| DESCRIPTION || ||Most people’s perception of architecture is based upon the sculptural quality of buildings. The intricate aspects of architecture (its infrastructure, systems, etc.) are often sealed away behind the image of that sculpture. The Museum of Architecture: Over and Under, seeks to educate the public on ‘behind the curtain’ aspects of architecture. |
Chicago, a city with rich modern architectural history is a perfect location for such a project. The Illinois Center, a Miesian development near the edge of Chicago Loop, has a huge repository of intricate infrastructure such as: multi-level Wacker Drive, which separates the river-walk and accompanying Chicago Architectural River Cruise from the building; an incredible network of Pedways which can be entered from the surrounding buildings/blocks; and an under-occupied, raised plaza which provides a base for the thirty story Miesian steel buildings. A new structure will synergize with this existing context to form a new museum complex. Coupled with the existing Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise, this museum will teach museum visitors about the complex workings of structure, mechanical systems and transport. It will also show the impact of architecture on the built environment, and its meaning.
The museum is thus a symbiotic building, supported and grown from the existing Miesian steel building and the Chicago cultural context. It spans over the Wacker drive and cantilevers 100' over the Chicago River, engaging the river below and the developments above it. The hovering cantilever uses the existing tower for support and acts as a hub of networks that are publicly accessible and complement the Du Sable bridge, a steel Chicago Style bascule bridge on the river.
The museum will inform and convey people with more insight about architecture, beyond cosmetic aspects, which will allow visitors to appreciate a broader aspect of the built environment.