Rush St. Center

Chicago, IL | bARCH studio

Dealing with an urban context for the first time, this project explored three main themes: making and breaking the grid, linking with greenspace, and maintaining a pedestrian scale.

Utilizing the angled intersection of Rush Street with the gridiron of Chicago, a series of regulating lines was generated and used in the arrangement of large spatial forms. These forms were further refined and sized based on the mixed-use program given at the beginning of the assignment, which included a recreation club, performing arts centre, restaurant, and luxury apartments.

Bringing an atmosphere of nature and activity into the project, landscape plazas are designed to support multiple functions, such as outdoor fitness classes and theater receptions. The main performance hall is enlivened by views framed of the park across the street.

A low base maintains a street level presence in line with existing buildings, while movable glass walls in the restaurant spaces allow areas to be opened up onto the street, enhancing the pedestrian connection.