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Chicago Architecture Foundation served as a signature partner for the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. Here’s all the detail about how CAF shared in the Biennial’s exploration of “The State of the Art of Architecture.”

The 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial showcased contemporary architecture from around the world, through installations and public programs which took place at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Stony Island Arts Bank and other sites. The Biennial’s free exhibitions are scheduled to return to Chicago every two years, after its successful initial run from October 3, 2015, to January 3, 2016. It was produced by Chicago Architecture Biennial, Inc., and its presenting sponsor was BP, with additional support from SC Johnson.

What happened at CAF during the Biennial?

In addition to developing new architecture tours specifically for the Biennial audience, we offered our customized Architecture Conversations tours in the Loop; programs including Architecture Is Art, Chicago Architectural Club @ CAF, and the Chicago Architecture 101 series; and exhibitions including the ChiDesign international ideas competition, as well as our permanent Chicago Model exhibit.

CAF Education at the Biennial

CAF also served as the Official Education Partner to the Chicago Architecture Biennial, providing opportunities for teachers and students to participate in innovative and exciting ways. In addition to hosting the BP Design Competition in partnership with the Biennial, CAF’s Education department developed “Seeing the Biennial,” an Exploration Guide that helped reach thousands of Chicago-area youths who might not otherwise have been exposed to architecture, art and design.

“I used to think that architecture was just building houses and plain boring. Now I think that architecture is a really fun thing to do and it takes so much creativity. It makes me wonder if I should be an architect when I grow up.”

—CPS 7th-grader Michael R.

BP Design Competition

Hosted by CAF in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the BP Design Competition challenged CPS students to design a pocket park less than a half-acre in size and within a 10-minute walk of every home in the Dunning, Chicago Lawn, or Roseland community areas in the city of Chicago. Winning entries and finalists alike had students thinking outside the box and imagining how a small park might improve access to public open space for an entire Chicago neighborhood.

The first place entry, “Daniel Burnham Park” by Aylen Pacheco, featured recycled pallets and an in-ground hammock. Christopher Mena’s “Komensky Park” took second place, with its twisted brick planters. Third place went to Jose Ruan’s “Abstract Park,” which offered a puzzle-piece play area and underground seating. The competition jury featured professionals from the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, the University of Chicago, BP and the Chicago Architecture Biennial itself.

view the winning Entries

Chicago Architecture BiennialChicago Architecture FoundationBP