The Shoppes at Kingsbury Square

The Shoppes


Project: The Shoppes at Kingsbury Square – 15,519 square foot green wall
Location: Chicago, IL
Award Winner: Wolff Landscape Architecture (Landscape Architect)

Green Wall System Supplier: greenscreen®
Architect: Gensler
Owner: CRM Properties
Irrigation Design: Icon Landscape Architecture
Design Architect: Mark Cavagnero Assoc.
Civil Engineering: Eriksson Engineering Assoc.
Installation Contractor: Bentley Construction Corp.
Legal: DLR Piper US LLP

“The entire site is a great example of the result of the collaborative efforts of an integrated multidisciplinary team thinking about green infrastructure. Permeable paving, green roofs, and green walls all contribute to the site’s commitment to the environment. The green wall adds another dimension to the site by taking a large, blank wall and animating it with seasonal interest.” – Craig A. Soncrant, senior landscape architect, Wolff Landscape Architecture

Holistic Design Along The Chicago River

The green facade wall project at the Shoppes of Kingsbury Square along the Chicago River shows green facade walls as successful components in a holistic design approach using best management practices for stormwater. By incorporating green facade wall technology, porous pavements, green roofs and native plants, designers have created an award-winning amenity that includes a commitment to clean water through on-site management. These elements alone play a significant role, but their integrated implementation shows how the regenerative potential of urban design can be achieved. The incorporation of green facade walls increases the hydrologic capacity of the landscape by using the vertical mass of foliated plants to control runoff at the foundation. Water infiltration at root level increases while the immediate environment benefits from the cooling effect of evapotranspiration. With the inclusion of a cost effective vertical landscape element, additional hydraulic engineering requirements are provided with the benefits of a natural system.

The plant palette compounds the benefits of shelter, food source, diversity, pollination and habitat regeneration. The landscape architects proposed green facades as the long-term solution to providing a biological corridor that interfaces with architecture and the landscape.

Their site design goal was to reveal the relationships critical to the functioning of natural systems, both human and natural, in an urban environment and to express visually through nature the connectivity and importance of water management to the survival of both. The result shows that through a system’s design approach, adjacent, existing natural systems, like the Chicago River, can be embraced to achieve the ultimate goals of preservation and public access. What once was an abandoned industrial site and surface parking area has been transformed into an 85,000 sf LEED certified urban renewal driver that has established a new segment of the Chicago River trail.


As a testament to the success of the project, the Friends of the Chicago River awarded the project a first ever Silver Ribbon Award in recognition to those who strive for the ideal in sustainable design for human (public access), water (hydrology) and wildlife (ecology).

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