SoA alumnus Ranjit John Korah (B.Arch 2011) and his partner, Michael Ryan Charters, just celebrated the first annual Chicago Architecture Biennial by winning the Chicago Architecture Foundation's ChiDesign Competition. The competition design brief specified a mixed-use facility including organization headquarters, exhibition spaces, a design and allied arts high school, and flexible youth learning spaces. Korah and Charters's design, Unveiled, tied for the first-place honors from a formidable jury including Billie Tsien, Monica Ponce de Leon, and David Adjaye—as well as taking an Honorable Mention for Creativity from an even more formidable jury of Chicago Public high school students.
From the architects' project description:
Unveiled proposes a new type of building for Chicago’s storied skyline; it celebrates novel building technologies that allow for inventive architectural opportunities, defining a place that serves not only the designers and students who use it each day, but the public as well by opening up generously to the city.
This project is structured by a fundamental architectural element—the arch. The vaulted arch combines both column and beam, wall and ceiling, and in doing so, begins an important dialogue with the steel-framed, glass towers by which it is surrounded. The vaults that compose the building are diverse in size and organization, providing unique spaces with dramatically different affects of intimacy and congregation.
The sculpted form of the building is shrouded by a terracotta veil, alluding to the nuanced craftsmanship and detail adorning many of Chicago’s quintessential buildings.
Programmatically, the building is organized to encourage a gradient of interaction, clustering the larger, shared elements like theaters, workshops, and event spaces at the heart of the project. The tower tapers up and down from the central hub to more intimate and discrete program spaces. The building is capped above and below with prominent public spaces including retail, an auditorium, cafés, and galleries, affording the best views and experiences to all who encounter the building.