Chicago lights its Zaha - Zaha enlightens Chicago?

    The Zaha Hadid pavilion in Chicago's Millennium Park, commissioned to honor the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett's Plan of Chicago was lit for the first time tonight.

    Zaha Hadid pavilion Chicago Millennium Park Burnham centennial
    More fabric will cover the bones that remain exposed.

    Zaha Hadid pavilion Chicago Millennium Park Burnham centennial
    This pavilion was scheduled to open six weeks ago but construction difficulties delayed that. I've read reports that this pavilion and the one next to it by Ben van Berkel/UNStudio

    Zaha Hadid pavilion Chicago Millennium Park Burnham centennial
    could now stay up past their scheduled closing date of October 31 but I'm told by city officials involved in the decision not to expect that, those reports are erroneous.

    If you wonder, as I do, how these little pavilions honor Daniel "Make no little plans" Burnham - well at least this one by Hadid will have video related to Burnham's ideas projected into its interior. See the two holes (unfinished) for the light beams?

    Zaha Hadid pavilion Chicago Millennium Park Burnham centennial
    Those involved also say, "Burnham gave the citizens a vision of the future, that's what we asked Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel to do."

    LED lights change our lives and our art. At the Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art you'll find a circular space around which a fabric changes color thanks to LED's sandwiched in. The Ben van Berkel in Millennium Park changes colors, as does Zaha's pavilion.

    Ben van Berkel UNStudio pavilion Chicago Millennium Park Burnham centennial
    Blood red. Is yours stirred?
    "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood."
    -Daniel Burnham.


    Although both of spaces to "play" in reference the popularity of Anish Kapoor's Bean or "Cloud Gate" in Millenium Park, because it is "only" polished stainless steel, no lights, these new projects almost make it seem like a piece of classical sculpture. How quickly things move.

    At the Ben van Berkel pavilion, kids run and jump up the "scoops" to then slide down. No one planned for that, and it needs restoration already. The fabric stretched over the Zaha Hadid aluminum frame is bouncy and almost invites kids to throw themselves against it, like an upright trampoline. It's also going to be very hard to keep clean. A city official told me that when the Hadid opens Monday evening, guards will keep people from climbing on either pavilion.

    Zaha Hadid pavilion Chicago Millennium Park Burnham centennial
    Kudos to Fabric Images of Elgin for completing the Hadid pavilion, on the double. They took over only recently and had to even re-engineer much of the frame. Fabric Images is more familiar with stretching fabric over metal frames for, for example, booths for conventions.

    It'll take a day to take down the construction tent and then -

    The new scheduled opening date is Monday evening.

    The Hadid will also be washed with colored light from the outside.

    Let me know what you think of it when it opens. I, unfortunately, won't see it. I'll be on a plane to Shanghai.
    .
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    More on the stages of the Hadid pavilion here.

    Visit the other "Burnham" pavilion with me - the one that did open on time - here.

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