Davis Brody Bond / Aedas Architects / Martha Schwartz Partners would install a wave fountain and wetland in Gateway Park. (The wetland would be used as a teaching tool, in conjunction with the Chicago Children’s Museum.) The team extends the South Dock into the water with floating gardens where visitors can watch performances—or just relax. The East End gets a “giant civic hot tub,” open even in winter, and a sci-fi-looking elevated gondola called the PierPod transports people to the pier from downtown Chicago. Unfortunately, $85 million only covers the first phase of this plan, which includes the wetland and upgrades to the promenade. The floating gardens (my favorite feature) and hot tub would have to wait for the $120-plus-million Phase 3. By the time the PierPod is finished, I suspect we’ll be using jetpacks anyway.
Aedas Architects, Davis Brody Bond and Martha Schwartz Partners proposalPierESCAPE goes beyond the Navy Pier Centennial Vision as it aims to strengthen the connections between water, land, nature, city, culture, civic space and infrastructure with a “series of dock-like extensions”. The proposal respects the history of the Pier while identifying unique opportunities that will them to create a 21st century waterfront experience that is both a historical and contemporary destination.
PierESCAPE envisions Navy Pier as a world-class urban landscape that protects Lake Michigan, promotes economic growth and creates an escape for the people of Chicago. Entertainment, recreation, culture and ecology weave together to create places that are “exciting, enriching, and sustainable.” The Pier will offer an expanded list of activities and destinations that will appeal to the people of Chicago and tourists, enticing them to revisit the Pier again and again, throughout the year.
“Our goal will be to achieve a higher degree of integration between the Pierscape and all existing, new and proposed buildings”
Key aspects of the design include:
- Crossing the Waters into Gateway Park
- Taking it over the edge into South Dock Park
- Getting Up to Get Down at Pier Park
- Going Through the Looking Glass in Crystal Garden
- Taking the Plunge at East Edge Park