Many have likened the civic reaches of the Chicago River to an urban canyon, particularly in places (like Site #1) where the city’s impressive skyline meets sharply with the placid plane of the river’s surface. This constrained cliff-like condition requires a careful structural negotiation—where the new path must thread carefully between existing architecture and a bustling water sheet—but also offers a uniquely precarious context.
Taking advantage of these conditions, our River Ballet is a series of calligraphic paths that provide unique choices to visitors—high/low, steep/shallow, above/below, inside/outside—for the widest array of experiences. At the same time, the spaces between, above, and below the River Ballet are charged with daring engagement opportunities—places of spectacle, enhanced nature, suspended risk and unexpected sparkle.
Drag the slider left and right to see how this site looks now compared to if this idea were built.