Last night, June 7th, Epstein’s senior vice president and director of hospitality, David Scott, AIA, was the featured presenter at the Society of Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys (SOICA) Sprint Event held at Navy Pier. David’s presentation focused on the recently completed first phase of the ‘Reimagined’ Navy Pier, a project in which Epstein served as the local architect, in support to nARCHITECTS, from New York, who were part of the James Corner Field Operations team, the winner of the ‘Pierscape’ Design Competition selected for re-imaging the exterior public spaces at Chicago’s Navy Pier.
David’s presentation not only covered the renovated Pier but also highlighted the very interesting history of Navy Pier – from its origins in 1915 as Municipal Pier, which was a dock for freights, passenger traffic and a public space for indoor and outdoor recreation, to being renamed Navy Pier in ’27 to honor naval veterans of World War I, to serving as a training facility for the Navy during World War II, to becoming the Chicago Campus for the University of Illinois in 1946, and then after U of I moved in the late 50s after years of minimal use and decline becoming a mixed-use venue incorporating retail, dining, entertainment, and cultural spaces in 1995.
For the recently completed re-imagined ‘Pierscape’ David described how the architecture is organized into two categories and scales: large singular structures that merge building and landscape and smaller objects that punctuate the pier. Consistent across the family of structures are strategies that frame, integrate and reflect their surroundings. The Wave Wall maximizes flow between Pier Park, South Dock and South Arcade, strengthening connections between inside and out in a singular gesture. The Lake Pavilions give cadence to the pier promenade, framing views of the lake between the kiosks and reflecting the water in mirrored soffit panels. The info tower, boat and food kiosks punctuate the promenade with similar strategies of reflecting the sky or dock and framing water views, albeit at a smaller scale.
In our role as local architect, Epstein performed field verifications including all the demolition drawings for the existing structures. Epstein was also responsible for developing the architectural drawings for the two end stairs, the glass elevators, and storefront & doors. In addition, Epstein prepared all of the specifications and performed QA/QC reviews for the redesign of the Pierscape.
Lastly, David’s presentation ended shortly after 9, allowing SOCIA attendees to have a grand view of Navy Pier’s signature evening fireworks display.