Archive for the ‘Jahn’ Category

04/02/2007

Helmut in Chicago600 N. Fairbanks getting its glass. That’s in “Streeterville,” near the lake, a little north of the river, across the river from where the Calatrava would be. Kitty-corner (as we say in Chicago) to Harry Weese’s powerful bronze-toned Time-Life Building.

We don’t build that expression of power anymore.

This is a more delicate place now. The people want ‘lighter.’ Like the new Calatrava. It’s not “broad-shouldered” like say, Sears Tower. And the 60’s and 70’s towers tend to be dark.

The corners on Helmut’s new tower are nicely transparent.

-E

Advertisements

03/05/2007

I’ve been running around like a

so I haven’t been able to post, but soon….

1. Steel and Glass Your A$#? We’ll take you inside Helmut Jahn’s modernist housing for the homeless or disabled. (With pictures.) “It looks like a lopsided Metra train!” said resident, nevertheless grateful to be there.

2. The Ice Looks Nice But The Drive Don’t Jive…. We’ll show you frozen Lake Michigan and Lake Shore drive from the next to top floor of another modernist wonder, Mies van der Rohe’s 880 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

And maybe I’ll post,
3. Trump Stump a Lump? More on Trump Tower Chicago. It’s architect Adrian Smith is scheduled to be my guest on my radio show Hello Beautiful! this week.

And I did post a link to
and other c-c-c-crazy “Impossible Objects” over at Coudal Partners, where I’m guest editing “Fresh Signals” this month.

See you there and here with more soon,
-Edoardo

03/05/2007

I’ve been running around like a

so I haven’t been able to post, but soon….

1. Steel and Glass Your A$#? We’ll take you inside Helmut Jahn’s modernist housing for the homeless or disabled. (With pictures.) “It looks like a lopsided Metra train!” said resident, nevertheless grateful to be there.

2. The Ice Looks Nice But The Drive Don’t Jive…. We’ll show you frozen Lake Michigan and Lake Shore drive from the next to top floor of another modernist wonder, Mies van der Rohe’s 880 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

And maybe I’ll post,
3. Trump Stump a Lump? More on Trump Tower Chicago. It’s architect Adrian Smith is scheduled to be my guest on my radio show Hello Beautiful! this week.

And I did post a link to
and other c-c-c-crazy “Impossible Objects” over at Coudal Partners, where I’m guest editing “Fresh Signals” this month.

See you there and here with more soon,
-Edoardo

03/01/2007


Kudos Coudal!

Welcome, if you’re joining us via the great Coudal Partners
a fine site if you’re interested in… well, just about anything at all.
This month I’m their “Fresh Signals Guest Editor” – a fresh, signal honor.

I already put up my first post there. Asking whether homeless people, when they dream of a house, do they dream of exposed concrete, corrugated steel and floor to ceiling glass?. That’s what they’ve been given. It’s beautiful, and I’m sure its starchitect status helped get it built in a gentrifying area, but is Helmut Jahn’s Modernism the best solution for the mentally ill, disabled and homeless? We’ll let you judge. Visit Coudal and follow my links to the story.

– E.

03/01/2007


Kudos Coudal!

Welcome, if you’re joining us via the great Coudal Partners
a fine site if you’re interested in… well, just about anything at all.
This month I’m their “Fresh Signals Guest Editor” – a fresh, signal honor.

I already put up my first post there. Asking whether homeless people, when they dream of a house, do they dream of exposed concrete, corrugated steel and floor to ceiling glass?. That’s what they’ve been given. It’s beautiful, and I’m sure its starchitect status helped get it built in a gentrifying area, but is Helmut Jahn’s Modernism the best solution for the mentally ill, disabled and homeless? We’ll let you judge. Visit Coudal and follow my links to the story.

– E.

The Starchitect vs. the homeless?

02/22/2007

I used to think “Starchitect” was a pejorative word. Now it’s used in marketing! Seen in a Chicago Tribune ad like this, to me it seems provincial and unfortunate.

But I’m glad to see Helmut Jahn’s name restored in Chicago. He was much-criticized here after his bathroom-colored, post-modern State of Illinois building opened in 1985. After that, and partly due to heating and cooling problems, Jahn’s talents were under-used here in his adopted hometown. Instead he designed fine, well-made, interesting structures mostly in Asia and Europe, for example Bayer AG’s new Group headquarters in Germany.


All of the work abroad by Helmut Jahn that I’ve seen is more daring, more exciting than

this new tower, 600 N. Fairbanks, that he’s designed for Chicago near the lake, near the river.

Why is Jahn’s work abroad even more interesting than it is in his adopted home town of Chicago, supposedly the world’s center of Modernism?

His

1980’s work at O’Hare airport, the terminal connecting tunnel, the airport subway stop and the United Terminal are all very nice and display his design flair.

And he has a fine recent building in Chicago –


his train-shaped steel, glass and concrete dorm at the Illinois Institute of Technology, across the street from Mies’ Crown Hall.

And very soon a similar steel, glass and concrete train-shaped form,

Near North Apartments, 96-units for homeless people, will open very near to where Chicago’s notorious public housing project Cabrini-Green recently stood.

I’d love to write the following story, I hope I’ll have time. I did a few interviews for it last night. Many of the homeless people Jahn’s SRO is meant to serve, well, when you talk to them, and ask them what kind of a house they’d like to live in, they describe a typical suburban dwelling, with pitched roof and fireplace, a few windows; when you show them Jahn’s building they don’t really “get” it. “It’s not really what I dreamed of” is what I heard, along with, “why did he use concrete on the inside?” The argument reprises society’s battles against Modernism! Stay tuned for more.
.

