Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, USA

Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Client: Navy Pier
Architects, Urban Planners: Davis Brody Bond / Aedas, Marshal Brown Projects, Solomon Cordwel Buenz
Size: 3.8 hectares
Status: Competition 2012

Chicago’s coastline has long been shaped by three ambitions: protecting Lake Michigan, promoting economic growth, and creating spectacular civic spaces for the pleasure and enrichment of its people. These same ambitions have inspired our team to expand Pierscape to PIERESCAPE: a world-class, 21st century waterfront experience with five uniquely imaginative episodes:

Crossing the Water: Gateway Park is redesigned as an active urban landscape with new fountains, attractions, and constructed wetlands at its southern end.

Taking it Over the Edge: The South Dock is dramatically transformed by the creation of a new Porch and the addition of Floating Piers that reorient Navy Pier to the sun, Lake Michigan, and Chicago’s skyline.

Getting Up to Get Down: Pier Park is reignited with a new undulating landscape surrounding the iconic Ferris Wheel and a new Shakespeare Theater.

Going Through the Looking Glass: Crystal Garden is re-imagined as a “wonderland,” a play-scape connecting Pier Park and the Children’s Museum.

Taking the Plunge: East End Park dissolves into the wild majesty of Lake Michigan among steam baths, cold pools, boulders and beaches.

The PIERESCAPE expands Navy Pier from a linear to a multidimensional journey that connects city out to shoreline, shoreline down to water, and water up to sky. By extending the new Porch and Light Towers to the west along Illinois Avenue and creating a new PierPod aerial gondola system, the Pier becomes more connected to the city, yet also remains a far out retreat. We look forward to working with the people of Chicago on realizing this vision for the lakefront that is expansive, innovative, sustainable, achievable and civic – all aspects of a world-class icon that is quintessentially Chicago.