Numerous kiosks dot the length of the lakefront of Chicago. However, the traditional kiosk is more of a commercialized container, simple and spatially uninspiring. In order to form a more architectural space, we propose to dissolve the rigidity of these traditional kiosks, while still maintaining the programmatic functions.
Two compact kiosks allow for more customizable spaces, catering to specific vendors and programs, ranging from food, music, or events. The two kiosks surround a third element, an information station and seating area. The station of kiosks will be interactive, even in the off-season. The situation of these three elements creates an intimate public space, nestling into Chicago’s front yard. The multiplicity and flexibility of programs allows these kiosks to be adaptable to different scenes.
Turning toward the lakefront for inspiration, in the winters, the beaches along Lake Michigan are known to freeze over. Sand, when frozen, does not stay as a solid ground, but rather is sculpted by prevailing winds, and turns into sculptural towers in miniature. These sand towers, while made from frozen sand, retain a fluidity in their form. These towers, a product of nature, continue to be shaped. In turn, we propose a station of kiosks, an outcropping of these towers, rendered architectural through lightweight and conventional materials. We consider how the sun sits on these, and how the snow sits on these.
We envision the kiosks to nestle into urban parks as well as the lakefront. Sculptural yet lightweight, bent metal allows the kiosks to retain a natural fluidity. Keeping with Burnham’s vision of Chicago public parks as the city’s “front yard,” the kiosks can be positioned to create a small intimate space, among its larger context.