Follow-up #1: Water Tanks

Late June was when we learned about the Chicago Architecture Club's Chicago Prize for 2005: Water Tanks. The winners were announced at a lecture by jury chair Tom Mayne last week. Here's the winners (descriptions are from the Sun-Times):

Missing image - watertank3.jpg
First: Rahman Polk - Chicago, IL
"A design that would turn Chicago's water tanks into a network of electricity-generating wind turbines...water tanks around Chicago would be transformed into a network of electrical generators that would create a citywide, publicly accessible WiFi network and use LED displays to broadcast Webcasts, cultural exhibits, Amber alerts, weather warnings and other public service announcements."

Missing image - watertank4.jpg
Second: Eric R. Hoffman - St. Louis, MO
"[Transform] the water tanks into a series of urban bird refuges with nests and feeding systems adaptable to a variety of migratory birds."

Missing image - watertank5.jpg
Third: Francine LeClercq - New York, NY
"[Relocate] a group of water tanks into a surprising new context as part of a vast art project. The concept, which the jurors called 'The Graveyard,' would arrange the tanks in rows above a reflecting pool"

Honorable mentions:
Oliver Heckman, Hoon Cho, and Mike Null - Chicago, IL
Ross Perkins - Edinburgh, Scotland
Matthew Coates and Ruth Coates - Bainbridge Is., WA
Joyce Hwang and Milenko Ivanovic - Buffalo, NY
Michael Thompson - Chicago, IL
Lee Shradar and Stephanie Cameron - Portland, OR


  1. Maybe it's me, but I think this competition is a total waste of time.

  2. Whose time? The competitors? The jury? The public looking at them? Everybody?

    In this sort of competition, it's about the ideas set forth, and there were some pretty good ones. If anything, I'd say the program is lacking compared to other CAC competitions, such as the Burnham Prize along the water. Chicago needs to fix up its riverfront before it tackles old water tanks.

  3. Congrat to Rahman! I had the priviledge of working with him in the ACE Mentor Program.

  4. I like the water tanks just the way they are. For me they help define Chicago's visual landscape and are a nice remnant of the city's history.

  5. everyone agreed that the tanks were beautiful as is. the problem is that if nothing is done, they will be completely eradicated within a few years.

    while this competition will not solve society's ills, it has sparked interest in thinking about the possibilities of the tanks. it has also placed young designers and their ingenuity in the public eye...


Post a Comment

Comments are moderated for spam.