Centennial Vision Update

The five finalists vying to redesign Navy Pier’s outdoor spaces will present their complete visions in an exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) on February 2, 2012.  The concepts will also be displayed at multiple satellite locations around the city and online. Prior to the exhibition, a public presentation will take place on January 31 and February 1, 2012, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), where the design teams will discuss their plans.

“We are looking forward to seeing the design proposals from the talented and internationally-renowned design teams,” says Sarah Garvey, chair of the Navy Pier, Inc. (NPI) Board.  “We encourage the public to view this exhibition so they can see first-hand the concepts our finalists have produced and welcome their comments and suggestions.”

This exhibition will be another step in the process of selecting the design team that will work with NPI to develop the “Pierscape,” an important part of the Centennial Vision planning framework for the redevelopment of Navy Pier.

Selecting the Finalists

The process of selecting a design team to redesign Navy Pier’s public spaces began in September with an invitation to design firms worldwide to submit their qualifications. The initial response drew submissions from 52 international design teams, which was ultimately narrowed down to the finalists by the NPI board. The public spaces to be redesigned include Gateway Park at the west entrance of the Pier, The Crystal Gardens, Pier Park, East End Park and the South Dock – along with smaller public spaces that dot the length of the Pier. This work will include enhancements to the Pier’s landscaping and streetscape along with the addition of water features, public art, and lighting.

CAF will display the finalists’ complete design proposals at the exhibition slated to begin on February 2, 2012. This free exhibition will run through mid- May. In conjunction with the exhibition, CAF will host a series of programs and lectures to further engage Chicagoans in the project. An overview of the design proposals can be seen at a number of satellite locations throughout the city. Designs may also be viewed at navypier.com.

Prior to the exhibition, the design teams will present their visions for the iconic Chicago landmark at the MCA. The 30-mintue presentations will be open to the public and will include a short question and answer period. The presentations will be recorded and available online at navypier.com after the event.

Three of the finalists will present from 6 p.m.-to-8 p.m. on January 31, 2012 and the other two will present from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on February 1, 2012. All presentations will be held in the MCA Theater.

“Allowing the public to take part in the process is very important to us,” says Marilynn Gardner, president of NPI. “Navy Pier is Chicago’s most popular public destination. We believe that feedback from those who use it and love it is an important part of the selection process.”

The final selection of a design team or teams is anticipated at the end of February.

“We are excited to be at this critical juncture in the process. The five finalists are truly talented design teams,” says Steve Haemmerle, executive vice president of NPI. “The decision will not be an easy one, but we are confident that the team we select to work with will contribute significantly to the transformation of the Pier into a truly world class public place.”

Reimagining the Pierscape is an important part of implementing the larger Centennial Vision planning framework to redevelop the Pier as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2016. The Centennial Vision: A Framework for Reimagining Navy Pier aims to build on the Pier’s success to assure its continued growth in coming years. A key goal is to maintain the Pier’s family appeal while drawing more adults and year-round visitors with more dining and entertainment options and more appealing public spaces that take full advantage of the Pier’s unique setting.


Public Exhibition

February 2nd  Opening

The main exhibition will be held at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave. Please visit architecture.org or navypier.com for more information.

Satellite locations:

Navy Pier

Center on Halsted

Chicago Cultural Center

DePaul Center

Harold Washington Library Center

IIT – College of Architecture

Richard J. Daley Center

Walter Payton College Preparatory High School


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