Ultramoderne’s Lakefront Kiosk for the Chicago Architecture Biennial is the First of its Kind

Architecture studio Ultramoderne has completed its competition-winning Chicago pavilion, which was built using the largest lengths of timber that can be shipped across North America. Named Chicago Horizon, the pavilion was the winning design in the Chicago Lakefront Kiosk Competition, organized as part of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial that opened to the public on October 3rd. Ultramoderne architects Aaron Forrest and Yasmin Vobis collaborated with structural engineer Brett Schneider, a senior associate at Guy Nordenson and Associates, on the project. Their aim was to create a wall-less pavilion with as large a roof as possible. The entire structure was built using cross-laminated timber (CLT)—a strong engineered wood formed by glueing together layers of lumber at right angles to each other. Its square 56-foot-wide roof is supported by just 12 columns. “This is the first time anything like this has been done in North America and likely it is the only type of structure like this in the world,” says Schneider. The pavilion is located in Millennium Park, on Chicago’s waterfront, where Forrest hopes it will become “part of the legacy of the Biennial.”