“Contextualism” or “The Beast of London Takes Root in Chicago”

Chicago has been invaded by an archi-demon brought forth by the London-centric nature of contemporary english language architectural discourse. The massive mechanical beast uses its pseudo-local forms to attempt to disguise its presence. Clad in post-modern armor and shooting Monadnock-spire-spikes out of its back, it takes root in the Loop and begins to grow into architecture that is contextual to a fault. 

With an apparent resurgence in Prince Charle’s interest in architecture and London’s difficulty in integrating tall buildings with its views, fabric, and public image, there is a looming possibility of British problems leading to a mass social media push for urban strategies that are not, and have never been, appropriate for American cities. A return to “human proportions” means nothing to a city with disproportionate shoulders; bigness is our context. 

 

Selected Entry to the 2015 Chicago Architectural Club Burnham Prize