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Marina City, Chicago, Illinois, Bedroom Unit Plan

A work made of graphite and ink on vellum.

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  • A work made of graphite and ink on vellum.




Bertrand Goldberg
American, 1913–1997

About this artwork

The radically new urbanism of Marina City was based in part on Goldberg’s astute recognition of the changing needs of American society. A growing number of households did not include children, women were joining the workforce in large numbers, and the reduction of working hours for most professionals led to a need to plan for increased leisure time. Marina City provided an appropriate form of housing for these urban workers, focusing on smaller apartments with a maximum of two bedrooms for unmarried singles and childless couples. This new lifestyle, or “living above store,” eliminated the need for lengthy commutes and time-consuming home maintenance, but it clashed with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) priority to support nuclear
families in the suburbs. Undaunted, Goldberg went to Washington, D.C., and successfully lobbied for the federal definition of “family” housing to be changed to include couples without young children and secured an FHA-backed mortgage for Marina City—then the largest in the organization’s history.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Bertrand Goldberg (Architect)


Marina City, Chicago, Illinois, Bedroom Unit Plan


Chicago (Building address)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Graphite and ink on vellum


56 × 86 cm (22 1/16 × 33 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

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

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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