Chicago Riverwalk - Underbridge Canopy Detail Winner

Divine Detail Award, Citation of Merit

The reconstruction of Chicago’s Riverfront reconciles the vibrant, naturalistic landscape of the Lakefront trails and parks with the more formal context of Upper and Lower Wacker Drive’s Beaux Art architecture. The new Chicago Main Branch Riverwalk offers pedestrians and cyclists a continuous experience of Chicago’s riverfront from a unique vantage point along the south edge of the River. The Veteran’s Memorial Plaza at State Street, provides a civic memorial park for quiet refuge in the bustling downtown.

Under the bridges, new canopies protect from overhead debris, funneling it to a catchment area accessible through blind panels incorporated in the cladding. Following the shape of the bascule bridges, the canopies create a natural reflector that catches light from the water, blurring the edge between pedestrians and the river. Where they can be reached and touched, stainless steel tiles on a light-weight, aluminum core substrate, are sanded with a multidirectional finish for protection and easy repair. Up high and away from vandals, the tiles are polished - affording a much-photographed reflection of the water and passing boats.

Ross Barney Architects
Chicago Department of Transportation
  • Collins Engineering
  • Rausch Construction (Wabash Avenue Riverwalk)
General contractor
Walsh Construction (Michigan Avenue Riverwalk)
Chicago, Illinois