River Frames Activation Day at Southbank Park

Join us to experience the River Frames at Southbank Park!

Take the kids, when kids learn about architecture, BIG ideas are built. Visit archKIDecture at “River Frames” and the kids can build something.

The Available City invites us to examine the cultural and financial value of vacant — or “available” — land in Chicago. PORT’s installation for the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial, in collaboration with Lendlease and located on the south branch of the Chicago River in Lendlease’s Southbank Park, reveals the site’s history of intensive use and vacancy over the last 150 years.

The “River Frames” installation reveals the historical layers of “availability” on the Southbank site. A gravel walkway traces the footprint of the Chicago Great Western Freight warehouse, leading visitors to the radial cluster of River Frames.

The simple steel frames and enclosure reflect the spartan warehouse structure that occupied Southbank Park for nearly a century, while the domestic peaked roof, radial layout and central collective space promote the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial’s mission to examine “availability” and generate new collective spaces throughout all Chicago neighborhoods.

archKIDecture, ( the architecture education for children project, will join us at the River Frames installation site to offer some hands-on building fun for children and adults too. Create your own structure.

ROOF CROP ( will host a POP-UP shop at the event with flowers, honey and other offerings from rooftop farms atop Lendlease properties, including the Cooper at Southbank. 

Color your own version of the urban roof garden on the Southbank towers coloring pages. 

Local food vendor, Mario’s Tacos, will have food available on site.

Stroll the riverfront walkway along Southbank, take some time to reflect on your perspective of “available” land, take in the views and strike up a conversation with someone new.

Installation view, River Frames, PORT, Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2021. Photo by Nathan Keay.