Thursday, July 09, 2015

Currencies of Architecture

The Chicago Architecture Club's 2015 Burnham Prize Competition isn't a building, a landscape or an installation – it's an image. Specifically, "the iconic image that defines or challenges the state of architecture today." Read on for more information on Currencies of Architecture.

[All images courtesy of Chicago Architecture Club]
Throughout the history of architecture, iconic images have demarcated, defined, represented or challenged the state of architecture. The crystalline form of the Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper, developed in 1921 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, inspired and spoke of an imminent future. Rem Koolhaas and Madelon Vriesendorp’s cinematic 1972 rendering The City of the Captive Globe encompassed ideas of ideological pluralism forever altering our conception of the city. Stanley Tigerman’s 1978 photomontage The Titanic depicted Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Crown Hall sinking into Lake Michigan, challenging the perceived norm in architecture during a period that saw the postmodern movement becoming an opposition to the established modernist legacy in Chicago.

These images represent but a few examples of definitive moments in the history of architecture. They were able to not only capture the Zeitgeist of a period but were laden with meaning that suggested possible new directions forward. They remain provocative and polemical artifacts. What would the iconic image that defines or challenges the state of architecture today look like?

Inspired by the title of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial—The State of the Art of Architecture— the Chicago Architectural Club’s 2015 Burnham Prize challenges participants to develop a single image that represents a strong point of view that explores the question: What is the State of the Art of Architecture today? The competition allows the CAC to champion the work of a new generation of architects and seeks contributions that foster vigorous debates on the fundamental issues of the state of the art of architecture.
More information is available at the Chicago Architectural Club website.