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Old Posted Sep 17, 2020, 3:20 PM
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sentinel sentinel is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
The other two finalists (Koolhaas and Foster) are white guys, so I'm not sure "diversity" is a factor here.

It's constantly disappointing when we hold ourselves up as an "architecture capital" yet these major competitions in the public sector seem to yield the same crew of globe trotting starchitects every time. We had the same situation in UIC's Performing Arts Center competition, or the O'Hare Terminal21 competition.
Well, thankfully, all three are quality, visionary architects so I suspect all three designs will be pretty unique and interesting..I do understand what you are saying, but another way to look at it is that perhaps a lot of international 'star'chitects didn't answer the call. And, while there is perception of there being a lot of starchitects throughout the globe, potentially not many have experience with this type of project.

Diversity was not a factor for finalist shortlist, as one of the questions that came up during the RFQ was whether or not MBE or WBE participation would be required, and IIRC the response was no, because this is a State of Illinois/CDB project and not Chicago government project; I do not know what the State's/CDB's requirements for minority participation are (even the City requirements are not TOO stringent in some ways, because a prime consultant man not have MBE/WBE ownership, but their sub-consultants may, so the percentage requirements could still cross the minimum threshold).

The RFQ information, even on DPI's website specifically stated that they want a 'statement' or 'landmark' architectural design for the building (can't remember the exact wording), so even firms like P+W, SOM and other high-profile firms didn't make the final cut (I'm wracking my brain trying to remember where I saw the first round finalists before these final three). Our firm had partnered with a large, high-profile, international firm that is not a Starchitect, but has extensive experience with massive, high-tech laboratory/research centers, and we didn't even make the first round cut, even though a third of their market sector focus is exactly in this same arena.

Perhaps there is no rhyme or reason on who the finalists were, or maybe their presentations were just better than the rest
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