Project DescriptionThe West Side Corridor is a theoretical “vision plan” for the Planned Manufacturing District located in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor on the near West side of Chicago. A PMD is an area of land defined by zoning to foster manufacturing through prohibiting residential development and other specific uses. The structure of PMDs was created to revive Chicago’s industrial base by developing the growth of local industrial production and thereby creating manufacturing jobs. Although well intended, many of these PMDs have not generated the type of jobs and economic benefit envisioned. Furthermore, the PMDs are inflexible, and don’t allow for the evolving economies and concurrent development of the surrounding neighborhoods. This can leave areas with vacant, underutilized land and a lack of integration with the surrounding neighborhoods. This lack of flexibility prohibits economic opportunity that could be possible if the zoning allowed for the changing dynamics of business development, as well as in trends in developing neighborhoods. In order for Chicago to remain a global city, we must adapt our zoning practices to accommodate the growing and changing needs of the manufacturing and tech industries, and subsequent urban trends.
Our site is bound by Ogden to the west, Halsted to the east, Kinzie to the north, and Carrol to the south. The Amtrak and Metra train lines cut directly through the site. By building a platform on top of the rail lines we are able to programmatically keep the functions of a light-manufacturing district at the base while creating a space for other types of development above. The roofs of the buildings at the base are joined with the rail platform to create a green area that serves as 28 acre Public Park for the surrounding neighborhoods.