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Chicago Studio Heather Rosen Spring 2014


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Professional Practice Lectures

Interviews

Urban Mapping 9 Principles

Cermak Analysis

Studio

Radical Conjectures

Group Project


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Professional Practice


Randy Guillot

Principal, CannonDesign 2.6.2014

Drew Ranieri

Associate Principal, SCB Architecture 2.19.2014

Brian Lee

Partner, Skidmore Owings & Merril 2.26.2014

Natasha Krol

Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company 3.5.2014

Carl D’Silva

Principal Architect, JAHN Architects 3.6.2014

Iker Gil

Director, MAS Studio 3.17.2014

Geoff Walters

Principal, CannonDesign 3.18.2014

Laura Fisher

FAIA 3.26.2014

Don Copper

Partner, GREC Architects 4.17.2014

Peter Ellis

Principal, CannonDesign 4.22.2014

Adam Whipple

Project Manager, Newcastle Limited 4.23.2014

David Wilts

Associate Principal, Arup 4.24.2014

John Syvertsen

Principal, CannonDesign 4.30.2014

Lectures


Randy Guillot Principal, CannonDesign 2.6.2014

Summary

Randy’s lecture was a very general and also personal talk about advice for our careers. He shared these ten pieces of advice along with personal stories which lead him to where he is today. 1. Build meaningful relationships through hard work. 2. Communication is everything. 3. Have broad influences and mentors. 4. Surrender to your time management demon. 5. Your client is your design partner. 6. Listen. 7. Don’t expect the outcome. Set yourself up for discovery. 8. Promote your strengths. 9. Be generous and be courageous. 10. There is always more than one right answer. While each of these pieces of advice was meaningful and important, the ones we focused on and discussed the most were the first and eighth ones. Regarding the first piece of advice, Randy told us about the first job he got out of college and how hard he worked. There is no substitute for hard work and the best way to build meaningful relationships is by proving to people that you are valuable through your hard work. You won’t always get the chance to shine but it’s important to be there and be ready, and some day you’ll get called on. Through your hard work it is also important to attach yourself to talented people because these people will be important connections throughout the rest of your career. The eighth bit of advice provoked some discussion about the difference between promoting yourself and selling yourself. After deciding that there isn’t really a significant difference between the two, unless you get into the literally and figurative meanings of the words, we discussed how important it is you be your own best cheerleader. In order to move forward in your career, you need to prove to others that you are valuable and worth investing in. In order to do that, you need to showcase your skills. This means promoting yourself and making sure to take every opportunity where there is a possibility to show off your best attributes. There is a fine line between positive promotion of yourself and arrogance so it is important to be wary of that.

Reflection

I really enjoyed Randy’s lecture and felt that it was great advice for my career and also for my time here in Chicago Studio. All of these general comments can really change how others view you in the professional world. This is crucial in a world where connections are everything and building relationships with your colleagues is so important for the present and the future. I hope that I keep all of this in mind as I continue through this semester and into the first jobs in my career. If I can take anything from Randy’s experience, it is that the first impressions and connections you make out of college can become crucial connections that you keep for the rest of your career. The fact that the relationships he made by working extremely hard at his first job are the ones that helped him bring two multi-million dollar companies together later in his career is inspiring and encouraging.


Drew Ranieri

Associate Principal, SCB Architecture 2.19.2014

Summary

Drew’s lecture focused specifically on contracts. We began by discussing the components that are important for a clear and successful contract. For example money, schedule, roles, responsibilities, risk, quality (performance, standards), expectations, accountability, scope of work, reputation (internet, social media), and work product are all crucial for any contract, not only within the field of architecture. While some of these components are more important than others, they are all needed to have a contract that facilitates a project effectively. It is important that all parties involved in the contract understand one another and the intentions of the agreement. This is to avoid any disagreements, mistakes, or lawsuits from occurring. Even if working with family or friends, it is still smart to establish an agreement and outline it with a contract in order to avoid any such altercations. One component that Drew emphasizes as especially important was the schedule. This is critical for everyone to be on the same page about because delays in the project can end up costing a lot of money. Throughout the process of design there are several stages: schematic design (SD), design development (DD), construction documents (CD) and construction administration (CA). They can be generally broken into three equal parts of cost and time: schematic design and design development are one third, construction documentation is the second third, and construction administration is the last third. The construction documents are a very important stage and can often take the most time to complete. There is a lot of risk involved with the construction process and where responsibilities lie. The architect cannot be on site all the time, therefore construction documents are crucial for the communication of the project details to the contractor. If mistakes are made in a project where the contractor doesn’t follow the instructions outlines in the CD’s, the architect cannot be held liable for them. Overall, the contract is an important document that outlines in detail the relationship between the owner, the architect, and the contractor. It is crucial that the document is comprehensive in order to properly structure a project.

Reflection

I definitely learned a lot of technical knowledge from Drew’s lecture. While I had a basic understanding of contracts prior to this, Drew outlined more specifically what goes into the contracts and why they are so important. Liability is a huge issue with architectural projects and the contract is a key document that can protect the architect from being wrongly sued. In general, it is important in order to create an understanding between parties, from the start of the project, who is responsible for what, what the schedule is, and what the details of the arrangement are.


Brian Lee

Partner, Skidmore Owings & Merril 2.26.2014

Summary

Brian Lee is has been with Skidmore, Owings, and Merril for 35 years and is a design principal. His lecture centered on the process of design at SOM and their general approach to architecture. Due to its long history, SOM has generations of architects working within its group practice structure. It has multiple disciplines of design and engineering involved with the firm, all of which inform one another throughout a project. SOM strives to create a new, meaningful architecture in each project it takes on and it achieves that by valuing innovation and research as important parts of the design process. Brian spoke about SOM’s work regarding city architecture and urbanity. He emphasized the importance of incorporating innovation and quality at many scales, designing a distinct sense of place, and urban buildings that interact with the city, and relating to the human scale. It is crucial for these massive urban structures to still be designed with the human scale in mind. SOM humanizes the experience with scale, natural light, tactile materials, and a link to the landscape. Their buildings can adapt to the individual or the group. Brian then spoke about several completed and in progress projects. He pointed out that not all of their projects are massive. SOM is also designing the Chinatown branch of the Chicago Public Library. This is a small project but SOM believes it can have a large impact on the community as a civic, social, and educational hub. SOM also designed a building for the Air Force Academy. In order to emphasize the presence of mankind at the center, the building has a large central space open through the many floors. At the top of this atrium, the roof is glass, opening up to the sky. This is symbolic of the mission and traditions of the Air Force. Overall, SOM architects, engineers, and designers create work which is always related to technology and innovation. They look at what has already been done and find a way to improve upon it.

Reflection

I found Brian’s lecture to be a really interesting inside look at the design principles behind Skidmore, Owings, and Merril. The firm has a huge advantage, due to their long history, to learn from their own mistakes and improve upon their work over time. It is clear that they are aware of this and use it to keep producing innovative architecture which interacts with the city at multiple scales. I really appreciated Brian’s emphasis on the human scale because I think it is something that could be easily lost within so many skyscrapers and other large scale projects. It definitely takes a lot of talent and hard work to design structure that is beautiful and efficient at the scale of the tower and also intimate and interesting at the scale of people. I think a lot of SOM’s work accomplishes this and it’s very impressive. Brian also gave some important advice which I found to be very helpful. He told us not to be afraid to test out non-traditional ways to do what we have learned. Graphic abilities and creative thinking skills are in high demand in many professional fields. I think this is a great point and is comforting to me because I have been thinking about other career paths beyond traditional architecture. I think there are a lot of ways in which my skillset can be utilized and it is exciting to think about the possibilities of my career.


Natasha Krol

Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company 3.5.2014

Summary

Natasha began her lecture by sending us out on an assignment. We were tasked with going out and documenting a city block. She gave us no further specifications or instructions besides that so we went out and each documented a nearby block and then we came back inside and discussed the activity. We talked about how we documented the sites, why we did it in a certain way, how we chose our site, and what we observed through our chosen means of documentation. Natasha then went on to tell us her story. Her job is to facilitate people to solve their own problems. She works as a strategist at McKinsey in Chicago. She went to undergrad with the intentions of going to medical school and then decided instead to get a Masters in Architecture from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For her thesis she was inspired by a New York time article written about a journalist who walked a marathon around one block in Manhattan. She decided to try her own version of this for her thesis in Ann Arbor. Natasha talked a lot about people and how we think but also making comparisons to how architects and strategists think. It’s hard to define what were after, what the problem is. Our experience of anything is largely a result of how we arrive in it. Overall, she pointed out that having the best idea matters less, being able to collaborate is more important. Next, Natasha told us more about what she does at McKinsey. What is the problem? Who am I solving it for? How will they best receive it? These are some of the important questions she asks herself to help strategically solve problems for others. For one company to help find the root of a problem McKinsey performed a social network analysis. This essentially asks every employee the question: who do you go to when you have a question? This reveals a network of support within the company and rarely leads straight to the top of the food chain. One thing Natasha does is always going to talk to the angriest people after the initial meeting because if they’re that angry they’re obviously very passionate about their company and the problem. Issues can often be placed into two categories: performance (data, $, #s) and health (are your people happy?). There is also something called the McKinsey influence model – role modeling, understanding and conviction, rewards and recognition, building skills and capabilities. It all boils down to synthesis, analysis, and communication. When solving problems it is important to recognize patterns but ask “what if?” “I walk through the world with eyes wide open.” This is a quote that Natasha heard once and has tried to live by since then. She shared her story and then asked us what our stories are. She had us think about our philosophy on how we want to approach the world and what we can contribute to the world. What is the diagram of your life? Design your life. Empathy is the most important piece – it takes time and listening.

Reflection

I found Natasha’s lecture to be fascinating. Never before had I heard of strategy as a job and I think that it is something that I could really excel at. I really aligned with a lot of what she was saying and how she has experienced the world. My interest in design lies in the strategic solving of social urban issues through architecture and I believe that I could translate this type of thinking into a career in strategy. When Natasha asked us to think about what my story is, I was really excited. Some things that immediately jumped into my mind included problem solving, asking why, never accepting boundaries, digging deeper, having passion and curiosity, and excelling at adaptability – morphing myself to relate to different people in different situations.


Carl D’Silva

Principal Architect, JAHN Architects 3.6.2014

Summary

Carl lectured on the design and construction of the New Bangkok International Airport, which was done by JAHN Architects (Murphy Jahn at the time). The airport planning stage took place from the 1960’s through the 90’s. In 1994 Murphy Jahn Architects won the terminal design competition. In a typical project, the role of the project manager is to stand and communicate between the owner, designer, and contractor. The architects are typically involved with this role and are involved in the construction process. However, because the owner on this project was trying to save money they decided to hire a local architect to manage the project. The contractor eventually hired Murphy Jahn as the project manager because they needed them to consult their subcontractors. This structure is really complicated and not the best way to set up a project. Carl spoke about some of the specific factors that influenced the design, from key airport programmatic needs to climactic influences. The airport is comprised of two main parts: the terminal and the concourse. In addition, there is the security barriers which distinctly separate land side and air side. Glass was utilized in many ways throughout the project, including creating a physical barrier between secure areas while allowing visual connections between the various spaces. The glass helps incresae transparency, passenger orientation, and blurring of the interior and exterior. The main glass façade is shaded by large overhands because of the tropical climate. Several green systems were put into place to deal with the extreme climate including louvers in the roof and a radiant floor cooling system. This floor system helps to concentrate cooling only where people are utilizing he stratification concept where layers of cool and hot air fill the extremely tall interior spaces. Only the lower levels are cooled, where people are. Another factor that impacted the design is that in old airports the runways would be diagonal because the wind direction was a key factor of take-off and landing, however with new technology all the runways are now parallel for simplicity. Therefore, the airport was laid out in a long straight organization, along the parallel runway system. It was crucial to really understand how the airport works to then be able to push the norm. The project used huge structural systems which built in room for future expansion.

Reflection

I found the topic and format of the lecture to be very interesting. Carl shared with us several aspects of the design and construction process which emphasized how complex such a large scale project can be. It was very interesting to learn about all of the strategic planning that goes along with such a program specific project. Designing an airport can be very constricting for an architect because of the high security factors and the specific operations. However, Murphy Jahn took a great approach to this and used the constraints to give them a clear direction with the design. By truly understanding all the needs of the project, they were able to push beyond them and also create a beautiful design. I loved seeing all of the pictures and videos of construction that Carl shared with us. It was fascinating to see the drawings of the structural designs and then to see how they actually came together. In this project overall, the structure was integrated so deeply into the aesthetic design of the architecture and I think that is one of the reasons it is such a beautiful and successful project.


