Nine leading architecture firms reinvent Chicago’s second coast

Congress Water Steps
Congress Parkway Edge
SOM | Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

These ideas demonstrate innovative concepts for placemaking and how to create a continuous and accessible pedestrian and bicycle path with integrated open spaces along the Chicago River edge. The City encourages Chicagoans  to examine the ideas and share their opinions about the best and most engaging concepts. Ultimately, the ideas and public input will inform a set of river edge design guidelines applicable to future development projects along the Chicago River.

Explore the riverfront visions

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Architects’ visions

Nine leading architectural firms with experience in developing innovative riverfronts, parks, and public spaces, were engaged to provide their visions for a unified aesthetic along Chicago’s riverfront.

River sites

Three iconic sites were chosen because of their typical condition that is found throughout the city’s river system:  a building edge, an open space edge, and a bridge edge. Each condition has unique challenges in providing an activated and unified river walk system.

Come see the ideas

A selection of the River Lab concepts are on display at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

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