bKL was invited by the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) to participate in its Between States exhibition as a part of the Chicago Architectural Biennial. Tasked with identifying an “unappreciated physical asset in one of Chicago’s 50 wards” and imagining “a process of transitioning it to an economic catalyst,” bKL selected the Damen Silos within Ward 25.
The Damen Silos are located just south of the vibrant Pilsen neighborhood. Situated at an intersection of waterway, freeway, and pedestrian connectivity, the site is waiting to be revitalized and utilized by the supporting community.
Pilsen’s artistic intervention influenced the bKL team. Inspired by local surface treatments, a series of applications and new place-defining markers activate the character and history of the site. Through site infrastructure improvement and direct access, this developing space will reinstate growth of new culture, reintroduce purpose to the Silos, and maintain their iconic image. In form, they remain the same; in purpose and surface, they change.
Featured in the CAF Atrium Gallery and presented as a partner program of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Between States exhibit will be open to the public September 19, 2017 to January 7, 2018.
Beijing Core Area Master Plan
Central Business District, Beijing, China
- June – August 2010
- Project Area
- Site: 1,530,000 square feet (142,000 square meters)
Building: 23,700,000 square feet (2,200,000 square meters)
- Arup, Civil Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure Design
The master plan for Beijing’s core business district focuses on people and how they interact with buildings, public space, and transportation within this dense area of the city. It reflects a carefully-balanced blend of green landscape and pedestrian-friendly access. Sustainable, mutually-beneficial operations shared by businesses in the core area include rain gardens and green streets, which improve water quality before run-off and reduce discharge to municipal sewers.
A series of public spaces organizes the plan, each area and street vista distinguished by a strong landscape. Anchored functionally and visually by a public park, the outdoor areas provide both green space and commercial amenities.
The buildings are oriented to respond to the natural elements of their context. High transparency to the north maximizes natural daylighting. A sunken plaza level allows pedestrians to move around the site protected from the elements while enjoying access to daylight. Walkways throughout the lower levels lead outdoors.
On the surface, boulevards provide access rather than highways. To further minimize vehicular traffic, entrance to the main service areas is reached via a designated underground corridor. Below-grade walkways link centralized underground parking to building basements with secured entry for pedestrians.
Zhengdong Transportation Hub
- September 2011 - January 2012
- Project Area
- 41,570,000 square feet (3,862,000 square meters)
The ancient Chinese scroll “Along the River During Qingming Festival” inspired the design for Zhengdong’s integrated transportation hub. In the painting, a grand gateway opens to a vibrant community, much like the transportation hub will welcome visitors and residents into Zhengdong.
An important aspect of this design approach is its attention to the careful planning of buildings and streets in relation to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Reflecting current trends in new Chinese town planning, the vehicular circulation area is organized around pedestrian-friendly town blocks.
Small parks within the financial zones create special communal spaces for both the office worker and transit user. A whimsical, picturesque green space complements the civic landscape, another key feature of the development’s holistic design.