• xyz_01Architect: SOM          Images: © James Steinkamp Photography
  • xyz_02Architect: SOM          Images: © James Steinkamp Photography
  • xyz_03Architect: SOM          Images: © James Steinkamp Photography
  • xyz_04Architect: SOM          Images: © James Steinkamp Photography


Gateway XYZ

Gateway XYZ

The Gateway XYZ project suggests a prototype gateway for the new century, served by a new system of personal travel and increased mobility.

A gateway is defined as a threshold, portal, a point of entry or transition. Historically, gateways were discovered by explorers- on foot, by boat, train, car or airplane. Advances in technology suggest that twenty-five, fifty, or perhaps a hundred years from now a gateway will be defined not as a constant physical place but instead as any three-dimensional point in space; a series of x, y and z coordinates. A virtual network of 3-dimensional intersections stratified across space will generate new zoning parameters within cities. Connections across gateways will allow access at multiple elevations.

These technical developments, coupled with material and structural advances will lead to a new paradigm of daily life. Freed from the constraints of ground transportation and elevator systems, a new supertall city will emerge. Vehicles will safely direct passengers between gateway points via high-tech navigation systems based on spatial coordinates. The existing grid and old transportation systems will be re-allocated as green space. The vertical city will redefine ideas about congregation, commerce and public activity. New entry points based on air docks will offer access to lateral spaces for socializing, residences, office space and parks.

As cities evolve and change the boundaries to gateways will adjust and change, creating permeable communities. The gateway of the future will be identified as a point of transfer, allowing for maximum efficiency and occupancy.


Adrian Smith, Design Partner
Gordon Gill, Associate Partner + Senior Designer
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP


Chicago Central Area Committee