Iker Gil

Director, MAS Studio 3.17.2014

Summary

Iker’s lecture was titled ‘Exploring the Collective’. Iker is trained in architecture but now works in architecture and urban design. He is originally from Bilbao, Spain and moved to Chicago when he received a scholarship to study at IIT for a year. He also lived in Barcelona for 19 years working on public space projects, precise interventions trying to make sense of the larger network. Iker is also the director of the Chicago Expander program through Archeworks. The work done there challenges perceptions of Chicago, ideas and how we communicate. In addition to his contribution to Archeworks, Iker founded his firm, MAS Studio, in 2008 and also is the editor of MAS Context, a quarterly journal. Iker started the journal because he loves to share the work of other people and liked making books. Overall, he really only takes on projects he is interested in. One project MAS Studio has done was the AFH Street Furniture Competition. They didn’t know site or community, so they created a framework for people to approach the problem. They designed a system of 2’ x 2’ boxes which can be combined in a variety of ways to adapt to the scale of any space. The boxes can be planters, trash containers, or seats. This helps to give a sense of ownership to the community members involved. It wasn’t the final solution but changed the perception of the use of their public space. Another project was the Pedway Project. Currently there is bad lighting, underutilized space, and poor signage. He thought about how to think about the pedway in a different way in order to create a distinction of public and private spaces and insert new program. Iker also created an competition for the Emerald Loop, Boulevard System to start a conversation about it. He describes his work as being proactive rather than defensive. In addition to his design work, Iker also worked with a photographer to create a publication on Marina City: a city within a city. He wanted to talk about the importance of the building but not in architectural terms. It is an interiors study of how people make their spaces unique by photographically documenting the inside of Marina City. Everyone recognizes it from the outside but doesn’t know what it looks like inside so Iker made it into a newspaper style publication. Another publication that Iker worked on was the book Shanghai Transforming which was published in 2003. He simply went to shanghai with a non-architectural photographer to show the old, the new, and the people. They tried to gather as much information about the city as possible and then present it as simply as possible. The focus was on 1980-2010 when there were impactful economic, social, environmental, and physical transformations. The book includes essays from people in different industries. Iker left us with a simple piece of advice: You have to do what you’re interested in so you’re willing to put in the time. Start with the people that you know, then reach out in an incremental process.

Reflection

I really enjoyed Iker’s lecture and found him to be a very interesting person. First of all, I am very impressed with his ambition and determination. Iker really only does work that he wants to do, but when he does it he really gets into it. The fact that he started his own architecture firm and his own architectural journal is really inspiring. Iker’s projects were all really interesting and in my opinion really high quality design. He seems to really understand the human experience of design, whether it’s a pavilion, a building, or some temporary urban seating, and he uses that to create great designs. I also was particularly interested in Iker’s work as an editor. I have recently been thinking about playing with graphics and publications as a fun project on the side and Iker’s lecture really inspired me to give that more serious thought. In general, Iker’s advice to us was simply intelligent. If you only do work you are passionate about, you will put much more effort into the project and the result will clearly be of a higher quality. If every architect only took on work that they were personally invested in, I think the world would be a much more beautiful place.


Geoff Walters

Principal, CannonDesign 3.18.2014

Summary

Geoff Walters is the Director of Quality for the Chicago Office of CannonDesign. He has a technical focus and is in charge of standards development. Geoff told us that he sees architecture as a three-legged stool: Technical, Design, and Business Management. Without one, it will tip over. The technical aspect includes process, performance, detailing, building systems, documentation, and delivery. The design aspect includes performance, detailing, and aesthetics. The business management aspect is mostly focused on efficiency. Geoff spoke a lot about the technical side of architecture because that is what he does. He broke it down into four categories: process, performance, documentation, and delivery. In regards to process, it is important for Geoff and CannonDesign to have extremely deep early engagement with clients, addressing broad range of needs. Expectations of program, cost, durability, and building performance need to be discussed early on. They document this feedback clearly in order to define design goals. Geoff believes that working collaboratively makes the process efficient. Performance used to not be so important because energy was so cheap. Today buildings actually use the largest percentage of energy use in the US, even more than cars, so it’s becoming a critical issue. There are several efforts going on right now to help reduce building energy consumption including the 2030 challenge by the AIA. Most firms have committed to 2030 challenge but we’re still far from it. Even so, these issues are transforming the profession. It’s crucial to think about how energy modeling fits into the design process. It makes design more of complex problem solving. That is what the profession is and its fun! We can get to ultra-low energy buildings with no premiums, it’s about fundamental design decisions, not overlaid strategies. Documentation has changed a lot over the past 15 years. The introduction of Revit and BIM resulted in a huge paradigm shift, not like AutoCAD which was essentially digital drafting. The key to delivery is understanding the time is money urgency of the field. I asked Geoff to elaborate on what he thinks about future issues that the field of architecture is going to face and how he could try to predict these problems. He spoke about resource depletion, water, materials, chemicals (health and production), and long term durability. He also told us how mass timber will be an upcoming solution. Other things that are going to really drive the industry are durability, adaptability, renovation, reuse, and energy retrofits. At the end of the lecture, Geoff gave us some general advice. He told us to seek mentors, ask questions, find dependable resources, and create stepping stones of knowledge.


Laura Fisher FAIA 3.26.2014

Summary

Laura Fisher is a Virginia Tech Alumni, where she completed a Bachelor of Architecture. After that she went on to get her MBA of Finance at University of Chicago. She is a licensed architect in New York, Texas, and Illinois. Laura spoke to us about alternative careers in architecture and the broader practice of architecture. In addition to her architecture licensure and being an AIA Fellow, she is also a licensed interior designer and real estate broker. Her advice to us was to get licensed right out of school. Laura worked at SOM in Chicago during a fourth year externship. She was the only woman on the floor so everyone remembered her. Throughout her career, Laura has lived in Chicago, Houston, New York, and London. She has also worked with banks, hotels, office buildings, and charter schools. Laura has not taken the traditional route of an architect, but does more work as a project manager. Now she is self-employed and therefore does everything for herself: payroll, book keeping, and services. In order to do this, you need to know what your skill set is and the value of your services. The second half of her lecture was focused on advice for us. She recommends trying to get involved wherever you can: volunteer for church building committee, etc. When looking for a job, realize that different firms have different cultures. It’s important to look to the leaders and learn as well as try to find and fit in with a culture you like. Professional behavior is essential because you will be representing them to their clients. Networking and building strong professional relationships is key. All of her work in the past 12 years she has gotten from contacts. Make real connections, distinguish yourself, and keep in touch! Hand written thank you notes can go a far way. Laura also showed some resume examples and gave us advice on how to make them be great. It’s important to only give details where you want to share and to use key words such as prepare, performed, assessed, and lead. Another thing she told us to do is to start my career folder now. Start to keep fliers and other papers from events or programs you attended or organized. Keep information on all projects you’ve worked on and be sure to get this before changing jobs. Keep track of all of your awards and recognitions. One way to remember these more easily is to simply keep things on your google calendar so they are always there. Laura’s final piece of advice was to relax, stay positive and curious: it will take time to figure out your career.


Don Copper

Partner, GREC Architects 4.17.2014

Summary

The project that Don spoke about was the design of an Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. The Ace Hotel chain has a very distinct style to it, using local artists and a grungy look while retaining high end appeal. The hotel was designed as an adaptive reuse of a landmark building in old downtown LA. This area has new zoning and a lot of recent revitalization is going on between 3rd and 9th streets and the Ace Hotel is on the next block. It is a part of the next development of revitalization in the area. The building is the old United Artist Theater. It was built in 1927 by the United Artists, an organization which Charlie Chaplin was a part of. GREC’s project was to restore the theater in the building, gut the rest of the structure and build in a hotel, restaurant and roof deck. Don explained some of the details of the project, including the additional structure added which is necessary to resist lateral seismic loads. They added a grid of spray-on concrete on two of the structural exterior walls. The landmark policies in California are also very complicated and they had to work under the regulations of city, state, and federal codes. This made the project much more tedious and difficult. “Nothing is simple.” In a project like this one, or in any project, it is important for the architect to answer as many questions as possible ahead of time in the construction documents. This is especially key in renovation projects. CD’s are complex, but not too difficult as long as they are organized. Generally you begin with site and context, then larger scale drawings (overall plans, sections, and elevations), then enlarged drawings of details, then drawings of how various systems come together (mechanical, electrical, etc), and finally you list all the schedules (inventories of doors, windows, hardware, everything). CD’s are crucial to control all of the different elements that come together in a building. They are contracts for construction, defining the scope and responsibilities.


Peter Ellis

Principal, CannonDesign 4.22.2014

Summary

Peter Ellis’ lecture was titled “Restructuring American Cities”. How do we restructure cities designed in the 19th century without just tearing them down? You need to understand the “moving parts of cities” and how they come together. We need to think about the lessons learned from designing a new city and how to apply Iessons to existing cities. We also need to address issues of climate change and resilience. Peter really likes to live where he designs and to actually build what he designs so he can really understand it. Peter told us about the design of Jaypee City in India and what the significant influences and ideas of the design came from. Peter and his team designed the city for 1 million people which was a blank slate green field site. The Indian climate is really hot all year, except for a three month long monsoon season. Also, the cultural and socioeconomic conditions of India are very unique. It is as if 2000BC meets 2000AD where the rural areas run into the cities. There is a very large economic gap between the rich and the poor. Mr. Jaiprakash Gaur was given 15,000 acres by the Indian government as a thank you for building the first super highway in India. Peter believes that open space is the primary structure of the city. Therefore, in Jaypee City, he designed a 17km long park which connects the entire city as well as collects the monsoon water. It acts as an “urban sponge” which is the center of the neighborhood and contains bicycle trails, the public transit system, and open space. This continuous network of parks is the city storm water system which increases real estate values along the park, unlike pipes. This is very different from how we think about our cities. The city was also shaped by the sun and climate patterns. The long side of the blocks face South/South East to maximize sunlight. This alignment also works to be parallel to the wind direction which is crucial to cooling the city at night. Similar to the structure of a net, the city has more frequent narrow roads, rather than fewer wide roads, which has been proven to be better for traffic. Peter and his team also implemented a decentralized utility network. This provides numerous systems throughout the city and within the local neighborhoods and is a much cheaper was to distribute water. The second half of the lecture focused on how these lessons learned abroad can be applied to the design of US cities. It is essential to transform our infrastructure over time. Investing in the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities is necessary for the operation of a society. In the past, we built vast, deep tunnels underground to collect water. We are just now beginning to collect water at grade through green infrastructure. These often consist of simple open planters along streets. By utilizing the right plants, you can also clean the air. Vancouver does this very well by incorporating bio swales, pedestrian paths, and bike lanes into an effective system. Another effort that is being made is to capture the abandoned 19th century infrastructure and turning them into projects such as the Highline in New York and the 606 Bloomington Trail in Chicago. Philadelphia has recently developed a model green infrastructure ordinance. They were no longer allowed to pollute their river so they are making an effort to create a system of green infrastructure for water collection. They chose this over building an underground pipe system simply because it was cheaper. They are now turning almost every rooftop and empty green lot into green space. Nature is truly the new city infrastructure. In Chicago, the Burnham Plan created an emerald necklace loop around the city. Today, we need to enhance that plan and make a finer grain by greening every fourth street. We just need time and a strategic plan to make this happen. Creating a continuous loop can save 50% of the city’s water. Cities should also use methane gas from human and organic waste for energy. Cincinnati performed a study looking at how to break down their central utility system into self-sufficient districts, similar to the structure of Jaypee City.


Our cities have gone through a transformation from mass transit to personal transit: 19th century trains, 20th century cars, what will the 21st century bring? Peter believes systems such as Zip Car, Uber, Bus Rapid Transit, Light rail, Demand Responsive Transit, and Self-Driving Cars will play a key role in developing cities of the future. Through the combination of the ideas of Zip Car and driverless cars, cities won’t need parking. We won’t need to bother laying tracks, simply just paint lines. Currently, approximately 30% of land in cities is dedicated to parking. This is a huge waste. For one million square feet of building, there is about 500,000 square feet of parking. Without the need for parking, we can turn parking lots into parks and parking along streets into bike lanes. This can help to create a city in harmony with nature. All of this is currently happening within one US city or another but nowhere yet is there a comprehensive plan. After the lecture was done, I asked Peter to talk a bit about the cultural differences between the US and India and how that impacted the work. One of the biggest factors was the lack of respect for the public realm. This made it very difficult to design and sell the idea of public space. Nobody would buy a unit on a public street or a public park, so they had to design gated communities to have private streets. It is so engraved in the Indian mind that public space is bad and this was a huge obstacle to overcome. In addition, electricity in India is not very reliable which made it difficult to sell high up apartments for fear of elevators not working. Most Indians live in 3 or 4 story buildings, and the buildings in Jaypee City were 30 to 50 stories. Bottom apartments were surprisingly more desirable than top ones, which is the opposite of the US real estate market. Peter also spoke about some of his thoughts on cities in general. He knows the world needs more cities, but the problem is there’s no client for that. Cities he has enjoyed the most are just wonderful places to be. Rome for example has beautiful 5 to 6 story plaster buildings with balconies and shutters. London has delightful flat brick walls with white trim. In these cities, every building weaves into the fabric. They are all about the public realm. In the west, we focus on building a unique object but these don’t make nice cities. In Chicago, Mies van der Rohe and his followers used a straightforward approach to structure and clarity which resulted in a nice architectural language throughout the city. It’s nice to have a few unique pieces, but more effort needs to be put into weaving the city together. We need to ask ourselves how to create a poetry that creates a city. The profession isn’t there yet but it has to be.

Reflection

I found Peter’s lecture to be absolutely fascinating. Since he is my mentor, I had already had the opportunity to speak with him about his work with Jaypee City but this lecture went into much more detail about the project and how it influenced his ideas for repairing American cities. I think that the methods he implemented in that city were genius and that they will definitely set up a framework for a successful city. The conversation after the lecture about the cultural differences was really interesting to me. I found what he told us to be so interesting and very unpredictable. I am very interested in studying the relationship between cultural and social societal factors and the built environment for my thesis and the stories Peter shared with us got me even more excited for that. I think that we are entering the architecture and urban design profession at a really key moment, when cities are beginning to realize the necessity of repairing the world we built in the 19th century. New technologies will be emerging and drastically changing the urban environment as we know it and I think it is up to my generation of designers to tackle these new issues as they present themselves.


