Architects, Chicago residents discuss Prentice design ideas

Ina Yang, Reporter

CHICAGO — The Chicago Architectural Club announced the winners of “Future Prentice,” an international design ideas competition serving as a public debate about the future of Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital.

More than 100 people attended the kickoff event for the exhibition at the CAF Lecture Hall, 224 S. Michigan Ave., hours after a Cook County judge granted temporary landmark status to the hospital. In less than two months, 71 design teams from 13 countries submitted their proposals for the possible reuse of the historic hospital, keeping Northwestern’s request of a state-of-the-art research facility in mind.

The first place winner was titled “The Buildings are sleeping, you should go and wake them up, she says.” The design by Cyril Marsollier  and Wallo Villacorta essentially cuts the hospital in half, adding other structures on the other side. However, the reflective material on the new structure ensures the hospital keeps its iconic look.

During the question-and-answer section of Thursday’s event, several audience members posed questions regarding the University’s attitude on the competition. An invitation to attend the event was sent to University officials, event organizers said.

Chicago Architectural Club Co-President Karla Sierralta stressed that the club wanted the event to be a platform for architectural dialogue around Prentice Women’s Hospital.

“It’s meant to open the conversation and keep the conversation alive, more than a specific proposal,” Sierralta said.

University spokesman Al Cubbage said in an email to The Daily on Thursday that though the University appreciates the club’s interest in the former hospital, NU has already set plans calling for demolition of the existing structure and building of a new biomedical research facility.

Joe Kunkel, president of Chicago Bauhaus & Beyond, a nonprofit that celebrates Chicago’s legacy of modernist design, underwrote the “Future Prentice” exhibition.

“We like to facilitate the dialogue of architecture and how it affects the community and also preserve the history and fabric of the city,” Kunkel said.

The exhibition will remain on display through Feb. 21 at the CAF Lecture Hall.