Chicago Prize 2005: Water Tanks Competition

This competition challenges entrants to salvage a part of Chicago’s urban fabric, the industrial water tank, through creative reuse and preservation. The majority of the water tanks in Chicago were erected as gravity tanks for fire-suppressant systems, some of which are still in use. However, with changing technologies many tanks have become redundant and are now disused. The ongoing survival of these tanks has a direct cost/benefit relationship to their utility to the property owner versus their financial and liability risks. This competition is an open inquiry into the question of how to balance public good and private property rights to preserve, reuse and promote Historic Water Tanks within the City of Chicago.

The competition is open to all artists, architects, designers, engineers and students, and the jury is comprised of Thom Mayne, Lois Weisberg, Sadhu Johnston, Denise Casalino, Rick Valicenti, Joseph Burns, Martha Thorne, Cynthia Weese, Lynne Warren, Brian Vitale, and Robert Benson. The award amounts are as follows: first prize $3500, second prize $1500, and third prize $500.

The question and answer period for the competition closes on July 25, 2005. Entries are due October 10, 2005, and the exhibition opening is scheduled for October 26, 2005.

The competition is sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Club, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Environment, and Department of Planning and Development.

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