Todd Swanson, Louie Boffil, SCI-Arc, California, Los Angeles, Chicago, US, Chicago Union Station, Prada Store, Tokyo, Herzog de Meuron

This project by Todd Swanson and Louie Bofill, done at SCI-Arc centers around Chicago’s Union Station, is a complex shared between a historic terminal and a mid-high-rise office building overlooking the Chicago River. In authors’ own words, the abstract addresses the continuing problem of a public space in decline due to its subterranean concourse and dark enclosed spaces, and creates a hub for a future high speed rail intersecting the city. The proposal aims to improve the messy circulation between the current train station and the busy city that surrounds it.

The design team was influenced by the famous Prada Store, Tokyo by Herzog and de Meuron, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier in general. The initial project redefines the space by retrofitting the tower with a hexagonal exoskeleton, allowing for an adjustment of structure and increased traffic flow throughout the floors.

Through re-systematizing the space, new program was introduced at intervals along the tower. Public venues of hybridized indoor-outdoor space intersect with the conventional floor plates, accentuating views of the surrounding context. The new proposed structural system eliminates congestion, allowing flexibility and the freedom of loading and traffic flow throughout the ground floor and lobby spaces, and introducing openings to the platforms below which provide natural sunlight and ventilation.

The design team suggests the re-cladding of a mid-rise tower above the terminal with a contemporary cell-like motif of pentagonal protrusions. As for the ground and lower concourse levels of the new Chicago Union Station, the plan would be to create more fluid floor planes for easy transition from tunnel to street.

Todd Swanson, Louie Boffil, SCI-Arc, California, Los Angeles, Chicago, US, Chicago Union Station, Prada Store, Tokyo, Herzog de Meuron

Todd Swanson, Louie Boffil, SCI-Arc, California, Los Angeles, Chicago, US, Chicago Union Station, Prada Store, Tokyo, Herzog de Meuron

 

Todd Swanson, Louie Boffil, SCI-Arc, California, Los Angeles, Chicago, US, Chicago Union Station, Prada Store, Tokyo, Herzog de Meuron

Todd Swanson, Louie Boffil, SCI-Arc, California, Los Angeles, Chicago, US, Chicago Union Station, Prada Store, Tokyo, Herzog de Meuron

Todd Swanson, Louie Boffil, SCI-Arc, California, Los Angeles, Chicago, US, Chicago Union Station, Prada Store, Tokyo, Herzog de Meuron

 

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