Sonja Cheng MArch ’15, Jennifer Ly MArch ’14, and Max Obata have been awarded first place in the 2017 Burnham Prize Competition: Under the Dome. Sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Club, this year’s competition asked designers to reconsider the relevance of the dome in the context of the abandoned St. Stephen’s Church in Chicago. The winning proposal, “New Waters” reconstructs the ground plane and dome to create a new public pool within the existing church – providing a new environment for recreation, relaxation and spectacle. The pool has the ability to regenerate the neighborhood while creating an intimate and playful public space. The public swimming pool has had a contested history in America dating back to the 19th century. It first emerged as a place for personal hygiene and then evolved into a site of public tension through gender, economic, and racial divide. Today, Chicago manages 49 outdoor pools and 28 indoor pools. The new pool joins this existing, established network, but offer a new spatial environment that juxtaposes between the new and the old.The jury members consisted of Penelope Dean, Sarah Herda, Sharon Johnston MArch ’95, and Brian Lee MArch ’78.

In conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennale, the winning proposal and other entries are exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center through October 14th. More information here.

Images provided.

jennifer ly