Chicago Pier Redesign Creates Vertical Farms To Feed Local Restaurants

Designers from around the world unveil future plans for remaking the popular public space.

The Copenhagen-based architectural group Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has collaborated with the technical and management support services firm AECOM to propose a renewal project for Chicago’s Navy Pier that, along with creating new public gathering areas and lookout structures, would see the construction of a vertical urban farm that would produce food for restaurants at the pier.

Chicago Navy Pier Concept Envisions Vertical Farm For Nearby Restaurants

The design was submitted by BIG as part of an international competition to breath new life into the public spaces of Illinois’ popular tourist attraction. Five teams of designers are unveiling competing plans this week for the makeover, which has a budget of $85 million.

The teams are re-imagining areas including the Gateway Park, the east end plaza that overlooks Lake Michigan, the elevated park around the Ferris wheel, the Dock Street pedestrian promenade and the Crystal Gardens: an indoor space with palm trees and fountains.

Chicago Navy Pier Concept Envisions Vertical Farm For Nearby Restaurants

AECOM and BIG’s urban renewal proposal includes the integration of local food production for local businesses. The Crystal Gardens concept would be turned into a vertical urban farm that would supply produce to restaurants on the pier. The team would also build a grand staircase offering uninterrupted views of the skyline and a tiered platform with a lifted corner on one side providing a lookout and a lowered corner on the other side descending directly to the water.