AbstractNorthwestern University sits on prime Lake Michigan real estate in Evanston, Illinois, north of Chicago . Needing to make the most of their landlocked urban campus, the university planned to build a new athletics center on coastal land extending onto a sandy beach. Because the design process occurred after a number of years of low water, architects designed the state-of-the-art building extremely close to the lake's ordinary high water mark without understanding the historic dynamics of the lake. With the architectural design already completed, SmithGroupJJR's coastal engineers were asked to perform a rigorous review of the site and potential wave conditions. They determined that the building would be subject to large wave forces and foundation erosion if left unprotected, and designed a reflecting wave wall integrated into and wrapped around the lakeside of the building.
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