Designed by Chicago-based John Ronan Architects, the Poetry Foundation features a performance space, set against the backdrop of a garden, where poets read their work. Passersby can glimpse alluring views of the building’s interior through perforations in the outer layer of oxidized zinc.

Jury: “This building unfolds as it is experienced and is sublime in its stillness and detailing. … From the street, one is seduced by its secrecy and, upon entering its crafted inner court, the project is revealed much like a poetry reading.”

Client: “The Poetry Foundation wanted this building to be, all at once, a visual celebration of the art form, a permanent home for the foundation and its magazine, Poetry, and a place where the public could experience poetry in immediate ways. John Ronan has given us all these in a building that is itself a metaphor for the way a poem works. It has been embraced by poets and poetry lovers as a major addition to Chicago’s vibrant cultural community.” —John Barr, president, Poetry Foundation