The sliver of land today known as 150 North Riverside sat vacant for decades. Wedged between the Chicago River to the east, active Amtrak lines to the west, and street viaducts to the north and south, the lot is only 85 feet across at its widest point. Despite such constrictive features, the client-developer was able to creatively acquire two adjacent parcels of largely air rights above the rail lines, and the design team created a 54-story office tower directly on the riverfront, in conjunction with a surrounding public park and riverwalk.
Utilizing a core-supported structure, the design features a small building footprint that opens the ground plane and allows for a dramatic, light-filled lobby while supporting efficient, column-free office floors above. Taking cues from the river, vertical mullions undulate along the building’s wider east and west facades to help activate the exterior with an ever-changing pattern of light and shadow. The narrow north and south faces are divided into three vertical planes that accentuate the slenderness of the tower, with the center plane recessed to create additional corner offices. The largely open nature of the base offers the majority of the two-acre site—more than 75%—as a landscaped public park with pedestrian pathways overlooking the river. Building amenity spaces include a restaurant, bar, fitness center and conference center—all with river views.
Designed for LEED Gold, the project repairs a critical downtown parcel, revitalizing it with a distinct office tower and active new urban spaces for the city.