Burnham Memorial Competition Info < 3/9 >

Chicago Illinois The design proposes a memorial that is both destination and passage. The memorial site is currently a no-man's land of residual space left over from large-scale infrastructural planning, where Olmsted-inspired looping pathways terminate abruptly into the Beaux-Arts formality of the museum forecourts. The project seeks to to restore the green space that Burnham dedicated himself to creating. The memorial is proposed to be made of Cor-ten steel plate, in contrast with the concrete and stone that predominate the site, to make its insertion into the landscape legible and discrete. The project consciously avoids a false reconstruction of the site based on some make-believe past, and instead seeks to acknowledge the site's history, as well as its current reality brought about the redirecting of Lake Shore Drive. The memorial's industrial character serves as a subtle reminder that many parts of Burnham's Plan of 1909 were not realized due to the impact of the automobile on Chicago.