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Fall 2015

Chicago, IL

Project Description

Although small in size, tw/rl’s impact on zero-energy architecture will be tremendous. From morning to evening, the featured umbrella has many performative functions: to shade from the sun, to ventilate cool air, and to collect solar energy. When opened for business, the movable display cases align for unimpeded movement of the umbrella along the shelf-top tracks. In order to maximize shade, the user rolls the umbrella manually on this track, which inadvertently positions the umbrella’s interwoven surface of solar reflectors and collectors at the optimal angle to the sun. Solar heat is reflected into the spindle of the solar chimney to generate air movement and, simultaneously, is absorbed by photovoltaic tiles for later use. When closed for the day, the display shelves lock in an O-shape for safety, while securing the umbrella in position as well as the contents of the kiosk. At night, the series of lighted kiosks sporadically mark the water’s edge—quietly waiting for a new day.

Credits and Information

MATERIALS: Polycarbonate, ETFE, aluminum, thermobimetal, steel, wood
PROJECT TEAM: Doris Sung, Justin Kang, Dylan Wood, Yuan Yao, Scarlett Ziwei
ENGINEERS: Simon Schleicher (UC Berkeley, Investigator), Julian Lienhard (str.ucture, Berlin, Investigator), Russell Fortmeyer (ARUP, Investigator)


CHICAGO BIENNIAL KIOSK COMPETITION: The shoreline of Lake Michigan has always played a central role in Chicago’s urban identity. During the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, architect Daniel Burnham sought to incorporate the lake into the fairgrounds, and his 1909 Plan for Chicago proposed to reclaim the entire length of the lakefront as a place of leisure for all of the city’s inhabitants—an idea realized during the 20th century. Today, the lakefront is a celebrated and heavily used public space, a major destination for both visitors and local residents. It features over 20 miles of public parks and beaches, as well as pedestrian and cycling routes. The Chicago Park District currently oversees more than 40 kiosks that punctuate the shoreline. During the summer, the kiosks offer food, retail, and recreational services—ranging from beverages to clothing to surf rentals. From 400+ international entries, only one was selected and built.

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