architectural innovations occupy thompson center atrium during chicago biennial

architectural innovations occupy thompson center atrium during chicago biennial

Pioneering Timber Architecture with HygroShell

 

As part of the citywide Architecture Biennial, the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago is hosting a series of captivating architectural exhibits, which explore themes of adaptive reuse and material experimentation. These works, which opened to the public in phases beginning in September 2023, will be on display throughout the year until February 11th, 2023.

 

Among the Biennial’s exhibits is HygroShell, a research project that delves into a novel bio-based and bio-inspired architectural approach. Conceived by the Integrative Technologies and Architectural Design Research (ITECH) masters program at the University of Stuttgart, HygroShell introduces a groundbreaking timber building system that makes use of computational techniques to harness timber’s inherent shape-changing properties. This approach yields a lightweight, long-spanning shell constructed from flat-packed components that transform on-site, resulting in an gracefully curving, shingle-clad structure spanning ten meters at a mere twenty-eight millimeters thick.

chicago architecture biennial
TREE CYCLES by Stoss Landscape Urbanism | images

 

 

TREE CYCLES: Exploring the Urban Forest’s Role

 

Another highlight of this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial is TREE CYCLES, an exhibit that investigates the significance of trees in the city’s urban fabric. Designed by Stoss Landscape Urbanism, the exhibit reframes growth, felling, fabrication, decay, and decomposition as active and normal urban and ecological processes within a re-conceptualized productive cityscape. TREE CYCLES comprises three primary components — the Woodland Circle, a newly planted circular forest installation occupying the south entry lawn of Butler Field, a concurrent installation at the Chicago Cultural Center that visualizes the complete cycles of growth and decay over time-lapse, a database for tracking and tending to the urban forest as a whole.

chicago architecture biennialHygroShell by ITECH at the University of Stuttgart

 

 

Ibrahim Mahama’s Site-Specific Installation

 

In the atrium of the Thompson Center, Ibrahim Mahama — a Ghanaian artist known for employing the transformation of materials to explore themes of commodity, migration, globalization, and economic exchange — unveils a new, site-specific work from his series of large-scale installations. Mahama’s work incorporates materials gathered from urban environments, such as remnants of wood or jute sacks, which are stitched together and draped over architectural structures.

The Thompson Center’s installations and programs for the citywide Biennial are a must-see for architecture enthusiasts and anyone interested in the future of design. The exhibits are open to the public and free to attend. In addition to the exhibits, the Thompson Center will also be hosting a series of public programs, including lectures, workshops, and performances. architectural innovations occupy thompson center atrium during chicago biennial
textile installation by Ibrahim Mahamachicago architecture biennialatrium of James R Thompson Center, Chicago (1985)

architectural innovations occupy thompson center atrium during chicago biennial
HygroShell by ITECH at the University of Stuttgart

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HygroShell by ITECH at the University of Stuttgart

 architectural innovations occupy thompson center atrium during chicago biennial
TREE CYCLES by Stoss Landscape Urbanism
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textile installation by Ibrahim Mahama

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