Chicago Pavillions

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The program called for a moveable water-based floating venue to be anchored as desired in various protected lakefront basins along Chicago's lakefront. The new facility would allow many, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, to experience Lake Michigan. The client envisioned its use for educational programs, such as Chicago's cultural and ecological history with the Great Lakes; lectures, exhibitions, and concerts; recreational programs, such as kayaking and sailing; and various charitable events. It would be privately owned and operated or owned and operated by the City of Chicago.

The design solution became a system of hexagonal modules, each 75' in diameter, which could be joined in an infinite variety of shapes and numbers depending on its proposed usage. To be transported they would be joined in linear configurations to fit the 78' width maximum of the Great Lakes locks. Once in place, they would be anchored via tension cables, but being modular, could be reconfigured and relocated anywhere along the Great Lakes. The pods, tubular space frames wrapped in a light-weight skin, enclose wide open interior spaces, hence their buoyancy; but their primary spaces are the fabric-shaded decks on top, for use in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Architect of record

Frederick Phillips
Frederick Phillips & Associates
Deerpath Farm Studio, 26403 N Farwell Rd
Mettawa, IL 60045-2373, USA
Phone: 312-925-0204
Fax: 224-433-6883