The Chicago Architecture Biennial, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and BP, has announced the winner of its Lakefront Kiosk Competition, which sought out designs for an innovative lakefront kiosk to be inaugurated on October 3 for the opening of the Biennial.
In addition to the winner of the competition, the Biennial is also partnering with local schools—the Illinois Institute of Technology, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago—in order to build three more kiosks to be featured at the Biennial. View the grand prize design, as well as three competition finalists, honorable mentions, and the three architecture school designs after the break.
BP First Prize Winner: Chicago Horizon / Ultramoderne
Keeping in mind the $75,000 budget for the project, Ultramoderne’s design focuses on maximizing space by building the largest possible flat, wood roof. In doing so, the Chicago Horizon kiosk “aims to provide an excess of public space for the Architecture Biennial and Chicago beach-goers.”
While at the Biennial, the kiosk will serve as an architectural lending library, and thereby, a platform for the exchange of knowledge. Later on, the kiosk will be used as a shelter and viewing platform on Lake Michigan with internal vending space.
The viewing platform and vending kiosk portion of the project are suspended from the wood roof by hanging chain-link fencing that contains integrated, programmable LED lighting.
In an overall sense, the project centers on its simplicity of design and building material, particularly with the use of Cross-Laminated Timber, an engineered lumber product that is carbon-negative.
Finalist: Behind the Curtain / Thomas Kelley, Ryan Palider, and Chuck Paros
With a strong sense of concept, Behind the Curtain seeks to conceal its purpose in a way that attracts attention through its mesh veil design. Made from a simple base, frame, and veil, the design is simple, while correspondingly grand.
Finalist: Comaroff / Lekker Architects
Through its design, Lekker Architects’ kiosk aims to express the intricacy and sophistication displayed in Chicago’s often hostile environment. Thus, the structure gradually turns “from a blank (vaguely block-like) mass into something more architectural, more refined, more domestic.” This kiosk would serve as a small venue for music and drinks during the Biennial, and later as an information booth or food stand.
Finalist: Lakefront Kiosk / TRU Architekten
Built from recycled timber battens, the Lakefront Kiosk’s design focuses on providing an example of a low-cost, sustainable structure with multiple purposes. The main element of the kiosk is a translucent free-span roof that rests on two lower-level storage structures and serves as a roofed terrace to host a bar, cinema, or lecture space while open, and a sheltered public area when closed.
The rooftop element also acts as a color-changing light cube, and can be programmed to display simple announcements.
Honorable Mention: Little Kiosk Architecturally Considered / Fala Atelier
Honorable Mention: Kollektiv-a
Honorable Mention: Ambient Light / Guillaume Mazars
Illinois Institute of Technology Kiosk in Partnership with Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Description from the architects: This slender and stable figure is meant to convey a sense of silent and convoluted simplicity. It is self-centered, self-regulated, and self-located as an opaque monolith without any scale, direction, or hierarchy, as a podium for an invisible statue. The silhouette is fairly redundant, with an attenuated transition from wall to roof, for a surprisingly oversized and immaterial unitary room. Its construction has a single structural logic. It is unwisely rational, since the same corner detail is repeated all over and the same diagonal bracing underpins every center. But the handcrafted elements should imply delight over thought. In the end, this is a device that collects roughly everything: from Hockney’s inverted perspectives, Morandi’s natura morta, or Guarini’s telescopic domes to those anonymous bell towers, water towers, lighthouses, silos, or chimneys, or even the inaccessible purgatory before an ambitious prototype for the next (artistically considered) metropolitan high-rise building.
Description from the architects: This Chicago Lakefront Kiosk is a contemporary pop-‐up pavilion, sculpturally composed from the raw and historic limestone blocks that once protected the city’s shoreline. Its bold and sensuous balance transforms Chicago's lakefront into a magnet for social and cultural life.
Located at Montrose Beach by the Great Lake Michigan, the kiosk is conceived as an infrastructure box consisting of materials and technology that are found at or belong to the environment. The system uses resilient limestone and concrete elements that can be uniquely assembled each time to suit different locations along the lakefront for various purposes—providing shelter and accommodating different vendors while contributing to the protection of the shoreline.
University of Illinois at Chicago Kiosk with Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner
Description from the architects: Summer Vault is a lakefront kiosk that accommodates a variety of cultural activities. It consists of some basic geometric shapes—a 12-foot-diameter barrel vault, a parallelogram, some triangles—combined to create a curious, freestanding hangout within the park.
The interior of the skewed vault is divided into two triangular spaces—one enclosed by expanded metal screens and doors, and one open to the air but still within the vaulting. This two-part plan allows for commerce and community to occur simultaneously. It also reflects the kiosk’s Persian origins as a 13th-century garden pavilion, while embracing its contemporary use as a seasonal commercial front and festive park retreat. Its openness allows year-round use, remaining active even during its retail slumber and offering a public summer home through the Chicago winter.
Learn more about the competition and its submissions, here.
News via the Chicago Architectural Biennial.