Chicago CADE Competition Entry

Celebrating Chicago’s built Typologies in a Mixed-Use building of Culture & Education

The given parameters for this competition advocate a high-rise solution. However, a building designed to house the Chicago Architectural Foundation, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and arts-oriented programs for teenagers should be a reflection of the diversity of Chicago design and its commitment to public open space. A vertical typology alone is inadequate.

We choose to expand the site to the west, opening up a confined intersection and giving us room to develop public space at ground level. Although Chicago is famous for its high-rise innovation, it is also strongly defined by urban horizontals: plazas, parks, rail lines, the river, and the lake. We take advantage of this unique history of civic-minded design to propose a project that is both architecturally and urbanistically significant.

The CADE assembles downtown Chicago’s fundamental urban components—plaza, podium, and tower—and organizes them in relation to the city’s great engineered frameworks of rail and water. The building itself seeks to be an educational device, exposing building materials and structure for public display. The high school and after school learning spaces are stacked vertically, with strong horizontal connections between programs that foster both technological innovation and intrapersonal collaboration.

We dissociate 21st-century design in Chicago from the subjective and problematic notion of “architectural character,” and instead celebrate the fundamental spatial elements that shape its urban environment. 

Chicago, IL
Submitted 2015

Design Team Member

Aneesha Dharwadker
Brett Horin
Mekael Wesley-Rosa
Noel Turgeon
Erica Wannemacher
Michael Prince