Adam Whipple

Project Manager, Newcastle Limited 4.23.2014

Summary

Adam Whipple’s lecture was a discussion of project management and the broadened field of architecture. Adam received his Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois and his Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard. He has worked as a project architect, urban designer, and urban design project manager in the past. Adam began speaking about a list of architecture skills and how they can be applied to many different fields. The list included: problem solving, presentation and communication, coordination and team work, ability to break down a complex problem into executable tasks, technical skills, spatial understanding, design and creativity, interest in public welfare and domain, code of ethics, and broad training in math, science, engineering, economics, government, writing, computer technology, planning, and diagramming. He then compared these skills to the job of a project manager, which he simply called project delivery. Project management includes organizing components of a project, defining planning, executing, controlling, and completing a project, managing budget, schedule, and scope. In a large firm there is a technical coordinator, a designer, and a construction manager in addition to the project manager. In a small firm the project manager usually also acts as designer and technical coordinator. In small firms, the responsibilities of the project manager are much wider. Adam shared a few example projects with us and what his role was for each. The first was a small project of an orthodontist office on Park Avenue in New York City. He had man responsibilities including design, coordination with the client and contractors, budget, and schedule. He was involved in all parts of the project. The second example was a large project of a master plan for the Kingdom of Bahrain with SOM. He had specific, limited responsibilities including correspondence with consultants, review of the work plan, budget, and expenses, schedule of travel, and strategy of presentation. The third example was a development project of The Belmont on North Sheridan in Chicago. His responsibilities including assessment and budgeting of asset purchase, strategy and direction of work, hiring, contract, management of design team, design, management of budget and schedule, and construction management. He had a big role throughout the entire project. Beyond the traditional box of architecture, there is a broadened field which includes education, facilities management, real estate, construction, government, and building products. Within each of those topics there are many more jobs that one can do with an architecture degree. Other programs are starting to see the value in an architectural education and are stealing ideas from it. There is a program at Stanford where you can study design thinking specifically. An example of architects working outside of the box is Pinterest, which was founded by an architecture student. The architecture curriculum needs to expand to these other topics. People who know how to make the built environment better should be in decision making positions. Our skill of design thinking can’t be imported. We have very agile thinking and can learn quickly.


David Wilts

Associate Principal, Arup 4.24.2014

Summary

David Wilts is a smart buildings practice leader for the American offices of Arup. His background is not one of traditional architecture. He used to mix in the music business and was n broadcasting before becoming an architect. Adam asked the question how do we really design for net-zero? In broadcasting, the systems are designed to exchange data and work together. Buildings don’t do this yet, but David and Arup are working to promote these new technologies, called Integrated Building Technology (IBT). An Arup leader spoke at a conference and significantly influenced David. He asked the question: how can we really understand the client? People may say that they want a smart building but they don’t really know what that means. Similar to how if Henry Ford had asked his costumers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse, Arup is writing what is not yet on the page. Would you rather have a camera, music player, newspaper, calculator, and more, or just a smart phone? Arup is trying to do this with buildings to create a smart building. For example, an occupancy sensor should be communicating with lighting, heating, and cooling systems, as well as outlook calendars for scheduling. Their five big goals are to improve the user experience, improve productivity, reduce cost of operation, reduce cost of energy and utilities, and empower sustainability and stewardship goals. Right now there is the perception that it is too difficult or expensive but that isn’t true. It’s possible to reduce the construction costs through materials and labor. Also, because manufacturers want an example building to showcase their new products, they will often give utility or funding grants to offset the cost. David then shared with us a few examples of projects in which smart building systems have been incorporated. One was a building in New York City for Cornell. They wanted to use all information and systems in this project because they will be used for teaching, research data collection, and product development for the school. Another example was a law firm in New York City where the owners had no concern for energy consumption. However, in order to maximize room utilization, client impact, and staff efficiency, they utilized several smart building systems. How do these systems get designed and implemented into a project? It is important to break down the scope specifically and write “required outcomes” into the contract. This means that if those outcomes are not achieved the contractors won’t get paid. They also include mandatory training by contractors to building employees in the contract to ensure everyone knows how to use the system. In addition, Arup follows performance data after construction on all projects.

Reflection

I learned so much from David’s lecture about intelligent building systems. Not only was the topic interesting, but his format of presenting was very stimulating. David related the concept of integrated building technology to existing products such as smart phones. This made it very easy to understand and relate to. It was exciting to learn how economically feasible these new technologies are, despite the perception of unaffordability. I think that people such as David who are dedicating their careers to promoting these systems and relating them to issues beyond that of environmental concern are doing a favor to the world. These systems won’t really catch on until we can convince the average businessman that it will not only help the environment but also help their business flourish. There are so many integrated technologies in other industries that have significantly impacted their success and it is time for the architecture world to be transformed too.


John Syvertsen

Principal, CannonDesign 4.30.2014

Summary

Your values will ebb and flow throughout your professional life but they don’t go away. John began by telling us a bit about his background. He moved to Chicago after school and work at a boutique firm for 10 years. At that firm he worked his way up to being a partner and then decided to start his own firm. For one semester he taught at University of Minnesota at Minneapolis while working in Chicago. He was flying there and back every day for the fall semester when he was a visiting professor. John never knew how to say no to an opportunity so he just dove into everything. It was hard but he doesn’t regret it. He joined OWP/P because of a colleague of his from the AIA Chicago Board. Six years later he became president there. The firm grew from 150 to 300 people over the course of 10 years. They then merged with CannonDesign due to their similar ideas, great leaders, and complimentary work locations. When the merge happened, he was able to step down from being president since they didn’t need two. John was in charge of the environmental and social sustainability of the firm and was very interested in pro bono work and social impact. At OWP/P, John had conversations with young professionals about finding a way to connect many people and make long term pro bono work. This started the Open Hand Studio which connects people and organizations outside of the firm and takes on project work which brings attention to the power of design to impact people’s lives. John has since watched in develop into today’s Open Hand Studio of CannonDesign. Two and a half years ago John received a phone call from Ford Foundation and Public Architecture in San Francisco. They asked if he would be interested in helping them with a workshop in Brownsville, Texas. Brownsville is a very poor and unhealthy community. They face a continuously tough border condition and a deteriorating economic situation. The CannonDesign City Group submitted and won the RFQ for the master plan of Brownsville and when helping site selection 11 out of 12 were outside of Brownsville. The University of Brownsville needed a new campus and CannonDesign worked really hard to keep them in the city. They worked for two years on the master plan and are now working on other smaller projects within it. The project is incredibly meaningful because it had a huge potential for either disaster or success. The team has all fallen in love with the city and the moral of this is that you can carry your values into your career. The message of Open Hand Studio has two parts: the business case and the personal case. The business case is about the huge business value to pro bono work. It is still profitable, just defined differently. You’ve got to take risks with your work, otherwise what is the value of it? The personal case is about the personal reward of dignity and joy. Don’t do the big thing – do thousands of small things. The rule of Open Hand Studio is “never don’t meet”. This means that even if they haven’t done the work they said they were going to do, they still meet. There is no excuse not to meet. They have a monthly conference call to have an inter-office conversation about on-going and planned work. They also host some events including a “Meet n’ Match” which is hosted in a different location each time and brings together CannonDesigners from different offices. John recommended we read the work of J.B. Jackson. He was a writer, geographer, and Harvard professor who spent his summers driving his motorcycle across the United States just to study the American landscape. His student John Stilgoe was another recommendation. They teach you how to see a place and understand that beauty isn’t an aspect but they very thing itself because of human presence.


Reflection:

Where do you see yourself if you were to imagine giving this lecture at the high point of your career? I found John’s lecture to be absolutely fascinating just as I have enjoyed every conversation with him throughout the semester. I have had the pleasure of having John as a mentor and I don’t think there is anyone who could have been more inspiring to learn from. If I were to imagine where I would be at the high point of my career, I hope to be very much like John. I’m not sure where exactly I will be at the high point of my career because my interests are still developing and adapting. At this point, I’m not sure what type of jobs I will be applying for out of school. That being said, I do have some more general goals and achievements that I imagine I will accomplish during my career. First of all, I know I will be doing something I love. If there is anything I have learned this semester, it is that you must love what you do because if you don’t you won’t be invested enough in it to produce high quality work. If you love what you do, it will show in your work. Secondly, I imagine that I will remain invested in urban issues throughout the rest of my career. Whether that means working within the built environment or perhaps diving into strategy or policy, I know that this broad interest of mine will captivate my focus for a long time. Finally, I love learning so much that I know I will go back to school for another degree or two at some point. I want to work and learn collaboratively throughout my life and can definitely see myself teaching as well. The Chicago Studio program has demonstrated the immense power of combining the academic and professional worlds and I want to involve myself in this kind of a collaboration throughout my career. Wherever I end up in my career, and whatever topic I may be discussing at the high point lecture, I know that this experience has prepared me for it. I feel confident and excited to enter the workforce at such an opportune moment for city development.


Don Copper

Leadership Architect Partner, GREC Architects 3.27.2014

Casey Renner

Mid Level Architect Associate, Skidmore Owings & Merril 4.29.2014

Winn Chen

Entry Level Architect Intern Architect, CannonDesign 4.8.2014

Louise Yeung

Other Professionall: Planner Planning Assistant, CMAP 4.1.2014

Rebecca Mortenson

Other Professional: Human Resources Recruiter, CannonDesign 3.25.2014

Iker Gil

Other Professional: Editor Editor, MAS CONTEXT 4.21.2014

Kelly Luckasevic

Other Professional: Strategist Fellow, Civic Consulting Alliance 4.23.2014

Randy Guillot

Ethics Interview Pricipal, CannonDesign 4.21.2014

Interviews


Don Copper

Leadership Architect Partner, GREC Architects 3.27.2014 “My brain is in my elbow.” What is your educational and professional background? My plan coming out of school was to move into a townhouse in New York City, have a bakery on the first floor, an art and architecture studio on the second floor, and live on the third floor. None of that happened. I actually arrived in Chicago during a huge recession. Only CF Murphy was hiring at the time because they had a huge project expanding O’Hare Airport. It was a great job and had a lot of resources but it lead me to realize that I was not interested in a corporate environment. I ended up resigning because I was working too much. Then I worked for a small firm where I actually could be a project manager on some projects, which was a great experience. Then I worked self-employed for a year or two. I worked a few other places in between including Destafano & Partners. In 2006, we started GREC and we had a ton of work until the recession in 2008. We went from 32 people to 16 people and have stayed around that size ever since.

What is your outlook on your success? I am a firm believer in timing and luck. It is important to do as much as you can to set yourself up for the opportunity of success. You don’t need a big plan, just a strong work ethic.

How did your time at Virginia Tech shape who you are as an architect today? Virginia Tech really made me a creative thinker and unconventional designer. I think Gene Egger is a genius. I had a two hour conversation with him second year about a drawing I made that was an elevation composed only of shadows. Virginia Tech professors like to keep projects a surprise, revealing the prompt slowly. This happens in Chicago Studio too. The radical conjectures made you analyze the site without knowing that you were.

Can you tell me a little about your art work? “My brain is about making things.” My artwork has gone in that direction. It is completely intuitive. I don’t know what it is while I’m making it but I’m finished I know that I’ve seen it before. It’s like having a conversation with myself and I can remember it because it’s documented. With my art, there is no goal, just a path.


Casey Renner

Mid Level Architect Associate, Skidmore Owings & Merril 4.29.2014 “Your career is not about Revit.” What is your academic and professional background? I became an architect because my dad had magazines with house plans which I really liked looking at. I also looked at a ton of maps in atlases. I did my undergrad at University of Minnesota and was a year or two behind Andrew. We later worked together after school with Ralph Rapson. I studied abroad in Copenhagen at the Danish Institute of Study Abroad which made me fall in love with Scandinavia. So I moved there to work in Norway after my undergrad. I also worked for Vincent James before getting my Masters of Architecture at MIT. Up until I joined SOM in 2008, every office I had worked for was small. Most of them were around 20 people or fewer.

What projects do you work on here? I mostly work on large scale mixed use international projects. I am usually involved with competitions and other early phase projects. I am a senior designer, so I rarely am involved with the technical side of the project. It works for me because I think more design oriented.

What has been your favorite project to work on here? My favorite project is currently being built in Hong Kong. It’s called the Central Mansion and is a 22 story tower at about 21,000 square meters. I was really involved with client meetings and have been able to watch the site develop. I know almost every aspect of the building because it is actually a manageable size. It was different from many of our other projects because we weren’t hired as the engineers as well so we had to work with a different firm and help them understand our design ideas. I also really like working in Hong Kong because it’s very international and very unlike China.

What is your day to day role? My role is Senior Designer. That means I am the most senior person looking at design dedicated to one project at a time. Some of my responsibilities include scheduling meetings, delegating tasks, proposing designs to a design partner, sketching, and setting up files and passing them to other team members. It’s a little loose. I usually have 3 to 5 people working under me. We have pretty small studios and project teams – the largest team I’ve worked on was 10 but I wasn’t in charge of the whole team.

What is your advice for architecture students today? It’s important to be able to generalize and to understand broad systems and relationships. Software knowledge is key but what you really need to know is the overall concepts and structure of them. Technology will change rapidly but understanding the basic ideas of a software will help you learn a new software in the future. It’s also important to keep in mind that your career is not about Revit.

What shifts in the industry do you see happening? I read an article in the Guardian recently which talked about celebrities wanting to be architects, architect Barbie, and then it ended with a big existential problem of the death of the mid-sized firm. Lately you see all the bigger firms swallowing up smaller firms and eventually I think we will only be left with big corporations and tiny boutique firms. I don’t know what that means for us, just that I wouldn’t go try to start a mid-sized firm right now.


