With the approach of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s (CAF) fiftieth anniversary next year, the organization has launched their first-ever ideas competition for a new Center for Architecture, Design and Education.
In the open-submission call, CAF requests that entrants propose a facility that will house the group’s new headquarters, visitor center and exhibition spaces; a new headquarters for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; a design and allied arts high school; and flexible learning spaces for “out-of-school-time” youth programs.
“As the world’s top incubator for design, the city of Chicago encourages architects and designers to contribute cutting-edge ideas for the future of learning spaces that will foster meaningful and functional learning environments to the next generation of students,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a news release from CAF.
Competition registration remains open until August 7, with an extension until August 19 for late registrants. Submissions will be collected until September 9, at which point entries will be assessed by a jury comprised of Stanley Tigerman of Tigerman McCurry Architects; Adjaye Associates’ David Adjaye; Monica Ponce De Leon from MPdL Studio; Billie Tsien from Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; and Ned Cramer, the editor-in-chief of Architect magazine.
“This is really a very dynamic, high-profile jury,” says Lynn Osmond, CAF president.
The jury, as well as CAF, will work with design-competition advisor Reed Kroloff, who has helped the organization determine criteria for the new center, including originality, quality and clarity of the presentation.
An additional committee comprised of Chicago Public Schools students will review a list of designs and pick a winner for a separate Student Committee Prize.
The decision to include a design-focused high school in the center stems from CAF’s popular after-school and summer programming for Chicago youth, Osmond says.
“We’re really running at capacity in these programs, and we’re going to have to look at bringing on additional space to expand our teaching programs,” she says. “We said, ‘Well, let’s look at expanding this sweet spot overall. Let’s really think out of the box, and develop a design high school.’”
By September 18, CAF hopes the jury will have selected their three top designs, as well as a shortlist of submissions to be displayed at CAF as part of an exhibition. The first, second and third place winners will receive cash prizes of, respectively, $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500.
“Our people are building great buildings all over the world,” Osmond says. “We’ve got an audience of just under six-hundred-thousand, and we want to look at how we continue to expand our footprint.” (Marissa Page)
Ben Schulman is the editor of the design section of Newcity and co-host of “A Lot You Got to Holler,” the Newcity podcast on design, architecture and urbanism. His work with Newcity is one of many ventures he engages in to communicate the value of design and cities. Ben serves as the communications director for Small Change, a real estate crowdfunding platform that works to catalyze the development of transformative real estate projects. Previously, he was the communications director for the Chicago chapter of The American Institute of Architects, editor of Chicago Architect magazine and communications director for the urban think-tank, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). His writing has appeared and been noted in outlets such as ARCHITECT Magazine, Belt Magazine, ICON, New Geography, Streetsblog, The National Review, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pop City Media and as a contributor to The Urbanophile, among others. When not writing about cities, Ben serves as an editorial assistant for the journal New Media + Society, and helps head the Contraphonic Sound Series, an attempt to document cities through sound.
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