This exhibition Great Cities, Great Lakes, Great Basin at the Chicago Architecture Foundation features SOM's 100-year vision for the region surrounding the Great Lakes. Thirst wrapped the existing trusses surrounding the model of Chicago turning the open space into an immersive environment.
Partner Philip Enquist and the Urban Planning and Design studio put together over five years of research and studies into a shared vision for living in this great natural resource, a vision that goes beyond boundaries.
All photography by Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing
Since the exhibit was laid out around the model, there was no clear starting or ending point. To accommodate, all content was structured as separate chapters — one per panel — making the story easy to piece together outside of a linear narrative.
A line of sight was established horizontally across the exhibition, making it very clear how to access these different chapters as visitors moved through the space.
To create a vibrant visual impact, a series of photographs from the shores of the Great Lakes were collaged together and blended — creating a simple color wash with the horizon lines all aligned. This powerful image became the backdrop for all the content, framed by images from the Great Lakes themselves.