Winn Chen

Entry Level Architect Intern Architect, CannonDesign 4.8.2014 “I secretly like drawing details.” What is your educational and professional background? Well I liked architecture when I was little and in high school it occurred to me that I could be one. I always liked drawing and imagining things and was very rational so it seemed like a nice intersection of those two skills. School confirmed that I liked it, so that was good. I did a four year undergraduate degree at Washington University of St. Louis and graduated in 2012. I landed in the Midwest because I visited Chicago third year and loved the great architectural culture. I moved up here after school without a job and worked at Epstein for a month on a short project. One of my first interviews was actually at CannonDesign and it was a stroke of luck that I ended up here. There are definitely milestones within your first 2 years of a job. The first 6 months you are dipping your toes and doing busy work, the second 6 months you start to feel comfortable, after a year you begin to feel valued, and at a year and a half your personality really starts to stick out.

What interview advice do you have? When you are asked to talk about your work, be sure to show what your goals are. Use the goal, strategy, execution (why, how, what) method to describe your projects. You have to think about the project as a presentation, not just focusing on the design. Purity without explanation is completely lost. There’s definitely a big debate on that topic. I liked using power points to present my work so I could control sequentially how the project was revealed.

What are your future plans? After 4 years of theoretical, hyper-academic environment, I thought I wanted to have 4 years of working. Now I’m thinking maybe 5 years. Working at a big firm at first is good because you get to know a lot of people. I think I will leave CannonDesign to go to grad school, and that way I won’t burn any bridges. In the future I see myself living somewhere urban working at a mid-sized firm, possibly overseas. I also would like to teach.

Where does your design inspiration come from? If you ask me this at different points in my life, you’ll probably get different answers. I like having strong research with enthusiasm and energy. The hyper-studying of constraints which help you rationalize decisions. I think that I am good at the work related to the Project Architect role but am interested in testing out the Project Designer role. This is why I want to work at a mid-sized firm, so I can do it all. I secretly like drawing details.

What advice do you have for young architects and students? I don’t mean to be cliché but leave no stone unturned, bug people, and never work for free. Also, really give things a second and third chance. Stick out a job for 6 to 9 months. You’re not going to find your dream job right away. Know what you’re worth. Avoid large coastal cities – you won’t have money to enjoy life. When looking for a job consider how many hours a week, what you will be doing, what responsibilities and opportunities you will have, applied skills, learning, and how you can still enjoy life. Look at it holistically, not just considering your career. Overall, don’t be afraid to mess up but rather do so intentionally and learn from it.


Louise Yeung

Other Professionall: Planner Planning Assistant, CMAP 4.1.2014 “Urban design is a great intersection of architecture and urban planning.� What is your educational and professional background? I went to George Washington University in D.C. for my undergrad. There I got my Bachelors of International Affairs with a focus on Environmental Policy and Planning. For grad school I got my Masters of Urban Planning in the MIT School of Architecture. It was there that I learned about urban design and how it is a mix between architecture and urban planning. I took an urban design course for non-architects and it was a crash course in all of the software you learn as an undergrad. It was a very fun class! I have lived and worked in a lot of places including China, Washington D.C., Washington State, and Chicago.

Can you explain the structure of CMAP and how it relates to other Chicago planning departments? Great question. CMAP is a government organization, however it is not under the City of Chicago but rather under the state of Illinois. There is a federal requirement that every metropolitan area over a certain size needs a regional planning authority. This includes big cities like Boston, D.C., New York, and Chicago. Originally this was set in place as a transportation organization system so the federal government would be more involved with large transit planning so that the country would work together better. It has developed over time and CMAP today is actually a merger of this transportation office and the regional land-use office. CMAP covers the city of Chicago as well as seven other counties around it. The ultimate goal is to help each of these areas work and coordinate projects with one another. When we do work within the city of Chicago we work with the Department of Planning just as we work with the various departments in other counties.

What are your day to day tasks as a planner? I generally work with a lot of spatial analysis, GIS data, demographics, and census data which I record in map making or spread sheets. I also have a lot of external meetings in communities where CMAP has projects or with the city planning departments. A lot of what I do can be categorized as project management. I really do a lot of research and eventually that research gets developed into policies and plans, which I also write up.


Rebecca Mortenson

Other Professional: Human Resources Recruiter, CannonDesign 3.25.2014 “My favorite part of my job is calling people to offer them a position. Sometimes people cry!” What is your background? I started here at CannonDesign in January. This is my first job in the architecture and design field. I have been a recruiter for 10 years and have worked in finance and healthcare primarily. I went to school for psychology and ended up as a recruiter.

What is your day to day schedule? As an HR Generalist I mostly answer questions about benefits, work hours, payroll, and etcetera as an “HR help desk”. I also work with employee relations and office events. Most of my day, about 75% of my job is my work as a Recruiter. I schedule interviews, work with the hiring team to understand what they are looking for, and write job descriptions. Recently I have been working a lot on trying to make our job descriptions sound less corporate.

What is the general hiring process? We use the ‘hire-desk’ system as our applicant tracking system. We also post jobs to certain diversity sites due to the government contract work we do. I will first look through the resumes and perform a phone screening. This is to check into the first level of information: reason for leaving job, salary and commute expectation. One thing that is very important is the applicant’s ability to communicate with non-architecture professionals. I am also looking for leadership potential and make sure they have the required skills for the job. Next I send my interview feedback to the hiring team. We will then schedule an interview and have them fill out an employee application. Then I work with the hiring manager and design principal and we make an offer! I will typically look at 2030 resumes, send 8 or so to the hiring team, and invite 5-6 for an interview. I also check references but I personally don’t value them too much since it is rare that a reference would say anything bad about an applicant. We also look at work samples but typically can tell from the resume what companies they have worked for and that is telling about their design background.

What is difficult about your job? The hardest part of my job is writing an effective job description that compels good people to apply. They have to be specific and general at the same time. Most of the jobs don’t get a ton of applicants so sometimes I have to make cold calls after looking through industry publications or linked in for potential applicants.

What advice do you have for students looking for entry level or internship positions? When you get more experience, you don’t necessarily need to keep your resume to one page but for students its best to do so. Use key words in your resume as they can help you stand out in a word filter search. Having a local address when applying can help you not get tossed out from a time-sensitive position. In your cover letter be clear about your available start date, make sure it is specifically tailored to the firm and position, and make sure overall it is authentic. In general, try to do anything you can to stick out from the pack. These positions are always very competitive. Being referred by someone within the organization is your best bet. Sometime crazy good work samples or resumes can make someone stand out but that is much harder. It is very important for you to begin networking, but try to be sensitive. Develop relationships with professionals even before you begin the job search.


Iker Gil

Other Professional: Editor Editor, MAS CONTEXT 4.21.2014 “You have to be curious about other people.” What is your academic and professional background? I am originally from Bilbao, Spain. I grew up there. I always wanted to be an architect, but I don’t know why; I was just always interested in it. Bilbao is an industrial city which is good for engineering but not great for design, so I went to Barcelona to study architecture. It was an interesting time to be there, in the mid 90’s shortly after the 1992 Olympics were there. I later got a scholarship to study at IIT so I came to Chicago for a year. After that I went home and got licensed in Spain and worked there for a few years. Then I wanted to come back to Chicago, so I did and I did my Masters of Architecture at UIC. After that I worked at SOM for 2.5 years and then opened MAS Studio about 5 years ago.

How did you get involved in urban design? In Spain architecture is much related to urban design and the city. My work in Spain was usually large scale projects, as well as at SOM. Architects in the US only do buildings but there’s not much of a distinction in Europe. Planning was a lot more interesting for me because it was understanding neighborhoods and many other scales. It’s interesting to relate economic and social factors into the work. I also think it’s interested to see sky scrapers but they’re not my favorite. When people ask what I do as an architect, I say everything. People try to put architects in a specific group, but I’m not. You don’t learn every single specific skill in school but you learn the tools to approach it. You have knowledge of how to approach it and you work with other people.

Can you describe the transition from SOM to your own practice? SOM was really interesting because in Spain they don’t have those types of offices. Their large offices are 25 or 30 people. The mentality is very different because they focus on the outcome of the project, and work their butts off. There’s a certain scale that things happen at, with the principals leading it. But I didn’t want to keep doing that when I came to Chicago. I wanted to try something different to learn. I was interested in SOM and it was a great experience of the variety of projects, scales, and people. At some point I wasn’t that interested anymore. I didn’t see himself there in 20 years. It was a really interesting time so I just decided to leave and open my office. I was always really curious to do other things – I had done an exhibition and a book by then. Those are things that would have been really hard to do at SOM. They work like a machine, a well-oiled machine, so it’s hard to do other things. I didn’t want to give that up because I was also interested in how you communicate design. It was a good time for me to try it out without much to lose.

How did you start the MAS Context Journal? I made the book about Shanghai between 2005 and 2008, when it was published. By the time I started at SOM it was pretty much done. I had also done the exhibit at Crownhall at that point. When I opened my office I wanted to keep the same ideas as I had there but without a publisher. I was really interested in the process and format and how you collaborate with people. When I opened the office I was interested in two things. One was the architecture and two was to make this publication, MAS Context. The big difference is that the architecture office is my designs but MAS Context is others’ designs. Here other people get to talk about the issues. I try to balance between the two. The work grows and I reach out to different people. You figure it out along the way, with events and other platforms for larger topics.


What advice for young architects that might be interested in other projects like publications? Just do them. If it’s something that you think you’d be great to do it, don’t wait for anything else. I like doing things, I don’t like waiting. If you don’t have the resources, figure out how you can balance that. You might need to put more time or do other things. But don’t wait because if you wait you’re never going to do it. I think people need to do a lot of things to know what they like or they don’t like. Start with blogs if you can’t to printed versions, then work your way up to a book. In school you have access to a lot of tools and resources and professors. School is a great structure to build what you want to do. Once you graduate you lose all of that. You can do quick projects for a week rather than a few months. You can work with friends and test ideas and graphics and in one week you can accomplish a lot. If you do one project every two months that’s not too much and then at the end of the year you have 6 projects to show. The publication is the same – think about who other people who might be interested in adding or how you want to do that and just do it. School might have printing resources and other things that are right there. You can jump start this in school and when you’re out you have an understanding how it works. You never know. My advice is just do it.

How do you recommend to getting yourself out there and showing your work? You have to be curious about other people. I rarely do a project from me pitching it directly. Usually, it comes from knowing people for years. Sometimes I call people to ask if I can stop by their office because I really like what they did. You never know if years later an opportunity might come up to work with them. You always should ask because the worst is that they say no and you stay in the same place. You have to build it. I go to events and presentations and exhibitions in the city and I meet people. Its telling when people just come to you for interest. You have to invest your time and show that you’re honestly curious and invested in their work. People know who I am because of the journal. In the end it’s a way of thinking.

How to do start a project and a structure for it? There are certain projects where we work for people. If it is something that you’ve worked for then you can just go propose it. Or you can go ask someone specifically who you think would be great to work with for a certain project. Just do it. You pitch the idea and say well I can’t offer anything, but I think it’s going to be great. Get your friends on board or ask people to create guidelines or help review it with you. When you don’t have as much to offer you have to sell the idea and you have to really commit yourself to it. I got a lot of people to write for him without any compensation by just asking. You have nothing to lose, just send an email say I’m doing this and would you like to be involved? You have to just tell them the truth up front and promise only what you can honestly do.

What is your advice for architecture students? A lot of students think that you have to go to a corporate company and go work as an architect after school but that’s just one path. The good thing about architecture is that you have a strong general background of many things. You might not be an expert at anything but you have a great understanding of many things from the technical to the graphic. It’s a great start to do something else – curators, editors, etc. You can do many other things which may require other expertise but it gives you that platform to see those things. You don’t have to just pick one path. Also, know that it doesn’t just come to you. There’s nobody else who is going to call you and give it to you. You have to create it for yourself.


Kelly Luckasevic

Other Professional: Strategist Fellow, Civic Consulting Alliance 4.23.2014 “What do you want to gain from your first job?” What is your academic and professional background? I have engineering Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. After I graduated, I worked at McKinsey for two years and then Civic Consulting Alliance for one. Now I am going to business school. Fourth year of school was when it hit me that I really didn’t want to be an engineer but I liked problem solving, analytical thinking, and teamwork. I really wanted broad exposure from my first job which is why I chose McKinsey. In consulting you learn a lot of skills that can apply to other jobs.

What was your experience like at Civic? I was a year-long intern in an office of 20 to 30 people. Civic puts together partnerships between the city and private businesses. We are essentially the glue between the public and private sectors. Civic is great if you are open to learning about the broader public sector but know that they’ll stick you on any project where they need help. The fellowship program I did was about half administrative work and half project work.

What was your day-to-day experience at McKinsey versus at Civic? There are different types of consulting with different timelines and levels of intensity. At McKinsey I would be traveling from Monday to Thursday doing client meetings. For McKinsey I did more operations consulting and organizational work. I would meet with the team and clients, do number analysis, and make powerpoint presentations. A good day would be working from 8am to 10pm. It was a very fast pace. Whereas Civic was a non-profit but it runs like a business. They have local clients so I traveled much less. I worked on the Cook County Hospital System project looking at their leadership structure. I was in the office more often and only would go to the client for meetings. Things also move slower in the public realm. I worked on designing a solution for a problem by pulling together resources.

How hard is it to break into the field? There are a handful of firms which will take people from any background and train them. McKinsey is one of them. You have to cast a wide net when applying. Also, they use a very different style of interviewing where they test your problem solving skills called “case interviews”. It’s hard because at school you will have a lot of support to find an architecture job but not for other types of jobs. You have to ask yourself: are you okay with being a generalist for a while?

