Five of them will be placed above the circular fountains, the circumference of each wheel mirroring that of its fountain. One wheel will be placed within Navy Pier’s Gateway Park and another one in Lake Michigan.
The wheel sizes vary between 20 and 35 meters in diameter. Each wheel has a concrete foundation. It consists of a steel structure, basically a vertical steel pole carrying a central hub and a round rim joined by cables. The wheels each have individual, intricate patterns of figures and shapes that represent the diversity of Chicago and its different geographic zones. The wheels turn through an electromechanical system consisting of a motor within the hub. The movement, lighting and the sound generated by the wheels will create overlapping stories in continuous celebration of Chicago.
The experience of The Chicago Wheels is as engaging when at close-up as from a distance, where they become landmarks for Navy Pier, Olive Park and the shoreline promenade. From the air and the sea, the wheels will act as a cultural gate to Chicago, welcoming visitors.
Location: Chicago, USA
Architects: Hapsitus Architects – www.hapsitus.com
Project completion date: 2012, on going project
Structural & Sustainability: ARUP London
Photography/Rendering: rendered by Interior Architect Rim Fadel