Health and Safety
Event hero image

Reaching for the Sky : The Future of the Highrise

  • Wednesday, September 27 • 6:30 p.m.

  • Panel • Free Admission (but you must register for this program!)

  • On Site • Enter via 54 W. Chicago Ave

  • In English

This event has passed

Cet évènement est passé


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

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) founder of ChartierDalix, a French architectural office working on the integration of life and biodiversity in architecture and the reinvention of the Tour Montparnasse; Juliane Wolf, Design Principal and Partner at Studio Gang; and architecture historian Thomas Leslie from Friends of William Le Baron Jenney. Moderated by Teresa Córdova, Ph.D. Director from Great Cities Institute.

About the guests:

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 Wolf (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 at Iowa State University, the University of Technology-Sydney, Australia, the Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar, Germany, the Università di Bologna Alma Mater Studorium, and the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. 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 into the historical relationship between engineering, design, and construction has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Graham Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society, and 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, the New York Times, the Discovery channel program Impossible Engineering, and WBEZ-Chicago and he maintains an active online research notebook, ArchitectureFarm, that is regularly cited for its explanations of building failures in the news. In 2013-2014, Leslie was the Booth Family Rome Prize Fellow in Historic Preservation at the American Academy in Rome, and in 2018 he was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects for his contributions to architectural education and research.

About the program:

«Je vais être jaloux de cette tour. Elle est plus célèbre que moi.»– Gustave Eiffel

Under the umbrella of the only architecture biennial in the world beside Venice, we celebrate the intersection of Paris and Chicago when it comes to reaching for the sky through the legacy and work from Gustave Eiffel, William Le Baron Jenney, ChartierDalix and Studio Gang; we return to Notre-Dame de Paris with Villa Albertine residents, the GRAU Collective, responsible for the new design around the medieval cathedral’s parvis; we remember Chicago outsider painter Maurice Sullins whose favorite model was la tour Eiffel; we invite you to a one-day forum around Art Nouveau architect Hector Guimard in partnership with the Driehaus Museum featuring speakers from France and the US – and our Symposium on Contemporary French Architecture, offering a look forward to Sustainable and Social Architecture, Architecture of Place, and Global Influence.

These programs are possible in part thanks to the Jean Bodfish Memorial Fund and the support of our partners: Villa Albertine, the French Consulate in Chicago, the Driehaus Museum and Hana Pietri Gallery.

Our event partners


Share this page