News: Pierscape Competition, Chicago, Revealing Team Finalists' Booklets

Pierscape Competition, Navy Pier, Chicago, unveiled list and booklets of Design Team finalists. After the guidelines of the Pierscape Competition, I will post an abstract of each entry. More can be read in Team Finalists' booklets.

Navy Pier has been a Chicago icon and populat destination throughout much of its history. It offers a diverse and eclectic experience and is positioned in one of the most unique settings i the world. As Navy Pier approaches its centennial in 2016, now is the time to revisit its legacy and reimagine its potential through a contemporary lens. Navy Pier has enjoyed both populat and commercial success. It already has much of what is necessary to become a world-class public, but for the Per to truly achive this status it must embrace and implement a new version. The search for a Pierscape design team is an important part of a larger Navy Pier initiative entitled The Centennial Vision whose goal is to make Navy Pier a truly iconic and world-class destination.
In July of 2011, Navy Pier, Inc., the newly formed not-for-profit entity entrusted with the operation and redevelopment of Navy Pier, put forth The Centennial Vision, a framework for reimagining Navy Pier. The vision's purpose is not only to expand the Pier's audience but to enrich the experience of its visitors. Like other Chicago endeavors — Millennium Park is a recent example — The Centennial Vision aims high and establishes a framework befitting a world-class city with a vibrant architectural, cultural, environmental, and recreational landscape.
The design of Pier's Pierscape, or outdoor public spaces, is an essential component of The Centennial Vision. In addition to the Pierscape, Navy Pier is moving forward with other components of the vision. The Pier is beginning to plan the renovation of the Family Pavilion, explore the addition of more restaurants and entertainment, and to work closely with its cultural partners, Chicago Children's Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, on the feasibility of each expanding their presence at the Pier.
The five Pierscape design proposals on display mark an important milestone in the search for a design team, a process that began in September with an invitation to design firms worldwide to submit their qualifications. There are a great number of big ideas on display, and each design proposal gives a good sense of the team's approach to redesigning the Pier's public spaces. Navy Pier intends to select the team that best understands its objectives and would make a great partner in further exploring, developing, and refining design ideas and concepts to respond to the complex conditions at Navy Pier and to work with the Pier on implementing a vision for the Pier's Pierscape.
Navy Pier is the "People's Pier" and as Chicago's most popular public destination, feedback is an important part of the selection process. Navy Pier would like to hear from you about the finalists' design for a reimagined Pierscape.

More: Here.

So the list and booklets of the team finalists.
AECOM, an agency, from Chicago who collaborates with BIG, in this project. The Booklet can be downloaded: here. A video is available: Here.
Pierscape, Chicago © AECOM & BIG Team
The main aim of AECOM/BIG is to create a welcomng, well connected arrival experience through focused interventions and gift the city a truly world-class setting and the finest views in town, through integrated, holistic thinking.
Let's give a rapid overview of AECOM/BIG's design with five key concepts:

