A group of people looking at a large screen.
Navy Pier, Chicago

Restoring a popular Chicago landmark

Chicago’s Navy Pier partnered with Gensler to design a master vision for the century-old waterfront complex, starting with the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion.


Long viewed by some locals as a tired tourist trap, Navy Pier wanted to become a year-round destination for Chicagoans, living up to its moniker as the “People’s Pier” and ensuring future financial stability.


Navy Pier is a source of pride and common ground for the city’s diverse residents, its genesis firmly rooted in Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan. Through a continuation of the Centennial Vision, the Family Pavilion uncovered the “Chicagoness” of the Pier, using design and technology to provide a seamless, entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.


At the entrance, visitors are greeted by a larger-than-life digital concierge, providing information on wayfinding and events. An aquatic-themed gaming experience keeps kids entertained while adults explore more than 50 uniquely Chicago retailers and food vendors.

People standing in a room with large screens.

Services Provided

  • Architectural Design
  • Brand Design
  • Digital Strategy
  • Interior Design
  • Signage & Wayfinding
  • User Experience Design


“The much-maligned pier has taken essential first steps toward becoming a public space that is treasured as well as popular, authentic rather than generic.”

– Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune

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