October 24, 2015
Learning and Sharing

“Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” -Julia Child

In order to remain abreast of key trends, innovations and guiding principles for the North American Architecture industry in 2014, 2015 and beyond, the Chmiel Architects team actively participates in a number of industry lead events.

In May, Chmiel Architects Associate Elaine Yee attended the Banff Sessions 2014: Beyond Boundaries, an event that brings together architecture and interior design. The keynote speakers were the highlight of the 2 day event. Presentations ranged from “big” architects, such as Kai-Uwe Bergmann from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to “tiny” architects, such as Andreas Gjertsen from TYIN tegnestue Architects. The “big” spoke about inspiring leading edge interventions for institutional and large scale urban planning projects, while the “tiny” spoke about projects completed (designed and built by the architect, with local volunteers) in situ in poor and underdeveloped countries, with almost no budget, but nonetheless, equally inspiring.

In June, Richard Chmiel attended the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago, participating in a number of key industry events, gaining a clear understanding of numerous anticipated insights such as the opportunity to positively influence public health through mindful and sustainable architecture and design practices applied to public spaces and using architecture to fight climate change and new ways that sustainable buildings must serve their communities.

Richard visited a number of interesting architectural spaces as part of his convention experience. Two notable visits included the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Tribune Tower.

Originally constructed in 1893 for the World Columbia Exposition, in 2006, the Art Institute began construction of “The Modern Wing”, which was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano, and was completed and officially opened to the public on May 16, 2009. The 264,000-square-foot (24,500 m2) building houses the museum’s world-renowned collections of 20th- and 21st-century art, specifically modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography.

The delicate structural frame of the addition is a sparkling counterpart to the museum’s 1893 Beaux Arts building in a play between modernism and classical themes both at the exterior and within the museum proper. The light-filled galleries are beautifully proportioned and show the Art Institute’s marvelous collections in their full glory and covered with fritted screens which provide a soft intimacy between art and viewer.

In 1922 the Chicago Tribune hosted an international design competition for its new headquarters, and the winner was a neo-Gothic design by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, with buttresses near the top. One of the events of the convention included dinner and a networking event under the gothic buttresses of the 24th floor. Pretty cool space.

In December of this year, the Chmiel Architects team will attend IIDEX Canada in Toronto. IIDEX is Canada’s National Design and Architecture Expo, bringing the design and architecture communities together for a networking and education event that enriches acumen and best practices.