For 100th Anniversary of Burnham Plan
CHICAGO, June 23, 2008 — Two of the world’s leading architects will design temporary pavilions in Millennium Park as focal points for the regional celebration of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s influential Plan of Chicago next year.
London-based Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio in Amsterdam will create innovative structures that symbolize Chicago’s commitment to cutting-edge design and bold thinking about the future. The temporary pavilions will be centerpieces for the Burnham Plan Centennial, which includes hundreds of educational programs, arts events and open-space projects to recognize the 1909 Plan’s strong influence and to inspire new ideas for the 21st Century.
The pavilions will open next June, and will include video exhibits and programming related to Burnham and big dreams for the future. Centennial activities will take place throughout the region during 2009, with an emphasis on summer and fall.
Hadid’s dramatically fluid and technically innovative work is increasingly seen around the world in an array of remarkable buildings. They include a BMW car factory in Leipzig, Germany; the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany; railway stations in Innsbruck, Austria; and the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion in Spain. Her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, is working on high-speed train stations, the Aquatics Centre for the 2012 London Olympics, and arts buildings, opera houses, private residences and office buildings in places ranging from Dubai to China to Moscow. Her only American building is the acclaimed Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, which opened in 2003. In 2004, she became the first woman to receive the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Van Berkel is a rising star of inventive, computer-aided architecture, with such work as the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany; the Moebius House in northeastern Amsterdam; and the Erasmus Bridge, which has become a modern icon of Rotterdam. His firm, UNStudio, which includes his wife and business partner Caroline Bos, also works on urban infrastructure projects, like the Arnhem Central transportation hub in the Netherlands and they designed an aerial tramway in Portland, Ore. Its first major United States structure will be a 20-story apartment building in Manhattan.
Hadid and van Berkel have attracted praise for distinguished work in architectural competitions and numerous exhibitions. Also educators, they and their studios will participate at Chicago architecture schools in workshops and presentations related to the pavilion projects, Hadid at Illinois Institute of Technology and van Berkel at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“These two wonderful architects have done the kind of provocative new thinking about buildings and metropolitan life that we intend to encourage here with the Burnham celebration,” said John Bryan, co-chair of the Centennial Committee. “But this is just the beginning. In the months to come, we’ll be announcing an impressive list of activities and projects that will make the centennial a major event for all the people of this region.”
Burnham’s vision encompassed a region sweeping from Kenosha, southwest through DeKalb, and east along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. He believed that the city needed to be considered as part of its broader region, with highways, railroads, open spaces and public buildings designed to make it easy for people to move from home to work to leisure. He also championed art and culture as factors that would attract employers and jobs by making the region a desirable place to live.
The 1909 Plan set a national standard for urban and regional planning and gave Chicago a blueprint for major improvements that were undertaken throughout the 20th Century, providing many of the iconic places of today’s city. Just as important as the Plan itself was the civic involvement of business and political leaders who implemented key components, such as Wacker Drive, the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the forest preserve system and the public lakefront.
The Centennial celebration aims to inspire and educate residents throughout the region about their opportunity to advance big and creative ideas for the future. Through its variety of events and initiatives, the Centennial will mirror Burnham’s broad geographic scope and the Plan’s broad range of topics and issues.
Burnham was an acclaimed architect who directed the design and construction of the “White City” for the Columbian Exposition in 1894. The contrast between the beautiful but temporary exposition and the dirty and congested city of Chicago inspired Burnham to envision the ideal city. He drew inspiration from international cities, and included summaries of plans for Rome, Paris, Vienna and London in one of the Plan’s opening chapters. The Burnham Plan Centennial Committee hopes the temporary pavilions in Millennium Park will inspire people and organizations to envision what the Chicago metropolitan region should become in the next 100 years.
In and around the temporary pavilions will be Burnham Centennial exhibits and events to stimulate thinking about the future, including video representations of the visions of some of Chicago’s leading architects and urban designers. The pavilions will be installed on the park’s Chase Promenade South, just north of Monroe Street and east of the Crown Fountain. The site is just west of where the elegant pedestrian bridge from the Art Institute of Chicago’s new wing will touch down at the edge of the park’s Great Lawn. Each pavilion will be installed within a 60-foot by 90-foot space.
George A. Ranney, co-chair of the Centennial Committee, added, “We hope the pavilions will demonstrate our willingness to draw on the best thinking from around the world as we focus on tough issues faced by Burnham that are still with us today. These include efficient transportation, the overall quality of life and our region’s relationship to nature. About 250 communities, organizations and institutions have already agreed to sponsor events and projects that will add up to a new wave of big, bold thinking about the best ways to make our region an excellent place in which to live.”
Centennial events include specially commissioned music, re-enactments, in-school programs and community initiatives throughout the region. Area libraries, local governments, civic groups, universities, school systems, professional design and planning groups and cultural institutions will announce specific events and projects over the next several months. Some will focus on fun and celebration, while others are designed to spark serious discussion about the best ways to make this region a leader in the global competition for jobs and prosperity.
The architects were asked to create structures that are temporary, environmentally friendly and recyclable. At the end of the celebration, in the fall of 2009, they will be dismantled and recycled into public art by Chicago artist Dan Peterman, who is internationally known for his work exploring the intersection of art and ecology. He will conduct a design process to reuse the buildings’ components.
“This process, which I see as a companion to the actual design of the pavilions, will explore options for thoughtful, long-term repurposing of the material resources used in the two structures,” Peterman said.
The announcement of the pavilions project was made jointly by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Millennium Park Inc., the Art Institute of Chicago and the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, which is raising the money to design and build the pavilions.
