Like most other major international metropolises, Chicago has more or less consumed the natural landscape around it. For a city that used to take pride in its "Urbs in Horto" (City in a Garden) motto, this Horto in Urbs project is quite fitting for the contemporary state of the urban environment.
Matt Hutchinson and Brandon Pace of Sanders Pace Architecture developed a pragmatic submission for the McCormick Place Redux Competition, opened by the Chicago Architectural Club. The duo has given the existing public square a complete facelift to provide a plaza with gardens and trees, covered by two additional levels above.
The top tier seems to cantilever over the vast lot, grounded along one edge by a grassy man-made hill. Horto in Urbs may be considered historically backwards, but it does well to bring green space back into the now very dense urban jungle.
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