320 E. North Water street
50,000 Sq. Ft
The Chicago Watershed Cultural Center is situated at a critical point along the Chicago River, and its northern riverwalk. In an initial study of the site's context, the sonic and luminous spaces of the bridge/bay condition on the south riverwalk led to a massing study using various vaults to organize space.
As the horizontal and vertical voids cut through the site's mass, a formal language develops that uses its motifs to sculpt interior and exterior spaces while mediating the views between them.
The program includes an exhibition space at street levels that cascades into individual programs of a library, an archive, baths, and a fishery/research lab at the Riverwalk level. The landscape of the river's edge is then manipulated to interact with these programs and encourage public exploration throughout the site.