Concept Design: Prairie Gate
Concept Design: Prairie Gate

CTA: New Station at Cermak-McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

Integration of architecture and urban design techniques that explores the interstitial spaces that

lie between buildings and landscape.

These awkward and abandoned spaces that exist on the edge of development offer a unique

urban condition that acts as an integral point of inspiration for architecture and urban design.

Prairie Gate provides a break from the structured activity that surrounds our day to day lives

while adding an element of discovery to the urban fabric. Often disregarded as a wasted space,

this underutilized city void at Cermak-McCormick Place can begin to recover lost landscapes that

can drive urban transformation. The hidden potential of these spaces can serve as a public asset

that activates the community with green space, innovation, and leisure. This concept shapes the

edge condition with canopy structures, places to sit, play, and enjoy gardens that display the

once abundant prairie life. Cellular groupings create a nonhierarchical system that is designed to

encourage life in-between spaces with the potential to transform the surrounding city with a

new typology for public life. These cellular groupings include civic space, art and technology, a

printing studio, a wood shop, market, and restaurant. The main entry point will provide an

elevated platform that oers views to the surrounding city and garden. Social engagement and

communal space is central to this plan through the activation of the ground oor and landscaping

features. This new community asset will reclaim wasted space as an urban discovery that

embraces sustainability, creative industries, and opportunities for economic growth.