The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) has announced the creation of the Chicago Architecture Center, a new headquarters and experience center that will invite visitors to discover “Chicago’s architectural legacy and its role in shaping cities everywhere.”
Located within the Mies van der Rohe-designed 111 East Wacker Drive along the Chicago River, the 20,000-square-foot center will provide space for a variety of exhibitions and educational initiatives, including direct access to the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. The new interiors will be designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.
“Architecturally the building is a gem,” commented Gordon Gill, founding partner of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. “The design will create a dynamic and elegant space for CAF that promotes patrons to fully engage in the influence Chicago has on global architecture. The large volume of space fronting the Chicago River also creates an inviting and interactive atmosphere for visitors.”
The CAF will be moving out of their existing offices in the Daniel Burnham-designed Railway Exchange Building on Michigan Avenue into 111 East Wacker, also known as One Illinois Center. Completed in 1970, the building steel-and-glass structure can be seen as a cousin to van der Rohe’s more widely known IBM Building.
The new interior will begin with a tour orientation center on the ground floor, before continuing into a series of innovative exhibition spaces designed by exhibition and media design firm Local Projects. The centerpiece of the 9,000-square-foot exhibition area will be the Skyscape Gallery, a double-height space that will feature a permanent exhibition on the history of skyscrapers in Chicago and around the world.
“We want the CAC’s exhibitions to actively engage audiences and encourage them to keep digging into the many stories and insights we have to share about architecture,” said Local Projects founder Jake Barton. “We are so excited to work on this project because we love how architecture inspires people and shifts their experience of space.”
The CAF is currently raising funds for the $10 million project. The new center is anticipated to be completed by summer 2018.
News via CAF.