Hear from Pritzker Prize laureates, explore Chicago's bridges and discover the sounds of the Pedway

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JANUARY 26, 2021 • ISSUE 29

Virtual City Walks


Due to pandemic mitigation policies recently enacted in Denmark, Virtual City Walks: International Edition now begins with Chicago: City of Architecture, January 30 at 11am. Copenhagen: Scandinavian Cool, originally set to launch the series on January 23, remains part of the six-city tour package but will now conclude it, tentatively on March 6.

Those currently registered for Virtual City Walks: International Edition will continue to receive updates via email. On behalf of our Danish colleagues, we appreciate your flexibility.

Please also note that the CAC online program Hindsight 2020: Chicago Design and Development in a Turbulent Year has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 3 at 5:30pm. All registered attendees have been notified of the change, their original registrations will be honored on the new date, and no further action is required.

Virtual City Walk Copenhagen: Scandinavian Cool includes BLOX, 2018, by OMA. Photo by Rasmus Hjortshøj courtesy of AAO member organization and virtual tour partner the Danish Architecture Center.


New events are added on an ongoing basis—visit our website to browse and register today.

Architect Talk

Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Photo by Federico Brunetti, courtesy of Grafton Architects.

Architect Talk: 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates Grafton Architects
Thursday, February 18 at noon

The CAC is delighted continue its popular series of Architect Talks with 2020 Pritzker Prize laureates Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects. Founded in 1978, Grafton lays claim to noteworthy projects from Lima to London and is known for embedding each building within its own unique context. The studio’s forward-looking, influential designs have helped elevate modern architecture, cementing Ireland’s reputation as a design capital. Farrell and McNamara will spotlight several civic and institutional works in addition to recounting their experiences as curators of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, in conversation with guest host and moderator Dirk Denison, FAIA, founding principal of Dirk Denison Architects.

Design Dialogues

Design Dialogues: Healthy Buildings and the Workplace
Tuesday, March 16 at 8:30am

Health and safety in homes and workplaces is more crucial now than ever. Improved ventilation and sanitation have taken on special urgency among the many performance aspects of building design. Learn about the growing use and relevance of the WELL Building Standard (a certification akin to LEED for energy efficiency) in the “healthy buildings” movement, through examples of office towers being adapted for safe re-occupancy. Esteemed presenters include Raj Gupta, ESD Global executive chairman; Rachel Hodgdon, International WELL Building Institute president and CEO; and Sean McCrady, director of the Assets and Sustainability, Real Estate and Properties group at UL.

Chicago bridge program

Chicago’s Moveable Bridges
Wednesday, March 24 at noon

Chicago is home to more moveable bridges than any other city in the country, keeping all sides of the city connected despite waterways that cut across them. Learn about the history of Chicago bridge engineering, how bridges hastened the city’s growth and the variety of styles architects have employed for the design of these connectors and their bridge houses.


Girls Build!


Many thanks to the guest presenters and tomorrow’s leaders who participated in the CAC’s second annual Girls Build! Day on January 9, themed Sustainable Futures and hosted on Zoom. Like the inaugural Girls Build! Day, held in January 2020, this panel discussion with breakout sessions and activities reached capacity well in advance.

Designed to inspire middle school girls to explore and advance their interests in architecture, construction, engineering and design, Girls Build! programs help participants get to know women working professionally in these and related fields—special guests who serve as program instructors, role models and mentors.

We’re pleased to continue offering Girls Build! opportunities remotely while in-person classes remain suspended. For first-time Girls Build! participants, Girls Build! Spring Break Camp runs Monday, March 29 through Thursday, April 1; each day includes both self-guided, at-home activities and virtual meetings via Zoom. For students with prior Girls Build! participation, this year’s Girls Build! Spring Class Series runs Sundays from 1−5pm on March 7, 14, 21 and 28, and April 11 and 18. (There are no classes on Easter Sunday, April 4.)

Girls Build! events and programs—made possible by support from ArcelorMittal, the Herman Miller Cares Foundation, and the Turner Construction Company Foundation—are FREE with required registration in advance. Space is strictly limited; email education@architecture.org to learn more.


Pedway tour

Photo by Adrian Wood courtesy of NON:op Open Opera Works.

For a third consecutive year, Open House Chicago 2020 community partners NON:op Open Opera Works and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology have teamed up to offer HEAR BELOW: a subterranean, site-specific soundwalk through Chicago’s Pedway system. This year’s COVID-conscious, self-guided installment of HEAR BELOW, titled “My Pedway Soundwalk,” invites participants to rediscover the act of listening and share their experiences using audio, video, still images and text.

“My Pedway Soundwalk,” available beginning in March, aims “to collect and understand different cultural, racial and socioeconomic perspectives” regarding how we navigate, prioritize and make decisions. Learn more about HEAR BELOW and revisit last year’s installment through a report by Newcity stage editor Sharon Hoyer.


The CAC continues to offer online and remotely accessible programs for audiences of all ages. Located at 111 East Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, the Center is temporarily closed to visitors until further notice. To further support recommendations from public health officials, all CAC walking tours and in-person activities are also suspended until further notice. Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady, concluded for 2020 as of Sunday, November 15, will resume in 2021 on a date to be announced.

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