Page N1.1 . 12 January 2005                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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Chicago Does Stars

by ArchitectureWeek

"There is no doubt that the significant depth of architectural talent in Chicago is a tangible asset to our city." So commented Charles Smith, AIA, president of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects, as he congratulated the winners of that organization's 2004 design awards. Indeed, Chicago is one American city where architectural talent has proved to be a tangible asset for over 120 years.

The urban home of the famous Reliance Building, Sears Tower, and Robie House has now also become home to distinguished award winners: a "new" theater crafted from a historic water works building, a mixed-use medium rise tower, and a small house that is a showcase of both affordability and sustainability.

In addition, Chicago architects were cited for their work in the Midwest, New York, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

On the campus of Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois, Studio Gang/ O'Donnell (now Studio Gang Architects) built the Bengt Sjostrom/Starlight Theater. This structure dramatizes the boundary between stage and sky with a kinetic roof that opens to the stars.

Six wood panels set within slender steel frames open helically over 12 minutes, as the roof forms a star-like pattern and recalls traditional hoist technology used in theaters for centuries.   >>>

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ArchWeek Image

Bengt Sjostrom/ Starlight Theater, by Studio Gang Architects, was one recipient of an honor award from the Chicago AIA.
Photo: Greg Murphey, Greg Murphey Studios Inc.

ArchWeek Image

Inside the Bengt Sjostrom/ Starlight Theater as the roof opens.
Photo: Greg Murphey, Greg Murphey Studios Inc.


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