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IIT College of Architecture + SANAA

Tokyo, Japan


SANAA, or Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates, is an architectural firm based in Tokyo. Founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, the firm’s world-spanning projects are renowned for their attention to form, light, and space. SANAA has been awarded several prestigious prizes, such as the the Golden Lion for the most significant work of the Venice Biennale in 2004 and the Pritzker Prize in 2010.

The IIT College of Architecture, an institution with a strong relationship to Chicago’s architectural history, draws strength from its unique traditions and circumstances, such as its Miesian legacy as a preeminent school of modernism and the city’s present-day connections to progressively minded, global practitioners.

In 2016, SANAA was awarded the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), a prize established by the IIT College of Architecture to recognize the most distinguished architectural works built in the Americas. This helped foster a relationship between the firm and the institution, who have joined together to produce an IIT campus masterplan that echos the legacy of Mies van der Rohe’s campus and its relationship to Bronzeville on Chicago’s Southside.

Visit IIT College of Architecture for more information.

CAB 2 Contribution

Project Overview

Lake 33rd, Bronzeville

Lake 33rd, Bronzeville is a proposal of strategic intervention as a series of connectivities between the IIT Mies Campus, Bronzeville, and the lakefront.

The transformation of 33rd Street into a garden pedestrian way, linking IIT and its neighborhood to the lake, expands into a new landscape bridge crossing the railway and freeway, concealing the boundary between the neighborhood and the lakefront.

Six mountain-like buildings located in parks, parking areas, and empty lots, creating a new topography into the flatland of Chicago and perceptually connecting the inland part of the city and the lake. Covered in landscape of trees, the mountains have pathways on their exterior allowing access to the top. Each is located to be clearly visible from its surrounding neighborhood and to create a visual link to the lakefront. Within the mountains are programming as an extension of IIT that are accessible to the public including classrooms, library, museum, conference hall, gym and swimming pool.

We hope that this new landscape scenery will encourage creative possibility and benefit to IIT and Bronzeville.

The City is the Site