2015 brought a bitterly cold February to much of the United States. This year, Chicago actually boasts its second coldest February in recorded history (the coldest ever was in 1875).
Episode #93 of 99% Invisible was about how, in cold climates, revolving doors can significantly improve a building’s energy efficiency. By opting for the revolving doors rather than the standard entryways, building inhabitants can significantly reduce the amount of air exchanged each time they enter or exit.
Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center needs all the help it can get when it comes to regulating temperature and energy efficiency. To cut costs during its construction, the wedge-shaped building was made with single-pane glass instead of double-pane glass. As a result, the Thompson Center is infamously difficult to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
At least the Thompson Center has a few revolving doors.
In this photograph, one of the building’s many revolving doors frames a view of the 29 ft. tall fiberglass sculpture by Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) titled “Monument with Standing Beast”. The Thompson Center opened May 1985, which is coincidentally the same month and year that Dubuffet died in Paris.
Also, a photograph of a revolving door would not be complete without a nod to Lee Friedlander’s photograph from 1963.
Kate Joyce is a Chicago based artist, architectural photographer, and the first image correspondent for 99% Invisible. Every two weeks, Joyce will release new and original work for specific episodes. She’ll also comb through her archive to find previously made photographs that are already in thematic conversation with current and past episodes. “I’m curious to see how audio will shape image and image will shape audio and what that will mean to telling stories about design over time,” Joyce says.
Now You See It is a photography project of 99% Invisible. We’d like to create a public dialogue by offering our listeners a new way to interact with our show, as well as their own immediate environment. The project includes the Image Correspondent Residency with Kate Joyce, and ongoing photo assignments for listeners.
We want to see what you hear! Submit your images to our Flickr Group, or email them to [email protected] or put them on Instagram with the hashtag #99PI. We’ll be curating and presenting our favorites on our Instagram and Tumblr.