This is an entry to the Mine the Gap Competition from the Chicago Architecture Club.
The history of Chicago is the history of defining, layering and growing land in the southwest region of lake Michigan. From natural nuisance to debris re-distribution to desirable commodity, the changing relationship to new land defines a particular brand of Chicago urbanism. Mistakenly, recent developments have lost sight of this and this proposal recovers, extends and ultimately exports this lineage of urbanism.
The narrative begins with the site of the former spire as a symbol of this misdirected energy and puts it in service of this particularly Chicago condition. Instead of reaching towards the sky, the project enables Chicago to reach for new horizons. The Chicago Institute for Land Generation is established to produce and oversee the process.
Chicago begins the Accumulation Administration housed in the Land Institute to deal with the excess of land that plagues the city. The local government forms a new position, an Accumulation Officer as an elected official. Their responsibility is to control the influx of material salvaged from the demolition of buildings within the city and turn it into new, usable land.
Once banished to make way for the picturesque natural “other” that now garnishes the river, this proposal brings a new industry and production economy to the shoreline of Chicago. The product of this new economy will be land that is outside the current political boundary of the city and un-tethered to any region or territory. It is the foundation for new societies and political scenarios to begin.