Working at both the scale of the city and local context, “AXIS CULTURE” proposes a mixed use High Speed transportation hub that functions as a catalyst to help reinvigorate Chicago’s downtown development. The site is located along the Chicago River across from the Sears Tower and near the cities financial banking district. The new infrastructural armature attaches to the historic shell of Union Station by aligning to the buildings existing structural frame. Related to the directionality of the cities multi-layered grid iron, the project consists of 5 main program bars that run the length of the site with additional cross links that serve both as structural support and circulation.
The project goes beyond the typical use of a train station and merges a mix of retail, market space and hotel that extend up and through the train station. The interior space continues through the existing structure and connects to all five access points that fold into the towers above. All tower elements have a view towards the lake while also allowing for natural ventilation and lighting. The buildings facade is made of a diagrid system that promotes additional structural stability and a varied iconic presence along the cities skyline.