May 27, 2016
"50 Designers, 50 Ideas, 50 Wards" Exhibition
50 Designers, 50 Ideas, 50 Wards. In celebration of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF)’s 50th anniversary, they invited 50 architects and designers to display future-oriented, transformative design proposals for each of Chicago’s 50 wards. This “ward-by-ward” exhibition of ideas is a visual conversation on the role that design can play in solving community challenges at both the local and citywide levels. Curated by the CAF, UrbanLab, and Reed Kroloff, this exhibit opened on Tuesday, May 24th.
Brininstool + Lynch's contribution is The West Side Corridor, a theoretical “vision plan” for the Planned Manufacturing District located in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor on the near West side of Chicago. A PMD is an area of land defined by zoning to foster manufacturing through prohibiting residential development and other specific uses. Created to revive Chicago’s industrial base, many of these PMDs have not generated the type of jobs and economic benefits envisioned. Consequently, their inflexibility in zoning prohibits concurrent development of the surrounding neighborhoods and evolving economic opportunity. In some cases, this results in areas with vacant, underutilized land and a lack of integration with the surrounding neighborhoods.
Located in the West Loop neighborhood, the site that is bound by Ogden to the west, Halsted to the east, Kinzie to the north, and Carrol to the south. The Amtrak and Metra train lines cut directly through the site. Our plan begins with enclosing the Metra train line and reinvigorating the functions of a light-manufacturing district at the street level — including makers spaces, art studios and galleries, restaurants, green and blue infrastructure, and a central market. The roofs of these buildings are joined with the train enclosure to create a green area that serves as a 28-acre public park for the surrounding neighborhoods. Along with providing community gathering spaces and ecological landscapes, this platform creates a space for various types of high-density development to rise above.