Chicago Horizon

2015 | Chicago IL

Client Chicago Architecture Biennial
Architect and Design Collaborator Ultramoderne (Aaron Forrest and Yasmin Vobis))
Architect of Record Animate Architecture
Consulting Structural Engineer Guy Nordenson and Associates (Brett H Schneider)
Engineer of Record Thornton Tomasetti
Awards 2017 AIA RI Design Honor Award; 2017 SEAoNY Excellence in Structural Engineering Award; 2016 Architect Magazine R+D Award Citation; 2016 US WoodWorks Wood Design Award

Chicago Horizon provides shade and a unique view to the city and Lake Michigan from Chicago’s Millennium Park. The pavilion is the winner of the BP Prize in the Chicago Lakefront Kiosk Competition for the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

The pavilion roof structure innovates flat plate construction (typical to concrete) by applying it to wood. Two layers of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels are arranged perpendicularly. Each layer carries bending in the panel’s long direction, and the perpendicular layers above and below provide shear and moment transfer between adjacent panels. The result is a thin 8.25in two-way spanning roof structure that spans approximately 30 ft between columns. The columns are simple glued laminated sections, held off the ground by a steel plate and reinforced neoprene pad. The columns pass through slots in the roof panels to a horizontal circular steel plate connected to the top of the panels to hang the roof, and provide an uninterrupted soffit.