Honor Award Winner

Project Name:  Lakefront Gateway Plaza Design
Location:  Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Design Team:  GRAEF

Envisioned as a future crown-jewel on Milwaukee’s Lakefront, the Lakefront Gateway Plaza will be located near the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan and become the central public space that connects adjacent civic activities such as The Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World Museum at Pier Wisconsin, Summerfest, Lakefront State Park, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the highly anticipated Couture Residential Tower. The plaza itself will be an 80,000 square foot urban park including a bridge over Lincoln Memorial Drive that will for the first time allow pedestrians and bicyclists within downtown Milwaukee to directly access the lakefront in an accessible and concise manner and without traversing stairs. Additionally, a sustainable water feature will be the crown jewel of the plaza that will be sustainable, interactive and help to celebrate Milwaukee as the “Freshwater Capital of the World”. The major design themes include: 

CONNECT: Not only does the design connect the City’s urban center with lakefront activities, it goes a step further and reconnects the plaza visitors with Milwaukee’s rich history. The sweeping bridge design is reflective of the formative glacial geology and the flowing waters reference rivers and the City’s historic relationship to water. 

ACTIVATE: The plaza is design to be an active, fun, and compelling urban space. The design features year-round activities including an interactive water/misting feature, ice skating, equipment rental, outdoor movies, café and outdoor beer garden. 

CELEBRATE: The entire design celebrates Milwaukee! It celebrates water, the historic lifeblood of the City and the fact that Milwaukee is currently known as “Freshwater Capital of the World;” it celebrates Milwaukee’s history as a safe harbor with the cradled urban space protected from winter winds.