Chicago Lakeside Master Plan

Chicago Lakeside Master Plan
Chicago Lakeside Master Plan
Chicago Lakeside

Seeking to revitalize a vast, formerly industrial site on the South Chicago lakefront, SOM developed a vision for sustainable community that foregrounds renewable energy, zero waste, and biodiversity.

Project Facts
  • Design Finish Year 2013
  • Size Site Area: 800 acres Building Gross Area: 12,000,000
  • Awards
    2009, Citation for Excellence in Urban Design, AIA – Boston Society of Architects 2009, International Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2007, Sustainable Design Award: Citation of Merit, AIA – Chicago Chapter 2014, Green Good Design Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2012, Sustainia Community Award, Sustainia 2009, Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED ND Certified, ND, Certified
  • Collaborators
    Ramboll Danmark A/S Kenig, Lindgren, O'Hara, Aboona, Inc./Kloa Inc. Cisco Construction Cost Systems - Illinois Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Group Sasaki Associates Inc. Spaceco Inc. WSP
Project Facts
  • Design Finish Year 2013
  • Size Site Area: 800 acres Building Gross Area: 12,000,000
  • Awards
    2009, Citation for Excellence in Urban Design, AIA – Boston Society of Architects 2009, International Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2007, Sustainable Design Award: Citation of Merit, AIA – Chicago Chapter 2014, Green Good Design Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2012, Sustainia Community Award, Sustainia 2009, Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED ND Certified, ND, Certified
  • Collaborators
    Ramboll Danmark A/S Kenig, Lindgren, O'Hara, Aboona, Inc./Kloa Inc. Cisco Construction Cost Systems - Illinois Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Group Sasaki Associates Inc. Spaceco Inc. WSP

A new anchor for Chicago’s South Side

Developers and community leaders have long discussed what to do with the vacant South Works steel mill site along Lake Michigan in South Chicago. Once the largest producer of structural steel in the world, the 600-acre site has remained a vacant brownfield for nearly 30 years.

Working with an international team of experts starting in 2004, SOM conceived an ambitious plan in 2010 to transform the property into a sustainable mixed-use community that foregrounds renewable energy, zero waste, and biodiversity. The resulting Lakeside master plan serves as a model for development within the City of Chicago and for future LEED ND developments.

Chicago Lakeside
Before
Chicago Lakeside
Proposed Site Plan

Envisioning an expansive mixed-use neighborhood

SOM’s scheme, which incorporates LEED standards, proposes energy-saving systems to harvest solar and wind power, treat stormwater, recycle grey water, and protect natural resources. Organized around a walkable compact grid and accessible public transportation, the plan includes new landscaped boulevards, sidewalks, bike paths, a continuous lakefront park, smaller neighborhood parks, residential buildings, commercial and civic districts, and connections to the area’s existing transit stations.

Lakeside connects South Chicago neighborhoods to the water with more than three miles of new public lakefront parks. Additionally, a network of parks throughout the site places all homes within a three-minute walk to a green space. The plan also calls for extending a pedestrian and bike path from downtown to the Lakeside development and rail service improvements to strengthen connections to the city and the surrounding region.

Chicago Lakeside Master Plan
© SOM

Building a thriving green community

The plan proposes a neighborhood utility to operate district energy systems, as well as a “living lab” prototype to promote new green technologies. Each building will plug into district infrastructure, eliminating the need for chillers and boilers. High-efficiency building envelopes and MEP systems further outline energy, water, and waste reduction goals.

Clean electricity sources, a smart-grid delivery system, and advanced stormwater and wastewater management strategies achieve a net-positive water balance. Additional sustainability strategies include water recycling, native landscaping programs, and utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

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