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Rethinking the Loop: Making a System | Oct 17, 2023


@ Villa Albertine

Chicago Architecture Center
111 E Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL, 60601

October 17, 2023 6-7:30 pm


Local Chicago architects join in for a discussion and respond to new research and ideas adressing the future of Chicago’s emblematic “Loop”. A conversation envisioned and held at the Chicago Architecture Center by Frédéric Chartier and Pascale Dalix, Architects & Founders of studio ChartierDalix.

Wether you’re a Windy City native or a curious Midwestern tourist, you have probably heard about the “Loop”, this emblematic neighborhood, located in the heart of Chicago. As a matter of fact, it got its name from the cable cars’ pulley system at the city’s center ! This idea was later applied to the elevated tracks connecting downtown to neighborhoods, forming a transportation system in 1897 that strengthened the city’s historic core. As the Loop was onced referred to as “Downtown Chicago” (or Central Chicago), it is one of the country’s most consequent and important business district, ranking second place after Manhattan’s Midtown neighbourhood in New York.

Traced by the University of Chicago (UoC) in the 1920’s, more than fifty years after the 1871 and 1874 Great Fires – the Loop has a unique and fascinating configuration. In this 90-minute insightful panel, architects Frédéric Chartier and Pascale Dalix will present several speculative ideas for revitalizing Chicago’s iconic Loop and and then receive feedback from a cross-disciplinary panel of experts from the Chicago design community. Audience will take in the professional exchange, then get their chance to join the conversation. Topics will cover public realm improvements, new ideas for aging buildings, and methods to invite nature into dense quarters.

ChartierDalix will also hold a special lecture with IIT students on new methods to host natural life in the Loop (on November 4th). Illinois Institute of Technology graduate students will then be able to present their respective works at the Chicago Architecture Center in the IIT Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Graduate Studio (on November 6th).

About ChartierDalix

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”). They are residents of Villa Albertine and official Contributors to the 5th Chicago Architecture Biennial.

In partnership with

Chicago Architecture Center

The Chicago Architecture Center is the leading organization devoted to celebrating and promoting Chicago as a center of architectural innovation. As Chicago’s forum for the exchange of ideas on urban design, the CAC inspires people to participate in the building of vibrant communities and to demand the highest standard in urban design. The CAC awakens young people to achieve their potential through the discovery of architecture, engineering and design.

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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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