02/05/2007

A girl’s best friend.

No I’m not in Egypt, or even Paris, and no I’m not with my arms around a lover. But where I am I did stumble on this article on the night lights of Paris.

Money grafs:

And there are even two separate “schools” when it comes to the science (or is it art?) of lighting the city’s public buildings. There is the Paris school, a holistic approach that bathes a structure in a warm, even glow. The Conciergerie, the one-time medieval prison on the Île de la Cité, and Palais Garnier, the extravagant 19th-century opera house, are lighted this way.

Then there is the Lyon school, a pointillist approach that uses small spotlights to highlight the elaborate decorations and details of buildings for more drama. The balconies and niches of the Hôtel de Ville, Paris’s City Hall, and the Pont Alexandre-III, with its candelabras, cupids, sea monsters and other elaborate decorations, are lighted in the Lyon style.

Which do you prefer? I love the Paris school. The golden orange light, like liquid stone, seems to begin as spirit, white light, in the pure heart and core of the building, then as it passes through the stone it takes on a golden orange hue with which it penetrates us.

The Lyon school is more dramatic, more immediate satisfaction.

Que pensez-vous? What do you think?

And in the states we tend to throw light onto the buildings, rather than figuring out how to light them from the inside out. We’re getting better though. The arches on the facades of Chicago’s Art Institute are now beautifully lit. Paris school – style.

And of course modern, glass buildings get designed with lights, often colorful LEDs, inside the walls, the floors etc.
Helmut Jahn, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. Crystalline.

And see how Pei’s pyramid – reflected in the water – confirms it…


How does Marilyn sing it?….

“The French were bred to die for love…. “

-Edouard

02/05/2007

A girl’s best friend.

No I’m not in Egypt, or even Paris, and no I’m not with my arms around a lover. But where I am I did stumble on this article on the night lights of Paris.

Money grafs:

And there are even two separate “schools” when it comes to the science (or is it art?) of lighting the city’s public buildings. There is the Paris school, a holistic approach that bathes a structure in a warm, even glow. The Conciergerie, the one-time medieval prison on the Île de la Cité, and Palais Garnier, the extravagant 19th-century opera house, are lighted this way.

Then there is the Lyon school, a pointillist approach that uses small spotlights to highlight the elaborate decorations and details of buildings for more drama. The balconies and niches of the Hôtel de Ville, Paris’s City Hall, and the Pont Alexandre-III, with its candelabras, cupids, sea monsters and other elaborate decorations, are lighted in the Lyon style.

Which do you prefer? I love the Paris school. The golden orange light, like liquid stone, seems to begin as spirit, white light, in the pure heart and core of the building, then as it passes through the stone it takes on a golden orange hue with which it penetrates us.

The Lyon school is more dramatic, more immediate satisfaction.

Que pensez-vous? What do you think?

And in the states we tend to throw light onto the buildings, rather than figuring out how to light them from the inside out. We’re getting better though. The arches on the facades of Chicago’s Art Institute are now beautifully lit. Paris school – style.

And of course modern, glass buildings get designed with lights, often colorful LEDs, inside the walls, the floors etc.
Helmut Jahn, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. Crystalline.

And see how Pei’s pyramid – reflected in the water – confirms it…


How does Marilyn sing it?….

“The French were bred to die for love…. “

-Edouard

All aboard the Helmut Jahn Express

12/21/2006


Pardon me boys, but Helmut Jahn’s SRO on the north side of Chicago is looking good.
Like a train running through the neighborhood.
Nice romantic imagery.
And Chicago has a lot of history with trains. Both as the freight and passenger hub and for the Illinois Central and the Great Migration of people riding the train up here from the south.


Helmut’s work is a knock – off of


his own fine dorms at the Illinois Institute of Technology, across the street from Crown Hall. There he said the train imagery is because these dorms run alongside the tracks and when he studied at IIT he’d romanticize taking the ‘el’ forty or so blocks north, into downtown Chicago.

The Near North Apartments add wind turbines to the top, – you can see them in the photos – they’re to create a little energy, or at least to make a nod in that direction.

Inside are 96-units for homeless people. The housing is slated to also provide access to services such as mental health assistance and vocational guidance.) Jahn told me he did the work pro-bono. It’s due to open in February. We’ll keep you up-to-date.

-Edvard

more on Jahn, and his SRO here

11/23/2006

A fine day in the suburbs.

After looking, and trying not to, at

I happened, not for the first time, onto

Helmut Jahn’s Shure, Inc. (Built as Ha-Lo)

It’s pretty

spectacular.

But the big surprise was

A low-slung addition. I’d also seen this before, even recently, but I guess I hadn’t been ready for it then. Or it hadn’t been ready for me. Or the light was wrong, or, well…

The addition to the Jahn is not spectacular. It is something else.

In here, engineers design new Shure microphones.

And as the sun set, and they went home for Thanksgiving,

I couldn’t tear myself away from the building.
I walked around it and listened,

and looked at how it met the original structure

respectfully. With a gap.

In the lobby and outside it felt quiet and peaceful.
I watched the sun set behind it, and come through it.

And then I got it. The building whispered to me who its father was.

Crown Hall .
The serenity in the Shure building springs out of
Crown Hall, the architecture school designed by Mies van der Rohe
at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Shure addition architects Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton know it well. They studied in, taught in and masterfully restored Crown Hall, not long ago.

Peace, in the suburbs,
Now I can have my Thanksgiving.
I hope yours is satisfying too.

-Mr. Edward Lifson