suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
matt HUTCHINSON + brandon PACE: When Chicago adopted the motto Urbs in Horto (city in a garden) in 1837, it was a very different place from the city that exists today. The “city” then existed within a pristine landscape of expansive prairie, lush forests, and a vast lake. Chicago’s rapid and expansive growth has since inverted this relationship – the city has overtaken and enveloped these natures. Horto in Urbs begins with this observation – that the “garden” no longer surrounds the city, but exists as a network taking on multiple forms throughout it.
Within McCormick Place, Horto in Urbs looks to extend that network and further the notion of Garden in a City. By creating new relationships between various landscapes, architecture, and people this project amplifies interactions with “nature” and allows for new forms of leisure. Horto in Urbs merges modern relic with bucolic landscape. Once a discrete object lodged in the landscape, McCormick place now acts as a flexible framework for synthesizing natural habitat with architectural ambition.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
mH+bP: Historic maps of Chicago, 18th Century British landscape design principles + the sublime, Mies + the grid, leisurely activities, Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (part of the collection of the nearby Art Institute of Chicago)
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
mH+bP: reading: Subnature by David Gissen, NYT Editorials / listening: iso50.com playlists, npr podcasts
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
mH+bP: Kengo Kuma, UN Studios, R&Sie(n), Javier Sanchez, + countless others