Follow Daily Icon

Email Address:


Warning: parse_str() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/clients_ssl/www.dailyicon.net/www/magazine/wp-content/plugins/fold-category-lists-231.php on line 296

Poetry Foundation by John Ronan Architects

The new home of the Poetry Foundation, located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, is comprised of a building in dialogue with a garden. The garden space is created through erosion of an implied volume as described by the L-shaped property boundary of the site, resulting in a relationship whereby the building the enclosed building spaces interlock with the exterior spaces of the garden. In this manner, the garden is implied as another “room” of the building, and part of the building’s slowly-unfolding spatial sequence, which is revealed space by space as a poem is revealed, line by line.

Visitors reach the building by walking through the garden, which is a conceived of as an urban sanctuary, a space that mediates between the street and the building, blurring the hard distinctions between public and private. Upon entering the garden, visitors perceive the double height library space that borders the garden, announcing that they are entering into a literary environment. Inside the building, an exhibition gallery connects the library to the poetry reading room where poets read their work to an audience against the backdrop of the garden.

Public functions-the poetry reading room, a gallery, and library-are located on the building’s ground floor, while offices space are located on the second level, organized into three areas corresponding to operations (foundation administration, Poetry magazine/website staff, and programs staff). The building’s internal arrangement is configured to allow for views from all spaces back out onto the garden.

Tectonically, the building is conceived of as a series of layers that visitors move through and between. The layers, of zinc, glass, and wood, peel apart to define the various programmatic zones of the building. The building’s outer layer, a cladding of oxidized zinc, becomes perforated where it borders the garden, allowing visual access to the garden from the street to encourage public investigation. Inside the garden it serves to internalize the garden experience and provide a sense of removal to prepare visitors mentally for the experience inside.

Poetry Foundation, Chicago, USA, by John Ronan Architects

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Marbella House by A-cero
Torus by Claesson Koivisto Rune for DFTS Factory


One Response to
“Poetry Foundation by John Ronan Architects”

  1. joyanu Says:


    what a place ya nice.

Post a comment

Editor's Picks

Bell Side Table
Hand-blown in the traditional manner using a wooden mould, the transparent tinted glass base asserts a sculptural presence in space, contrasting intriguingly with the solid brass frame on top while also forming with it a harmonious unit recalling the elegant curving silhouette of a bell. [more...]

Suggested Reading

The Story of Eames Furniture
Brimming with images and insightful text, this unique book is the benchmark reference on what is arguably the most influential and important furniture brand of our time. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum
First-ever book to explore the process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11
A unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our time, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Cars Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything

Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything. This lavish and beautifully designed book is the gift book for all car enthusiasts and design aficionados. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Design Icons

Fjordfiesta Scandia Senior
by Hans Brattrud

A Norwegian furniture design classic from 1957, Scandia Senior is a comfortable high-back easy chair with a leather head cushion, on a satin swivel base. [more...]


More Books

Case Study Houses
“It’s a huge coffee-table book, which analyses each of the houses in chronological order, with plans, sketches and glorious photographs.” [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Eames Lounge Chair
The book examines the evolution of a design icon and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The U.N. Building
Symbol of world humanitarianism, a beacon of unity after the Second World War. More than 50 years on, the 39-story building is regarded as one of the pinnacles of mid-century modernism. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Loblolly House
Including a DVD of the film "A House in the Trees", a real-time documentary of the design, fabrication, and assembly of this amazing house. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Shape of Things to Come. An up-to-date comprehensive survey on furniture and object design today, showcasing the crème de la crème of designers. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Marcel Wanders
Behind the Ceiling is the first monograph on one of the most influential, prolific and celebrated international designers today. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

How to Wrap Five Eggs
A mid-60s classic of Japanese design. Stunningly laid-out paean to traditional Japanese packaging is rife with sumptuous black and white photos of all manner of boxes, wrappers and containers that appear at once homely and sophisticated, ingeniously utilitarian yet fine and rare. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon