Chicago Prize

Chicago Prize in Chicago, Illinois by Dan Rappel, 2003

Last week's dose featured a project that responded to the City of Chicago's Central Area Plan (CAP) by providing parkland over the Kennedy Expressway. This week's feature is the first-prize winning scheme for a competition, also responding to the CAP and sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Club, to design a parking garage adjacent to the Kennedy. The following text and images (click for larger and expanded views) are by the winner Dan Rappel, with Kevin Shellenbach and Isabela Gould.

Grounded upon sustainable strategies in both form and program, this entry alleviates traffic as it symbolically addresses Chicago's urgent need for new, creative solutions to congestion in the Central Area Plan.

The movement of parking to the periphery of the central area represents a starting point, but we can achieve more by eliminating congestion than by simply displacing it. The level of growth anticipated by the Central Area Plan demands a multi-faceted approach to the corresponding growth in transportation burdens: undertaking infrastructure improvement, adopting sustainable planning principles, and influencing personal transportation choices through education and incentives.

Instead of a program of 1,000 parking spaces, this entry offers parking for an equivalent number of commuters by providing 500 multi-occupant vehicle (carpool) parking spaces, and proposes that these spaces be offered at below market rate. This solution will influence personal transportation choices through market principles.

Two split parking levels totaling 20,000 s.f. are located below ground. A public park and two bus terminals occupy grade. The park consists of three types of landscape "ribbons": one lawn-like grass and two non-aggressive native grasses. As the ribbons engage the highway they vary in height, transforming into revenue-generating advertising space. The ribbons also act as a wind machine, not only supplying the garage with tempered ventilation air through earth tubes, but also agitating and filtering the expressway air with "cleaning strips".