Biennial spurs lakefront microarchitecture contest

Biennial spurs lakefront microarchitecture contest

If "less is more", as Mies van der Rohe famously said, then 'micro' must be the new 'macro'.

At least that seems part of the reasoning behind last week's news from the Chicago Architectural Biennial, which on Dec. 18 announced a new Lakefront Kiosk Competition that will "support innovative architectural work and... use the city—more specifically, the iconic shoreline of Lake Michigan—as a laboratory for architectural experimentation."


The competition calls for the inventive design of a new kiosk that will be installed on Chicago’s lakefront, one of the city’s most vibrant public spaces. A jury of architects, curators, and city representatives will select one winner to receive the BP Prize, which includes an honorarium for design development and a construction budget to realize the design.

The winning competition entry will be part of a broader initiative, envisioned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District, to enhance cultural life on the lakefront. Along with the winning competition entry, three additional new lakefront kiosks will be constructed, each designed by an architect in collaboration with students from a local school of architecture. Participating schools include the Illinois Institute of Technology, the School of the Art Institute, and the University of Illinois Chicago. Details on these collaborations will be announced in early 2015.

All four new kiosks—the winning competition entry, and the three design collaborations with local schools—will be displayed in Millennium Park during the Chicago Architecture Biennial (October 2015 – January 2016) as a featured component of its exhibition program. In the spring of 2016, the four kiosks will be installed on the lakefront.



March 23, 2015  – Deadline for submitting kiosk designs. Download Call for Proposal (PDF) 

April 2015 – Jury deliberation;

May 2015 – Winner(s) announced;

Jun-Aug 2015 – Fabrication;

Sept. 2015 – Installation at Millennium Park;

Oct. 2015 – Biennial opens to the public;

Oct. 2015 – BP Prize ceremony.

To learn more about the Chicago Architectural Biennial, click here.

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