A bold plan to decontaminate the Chicago River along a 200-acre stretch of long abandoned and contaminated land just south of Chicago’s Loop was selected as the winning entry in an internal Perkins+Will competition hosted by the firm's Design Leadership Council (DLC). Known as the DLC Design Competition, the annual initiative challenges young architects at Perkins+Will to devise plausible solutions to real-world design issues. This year's winning entry – selected by an outside jury of design and planning experts – is "Grid l River l Landmark," submitted by Silas Haslam and Yanwen Xiao of Perkins+Will's Washington, D.C. office. For the first time in the competition’s history, the jury publically discussed their feedback on all 15 shortlisted projects during an open session at the Chicago Cultural Center before an audience of 80 people including members of the DLC, the public, and the media.
The competition is a key annual program led by the Perkins+Will Design Leadership Council to encourage young architects to address challenging issues with provocative designs. This year, the competition asked Perkins+Will architects to creatively imagine new, sustainable design possibilities for one of the largest remaining undeveloped pieces of land stretching along the Chicago River. Perkins+Wlll partnered with MAS Studio’s exhibition, “BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago,” as part of a featured program in the inaugural Chicago Architectural Biennial. Grid l River l Landmark, which included wetlands and a soaring landmark building, was among 62 entries from 19 offices, from Dubai to Dallas, London to Los Angeles. To view all the submissions and learn more about the design challenge, please visit: dlc.perkinswill.com/.