Chicago Riverwalk Phase 3 (work completed at Sasaki*)

*Work completed at Sasaki. Chris Merritt was a member of the concept design through construction implementation team while employed as a project Landscape Architect and Associate at Sasaki.

Project Description:

The Chicago Riverwalk is a linear public space that reclaims the neglected river's edge for the city. The project connects the city along six blocks with improved access to the river and an expanded public open space along the river front. The complex infrastructural challenges on the project were solved allowing for renewed ecological environments, unique recreation amenities, and economic development benefits incorporated in the final design. The project accounts for fluctuating river elevations of nearly seven feet. The Riverwalk is located in the heart of a city renowned for its architecture, and provides a unique perspective to explore the city. Each block of the Riverwalk provides varied circulation, gathering, and programmatic experiences while design continuity is maintained through material selection and a promenade at the river's edge. At its core, this transformative project is about increased public space access and opportunity, and has become a national model for reclaiming underutilized waterfronts.

Photo credit: Christian Philips

Location: Chicago, IL

Date: 2016

Team: City of Chicago, Chicago Department of Transportation, Sasaki Associates, Ross Barney Architects, Benesch


World Landscape Architecture, Award of Excellence for Built Design, Phases Two and Three

American Society of Landscape Architecture Illinois Chapter, Presidential Award, Phases Two and Three

Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence Finalist