River City, Aerial Perspective

Ink sketch of curvy building from bird’s eye view

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  • Ink sketch of curvy building from bird’s eye view

Date:

1979

Artist:

Bertrand Goldberg
American, 1913–1997

About this artwork

In 1932 eighteen-year-old Bertrand Goldberg left his native Chicago to study at the Bauhaus in Germany, becoming one of the first Americans to work under the guidance of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The next year, he returned home and worked at various Chicago firms until he founded his own practice in 1937. He is best known for Chicago’s Marina Towers, America’s first mixed-use urban-housing complex, which he completed in 1967. Two decades later, Goldberg made plans for the even more ambitious River City. Conceived as part of a huge marina along the south branch of the Chicago River, the development was to consist of a vast complex of linked towers housing thousands of residents. Believing that architecture should address the needs of the many, Goldberg envisioned River City as a self-sufficient environment that would foster a sense of community. Six clusters of seventy-two-story buildings, featuring the architect’s now trademark curvilinear concrete shell construction and cantilevered balconies, would wind a serpentine path along the river’s edge. Although the full scope of River City was never realized, a scaled-back version was built in 1987. Despite its diminished proportions, River City drew high praise and was hailed by the New York Times as “a remarkable space, unusually lyrical and soft in feeling for a structure finished in harsh concrete.”

Currently Off View

Architecture and Design

Artist

Bertrand Goldberg

Title

River City, Aerial Perspective

Origin

Chicago

Date

1979

Medium

Ink and graphite on tracing paper

Dimensions

45.6 × 57.9 cm (18 × 22 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate

Reference Number

RX23664/110.279

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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