The Architect’s Newspaper – “What is the future of the Chicago riverfront?”

The Architect’s Newspaper features Ross Barney Architects’ work in the River Edge Ideas Lab; an exhibition organized by the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development and the Metropolitan Planning Council.

“While many architects moon over biennials and architecture festivals, these shows are often a bit esoteric for the general public. The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) is no exception. Amidst the complex discussions and abstract installations, the average visitor may enjoy the show, but also feel a bit disconnected. However, there is one show at CAB that anyone would find accessible. Located in EXPO 72 across the street from the Chicago Cultural Center, the exhibition, River Edges Ideas Lab, presents the visions of nine firms for the Chicago River.

Chicago Urban River Edges Ideas Lab was initiated by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development and the Metropolitan Planning Council to solicit proposals for the city’s quickly evolving riverfront. Firms participating in the show include David Adjaye, James Corner Field Operations, Perkins + Will, Ross Barney Architects, Sasaki, Site Design, SOM, Studio Gang Architects, and SWA. Each firm addressed three sites along the river with designs that ranged from outdoor theater spaces to water remediation and ecological classrooms. Other ideas included policy suggestions, such as SWA’s forest bonus, rather than a density bonus. Multiple offices proposed ways of engaging more closely with the river itself, including James Corner Field Operation’s softened edge and Perkins+Will’s riverside beach.

The densely-packed show of Chicago Urban River Edges Ideas Lab was designed by Ross Barney Architects.”

Read more from editor Matthew Messner at