic struggle that is essential for democracy.

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CORNBREAD NEVER DIES 720.149 Writings on the wall, systematically removed by the city’s streets and sanitation department during the last five years: “Graffiti is vandalism. It scars the community, hurts property values and diminishes our quality of life.” But those ‘vandals’ have a different perspective on the whole, they even refer to themselves as ‘writers’ and ‘city decorators’. Could it be that these urban artists bring something overlooked to the table? During and after the second world war the crayon icon “Kilroy was here” gained great cultural value. James J. Kilroy was a former sign painter who worked as an inspector of Bethlehem Steel factory from 1940 to 1960. He marked the equipment of Americas Army forces with a bald man peeking over a fence whenever he checked the quality of the work. Since nobody knew who came up with the markings it was soon to be common property, “an Armed Service in-joke”. For the soldier it became a morale booster: “While it was not the stars and stripes, it represented the United States.” During the war, it was said that Adolf Hitler even wanted to capture Kilroy and bring him in for questioning. After the war he became a symbol of Americas involvement in the war and it was the first icon the general public thought of whenever they heard the term graffiti. After the second world war people kept putting Kilroy on the wall and it was in Philadelphia where the world’s first identifiable graffiti writers “CORNBREAD” and “KOOL KLEPTO KIDD” noticed its appearance, as the latter states: “I used to see that everywhere. Matter of fact, I used to think that it was more than one person as it was done in many different styles.” It wasn’t this KOOL KLEPTO KIDD but his friend that would eventually become the world’s first graffiti writer: Cornbread, in real life known as Darryl Alexander McCray, got his nickname in a youth center and started writing it on every possible wall inside the building. When he got released he continued doing so in the streets. After rumours spread he died Cornbread wanted to show he was more alive than ever. One night he sneaked into a zoo where he wrote “CORNBREAD LIVES” on the side of an elephant. He gained even more nationwide fame when he wrote his name on the Jackson 5 airplane while the band visited Philadelphia. As a result the world first graffiti writer was born. The graffiti scene started gaining ground all over American cities but it wasn’t until the summer of 1971 when a newspaper article would change the scene forever. The New York Times interviewed a Greek immigrant called Demetrius, a young high school attendant from a working

class neighbourhood at the north edge of Manhattan. Demetrius had a job as a delivery guy and would get through town on almost daily basis, one of his deliveries brought him to an art gallery where he purchased an extrawide marker. While on the job he started writing TAKI183 on surfaces. He used Taki as a diminutive for a number of different nicknames he was known by and the number 183 represented the street he lived in. His interview with the journalist and the article that resulted from it resulted in the rise of the scene in America and other parts of the world. Museums in London and Amsterdam even curated exhibitions on this new “urban art” and some graffiti writers earned good money by selling their work. For other writers it was an eyesore to see the works of fellow writers turning into a commodity since it became part of the system the scene usually tries to critique. Graffiti has been part of our earliest societies that even date back to the prehistoric times. But why are we so afraid of it, why do we want to get rid of it as soon we see it in our public realm? Is it because we just don’t like the look of it and does it really ‘diminishes’ the quality of life? Or are we scared of it because we find no use in it? Writers spread their message in their own unique individual style, making their writing stand out amongst others. These styles are often very complex which makes it impossible for the public to read and understand the writings. This can make the user of the space feel anxious around the work that’s been put up. Of course there is the argument that graffiti is mainly gang related. Those writings and logos represent groups of people claiming their turf and participate in illegal activities, but this is a small percentage of the total amount of work that’s visible in the city. A walk in downtown Chicago gives the brain countless impulses to promote consumerism, it promotes the driving forces behind the cities global economy and therefore its completely accepted. But to what extent does the local society aid from this system? Could it be that the act of writing in public space is a personal expression of protest against a system that doesn’t benefit the writers’ well-being? These writings might just represent the voice of the local protesting against the global. If a public space without writings on the wall is the ultimate goal for the City of Chicago it might be a good idea to address the more fundamental problem of inequality. Systematically removing writings on the wall or the ban of aerosol spray paint within city boundaries will never stop the writers.

Above: Final essay Next page: Image of a ripped off essay from Chicago streets

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C H I C AG O

( 1 9 8 3 )

by Roy Ayers Floris van der Burght

Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago

known as Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago

Chicago where can I go Chicago where can I go Chicago where can I go Chicago where can I go

What are you doing to me Chicago Running it at me Run at me Chicago Run it at me What are you going to do in Chicago Chicago Chicago What are you going to do in Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Now… What are you going to do Chicago.

What are you gonna do Where you gonna go How are you gonna feel Who are you gonna know What are you gonna say Each and every day

Where are you going to be in Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago where can I go Set me free Chicago Chicago Chicago Set me free. Set me free Chicago Chicago where can I go Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago where can I go Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago where can I go Chicago Chicago What are you gonna do Chicago I really think that I at the BWO different drummer What are you gonna do Chicago Chicago What are you gonna do What are you gonna do Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago What are you gonna do in Chicago Chicago Chicago What are you gonna do in Chicago Chicago What are you gonna do in Chicago Slow it down What are you gonna do in Chicago Stick around Chicago is going to be all right Where you gonna go Where you gonna go Chicago Chicago Trying to be me. Trying to be free. but Chicago Chicago Chicago I love the Last Notes I love the Indulged in different themes and topics it is this lyrics and song that You can’t beat me free display the city and it’s path. Hard to grasp, ambiguity, vast and small, a layer seems to consist out of one but reveals itself after study to be Trying to be free numerous. This text does not wrap up. Open ended. City will stay. Stick Show me the way out around see lyrics. Not an ending to project. Open end. Search for what. Show me the Way Each column of text, one voice. Chronicly. Listen to song to understand. Baltimore down the door Baltimore down the

To be in a city. To be in a city temporarily. Trying to be an active participant, being an active participant for a volatile period. Casual engaged with the city in which you reside, then your are a tourist again with a peculiar eye for things. Picking out the things you favour, find interesting or stumble upon. Reached out by the city; his, her (what is the gender of a city) fabric and inhabitants. Engaged again and back again. You and the city in a dialectic for a brief period, diverging and converging in reason, maybe never coming to a point were ends meet. Both striving and striding for something, a goal, an (orchestrated) coincidence. Leaving Chicago is this. ‘We are just started’ I whispered to O’Hare International Airport on the fourth December. Maybe never.

Cross the sea. I suppose they are free I suppose they are free outside of this place known as Chicago Chicago Chicago known as Chicago Chicago Chicago known as Chicago Chicago Chicago

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ST U D I O I N C H I C AG O AW J O U R NA L 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 I SSU E # 1

Profile for Complex_Projects_TU Delft

In Chicago Magazine  

Research booklet of Msc2 Complex Projects Studio, Fall semester 2015

In Chicago Magazine  

Research booklet of Msc2 Complex Projects Studio, Fall semester 2015

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