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Accesso Park 200-230 W. Monroe

Challenge

Accesso, the owner of adjacent buildings at 200 and 230 W. Monroe in Chicago, had a vision to transform the alleyway that connected the two structures. The vision included creating a functional outdoor area employees, nearby restaurant patrons, and passersby could enjoy, while also elevating curb appeal.

Solution

Shive-Hattery worked with the owner to design a safe, unique pocket park. An existing utility stairwell and railing that was once a safety concern, was converted into a statement piece for the park. Designers enclosed the stairwell and covered it with a 20-foot wrap blending the interior artwork of the buildings and providing a safety barrier to protect users passing through. The artwork on the wrap is an abstract rendering of an overhead street map of Chicago. Simple dark blue and white colors complement the red and white shades used on the outdoor furniture and canopies. Specific blocks on the map are highlighted based on local-interest areas and landmarks. The wrap is perforated to withstand wind gusts, and made of durable materials to protect against vandalism.

Impact

By transforming a dark, unused alley into a cheerful pocket park, the space now provides users ample seating, lighting, shelter from Chicago’s weather, and a brief respite from the urban setting.
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