During the spring semester of my final year in undergrad, I took a self-driven studio where the entire scope of the project was determined by the students. The project I decided to work on involved bringing a multi-story convention center to downtown Chicago. While there are plenty of spaces located around the city to host a multitude of events, this would the first in the heart of the city located along the Chicago Riverwalk.
One of the biggest form factors for this project is rooted in the opposing nature of the calming Riverwalk and the hectic nature of the busy city streets. The concept for this project involved a completely public first floor arcade of shops and restaurants that would act as a buffer between the two opposing forces of nature and machine. This open first floor would also help to enclose a portion of the Riverwalk as well as to add business to an area that is strictly parking at the moment. The addition of the first floor business and below-grade parking will help anchor an area that is already predominately pedestrian oriented from a large thoroughfare heading north through the city.
In keeping true to the open nature of the project, the building is mostly glazing, offering a stronger connection to the public. In order to help keep heating and cooling costs down in a city that has both extremes, the building is then wrapped in a perforated, faceted metal facade. These origins of the creases in the facade are based off of noise levels surrounding the site. Closer to the intersection of North Water Street and Columbus Street, the facade begins to exhibit more facets than the quieter riverfront. The extremes of the facet are then punctured at the intersection, showing a sliver of glass that runs from top to bottom of the Convention Center, acting as the funnel between the busy intersection and the riverfront.
Status: School Project
Location: Chicago, IL, US
My Role: Designer