Chicago’s Navy Pier Redesign Competition a Draw for Teams of All-Star Architects

Looks like a major redesign to a staple location within a large metropolitan area is just the sort of thing that draws in a batch of architecture’s heaviest hitters. There was speculation that the contest to redesign Chicago’s Navy Pier, which launched at the start of last month and which seeks to turn the large space into something better and more functional than its current status as the city’s central tourist trap, would bring in some substantial and well-known talent. Cut from a list of 50, there are now eleven teams selected. Among them, as if the top names like Zaha Hadid and Rem KoolhaasOMA/SGA weren’t enough as the leaders of the teams, the groups are also made up of others high-profile firms, like Bruce Mau Design and nArchitects joining James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro getting set up with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, and Arup among the list on SHoP‘s squad. These eleven impressive teams will eventually be cut down to just five, who will then be given $50,000 each to develop proposals, which are set to go on public display sometime early next year. One thing we’d be willing to bet on is that design firm Pentagram will at least make it to the next round, if not all the way to the finish line, given that they’re included in no fewer than four different teams at the moment.