Can the Documentary “Starship Chicago” Save the Thompson Center from Demolition?

Opening in 1985, Helmut Jahn’s Thompson Center became home for various agencies of the State of Illinois, with its design playing off of the designs of more traditional American statehouse. For example, the glass walls symbolize government transparency and the large atrium space compared to that of most US statehouses. Additionally, the structure’s short, sloped glass curtain wall with a protruding truncated cylinder structure on top stands out from the rectilinear skyscrapers that make up downtown Chicago’s skyline. The design attracted controversy as its unusual form and immense atrium made the building a constant focus for negative press for the last 30+ years, however the city gradually became accustomed to the Thompson’s Center’s unique presence and see it as a symbol of pride and a celebration of Chicago being the architecture capital of the world (and, personal opinion, it is). Continue reading “Can the Documentary “Starship Chicago” Save the Thompson Center from Demolition?”

The Parador Ariston, an Abandoned & Deteriorating Latin American Architectural Classic…

In 1948, Hungarian architect Marcel Breuer designed and built — along with fellow architects Carlos Coire and Eduardo Catalano — the Parador Ariston in the La Serena neighborhood of Mar de Plata, Argentina.  Formerly remembered as the well-known Ariston Restaurant, the building’s overall shape and form — designed to hold social gatherings, dances and cocktail parties — is inspired by a four-leafed clover to provide maximum glazing and natural sunlight, with its main space elevated a single level with curved walls. However, sadly the building today stands abandoned, deteriorated in ruins, neglected, and covered in graffiti. Continue reading “The Parador Ariston, an Abandoned & Deteriorating Latin American Architectural Classic…”

A Colonial House Recovery on 64th Street; I Smell a Holiday Movie Franchise…

© Pim Schalkwijk

Riddle me this, Batman (assuming that you’re Batman, of course): what happens if the building — in this case in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico — you’re converting into a bar is cataloged as a Historic Monument by the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico, which doesn’t allow ANY modification of the property? Well, you’re limited to only being able to recover the existing architectural elements (in this case, iron and wood) and design the project with complete and absolute fidelity to the original building. Re-purposing and rehabilitating a historic structure can be complicated enough, but the Nauzet Rodríguez team pulled it off real well. Continue reading “A Colonial House Recovery on 64th Street; I Smell a Holiday Movie Franchise…”

The Farnsworth House – Doc’D #45

In this month’s architecture-themed episode of PractitioNERD Documented, or “Doc’D”, host Montez McCrary will be discussing the iconic Farnsworth House, designed by legendary architect, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. Continue reading “The Farnsworth House – Doc’D #45”