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How can we connect the Chicago Navy Pier back to the City?
The Navy Pier is one of the greatest living legacies of Daniel Burnham’s vision for a grand public waterfront. While the Pier is widely used by the public, it lacks both physical and visual connections to anchor it back to the city of Chicago. We propose to augment the existing pier with a seamless extension of public life up into the rooftops of Chicago, restoring uninterrupted views from the Pier back to the famous skyline of the City.
Rather than introducing yet another bulky and architecturally disconnected building to expand the Shakespeare Theater, we propose a grand staircase connecting the upper and lower levels with the expansion of the theater tucked below. The surface of the stair is divided into three types of functions and scales: a large stepped zone for seating; medium-sized steps for walking directly to the roof; and a generous flat zone for summer slides and winter tubing.Along the South Dock, undulating stairs braid the rooftop and lower levels together as they stretch down to the Pier’s end. Using the same language and the micro scale, furniture-sized follies pepper the length of the South Dock generating multiple places to stay, play, and entertain.At the East End, we torque the Pier, lifting one end and dipping the other establishing a double destination. Visitors first experience a breathtaking view of the lake with water blending into sky seamlessly. As they continue along they come upon a stepped “soft edge” that allows visitors to get down to the water.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Chicago, IL, US
My Role: Project Leader
Additional Credits: Partner In Charge; Bjarke Ingels
Project Leader: Daniel Kidd
BIG Team: Marcella Martinez, Andreia Teixeira, Chris Falla, Chris Malcolm, Ola Hariri, Yi Li, Maureen McGee
Aecom, Speirs + Major, Project Projects, Lead Pencil Studio, Wet Design, Tivoli, Eden Project, Christy Webber Landscapes, Davis Langdon