Perched just above the docks where the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s popular boat cruises depart, the organization’s new Chicago Architecture Center opened August 31 on the first floor of a notable building that would merit mention on any architecture tour.
The 1970 skyscraper at 111 E. Wacker Dr. sprang from the Office of Mies van der Rohe, a Modernist pioneer. In addition to that pedigree, it stands in the footprint of Fort Dearborn, where Chicago was founded. The center’s street-level space in the building includes walk-in exhibitions that tell the story of the city’s influence on modern architecture, and serves as a hub for the foundation’s citywide tours.
Chicago Model Experience. Rendering: Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation
The Chicago Model Experience (above), an interactive rendering of the cityscape, tripled in size for the new center. And the two-story Skyscraper Gallery offers towering reproductions of buildings around the globe, plus city views from its 40-foot-tall windows.