Chicago Lakeshore Fieldhouse to be Skinned Like a Fish

The Chicago Park District has selected Near North’s STLArchitects to build a new fieldhouse for Williams Park, at 2710 South Dearborn Street on the city’s South Side.

Williams Park is the dividing line between two historic Chicago neighborhoods: Dearborn Homes and Harold Ickes Homes.  Together, most people know the area better as Douglas, or even Bronzeville, which is immediately to its east and south.

Rendering of Williams Park Fieldhouse (Courtesy of STLArchitects)

Rendering of Williams Park Fieldhouse (Courtesy of STLArchitects)

Williams Park was established in the 1950’s along with the construction of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Dearborn Homes projects.   But the park, and the neighborhood, were never given a proper fieldhouse like so many other Chicago parks have.  The park has had to use the facilities of the Drake school next door after hours and on weekends. Sixty-six years later, that’s changing.

The new fieldhouse isn’t much on glass, but it’s still long on beauty.  Covered with iridescent steel scales, its color changes with the movement of the sun, the weather, and the seasons.  We saw a similar cladding on the Galleria Department Store during a recent trip to Seoul.  The South Korean building’s scales were much larger than what’s planned for the Chicago fieldhouse, but you still get an idea of what it will look like.  The word you’re looking for is “awesome.”

The Galleria Department Store Luxury Hall West in Seoul.

The Galleria Department Store Luxury Hall West in Seoul.

STLArchitects unveils the new Williams Park Field House

The Chicago Park District moves forward with a striking new building by STLArchitects.

Chicago, IL – STLArchitects has unveiled its new design for a Field House at Williams Park in Chicago. This new Chicago Park District building brings a jolt of optimism to Dearborn Homes, a community with over 600 children that need a safe and engaging place to play. The design of STLArchitects includes a gymnasium and two multipurpose spaces that can accommodate the gamut of programs offered by the Chicago Park District.

The Building’s skin has been designed using iridescent stainless steel scales. This material provides a continuously vari- able reading of the building which enables different chromatic and reflective expressions throughout the day and the sea- sons.

The Building’s interior combines durable materials such as polished concrete floors and composite acrylic polymers with exposed large span glue-lam beams to create an environment that is both welcoming and contemporary.

Location: 2710 South Dearborn Street, Dearborn Homes

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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