Slip District: Chicago's testing
ground for water industry
Location: Chicago, IL
Date: Fall 2011
Course: Harvard GSD Department of Landscape Architecture/Department of Urban Planning and Design 1501: Waterline: Chicago’s Urban River Corridor
Instructor: Philip Enquist of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
Industrial corridors along the Chicago River are underutilized. Vacant land, dying industry, and a declining manufacturing sector warrant a rethinking of the role of industrial corridors in one of America’s great post-industrial cities. Although the traditional heavy industrial corridors are shrinking, the vacancies provide the opportunity to insert a new, more sustainable, industry into the Chicago River landscape. What if the new industry could relate directly to the Chicago River? What if Chicago’s new industry was water itself?
The City, situated on one of the largest fresh water bodies in the world, Lake Michigan, will redefine itself as the idea generator and production hub for sustainable freshwater management. The existing Pilsen Industrial Corridor will become home to Chicago’s first Water Institute devoted to research, training, and technological developments. The knowledge generated will spur the development of water industries and a local economy entirely based on water. In addition, the landscape of Pilsen will become a performative hydrologic infrastructure in and of itself. 14 historic industrial slips that once allowed barge access into the corridor will be unearthed and used to collect, treat, and educate Chicagoan’s about stormwater management through experimental water filtration slips. With the reinvention of the Pilsen Industrial Corridor, Chicago will once again be connected globally through an industry along its river.
- 2013 Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, Student Works Category
- 2013 Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award for "Waterline" in collaboration with SOM, Friends of the Chicago River, and Spirit of Space.
- 2012 National Student American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, Analysis and Planning Category
- Waterline Receives Landscape Architecture Award, SOM
- Waterline: 21st Century Visions for the Chicago River's South Branch Exhibit at the Bridge House Museum
- Waterline exhibit offers visions for the future of Chicago River's South Branch, Chicago Journal
- Waterline exhibition displays visions for re-thinking the Chicago River, Building Design and Construction, June 2012
- Will people ever swim and fish in the Chicago River?, WBEZ 91.5
- Waterline: In the Studio / Harvard GSD, ArchDaily