Client: The Chicago Architecture Biennial
Location: Chicago Lakefront
Credits: NE-AR: Luis Etchegorry — Lars Nixdorff with Iuliia Kuzhleva and Pantea Khatirzad
Design for a Kiosk at the lakefront of Chicago
SOCIAL – SHELTER- INFORMATION The Kiosk design cannot be reduced to a single function. It works with all classical components of the archetype Kôšk, Litfass Column, Kiosque. As initially featuring three main characteristics: a place for shelter, a social gathering space and an information hub, the concept fuses all three functions within its minimal space, its program and formal approach. The kiosk becomes a flexible vessel for the requested program aspects, both to its interior and to its environment. It expands to the outside, radiates and stimulates its surroundings, acting at the same moment as a mouthpiece and attractor to its environment, thus shelters, informs and is able to act as a social gathering place.
CONCEPT OF USE/ FLEXIBILITY IN PROGRAM Alike a blossom, the structure expands and shrinks, opens and closes due to mutable environmental and climatic condition. The structure is able to cater for total flexible program usage: from a single-program space to three diverse program spaces simultaneously, as well as for different seasonal conditions. Unwrapped, in summer usage, this can be a café or bar, a newspaper kiosk and retail unit. As winter usage, when restricted to its minimal closed footprint, it acts as a media screen, showroom for commercial advertisement or cultural usage, such as exhibitions or fashion display.
LOCAL ACTIVATION & GLOBAL RADIATION With its minimal figure-ground but maximal expansion in multiple directions, the design has the ability to act as a local activator. Its radiation and therefore impact on surrounding conditions maximizes. This goes for its usage in day and night times, as well as for seasonal changes. The structure literally does not sit on heavy foundations, rather is lightweight. Like a Pavilion in its genuine sense, touches the ground only ephemeral but having strong effect.
ORIENTATION & ADAPTABILITY TO LOCAL CONDITIONS The kiosk does not have a main orientation. Its neutral, round shape guarantees an equal distribution of attraction. All sides are equally provoking interest. With this concept, the kiosk has the ability to adapt to any spatial and local condition. The structure can pivot and tailor its orientations to necessity. Through its multi-orientation, it will never create a dead-end-situation but always leading to another situation. It acts as an orientation hub, a lighthouse within the network of parkways and pedestrian paths along the shoreline of Chicago.
MINIMAL SPACE/ MAXIMAL USE Its internal space can be divided into three equal independent program segments, separated by lightweight walls. Three program parts act on minimal space, in sum not exceeding 200Sft. This is possible by shop-window-typologies, mainly serving or selling to the outside. These three partitions close by flipping transparent wing-shutters. In an open condition, the shutters perform as canopies, expanding the range and volume of the kiosk. In a closed one, they act as screens, either in classical showcase manner or as back-projected canvases for media streaming.
STRUCTURAL MATERIALITY The structural shell is assembled from three independent pre-fabricated Fiber Reinforced Composite segments. The build-up method of FRC elements guarantees an extreme precise way of manufacturing under workshop conditions, usually used for form parts, yacht hulls, etc. In addition to a fast and easy assemblage of prefabricated elements on site.
FRC as lightweight material is applied in high-tech shell constructions, such as yachts or special purpose form parts. With an enclosed air-layer, it has perfect capability of climate insulation with low thermal conductivity. If desired, its construction method would enable a series-production of the kiosk for multiple locations. The finishing of the material guarantees a perfect, high quality sustainable surface and appearance requiring low maintenance.
Each segment contains one third of the middle column and is in itself structurally sound. In combination (with simple bolt-connections), the three segments form a stable and robust shell that just has to be placed on a regular manufactured base.
Its technical infrastructural connection is provided via the middle column. In that way, it resembles the structural and infrastructural backbone of the shell.
The three wing-shutters are pre-fabricated on a stiff aluminum frame cladded by translucent polycarbonate that can be transported as one piece to site.
MOBILITY The build-up of the segments into a whole, guarantees an easy mounting and de-mounting. All dismantled parts are transported as normal truckloads. A later re-localization of the kiosk is possible without great effort.