The Chicago Pasticcio is a proposal for a tower composed of varied architectural references fused into a new whole; a new kind of tower is made out of fragments of history. The design refers to two seminal Chicago buildings: one imagined, the other built, and both designed for the same site. The first is building is Adolf Loos’s unbuilt proposal for the 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower competition. His cyclopean Doric column-as-building is an object out of place and scale as if a piece had become a whole or as if an object had become a building. The second building is the actual Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue designed by John Howells and Raymond Hood: specifically the 150 fragments of other buildings—architectural relics of historic or curious significance—embedded in it. The Sam Jacob Studio tower borrows Loos’s tactic of appropriating existing architectural forms while using the Tribune’s fragments as an architectural reference library: stacking each piece like an architectural game of exquisite corpse.
This proposal takes its name from John Soane’s totem-like assemblage of diverse architectural fragments in the courtyard of his house. Like Soane, this tower rearranges pieces of history to create something new. The Chicago Pasticcio suggests the possibilities of architectural appropriation, assembly, and remaking.
Sam Jacob is principal of Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design. His work spans scales and disciplines ranging from master planning and urban design through architecture, design, and art projects. Previously, Sam was a founding director of FAT Architecture where he was involved in many internationally acclaimed projects including the BBC drama production village in Cardiff, the Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet park and cultural centre in Rotterdam, and the curation of the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. He has exhibited at leading galleries and museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the MAK in Vienna. Sam is also a contributing editor for Icon magazine and a columnist for both Art Review and Dezeen. He is a regular participant in talks and events for institutions such as MoMA, the Southbank Centre, and the Soane Museum.
Jacob is Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture, and Director of Night School at the Architectural Association