Chicago Millennium Park //Chicago (Illinois), US

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Planned as a recreational area and built on the plot of a former marshalling yard adjacent to Grant Park, Chicago Millennium Park was opened in 2004. Millennium Park is an award-winning centre for the arts, music, architecture and landscape design. Its construction was jointly funded by the city and private investors, the latter paying for the planning, construction and operations of several attractions inside the park, which now bear their names. The master plan for the park was drafted by Skidmore, Owing & Merrill architects. For special features, the sponsors commissioned star architects like Frank Gehry and Thomas Beeby.
Admission to the park is free and it’s highly popular among families with children. In winter, an ice-skating rink is open free of charge at the McCormick Tribune Plaza. The Pritzker Pavilion – a shell-shaped concert hall developed by Frank Gehry and named after its sponsor, Jay Pritzker, whose family owns the Hyatt hotel chain – offers seating capacities for up to 4,000 people plus 7,000 on the lawn. It’s a venue for all kinds of concerts ranging from classical music to rock, for the performing arts as much as for festivals. Cloud Gate in AT&T Plaza is a remarkable steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor. Dubbed “the bean” for its shape, it consists of 168 invisibly welded stainless steel sheets with a mirror-polished surface. The sculpture is very popular as a backdrop for photos. Other highlights include the BP Pedestrian Bridge by Frank Gehry, the Lester Crown Fountain – an interactive water feature and video sculpture by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa – the Harris Theater and the Boeing Galleries, a pair of outdoor exhibition spaces. The park is perceived by the public as an extraordinary piece of well-designed, interactive public space with some new iconic features.