05/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Millennium Park Burnham Centennial Pavilions Unveiled

Chicagoans got their first glimpse late Tuesday of the two temporary pavilions designed by internally-celebrated architects that will setup shop in Millennium Park this summer.

The Burnham Centennial Committee, which is honoring the 1909 plan that redefined Chicago, unveiled the new pavilions from London-based Zaha Hadid, the only woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and Amsterdam architect Ben Van Berkel.

Hadid's Pavilion

Van Berkel's Pavilion

Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin weighs the merits of each design on his blog, The Skyline.

The Burnham Committee's release:

Alderman Brendan Reilly and the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee today unveiled designs for two temporary pavilions that will be installed this June in Millennium Park, symbolizing the forward-looking agenda of the 220 organizations commemorating this year's 100th anniversary of the Plan of Chicago.

The architects' rendering of the two recyclable pavilions were released by the Alderman, the Burnham Committee, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Art Institute of Chicago and Friends of Downtown. The pavilions will be open from June 19 through October 31 on the South Chase Promenade of Millennium Park.

Both pavilions--one designed by London-based Zaha Hadid and the other by Amsterdam-based Ben van Berkel of UNStudio--emphasize the importance of boldly imagining a better future for all, as Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett did in 1909 in their Plan of Chicago.

Hadid's curvilinear form uses state-of-the-art fabric technologies. The tent-like structure can be dismantled and re-installed elsewhere after the Centennial. Van Berkel's floating roof offers surprising views of the Chicago skyline. This pavilion will be de-constructed and recycled.

Millennium Park board chairman John H. Bryan, also the Centennial Committee co-chair, said, "Public art and visionary design are necessary for any city intending to play a global leadership role in the 21st Century. These two pavilions make bold statements to the world about Chicago's confidence in its future."

Centennial Committee co-chair George A. Ranney said, "Our intent in commissioning the pavilions is to motivate the millions of people who see them to get personally and actively involved in enhancing our regional environment, improving our quality of life, and insisting that our leaders do what is necessary to keep our region economically prosperous."

Ranney also is president and CEO of Chicago Metropolis 2020, which has organized the three-state Centennial involving hundreds of programs and events.

Ben van Berkel is a rising star of inventive, computer-aided architecture with a special interest in the integration of construction and architecture. Zaha is the only female recipient of the Pritzker Prize for architecture.

The Hadid Pavilion's interior will serve as a screen for a video created by UIC-trained and London-based artist Thomas Gray, telling the story of Chicago's transformation, including visions for the future by local architects. An accompanying exhibit in September also will feature local architects and designers.

The Pavilions are a collaboration of the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, Chicago Metropolis 2020, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Millennium Park, Inc. and the Art Institute of Chicago. Hadid and van Berkel are working with architecture students at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

For more information about the Pavilions, the Burnham Plan Centennial and schedule of events throughout the region, visit