'the 78' will extend the chicago loop with a vast riverside neighborhood

'the 78' will extend the chicago loop with a vast riverside neighborhood

plans have been unveiled for ‘the 78’ — a major new development dubbed chicago’s ‘next great neighborhood’. masterplanned by SOM, the vast scheme will host contributions from other established architecture firms, notably 3XN, hollwich kushner, and AS+GG.



the project has been dubbed chicago’s ‘next great neighborhood’
video courtesy of related midwest



developed by related midwest, the chicago office of related companies, ‘the 78’ serves as an extension of the chicago loop and seeks to provide year-round activity. SOM’s masterplan includes residential, commercial, institutional, cultural, and recreational programming, including half a mile of developed water-adjacent land that will expand the city’s existing riverwalk. conceived as an extension of the city’s central business district, the new destination will connect to the downtown core via the new wells-wentworth connector and to the entire city via bike-friendly streets and proximity to all major transit lines.

78 chicago discovery partners institute
danish firm 3XN is involved in the project
image by ICON (also main image)



in october, plans were presented for an interdisciplinary public-private research facility that will form part of the development. known as the discovery partners institute (DPI), the venue is the first step in the development of the illinois innovation network (IIN), which will connect businesses, public sector partners and research universities to focus on the study of computing and big data, food and agriculture, and health and wellness.

78 chicago discovery partners institute
the development has been masterplanned by SOM
image by DBOX



‘leveraging related’s extensive experience in international placemaking, the 78 will be a transformative downtown neighborhood designed to respond to the rapidly changing demands of future generations, making it the ideal location for a dynamic institute like DPI,’ explains curt bailey, president of related midwest. the size of the $1.2 billion USD innovation center — which will be operated by the university of illinois — is yet to be determined, with more information on the development set to be announced in the coming months.

78 chicago discovery partners institute
AS+GG (adrian smith + gordon gill architecture) is contributing towards the vast scheme
image by ICON

78 chicago discovery partners institute
new york-based practice hollwich kushner is also involved
image by ICON

78 chicago discovery partners institute
the existing site measures half a mile in length
image by mark segal

  • Seems like an example of over development and just continuation of an urban sprawl mentality. The roof trees aren’t a solution. Also a hot new district for people “work, live, & play” is a such an old and generic selling point. How would this at all help future business leaders.

    Dan says:
  • What a terrible suburban design. People want to hang out in a real urban environment not a nasty suburban type. Sell off into small parcels and let it develop organically into a real urban environment.

    Mike says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,531 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample