the way we live

photo friday: mtcc


this photo i took a few years back is the interior of the relatively new iit McCormick tribune campus center (mtcc, though that is not much shorter to say) in chicago. designed by rem koolhaas and opened in 2003, the building has been referred to as chicago’s living room as a result of it’s whimsical and playful nature. the interior is composed of a multitude of colors, textures, and materials, but it’s true success is in the shifting floor planes found throughout the building.


the mtcc subtly works off the campus’ established miesian grid but manages to break it apart enough to insert a dynamic rhythm between the two halves of campus. similarly, the buildings multiple layers of design extend far beyond its multiple horizontal planes. the building’s circulaiton seems to be driven by the paths of students across the site before the building existed. doors to the mtcc correspond with various important sections of campus.


the other notable feature to the mtcc is the exelon tube which wraps the ‘l’ that travels immediately above, and to an extent, through the building. i’ve heard various rationales for this move including sound attenuation and dramatic aesthetic but i’ve also heard that chicago’s cta owns the property below the tracks and the only way to build there is to completely re-enclose the track space in some way, ie. tube (though, i must admit, i’m not entirely sure how true this is). what the tube does do for the building is offset the otherwise angular geometry of the exterior, and extrapolated further, the entire modernist miesian campus.

26 October 2007 Posted by | architecture, modern, photo | Leave a comment