Sutured Flow


Location: Chicago, IL
Status: Masterplan completed in Oct. 2014



With rapid population growth in Chicago, the old Near South Side Rail Yard lies within the fragile interface between urban expansion and natural integrity. Outdated infrastructure and an operating rail yard across the river situate the site in an awkward position for future development.
The proposed plan, “Sutured Flow,” celebrates Chicago’s industrial past, drawing inspiration from the pre-straitened Chicago River that flowed through the region in 1925, and the former rail lines that ran on site in 1938. The geometry of the historic river and railroads, and the desire for future connection with, and a view of, downtown Chicago are the primary vectors through which the framework was constructed. The project site is divided into five major parts with a connected and revelatory axis: the activity hub, the central plaza, the artist community, the meadow park, and the river walk.
The concept of suturing is two-fold in that it stands for the physically connected pedestrian and vehicular circulations (or flows) from greater Chicago, while it also represents the merging, or suturing, of program opportunities, historical representations, and residence activities on the site. It responds to current symptoms and proposes a strategic plan to redefine the Near South Side Rail Yard through assigning it a new identity, re-programing its land use, and increasing economic diversity.







The proposed plan, “Sutured Flow,” celebrates Chicago’s industrial past, drawing inspiration from the pre-straitened Chicago River that flowed through the region in 1925, and the former rail lines that ran on site in 1938.














The geometry of the historic river and railroads, and the desire for future connection with, and a view of, downtown Chicago are the primary vectors through which the framework was constructed. The project site is divided into five major parts with a connected and revelatory axis: the activity hub, the central plaza, the artist community, the meadow park, and the river walk.











© ZHICHENG DANIEL XU 2018