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COMPETITION INFORMATION Chicago’s Lakefront is a great contribution to the public it serves. This metropolitan edge has been defined by its industrial and commercial past, along with its recreational and cultural present. Figured through expansion and contraction, both naturally and artificially, its metamorphic transformation empowers the identity of the Lakefront. Visionary plans, policy, and infrastructure have all played crucial roles in the development of the city and consequently in the definition of its edge. Today, conflicting interests regarding ownership, use, and value of the Lakefront have produced a stalemate of what this civic treasure could become. As such, recent media coverage surrounding the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and the Barack H. Obama Presidential Library, revealed the ongoing dispute about land-use along the edge of the city. Much of this debate grounds itself in the Public Trust Doctrine that seeks to ensure the preservation of the lakefront as a natural habitat for civic use. A further dispute is anchored in two contracting conditions. Considered as one of the world’s best urban drives, riding along Lake Shore Drive (LSD) becomes an experience in motion that exposes the contrast between city and nature and a collision between the vertical urban wall and the horizon. Meanwhile, Lake Shore Drive disrupts the continuity and the ease of pedestrian accessibility between the urban fabric and the parkland along the shoreline. As ones easily forgets, the Lakefront has been contoured artificially and manipulated throughout history beyond its once original natural boundary. Disputes, such as the retainage and continued development of a traditional park versus the restoration of the native Midwestern dune scape ought to be reviewed beyond discussions among preferences in landscape development, as this newly gained land should be understood as new ground for new visions. CHARGE For this year’s Chicago Prize, we are calling for visionary proposals for Chicago’s Lakefront in consideration of the stated issues that imagine and speculate its scape. Would new strategies of zoning recharge this long strip of stand-alone city-land? Can architectural interventions function as a framework for the excitation of the edge? How will the collision of the metropolis and the lake create a radical emergence of the unimaginable?


SITE Competitors are limited to the site area along Chicago’s Lakefront. Please see the attached Site Plan for details. The approximate length of the public Lakefront accessible to all residents is roughly 18 miles (28.96km), consisting of a trail for its entire length. PROGRAM This is a speculative ideas competition. There is no set program for this competition; your definition of the program is part of the design problem. SCHEDULE Nov. 29, 2016: Competition Launched with Online Registration & Question and Answer Period opens* Dec. 15, 2016: Question and Answer Period closes Jan. 10, 2017: Online Registration closes and Submission are due at noon CST Jan. 20, 2017: Jury Meeting Feb. 02, 2017: Winners Announced & Exhibition Opening Event at the Chicago Architectural Foundation *Answers to all questions will be posted to the competition website. FEES Registration Fee: $90 Reduced Fee for Students: $50 (please submit pdf copy of valid 2016-17 Student ID) REGISTRATION To register, go to the competition website and follow the payment instructions. Send an email to with the contact information for the entrant or designated team leader.

Lakeshore from Birdseye View


Confirmation of the registration, additional CAD-files along with a random 5-digit registration number will be emailed to the registrant (individual or the team leader) for identification of the final submission. One registration is required per project submitted. Participants may submit multiple entries or be part of multiple teams, but each submission must have an individual registration number. Registration will remain open until the submission due date. Registrations fees are non-refundable. Fees will not be returned under any circumstances. By registering for the competition, competitors agree to all competition terms and conditions.

Satellite View of Chicago’s greater Historic Center (2009)


18th Street Underpass.

Belmont Avenue Underpass

Barry Avenue Underpass

Wilson Avenue Underpass.

Oak Street Underpass.

Lawrence Avenue Underpass.


North Marine Drive Underpass

Addison Avenue Underpass.

Randolph Street Underpass.

Buena Avenue Underpass

Chicago Avenue Underpass

Queen’s Landing Access

Fullerton Avenue Underpass

Promontory Point Underpass

West Bryn Mawr Avenue Underpass

Diversey Harbor Underpass.



Competition submissions are due at 12 noon U.S. Central Time (UTC - 06:00) on January 10, 2017. Submissions are electronic and submitted via email only. The following materials should be submitted:

The 2016 Chicago Prize is an anonymous competition. No names of team members shall appear on graphic material or in file names. The unique 5-digit registration number is the only means of identification. All material received by the competition organizers becomes their property, including reproduction rights. The intellectual property rights for each submission remain with the author(s) of the submission. The Chicago Architectural Club reserves the right to publish, exhibit, or present the work submitted to this competition in any format.

1. A maximum of four 11 inch x 17 inch boards (tabloid) oriented in landscape format. Each board must include the 5-digit assigned registration number in the lower right hand corner. Boards must be combined into a single four-page document and submitted in PDF format. The file should be named with the 5-digit registration number - “12345.pdf.” 2. A written statement of no more than 250 words explaining your ideas. The file should be named “Statement_12345.doc.” This file must be a .txt, .doc, or .rtf file, NOT a .pdf. 3. A single page document with team identification and contact information. Include: Project title, names of team members, leader’s telephone number, and email address. The file should be named “ID_12345.doc.” This file must be a .txt, .doc, or .rtf file, NOT a .pdf. The source of any third party materials incorporated in the entry must also be included; this source information may exceed one page if necessary. All three files must be then saved in a single ZIP file named with the 5-digit registration number “” This zipped file should not exceed 5MB. The single ZIP file should be sent via email to: The email subject line should read “Registration Number_12345.” Upon announcement of the winners, higher resolution images may be requested from winning submissions and selected entries. Upon jury decision on Jan. 20. 2017, short listed entries will be contacted to each submit one poster for the exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Posters will submitted digitally in portrait format with 30 inches x 41.625 inches, CYMK, 300DPI. ELIGIBILITY The 2016 Chicago Prize Competition is open to anyone with a vision of what Chicago’s Lakefront Edge could become: students, architects, landscape architects, planners, designers and artists. Members of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Architectural Club, staff and members of the jury or their families, or those involved with the preparation or funding of this competition may not participate. This competition is to be conducted solely via this web- site – no additional printed material is available. The official language of the competition is English. All drawings and architectural scales should be expressed in feet and inches.

QUESTIONS Questions regarding the competition will be accepted until Dec. 15, 2016. Questions should be emailed to: Answers will be posted on the Chicago Architectural Club’s Website. AWARDS 1st Prize: $1,500 2nd Prize: $1,000 3rd Prize: $500 Honorable mentions may be awarded at the discretion of the jury but will receive no cash prize. Select projects will be featured on the websites of the Chicago Architectural Club, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and multiple other partner agencies; in the official competition catalogue; and are to be exhibited in a special event at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. JURY A jury of notable professionals, academics, and public officials will decide competition winners. The decisions of the jury will be final and unalterable, and the jury thereby reserves the right to leave any of the prizes vacant, or partially award. Jurors: To be published on our website soon.




Presented by:

chicago architectural club

Supported by:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CAC Team: Carl Ray Miller, Martin Kläschen, and the Board of Directors CAF Team: Reed Kroloff, Allison Leake, Gabrielle Lyon, Jennifer Masengarb, and Michael Wood

Copyright © 2016-17 Chicago Architectural Club |

2016 Chicago Prize Competition Brief