Project Date: 2013
Gross Area: 156.000 m2
Elevation: 202 m A.G.
HIGH-RISE ART CENTER
The project consisted in designing a commercial building that centralized the activity of Chicago's art galleries. Located in Navy Pier Park, the art center responds to the needs of a brief that emphasized the importance of accessibility via land and water, as well as parking space, given the restriction of an entirely above ground occupation. The program included parking space for more than three hundred vehicles, entrance hall, visitor area and shop, art galleries, dividable auditorium, restaurant, café, conference/events rooms, and exhibition spaces, as well as loading and storage spaces.
The building is designed with a rectangular floor plan, having its longitudinal side parallel to the Chicago River. Elevator groups are located at the perimeter, adjacent to both short sides. Furthermore, four vertical nuclei are placed at the corners. The building's base is seven stories high and, besides the entrance floor and a storage floor, contains five parking levels. The base is covered by a skin of metallic slats that are interrupted only by the elevator groups, providing the parking spaces with natural ventilation. The building's main body has an exterior glazing and is composed primarily by lounges, galleries, and exhibition spaces. Seating and resting spaces are located at each side of the elevator groups, on both the east and west facades. The lounges on the west facade, taking into account the views and the scale of the city, are each four stories high. On the other hand, the west facade responds to the scale of Lake Michigan and maintains a single level height. The south facade reflects towards the exterior the alternation of voids and double heights that contain common exhibition spaces. This concatenation of displaced voids runs through the entire facade until the building's coronation, which includes the auditorium, restaurant, café, and events levels.