“What we as a people decide to do in the public interest we can and surely will bring to pass”, this is a passage of the famous 1909 Burnham Plan, an innovative infrastructure plan for the at that time fast-growing city of Chicago.
London-based Zaha Hadid and Amsterdam-based Ben van Berkel of UNStudio have designed architectural exhibits to be installed in Millennium Park this summer to honor the forward-looking spirit of the Plan of Chicago. They want to emphasize the importance of boldly imagining a better future for all, as Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett did in 1909.
UNStudio principal architect Ben van Berkel says the design of the pavilion was influenced by a trip to Chicago as a teenager, where he observed the cantilevered ceiling and roof eaves of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. The two horizontal planes of the pavilion show this influence. The edges of the lower of the two planes – the pavilion’s floor – act as benches, inviting rest and interaction.
Zaha Hadid´s pavilion is made of totally recyclable materials, and can be dismantled and reinstalled elsewhere after the Centennial. It is a tent-like structure made of aluminum and dressed in a tensile fabric. The aluminum ribs are deliberately expressed through the external skin.
The Pavilions will open to the public on June 19, 2009 in conjunction with a Grant Park Music Festival concert and will close on October 31, 2009.