Long-awaited Chicago Riverwalk brings leisure to the heart of the city

We were entrusted with the responsibility to transform what had become a post-industrial leftover into a 21st century urban waterfront. It returns the river to Chicago and returns Chicagoans to the river.
– Carol Ross Barney

After 15 years and three phases of development, Chicago studio Ross Barney Architects have completed their dramatic transformation of the city’s central riverfront – the most visible public project in the city since Millennium Park opened in 2004.

The Chicago Riverwalk – a 1.5 mile (2.41 km) promenade along the Chicago River lined with public amenities, restaurants, cultural activities and access to natural habitats for city residents and visitors – was once an industrial space that had fallen into disuse.

Carol Ross Barney, the lead design architect for the project – developed in collaboration with landscape architects Sasaki Associates (Phases 2 and 3) – said the aim was to “return the river to Chicago and return Chicagoans to the river.”

“The swampy Chicago River gave birth to arguably the greatest city of the 20th Century,” she said. “In Chicago’s formative years, the river was its lifeline, brimming with traffic. The urban planner Daniel Burnham built his 1909 plan for Chicago on a civic waterway and promenade along the river.

"We were entrusted with the responsibility to finally complete that vision and transform what had become a post-industrial leftover into a 21st century urban waterfront."

Since opening in late October, the Riverwalk has experienced high foot traffic, with restaurants reporting an average of 45 minute wait times for tables, and water boat and bike tours sold to capacity.

In addition to their work on the Riverwalk, Ross Barney Architects have also collaborated with the City of Chicago and the Metropolitan Planning Council to provide a wider unified vision for the Calumet, Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers.

Their report, titled Our Great Rivers, sets out how the city’s waterways – which are home to more than 70 species of fish and encompass 150 miles of riverfront – are “an evolving ecosystem of inestimable natural value” that should be “reconnected to the daily experience of the city.”

Speaking about the city’s approach to its rivers and their importance to urban regeneration, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “From opening new boat houses to reinventing the Riverwalk, we’ve made significant investments in the Chicago River to make it the city’s next recreational frontier.

“We will continue our efforts to ensure that residents across the city have access to recreational opportunities on all three of the city’s rivers.”

Chicago Riverwalk  Chicago  architecture  design  Chicago River  Rahm Emanuel  Ross Barney Architects  
Related stories

Obamas choose Chicago's Jackson Park as site for Presidential library and museum

James Corner completes first regeneration phase of Chicago's Navy Pier

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

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

Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed arena will bring music and sport to vast Chicago complex

After 15 years and three phases of development, Chicago studio Ross Barney Architects have completed their dramatic transformation of the city’s central riverfront – the most visible public project in the city since Millennium Park opened in 2004. The Chicago Riverwalk – a 1.5 mile (2.41 km) promenade along the Chicago River lined with public amenities, restaurants, cultural activities and access to natural habitats for city residents and visitors –
CLD,VAT,AAC,ARC,DES
After 15 years, Chicago studio Ross Barney Architects have completed their dramatic transformation of the city’s central riverfront / Kate Joyce Studios
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7510     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7510     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Fabio Alemanno Design Ltd
Based on ancient knowledge – and confirmed by scientific research – warmth is one of the most important sources of healing and preventative therapy available.
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
features
Marianne Shillingford
"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

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

Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Dokk1 library and urban space in Aarhus, Denmark
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Extreme Climates: Into the wild
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

features
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

The spa has been designed to blend into the surroundings and reflect Lefay’s philosophy of healing through nature
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

cladkit product news
Barr + Wray to launch space saving hammam concept
Light shines through a striking central chandelier to create a feeling of movement
Katie Barnes
Smaller footprint. Maximum theatre. Those are the two main features of a new hammam concept being developed by wet spa ...
Canteen collection combines nostalgia with modern aesthetics
The Canteen collection was inspired by post-war British design techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Very Good & Proper (VG&P), a British furniture brand, has curated a new dining collection that combines traditional woodworking techniques ...
Tom Dixon collaborates with Prolicht to launch CODE lighting range
The product has three LED light sources: Dot, Dash and Grid
Megan Whitby
British designer, Tom Dixon, and Austrian architectural lighting specialists, Prolicht, have collaborated to unveil a new lighting range. Called CODE, ...
cladkit product news
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium celebrates Southampton FC's history
Rainbow Design worked closely with KSS Architects to ensure the furniture matched the design vision
Lauren Heath-Jones
KSS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium, ...
Naval architect launches solar-powered floating pods
The Anthénea pod is a luxury floating suite that could be used as a spa or treatment suite
Lauren Heath-Jones
Naval architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle has designed a solar-powered floating hotel suite aimed at offering an eco-friendly and nomadic place for ...
cladkit product news
Daniel Svahn creates furniture collection using repurposed table tops
The Goodies But Oldies collection features three pieces made from repurposed MDF table tops
Lauren Heath-Jones
Daniel Svahn, a Stockholm-based furniture designer, has created a new range of sustainable furnishings, made from recycled MDF tabletops. Svahn, ...
XTU concept imagines life in the clouds
XTU's X Cloud concept is part of the Future and the Arts: AI, Robotic, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
Lauren Heath-Jones
XTU Architects, a Paris-based architecture firm, has released images and renderings of X Cloud, a new concept that showcase a ...
BIG partners with Louis Poulsen for new lighting collection
The Keglen collection is made up of four different pendants
Lauren Heath-Jones
BIG Ideas, the technology arm of renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), has partnered with Danish lighting manufacturer Louis ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates