River Edge Ideas Lab highlights 27 potential projects to enhance the Chicago River

© Sasaki

Nine design firms have developed 27 visionary ideas for Chicago’s riverfront in the River Edge Ideas Lab exhibit as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The River Edge Ideas Lab features development concepts from for three iconic locations: the Civic Opera House waterfront; beneath the Congress Parkway bridge; and below the St. Charles Air Line Bridge. Each location represents a unique challenge to the Riverwalk’s potential 1.8-mile extension from the main branch to Ping Tom Park in Chinatown.

© Studio Gang

Participating River Edge Ideas Lab architects include Adjaye Associates, James Corner Field Operations, Perkins+Will, Ross Barney Architects, Sasaki, site, SOM, Studio Gang, and SWA. Beginning Saturday, the firms’ design concepts are on display at Expo 72, 72 E. Randolph St., through Jan. 8, 2018. The public is invited to provide feedback on each design at the exhibit or online at www.chiriverlab.com

© James Corner Field Operations

The City of Chicago – Department Planning and Development will incorporate public feedback from the River Edge Ideas Lab into updated River Design Guidelines in 2018; the guidelines were initially adopted in 1999 and last amended in 2005. The updated 2018 guidelines will offer best practices to create a continuous pedestrian and bicycle path with accessible connections and open spaces incorporating integrated landscaping, artwork and lighting.

© site

The River Edge exhibit is a traveling exhibit opened on September 18 and will be moving every two week until January 4. There will also be presentations by each of the design firms on various dates between now and December 12.

Further details on these events can be found at www.ChiRiverLab.com

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/