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Rosewood Beach in Highland Park
Rosewood Beach in Highland Park, Illinois – design by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects
16 Apr 2015
Rosewood Beach in Highland Park, Illinois
Design: Woodhouse Tinucci Architects
Location: Rosewood Beach, Highland Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Award-Winning Architecture Firm Woodhouse Tinucci Architects Leads Transformation of Highland Park’s Rosewood Beach
Highland Park’s Rosewood Beach will be reborn this summer as an educational and recreational oasis after an extensive shoreline restoration project and beach infrastructure plan led by Chicago-based Woodhouse Tinucci Architects.
Woodhouse Tinucci Architects was selected to design and oversee the beach infrastructure improvement initiatives after participating in a design competition hosted by the Park District of Highland Park. Woodhouse Tinucci Architects worked alongside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Park District to develop a plan that took into consideration programmatic needs and environmental stewardship initiatives.
“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to develop a plan that fosters the exploration and enjoyment of this unique lakefront environment,” said Andy Tinucci, Principal at Woodhouse Tinucci Architects. “We have a strong commitment to creating public spaces that will serve the community for generations.”
To realize their vision for revitalizing the 17-acre Rosewood Beach and surrounding parkland, Woodhouse Tinucci Architects integrated four unique buildings into a beachfront experience. The beachfront is anchored by a 1,500 foot-long boardwalk that leads visitors along the beach, connecting them to the buildings, beach and upper Rosewood Park, perched atop the bluff. This design solution ensured all functions were served without removing any of the valuable beach area between the lake and bluff. The interpretive center, lifeguard station, concessions and restrooms were designed as compact, independent, wood and stone structures that appear to rise out of the boardwalk with a minimalistic design and materials that are natural, simple and sustainable.
“We rejected the conventional idea that all functions of Rosewood Beach needed to be served in one building,” said Andy Tinucci. “Instead, we created a series of smaller low-profile buildings that were pulled back to the line of the bluff so that all views up and down the beach and from the park above are fully preserved 20 miles to the south and 40 miles to the north. This creates a landscape in which the built environment is absorbed into the dynamic natural environment instead of competing with it.”
The shoreline and ecosystem plan called for new low-profile stone breakwaters, extending 200 feet into Lake Michigan. These barriers provide erosion protection to support dune structures and native plantings while creating three separate beach coves that will expand recreational and interpretive opportunities and enable the Park District to simultaneously offer a variety of programming options.
“The restoration of Rosewood Beach and surrounding park area is a lasting legacy of Highland Park’s commitment to environmental stewardship, conservation, recreation and education,” said Liza McElroy, executive director of the Park District of Highland Park. “The project serves as a role model for ecological best practices and showcases how a collected vision can be transformed into a shared reality.”
Woodhouse Tinucci Architects has completed innovative parkland and lakefront design work for other notable public spaces including the Buckingham Fountain Pavilions, Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, The Morton Arboretum, Rainbow Beach and DuSable Harbor.
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