Soldier Field Renovation Praised for Design, Environmental Efforts
The new Soldier Field has won 13 awards since reopening to the public last year. Praise for the stadium, which was the city’s largest public works project in recent history, includes honors from construction associations and publications, civic organizations and environmental groups.
“The Chicago Park District is excited to be honored for the redesign of the new Soldier Field,” said Timothy J. Mitchell, the general superintendent of the Chicago Park District. “This new ‘Stadium in a Park’ belongs to the people of Chicago and its countless state-of-the-art improvements and new parkland are an exemplary contribution to the Museum Campus and our beautiful lakefront.” In May, Architectural Record magazine featured the new Soldier Field as its cover story. The monthly magazine of The American Institute of Architects has been providing industry news to its members as well as non-member architects and construction professionals across the nation for 110 years.
The design of the new stadium accomplishes a bold mix of the old and the new, the past and the future. While its historic integrity has been beautifully preserved, Soldier Field now boasts some of the most modern, state-of-the-art design and architecture in the country.
Recognizing the historic significance and elegant beauty of the colonnades, Soldier Field architects and the Chicago Park District designed a new stadium that would preserve its classical architecture. In the new design, the colonnades, which were previously closed to the public, are now accessible. Visitors and fans are now able to walk around the entire colonnade level of the stadium and experience unique views of the Chicago skyline, Burnham Harbor and the wide expanse of 17 acres of unique lakefront parkland.
Since reopening to the public in September 2003, the new Soldier Field has been honored with the following awards:
* Overall Project of the Year – Midwest Construction magazine honored the new Soldier Field in its Best of 2003 Awards in January. Midwest
Construction convened a jury of ten prominent construction professionals from around the Midwest to honor building designs that demonstrated the most creative solutions to project challenges. The jury reviewed 27 projects throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin to honor them for excellence in construction and design.
* 2004 Engineering Excellence Honor Award, Special Projects -The Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois in January honored V3 Consultants, Ltd., which worked under the guidance of Lohan Caprile Goettsch Architects and Wood + Zapata in joint venture, the architects, and Peter Lindsay Schaudt Architecture, Inc., the landscape architect. The award recognizes Illinois consulting engineering firms based on excellence in engineering that meet the needs of the client and benefit the public welfare.
* 2004 Build America Award-The Associated General Contractors honored Turner/ Barton Malow/Kenny Construction (TBMK), the construction manager, in March. Considered the construction industry’s Oscars ™, this award symbolizes excellence in construction and ultimately promotes quality, uniqueness and innovation within individual projects. TBMK was honored in the Construction Management Renovation category for its state-of-the-art technology and innovative project management techniques in its construction of Soldier Field.
* Outstanding Project of 2003-2004 -The Association of Subcontractors &
Affiliates (ASA Chicago) honored the Chicago Park District, the construction manager, Turner/ Barton Malow/Kenny Construction, and the Chicago Bears in April. ASA Chicago praised the team for their success in constructing a new state of the art stadium within the space limitations of the existing historic structure in just 20 months. A typical schedule would have allowed for 26 to 28 months. To meet this aggressive goal, more than $1 million in construction work took place each day.
* 2004 Merit Award for New Construction Chi-
cago-The Chicago Building Congress in May honored the Chicago Park District and the Soldier Field project team. The award celebrates the collaborative effort required for the building process. Judging was based on the distinctiveness of design, quality of construction, positive impact on the surrounding community and the project’s safety record.
* 2004 Best Open Space Project Award – The Friends of Downtown, a nonprofit civic group that promotes Chicago’s downtown area, honored the Chicago Park District and the Soldier Field team in May. The award praises the project’s landscape design that transformed acres of paved surfacing into increased parkland along the lakefront.
* 2004 Building Team of the Year, Grand Award –Building Design & Construction Magazine honored the Soldier Field team in its June issue for its successful collaboration on the design and construction of the new Soldier Field.
* 2004 Green Roof Award of Excellence-The Green Roofs for Healthy Cities honored the Chicago Park District on June 3 for the stadium’s new 5.5-acre park atop its underground garage. Soldier Field designers were recognized in the Intensive Industrial/Commercial Category for their use of green-roof technology to create additional green space for the “Stadium in a Park.”
The award notes the parks’ integrated irrigation and drainage system and the maple, ash and linden trees that were planted in the new park.
* 2004 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award, “Best Structure” – The Structural Engineers Association of Illinois honored Thorton-Thomasetti Engineers on June for the creative engineering that carried the inventive design of the stadium from concept to completion within the demanding time frame.
* 2004 Merit Award, Innovative Design and Excellence in Architecture Using Structural Steel (I.D.E.A.S.)
– The American Institute of Steel Construction honored the Soldier Field project team on June 11 for their innovative and creative use of structural steel in designing the stadium.
* 2004 Construction & Design Award – The Engineering Society of Detroit is honored the Chicago Park District, Turner/ Barton Malow/Kenny Construction, the construction manager, Lohan Caprile Goettsch Architects and Wood + Zapata, in joint venture, architects, at the group’s annual meeting on June 29. The award honors projects that demonstrate outstanding team achievement and innovative use of technology.
Upcoming Awards: * 2004 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award – The Illinois Engineering Council is scheduled to honor Thorton-Thomasetti Engineers and the Soldier Field project team on Sept. 11 for the outstanding engineering and creativity that went into the Soldier Field project. The Illinois Engineering Council represents more than 20 engineering societies throughout Illinois.
* 2004 Building with Trees Award of Excellence-The National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of Home Building and Firewise Communities, is scheduled to honor the Soldier Field project’s landscape architects, Peter Lindsay Schaudt Landscape Architecture, Inc., on Oct. 4. The award honors the firm’s commitment to work in concert with nature in its preservation of trees in the project’s landscape design.
Originally constructed in 1924, Soldier Field has been the home of the Chicago Bears for more than 30 years. The City of Chicago completed the renovation of the stadium in September 2003.
The revitalization of the historic Soldier Field was part of the city’s Lakefront Redevelopment Project to renovate the stadium and the surrounding area. Hoffman Management Partners, LLC, served as the developer’s representative.