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Artist's rendition of Burnham Memorial Park

Design Competition and Exhibit

The competition goals and attributes

  1. Elevate Chicago's position as a world center for architecture & urban planning.
  2. The memorial is the AIA Chicago Chapter-endorsed project for the Burnham Centennial. The Burnham Centennial Initiative is being administered by Metropolis 2020.
  3. The memorial and competition will be enabled by the AIA Chicago Foundation who will act as the fiduciary agent for the competition.

Committee Members

  • Fred Brandstrader, AIA, committee chairman
  • Craig Brandt, AIA
  • Reuben Hedlund
  • Jeff Jeno, AIA
  • Barb Philips-Hartigan
  • Douglas Schroeder, FAIA
  • Jeff Scurry
  • Richard Wilson, Assoc AIA, AICP
  • Carol Wyant - representing Richard Driehaus
  • Zurich Esposito - AIA Chicago Executive Vice President
  • Edward Uhlir, FAIA - Professional Advisor

The Jury

Gia Biagi

Gia Biagi serves as Director of Planning and Development for the Chicago Park District, one of the largest and most internationally acclaimed park systems in the world. The District owns, develops, and maintains nearly 7,600 acres of park and recreation space, including Chicago's beloved lakefront and beaches, neighborhood parks and playgrounds, conservatories, zoos, museums, and harbors. Trained as an urban planner, Ms. Biagi guides planning and policy at the District and is responsible for the design and implementation of a multi-year $300 million capital improvement program. She serves on the board of NeighborSpace, a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to providing community gardens and open space, and is a member of Lambda Alpha International, an honorary society for the advancement of land economics.

Howard S. Decker, FAIA

As Project Director in the Washington, D.C. office of Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn (EE&K), Mr. Decker has overseen plans for various mixed-use developments. Prior to establishing his consultancy, Mr. Decker was the Chief Curator of the National Building Museum which produced over 45 exhibitions and six major publications during his tenure. Mr. Decker served for nearly fifteen years as a founding principal at DLK Architecture, Inc., Chicago, completing award-winning projects ranging from large-scale urban infrastructure and transportation assignments to urban design and master planning projects. In Chicago he has served as Chairman of the Board of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, and was a contributing editor of Inland Architect. He has taught, written and lectured extensively on subjects involving civic architecture, urban design, architecture, construction, urban history, design education and historic preservation.

Georges Hargreaves

George Hargreaves is the Design Director of Hargreaves Associates, a professional consulting firm comprising landscape architects and planners with offices in San Francisco, Cambridge, Massachusetts, New York City, and London. Under his design direction, Hargreaves Associates has received 34 national awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), six from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), five from the Waterfront Center, and three from Progressive Architecture. Several award winning projects include: Sydney 2000 Olympics in Australia; Crissy Field in San Francisco, California; and Louisville Waterfront Park, in Kentucky. New commissions include the London 2012 Olympics Public Domain and Legacy Park in the UK; South Pointe Park in Miami, Florida; Los Angeles State Historic Park in Los Angeles, California; the New Orleans Reinventing the Crescent Riverfront Master Plan in New Orleans, Louisiana. His work, and the work of Hargreaves Associates, have been and continue to be published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Mr. Hargreaves was an artist in residence at the American Academy of Rome in 2009. He taught at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University for 20 years, tenured there for 12 years, and served as the chairman of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1996 to 2003. He is the co-editor and author of "Large Parks," a book that explores large urban parks in depth as complex cultural spaces, where key issues of landscape discourse, ecological challenges, social history, urban relations, and place-making.

Tony Jones

Professor Tony Jones is an internationally renowned art administrator, broadcaster, writer and historian of art and design. He is the Chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has also served as Director of the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland and was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to be Director of the Royal College of Art in London. He has published several books and written many essays on art and design, curated many exhibitions. Prof. Jones is a recognized authority on the development of art, design and architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries and in particular of designers Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Archibald Knox. He is an Honorary Director of the Osaka University of the Arts, Honorary Professor of the University of Wales and was conferred the Austrian Cross for services to European education as well as being a Fulbright Scholar. Prof. Jones has been awarded three honorary doctorates, was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, is the Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He received a distinction of the American National Council of Arts Administrators. Prof. Jones was conferred the title of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by her majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2003.

Douglas Kelbaugh, FAIA

Douglas S. Kelbaugh is Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. He is presently on leave serving as the Executive Director of Architecture and Planning at Limitless LLC, an international development company doing sustainable and often transit-oriented projects in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. He was nominated for the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation and AIA Michigan gave Dean Kelbaugh its 2001 President's Award for his contributions to architectural education and the profession. Professor Kelbaugh has been a faculty member or visiting professor at nine schools of architecture in the USA, Europe, Japan and Australia. At the University of Michigan, he started an urban design program and a real estate development program, as well as a community design center in Detroit. Kelbaugh has co-chaired a large number of national and international conferences on energy, urbanism, globalism, and design, spoken to hundreds of professional and community groups, appeared on numerous local and national radio and television programs, and served on three dozen regional and national design juries. Doug Kelbaugh is a designer and planner of international renown; a leader in architecture, urban design, and community planning; an experienced educator; a prolific writer; a frequent guest commentator in the print and electronic media; a popular public speaker and facilitator; and a local civic activist.

Dr. Kristen Schaffer

Dr. Schaffer is an expert on Daniel H. Burnham and the Plan of Chicago. Her introduction to the Princeton Architectural Press reprint of the Plan brought to light the contents of Burnham's manuscript draft. Her essay "Fabric of City Life: The Social Agenda in Burnham's Draft of the Plan of Chicago" presented to the public the substance of that manuscript, its importance for understanding Burnham's intentions and its significance for interpreting the published plan. She is the author of Daniel H. Burnham: Visionary Architect and Planner (Rizzoli International) and is currently at work on a book on the Burnham and the Plan. Dr. Schaffer has a B.A. in Environmental Design from SUNY Buffalo, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in the History of Architecture and Urbanism. She has taught at Syracuse University and is currently on the faculty of the School of Architecture at North Carolina State University.

Michael Vergason, FASLA, FAAR

As the president of Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Ltd. (MVLA), Michael Vergason, has over the past 20 years efficiently and creatively operated in both the public and private sector. He received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture and his Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. As president of the firm, Michael has skillfully managed a variety of successful projects including the Gannett/USA Today Headquarters, the National Cathedral Master Plan, and the Visitor Center at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. He has recently held the 2006 Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professorship in Architecture at the University of Virginia and was the 2007 Kea Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Phase One: Competition Entrants

The Burnham Memorial Competition Committee, composed of architects and community partners, invited 20 teams to submit Phase One conceptual designs for the Memorial. The list of firms invited to participate was culled from a broad field of firms recognized for outstanding work in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and other design disciplines. The competition committee narrowed this group to 20 firms, taking a number of factors into consideration. The committee wanted to assemble a field of participants who would bring a variety of architectural approaches to this challenge. They looked for proven design experience and strong technical capabilities. They also looked for relevant experience working on memorial and parks projects. The firms below were chosen to compete in Phase One:

Phase One: Results

After reviewing the conceptual designs submitted by Phase One participants, the jury selected three firms to advance to Phase Two:

Additionally, three firms were recognized with the distinction of Honorable Mention for their Phase One submissions:

Phase Two: Finalist Designs and Winner Selection

The three finalists selected to continue had approximately two months to complete their designs. In early June, the finalists convened in Chicago and presented their designs to the jury. David Woodhouse Architects was selected as the winner by the jury.

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