Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art


Julie D. Taylor
Taylor & Company

Steve Christensen

Innovative Exhibition Defines Sustainability for Architecture and Life

Ecology.Design.Synergy Coming to the Loyola University Museum of Art 
March 28–May 17, 2009

CHICAGO, March 5, 2009 – Ecology.Design.Synergy redefines the term “sustainability” by examining how people inhabit their built environments. This exhibition showcases the innovative design approach of Behnisch Architekten and Transsolar ClimateEngineering, as illustrated by a roster of international projects and ongoing collaborations.

The confidence that high-quality built environments can be constructed with less consumption of natural resources and more concentration on user comfort is the common foundation of both firms. “The concept of well-being is not easily grasped by purely quantitative terms,” says Stefan Behnisch, Hon. FAIA, partner of the Stuttgart, Germany, architecture firm. “There are many subjective elements that must be considered.”

In Ecology.Design.Synergy, select projects illustrate the working methods and results of completed buildings that Behnisch and Transsolar have designed in collaboration, including Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hannover and Thermal Spa Baths in Bad Aibling (both in Germany), as well as perspectives for the future, such as the Cultural District Riverfront Development in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of Behnisch’s best-known projects—the LEED-Platinum Genzyme Center in Cambridge, MA,—is also featured.

Ecology.Design.Synergy educates and inspires through large-scale graphics, architectural models, photographs, videos, and diagrams in a dynamic and engaging space. Divided into three segments—exposition, development, and recapitulation—the exhibition presents the state of environmental challenge, practical solutions to create responsible places for people to thrive, and the social implications of making necessary changes. Discussions on economics, development, population, politics, biology, standards, materials, and scale are woven into the exhibition, clearly showing the complexity of these synergistic issues.

“The exhibition is not necessarily intended to present models for a sustainable architecture,” notes Behnisch partner David Cook. “By drawing on all five senses, the exhibition attempts to provoke a re-definition of the term ‘sustainability’ by focusing on the complex series of relationships between human beings and their immediate environment.”

Putting a human face to these issues is a video of Behnisch Architekten partners Stefan Behnisch, David Cook, and Martin Haas, and Transsolar ClimateEngineering partners Thomas Auer and Matthias Schuler engaging in an energetic discussion on “sustainability.” The exhibition is curated by Frank Ockert of ockert & partner, Stuttgart, in cooperation with the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations and Galerie Aedes, Berlin.

Ecology.Design.Synergy will be exhibited at the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA), 820 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, from March 28 through May 17, 2009. Hours are Tuesday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m; Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Admission: $6 general; $5 senior; free for students and children under 14; free Tuesdays. For more information, call 312.915.7600 or visit LUC.edu/luma.

Public Program:

Ecology.Design.Synergy Lecture
Saturday, March 28, at 11:30 a.m.

Stefan Behnisch, president of Behnisch Architekten, Berlin, and Thomas Auer, of Transsolar ClimateEngineering, Stuttgart, discuss the Ecology.Design.Synergy exhibition and collaborative projects between architect and engineer-created buildings that are better integrated into our energy-consuming world.

About Transsolar ClimateEngineering
Transsolar ClimateEngineering was founded in 1992 as a climate consulting company working worldwide with offices in Stuttgart, Munich, and New York. The firm’s scope is to provide highly comfortable environments with a minimum of energy use, while recognizing that environmental conditions are influenced by all aspects of design. The firm works collaboratively with clients and design teams from the start of the building design process and considers each step in the process from the standpoint of fundamental thermodynamics and physics.

About Behnisch Architekten
Behnisch Architekten—founded in 1989 as Behnisch & Partner, Buero Innenstadt, then Behnisch & Behnisch (1993), and later Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner (1997)—is a leader in creating distinctive architectural solutions that are environmentally sustainable. The Stuttgart, Germany-based architecture and planning firm maintains additional offices in Munich, as well as in Los Angeles, and Boston. Stefan Behnisch, Hon. FAIA, RIBA, BDA, CIMA, is principal partner, along with partners David Cook, RIBA, and Martin Haas in Stuttgart, Robert Hösle in Munich, Christof Jantzen, AIA, in Los Angeles, and Matt Noblett in Boston. The firm works in both the public and private sectors and has an excellent record in architectural competitions, where the majority of its commissions are gained.

Ecology.Design.Synergy is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit!