Tod Williams FAIA and Billie Tsien's, AIA, newest building will be poking out of the University of Chicago's campus by 2011. Their telescopic design for a $100 million performing arts center beat out plans by Thom Mayne, FAIA, Daniel Libeskind, AIA, and Fumihko Maki, Hon. FAIA. The Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts will provide performance, lecture, and exhibition space for the visual arts, theater, music, and film. The Logans gave $35 million to the university for the building, which is believed to be the largest single gift to the arts in Chicago history.
Best known for their American Folk Museum in New York, the husband-and-wife team of architects put a 160-foot tower on top of their low-slung building that ends in a dramatic glass-walled cantilever that will contain a cafe with movable roof. Their hope, as reported by Blair Kamin at the Chicago Tribune, is to broadcast the activity within the building into the surrounding Hyde Park and South Side neighborhoods and to bring together diverse artistic communities under one roof. The building will contain studios, classrooms, rehearsal and shop areas, a black-box theater, and individual music practice and ensemble rooms, though the design's open space and glass walls suggest the raw minimalist look of artist lofts.