Over the course of three months, the Chicago workshop Hook & Sexton oversaw the restoration work to restore the masterpiece of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to its original appearance. In the 49 years since the opening of this building, which houses the Institute's College of Architecture, it has had to withstand the effects of the environment and students, as well as not very successful restoration attempts. Much damage to the appearance of Crown Hall was done in the mid-1970s, when the architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill took on the renovation of the building. Then, for the lower row of windows, laminated glass was used, which shone strongly and resembled plastic, contrasting with the usual glass of the upper tier.
In addition to eliminating the consequences of the work of their predecessors, the restorers of the early 21st century faced another serious problem: according to modern building legislation, window glass and metal frames must be thicker than required in 1956, when Crown Hall opened.
To avoid the green cast in the new upper tier windows, the architects used special glass with a low iron content. The lower level of the windows was glazed with frosted glass with a sandblasted inner layer. It is more transparent than laminated and less shiny.
The metal frame of the building is painted in the original black color - before that it was gray.
New transparent glass panels on the upper tier emphasize the connection between the interior of the modernist monument and the surrounding park, the work of landscape architect Mies van der Rohe Alfred Caldwell [Alfred Caldwell]. It can now be seen even more clearly that Crown Hall is not designed to be located in a vacuum, but in a specific environment.
The only unresolved problem is the dazzling white fabric connecting parts of the new blinds of the building. It will take a long time for them to turn yellow from the sun. In the meantime, it remains to wait for the second part of the restoration, in which they will try to make Crown Hall more economical in terms of the use of energy resources.