The Chicago Architecture Club (CAC) has just announced the winners of the 2016 Chicago Prize. This year’s competition, entitled “On the Edge,” asked entrants to envision the future of Chicago’s Lakefront. Along with the winners, a group of shortlisted submissions will go on display at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
The top prize went to the Kwong Von Glinow Design Office for its entry Grand Lattices. The proposal calls for a series of steel-frame structures in the median of Lake Shore Drive. The structures are integrated into the current tunnels that connect the city to the lakefront under the road, enticing pedestrians to stop and climb into a space that is normally relegated completely to automobiles.
Aerial Greenway by Tulio Polisi and Michael Graceffa, which received an Honorable Mention, proposes to connect some of the city’s most popular pedestrian areas to the lakefront through a system of winding elevated footbridges. The project extends the Chicago Riverwalk and Upper Wacker Drive over Lake Shore Drive to the Lakefront Trail.
Another Honorable Mention by Loren Johnson is entitled Open Source (OS) Edge Network. Perhaps the most dramatic of the three, the Edge Network pushes Lake Shore Drive out into Lake Michigan and fills the space between the road and land with a grid of vertical piers. The piers come in multiple forms, including one to capture kinetic energy, one that provides habitat for wildlife, and a third type that is dedicated to recreation.