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North Grant Park Competition
Chicago, IL


Mark Rios
Greg Kochanowski
Samantha Harris
Clancy Pearson
Ananda Kantner


At 319 acres, Grant Park is composed of distinct parks divided by city streets, each comprising multiple programmatic sub-identities which contribute to the identity of the park as a whole. Our proposed design hoped to infuse North Grant Park with a unique identity of PLAY relative to the cultural play of Millennium Park and the water play of the River and Lakefront Park systems. The theme is made apparent in three major ways:

PLAY UP: Engaging the site’s past as a manufactured landscape, and in contrast to the general flatness of the Midwest, the park establishes an amplified topography by redesigning the existing air vents into E-vents -- an array of infrastructural features that enable both formal and informal programmatic scenarios.
PLAY ALONG: Referencing the park’s relationship to The Chicago Loop District, an organizational system of “looping” paths are introduced that provide crucial urban links that both physically and programmatically connect to and accommodate a wide variety of public programs.

PLAY THROUGH: Organized to follow the lines of the Chicago waterfront development over time, reintroduced strips of pre-settlement Chicago landscape ecosystems are used as a way to define distinct environmental ecologies and increase biodiversity within the park.