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  • Chicago Union Station

    Todd SWANSON & Louie BOFILL, Chicago Union Station. Exterior perspective (night), rendering.
    los angeles CALIFORNIA

    SCI-Arc
    critic: Heather FLOOD

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Todd SWANSON & Louie BOFILL: The project centers around Chicago’s Union Station, a complex shared between a historic terminal and a mid-high-rise office building overlooking the Chicago River. The abstract addresses the continuing problem of a public space in decline due to its subterranean concourse and dark enclosed spaces, and creates a hub for a future high speed rail intersecting the city.

    The initial project redefines the space by retrofitting the tower with a hexagonal exoskeleton, allowing for an adjustment of structure and increased traffic flow throughout the floors.

    Through re-systematizing the space, new program was introduced at intervals along the tower. Public venues of hybridized indoor-outdoor space intersect with the conventional floor plates, accentuating views of the surrounding context.

    The new structural system eliminates congestion, allowing the freedom of loading and traffic flow throughout the ground floor and lobby spaces, and introducing openings to the platforms below which provide natural sunlight and ventilation.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    TS & LB: The Prada Store, Tokyo by Herzog and de Meuron, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    TS & LB: Listening to: Flume; Grizzly Bear; Rihanna; Azealia Banks; M83; Washed Out; Toro Y Moi; Kendrick Lamar; and Lady Gaga. Watching: The Walking Dead; Girls; and Breaking Bad.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    TS & LB: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Morphosis, and Lebbeus Woods.

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