Located at the Riverwalk’s Western End

— The “Confluence” space

Map of the Mart and the Confluence

[ MAP ]

Every year, one design team has the opportunity to transform 6,000 square feet of the iconic Chicago Riverwalk into a living work of art.

A hallmark of Designing a Better Chicago, the Riverwalk installation celebrates shared space while demonstrating the intersection of art, architecture and design.

The team and piece are selected through an invitational call for submissions.

For 2021, the design team Kwong Von Glinow + UB Studio has been chosen to lead the inaugural installation, titled “Give Me a Minute, Please!”.

About the Installation

The theme Designing a Better Chicago acknowledges that our city is constantly evolving: it is never static and it never stops imagining a better version of itself. Likewise, its people are ever on the move. Our approach for this project began by understanding the relevance of this prompt and how Designing a Better Chicago can affect the public experiencing the city.

Photograph of the Riverwalk Design Installation

“The best designed public spaces never dictate or manipulate the visitor to use the space in a certain way. They allow the visitor to explore and discover with time.”

The Confluence space is an amazing site in the center of Chicago, surrounded by magnificent architecture along the lively and dynamic Riverfront. The question we asked ourselves when given this site was what more can we give to this site as architects? Our design “Give Me a Minute, Please!” aims to offer time and space.

One minute can seem very short, but at the same time one minute can seem very long. A minute is relative. “Give Me a Minute, Please!” can be interpreted in many different ways. This phrase often translates as a way to ask someone to wait. It almost always means a short amount of time and not literally a minute. For our society which demands spontaneity, on-the-go, everything-all-at-once, one minute is often broken up and doled out to various competing focuses. What if the city could offer that minute back to you to enjoy?

The best designed public spaces never dictate or manipulate the visitor to use the space in a certain way. They allow the visitor to explore and discover with time.

Our design gives a second life to the existing structure of Robert Burnier's artwork by building on top of it a lightweight pyramidal structure. Marketing the westernmost entrance to the Riverwalk, the hovering pure form of the pyramid will draw visitors underneath its canopy. Offering a covered area that houses several furniture-scale follies, "Give Me a Minute, Please" will offer spaces for contemplation: a respite - even if knowingly momentary - where visitors will pause, delight and enjoy their surroundings.

— Kwong Von Glinow + UB Studio

Riverwalk about 2

About the Design Team

The design team is a joint-venture between Kwong Von Glinow and UB Studio.

Photograph of Kwong Von Glinow

Kwong Von Glinow’s projects are about clear ideas and compelling ideals. Their optimistic approach to design focuses on urban public space as places for cultural engagement and innovative housing solutions focused on sustainable living futures. The firm's work targets a wide audience by translating architectural concepts into playful designs that aim for broad appeal. Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow (AIA) co-founded Kwong Von Glinow in Chicago in 2017. Since founding the office, they have received the 2018 Architectural League Prize of New York for Young Architects and Designers, a Graham Foundation Grant for their project "Smuggling Architecture" currently on view at the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel, Switzerland, and have won five international design competitions. Current projects include a single family house in Chicago, the Swiss Consulate offices at the Hancock Tower in Chicago, and a community center in New York. Prior to founding Kwong Von Glinow, the duo worked with Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, and SOM in Chicago and New York. Both partners received their Masters in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

UB Studio is a design and architecture practice led by Shinya Uehara and Chantelle Brewer. This team has worked together since 2002 on several public and private projects, and with many design firms throughout the City of Chicago. Their award winning work ranges from small to large projects - including art installations, interior renovations, new buildings and urban design.

Ub studio 2020