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Location: Chicago, U.S.A.

Type: Infrastructure

Team: Marcos Escamilla-Guerrero

Status: Idea

Year: 2020

Chicago, a city of urban experimentation, a city where the implications of densification were tested at its time, a city with skyscrapers, but one that lacks public infrastructure in terms of urban assets related to culture, a city that does not produces any goods. This project reshapes the most famous public transportation infrastructure in the city, the “L” or elevated train. The concept is to wrap the elevated train tracks with a cultural envelope and then cap it with a food production system. By doing that, current problems are solved, such as high noise and aesthetic ugliness of the existing infrastructure.

The right image shows the Loop (downtown) in Chicago and frames the zone of impact of this project. The rectangle seen in the image corresponds to the current elevated train system, better known as CTA. The main idea of this project is to take advantage of current urban infrastructure and generate over it what can be a food production system. It is good to mention that the system can be replicated outside the Chicago downtown and propagated over the rest of metro lines that include elevated portions of train tracks.

"Adapting existing infrastructure for food production"


Intervention zone

The module is a 12 by 12-meter unit, which is composed of different parts as shown in the diagram above, regardless of its complexity, it is very rational and is more an assembly of parts. This module is meant to be as light weighted as possible, and as transparent as possible, materials as ETFE and acrylic are used in order to achieve those objectives. An approximate of 275 modules are needed to cover all the Chicago loop area.


Urban Drivers

"Growing local food for citizens"

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Lateral Cladding Perspective


Urban Section


The enclosure of the module and structure can be used as glowing elements that can become a public attraction at night. With a simple treatment as LED lights and a frit pattern over the ETFE membrane an urban light show can be displayed every night. In addition, the enclosure provides a public surface that can display any kind of information for the citizens.

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