The Lurie Garden

Landscape Design ‘ Gustafson Guthrie Ntchol Ltd. • Kathryn Gustafson, Jennifer Guthrie, Shannon Nlehoi I Location Chlcaoo. USA | Landscape Area 12.629m I Completion Year 2004

Chicago built itself up from marshy ongins and continues to nse ambitiously skyward. A refinement of nature and natural resources has accompanied Chicago’s willful development. Similarly, the site of the Lurie Garden has been built up over time. It has been elevated from wild slrareline, to railroad yard, to parting garage, to roof garden Lurie Garden celebrates the exerting contrast between the past and present that lay within this site.

Lurie Garden brings a new. public botanical garden to downtown Chicago. The garden is sited in Lakefront Millennium Part, an ambitious new segment of Grant Part The site is between a new bandshell by Frank O. Gehry & Associates and a renovation to the Chicago Art Institute by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The en­tire garden is constructed over the roof deck of the Lakefront Millennium Parting Garage.

When it matures a giant, muscular hedge will enclose the interior garden from the north and west. From the Art Institute, the ‘big shoulders’ of the Shoulder Hedge appear to support the gleaming ‘headdress’ of Gehry’s band shell to the north.

The Shoulder Hedge is a living wall that protects the garden’s interior from heavy pedestrian traffic moving through­out Millennium Part. It defines and organizes circulation patterns inside and outside of the perennial garden to de­velop a legible hierarchy of pedestrian movement Like a distant ridge in an open midwestem landscape, the Hedge is a horizon that defines the bright foreground of the garden interior.

The Shoulder Hedge is structured by a metal framework, or armature, that shapes several varieties of plants into one monumental hedge feature. The armature provides a simple and permanent clipping guide for precisely main­taining the sculpted profile of the mature Shoulder Hedge. As the Hedge plants grow, visitors can watch the plants develop into their full form, filling the armature structure.

Within the Shoulder Hedge, the garden has two interior ‘Plates’ that are planted with perennials and trees The plates seem to be ‘punched up’ from the surface of the plaza like a muscular torso. The two plates, called the Dark Plate and Light Plate, strongly contrast with each other. The Dark Plate, referencing the moist, mystenous past of the site, offers an expenence of dream-like immersion in a volume of robust perennial compositions. The Light Plate, referencing Chicago’s modem and artistic control of nature, provides an exhilarating experience of surveying a bright and dean, controlled landscape.

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Updated: October 2, 2015 — 7:11 pm