Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois


  • Date
    5/18/1996 (creation)
Related people
Kay Bea Jones (was created by)
Frank Owen Gehry (architect)
Description
"Here, the challenge was to achieve acoustic excellence and a structure that would embrace the 4000 patrons in fixed seats up front, and the 7000 sitting on a gently sloping lawn beyond. Both needs are met in a three-part structure: a stage house faced with perforated Douglas fir to house the orchestra and choir, a steel plated shell to deflect and contain the sound, and a trellis of intersecting steel pipes that span 90m over the lawn, and support speakers and lights. Close up you look into what could be a cut-away auditorium; from afar the trellis defines an outdoor room. Digitally enhances sound is evenly distributed throughout the amphitheatre. The pavilion is designed to be used after dark, when the back wall serves as a screen for changing patterns of light, the wood glows softly, and the steel shimmers in blue light, with a contrasting colour catching the seams and through pin stripes across the gleaming surfaces." --Webb, M. (2004, November). View from Chicago. Architectural Review, p.38-39. "Thanks to four big attractions, Chicago's Millennium Park is a little fair of contemporary design. Most Prominent is Frank O. Gehry's Bilbao-style billowing aluminum orchestra shell. It's a crowd-pleaser as is Gehry's latticework speaker trellis spanning the lawn in front of the shell and his scaly, serpentine pedestrian bridge over Columbus Drive. Chicagoans quickly took a shine to the park's second big draw, London-based Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, a highly-reflective sculpture, and kids eagerly splash through the third, Spanish artist Juame Plensa's surreal fountain that makes gargoyles of everyday faces projected on a pair of giant TV screens. The park's fourth big deal, Lurie Garden, is quieter and more esoteric." --Freeman, A. (2004, November). Fair Game on Lake Michigan. Landscape Architecture, p. 94. Keywords: United States, Illinois, Cook County, outdoor spaces, performing arts structures, outdoor performances, urban renewal, stage, orchestra shell. Submitted by Sabrina Sierawski
Style/Period
2000s (2000 - 2009)
Material
steel
wood (hardwood or softwood)