Preston Welker

designs by preston welker



ChiMASSIF is a Megastructure proposal with the goal of creating an experimental and experiential interior urban environment that offers inclusion and exclusion from the surrounding urban context. It introduces a new feature to the landscape that blurs the boundaries between the city and the lake, interior and exterior, and public and private. ChiMassif draws the community towards the lake and the lake towards the community.  

The program includes a Hospital, Hotel and Spa, as well as an array of  public spaces along the internal expanse. The program is organized to create varying levels of privacy, specificity, and transparency. This strategy optimizes the functions of each main program, and allows the public program to form zones along the continuous interior surface, amplifying the experience of the expansive hyper-conditioned space. By allowing the most specialized of the larger program spaces to form towers, the ground plane is free to facilitate a wide variety of smaller programs open to the public such as retail and restaurants.

The building form is created by a system of three surfaces: the ground, the enclosure, and the seam. The seam is an intermediate surface that negotiates between the ground and the enclosure to create pockets of centralized program. This system allows the main programs (Hospital, Hotel, and Spa) to be placed based on their required link to the city and level of enclosure/seclusion. They are then expanded based on their required spatial sequence. Each tower represents a gradient from public to private or immediate to non-immediate from the ground up. The growth of each tower allows them to burst through the structural envelope, deviating from its previous immediate context, revealing the city of Chicago as the preeminent background.