The Atlantic Cities:
“Chicago Has Loads of Surreal, Never-Built Visionary Architecture
John Metcalfe. Aug 21, 2013
Chicagoans right now have a rare opportunity to gape at some of the most schizoid, cutting-edge architectural projects that were never built in their city.
At the Expo 72 Gallery in the Loop, there is a 160-foot panorama of Chicago’s skyline sprawling along the walls. Visitors who download the "Phantom City" app can point it at different places on the image to reveal more than 100 visionary masterpieces, such as the Sears Tower deconstructed into a pile of flaccid tubes and a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe building submerged in Lake Michigan like a sinking ship.
The retrospective, which runs until September 29, was organized by Alexander Eisenschmidt, an architecture professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since moving to Illinois five years ago, Eisenschmidt has become intrigued with the number of historically important visionary projects in the Windy City. So he and his students began a collection of the more celebrated and challenging ones, and last year took them on the road to show at the Venice Biennale.
Some of the visionary structures are more famous than what actually got built, he argues, like alternative schemes for the Tribune Tower that would’ve given it gaping scars, a honeycomb facade or a top like a graduate’s mortarboard. “Any of them is more well known than the tower that was built, but most known is Adolf Loos’ entry, which is in the form of a Doric column,” he says. “Hardly any architect knows where [the current Tribune building] is and what it means. The visionary proposals are more important.”
Images courtesy of Alexander Eisenschmidt

The Atlantic Cities:

Chicago Has Loads of Surreal, Never-Built Visionary Architecture

John Metcalfe. Aug 21, 2013

Chicagoans right now have a rare opportunity to gape at some of the most schizoid, cutting-edge architectural projects that were never built in their city.

At the Expo 72 Gallery in the Loop, there is a 160-foot panorama of Chicago’s skyline sprawling along the walls. Visitors who download the "Phantom City" app can point it at different places on the image to reveal more than 100 visionary masterpieces, such as the Sears Tower deconstructed into a pile of flaccid tubes and a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe building submerged in Lake Michigan like a sinking ship.

The retrospective, which runs until September 29, was organized by Alexander Eisenschmidt, an architecture professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since moving to Illinois five years ago, Eisenschmidt has become intrigued with the number of historically important visionary projects in the Windy City. So he and his students began a collection of the more celebrated and challenging ones, and last year took them on the road to show at the Venice Biennale.

Some of the visionary structures are more famous than what actually got built, he argues, like alternative schemes for the Tribune Tower that would’ve given it gaping scars, a honeycomb facade or a top like a graduate’s mortarboard. “Any of them is more well known than the tower that was built, but most known is Adolf Loos’ entry, which is in the form of a Doric column,” he says. “Hardly any architect knows where [the current Tribune building] is and what it means. The visionary proposals are more important.”

Images courtesy of Alexander Eisenschmidt

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