DOWNTOWN — The mayor touted the opening Thursday of the Chicago Architecture Biennial as "the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the announcement at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Blvd., which will serve as focal point of the exposition, technically running from Saturday through Jan. 3.
Michelle T. Boone, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, called it a "global exposition of contemporary architecture." It showcases the work of more than 100 architects from more than 30 countries.
Joseph Grima, one of the artistic directors of the expo, quoted Daniel Burnham's advice to "make no small plans," adding, "so we didn't."
The displays range from the practical, including Theaster Gates' restoration of the Stony Island Arts Bank, to whimsical lakefront kiosks such as the limestone structure "Rock" designed for Montrose Beach by African architect Kunle Adeyemi in conjunction with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
"Rock" is expected to be completed next year, but "Chicago Horizon," winner of the BP Prize from lead expo sponsor BP, has been erected near the Shedd Aquarium.
A complete list of exhibitions and programs can be found at chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org.
The expo is expected to be a tourist draw, especially for architects, and to cement Chicago's reputation as an architectural innovation center.
Emanuel urged visitors to "go explore Chicago, not just Downtown."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: