When the Chicago Architecture Center opens at its new home at 111 East Wacker Drive this August, the city will gain a new cultural destination—and event planners will gain a sparkling new venue to consider for events.
“The view of the river and prominent buildings at that corner is breathtaking,” says Deb Rodak, manager of group sales and business development for the 20,000-square-foot facility, situated above the dock for Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.
It’s a backdrop that will delight both local groups and those traveling in from afar. Event spaces available for rental at Chicago Architecture Center will include a lecture hall, expected to seat between 120 and 150, presentation style; and the Design Studio Classroom, which will accommodate up to 36 seated around work tables. The exhibit spaces will also be available for private event books many evenings.
When not in use for events, the lecture hall will serve as a space for learning about Chicago and a center for community discussion around the latest innovations in technology, design and urban planning across the city.
Designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the center—housed in a building designed by Mies van der Rohe on the site of Fort Dearborn, where Chicago was founded—features many custom spaces that give insight into the history of the city.
One such space is the Skyscraper Gallery, with 40-foot windows overlooking the Chicago River and the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Within this gallery, Building Tall is an exhibit that will feature supersized models of skyscrapers from around the world.
From Me to We: Imagining the City of 2050 is a rotating exhibit delving into urban disruptors and illuminating scenarios of what life might be like in Chicago in the year 2050.
The Chicago Gallery on the first floor will be home to the Chicago Model Experience, now expanded with 3,000 buildings, and an interactive light show that models the city’s growth after the Great Chicago Fire.
While no events have officially been booked yet, Rodak says she already has inquiries for this fall, pending release of more details about the spaces. She confirms that CAC will partner with preferred caters and AV support teams to offer a total package to event planners.