CHICAGO LAKEFRONT KIOSK
Chicago, Illinois | 2015
Contextualized in a new reading of the Lake Michigan edge, the lakefront retail kiosk emerges as a transparent and flexible architecture capable of adapting to multiple sites and programs.
Chicago’s lakefront is a thick, complex urban continuum that, among many other unique qualities, is organized specifically for the public. Through its construction plan, materials, programming, and siting, the kiosk celebrates this civic nature, activating urban-scale flows and celebrating a historic design infrastructure: the scaffold.
This proposal seeks to read the lakefront as a series of zones, each with distinct urban qualities but connected as a continuum. The lakefront is knitted together by existing hard and soft infrastructures like the Lakefront Trail, Lake Shore Drive, public parkland, beaches, and harbors, and cultural, academic, and commercial institutions. The kiosk, or multiple kiosks across the water’s edge, would be another layer of cultural space embedded in these conditions. The form of the kiosk, with a floating roof, resonates with Chicago’s iconic horizontal architecture.
Materials and Construction: Materials are all locally sourced, within an hour’s drive of Millennium Park. Construction is intended to be carried out by the Construction & General Laborers’ District Council of Chicago and Vicinity, the city’s construction workers’ union, focusing on women in the field. This would be an opportunity not only to connect the Chicago Architecture Biennial (host of the kiosk design competition) with a major public organization that specializes in professional scaffolding construction, but also to highlight the talents and capabilities of women in each major step of the architectural process: design, contracting, and construction.
Financing: Retail and storage space can be rented by retailers for a fixed weekly cost. Any revenue over and above the maintenance costs can be donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, or a similar child-focused organization.
Zone details (L-R): Grant Park, Downtown District, Lincoln Park, and Montrose-Belmont. Potential kiosk sites are marked in magenta.