Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Located in Grant Park, along the edge of Lake Michigan, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is an open-air venue featuring performances by the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, as well as jazz, blues, and other world music performances.
|How do you make everyone – not just the people in the seats, but the people sitting 400 feet away on the lawn – feel good about coming to this place to listen to music? The answer is, you bring them into it. You make the proscenium larger; you build a trellis with a distributed sound system. You make people feel part of the experience.|
Clad in stainless steel panels, that frame the stage opening and connect to an overhead trellis of curved steel pipes, the Pavilion is a highly sculptural design element intended to act as a focal point for the Millennium Park.
The trellis, in the shape of a flattened dome, is supported by cylindrical concrete pylons clad in stainless steel panels.
The sound system is suspended from the trellis that spans the entire 600 foot length and 300 foot width of the lawn area. This sound system gives the audience a fuller sense of the onstage sound and controls the sound level in the surrounding neighborhood.
Performance sound is reinforced and enhanced by speaker clusters located in front of the Pavilion.
Seating for the audience is provided in two areas. The main seating area accommodates up to 4,000 people in fixed seats and is located immediately adjacent to the Pavilion. Beyond the main seating area, a lawn area accommodates an additional 7,000 people in a more informal environment.
The Pavilion features a series of portable risers that accommodates an orchestra of up to 120 musicians, and a choral terrace that accommodates a choir of up to 150 members. Back stage areas are shared with the adjacent Music and Dance Theater. Large glass doors allow the Pavilion to be used for public functions, banquets, receptions, and lectures, during the winter months.
The decorative lighting system enhances the Pavilion with colored light washes and projections during evening performances.
A pedestrian bridge, spanning Columbus Drive, links the Pavilion to the eastern portion of Grant Park, and the edge of Lake Michigan.
Busway and metro rail track run adjacent to Grant Park pass at the lowest level of the three level underground parking structure below the Pavilion.
Today, with the combination of architecture, monumental sculpture and landscape design, the 24.5 acre Millennium Park has become the crowning achievement for Chicago in the tradition of its original founders.
Anish Kapoor’s huge Cloud Gate sculpture on the AT&T Plaza is immensely popular.
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion was named in memory of Chicago business leader Jay Pritzker who, with his wife Cindy, established the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1979.