401 North Wabash: Refugee Acceptance Center - 4
For this competition, I wanted to generate a densely complex drawing that would draw people in due to its raw complexity. The drawing, at 12” x 18”, imagines a future where luxury high rises are transformed into refugee housing. I wanted to be free from current architectural convention and turn things upside-down, imagining a prominent tower being stripped to its skeleton, resheathed in exotic materials to boost strength and long term durability. I could then play around with populating this framework with a dynamic vertical village.
This drawing is from a series that contemplates a future where luxury high rises, in this case, the last physical manifestations of a future collapsed brand, is reimagined by designers, fabricators, and autonomous equipment, stripped to skeletal remains, reinforced, weatherproofed, and then organically overcome by an upward wave of idiosyncratic housing and vertical public spaces. As it's lived in, banners and kites, sails and shields, hack a sinuous weave of screening material, wrapping around as purposeful disruptors, automated and synchronized to form a mechanized atomization of wind currents and habitable exterior conditions at great heights. As I sketched, I tried to evoke a certain serenity that might be found within the rippling sails, flickering in the sunlight or warmly aglow in the evening. I tried to imagine the scale of such a chaotic mass, ebbing and flowing, evolving into a celebratory and supportive vertical neighborhood, with the spirit of an alley market or plaza teeming with life. The individual units within the framework would have the idiosyncrasies of favelas but with the support and utilities needed to make the space pleasantly habitable, providing temporary support housing for those who need it most, whether it be suddenly displaced refuges or fellow Chicagoans.
Greg's drawing was selected to be represented in the Architizer One Drawing Challenge e-book. Winning entries for this world-wide competition were selected through a combination of public voting and a final curated jury.