UrbanLab teamed with Melk and HOK to participate in an international invited competition to re-imagine Navy Pier in Chicago. The competition brief called for proposals to incorporate existing tourist attractions with new cultural programs, while also rejuvenating the physical structure of the pier. The UrbanLab team conceptualized and designed a master vision that would establish the pier as a global destination and solidify its financial sustainability. A multi-layered design approach celebrates and showcases Chicago’s vitality, incorporating extensive plazascaping, greenscaping, multiple retail experiences, and several world-class entertainment and learning destinations. At the end of the pier, the “Glacier” is a highly visible icon that embraces water in all its states. In the winter, the tower’s system of waterfalls creates flows of ice freezing the tower into a glacier. To help protect fish and aquatic life, the Glacier filters water beneath its structural framework. The form of the Glacier is derived from Mies van der Rohe’s studies for the Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper. Mies was a pivotal innovator of modern skyscrapers in Chicago and beyond.