Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk Development, Public Realm, USA Landscape Architecture, Building, IL News

Chicago Riverwalk

Award for Illinois River Development, USA: Urban Realm Renewal – design by Ross Barney Architects

Aug 16, 2017
Exterior Lighting Award for Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk by Ross Barney Architects and Sasaki with lighting design from Schuler Shook wins the Outstanding Achievement in Exterior Lighting award in the 2017 Light & Architecture Design Awards from lighting publication Architectural Lighting.

Apr 7, 2017

Chicago Riverwalk Award News

Chicago Riverwalk is an American Architecture Awards Winner in 2017

Chicago Riverwalk wins an American Architecture Awards News

One of seventy-nine shortlisted buildings / works that have won the prestigious 2017 American Architecture Awards ® for the best new buildings designed and constructed by American architects in the U.S. and abroad and by international architects for buildings designed and built in the United States.

Oct 29 + 28, 2016

Chicago Riverwalk Opening

Design: Ross Barney Architects with landscape architects Sasaki Associates

ROSS BARNEY ARCHITECTS ANNOUNCE THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE COMPLETED CHICAGO RIVERWALK

Chicago Riverwalk Opening

Photographs: Kate Joyce Studios

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Officiated at Phase 3 Ribbon Cutting

The final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk, designed by Ross Barney Architects in collaboration with landscape architects Sasaki Associates, is officially open to the public as of October 31, 2016. Once an industrial space in disuse, the Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.5 mile promenade along the Chicago River, has been transformed into a dynamic space lined with public amenities, restaurants, cultural activities and access to natural habitats for city residents and visitors alike.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Design leader for the 15 year project, visionary Chicago Architect, Carol Ross Barney said the goal of the project is to “return the river to Chicago and return Chicagoans to the river. The swampy Chicago River gave birth to arguably the greatest city of the 20th Century. In Chicago’s formative years, the river was its lifeline, brimming with traffic. Burnham built his 1909 plan on a civic waterway and promenade along the river. We were entrusted with the responsibility of to finally complete that vision and transform what had become a postindustrial leftover into a 21st century urban waterfront.”

The final phase of the Riverwalk marks the reclamation of the Chicago River for the ecological, recreational, and economic benefits of the city. The most visible and ambitious public project in Chicago since Millennium Park, the Riverwalk integrates the Chicago urban experience with the dynamic and changing life of the river.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Phase 1, completed in 2009 by Ross Barney Architects, includes Chicago’s Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, Wabash Plaza, and the Bridgehouse Museum Plaza, connected at river level. Phase 2, completed in 2015, and the soon-to-open Phase 3 are six conceptual, outdoor “rooms” designed to embrace the river in a variety of ways.

Each of the six spaces in the project generates a distinct experience with the river. Phase 3 additions will complement the Marina, the Cove, and the River Theater, which were completed in Phase 2. The highlights of Phase 3 include:

Water Plaza – The sunniest is portion of the walk park features a sundeck to enjoy the views and a children’s fountain where families can interact with water.

The Jetty – An interactive environment for learning about the ecology of the River with a series of piers, floating wetland gardens, fish habitat, native plantings and opportunities for fishing.

The Boardwalk – A space for relaxation and enjoying the view, the Boardwalk has a great lawn for lounging and a striking sloping bridge over floating gardens. An accessible walkway and new marine edge creates continuous access to Lake Street and sets the scene for future development in this critical space at the confluence.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

The design of the Chicago Riverwalk acts as a seam between Wacker Drive’s Beaux Arts architecture and the natural landscape of the River. This connection to the River, with remarkable views, water sports and recreation, and ecology promotes stewardship of this vital natural resource. The Jetty not only educates the public on the ecology of the river, but also helps to foster the river’s healthy growth. The Riverwalk was designed to be forward thinking for resiliency and plans for a future when the water is clean and swimmable.

The myriad of activities offered along the Chicago Riverwalk have already been embraced by the public. On high traffic days, restaurants report 45 minute waits for tables—time easily passed on the waterfront—and water boat and bike tours are sold to capacity. The Chicago Riverwalk has already proved to be an economic and recreational success, while providing a beloved public amenity in the heart of an urban core for decades to come.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Oct 26, 2016

Chicago Riverwalk

Design: Ross Barney Architects with landscape architects Sasaki Associates

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Ross Barney Architects is pleased to announce the official opening of the third and final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk offers a variety of opportunities to find the beauty and spirit of the Chicago River. The City backdrop invades this unique experience, presenting visitors with an unexpected perspective.

