The results are finally revealed for the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s Lakefront Kiosk competition! Launched last December, the competition invited architects worldwide to propose kiosk designs inspired by the Windy City and its Lake Michigan waterfront.  The winning proposal — in addition to three more kiosks designed by architects in collaboration with students from local Chicago architecture schools — will be on display at the Biennial starting in October. The winning kiosk is expected to become a permanent lakefront landmark even after the exhibition gates close in January 2016.

“Chicago Horizon” by Team Ultramoderne scored the top BP Prize (Oil + gas company BP is the Biennial’s presenting sponsor). At the Biennial opening, the winning team will be presented with the prize: a $10,000 honorarium for design development and a $75,000 construction budget.

The finalist runner-up teams were Thomas Kelley, Ryan Palider, Chuck Paros from the U.S.; Lekker Architects from Singapore; and Berlin-based TRU Architekten.

As for the school kiosks, the commissioned teams are:

  • NLÉ + School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Pezo von Ellrichshausen + Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Paul Andersen (Indie Architecture) and Paul Preissner (Paul Preissner Architects) + University of Illinois at Chicago

Have a look at the winning designs below.


“Chicago Horizon” by Team Ultramoderne (architects Yasmin Vobis and Aaron Forrest + structural engineer Brett Schneide)

BP PRIZE WINNER: “Chicago Horizon” by Team Ultramoderne
BP PRIZE WINNER: “Chicago Horizon” by Team Ultramoderne
BP PRIZE WINNER: “Chicago Horizon” by Team Ultramoderne

Project abstract: “How much kiosk can you get for $75,000? Chicago Horizon probes this question through a quest to build the largest flat wood roof possible. Using Cross-Laminated Timber, a new carbon-negative engineered lumber product, in the largest dimensions commercially available, the kiosk aims to provide an excess of public space for the Architecture Biennial and Chicago beach-goers. The generous 56-foot square offers an architectural lending library and shelter from the elements during its time in Millennium Park, and later becomes a large shading canopy overlooking Lake Michigan with space for commercial vending within. Chicago Horizon expresses lightness at a variety of scales, from the 8-foot hovering roof plane to the viewing platform and vending kiosk, which are suspended from the roof using chain-link fencing without any additional supports. The lateral reach of the roof recalibrates the experience of two extremes of the Chicago landscape: at ground level, the Lake Michigan horizon dominates, forming a line of symmetry between ground and canopy. From the viewing platform, the roof becomes a new artificial horizon, shutting out the foreground and emphasizing the floating vertical Chicago skyline above an abstract floating plane.”


NLÉ + School of the Art Institute of Chicago

STUDENT KIOSK: NLÉ + School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Project abstract: “This Chicago Lakefront Kiosk is a contemporary pop-­‐up pavilion, sculpturally composed from the  raw and historic  limestone blocks that  once  protected the city’s shoreline. Its bold and sensuous  balance transforms  Chicago’s lakefront into a magnet for social and cultural life. Located at Montrose Beach by the Great Lake Michigan, the kiosk is conceived as an infrastructure box consisting of materials and technology that are found at or belong to the environment. The system uses resilient limestone and concrete elements that can be uniquely assembled each time to suit different location along the lakefront for various purposes—providing shelter and accommodating different vendors while contributing to the protection of the shoreline.”


NLÉ Team: Kunlé Adeyemi, Marco Cestarolli, Karien Hofhuis, Berend Strijland, Bethan Nelson
SAIC Students: Tanner Jackson Bowman, Ik Hun Chang, Yinjie Deng,  Chaim Emanuel, Hyun Sik Kim, Nayoung Lim, Yeonji Park, Kelly Grace Sullivan, Zaiyuan Xiao, Yunzhuo Hao
Teaching Assistant: Katelyn Barbaria
Faculty: Douglas Pancoast, Associate Professor
Thornton Tomasetti Team: Ken Maschke, Nate Sosin, Lizabeth DuBay

“Cent Pavilion” by Pezo von Ellrichshausen + Illinois Institute of Technology

STUDENT KIOSK: “Cent Pavilion” by Pezo von Ellrichshausen + Illinois Institute of Technology

Project abstract: “This slender and stable figure is meant to convey a sense of silent and convoluted simplicity.  It is self-centered, self-regulated, and self-located as an opaque monolith without any scale, direction, or hierarchy, as a podium for an invisible statue. The silhouette is fairly redundant, with an attenuated transition from wall to roof, fo r a surprisingly oversized and immaterial unitary room. Its construction has a single structural logic. It is unwisely rational, since the same corner detail is repeated all over and the same diagonal bracing underpins every center.  But the handcrafted elements should imply delight o ver thought. In the end, this is a device that collects roughly everything: from Hockney’s inverted perspectives, Morandi’s natura morta, or Guarini’s telescopic domes to those anony mous bell towers, water towers,  lighthouses, silos, or chimneys, or even the inaccessible purgatory before an ambitious prototype for the next (artistically considered) metropolitan high-rise building.”


Architects: Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen)
Collaborators: Paul Endres (structure), Richard Nelson (construction)
Prefabrication: IIT Students
Support: IIT College of Architecture

“Summer Vault” by Paul Andersen (Indie Architecture) + Paul Preissner (Paul Preissner Architects) + University of Illinois at Chicago

STUDENT KIOSK: “Summer Vault” by Paul Andersen (Indie Architecture) + Paul Preissner (Paul Preissner Architects) + University of Illinois at Chicago

Project abstract: “Summer Vault is a lakefront kiosk that accommodates a variety of cultural activities. It consists of some basic geometric shapes—a 12-foot-diameter barrel  vault, a parallelogram, some triangles—combined to create a curious, freestanding hangout  within the park. The interior of the skewed vault is divided into two triangular spaces—one enclosed by expanded metal screens and doors, and one open to the air but still within the vaulting. This two-part plan allows for commerce and community to occur sim ultaneously. It also reflects the kiosk’s Persian origins as a 13th-century garden pavilion, while embracing its contemporary use as a seasonal commercial front and festive park retreat. Its openness allows year-round use, remaining active even during its retail slumber and offering a public summer home through the Chicago winter.”


University of Illinois at Chicago Student Team: Siobhan Barrett, Matthew Busscher, Jesus Corral
Project Team (In-Progress) Architecture: Indie Architecture and Paul Preissner Architects: Paul Andersen, AIA; Siobhan Barrett; Matthew Busscher; Jesus Corral; Kevin Hirth; Jason King; Paul Preissner, AIA
Project Architect: Paul Preissner

All images courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Check out the competition finalists and honorable mentions in the thumbnail gallery below.