Tectonics of the ideal kiosk

Submitted by digital on Fri, 10/16/2015 - 21:16
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1458768034\/fsemkmwedhvyoe3dw5f9.jpg","id":"2336"}],"caption":"RISD\u2019s Ultramoderne team beat out 400 kiosk entrants in its \u201cexploration of flatness.\u201d"}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1458768134\/ydii17wlfthuio4zfk3e.jpg","id":"2341"}],"caption":"Biennial co-directors Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima commissioned kiosks from area architecture schools. The University of Illinois-Chicago\u2019s kiosk features a vault-ceilinged parallelogram."}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1458768157\/yci8rcladptk6pqzscjq.jpg","id":"2346"}],"caption":"The Illinois Institute of Technology\u2019s kiosk, designed with Pezo von Ellrichshausen, features a ziggurat that team members call \u201cscale-less.\u201d"}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1458768174\/zihsbbve25irtyf8p2pt.jpg","id":"2351"}],"caption":"The Art Institute of Chicago\u2019s kiosk, designed with Kunl\u00e9 Adeyemi, features a dramatic, limestone cantilever overlooking Lake Michigan."}]],"markups":[["a",["href","http:\/\/chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org\/lakefront-kiosks\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/www.ultramoderne.net\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/www.aia.org\/practicing\/awards\/2012\/twenty-five-year-award\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org\/current\/venues\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=0fKBhvDjuy0","target","_new"]],["em"]],"sections":[[1,"h2",[[0,[],0,"\n\nThe\nChicago Architectural Biennial unveils the winner of the Lakefront Kiosk\nCompetition\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"For the thousands of visitors to this fall\u2019s "],[0,[0],1,"Chicago Architecture Biennial"],[0,[],0," (sponsored in part by the AIA), and for residents themselves, Chicago is still Ludwig Mies van der Rohe\u2019s city. The German \u00e9migr\u00e9\u2019s stern-faced, steel-beamed skyscrapers marched out of Chicago and into surrounding provincial towns across the continent, defining the architecture of a city he adopted late in life. For the biennial\u2019s "],[0,[1],1,"Lakefront Kiosk Competition"],[0,[],0,", the winning team asked what Mies\u0027 legacy might look like if his questions about structural lightness and modern materials had been answered with wood rather than steel and glass."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"Ultramoderne"],[0,[],0,", a group of Rhode Island School of Design professors, proposed a winning design called Chicago Horizon. Comprised of Aaron Forrest, AIA, and Yasmin Vobis, in collaboration with engineer Brett Schneider, they were selected from an international group of 400 entries. Starting with Mies\u2019 \u201cexplorations of flatness\u201d (as Vobis said) and long-span structures, the team wanted to solve the same challenges Mies grappled with a generation ago but with a far more sustainable and affordable material: wood. Chicago\u2019s design legacy of strong, simple materials and solutions that take pride in marrying aesthetics with structure egged them along every step of the way. \u201c[It was] a great opportunity to not only explore this architecturally, but also to explore it in a context where the interaction of structure and architecture is really so vital, given that the wood is both structure and exposed,\u201d said Schneider."]]],[10,0],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The $75,000 kiosk, which during the biennial will house an architecture lending library that can be transitioned into retail vending, is situated under a square 56-foot roof. It\u2019s made of the largest dimensions of cross-laminated timber commercially available. This engineered wood product, more common in Europe but virtually unexplored in North American, is made by gluing together multiple layers of small-section lumber with alternate layers rotated 90 degrees to form much larger panels. The resulting composite in this case is only 8.25 inches thick but spans as far as 30 feet from column to column, making it similar to, but much stronger than, plywood. Thirteen glue-laminated wood columns hold the structure up, arranging themselves to support two sections of chain-link fence held in tension to enclose the library and an observation deck."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Virtually transparent, the chain-link fence offers a witty riff on Mies\u2019 ideas about minimalist structural honesty, and nods in the direction of Frank Gehry\u2019s, FAIA, "],[0,[3],1,"Gehry Residence"],[0,[],0," in Santa Monica, Calif., where chain-link is used to knock residential architecture off its pedestal with resounding indifference. The chain-link will also host a series of LEDs that will model each day\u2019s sun-and-moon cycle, presenting a soothing and welcoming show even while the kiosk is inactive."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Beyond the twinkling light show, a sense of informal playfulness comes from the kiosk\u2019s childlike simplicity. It\u2019s only a mild exaggeration to say it consists of 14 pieces of wood and some fencing. The perfectly flat roof plane is an obvious visual allusion to Mies\u2019 rectilinear steel beams and glass spans, and it also references Chicago\u2019s punishing lack of natural topographic diversity and its man-made vertical showstopper: the city\u2019s skyline. From the observation deck, Chicago\u2019s thicket of world-class tall buildings are reframed and put on a visual pedestal."]]],[10,1],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"During the biennial, the kiosk will be located in Millennium Park, which will give the event a foothold in the celebrated public park opposite the event\u2019s "],[0,[4],1,"main exhibition space"],[0,[],0,", the Chicago Cultural Center. After the biennial, the kiosk will be moved to a lakefront park."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Biennial artistic director Sarah Herda wants the kiosk to \u201ccreate a built legacy of the biennial.\u201d She said that simple structures like pavilions and kiosks can communicate that \u201cdesign and architecture is applicable at all scales.\u201d"]]],[10,2],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Herda and co-artistic director Joseph Grima also commissioned a kiosk from each of Chicago\u2019s three architecture schools: The University of Illinois at Chicago\u2019s kiosk, designed with Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner, subtly distorts perceptions with a massive vault-ceilinged parallelogram. Illinois Institute of Technology and Pezo von Ellrichshausen opted for an austere, and what they call \u201cscale-less\u201d ziggurat. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Kunl\u00e9 Adeyemi will build a cantilevering limestone structure drawn from the masonry that once protected the city\u2019s shoreline."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The need for early mobility led the Ultramoderne team to conceptualize Chicago Horizon less as architecture and more as \u201ca very large piece of furniture that can be assembled, disassembled, and reassembled,\u201d according to Forrest\u2014more IKEA than I.M. Pei and a not-so-subtle continuation of a classic Modernist\u2019s (like Mies) daydreams of modularity perfected."]]],[10,3],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"There are other daydreamers afoot in Ultramoderne\u2019s proposal as well. Among their project renderings is a photo of a man and a woman reclining on a picnic blanket atop the Chicago Horizon roof. About a dozen feet away are a messy pile of the kiosk\u2019s wood columns. If the couple (a woman reading; a man snoozing) look familiar, it\u2019s because they\u2019ve been cribbed from the Charles and Ray Eames\u2019 equally playful and horizon-expanding 1977 short film "],[0,[5,6],2,"Powers of Ten"],[0,[],0,", which was set on the Chicago lakefront. \u201cIt\u2019s the very simple idea of a very large square, the roof, a set of columns, and the public that comes and joins these elements,\u201d said Vobis, \u201cto create architecture.\u201d"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[6],1,"Zach Mortice is a freelance architectural journalist who lives in Chicago."]]]]}
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