Contest Watchers Search Form
Basic Search Controls
Matching Search Filters
Category Search Filters
By Status
By Discipline
By Other Filters
Additional Controls
Currently browsing through the Contest Watchers archives

2010 Chicago Prize Competition: MINE THE GAP

The Chicago Architectural Club is pleased to announce the 2010 Chicago Prize Competition: MINE THE GAP, a single-stage international design ideas competition dedicated to examining one of the most visible scars left after the collapse of the real estate market in Chicago: the massive hole along the Lake Michigan shore that was to have been—and may yet be—the foundation for a singular 150-story condominium tower designed by an internationally-renowned Spanish architect, a tower which was to have become a new icon for the city and region.

What to do with the gap? Whether or not the project is resuscitated, what else can we do with this strategic and highly-charged site? Once the motor of real-estate speculation has stalled, what can we use to propel ourselves, and the discipline, forward?


This competition is, in part, about looking for new ways to construct both the city and the programs within it. If real-estate speculation is no longer the driving force, what new techniques and actors can fill this space?

Competitors are limited to the area bounded by Lake Shore Drive to the east, the Ogden Slip to the north, the Chicago River to the south, and the existing line of trees to the east. Please see the attached Site Plan A for details. Per this plan, the site includes the foundation hole, piles, and all surrounding land within the parcel – competitors may propose solutions that occupy any reasonable percentage of the total site area.

The concrete foundation wall is sufficient to support a tower of 150 stories, and has a total depth of 70’-0”, with a finished concrete slab at its base. Please refer to the drawings on the competition website for exact dimensions and locations.

The hole itself may be reshaped, broadened, or otherwise manipulated in any way that furthers your proposal.

Although little work has completed on site for the past two years, the tower project is officially “on hold” and has not formally been canceled.

Competitors may thus assume either that the previous tower project is definitively canceled, or that the site is merely to be occupied until construction resumes (the date of this hypothetical resumption of work is also open to speculation by the competitors).

The nature of your proposals should, therefore, reflect your understanding of how permanent you believe your occupation of the site to be.


  • First Prize: $3,500
  • Second Prize: $1,500
  • Third Prize: $750

Up to 3 Honorable Mentions will be awarded.

Winning entries will be featured in the forthcoming issue of the CAC Journal, and in a public event to be held in May 2010.


  • Competitors may submit material online anytime between 22 March 2010 and 3 May 2010. Registration is open, and may be completed anytime before the deadline.
  • MINE THE GAP is an open, anonymous, single-stage ideas competition open to all architects, intern architects, landscape architects, and students. Members of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Architectural Club, members of the jury or their families, or those involved-in any capacity-with the preparation or funding of this competition may not participate.
  • All drawings and architectural scales should be expressed in feet and inches.

2010 Chicago Prize Competition Program Brief

How to enter?

The Following Material should be submitted via the competition web site:

  • 1: Two (2) horizontally oriented boards @ 24”x 36” (60.9cm x 91.4cm) in PDF format
    • Boards to include at minimum:
      • A. Plans, sections and elevations at 1/16″=1′-0″
      • B. Interior and Exterior Perspectives
      • C. Diagrams as needed to explain strategy
  • 2: JPEG files of all boards submitted @ 72 dpi
  • 3: JPEG files of all individual images and drawings
  • 4: A written statement of no more than 300 words
  • 5: A .doc file titled “teamid.doc”: this file will list the following information:
    • A. Project title, as used in all submitted files
    • B. Names and Titles of all members of competition team
    • C. Team Leader, Telephone, Address, and Email Contact Information

Please submit all files in a single .zip file format.

Zip file name will consist solely of a code assigned to you upon registration.


This code must appear on each presentation board in 12-point, horizontally oriented type in the bottom right-hand corner.

Entry fee

  • $30 : CAC Members (2010 dues must be paid before registering)
  • $50 : Students (Students must upload a copy of their current school identification card)
  • $90 : Professionals