The Metropolitan Planning Council has crowned two winners of its 2013 Activate Union Station platemaking contest (h/t: ChicagoArchitecture PLUS). The first (pictured above) is trainYARD, an installation of a synthetic lawn and summer picnic games like bocce and tetherball destined for the Great Hall. Authored by an anonymous team of local architects, the "recycled landscape" is a collection of warm weather park activities meant to offer an indoor alternative during the dog days of summer. "We are bringing the park to the people and putting it right in the middle of their daily routine," said the team in a statement.
The other winning entry goes by the name Blah Blah Blob! and purports to be a playful gathering space modeled after a children's parachute tent. Lectures will happen beneath the nylon. It will also involve an artificial lawn, planted outside the station on the Plaza at Fifth Third Center. Designed by Katherine Darnstadt of Latent Design, chaotic apartment-sized blobs have worked before in the context of classical architecture (see Claire Ashley's Cultural Center exhibit) and should work well again. Each winner received $5,000 and their creations will take hold for NINE DAYS ONLY, from August 24 to September 2.
·Announcing winners of the Activate Union Station contest [MPC]