Where do you see yourself in the future? I’m doing my MBA which is very common post-consulting. I have experiential business knowledge but I need academic knowledge too. You meet a lot of interesting people in business school. I am trying to figure out what I want to do after school though. I am between a technical focused career path or one of public sector work. I also want to do interesting problem solving work for cities while being able to live comfortably.


Interviews Reflection

The process of interviewing so many successful professionals has been an exciting learning experience. This entire semester has exposed me to so many career paths that I knew nothing of before but the interviews presented an amazing opportunity to learn even more. It was a pleasure to speak with each of these people and to ask questions about their careers and backgrounds in order to help me understand where I might want to go with my future. I really enjoyed speaking to the various levels of architects in addition to the other professionals. Hearing everyone reflect on where they are in the architecture world, where they have been, and where they might see themselves in the future gave me a lot of perspective of what being an architect might be like in the longterm. It was also really great to learn about professions which I knew very little about in the beginning. As much as each interviewee was unique, there were a few trends that I noticed. Most people seemed to have a plan of what they wanted to do after school and at the same time, most of them did not follow that exact path. This was a comforting discovery because while I have an idea of what I want to do with after graduation, I am certain that it will change as I go on. It was nice to hear from so many people that it is okay to change what work you’re doing and how you want to live. Another trend was that many of the interviews and lectures this semester were with people with diverse educational backgrounds. There were architecture and engineering students who went on to be strategists and consultants, and philosophy students who became urban designers and architects. This knowledge, along with the encouragement from so many who believe an architecture degree is a great foundation for many careers, has made me confident that I will be able to explore a variety of options. I am confident now that my skill set of design thinking will be applicable to a vast variety of career paths which I might explore. There are several interviews which stick out as particularly interesting to me. One was with Rebecca Mortenson, a recruiter for CannonDesign. It was great to speak with her to understand the full hiring process. She provided me with especially helpful insight and advice which I know will remain relevant throughout my career. Two other fascinating interview were with Iker and Kelly. I really enjoyed speaking with both of them because they are involved with non-architectural work that I have recently developed a strong interest in. Iker was really great to speak to about both his architecture firm and his experience as editor of his own journal. Our conversation inspired me to take a risk and try to produce a publication of my own. I am very excited for this and know that he will be a very helpful resource throughout the process. My conversation with Kelly about strategy and consulting was also fascinating. She understood very well where I am mentally in my consideration of a non-traditional career path because she was an engineering student who did not want to be an engineer. She provided me with extensive insight to the different types of consulting as well as genuine advice of how to break into the field. Overall, each person I spoke with made a profound impact on my experience and I am grateful to have met such humble and successful people. These conversations helped shape my semester and my thoughts about the professional world. I am excited to continue meeting interesting people and learning as much as I can about my options.


Randy Guillot

Ethics Interview Pricipal, CannonDesign 4.21.2014 “It’s never a black and white conversation.” What is your experience with the AIA Code of Ethics? Within the code, there are things that are more or less specific. The very specific things can also show up in a contract. Most professional groups have a code of ethics which outline the basic standards but the most important topics get put into the contract. It also depends what work is being done and for whom. For example, there are strict guidelines for giving and accepting gifts from public officials. It is really important to pay attention to those regulations.

How does that section apply to other organizations you work with, such as furniture or material vendors? It’s very different with vendors because they are in the business to sell. They aren’t licensed by the state to protect the welfare of the general public like we are as architects. We don’t have to accept gifts from them, but we generally do. It is a give and take relationship: we get information from them and they buy influence to be the vendors for our projects. Vendors are to architecture firms as lobbyists are to the government.

What is an example of a time that the scope of work was changed? It actually happens all the time. What they mean by don’t alter the scope is really that you just can’t alter it and charge for the extra work. It is basically impossible to really define the entire scope of work up front but that is exactly how we work. In any project, you need to discuss cost and payment of additional services. Here’s an example of a scope change that ended poorly. The scope of work for a project increased and we had to ask for additional services because of it. The cost of construction increased, and our fee is based on a percentage of the construction cost. Therefore, we asked for the appropriate increase in services for our additional work and the client did not agree with it. They decided to terminate the contract rather than pay us more.

How is confidentiality dealt with in the case of a project contract being terminated or when a team member leaves the office? There are attorneys on staff who deal with this stuff every day. With a clientarchitect contract, we can fire each other at any point, what happens after that is fuzzy though. Many projects involve non-disclosure agreements. When you leave an office, you can’t take drawings without permission. In today’s digital age, that can be very hard to maintain because it is much easier to take files than hard copies of drawings. It also makes a big difference what the scale of the split is. When a partner leaves an office that is a much larger issue than an entry or mid-level. At the partner level, things like taking clients and projects have to be decided, much more than just drawings. In the end it’s really just about properly representing your input into the work that you do take. You have to be smart about it and not abuse it.

What is the relationship like when someone leaves a firm? Generally when someone leaves is to better their situation because they are unhappy with something. It also really depends on who breaks up with who. Whoever does the breaking up has knowledge of it ahead of time whereas whoever is caught offguard tends to be more reactive.


Have you ever had a client whom you’ve had a fundamental disagreement with? Yes, it happens but not a lot. We generally do a better job of vetting our clients than they do of us. For example, one client came to us after doing pre-design research with another firm (a common practice). When this happens we have to understand and accept the pre-design data. In this project, we did not agree with the outcome of the data collected and therefore couldn’t accept liability for it. The client did not understand why we wouldn’t accept it and decided to part ways from us. Another difficult topic is the value of design excellence. It is very hard to discuss this with a client and these disagreements rarely get worked out. Usually the design will be changed to fit with the client’s request. This is frustrating because in our eyes the design gets compromised. Also, it’s almost never a good idea to do extra work for the sake of the client without asking them first. You usually won’t get paid after the fact so we don’t really do that. Lately we have been trying to implement performance based contracts. These would be much better for the architect but it is hard to get owners to agree with them.

What personal ethics do you bring to the table with your work? I care a lot about gender equality. I personally try to hire an even amount of men and women. This is not CannonDesign’s philosophy but it could be. I am always interested in hearing about what other people think about this topic. In general, I believe in the inherent good of people. I give people a lot of trust, a lot of rope at first. However, because of this I can get personally hurt and when that happens it is hard for me to recover trust for that person again. I don’t give people a lot of chances with my trust. When you lose it, you have to work extremely hard to gain it back. My value structure comes down to trust. People on my team have to make “reliable promises” and there is a culture of accountability that everyone has to build for themselves.

Reflection I decided to interview Randy for the ethics topic because I knew it would be a very interesting conversation to have with him. Randy is someone who seems to bring a lot of himself and his personal views into the work environment so I knew that asking him about ethics and practice would also be related to how he views the world and his overall thoughts about ethics. We decided to speak about Cannon III from the AIA Code of Ethics. This area focuses on ethics in relation to obligation to one’s clients. We chose this topic because the relationship between a client and the design team is a huge factor in a project. How this relationship is established and up kept can make a profound impact on the project and everyone involved. Also, the contract between these two parties is an essential one which lays the groundwork for the project and its development. Therefore, we thought this would be a very interesting topic to talk about. One of the most interesting parts of the conversation for me was at the end when Randy spoke about his own ethics and beliefs. He expressed fairly strong opinions about the topic of gender equality in the work place. I found this to be very interesting for a few reasons. First of all, there is the perception that only women care about gender equality because they are at the disadvantage so it was fascinating to hear a man’s point of view. Also, it is rare to find someone who will so openly express their opinions, especially controversial ones and Randy did just that. I was very impressed with the confidence in his own beliefs as well as his genuine interest in our opinion on the topic. I’m not quite sure where I stand in the spectrum of this debate but it was a very exciting conversation to have and I know Randy was right the one to have it with.


2


Urban Mapping


Sustainability

Heather Rosen Maru Padilla

Accessibility

Kelsey Dressing Andrew Economou

Diversity

Anna Knowles-Bagwell Aaron Williams

Open Space

Bryce Beckwith Adrienne Milner

Compatibility Isaac Currey Lindsey Currey

Incentives

Patrick McMinn John Sturniolo

Adaptability

Rachel Montague Gregory Dalfonzo

Density

Ethan Bingeman Alec Yuzhbabenko

Identity

Erin Young Catherine Ives

Cermak Axis

Analysis and Proposition

Principles


Sustainability Heather Rosen Maru Padilla

The first principle of the book City Building: Nine Planning Principles for the 21st Century is sustainability. It is chosen to head the list because it is an over arching principle which impacts all the others. It is crucial for urban planners to consider the sustainability of a project throughout the entire design process. The principle of sustainability does not only refer to environmental factors, but includes social and economic issues. Sustainability is a holistic design approach. Sustainable urban planning can be broken down into two main efforts: conservation of the natural environment and smart city building. The natural environment needs to be carefully considered whenever designing a city. It is important to calculate the environmental carrying capacity of the land, manage the land use in an area, maintain clean air and water, conserve open natural space, and use local resources. The built environment must also be constructed in a smart way. Strategic plans include using energy efficient systems, making dense developments, implementing efficient infrastructure, and utilizing local building materials. Designing and building dense cities is a critical step towards achieving sustainability. Dense developments allow for maximum conservation of natural landscape and results in more livable spaces. In order to realize this condition, there needs to be cooperation and collaboration between regional and local governments. These groups working together can implement zoning and land use policies, inter-city transit infrastructure, economic sufficiency plans, and building code standards. Combining these elements will result in the planning of economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable cities.

BUILDING A CITY


Planned vs. Unplanned

Density vs. Sprawl

Guiding Populations

Intercity Transit

Urban Infill

Energy Efficient Materials


Accessibility

Kelsey Dressing Andrew Economou Accessibility is about facilitating ease of movement and maximizing circulation. In order to design a more accessible city, one of the most important aspects to consider is the concentration of density within an efficient transit network. Compact developments can aid in reducing travel time, discouraging automobile use and encouraging walkability. By connecting concentrated pedestrian-friendly destinations with mass transit systems, the use of cars is reduced. In order to better serve the pedestrian, breaking down large areas into small blocks and streets can provide safer and easier crossings, while also giving the road system redundancy. If a breakdown occurs, parallel routes can provide traffic alternatives. When designing transit systems, having the ability to handle multiple modes of transport is beneficial. Transportation, circulation and access corridors should be considered when designing a city. Setting aside areas as land reserves for future transportation use can prevent possible demolition of buildings. Transit corridors should be located at the boundaries of districts without blocking important views to create more walkable areas. By reducing the size and radius of turns, traffic is forced to slow down, which makes the area safer for pedestrians. Another way to increase pedestrian comfort is to consider the street types and design treatments. Wider sidewalks, designated mass transit, automobile, and bike lines, and landscape treatments can all work together to create a more pedestrian-friendly area. In conclusion, considering the needs of pedestrians and transit requirements in design can lead to a more accessible city.

Multiple Modes of Transportation


Small Blocks & Streets

SMALL BLOCKS AND STREETS

EASE OF MOVEMENT

Concentrated Destinations

CONCENTRATED DESTINATIONS

EASE OF MOVEMENT

Geometry & Scale

GEOMETRY & SCALE


Diversity

Anna Knowles-Bagwell Aaron Williams Diversification of a place occurs within two main categories: the built environment and the residents. The built environment can be varied through the conservation of natural landscapes or significant historic buildings, allowing for the character of a place to develop over time and authentically reflect its history. When developing new structures, design variation is important because it helps to increase visual variety. This can be accomplished by breaking larger parcels of land into smaller parcels and allowing different design approaches to take place. Design variation may be influenced by zoning laws, which over time vary building stock, or by simply allowing multiple design languages to be implemented. These strategies combine to create an urban landscape which is visually dynamic and representative of the people who inhabit it. However, simply creating an interesting and diverse building stock is not enough to keep people living and thriving in an area. Mixed use can be used as the umbrella strategy for diversifying the cultural elements which draw people to a place, allowing them to find their niche and stay there. In this case, mixed use means more than just variation in the amenities and program of a development. Instead, it incorporates a larger scale of thinking, including accessible transit and practical proximity between amenities. This concept of immediacy reduces the amount of sprawl, creating communities which are overall more viable for residents. It is also important to retain multiple levels of affordability within a mixed use development, thus maintaining economic diversity and combatting social stratification. When all of these elements are brought together, in combination with other proven urban strategies, the result is a place which is rich in character as well as visual and intellectual interest.

Mixed Use to Reduce Urban Sprawl


Conservation of Historic Structures

+

=

Optimizing Adjacency Between Uses

VISUAL VARIETY

CONSERVATION

Multiple Voices within a Development

SMALL PAR


Open Space

Bryce Beckwith Adrienne Milner The presence of open space within an urban environment is imperative for reasons pertaining to human health, natural habitats, and the quality of living environment. Open space should take into account the preexisting habitat and natural systems. When designing large open spaces surrounding wildlife, migration corridors should be preserved. The ground plane needs to remain porous to accommodate watersheds that often exist surrounding flood plains, rivers, and drainage corridors. The isolation of park spaces should distance habitat from human contact, creating various spaces of sensitivity to natural habitats. Recreation and urban landscape is an important type of open space for the health and quality of life within dense living conditions. Open space intended for recreational use and human activities should be programmed accordingly. The urban landscape should contain green spaces for environmental purposes that improve the quality of life such as cooling air, filtering polluted runoff, and absorbing carbon dioxide. Various scales of open spaces should be distributed within an urban fabric in accordance to easy accessibility. Lastly, open space is a crucial element of any built environment for the visual and spatial relief that it offers. Conserving man-made and natural landscape such as hills, rivers, parks, and skylight strengthens contextual characteristics. Views should be preserved, providing visual relief from the built environment, and highlighting landscaped contextual characteristics. Physical connection to these preserved views are important as it creates a release from cities and prevents the applicability of the island effect on the built environment.

