River Edge Ideas Lab

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Program: Invited Ideas Exhibition
Status: Complete, 2017
Website: www.chiriverlab.com

Nine world-class architectural firms, including Ross Barney Architects, were invited by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development and the Metropolitan Planning Council to participate in the River Edge Ideas Lab. The goal: inform a new wave of riverfront investment. Three iconic sites along the Chicago River were selected, each representing a typical edge condition: a building edge, an open space edge, and a bridge edge.

The proposal, River Rituals, connects existing trails and parks along the River using deployable floating water walkways creating opportunities for new rituals at any river location.

Lyric Colonnade (Civic Opera Edge)
As a visible public space for the Lyric Opera, Lyric Colonnade can become Chicago’s newest cultural destination. The Opera’s off-season (June, July, and August) now comes to life with aria’s, exhibitions, transportation, and river performances.

Congress Filter (Congress Parkway Edge)
Everyday 70,000 people pass over the Chicago River unaware of the city’s adverse impact on its founding resource. Congress Filter strives to elevate the river in an effort to educate the public on our efforts to improve river health.

St. Charles Raceway (Air Line Bridge Edge)
Through a network of pivoting bridges that float along the South Branch, this stretch of river becomes a stadium for boating and swim races.