Lakefront Kiosk for the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial


Whale bones, beach chairs and brilliant colors. Emplacing the pavilion generically on the lakefront without a specific site. The horizon is the defining feature of the lake. We celebrate the horizon by creating a mirrored imitation. Whether walking at 3 mph or driving at 75 mph the mirrored strike grabs your attention, an architectural wayfinder for place. The manufactured horizon reflects the animated motion of Lakeshore Drive and the static skyline beyond. The captured space between this datum and the ground establishes a condition suitible for inhabitation. We are inspired by the detritus spread across the beach. The cocktail of garbage and organic matter found in washed up flotsam. In our pavilion you find the mixture of natural and synthetic elements tied into a framework reminiscent of a fallen lifeguard's lookout or a beach-goer's fold out tent that has successfully reproduced.

Despite the diminutive footprint of our kiosk, we collage materials to manipulate the apparent depth and scale. The bright red interior is masked by blue mesh from certain angles and dulled by translucent plastic from others. The mirrored facade of the kiosk vanishes in the sunlight, along with the translucent plastic collapsing the space of the kiosk. From the opposite side, plywood traces one corner before vanishing into plastic, only briefly defining the interior space. Despite the menagerie of color, texture and transparency, cacophony is avoided through simple, geometric composition. Each ele vation is a graphic arrangement of proportional shapes that allows one to quickly parse the form and feel comfortable in its presence.

The modular repetition of the design is intended to compel people to break its imposed order. Draping towels, attaching volleyball nets, occupying with picnic tables, plastering with signage or otherwise breaking it's unrealistic demands is the pavilion's challenge. Rather than mandating an inevitably formalized entertainment, it provides a skeleton for life to paper over. The pavilion attempts to create a unique and interesting space on the lakefront.

During the winter months, our proposal is to stock basic bike repair tools and heat lamps for the intrepid souls cycling during the winter. For those not on a cycle, but who wish to enjoy the beauty of the frozen lake front they can stop in to warm themselves on their excursion. During the kiosk's inital stay in Millenium Park it has a similar program as a bike repair center and information center on outdoor activities available in Chicago — encouraging visitors to venture out to neighborhoods beyond the loop and enjoy the parks and scenery they offer (such as the boulevards of Logan Square or the conservatory of Garfield Park). The modular frames remain collapsed during this time, creating a shaded space to fix up your bike, while allowing the inside of the kiosk to hold tools and distribute materials.

The collapsing modules of the design allow the kiosk to be easily transported to new locations along the lakefront seasonally or as required.

Despite the pontification, the pavilion intends only one thing: fun. Having a good time, enjoying yourself and relaxing during your visit.