INDUSTRIAL

INFRASTRUCTURAL

INDUSTRIAL

Programmed open spaces for human activities versus open spaces that accommodate industrial and infrastructural needs.


QUNLI PARK, CHINA

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Top: Large open spaces for habitat and natural systems such as water runoff and watersheds. Middle: Different scales of open park spaces for recreation in proximity to living areas. Bottom: Dense living conditions surround open space creating islands that isolate wildlife.


Compatibility Isaac Currey Lindsey Currey

“In deciding whether buildings are to stand out or fit in, the principle [of compatibility] suggests that elements of similarity are just as important in establishing a recognizable, identifiable sense of place as elements of singularity.” Throughout the process of design, context should constantly influence a project. This means checking the proposal against current conditions, and looking at it as a part of the whole of the city. Designers should reference not only the surrounding urban landscape of today, but also the city’s historical context. In addition, designers should try to account for future conditions, even postulate as to what changes their project might spark in the urban fabric. At the resolution of individual buildings, scale is a major factor in establishing compatibility. Parcel size, as well as height and setbacks can be regulated to form an urban consensus. However, allowances should be made for some variation, interest and relief. If desired, a height difference of up to two times can create a landmark building, but anything much above that will seem out of place and “freakish.” Likewise, over large parcel sizes break the continuity of the city. “A building should be respectful of its surroundings and of its time.” Beyond scale, designers are confronted with the temporal matter of style. In many ways, the built environment is a visual timeline of history. Every architect or planner of a new project has to ask themselves how much they want to reference and reflect the context, “respect [the] surroundings,” and how much do they want to deviate, in order to be “of [the] time?” How should the character of the building sit in this timeline? These questions are answered primarily through decisions of material and detailing, color and historical preservation. Compatibility is about the broader sense of place; about both similarity and difference. Seeking to respect the existing character and qualities of a site, compatibility in design makes way for the values of today and the possibilities of the future.


Incentives

Patrick McMinn John Sturniolo Incentives for expanding or building a city generally focus on areas that have under used land, infrastructure or buildings, such as spaces that are in economic decline or brownfields. This development is commonly carried out by governmental or private organizations to facilitate further investment. The most common incentives are: tax reductions; subsidies for land costs; site assembly and preparation; new infrastructure for transportation and utilizes; health care, education, and public safety services; open space and landscape beautification; and additional density allowances. A growing, livable city is an attraction for talented individuals who in turn will accelerate the success and expansion of the city life and attractive spaces. This develop process is found, planned, and defined through master planning and infrastructure improvement. The master plan provides a strategic approach for attracting new investments, city growth and development, and a defined focus for the future of the city. The master plan is designed around development quality, beautification, and value enhancement. Development Quality focuses on circulation, open spaces, and phases of building construction as a framework for potential investors. Landscape Beautification of streets, parks, and waterfronts are one of the main methods of attracting investments to a particular area. Value Enhancement consolidates existing land parcels and adds additional density to the plot which in turn adds further value to the property. The second direction for city development is through infrastructure improvements, which are done through access improvements and the creation of public facilities. By improving the infrastructure of a space to facilitate the ease of access into those areas, transit oriented development follows these constructs; malls, restaurants, hotels, and other like facilities being commonly found near a major access point such as a subway station. This can be accomplished through transit and street redesign, new bicycle paths, pedestrian walkways, parking, and other access improvements. The creation of public facilities such as airports, convention center, ballparks, museums, performance halls, cultural and educational facilities all create new jobs and draw in visitors and economic revenue. These facilities can also add value and revenue to one another, such as a new convention center attracting new hotels which attracts new restaurants and entertainment venues. SOCIAL CENTER

MAIN TRANSIT AXIS

RESIDENTIAL

SCHOOL


UNUSED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS TRANSFERRED

HISTORIC BUILDING PRESERVED


Adaptability

Rachel Montague Gregory Dalfonzo Adaptability, as framed by Kriken, is focused on the goal of creating cities that are flexible over time. More flexibility enables designers to conserve resources and history as a city ages. Designers are expected to take into account the needs of a progressive urban landscape, while maintaining the vibrancy of the built environment. The main points of adaptability are centralized expansion, smaller modules, conservation of open space, and viability of communities. All of these topics overlap in their effects and intentions, developing a balance between adaptation and innovation. Centralized expansion supports an efficient and understandable cityscape. By maintaining focal zones of established areas, both the sense of incompleteness and debris from new construction are separated from daily life. The finished center serves as an orientation device for visitors. Planning with smaller parcels of land encourages the most efficient use of valuable space that centers on the pedestrian. Parcels can be combined to create distinct programmatic groupings that can later be reallocated as uses change. A high degree of walkability, supported by maintaining accessible walkways through larger buildings, connects these disparate elements of the city and supports collaboration. Open space is a precious commodity in the city. For urban dwellers to receive a share of wind, sun, view, and green spaces, cities must prioritize the maintenance and development of flexible open spaces. The economics of the city are such that the supporting elements of daily life must be integrated into every community. Shops, gyms, residences, and businesses can be developed in a mutually supportive way. The viability of communities also relies on simple spatial decisions. Engaging the street and pedestrians results in a more comprehensive use of buildings, which can support a change in program later in time. Most of the moves that support adaptability are common sense, but they are also often overlooked, as designers seek to develop their personal ideas. While the expression of concept is important in the success of a design, the awareness of and engagement with more general issues is just as crucial. Adaptability will make any design much more valuable, especially as cities become more crowded and adaptive reuse becomes mandatory.

DIRECTION OF EXPANSION

60’s

70’s

00’s

80’s

90’s

REUSE

RENOVATE ADD

DIRECTION OF EXPANSION

MIX

ADAPT


General Practice

Optimal Practice

PLANNED EXPANSION

VACANT LOTS

COMPLETE CORE

INCOMPLETE NEIGHBORHOOD

DEVELOPMENTS DEVELOPMENTS

PERMANENT PERMANENT OPENOPEN SPACE SPACE

GENERAL PRACTICE GENERAL PRACTICE

OPTIMAL PRACTICE OPTIMAL PRACTICE

PARKPARK

SCALED CITY PLANNING SCALED CITY PLANNING

OPEN SPACE


Density

Ethan Bingeman Alec Yuzhbabenko Density is defined by the number of people living or working on a given unit of land. It varies based on many factors, but culture is the most influential. Developing countries tend to have a density of about 100 square feet per family while more developed countries have about 1,000 square feet for every 2 people. Another determinant of density is the terrain in the location of a place. Mountains, rivers, oceans and other natural boundaries impose limits and dictate the urban fabric. When dealing with city design, there are three elements to consider in an effort to achieve a livable city: + Integrating transit with shopping, business, and entertainment with residential areas to support efficient transit and encourage walking. + A suggested density of 300 dwellings per acre to maximize views, sunlight, and adequate open space. + Establishing amenities (recreational, cultural, and supportive services) to activate the street at all times. Implementing these elements, higher density, mixed-use corridors connect areas by means of public transportation. Strengthening neighborhoods provide a base for the density to form. Protecting landmarks, parks, and industrial areas, which are essential to a city and neighborhood character, bring economic benefit for the density to thrive. Lastly, expanding open spaces begins to make the higher density more enjoyable for residents. Sprawling development destroys irreplaceable land, wastes energy and infrastructure, and causes millions of hours lost in commutes. Through transit oriented development, careful planning, and providing adequate amenities, these densities are sustainable, livable, and achievable.

S MICHIGAN AVE

E ISL S BLU

AN

D AVE

S PRARIE AVE

S WABASH AVE

S PRARIE AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

S STATE ST

S INDIANA AVE

S STATE ST

S JEFFERSON ST

S CLARK ST

S JEFFERSON ST

S PEORIA ST

S HALSTEAD ST

S CANAL ST

S PEORIA ST

S HALSTEAD ST

S MAY ST

S CARPENTER ST

S RACINE AVE

S MORGAN ST

S MAY ST

S ALLPORT ST

S CARPENTER ST

S RACINE AVE

S MORGAN ST

S ALLPORT ST

S THROOP ST

S LOOMIS ST

S LAFLIN ST

S ASHLAND AVE

S PAULINA ST

S WOOD ST

S CLARK ST

S WOLCOTT AVE

S DAMEN AVE

S PR AVE

CERMAK RD

CERMAK RD

CO

ST

S WENTWORTH AVE

S PRINCETON AVE

AVE AND

E ISL

S BLU

ER

ULT

W

S CALUMET AVE

AV

S WENTWORTH AVE

N

ETO

S CANAL ST

S THROOP ST

S LOOMIS ST

S LAFLIN ST

S ASHLAND AVE

S WOOD ST

S WOLCOTT AVE

S DAMEN AVE

INC

E

ER

CH

S AR

CERMAK RD CERMAK RD

CERMAK RD


Establish Grid

Green Space

City Fabric

Infrastructure

Sensible Growth

Brownfield Sites

FINANCIAL DISTRICT

FINANCIAL DISTRICT

RESIDENTIAL

Financial Districts

Establish Neighborhoods

Residential Districts


Identity

Erin Young Catherine Ives Identity is creating and preserving a unique and memorable sense of place. The primary sources through which cities achieve identity are natural features, climate, culture, and design. Because each one of these elements can vary, it gives uniqueness to cities because of the infinite combinations. The greatest challenge for modern city builders is designing fast-growing, yet livable cities. Such fast development can hinder builders from recognizing and utilizing attributes of a specific city, causing these elements to not have time to develop into rich and deep ideas. On the other hand, generic components of a city can stitch together the urban fabric in an otherwise dense area with too many variables. The generic then becomes the background for specific landmarks and cultures to develop a sense of place. A good city must involve the public interest to protect and enhance the city’s uniqueness over the private interest that threaten it. However, the development of identity can be inhibited by conflicting interests, such as too many monumental icons that don’t respect their existing context. Establishing identity within a city is difficult and can be faced with many challenges. Many of the issues are common among cities, such as environmental sameness, repetition of elements, places that are hard to comprehend, a sense of being lost, and a lack of natural features. By utilizing existing conditions and recognizing a city’s potential, it is possible to create a sense of identity.


Issues: environmental sameness, repetition of elements, places that are hard to comprehend / sense of being lost, and lack of natural features


Cermak Axis

Analysis and Proposition Cermak Road is an east-west axis in Chicago just south of the Loop. It runs from Lake Michigan and McCormick Place convention center through the South Loop, an area of social housing, Chinatown, the Chicago River, an industrial corridor, and finally to Pilsen. While Cermak creates a physical, literal connection between these various areas, there is very little actual relationship between them due to infrastructure which cuts through them. This results in dead empty space between active urban areas. Some of these neighborhoods have strong identities and urban conditions, while others lack such quality. Through analysis of the site conditions, and keeping in mind the nine principles of Urban Planning, the goal is to strengthen each area along Cermak as well as the site as a whole. Utilizing the ideas of sustainability, accessibility, diversity, open space, compatibility, incentives, adaptability, density, and identity, I have proposed a series of moves which will help achieve this plan. • Add bike lanes along Cermak Road. • Improve pedestrian connectivity and experience between neighborhoods. • Specify land for urban infill and open green space. • Implement incentive programs to guide this development. • Regulate new projects to incorporate environmentally friendly design. • Provide a new bus route to connect the Loop along Michigan and Cermak to Pilsen. • Strengthen the identity of the social housing, South Loop, and industrial areas. I chose to focus my plan on the implementation of bike lanes on Cermak Road because of the wide spread impact this infrastructure can have on the area. Besides encouraging an environmentally friendly mode of transportation, the addition of protected bike lanes will also have positive social and economic benefits. People on bikes are more likely to stop and go into a store than someone in a car, therefore promoting economic growth of Cermak as a commercial corridor. Over time, this growth will be lead to further development along Cermak which will help connect the disparate neighborhoods as they exist today. Bike culture also can have great health benefits and long term impacts on a community as a whole. The construction of new bike lanes along the street provide a key opportunity to implement bioswales and other green infrastructure. Overall, the addition of protected bike lanes along Cermak Road will strengthen the area and set the stage for positive urban development.

Pilsen

Industrial


San Francisco Department of Public Works - Design for Second Street.

Bike Track - Copenhagen, Denmark.

Cultural Trail - Indianapolis, Indiana.

Social Housing South Loop Chinatown


3


Studio


Radical Conjectures Chinatown Island Radical Conjecture

Cermak Megablock

Radical Conjecture

Cartographer’s Studio Radical Conjecture

Workshop

Gentrification in Pilsen Delft Workshop

Group Project Cermak Corridor Urban Analysis

McCormick Place: An Anomaly Urban Analysis

Architectural Intervention Urban Propositions

South Loop Masterplan

Urban Planning

Cermak to Lake Michigan

Defining the Architecture

Studio


Photo Credit: Anna Knowles-Bagwell


Radical Conjectures


Chinatown Island Radical Conjecture

The proposition of making Chinatown an island in Lake Michigan incited an investigation of part to whole relationships. What makes Chicago the city that it is has more to do with the relationship between its parts than the qualities of them individually. If you transplant Chinatown to an island on Lake Michigan, the whole city responds, creating an entirely new composition of Chicago.


Cermak Megablock Radical Conjecture

Responding to the prompt of rethinking Cermack Road as a megablock structure, the project is an analysis and reinterpretation of basic city structure. The commercial corridors manifest as spines of the megablock, facilitating vertical circulation and bonding the entire structure. A secondary matrix of connections augments the activity of the spine, creating an intricate network of new relationships.


