This conceptual proposal for Chicago's Monroe Harbor was designed in honor of the great American architect Daniel Burnham, but perhaps more importantly, to secure Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic games. The proposal is a modern interpretation of Burnam's 1909 master plan for Chicago. In a land locked city, the Chicago Eco-Bridge offers an extension of the landscape that would dramatically change the face of the city, and perhaps the United States.
This is one of the boldest proposals we've seen on our soil. The Eco-Bridge, along with Fresh Kills and Governor's Island in New York, is part of a growing class of massive scale landscape projects. While nations like the Netherlands and Dubai have become relative experts on terrestrial reclamation and island building, our country has been slow to jump on the bandwagon. With the "green movement" in full swing, Eco-Bridge represents an opportunity to get back on the international stage. The concept calls for a slew of vertical wind turbines, a multi-use athletic trail, electric trolley line, and a solar-harvesting observation tower that promises to take full advantage of the city's skyline.
What's unique about this proposal is that this would be a new type of public space never before seen in the U.S. The interaction with Lake Michigan and the shoreline is a new relationship; one that would put the users in limbo somewhere between sea, earth, and sky.
Designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architects, the plan is to have the central observation tower be the home for the Olympic flame. A glowing fireball a hundred or more feet in the sky would certainly be a symphony of the elements in dramatic fashion. Perhaps more importantly, it would be a next-generation Statue of Liberty of sorts, welcoming the world once again to America.
Photo credits: © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.