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City + Country Portraits

Burnham Centennial Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects

The Burnham Centennial Committee, in collaboration with City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Millenium Park Inc. and The Art Institute of Chicago, selected Pritzker Prize winning Zaha Hadid Architects to design a pavilion to commemorate the centennial of Burnham’s Plan for Chicago.

Tom Rossiter was commissioned by Zaha Hadid Architects to generate a timelapse movie of the building of the pavilion.

In order to fix a camera position without any movement at all, Tom had a 4 foot by 8 foot by 8 foot plywood shed built in Mlllenium Park to house his camera, which was secured to the concrete deck. Over the course of 6 weeks more than 30,000 still images were recorded with a Canon 5D Mark II shooting into a Mac Pro laptop running the Canon EOS Utility software and Lightroom. Several other camera positions were taken to add depth to the pavilion with the famous Michigan Avenue “wall”, a part of the Burnham Plan, as a backdrop.

The images were edited to show progress in the building of the pavilion to resulting in a dynamic video of under three minutes. The stills were further edited and combined, frame by frame, in After Affects to generate the other worldly look and feel of the video.

To emphasize the analogy of birth, Rossiter chose to begin shooting the dark empty site, compressing the six weeks into one day. It then concludes with the brightly pulsating finished pavilion at night, against a blackened city.
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