Concept Design: Prairie Gate
CTA: New Station at Cermak-McCornick 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. These unregulated spaces provide 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, these underutilized city voids can begin to recover lost landscapes and 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 offers views to the surrounding city and garden. Social engagement and communal space is central to this plan through the activation of the ground floor 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.