Shack Makeover

By Chelsea Kalberloh Jackson

Take every image you have of the classic beach shack and throw them out to sea.

Cent Pavilion

Four architecture firms and their university collaborators will be bringing their visions of lakefront kiosks to Chicago’s Lake Michigan beaches this year. They were all invited as part of a Chicago Architecture Biennial competition that will help make the humble beach shack more closely reflect the architectural significance of the city.

Illinois Tech partnered with the Chilean firm Pezo von Ellrichshausen to create Cent Pavilion, along with three other educational institutions and partner architecture firms. Their 40-foot tower, whose frame is reminiscent of Chicago’s iconic steel and glass skyscrapers, consists of eight offset-stacked hexagon boxes whose sizes decrease with the kiosk’s ascending height. Once finished, the kiosk will be paneled in wood and dotted with skylights.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen was the recipient of the 2014 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for emerging architects for its Poli House, a home and cultural center composed of handmade concrete and oversized windows and skylights, which overlooks a stretch of rugged Pacific coastline in central Chile.

“Poli has a square floor plan and Cent an hexagonal one, therefore both are centralized structures. The implication of these forms is that they don’t have a hierarchy in any direction,” say Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen, founders and architects. “They are figures that refer to themselves, to their internal space.”

Construction on Cent Pavilion will begin in spring 2016.