BIENNIAL PROJECT: (Not) Another Tower

Chicago, IL

The urban park lies on the boundary between city and nature. We ask the following questions: How do we imagine a park within collaborative vertical urbanism ? How do we align the typology of the tower with nature? We propose that a reframing of how we understand the boundaries between urban and wild, culture and nature, within the tower begins with a recognition of the existing territory.

By minimizing its horizontal footprint, the tower inhabits a vertical territory. This proposal moves against the instinct to replicate or construct a horizontal landscape within the confines of the vertical tower that by its definition is artificial, disconnected from the ground. Instead, we propose to give a place for one of nature’s vertical inhabitants, its birds, to enter.

Over 300 different species of birds can be found in Chicago throughout the year. Some pass through during migration. Others nest, or spend the winter. Orioles, hummingbirds, falcons, tanagers, herons, cranes, woodpeckers, sandpipers, cuckoos, owls and more. Some of these birds are endangered, threatened or rare, and many are facing population declines due to loss of habitat.

To enhance the role of the park as a place to recognize the territory, we propose to create an aviary for protection of local wildlife. A non constructed space— but with each ‘house’ is calibrated for the needs of each species. The embedded structure gives the condition for birds to roost, construct their nests, and security of place.

Collaboration w. Stephan van Eeden

for Tatiana Bilbao