Gharieni GmbH
Gharieni GmbH
Gharieni GmbH

Marks Barfield and Davis Brody Bond design 'iconic' cable car for Chicago

Marks Barfield Architects, the creators of the London Eye, have been tasked with designing a cable car across Chicago that will become an “iconic attraction” for the city.

Chicago-based theatre impresario Lou Raizin and real estate investor Laurence S. Geller are behind the ambitious scheme, called The Chicago SkyLine, which has been designed in collaboration with US architects Davis Brody Bond.

Speaking at a city event, Raizin and Geller outlined their vision for the project – over 800 aerial gondolas that “will soar above the river” between Millennium Park, the Chicago Lakefront and Navy Pier, transporting 3,000 people per hour and energising the city’s Riverwalk.

“The SkyLine is a prime example of how we can move Chicago from old guard to vanguard,” said Razin. “We kept coming back to the same question: what’s our unique feature? Where’s our Eiffel Tower? Where’s our Big Ben? These ideas are our attempt to answer this question and are intended to start a conversation in the city about what we would like our reputation to be in the future.”

Marks Barfield originally mooted the cable car idea as part of a 2011 competition to renovate Navy Pier, which they lost to James Corner Field Operations. However, the concept caught the imagination of Raizin, who admired how the London Eye had become a London icon and tourist attraction and wanted the same for Chicago.

The Chicago SkyLine’s lightweight, pearl-like cable cars are inspired by jewels in a necklace, and the cables will be linked to fabricated pylons made from weathering steel. The gondolas will rise 17-storeys high to clear the mouth of the river and let boats pass under.

“The whole piece is very delicate with a gentle character that quietly fits in with the scenery – it’s bold but not brash,” Marks Barfield managing director David Marks told CLAD. “There have been such advances in glass technology recently that we felt could be utilised imaginatively and elegantly in the design of the pods. They are bespoke and designed from the ground up to be state-of-the-art, efficient and comfortable, with high-quality glazing and seating.

“I think it could easily follow the model of the London Eye, with a similar impact in creating an attraction immediately identifiable with the city.”

A feasibility study has been completed for the Skyline, plotting possible routes, station destinations, wind speeds and likely users. A number of firms, including glass pod firm Poma, have previously worked with the architects on the London Eye and the forthcoming Brighton i360 ‘vertical cable car.’

While the scheme has yet to receive planning permission, Geller said he was confident about his vision for Chicago’s future. “Dreamers we are,” he said, “naive we are not.”

Marks Barfield  Davis Brody Bond  cable car  Chicago  Navy Pier  Chicago SkyLine  London Eye 
Related stories
03 Mar 2016

Shakespeare theatre on Chicago's Navy Pier to undergo US$35m expansion

18 Feb 2016

Bleeding edge glass technology is transforming the future of our buildings

14 Jan 2016

Excitement mounts as viewing pod completed for UK's first vertical cable car

01 Dec 2015

US$45m Chicago Blues Experience coming to city's iconic Navy Pier

28 Oct 2015

Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 tower enters final stages of construction

06 Sep 2011

Design team sought for Navy Pier scheme

Marks Barfield Architects, the creators of the London Eye, have been tasked with designing a cable car across Chicago that will become an “iconic attraction” for the city. Chicago-based theatre impresario Lou Raizin and real estate investor Laurence S. Geller are behind the ambitious scheme, called The Chicago SkyLine, which has been designed in collaboration with US architects Davis Brody Bond. Speaking at a city event, Raizin and Geller outlined
The cable car's pods are designed to be lightweight and elegant, like the jewels on a necklace / F10 Studios
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7634     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7634     
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool & spa equipment.
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Last word: Tina Norden
Tina Norden
"We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional"

Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden on playing with colour at Prague’s newly redesigned Hotel Maximilian

Building the hotel involved draining and refilling most of the quarry water
Martin Jochman founded JADE+QA in 2013. He formerly worked for Atkins
"We didn’t want to put in any gimmicks. We wanted to create a building that’s inherently sustainable through passive sustainability"

When Martin Jochman set out to transform an old quarry into a luxury hotel, he faced some serious challenges

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Manuelle Gautrand
"The cities where you have good cultural buildings and facilities – it’s a way for people to mix, to share the city in a much deeper way"

The French architect and winner of the 2017 European Prize for Architecture tells us why she is determined to surprise

Houston’s Memorial Park is being restored following hurricane damage
Thomas Woltz
"I am very proud of stewarding the largest public space to be built in Manhattan in a century"

The Wall Street Journal’s Design Innovator of the Year on designing the gardens at Hudson Yards and looking to the Native Americans for ideas on how to create a resilient future

Landscape design: Back to nature
Alan Metcalfe
"When people are a bit scared, they gather together"

Featuring a vibrating glass platform and one of the US’s longest tree canopy walks, Whiting Forest has been designed to bring visitors closer to nature and to one another

"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

cladkit product news
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
cladkit product news
Diamond balloon concept merges tourist attraction with advertising billboard
Magali Robathan
A group of Dutch engineers have presented a new attractions concept that combines a flying observation cabin with LED digital ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
cladkit product news
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates
Gharieni GmbH
Gharieni GmbH