Shakespeare Extension (alternative): Currently the Navy Pier is visually cluttered. Rather than constructing yet another disjointed building within the mix, we propose an alternate expansion of the Shakespeare theatre which is tucked beneath a grand staircase. This not only seamlessly transitions from Pier Park to the existing Shakespeare/Parking structure, it also adds a vast amount of potential uses and leasing opportunities for the future pier.Pierscape, Chicago © AECOM & BIG Team
Children's Museum Expansion: The Children's museum has nowhere to expand its current facility and has considered alternative locations within Chicago as a viable option for future gorwth. By allowing the museum to expand down to the first floor with its current footprint it can achieve the desired 100.000 + square feet that it needs for future programming. This move has the added benefit of giving it a much stronger presence in the arrival experience inside headhouse. The resulting displaced food court can be easily accommodated within the proposed grand staircase with access to ample outdoor seating for patrons.Arcade expansion: The existing corridor beneath pier park is squeezed by grade-level parking to the north and an oversized stair to the south. The result is a dead corridor resulting from a spatial proposition that is not adequate for most uses including retail. We propose extending the current arcade to the south creating up to 56,000 square feet of additional feasable area and alleviating the constraints on this constricted corridor.Pierscape Competition, Chicago © AECOM & BIG
Level 2 Connections/Canopies: The proposed undulating stairs on the south dock will provide access to the level 2 Festival Hall while providing shade below on hot summer days.Phase 2 Rooftop Archipelago: Over time the roof garden experience can expand to the entire roofscape creating a true one-of-a-kind experience of the Skyline and Waterline of Chicago. Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © AECOM & BIG
More in the booklet.
The second team finalist is composed of Aedas Architects, Davis Brody Bond and Martha Schwartz Partners. The booklet can be found: here.
Pierscape Competition, Chicago © AEDAS Architects, Davis Brody Bond, Martha Schwartz Partners Team
The tremendous civic opportunity presented by Navy Pir's Centennial Vision has inspired our team to expand Pierscape to PierESCAPE: a 21st century watefront experience for Chicagoans and visitors from around the world. Navy Pier become both a historic and contemporary destination — a renewed jewel along the lakefront taking its rightful place among Chicago's collection of iconic and world class civic spaces. This proposal imagines Navy Pier as a specular urban landscape with five uniquely imaginative episodes:Pierscape Competition, Chicago, AEDAS Architects, Davis Brody Bond, Martha Schwartz Team
Crossing the Water int Gateway Park Taking it over the edge into South Dock ParkGetting up to get down at Pier ParkGoing through the looking glass in Crystal GardenTaking the plunge at East Edge ParkPierscape Competition, Chicago, © AEDAS Architects, Davis Brody Bond, Martha Schwartz Team
Navy Pier will no longer be perceived as a place "only for tourists." The new character of this landscape will be defined by an expanded offer of experiences and activities designed to appeal to broader audiences. PierESCAPE will change from day to night and throughout the seasons, drawing visitors from both Chicago and beyond who return again and again. As Navy Pier Inc. has stated, "The Pier is not broken," so we have accepted the challenge to build on existing successes while also identifying missed opportunities and giving shape to new possibilities. This proposal transforms Navy Pier from a linear to a multidimensional journey that connects the city out to the shoreline, the shoreline down to the water, and the water up to the sky. Entertainment, recreation, culture and ecology are woven together to create places that are exciting, enriching, and sustainable. By extending, restoring, integrating and expanding existing spaces and landscapes, the PierESCAPE synthesizes the whole of Navy Pier into something greater than the parts. The shaping of Chicago's coastline has long been shaped by three ambitions: protecting the life-giving waters of Lake Michigan, promoting economic growth, and creating spectacular civic spaces for the pleasure and enrichment of citizens. People of the world come Navy Pier to enjoy marinas, parks, swimming, museums, theater, the Ferris wheel, fishing, concerts, art and countless other attractions. In the context and tradition of Chicago's majestic lakefront, the PierESCAPE will be a world class destination and spectacular gathering of the programs, cultures and ecologies that define 21st century Chicago.Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © AEDAS Architects, Davis Brody Bond, Martha Schwartz Team
James Corner Field Operations' booklet. The video is available here.
Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © James Corner Field Operations
Culture Mile + The City Lake MileAt an urban scale, the main organizing principle is to treat the South Dock edge as a longer social promenade that connects west back into the city all the way to the "Culture Mile" along Michigan Avenue. This promenade would be actualized through generous sidewalk treatment, tree-planting, street lighting, social furnishing, art and signage.
Importandly, we propose an artist media and light-installation underneath the elevated portion of Lkae Shore Drive to help ensure a welcoming, safe and attractive passage between city and lake.Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © James Corner Field Operations
A New Hub for ChicagoImproved connectivity to the various lakefront parks as well as to Grant Park and Millennium Park, should also help to relate the Pier to a larger network of social spaces and major attractions in the city.
"Plugging in" to the City
The long urban promenade functions as an organizing armature along which a variety of "social rooms" and event spaces may be clearly sequenced. A lighting work by Leo Villareal is proposed for the underside of Lake Shore Drive as a welcoming beacon and gateway to the lakefront. Pedestrian and bicycle access are prioritized over vehicles, with distinctively marked pathways and crossings, signalized intersections and signage.Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © James Corner Field Operations
The PierscapeAt the scale of the actual site, this sequencing of rooms and event spaces along the promenade bar are tied to the existing building functions, essentially extending internal activities outward.
Gateway Park — Water and FestivalsChildren's Museum — Family and FoodCrystal Garden — Play and MagicPier Park — Fun and GamesShakespeare Theater — Performance and ArtFestival Hall — Events, Entertainment, Festivals, Hotel, Beer Garden and PoolEast End Park — "Lake Room"North Dock — "Hidden Nature"Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © James Corner Field Operations
The Pierscape at the same time can be experienced sequentially from City to Lake — grading in its elements and actvities from sheltered and vertical to open and sublime — seeing the long horizon of the great Lake Michigan.Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © James Corner Field Operations
!Melk Team's booklet. Their video can be watched here.
Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © !Melk Team
Reimagining Navy Pier is an unequaled opportunity to participate in the next heroic transformation of a landmark that represents Chicago's great tradition of reserving the lakefront for public space. Our team proposes to harness the rich, singular history of Navy Pier and transform it into a global year-round destination truly commensurate with Chicago's world-class collection of landscape architecture, architecture and art. We tap into the rich legacy of Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted who reconnected people with nature in the city, and the legacy of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright who designed structures that express nature — the prairies, waters and wetlands unique to Chicago. Our approach is to create dynamic venues for individual and family recreation and public leisure activities. We create connections to nature and a sense of place for Navy Pier visitors to better understand and truly appreciate the singular organic conditions that gave rise to Chicago itself.Pierscape Competition, Chicago © !Melk Team

