Summer Vault

Summer Vault

Firm: Paul or Paul

Location: Chicago

Client: Chicago Park District

General Contractor: K & K Ironworks

Summer Vault is a lakefront kiosk that accommodates a variety of cultural activities. It consists of some basic geometric shapes—a 12-foot diameter barrel vault, a parallelogram, some triangles—combined to create a curious, freestanding hangout within the park.

The interior of the skewed vault is divided into two triangular spaces—one enclosed by expanded metal screens and doors, and one open to the air but still within the vaulting. This two part plan allows for commerce and community to occur simultaneously. It also reflects the kiosk’s Persian origins as a 13th century garden pavilion, while embracing its contemporary use as a seasonal commercial front and festive park retreat. Its openness allows year round use, remaining active even during its retail slumber and offering a public summer home through the Chicago winter.

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