Cartographer’s Studio Radical Conjecture

The project explored the understanding of our world through only one sense. The goal of the mapping exercise was to understand and communicate to others how the project site would be experienced by someone solely through touch. Utilizing a team member as an experience tester, we documented the ways in which he learned to navigate and explore with his senses of sight and sound completely removed. Our analysis was then utilized to design a workshop for a blind and deaf cartographer. Link: http://vimeo.com/user26078440/sensorycartography


Photo Credit: Catherine Ives


Delft Workshop


Gentrification in Pilsen Delft Workshop

During a two day masterplanning workshop in collaboration with visiting students from Delft University in Rotterdam, the topic of Gentrification in Chicago was discussed. Each group presented a design solution addressing the topic in a certain neighborhood. Our group proposition focused on Pilsen, a neighborhood with a historically dense Mexican population with rich culture. Recently, Pilsen has been facing threats of gentrification as urban pioneers have begun infiltrating the area due to its abundance of artists lofts and its proximity to the loop. We discussed the implications of gentrification and how this problem should be addressed. Gentrification is a process which begins with the urban pioneer but doesn’t negatively impact the area until the influx of middle and upper class families. So how do we prevent the transition from students and artists into rich families? This is the question we asked with intentions of inciting a conversation.

SEGREGATION

GENTRIFICATION

WORKING CLASS URBAN PIONEER

SEGREGATION

GENTRIFICATION

UPPER CLASS

CONTAIN PILSEN. NOBODY LEAVES. NOBODY ENTERS.

WORKING CLASS

URBAN PIONEER

UPPER MIDDLE CLASS

WORKING CLASS

URBAN PIONEER

UPPER MIDDLE CLASS

GENTRIFICATION MIDDLE CLASS

WORKING CLASS

URBAN PIONEER

UPPER MIDDLE CLASS

WORKING CLASS

URBAN PIONEER

UPPER MIDDLE CLASS

MAKE PILSEN LESS ATTRACTIVE TO MIDDLE CLASS


WORKING CLASS URBAN PIONEER

GENTRIFICATION MIDDLE CLASS UPPER CLASS


Group Project


Cermak Corridor Urban Analysis

The group project began as an overall investigation of Cermak Road as a site in which each team was assigned a specific topic to research. This study of the built environment focuses on building typology and historical factors which shaped Cermak to be as it is today. It was through this analysis where we began to find interesting conditions in and around McCormick Place, the convention center which sits on the east end of Cermak Road adjacent to Lake Michigan.

WILLIS TOWER 4,477,800 FT 2 108 FLOORS

HANCOCK CENTER 2,799,973 FT 2 100 FLOORS

MCCORMICK PLACE 2 2,600,000 FT 5 FLOORS


PILSEN

INDUSTRIAL


CHINATOWN

SOCIAL HOUSING

HISTORICAL

MCCORMICK


McCormick Place: An Anomaly Urban Analysis

Focusing our research in and around McCormick Place, we found a significant disconnect between the massive convention center and its surrounding context. We defined McCormick Place as an anomaly and began to ask: why? Why is it so unrelated to its immediate context? Due to several factors, including a huge scale, a specifically touristfocused program, the conditions of arrival, and the edge conditions around the complex, it is almost as if McCormick Place could be transplanted anywhere and it would not make a difference. The sectional studies of the edge conditions revealed the wide highways and signifcant height differences which physically disconnected McCormick Place from buildings right across the street. The building has 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space and dominates several city blocks.

RESIDENTIAL

Analyzing the region from Michigan Avenue to Lake Michigan reveals the idea that McCormick place is an anomaly.

Six different zones offer insight into a highly varied and strange disregard for the surroundings.

AN ANOMALY

MCCORMICK PLACE

McCormick place is a self-sustaining entity that lacks a strong connections to its context. If you remove that context does it make a difference at all?

COMPLETE ISOLATION

EDGE CONDITIONS

COMMERCIAL

PROGRAM, USE, AND USER

The commercial zone which sits between the residential area and McCormick place has the potential to create a relationship between the residents and visitors.

EDGE CONDITIONS

What are a few of the specific conditions within the immediate context which further encourages this lack of relationship?

EDGE CONDITIONS

IMMEDIATE CONTEXT

ZONES OF RELATION

EDGE CONDITIONS

METRA

Lake Shore Drive, Metra and freight tracks, McCormick bus way, and other non-walking streets act as a barrier between the Cermack Corridor and Lake Michigan.

MCCORMICK, CHICAGO

DETROIT, MICHIGAN

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

In these other cities, the street is less of a barrier between the urban fabric and the water. At McCormick, these conditions are absolute.

TOURISM

WATERFRONT PRECEDENTS

BARRIER CONDITIONS

To reach Lake Michigan while avoiding McCormick Place requires walking several miles north or south. In Contrast, at Millennium Park, there are crossings at every block.

CROSSING LAKESHORE DRIVE

BARRIER CONDITIONS

Our study of the lack of connections poses the question of how relationships can be made between McCormick and its surrounding context. The site has layers of potential.

LAKESHORE DRIVE

WALKABLE STREETS

CERMACK TO LAKE MICHIGAN

BARRIER CONDITIONS

AN ANOMALY

MCCORMICK PLACE


McCormick Place - An Isolated Entity


McCormick Place Edge Conditions

Cermak Road

Indiana Avenue


Stevenson Highway

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Lake Shore Drive

Lake Michigan


Barrier

While the public space within McCormick Place acts as a physical connection between Cermak and Lake Michigan, it is not very well known and therefore is under-utilized. In order to get to Lake Michigan another way, one would have to walk over a mile north or south. This condition differs from the frequent pedestian friendly paths in the Loop. McCormick Place is both a barrier and a connector between Cermak and Lake Michigan.


DOWNTOWN AREA

Arrival

The conditions of arrival to McCormick Place of tourists and other travelers adds to the disconnection of the area. Some people will take a car straight from the airport to McCormick Place and leave in the same manner. Others might spend more time in Chicago, but only in the Loop and Magnificent Mile areas. Neither of these groups spend any time directly around McCormick Place. The South Loop neighborhood is often completely neglected.

MCCORMICK PLACE

O’HARE AIRPORT

MCCORMICK PLACE


Architectural Intervention Urban Propositions

The study of McCormick Place as an anomaly lead into a project focused on how to reconnect the convention center to its surroundings through a series of architectural interventions. The irregular schedule of conventions created a significant impact on the surrounding areas. The high fluctuation of population in the area makes it difficult for a business to survive. However, data revealed the remarkable underutilization of McCormick Place as a whole and presented a unique opportunity to bring architectural interventions in and through the building. Three study models focusing on the program and structure of the architecture reveal physical and ephemeral conditions on the site.

RESIDENTIAL

COMMERCIAL

TOURISM

MCCORMICK PLACE

82

ANNUAL CONVENTIONS

223 DAYS

68 CONVENTIONS USE A SINGLE BUILDING 14 CONVENTIONS USE MULTIPLE BUILDINGS ONLY 2 CONVENTIONS USE ALL BUILDINGS

39% OF THE YEAR MCCORMICK PLACE IS UNUSED

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

18

15

16

22

17

27

22

17

24

19

16

9

22%

BER CEM DE

JANU ARY

FE BR U

26%

42%

39% 74% RCH MA

OCTO BER

R BE M

Y AR

NO VE

40%

PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL USE

26%

BER

APR

IL

SEPTEM

MCCORMICK PLACE DAYS OF USE

AU

ST

61%

A

Y

G

U

M

JUL

Y

JUN

E

Existing Conditions

All of McCormick

Resulting Conditions

Lakeside Building

RESULTING CONDITIONS

EXISTING CONDITIONS

Program Model

Strategy

New Nodes

Site Map

Interventions

Program Model

Site Map

Precedents

Interventions

Interventions

Interventions


Existing Conditions: Visitors do not leave McCormick Place and locals do not enter.

XISTING CONDITIONS

Project Goal: Encourage visitors to leave McCormick Place to explore the surrounding areas, and bring local Chicagoans into it. RESULTING CONDITIONS


MIDDAY

MCCORMICK PLACE

AFTERNOON

MORNING LAKE FRONT

LAKE FRONT

RESIDENTIAL

RESIDENTIAL MOTOR ROW DEPAUL ARENA

EEKDAY W 12 S 6

18

0

24

18

12

6

0

24

W

EEKENDS

EVENING

RESIDENTIAL DEPAUL ARENA MOTOR ROW

MORNING

SOLDIER FIELD

RESIDENTIAL

LAKE FRONT

LAKE FRONT

MIDDAY

SOLDIER FIELD MOTOR ROW BIRD SANCTUARY RESIDENTIAL LAKE FRONT MCCORMICK PLACE

Looking at the nodes of interest around McCormick Place, these diagrams highlight when different locations are activated. This proved that there are many different types of visitors in different areas at different times.


82

ANNUAL CONVENTION

MCCORMICK PLACE 82 ANNUAL CONVENTIONS

223 DAYS

39% OF THE YEAR MCCORMICK PLACE IS UNUSED

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

17

27

22

17

24

19

16

9

MCCORMICK PLACE

82

ANNUAL CONVENTIONS 18 15 16

68 CONVENTIONS USE A SINGLE BUILDING 14 CONVENTIONS USE MULTIPLE BUILDINGS ONLY 2 CONVENTIONS USE ALL BUILDINGS

USED

O

19

22

N

16

D

22%

9

40%

42%

26%


FE BR U

RCH MA

OCTO BER

NO VE

JANU ARY

Y AR

R BE M

BER CEM E D

BER

APR

IL

SEPTEM

MCCORMICK PLACE DAYS OF USE

AU

ST

A

Y

G

U

M

JUL

All of McCormick

Y

JUN

E

Lakeside Building

39% 74%

PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL USE

61%

26%


Pin Model

Photo Credit: Lindsey Currey

Structural Model

Photo Credit: Catherine Ives


Programmatic Model

Photo Credit: Catherine Ives

Photo Credit: Catherine Ives


The city of Chicago is currently investing in a number of developments in the area which we assumed into the reality of our site. This includes the redevelopment of Motor Row as an entertainment district, a new hotel, the DePaul University basketball arena, and Genie Gang’s plan for Northerly Island. These new projects support our intentions of revitalizing the area.


Throughout the surrounding area of McCormick Place exists several nodes of interest. These offer a variety of program and user groups and are located conveniently close to one another. However, these nodes currently are disparate elements in the cityscape. By creating a network of relationships between these nodes, the cohesion of the area will be improved.


Precedents: Port Vieux Pavilion, Foster + Partners Torqued Ellipse, Richard Serra Vietnam War Memorial, Maya Lin

A group sketch exercise resulted in a series of ideas for architectural interventions. These structures form a path which brings one from Cermak Road through McCormick Place and finally out to Lake Michigan. These visually stimulating constructs became a stepping stone for further development of the architecture.


South Loop Masterplan Urban Planning

The refinement of site analysis as well as of the architectural interventions lead to a design of an urban masterplan. This masterplan includes the area west of McCormick Place and considers the variety of issues which lead to its static condition. After gathering information about the program and physical conditions of each lot in the designated area, new programs were inserted into vacant buildings and new buildings into vacant lots. Into this context, new architectural interventions were placed.

