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Burnham Pavilions, Chicago, United States

Friday 19 Jun 2009

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A partial opening for Burnham Pavilions 

Two pavilions designed by Ben van Berkel and Zaha Hadid to mark the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s Chicago Plan were to open today in Chicago’s Millennium Park. But due to construction delays, the Hadid pavilion did not open as planned and is weeks away from completion. While the delay represents a setback for the planners of the Centennial celebration, the unveiling of the partially completed structure did not disappoint. “The aluminum skeleton of Zaha’s pavilion is breathtaking and the crowd loves it”, said Sallie Gaines, a spokesperson for the Burnham Centennial who was on hand for today’s festivities.

To get a peek at the pavilion you’ll have to move fast because after this weekend the elegant bent aluminum frame structure will be placed under a tent where it will be wrapped with a fabric skin. It will officially open later this summer, when it will play host to a sound and video installation by artist Thomas Gray that portrays Chicago’s transformation from past to future.

As the public awaits the completion of Hadid’s pavilion, it can begin enjoying immediately the van Berkel pavilion. It is comprised of two parallel planes, a roof and a floor, joined by three scoop-like supports. Constructed of white painted plywood over a steel substructure the pavilion will be illuminated at night and will allow the public to view Chicago’s famed skyline through several openings.

Both pavilions are set to close in October but organizers are considering extending their run through mid November and possibly displaying the Hadid pavilion at another site next summer.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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