!melk’s publicly praised design proposal for the Navy Pier Competition introduces a fresh look at Chicago’s waterfront. The design is full of hidden symbols that subconsciously refer to the last ice age, the origin of The Great Lakes. Integrated with the historic pier and within a commercialized tourist destination are spectacular topographic forms, and tectonic waves and curls. The project also envisions a singular, majestic glacier structure that emerges from Lake Michigan at the pier’s eastern end. A spectacle of water display during the warmer seasons turns into a dramatic ice tower in the winter.
The design features highly interconnected new spaces and program specific to Chicago. As a result Gateway Park, the primary physical connection back to the city, was redesigned with a new public plaza containing several new commercial and cultural venues.
HOK (urban planning & design), Urban LAB (urban design strategist), Terry Guen Associates (local landscape architecture), Thirst (graphic design), Magnusson Klemencic Associates (structural & civil engineer), HR&A Advisors (economic development advisors)