Boom Towns! is composed of pairings of iconic works of architecture from late 19th-century Chicago with parallel works in today’s China and the Middle East. “Capital Building” contrasts Adler & Sulivan’s 1894 Stock Exchange Building with Goettsch Partners’ stock exchange complex on Abu Dhabi’s Sowwah Island. “Gateway” considers symbolic portals, the synapses that connect a city to country and world, through a pairing of Solon S. Beman’s 1890 Grand Central Station with Murphy/Jahn’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. “Proud Tower” contrasts William Le Baron Jenney’s 1885 Home Insurance Building with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Burj Dubai, now the tallest structure ever constructed on earth. Planning, company towns and infrastructure are among other topics depicted through statistics, renderings, models, and animations.
Boom Towns! explores the architecture of explosive growth through the convictions and contradictions represented in some of the most ambitious building projects of the past 125 years.
Open until May 1, 2009, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (yes, we’ve a bit of a Windy City theme today), located at 224 S. Michigan Avenue.