- Monster BowlSpring Semester 2011, Professor Marshall BrownLogan Square, Chicago, ILGroup Project with Brandon Kemp, and Sergio Magdaleno
- Architecture Studio X
The monster bowl is an open arena created through aserpentine topographical landscape; it houses spaces for competition,entertainment, and mass assembly.
This landscape creates different levels of connectionbetween variable spaces that are occupied by a range of activities that spillin from and out into the city. The monster bowl is a microcosm of the city, itspeople, their actions and spectacle.
We achieve this by slicing, dissecting, and excavating theintersection of Logan and Kedzie Boulevard. We provide here a plateau forresidents and visitors of the city to engage the fabric of the urban landscapeat a human scale; allowing them to experience the connection of the boulevardto the city, both at street level and above.
Kedzie Boulevard terminated at the north edge of ourproject, reducing the problems of pedestrian connections and traffic congestionaround the site. The connection of Kedzie and Logan Boulevard is no longerallowed to serve as a traffic circle. Rather the intersection now becomes adestination. A place where the commuter can choose to park their car inexchange for a train ride into the loop, or for a place to participate inactivities such as the Roller Derby, Luchador Wrestling, Ice Skating, or merelyto escape their normal day to day routine and experience Logan Square as alandscape with multiple options of path and activity. The Serpentine Landscapeserves as a new option for navigation around this busy intersection versuscrossing at street level.
The user is given a network of overlapping and intertwiningpaths that merge with the program to create this unified topography.
The facility where the Roller Derby is housed provides a verticalcirculation from the train platform of the subway to the top of the serpentinelandscape. The user has the option of entering at both train and street level.Even users who do not directly attend the Roller Derby have the ability ofwatching the matches from the train platform as they wait to board the train.The bowl itself is at train level and a clear panel allows passer bys utilizingthe CTA to enjoy the matches without needing to physically be in attendance.
The train platform serves as another means of navigatingthrough the difficult intersection. Users can choose which side of Milwaukee Avenueto both enter and exit. Each provides a different means of entering thelandscape and different options of activities to participate in. The North partof the site holds the Roller Derby as previously mentioned, as well as anoutdoor ice rink and underground parking for commuters as well as visitors tothe site.
While the serpentine landscape on its highest level acts asan elevated circulation, the voids created by this elevation serve as spaceswhere program is then inserted. Similar to how the roller derby serves as avertical circulation the Luchador Wrestling Arena provides a similar contextwithout reaching as far as the train level and stopping at the street level. The same scenario occurs in terms of theamphitheater located further along the park area where the monument stands.However this goes below street level to create a kind of sunken level whereother activities can occur while not in use.
The landscape merges completely with the ground when itreaches the skate park that contours to accommodate the train as it transformsfrom elevated to subway. The relationship between the skate park and the trainis one where the skater has the option of skating under the tracks while thetrain is still elevated and then also above the train as the bowl of the skatepark goes as far down as the train does underground. The bowl of the skate parkcreates a void below street level when it arches over the train; allowing theuser the ability to be both above and below the train at any given point duringtheir run.
This new park we have added to the emerald necklace createsa unique urban experience for the user - merging of different types of transportationand infrastructure that branch out to the rest of the city, while alsoproviding spaces for assembly and competition that provide entertainment and anew definition for the potential of the Emerald Necklace and boulevard system.