Harris: Digital push builds to rectify 1991 Pritzker Prize omission

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In 2010, the jury also honored Kazuyo Sejima, one of the two women to receive the prize, and Ryue Nishizawa, founders of the Japanese firm SANAA. McGuigan noted that their work appears very light and uses a great deal of glass.

"Their buildings could not exist without structural engineers to make them look so light," she said. "A lot of the great buildings of our time could not be completed without a partnership with certain great engineers."

Chicago architect Gang, whose firm's managing principal is her husband, Mark Schendel, suggested that architecture credits become more like film credits — so that everyone's role is acknowledged — and awards more like the Oscars, where there are separate categories for director, picture, etc.

McGuigan added: "Whether or not the jury reverses the 1991 prize, if they don't begin to reflect the broader way in which architecture is made today, the prize itself will begin to have less meaning."

New Argo Tea coming

An unusual Argo Tea, built inside a greenhouse, is scheduled to open Friday in Connors Park, a small triangle of former open space located across from the Sofitel hotel in the Gold Coast, CEO Arsen Avakian said.

The glass design will stand out, as will the fact that Argo Tea has essentially privatized the park. Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, wrote in a 2011 email that previous park district leadership was so unresponsive to maintenance needs in Connors Park that he had to have Streets and Sanitation crews regularly empty the trash there, even though it was the park district's responsibility.

The solution was to cut a deal with a private concessionaire who would get the right to do business in the park in exchange for an annual fee, a percentage of sales, maintaining the grounds and providing seating for everyone, whether you're buying tea or not, according to Park District spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner. The agreement with Argo lasts 10 years, with one-year extensions available for five years after that.

Mark Cuellar, Argo's vice president of design, experience and store development, and Deerfield-based Knauer Inc. were the architects.

"One of the very important elements for us and for the city was that the park functions through all four seasons," Avakian said. "We think the greenhouse will create a year-round community gathering place."

The fast-growing tea chain expects to have about 40 stores by the end of the year, including 10 operated by a licensee in the Middle East, the company's first international market.

Melissa Harris can be reached at mmharris@tribune.com or 312-222-4582. Twitter @chiconfidential

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