Summer Vault

PrizeHonorable Mention in Architectural Design /
Firm LocationChicago, United States
CompanyPaul Or Paul
Lead ArchitectPaul Preissner
Design TeamPaul Andersen (co-lead)
ClientChicago Park District
Project Videohttp://

Summer Vault is a lakefront kiosk designed for the Chicago Park District as part of the main public program of the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. It consists of basic geometric shapes—a 12-foot diameter barrel vault, a parallelogram, and triangles—combined to create a curious, freestanding hangout. The interior is divided into two triangular spaces, one enclosed by expanded metal screens and doors, and one open to the air but still within the vaulting. This two part plan provides covered areas for both the vendor and the public. It also reflects the kiosk’s Persian origins as a 13th century garden pavilion, while embracing its contemporary use as a seasonal commercial front and festive park retreat. The vault serves as a point of commerce and placemaking on the shore of Lake Michigan. The kiosk, as a result of the plan shape combined with the effects of the matte powder blue color and the 3/4" thickness to the steel used for a 20ft tall object in the park, has the artificial feeling of a flat, trivial, paper novelty; one who is both unavoidably present and simultaneously simply not there.