Chicago Architecture Biennal Lakefront Kiosk
- by Paul Vincent
Abstract and sculptural, the triangle kiosk can also, be classed as a system or a machine. This design proposal for the Chicago Architectural Biennial is more about shaping emptiness than designing an object. It refers to essential architectural themes by using geometry in its spatial resolution and basic components for its structure. Flexible and dynamic, it tries to develop a strong sense of public space and tend to stimulate interactions with visitors. This kiosk goes further than the open/closed functionality and offers a variety of choice in its use and aspect.
This kiosk is a simple gesture. It is a place generated by the meeting of three lines. These three vectors are the structure, the partitioning, and the facade at the same time. The architectural expression is the immediate result of this principle without any other arbitrary design contribution. The non-oriented central triangular space creates a place where the functional program of the kiosk is provided. By rejecting the vertical structural elements outside the kiosk’s main volume, on a distance, the surrounding environment is yet defined: another void space is drawn. This system contributes not only to define the covered space, but also, spontaneously, its immediate open perimeter.
Instead of a rooted box, the kiosk is closed by three hanging moveable walls. They can be freely arranged along the beams, to modulate the interaction between indoor and outdoor spaces. This dynamic solution generates a significant number of arrangement possibilities, from the dark room, to the wide open on all side space.
During summer, when the kiosk is active, its staff can configure the walls layout to adapt it to the function, the weather or the attendance. At night the walls come back to their central position to protect from vandalism its content. The closure system is integrated to the panels. During winter, when the kiosk commercial function is inactive and the walls stay closed all day long, the structure keeps having a sculptural and spatial purpose, it is a landmark. If, the technical elements and furniture can be taken away, there is no need to keep the walls in that position anymore. Then, the kiosk becomes a central covered place, an abstract open but protected meeting point with a strong presence. The moveable walls can also be taken away, to give an even more sculptural place.
The easily transportable steel structure is the assembly of a pillar and a beam repeated three times. As this is the most basic way to define a space, the amount of different elements is also reduced to the minimum. This structure is painted white to increase its abstract and industrial aspect.
The moveable walls are made of aluminum honeycomb self-bearing panels. Usually used in aircraft industry, this very light and cheap material doesn’t require any other structural elements. It is hung on the rail system. It can support elements such as signage panels, exhibition panels, screens etc… The open honeycomb provides natural ventilation. The panel’s depth provides protection from sun, view and vandalism. The reflecting aspect of the aluminum gives a luminous and always changing materiality.
architect: Paul Vincent | client: Unknown | status: Competition (2015) | competition: Chicago Architecture Biennal Lakefront Kiosk | location: Chicago, United States | climate: Continental, Temperate | material: metal | environment: Park | visualizer: Studio | scale: extrasmall | types: cultural, pavilion | views: 4.364