Any way you decide to take on the Riverwalk, you will be delighted with the choices you have to enjoy this treasure. Live performances from local musicians, public art exhibitions and special events will be offered throughout the season. Check the calendar of events for upcoming performances and events.

Chicago Riverwalk Completion

ENVISIONING CHICAGO’S RIVERS

ROSS BARNEY ARCHITECTS ANNOUNCES THE COMPLETION OF THE CHICAGO RIVERWALK AND THE RELEASE OF A VISION FOR 156 MILES OF CHICAGO RIVER FRONT

Chicago Riverwalk Chicago Riverwalk
photo : Iwan Baan

CHICAGO, October 22, 2016 –Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago celebrate a renewed commitment to the city’s waterways. For the past 15 years, Ross Barney Architects has been the City’s partner in imagining, re-inventing, and strengthening connections to the rivers that course through its diverse neighborhoods.

This collaboration has manifested two significant projects:

– The Chicago Riverwalk, the most visible and ambitious public project in Chicago since
– Millennium Park.
– A report entitled Our Great Rivers, which has become Chicago’s first unified vision for the Calumet, Chicago, and Des Plaines Rivers.

Chicago Riverwalk

During the August release of Our Great Rivers, Mayor Emanuel placed emphasis on his commitment: “From opening new boat houses to reinventing the Riverwalk, we’ve made significant investments in the Chicago River to make it the City’s next recreational frontier, and we will continue our efforts to ensure that residents across the City have access to recreational opportunities on all three of the City’s rivers.”

Chicago Riverwalk

On August 17, 2016, Our Great Rivers, Chicago’s first unified vision for the Calumet, Chicago, and Des Plaines Rivers, was unveiled. Ross Barney Architects worked in collaboration with the Metropolitan Planning Council, City of Chicago, and a host of advocacy and government organizations to promote ecological research and stewardship of an invaluable regional asset.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

The entire river system has steadily gained a vocal collective of advocates, all looking to reconnect the daily experience of the City with the dynamic and changing life of the River. With over 150 miles of riverfront and 70+ species of fish, the river is an evolving ecosystem of inestimable natural value.

Chicago Riverwalk Chicago Riverwalk

By reinterpreting the relationship to water, the report focuses on five place-based examinations that manifest new dimensions and perceptions. From the suburban context where the connection between office park, transportation, and forest preserve is knit together by a riverfront trail to the Post-industrial south canal that now flows adjacent to thriving residential neighborhoods that offer a unique relationship between river, production, and commerce.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

System wide in its scope and recommendations, Our Great Rivers is the start of an evolving perception and deep appreciation of Chicago’s second shoreline.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

The final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk, designed by Ross Barney Architects in collaboration with landscape architects Sasaki Associates, opened to the public on October 22, 2016.

Once an industrial space in disuse, the Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.5 mile promenade along the Chicago River, has been transformed into a dynamic space lined with public amenities, restaurants, cultural activities and access to natural habitats for city residents and visitors alike.

Chicago Riverwalk Chicago Riverwalk

Lead Design Architect for the 15 year project Carol Ross Barney, FAIA said the goal of the project is to “return the river to Chicago and return Chicagoans to the river. The swampy Chicago River gave birth to arguably the greatest city of the 20th Century.

Chicago Riverwalk

In Chicago’s formative years, the river was its lifeline, brimming with traffic. Burnham built his 1909 plan on a civic waterway and promenade along the river. We were entrusted with the responsibility to finally complete that vision and transform what had become a postindustrial leftover into a 21st century urban waterfront.”

Chicago Riverwalk

The myriad of activities offered along the Chicago Riverwalk have already been embraced by the public. On high traffic days, restaurants report 45 minute waits for tables—time easily passed on the waterfront—and water boat and bike tours are sold to capacity. The Chicago Riverwalk has already proved to be an economic and recreational success, while providing a beloved public amenity in the heart of an urban core for decades to come.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

OUR GREAT RIVERS

Our Great Rivers is the first-ever unifying and forward-looking vision for all three of Chicago’s rivers.

