Chicago Architecture Biennial
David Hartt at the Graham
19. September 2017
All photographs by John Hill/World-Architects
Coinciding with the Chicago Architecture Biennial's four-month run, the Graham Foundation is exhibiting photographs by David Hartt that depict some tropical ruins designed by Moshe Safdie.
Of course, the concrete structures in Puerto Rico weren't meant to be ruins; they were part of Habitat Puerto Rico, planned by Safdie one year after his famous Habitat 67 in Montreal. The success of the Expo 67 project had cities clamoring for their own Habitats, including New York, Singapore, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Of these, Habitat Puerto Rico looked most promising, but the production of the modular concrete dwellings was stopped early in the construction process due to logistics, economics, and politics. The modules that were built and put in place are now shrouded by vegetation, a fact Hartt captures in the photographs and videos of in the forest that the Graham Foundation commissioned him to produce. Accompanied by plants, seating, and ambient sounds, the images transport visitors to the site of what could have been.