Inspired by Chicago's historic public waterfront, we are optimists who design from a deep understanding of site and place. We become energized by careful listening and by harnessing the magnetic forces intrinsic to a lace, thus giving in return memorable experiences that promote cultural vitality. Daniel Burnham believed in the virtues of engaging public space for social engagement, mixing together Chicago's great variety of citizens. Over the past one hundred years, the success of Burnham's vision elevated Chicago's status as a global city, and in turn a world class tourist destination. Throughout its history, Navy Pier has been a virtal engine of Chcago's regional, national and global outreach and economic success. Our approach will assure that Navy Pier remains the city's preeminent exclamation point extending from the Great Lakes to the world in the Chicago tradition of ambitious public works. A renewed Pierscape that capitalizes upon quintessential Chicago elements will intensify the importance of Navy Pier as a worldwide attractor, as well as attract and captivate Chicagoland patrons again and again. Transforming the Pierscape into a vital and genuine slice of Chicago, especially for the people of Chicago, will assure it remains the single most popular attraction in the city and region.Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © !Melk Team
Last team is Xavier Vendrell Studio and Grimshaw Architects, also named Team X's booklet. The video can be watched here.
Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © Team X

Built as a working pier to accommodate seafaring trade, Navy Pier was, from its inception, anointed the People's Pier, moniker that holds true to this day. Navy Pier: dynamic dock and lively promenade: genuine historic and still working People's Pier: landmark piece of mixed-use public infrastructure that reflects Chicago's rich and varied past and embodies its composite brawn and grace: as ever, history is the present. There is no other city in the world like Chicago. City of poets and pragmatists, realists and dreamers. Ethnic kaleidoscope of new and generational immigrants, citizens all. Slick urbane metropolis and 'raw slangy town.' Sentimental and cynical in equal measure. Where untempered optimism, moxie and sheer force of will makes the impossible possible. 'For always our villains have hearts of gold and all our heroes are slightly tainted." Among Chicago's many assets — 'its people; its basic economy; its political character; its local, regional, and national influence; and its role in the global world — economically, politically, socially, culturally" — is the city's physical landscape: Shoulder-to-shoulder with the great Lake Machigan; Chicago's enviable elemental eastern border: demarcated by water: demarcated by horizon: demarcated by big open Midwestern sky. Extending out into the lake by approximately 6 city blocks, Navy Pier punctuates the lake like a giant exclamation mark.
The project proposed by Team X celebrates the physicality and elemental nature of avy Pier as a Pier: of the water not of the soil: built on pilings not landfill: lively energetic place pulsating over Lake Michigan: muscular Pierscape punctuated by an array of engaging hospitable places-com-neighborhoods: 'a public statement of who we are, who we want to be, and how we want others to define us': our very own People's Pier.
To reinvigorate Navy Pier and its inimitable Pierscape: designing a project true to the history and cultural heritage of Navy Pier and its relationship to the city: responsive to the needs and particlars of Navy Pier's clients and publics: enhancing and distinguishing the Navy Pier experience: supporting existing programming and creating possibilities for new and seasonal programming. In advance of developing any design concepts, our team initiates a common understanding of the space and place.Pierscape Competition, Chicago, © Team X

Team Finalists:
AECOM is based in Chicago and its lead team partner, BIG is located in New York and Coppenhagen.
The team is composed of: AECOM, BIG, Lead Pencil Studio, Project Projects, Speirs + Major, WET Design, Davis Langdon, Christy Webber, Tivoli International, Eden Project.

Aedas, Davis Brody Bond, Martha Stewart Partners
Aedas is the lead firm. The agency is located in New York with offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Davis Brody Bond is imlanted in New York with offices in Washington DC, Seattle and Brazil; Martha Schwartz Partners has offices in the UK, New York and Cambridge, MA.
The team is composed of: Aedas Architects, Martha Schwarz Partners, Halcrow Yolles, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Marshall Brown Projects, Pentagram, Fisher Marantz Stone, Suzanne Randolph Fine Arts, Davis Brody Bond, Atelier Dreiseitl GMBH, Dan Euser, Ned Kahn Studios, Hoerr Schaudt, Action Sport Development, Marks Barfield Architects, Lou Raizin, Gregory Hummel.

James Corner Field Operations
James Corner Field Operations works in New York.
The team is composed of: James Corner Field Operations, Terry Guen Design Associates, nArchitects, Bruce Mau Design, Leo Villareal, L'Observatoire International, Ed Marszewski, Fluidity Design Consultants, Patrick Blanc, John Greenlee & Associates, Chris Wangro, Billings Jackson, Buro Happold, Primera, HR&A Advisors, ETM Associates.

!Melk is the lead firm. The agency is based in New York City. HOK is located in Chicago with offices throughout the world; Urban Lab is based in Chicago.
!Melk, HOK, UrbanLab, Terry Guen Design Associates, Thirst, Zoe Ryan, Conservation Design Forum, HR&A Advisors, Magnasson Klemencic Associates, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Leni Schwendinger Light Projects, CMS Fountain Consultant, Karin Bacon Entreprises.

Xavier Vendrell Studio and Grimshaw Architects.
Xavier Vendrell Studio is from both Chicago and Barcelona. The Office is implanted in Chicago. Grimshaw Architects is located in New York with three additional offices in the UK and Australia.
The team is composed of: Xavier Vendrell Studio, Grimshaw Architects, Harley Ellis Devereaux, Arup, Studio Lab, Schuler Shook, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Lisa D. Freiman, Creative Time, Nelson Nygaard, Fluidity, Faithful + Gould.