Growing up on the southwest side of Chicago, Bill Styczynski would take the bus with his mother and siblings to spend time in the city, visiting museums, maybe go to a Cubs game or spend a day along Chicago’s lakefront. He would observe the skyline transform on what seemed like a daily basis as new buildings rose above the previous ones.
At Oak Street Beach, he observed the surrounding buildings and how the sun would cast shadows across their facades. It was a dynamic display over the course of the day, how the sun moved toward the west and gradually even the beach lay in shadow. That’s how he knew it was time to go home.
The course of the sun expresses a sense of motion that is an essential part of Bill’s life, whether in the cycles of his architecture practice, a fastball strike by one of his beloved Cubs pitchers, or of the Formula Vee racecar he drives on weekends.
While initially crestfallen with the thought of attending a “commuter school,” the University of Illinois – Chicago, the setting inspired Bill’s intense quest for knowledge – he thirsted to know more about architecture – and it turned out to be the best thing for him because his professors were actually designing signature buildings throughout the Chicago area. Water Tower Place is one that stands out.
“We took the construction elevator up to somewhere around the 50th floor,” he says, “where they were pouring concrete floor slabs. I became totally enraptured by the city, looking down at it from the building edge in the open air.”
Read the full article at Architect News.