In Memory of Helmut Jahn

Citigroup Center, Chicago, Illinois, 1987 / Image Courtesy of JAHN
The Chicago Architecture Biennial joins his friends and admirers around the world in mourning the passing of Helmut Jahn. Inventive, engaging, never fearful of challenging the norm, Mr. Jahn's presence enlivened every venue he entered. The buildings he designed were bold and brought vitality to their environs. He shared his professional accomplishments across continents, but his home was Chicago. An early supporter of the Biennial, his thoughtful counsel helped shape the exposition and gave encouragement to what was then but an idea.

Michelle Boone, then Commissioner of city department charged with bringing the Biennial to fruition and now a member of the Biennial's Board of Directors, has the following recollections: "Helmut Jahn was an advocate for the Biennial from the outset. He embraced the concept of mounting an international exhibition of architecture in the city most renowned for its architecture. He offered a global perspective as we began to shape a program intended to be of import to the profession and to be enjoyed by a wider public. The Biennial, as we now know it, owes a debt of gratitude to Helmut Jahn."

Mark Sexton, Principal at the Chicago architecture firm Krueck and Sexton and a Biennial board member, recalls Helmut Jahn as "an exceptionally talented architect, an innovator willing to push boundaries. The buildings he designed are a monument to his vision and his contributions to our profession."

The Chicago Architecture Biennial extends its condolences to the Jahn family.