2021 Chicago Prize Competition: James R. Thompson Center
For the 2021 Chicago Prize, the Chicago Architecture Center and the Chicago Architectural Club call for new visions for the State of Illinois Center/James R. Thompson Center.
Designed by Helmut Jahn, the State of Illinois Center, also known as James R. Thompson Center, is facing the threat of complete demolition. Located in the Chicago “Loop” it is a major transportation node, commercial center and workspace. The building has been criticized for being ugly, oversized, inefficient, and poorly maintained. However, the Thompson Center has been pivotal to urban transit and a highly democratic contemporary civic center. At the time of its construction in 1985, Helmut Jahn’s State of Illinois Center was a stark contrast to Chicago’s historic and modernist architecture, yet today it is an architectural icon in its own right. The Chicago Architectural Club and the Chicago Architecture Center ask the 2021 Chicago Prize participants to envision a new life for the building through restorative architecture.
1. A maximum of four 11 inch x 17 inch boards (tabloid) oriented in portrait format.
2. A written statement of no more than 250 words explaining your ideas.
3. A single page document with team identification and contact information.
The 2021 Chicago Prize Competition is open to anyone with a vision for Helmut Jahn’s State of Illinois Center/ James R. Thompson Center including students, architects, designers, planners, and artists.
First Place: $1,500
Second Place: $1,000
Third Place: $500