Now that the north end of Illinois Center has a new batch of awkwardly distributed outdoor furniture, it's time for the Miesian plaza's south section to get some love. Archicritic Lynn Becker weighs the design proposal's potential in the context of long-gone schemes for this forlorn riverfront space just south of Wacker and east of Michigan. Judging by the on-site banner rendering by Goettsch Partners and Wolff Landscape Architecture, more substantial incursions will take place on the south end— involving curvaceous flower beds with built-in benches, bright magenta table sets and recliners, and the reopening of a crucial access point (once destined to be a sort of Spanish Steps). The landscaping is so intensive the Miesian grid is basically tossed in favor of a Japanese Garden influence. Work is about to begin and will finish sometime next year. Becker concludes his post with two astute questions: "Will sacrificing Miesian purity to a looser, softer design succeed in making the place more contemporary? Will it allow the plaza to finally achieve its potential as a vital civic gateway to the new East Side?"
·Plaza Sweet? Miesian Illinois Center grows curves [ArchitectureChicago PLUS]
·Architectural Fixes [Curbed Chicago]