Chicago Lakefront Kiosk Competition

Sponsors: Chicago Architecture Biennial, BP

Type: Open, International, one-stage

Fee: US$35


Open to individuals and teams, whereby the lead designer must be a registered architect.


23 March 2015 – Deadline for submissions

June-August 2015 – Fabrication

October 2015 – Chicago Biennial opens


1st Prize: $10,000, with a $75,000 stipend for construction of the kiosk


David Adjaye, Architect, London
Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang, Chicago
Joseph Grima, Curator, Genoa, Italy
Sarah Herda, Director, Graham Foundation
Sharon Johnston, Johnston Marklee & Associates, Los Angeles
Michael J. O’Brien, architect
Rob Rejman, Chicago Parks District

Design Challenge:

The Chicago Park District currently oversees over forty kiosks that punctuate the shoreline, which during the summer offer food, retail, and recreational services—ranging from beverages to clothing to surf rentals. Although these kiosks are, by necessity, modest in size, these structures are an exciting opportunity to explore creative architectural solutions. The competition calls for the design of a new kiosk that will be a fully functioning commercial space during the summer, but also asks applicants to consider how the kiosk might perform as an architectural intervention on the lakefront when its commercial functions are inactive. When open, how does the kiosk engage with both visitors and the surrounding environment? When closed, how does the kiosk maintain an active presence on the lakefront and attract visitors year-round? How can its design adapt to changing programs, as well as different locations on the lakefront?

While Chicago is known for its towering skyscrapers and its expansive urban grid, the competition identifies the lakefront as a new realm of architectural imagination that operates on the scenic threshold of the city and at a more intimate scale. Though the winning kiosk will be a small structure—a work of micro-architecture—it will reinforce the city’s broader commitment to forward-thinking design. The competition is a challenge to demonstrate how small-scale architectural design can transform public space.

For more information, and to enter, go to: