Ultramoderne’s Lakefront Kiosk ‘Chicago Horizon’ Wins Biennial BP Prize

A million dollar view for the Ultramoderne-designed Lakefront Kiosk.

A million dollar view for the Ultramoderne-designed Lakefront Kiosk.

Not all noteworthy exhibits at the Chicago Architecture Biennial are indoors. One in particular offers a spectacular view of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. “Chicago Horizon” is a lakefront kiosk that sits just northwest of Shedd Aquarium.

Lakefront Kiosk interior.

Lakefront Kiosk interior.

The kiosk was designed by Rhode Island-based Ultramoderne. The project team was made up of Yasmin Vobis, Aaron Forrest and Brett Schneider.

“Chicago Horizon” was intended to create a large flat wooden roofed kiosk built with a modest budget. It uses cross-laminated timber, a carbon-negative engineered material.

Lakefront Kiosk view from the east.

Lakefront Kiosk view from the east.

The kiosk is 56 feet square. It expresses the concept of lightness at various scales. The hovering roof lies over a viewing platform and vendor kiosk, both of which are suspended from the roof with chain-link fencing–and no other support.

Lakefront Kiosk roof.

Lakefront Kiosk roof.

From the viewing platform, the roof becomes a new artificial horizon, effectively shutting out the foreground and emphasizing the vertical Chicago skyline, which sits above an abstract floating plane.

Bill Motchan

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at bill@ChicagoArchitecture.org.

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