Friday, March 6, 2015
I walk past the UIC Pavilion...
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, opened in 1982 and was renovated in 2001. (I was surprised to read that; doesn't that font look older?)
Founded in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings, and later joined in 1939 by John O. Merrill, the firm became known for its use of the modern international-style or "glass box" skyscraper. Due to their faithful following of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe’s ideas, Frank Lloyd Wright nicknamed them "The Three Blind Mies."
If the Pavilion looks and feels different from the rest of the UIC campus, maybe it's because SOM's lead designer for UIC, Walter Netsch,* had left the firm by 1979 when construction began.
The East Campus was designed in the mid-1960s in the brutalist style, which is derived not from the word "brutal," but from the French béton brut, or "raw concrete," a term used by Le Corbusier to describe his choice of material. Since then, "considerable effort has been expended to modify the original Netsch campus plan to create the feel of a traditional college campus."
* If that name sounds familiar, it's because Netsch was married to Dawn Clark Netsch, who ran for governor of Illinois in 1994.