Chicago's universities have been the most reliable engines of urban development throughout the recession. They don't always give the city memorable structures (see here and here), but many buildings—planned and completed—are above average. The University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts might be the best of all recent construction. And it's investment in the arts! Curbed shuttled down to the new 11-story edifice on the Midway for Open House Chicago. Among the tallest on campus at 170 feet, the Logan Center tower is a jagged little pill (not Alanis') displaying a playful minimalism. A battery of industrial-looking studio spaces, a gallery, and common spaces stretch out from its base. The tower has more space dedicated to music rehearsal and performance.
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien designed the tower and adjoining areas for interconnected, interdisciplinary opportunities. Interior windows break down the heavy concrete tower into a manageable place, and two airy stairwells offer different orientation and experience. The North stairs are about lingering, with several unexpected seating areas. The South stairs are no-nonsense and abrupt, but give the most interesting neighborhood views. We zigged and zagged our way from floor to floor, and came away with what we hope are pleasing photos. The Performance Penthouse was a highlight, approachable from many different sight lines. But there's a lot to like in this much-discussed temple to the arts.
·Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts [Open House Chicago]
·Open House Chicago 2012 [Curbed Chicago]
·U of C Adds Shapely Arts Center to Hyde Park Landscape [Curbed Chicago]