Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson

Los Angeles, CA, US


Chicago Spire Aquarium

Proposed is an Aquarium, an extension of Chicago’s world renown Museum Campus. We inhabit the Spire’s dig, not just take over the site. Santiago Calatrava’s work is not in vain, as we use site and conceptual history in a unique combination to create a new public space for Chicago’s citizens and tourists alike.

Depositing another successful cultural draw into the museum campus, one must consider currently utilized program, time and location. For instance, it is noted that peak usage of campus ammenities occurs between 1PM and 4PM throughout all zones. Most activity begins toward the south end of Grant Park in the morning and moves north as the day progresses, ending near millenium park. Understanding this organized flow of people helps program the Spire Aquarium.

Entry to the attraction begins at a mirrored folley plaza, where the user decends down toward the bottom of the project. In this basement one finds general attraction ammenities like ticketing, F&B as well as the ‘Coral Playscape’, where people are encouraged to climb and have fun while viewing sea life from below through glass orbs. 

The user then will ascend along a spiraling path toward the surface, embarking on a journey toward the light that promotes a positive emotion of elation with the ascent. This vertical climb also provides the ability to view sea life at multiple depths and light, in a mimicry of the natural habitiat.

As the user looks up toward the sky, a series of mirrored bridges become apparent. The mirrors reflect the space within, creating an infinite sensation for the surrounding waters. These bridges serve to function additional mobility and connection within the space, as well as diversity in vantage points from which to experience the space. During special program hours they become seating for the likes of fashion shows and gallery showings. As the user reaches the ground level, they are launched above ground level to a new vantage point for the city as well as the subterrainian. Moving forward the exit becomes a plaza space with seating from which to view others circulating through the space. The landscape is dotted with mirrored bar shaped folleys, each with unique functions. One as stadium seating, one is service access to the basement, some hollow space warping fun, and some as simple giant selfie sticks. 

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Chicago, IL, US