MCCORMICK PLACE

BER CEM DE

82

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

18

15

16

22

17

27

22

17

24

19

16

9

NO VE

39% 74%

PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL USE

MCCORMICK PLACE DAYS OF USE

26%

AP

R IL

BER

F

SEPTE M

J

OCTO BER

68 CONVENTIONS USE A SINGLE BUILDING 14 CONVENTIONS USE MULTIPLE BUILDINGS ONLY 2 CONVENTIONS USE ALL BUILDINGS

FE BR U

RCH MA

223 DAYS

39% OF THE YEAR MCCORMICK PLACE IS UNUSED

JANU ARY

R BE M

RY A

ANNUAL CONVENTIONS

ST

61%

A

U

Y

G

26%

AU

22%

M JU L

40%

Y

JUNE All of McCormick

42%

Lakeside Building

GOAL DIAGRAM

EMPTY DENSITY

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

NORTHERLY ISLAND E 21ST ST E 21ST ST E 21ST ST OFFICES OFFICES

E 21ST ST E 21ST ST

BAR

E 21ST ST

RETAIL

DEPAUL STADIUM

CAFE

S CALUMET AVE

OFFICES

S PRAIRIE AVE

RESIDENTIAL + PARKING

S INDIANA AVE

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

PARK

S MICHIGAN AVE

JEWELRY

PUBLIC INDOOR PARK

HISTORICAL DATA

HOTEL

THEATER ART GALLERY

RETAIL

AUTO BODY

RESIDENTIAL MCCORMICK NORTH

MECHANICAL

DATA

CERMAK RD RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS

CERMAK RD

CLEANERS RESTAURANT BUSINESS

AT&T

CERMAK RD CERMAK RD

MEDCENTER HOTEL + PARKING

RECEPTION SPACE HOTEL RETAIL

MCCORMICK EAST CLEANERS

SPA

HAIR STYLIST

RESTAURANT

OFFICES OFFICES OFFICES OFFICES RESTAURANT GYM

BAR

OUTDOOR MARKET E 23RD ST

E 23RD ST OFFICES CONDOS ABOVE OFFICES

E 23RD ST E 23RD ST

OFFICES

ART GALLERY STUDIO + SCHOOL

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

WELLNESS CENTER

TRAINING CENTER

MCCORMICK WEST

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES MOTOR ROW HISTORY MUSEUM

S MICHIGAN AVE

RESIDENTIAL CONDOS + APARTMENTS

MCCORMICK SOUTH

PARKING + VACANT ABOVE

MUSIC STUDIO

MLK

MUSIC STUDIO

DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

MLK DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

NODES OF INTEREST

NEW NODES

FILL EMPTY LOTS

SURROUNDING CONTEXT

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

NORTHERLY ISLAND E 21ST ST E 21ST ST E 21ST ST OFFICES

OFFICES

OFFICES BAR

OFFICES RETAIL

OFFICES

DEPAUL STADIUM

S CALUMET AVE

RESIDENTIAL + PARKING

CAFE

S PRAIRIE AVE

PARK

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

OFFICES OFFICES OFFICES

S MICHIGAN AVE

OFFICES

JEWELRY

PUBLIC INDOOR PARK

HISTORICAL DATA

HOTEL

THEATER ART GALLERY

RETAIL

AUTO BODY

RESIDENTIAL MCCORMICK NORTH

CERMAK RD DATA

CERMAK RD RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS

MECHANICAL

CLEANERS RESTAURANT BUSINESS

AT&T

RESTAURANT MEDCENTER BAR

OFFICES

HOTEL + PARKING

RECEPTION SPACE RESTAURANT

HOTEL RETAIL

MCCORMICK EAST OFFICES

CLEANERS

SPA

BAR HAIR STYLIST OFFICES

RESTAURANT

RESTAURANT OFFICES

RESTAURANT

BOUTIQUE CLOTHING STORE

OFFICES OFFICES RESTAURANT GYM

BAR

OUTDOOR MARKET E 23RD ST

E 23RD ST ANTIQUE STORE

OFFICES CONDOS ABOVE OFFICES

ART STORE MUSIC STORE OFFICES

BAR

MUSIC STORE

RESTAURANT OFFICES RESTAURANT RESTAURANT RESTAURANT

ART GALLERY STUDIO + SCHOOL

MOTOR SERVICES

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

MOTOR ROW HISTORY MUSEUM

WELLNESS CENTER

TRAINING CENTER

MCCORMICK WEST

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES S MICHIGAN AVE

RESIDENTIAL CONDOS + APARTMENTS

MCCORMICK SOUTH

PARKING + VACANT ABOVE

DAY CARE MUSIC STUDIO

MLK

MUSIC STUDIO

DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

REASSIGNED PROGRAM

BUS STOP RESIDENTIAL

RETAIL

HOTEL

PATH WITH PROGRAM

OUTDOOR MARKET

LOCAL BUSINESS DEPAUL STADIUM

HISTORICAL

DATA CENTER

PARKING

HYATT HOTEL

MCCORMICK NORTH

MAIN ENTRANCE

MCCORMICK SOUTH

GRAND CONCOURSE

INDOOR PARK MCCORMICK EAST

BRIDGE BURNHAM HARBOR

NORTHERLY ISLAND

400’ ROTATE

200’

ROTATE

100’

ROTATE

25’

A CONTINUOUS INTERVENTION


Existing Conditions: Visitors do not leave McCormick Place and locals do not enter.

Project Goal: Encourage visitors to leave McCormick Place to explore the surrounding areas, and bring local Chicagoans inside and through.


McCormick Place - Empty


McCormick Place - In Use


Urban Masterplan for the South Loop

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

E 21ST ST E 21ST ST E 21ST ST

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

CERMAK RD CERMAK RD

E 23RD ST E 23RD ST

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

LK

M DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

Identify and repurpose vacant buildings.

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

NORTHERLY ISLAND E 21ST ST E 21ST ST E 21ST ST OFFICES OFFICES BAR RETAIL

DEPAUL STADIUM

CAFE

S CALUMET AVE

OFFICES

S PRAIRIE AVE

RESIDENTIAL + PARKING

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

PARK

S MICHIGAN AVE

JEWELRY

PUBLIC INDOOR PARK

HISTORICAL DATA

HOTEL

THEATER ART GALLERY

RETAIL

AUTO BODY

RESIDENTIAL MCCORMICK NORTH

DATA

CERMAK RD RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS

MECHANICAL

CERMAK RD

CLEANERS RESTAURANT BUSINESS

AT&T MEDCENTER HOTEL + PARKING

RECEPTION SPACE HOTEL RETAIL

MCCORMICK EAST CLEANERS

SPA

HAIR STYLIST

RESTAURANT

OFFICES OFFICES OFFICES OFFICES RESTAURANT GYM

BAR

OUTDOOR MARKET E 23RD ST

E 23RD ST OFFICES CONDOS ABOVE OFFICES

OFFICES

ART GALLERY STUDIO + SCHOOL

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES

S INDIANA AVE

WELLNESS CENTER

TRAINING CENTER

MCCORMICK WEST

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES MOTOR ROW HISTORY MUSEUM

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

RESIDENTIAL CONDOS + APARTMENTS

MCCORMICK SOUTH

PARKING + VACANT ABOVE

MUSIC STUDIO

LK

M

MUSIC STUDIO

DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

Infill new buildings into vacant lots.


S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

NORTHERLY ISLAND E 21ST ST E 21ST ST E 21ST ST OFFICES VACANT OFFICES

OFFICES BAR

VACANT RESIDENTIAL + PARKING

RETAIL

OFFICES

DEPAUL STADIUM

CAFE

HISTORICAL VACANT

S CALUMET AVE

S WABASH AVE

PARK

S PRAIRIE AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

VACANT

VACANT VACANT VACANT

S INDIANA AVE

BUSINESS OFFICES

JEWELRY

PUBLIC INDOOR PARK

HISTORICAL DATA

HOTEL

THEATER ART GALLERY

RETAIL

AUTO BODY

RESIDENTIAL MCCORMICK NORTH

DATA

CERMAK RD RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS

MECHANICAL

CERMAK RD

CLEANERS RESTAURANT BUSINESS

AT&T

VACANT MEDCENTER VACANT

HOTEL + PARKING

RECEPTION SPACE

VACANT

HOTEL RETAIL

VACANT

MCCORMICK EAST CLEANERS

SPA

VACANT

VACANT HAIR STYLIST OFFICES

RESTAURANT

VACANT OFFICES

VACANT

OFFICES

VACANT GARAGES

OFFICES RESTAURANT GYM

BAR

OUTDOOR MARKET E 23RD ST

E 23RD ST VACANT GARAGES

OFFICES CONDOS ABOVE OFFICES

VACANT OFFICES

MCCORMICK WEST

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES

WELLNESS CENTER

VACANT

VACANT

VACANT

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES VACANT OFFICES VACANT

TRAINING CENTER

MCCORMICK SOUTH

PARKING + VACANT ABOVE

VACANT ART GALLERY STUDIO + SCHOOL

S INDIANA AVE

MOTOR ROW HISTORY MUSEUM

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

RESIDENTIAL CONDOS + APARTMENTS

VACANT MUSIC STUDIO

LK

M

MUSIC STUDIO

DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

Define zones to guide development.

S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

NORTHERLY ISLAND E 21ST ST E 21ST ST E 21ST ST OFFICES

OFFICES

OFFICES BAR

OFFICES RETAIL

DEPAUL STADIUM

CAFE

S CALUMET AVE

OFFICES

S PRAIRIE AVE

PARK

RESIDENTIAL + PARKING

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

OFFICES OFFICES OFFICES

S MICHIGAN AVE

OFFICES

JEWELRY

PUBLIC INDOOR PARK

HISTORICAL DATA

HOTEL

THEATER ART GALLERY

RETAIL

AUTO BODY

RESIDENTIAL MCCORMICK NORTH

CERMAK RD DATA

CERMAK RD RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS

MECHANICAL

CLEANERS RESTAURANT BUSINESS

AT&T

RESTAURANT MEDCENTER BAR

OFFICES

HOTEL + PARKING

RECEPTION SPACE RESTAURANT

HOTEL RETAIL

MCCORMICK EAST OFFICES

CLEANERS

SPA

BAR HAIR STYLIST OFFICES

RESTAURANT

RESTAURANT OFFICES

RESTAURANT

BOUTIQUE CLOTHING STORE

OFFICES OFFICES RESTAURANT GYM

BAR

OUTDOOR MARKET E 23RD ST

E 23RD ST ANTIQUE STORE

OFFICES CONDOS ABOVE OFFICES

ART STORE MUSIC STORE OFFICES

BAR

MUSIC STORE

RESTAURANT OFFICES RESTAURANT RESTAURANT RESTAURANT

ART GALLERY STUDIO + SCHOOL

MOTOR SERVICES

S INDIANA AVE

WELLNESS CENTER

TRAINING CENTER

MCCORMICK WEST

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES MOTOR ROW HISTORY MUSEUM

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

RESIDENTIAL CONDOS + APARTMENTS

MCCORMICK SOUTH

PARKING + VACANT ABOVE

DAY CARE MUSIC STUDIO

LK

M

MUSIC STUDIO

DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

Combine all of these efforts to revitalize the area.


S CALUMET AVE

S PRAIRIE AVE

S INDIANA AVE

S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

E CULLERTON ST E CULLERTON ST

E 21ST ST E 21ST ST E 21ST ST OFFICES

OFFICES

OFFICES BAR

OFFICES

DEPAUL STADIUM

CAFE

S CALUMET AVE

OFFICES

S PRAIRIE AVE

PARK

RETAIL RESIDENTIAL + PARKING

S INDIANA AVE

S WABASH AVE

OFFICES OFFICES OFFICES

S MICHIGAN AVE

OFFICES

JEWELRY

HISTORICAL DATA

HOTEL

THEATER ART GALLERY

RETAIL

AUTO BODY

RESIDENTIAL

MCC BUS STOP LOCAL BUSINESS

DATA

CERMAK RD RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS

MECHANICAL

CERMAK RD

CLEANERS RESTAURANT BUSINESS

AT&T

RESTAURANT MEDCENTER BAR

OFFICES

RESTAURANT

OFFICES

HOTEL + PARKING

RECEPTION SPACE HOTEL RETAIL

CLEANERS

SPA

BAR HAIR STYLIST OFFICES

RESTAURANT

RESTAURANT OFFICES

RESTAURANT

BOUTIQUE CLOTHING STORE

OFFICES OFFICES RESTAURANT

OUTDOOR MARKET

GYM

BAR

OUTDOOR MARKET E 23RD ST

E 23RD ST ANTIQUE STORE

OFFICES CONDOS ABOVE OFFICES

ART STORE MUSIC STORE OFFICES

BAR

MUSIC STORE

RESTAURANT OFFICES RESTAURANT RESTAURANT RESTAURANT

ART GALLERY STUDIO + SCHOOL

S INDIANA AVE

MOTOR ROW HISTORY MUSEUM

WELLNESS CENTER

TRAINING CENTER

MCCORMICK WEST

MOTOR SERVICES

OFFICES S MICHIGAN AVE

S WABASH AVE

RESIDENTIAL CONDOS + APARTMENTS

MOTOR SERVICES PARKING + VACANT ABOVE

DAY CARE MUSIC STUDIO

LK

M

MUSIC STUDIO

DR

E 24TH ST E 24TH ST

BUS STOP RESIDENTIAL

RETAIL

DATA CENTER

PARKING

HYATT HOTEL

MCCORMICK NORTH

MAIN ENTRANCE

MCCORMICK SOUTH

GRAND CONCOURSE

400’ ROTATE

200’

HISTORICAL

ROTATE

100’

HOTEL

ROTATE

25’

OUTDOOR MARKET

LOCAL BUSINESS DEPAUL STADIUM


NORTHERLY ISLAND

PUBLIC INDOOR PARK

PUBLIC INDOOR PARK

BRIDGE

CORMICK NORTH

MCCORMICK EAST

PATH AND PROGRAM

MCCORMICK SOUTH

PATH WITH PROGRAM

INDOOR PARK MCCORMICK EAST

BRIDGE BURNHAM HARBOR

NORTHERLY ISLAND


Cermak Road - Before


On Cermak Road, local shops and vendors are located in front of the new DePaul Stadium and hotel, across the street from McCormick West. The accessible roof of the shops will be attached to the bridge connecting McCormick Place and the hotel.

Cermak Road - After


McCormick Plaza - Before


Addition of structures to support a local farmer’s market and other seasonal events bring new program to the plaza. In order to create a more pedestrian-focused space, the dropoff road is removed. A large reflecting pool in the center of the plaza preserves open space and speaks to the grandeur of McCormick Place.

McCormick Plaza - After


Grand Concourse - Before


Human scale interventions are introduced into the interior of McCormick Place to reduce the overwhelming scale of the space. These structures also define a path through the concourse.

Grand Concourse - After


Lakeside Building - Before


The interior of the Lakeside East building is converted into an indoor park - adding a program to attract local Chicagoans while preserving it’s purpose as an exhibition hall. The design speaks to the various communities along Cermak Road and brings in unique cultural aspects.

Lakeside Building - After


Connection to Northerly Island - Before


The addition of a bridge to Northerly Island will have a profound impact on the connectivity between the built and natural environments. The bridge is designed to swing open to accommodate the needs of the harbor.

Connection to Northerly Island - After


Cermak to Lake Michigan Architectural Interventions

A connective path, facilitated by a series of programmed and designed nodes, is established to strongly connect Cermak Road to Lake Michigan. The design of each zone as well as the whole create a smooth transitional space to bring local Chicagoans into and through McCormick Place and to draw tourists out and into the surrounding neighborhoods. This path, augmented by a masterplan for the surrounding area, will revitalize the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago and can act as a catalyst for change in the area.


McCormick Place Plaza


McCormick Place Grand Concourse


Bridge to Northerly Island


Chicago Studio Spring 2014  

This book documents my semester in the Chicago Studio Program of Virginia Tech.