2017 Chicago Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Key Dates

1 April 2017 - Launch Event
6 June 2017 - Standard Deadline
29 October 2017 - Final Deadline
30 October 2017 - Judging
6 November 2017 - Rating Closes
7 November 2017 - Winners Announced

Washington Wabash Loop Elevated Station [DRAFT]




Project Overview

After more than two years of traffic snarling construction at the intersections of Wabash Avenue and Madison and Washington streets, the CTA's new Loop 'superstation' is just about ready to open.

Project Commissioner

Chicago Transit Authority

Project Creator

EXP Engineering


Chicago Transit Authority
EXP Engineering

Project Brief

The Washington & Wabash station is poised to replace both the somewhat dilapidated Madison & Wabash station, axed back in 2015, and the still-operating Randolph & Wabash station. The CTA has been building the new, $75 million station since the spring of 2015, and the completed project will be known for its a visually-interesting "undulating wave" canopy, which is supposed to be a nod toward the historic Jeweller's Row, a collection of diamond and jewellery stores on Wabash Avenue.

Project Innovation/Need

This project is the latest in a series of transit station rehabilitations that are part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's commitment to improving public transportation in Chicago. The Washington/ Wabash station will become a gateway for Millennium Park and many of Chicago's downtown attractions as it continues its long history of service to the city and its visitors. Once opened, the new station will be a become a major hub along the CTA’s rail system. The transit agency estimates that the Washington-Wabash station will see roughly 13,000 riders per day, making it one of the busiest stations in the system.

Design Challenge

The undulating wave form of the canopies weaves through the historic Wabash Avenue canyon as a counterpoint to the city grid, and anticipates the soft forms of the park and lake beyond.


According to city officials, the construction project has been financed entirely with federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds and will feature recycled materials, new LED lighting, and will also meet ADA (disability access) compliance.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
More Details