I spent the weekend eyeballing the three final submissions for Northwestern University's highly-publicized architectural bake-off to build the school's new biomedical research facility.
The finalists include three Chicago firms: Goettsch Partners is working with Philadelphia company Ballinger; Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture is partnered with Payette from
Boston; and Perkins and Will is going at it alone.
To make way for the building, dubbed the Feinberg School of Medicine Medical Research Center, architect Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is being torn down.
The winning design will be built in two phases. Construction of the 600,000 sq ft first phase is expected to begin in 2015. The space would then double — and the lab tower would grow substantially, as the Goettsch/Ballinger rendering above shows — in a planned second stage.
So what can we make of all this?
One look at the submissions shows why the university never would have reused the old Prentice building.