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Reaching for the Sky : The Future of the Highrise | Sept 27, 2023



Alliance Francaise de Chicago
Enter via 54 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL, USA 60610

September 27, 2023 | 6:30 pm


On the centenary of Gustave Eiffel’s death, we pay tribute to his iconic tower and celebrate other Chicago architects having left their mark on Chicago’s skyline, from William Le Baron Jenney, inventor of the skyscraper, who studied with Eiffel at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, to Jeanne Gang, reaching for the sky with the St. Regis tower.

A panel discussion with Frédéric Chartier and Pascale Dalix (2023 Villa Albertine residents) founders of ChartierDalix, a French architectural office working on the integration of life and biodiversity in architecture and the reinvention of the Tour Montparnasse; Juliane Wolfe, Design Principal and Partner at Studio Gang; and architecture historian Thomas Leslie from Friends of William Le Baron Jenney. This conversation will be moderated by Teresa Córdova, Ph.D. Director from Great Cities Institute.

“We propose to colonize the vertical dimension of the system.” – Frédéric Chartier & Pascale Dalix

About the speakers :

Since its founding, ChartierDalix has brought to life over twenty buildings, with a further dozen currently under construction. In 2017, the French Academy of Architecture presented the agency with the Le Soufaché Prize in recognition of all its work, which has also been acclaimed at a large number of international competitions. The agency was the winner in 2016 of a competition to renovate the Ternes district of Paris (entitled Réinventer Paris, Ternes). In 2017, it won another competition to restructure the Montparnasse Tower, working as part of the Nouvelle AOM collective (which also includes Hardel & Le Bihan Architectes, and Franklin Azzi Architecture). In 2019, Frédéric Chartier and Pascale Dalix were named as Chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres (“Knights of the Order of Arts and Letters”). – Villa Albertine

Architect Juliane Wolfe (she/her) designs and advocates for built structures that simultaneously serve the community and the environment. Leading designs from the Chicago office as Design Principal and Partner, Juliane brings expertise in the design of sustainable public spaces, complex visitor-serving organizations, towers, and largescale, international projects. For the Studio’s institutional clients, she has led the design of many award-winning projects, including Writers Theatre, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, and the Beloit Powerhouse. She also leads design for the Vista Tower and is the Deputy Lead Designer for the O’Hare Global Terminal.  Juliane is a graduate of the Architectural Association (AA) in London, where she received a Master of Science in Sustainable Environmental Design and remained following graduation to teach as Unit Master at the Diploma School. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from IIT. Juliane has served as a juror for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), participated in panel discussions at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) National Conference, and lectured at the Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings (CCHRB) and the Chicago Building Congress (CBC)

Thomas Leslie, FAIA, spent seven years with Norman Foster and Partners, London, where he worked on the extension to the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, the Al Faisaliah tower complex in Riyadh, and the Center for Clinical Sciences Research at Stanford University.  Since 2000, he has taught building science, history, and design in the United States, Australia, Germany, and Italy. Leslie is the author of Louis I. Kahn: Building Art, Building Science (Braziller, 2005), Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934 (University of Illinois, 2013), and Beauty’s Rigor:  Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi (University of Illinois, 2017).  His research has appeared in the Journal of Architectural Education, the Journal of the Society of Architectural HistoriansConstruction HistoryDesign Issues, and Technology and Culture, among others. He has appeared as an expert on building technology and history for outlets such as the BBC World Service or the New York Times. His active online research notebook, ArchitectureFarm, is regularly cited for its explanations of building failures in the news. In 2018 he was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects for his contributions to architectural education and research.

This conversation will be moderated by Teresa Córdova, Professor of urban planning and policy and Director of the Great Cities Institute at UIC. She holds a Ph. D in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and has since been elected and appointed member and/or chair of national, regional and local boards, commissions and steering committees of federal, regional, county and city governments. She has been instrumental in affecting economic development policy and projects, the provision and design of infrastructure, local governance, and neighborhood change. Her analysis of global/local dynamics, including impacts of global economic restructuring and community development, informs her work.

In partnership with

Alliance française de Chicago

The Alliance Française de Chicago is over 120 years old and is part of an international network of over 1,100 Alliances and affiliated cultural centers worldwide. It is the second oldest Alliance Française in the US and second largest after the Alliance Française in New York City. Classes are offered for all ages and levels of French, leading to certifications in French for professional purposes or simply for experiencing another language and its various cultures. It also hosts an impressive array of events, bringing notable lecturers to Chicago: authors, filmmakers and directors, winemakers, chefs, designers, historians, actors and performing artists.

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Chicago Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) is dedicated to creating an international forum on architecture and urbanism. It produces year-round programs and a biennial exposition of city-wide activations for a diverse audience of designers, educators, advocates, and students. CAB’s mission is to engage and inspire professional and public audiences,  highlight the transformative power of architecture and envision a future for the field that is equitable and sustainable.


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Studio Gang

Founded and led by Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang is an architecture and urban design practice headquartered in Chicago with offices in New York, San Francisco, and Paris. Studio Gang works as a collective of more than 100 architects, designers, and planners, using design as a medium to connect people to each other, to their communities, and to the environment.

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Great Cities Institute

UIC’s Great Cities Institute is a research hub for scholars, policymakers, and stakeholders who share an interest in finding answers to the question, “What can cities and regions do to make themselves into great places?”

The Great Cities Institute (GCI) represents UIC’s commitment to “engaged research” while contributing to its stature as a Research One University thereby highlighting the value of quality research for addressing today’s urban challenges.

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