"One hundred years later, the vision of Daniel Burnham is an inspiration to urban planners and people everywhere," said Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. “Here in Chicago, his memory continues to challenge us to think and dream big, and evidence of that can be clearly seen in our magnificent Millennium Park. The Centennial project ties the past to the future, honoring Burnham with dazzling installations from two of the world's leading architects."
"The Art Institute of Chicago is thrilled to have these pavilions by Zaha Hadid and UNStudio as our neighbors in 2009," said James Cuno, president and Eloise W. Martin Director of the museum. "Opening at the same time as our Modern Wing, designed by Renzo Piano, there is no better proof that Chicago continues to be at the leading edge of architectural innovation, just as it was in Burnham's vision."
About the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee:
Chicago civic leaders have come together to create the committee to orchestrate the Centennial and convene the many communities, municipalities, organizations, schools, institutions and others that will plan related programs. Staff support is provided by Chicago Metropolis 2020, a business-backed civic organization founded by the Commercial Club of Chicago. The Commercial Club sponsored the original Plan of Chicago. The Committee gratefully acknowledges the following early leadership gifts: Founding Sponsor, The Chicago Community Trust; Presenting Sponsor for Environment, the Exelon Foundation; Burnham Circle Subscribers, the McCormick Foundation, Northern Trust and the Hamill Family Foundation. More information can be found at the Centennial website, www.burnhamplan100.org.
About the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs:
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs is dedicated to promoting an ongoing celebration of the arts, serving the individuals and institutions who create and sustain them, and marketing the city's abundant cultural resources to a worldwide audience. Under the leadership of Commissioner Lois Weisberg since 1989, the department offers more than 1,000 high-quality free exhibitions, performances and programs each year at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park and other venues throughout the city. For more information, please visit www.cityofchicago.org.
About Zaha Hadid:
Zaha Hadid, founding partner of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize (considered to be the Nobel Prize of architecture) in 2004 and is internationally known for both her theoretical and academic work. Each of her dynamic and innovative projects builds on more than thirty years of revolutionary experimentation and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design. She is widely known as an innovative architect who constantly tests the boundaries of architecture and design.
Working with senior office partner Patrik Schumacher, Hadid's interest is in the interface between architecture, landscape and geology. This focus integrates natural topography and human-made systems and leads to experimentation with cutting-edge technologies. Such a process often results in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms molded by the realities of site and building requirements.
The BMW Central Building in Leipzig and the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany are excellent demonstrations of the firm’s quest for complex, dynamic and fluid spaces. Previous seminal buildings, such as the Vitra Fire Station and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our vision of the future with new spatial concepts and bold, visionary forms.
Currently Zaha Hadid Architects are working on a multitude of projects including; the Fiera di Milano masterplan and tower; the Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games; the Performing Arts Centre in Abu Dhabi; the Signature Towers in Dubai; High-Speed Train Stations in Naples and Durango; the CMA CGM Head Office tower in Marseille; Opera Houses in Dubai and China; the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Sardinia; private residences in Moscow and the USA; as well as major master-planning projects in Bilbao, Istanbul and the Middle East.
Hadid’s use of 3D modeling, thermoforming and milling of solid surfaces in the development and implementation of exhibition structures and products such as ‘Ice-Storm’ at the MAK, Vienna (2003); ‘Seamless Collection’ for Est. & Sons (2006); ‘Dune Formations’ for David Gill Galleries (2007); and ‘Mesa’ table for Vitra (2007) has aided the development of fluid, dynamic and complex architectural structures.
Zaha Hadid’s work of the past 30 years was the subject of a critically-acclaimed retrospective exhibition at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2006, and was showcased last summer at the Design Museum in London. The firm’s most recently completed projects include the Nordpark Railway stations in Innsbruck; the Mobile Art Contemporary Art Container for Chanel; and the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion in Spain. In 2009, her revolutionary design for the MAXXI: National Museum of 21st Century Art will open in Rome.
For more information about Zaha Hadid, please visit www.zaha-hadid.com or contact Roger Howie, +44 (0)20 7253 5147, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Ben van Berkel:
UNStudio, founded in 1988 by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, is a Dutch architectural design studio specializing in architecture, urban development and infrastructural projects.
The name, UNStudio, stands for United Studio referring to the collaborative nature of the practice. The foundation of the firm includes a number of long-term goals, which are intended to define and guide the quality of our performance in the architectural field. We strive to make a significant contribution to the discipline of architecture; continue to develop our skills with respect to design, technology, knowledge and management; and be a specialist in public projects. We strive to balance environmental responsibility, market demands and the client requests that drive our work, and we aim for results in which our goals and our clients’ goals overlap.
The office is composed of individuals from all over the world with backgrounds and technical training in numerous fields. As a network practice, a highly flexible methodological approach has been developed which incorporates parametric designing and collaborations with leading specialists in other disciplines. Drawing on the knowledge found in related fields facilitates the exploration of comprehensive strategies which combine programmatic requirements, construction and movement studies into an integrated design.
Based in Amsterdam, the office has worked internationally since its inception and has produced a wide range of work from public buildings, infrastructure, offices, residential and products to urban masterplans. Pivotal UNStudio projects within these fields include: the New Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart (2001-2006); the Galleria Department Store in Seoul (2005); the private family house VilLA NM in Upstate New York (2002 - 2007); the Agora theater in Lelystad (2004 -2007); and the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam (1990-1996).
“Chicago is a great city with a fascinating architectural history. It’s a challenge and honor to be invited to design a pavilion in Millennium Park for the 100th birthday of the Plan of Chicago. Being part of this memorable event in a collaborative effort with the architecture students and faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago is very special.” Ben van Berkel, June 2008