Ultramoderne Wins Competition To Design Lakefront Kiosk For Chicago Architecture Biennial


A wall-significantly less pavilion with a rooftop viewing platform has been named the winner of the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s competitors to layout a lakefront kiosk.

Named Chicago Horizon, the pavilion made by Staff Ultramoderne will incorporate a little lending library with architectural books, topped by a huge, flat roof produced of cross-laminated timber.

Guests to the viewing platform will stand at chin-height with the roofline. The plane of the roof will display out the fast surroundings, focusing views on the expansive horizon of Lake Michigan on 1 side and the verticality of the skyline on the other. The roof will be covered in a layer of gravel, which will include weight and protect it from Chicago’s strong lakefront winds. Occasions like guide talks and panel discussions will be held below the roof.

The kiosk will be erected for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the 1st occasion of its type in North America. The biennial will open three October 2015 and run via three January 2016.


Staff Ultramoderne consists of Yasmin Vobis and Aaron Forrest, principals of the Rhode Island firm Ultramoderne, and structural engineer Brett Schneider, a senior associate at Man Nordenson and Associates. The three often collaborate and educate together at the Rhode Island School of Style.

The design and style of Chicago Horizon was largely driven by budgetary constraints, in accordance to the crew.

Related story: Undulating timber slats surround this London flower kiosk by Buchanan Partnership

Competitors entrants were essential to style a construction that could be created for \$75,000 (£48,000) and totalled at least 200 square feet (19 square metres).

“We made a decision to see just how significantly kiosk you could develop for \$75,000,” mentioned Forrest.


By using cross-laminated timber and other reduced-expense resources, Ultramoderne was able to generate a kiosk with three,200 square feet (300 square metres) of programmable space.

The designers program to utilise off-the-rack components in a polished way, they explained. “The very easy framework belies a refined complexity,” stated Schneider.

In addition to the tight spending budget, the concept was inspired by several design sources. The team cites the operate of Mies van der Rohe, one particular of Chicago’s great architects, along with the film Powers of 10 by Charles and Ray Eames — element of which was filmed on the Chicago lakefront.

“We like the flatness and rationalism of Mies and some of the flexibility of the Eameses,” Vobis informed Dezeen.


The company itself, Ultramoderne, is named after an essay by the artist Robert Smithson, acknowledged for his massive earthworks. Land Art, which typically employed huge monolithic forms to alter perceptions of the landscape, is a touchstone for considerably of the firm’s perform.

The Lakefront Kiosk Competition, launched in late 2014, asked designers to conceive a new sort of kiosk for a internet site along Lake Michigan, which borders Chicago. The precise location has not been announced.

In addition to the \$75,000 building spending budget, Staff Ultramoderne will obtain a \$10,000 (£6,400)  honorarium. The oil and gas firm BP is sponsoring the undertaking.

The competitors was organized in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago. Jury members included architects David Adjaye and Jeanne Gang.

The competitors attracted 420 entries from close to the globe. In addition to a winner, the organisers named three finalists.

Behind the Curtain by Thomas Kelley, Ryan Palider, and Chuck Paros Behind the Curtain by Thomas Kelley, Ryan Palider, and Chuck Paros

One particular of the finalists was Behind the Curtain by Thomas Kelley, Ryan Palider, and Chuck Paros – who hail from Chicago and Columbus, Ohio. They proposed erecting a tall structure sheathed in a veil manufactured of stainless steel mesh.

Comaroff by Lekker Architects was yet another finalist. The Singapore-based firm proposed building an arched construction with an exterior pattern that resembles shingles.

Chicago-Architecture-Biennial-Lake-Front-Kiosk-Competition-Lekker-Architects_dezeen_468_0 Comaroff by Lekker Architects

The third finalist was Lakefront Kiosk by TRU Architekten. The Berlin company conceived a rectilinear framework produced of timber battens, with a roof covered in translucent tarpaulin.

Chicago-Architecture-Biennial-Lake-Front-Kiosk-Competition-TRUarchitects_dezeen_468_0 Lakefront Kiosk by TRU Architekten

3 extra kiosks are currently being created by university teams: Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner from the University of Illinois at Chicago Kunlé Adeyemi from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Pezo von Ellrichshausen from the Illinois Institute of Technology.



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