Lakefront Kiosk Competition

Submission: March 23, 2015
Registration: March 23, 2015
Language: English
Location: Chicago, USA
Prizes1st prize: US$ 10000
Type: Open


In keeping with the mission of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Lakefront Kiosk Competition is an opportunity to support innovative architectural work and to use the city—more specifically, the iconic shoreline of Lake Michigan—as a laboratory for architectural experimentation.

The competition calls for the inventive design of a new kiosk that will be installed on Chicago’s lakefront, one of the city’s most vibrant public spaces. The winning entry will be part of a broader initiative, envisioned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District, to enhance cultural life on the lakefront.

A jury of architects, curators, and city representatives will select one winner to receive the BP Prize. The winner will be awarded an honorarium for design development and a construction budget.

The winning competition entry will be constructed and displayed in Millennium Park during the Chicago Architecture Biennial (October 2015-January 2016) as a featured component of its exhibition program, and in the spring of 2016 the kiosk will be installed on the lakefront.

The Chicago Park District currently oversees over forty kiosks that punctuate the shoreline, which during the summer offer food, retail, and recreational services—rang- ing from beverages to clothing to surf rentals. Although these kiosks are, by necessity, modest in size, these structures are an exciting opportunity to explore creative archi- tectural solutions. The competition calls for the design of a new kiosk that will be a fully functioning commercial space during the summer, but also asks applicants to consider how the kiosk might perform as an architectural intervention on the lakefront when its commercial functions are inactive. When open, how does the kiosk engage with both visitors and the surrounding environment? When closed, how does the kiosk maintain an active presence on the lakefront and attract visitors year-round? How can its design adapt to changing programs, as well as different locations on the lakefront?

While Chicago is known for its towering skyscrapers and its expansive urban grid, the competition identifies the lakefront as a new realm of architectural imagination that operates on the scenic threshold of the city and at a more intimate scale. Though the winning kiosk will be a small structure—a work of micro-architecture—it will reinforce the city’s broader commitment to forward-thinking design. The competition is a chal- lenge to demonstrate how small-scale architectural design can transform public space.