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Chicago Lakefront Kiosk

Competition 2015   Chicago Illinois


Rising Phoenix or: How I Learned to Stop Blaming and Love the Cow


Phoenix recognizes the “Great Fire of 1871” and its role in establishing a laboratory for the evolution of new building methods, safer building practices and the development of a new design ethos. Since the disastrous event that overtook much of the city, Chicago has nurtured numerous architectural careers and flourishing schools of thought. The ‘Phoenix’ will act as a historical compass with its wedge shaped footprint always alluding to the origin of Chicago’s second star. 


The new Kiosk emerges from the park as a metal wedge, aligned towards the origin of the Great Fire, celebrating the rise of the Chicago skyline and the Great Lake that it fronts. Due to the North/ South orientation of the Waterfront Park and its relationship to the O’Leary barn location, the Kiosk will likely have a relative East/ West orientation with bench seating overlooking Lake Michigan. The aluminum cladding extends up beyond the top of the benches acting as a wind break for the prevailing winter and summer winds originating from the Northwest and Southwest respectively. The Kiosk awning facing relatively South, will provide shading and relief from the rain for customers and vendors alike. 


Light weight aluminum, with a clear Anodized finish, will provide a durable and relatively maintenance free surface to the primary framing, sub framing and wall cladding. The weight to strength ratio makes the light weight material ideal for assembly/ disassembly by a small building crew. Exposed wood framing, protected by the building’s shell and lining the interior of the Kiosk, draws comparison to the construction of the lost city. Fiberglass benches and stairs appear as frozen memory of Lake Michigan, transforming at night into a glowing light sculpture. 


Inspired by Prouve’s demountable houses, the New Kiosk is composed of a series of welded aluminum frames prefabricated offsite. The size of the smaller frames allow for easier shipping/ and handling to the job site where they are bolted together for a fast assembly by a minimum construction crew. Treated wood joist in fill the primary aluminum frame providing the necessary support for the floor and roof decks. A lattice of aluminum sub-framing is bolted to the primary frame to act as a substrate for the aluminum bar stock and ‘T’ sections that the wall panels fasten to.  Prefabricated aluminum stringers are anchored to the sloping roof deck providing a mountable framework fore the fiberglass benches and stairs. 

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