It also begins the process of looking upstream, down-stream and across the banks to connect Chicagoans with forest preserves and suburban communities that will be vital partners in realizing our collective vision. That vision—by 2040, Chicago’s rivers will be inviting, productive and living places where everyone can have their own experience—was articulated by thousands of stakeholders through an intensive 18-month, citywide visioning process led by the Metropolitan Planning Council, in part-nership with the Office of the Mayor of the City of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago River and more. Our Great Rivers lays out discrete goals for 2020, 2030 and 2040, enabling us to monitor progress toward achieving inviting, productive and living rivers. It also articulates a need to determine new revenue streams and leadership collaborations for the rivers to ensure that this vision is realized and can endure.

Chicago Riverwalk Chicago Riverwalk

What follows is a combination of the subtle and the bold. As an example, we’ll develop a unified brand for our rivers by 2020, which can then be used in marketing, trail signage and even T-shirts. By 2030, we can go further, transforming the Port District and industrial corridors throughout the city into highly productive assets for the whole region, the river system and our neighborhoods. And by 2040, as a result of decades of water quality improvements and habitat restoration, our rivers will be teeming with native plant and animal species. And we’ll be swim-ming in them. Yes, you read that right.

Chicago Riverwalk Chicago Riverwalk

Our Great Rivers comes at an important time for our rivers. For most of Chicago’s history, our 150-plus miles of river and riverfront have been abused and polluted. We reversed the Chicago and Calumet rivers, channelized them, and used them to move wastewater out of the region. We used the rivers for transportation and heavy industry, but not much else. Water quality, habitat, park space and even the aesthetics of the riverfront environment were not even an afterthought.

Fortunately, since the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the 1979 founding of Friends of the Chicago River, how Chicagoans view our rivers has been changing steadily. Increasingly clean water has brought a surge in recreational use, a return of critical species, and a desire to re-orient ourselves toward the rivers. Look no further than the downtown Riverwalk for evidence of that. Cleaner water has unleashed decades of pent-up demand for different experiences and uses of the rivers. In our online survey, which drew more than 3,800 responses, the top terms selected to describe the future of our rivers were “active,” “easy to get to,” and “clean.”

Chicago Riverwalk Chicago Riverwalk

The desire for use—for play, work, living, relaxation, community gathering, we heard it all in our commu-nity outreach—comes at a time when new challenges above and beyond water quality compel us to rethink our rivers. The nature of our industrial riverfront is changing, in some places to new kinds of industry and in some away from industry all together. Aquatic invasive species, namely Asian carp, have drawn significant scrutiny. Toxic legacies of the past linger in contaminated sediments and riverfront brownfields.

Our Great Rivers grapples with all these issues and more.Our Great Rivers also comes at an important time for Chicago. Many communities are struggling. Outside the downtown core, too many people are leaving the city. Civic pride, in many communities, is at a nadir. Disinvestment, apathy and violence are realities that cannot be wistfully overlooked. This vision—and it is an aspirational vision, not a detailed master plan for every inch of our 150-plus miles of rivers and river-fronts—cannot hope to solve all of Chicago’s woes. But our rivers can be an integral part of the solutions. We can create more jobs along our rivers by modern-izing our land use policies and making sites more marketable for development. We can bring open space and recreation to more communities, creating opportunities for solace, connection with nature, exercise and good clean fun. We can create outlets for community pride by fostering stewardship and creating lively gathering places along our rivers. We need these things now more than ever.

Due in large part to the committed stewardship of our many partners, in particular Friends of the Chicago River, we are already on the path toward achieving many of the goals of Our Great Rivers. Still, there is much more to be done. This vision will unify activ-ities and communities along the rivers, inspire new projects and ideas, motivate stewardship, guide new initiatives and prioritize investment. This vision for Our Great Rivers will only do those things if we collectively embrace our role in making these rivers and river-fronts what we want them to be. Join us. At a time when our city and many of our neighborhoods are struggling, we can create jobs, improve communities and increase civic pride by investing in our rivers.

Photography: Kate Joyce Studios

Chicago Riverwalk images / information from Ross Barney Architects

Ross Barney Architects Chicago

Chicago Urban River Edges Ideas Lab


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James I Swenson Building – Oct 12, 2010

OSU South Campus Central Chiller, Ohio, USA
OSU South Campus Central Chiller Building
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OSU South Campus Central Chiller Building

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CTA Morgan Station Building
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CTA Morgan Station

Early Childcare Center Bright Horizons University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Early Childcare Center West University of Chicago Building
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Early Childcare Center Bright Horizons University Chicago

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