In the Studio: Marina City

[Marina Yellow Green (2011) /Image & Artwork: designslinger studio]

In the Fall of 1962 a few very brave people chose to think outside-the-box and moved into pie-shaped apartments in downtown Chicago. Not only was the building they were moving into weird looking, but the idea that anyone would want to live in downtown Chicago 50 years ago was considered even weirder. Of course architect Bertrand Goldberg's twin towers on the north bank of the Chicago River have become icons of the city's stunning architectural skyline.

[Marina Yellow Green - green ink mix /Image & Artwork: designslinger studio]

When we did a very unscientific survey of the top ten buildings in Chicago Marina City
always made it into the top three. So when we decided we were ready to move from chairs to buildings, the Marina towers were the first we chose to tackle. We also decided to experiment with some color and made the decision to use just one of the twin towers for our print. In our eyes, what made the skyscrapers so visually interesting, was the "corn cobiness" of the poured concrete forms. After coming up with a drawing we liked, the next big decision was to move from the comfort of the black on white in the chair series, and move into color. We took a leap, much like Goldberg and the first tenants did, and instead of playing it safe, decided to go for broke and picked a shade of yellow for the background and a shade of green for the tower. Carving all those slim lines of curving concrete was certainly a challenge. It took time - with a day or two break in between to rest the eyes - but once the last bit of linoleum was cut-away from the block, we had the key of the print.

[Marina City (1962) Bertrand Goldberg, architect /Image & Artwork: designslinger studio]

When Marina City was ready to move into 50 years ago, the complex brought residents
back into an area of the city where the first cluster of permanent housing in Chicago had been built 132 years earlier. And those nutty urban pioneers who moved into the corn cob towers, kicked-off a return to the city movement that doesn't seem so crazy today. They are truly iconic.

See the finished artwork at: Marina Yellow Green.

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