McCormick Place Event Center

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

This invited competition entry for a 10,000 seat arena and 500-room hotel seeks to foreground urban space. The arena/hotel together form a contiguous volume that frames two urban spaces: on the south a raised entry plaza for visitors coming from the adjacent convention center; on the west side of the site is a large urban space, slightly sunken from grade, which serves as a neighborhood park and a gathering area before and after events.

The building massing responds to its surrounding context: the lower arena volume matches the height of existing residential development to the north, while the taller hotel volume creates an urban gateway with existing and proposed high-rise towers.

The arena and hotel are enclosed in a continuous envelope of glass, behind which is a system of deployable metal mesh curtains which animate the façade and serve as a spatial device to create social and meeting spaces in the concourse area surrounding the arena bowl. The curtains are color-coded to the spaces they frame—copper on the sides bordering the park, stainless steel at the raised entry plaza on the south, white elsewhere.



Architect of record

John Ronan
John Ronan Architects
420 West Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654, USA
Phone: 312-951-6600
Fax: 312-951-6544
ronan@jrarch.com

Consultant 1

Brian Dickson
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
111 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606, USA
Phone: 312-683-1200
bdickson@mka.com

Consultant 2

Don Dethlefs
Sink Combs Dethlefs
4255 North Honore Street, Suite 220
Chicago, IL 60613, USA
Phone: 312-327-5158
dethlefs@sinkcombs.com

Consultant 3

Edward Peck
Thornton Tomasetti - Building Skin Practice
330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Phone: 312-596-2424
epeck@thorntontomasetti.com

Photographer

John Ronan
John Ronan Architects
420 West Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654, USA
Phone: 312-951-6600
Fax: 312-951-6544
ronan@jrarch.com