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2018 MCHAP

150 North Riverside

James Goettsch, Joachim Schuessler

Chicago, IL, USA

January 2017


James Goettsch, FAIA/Goettsch Partners Joachim Schuessler/Goettsch Partners


Ron Klemencic/Magnusson Klemencic Associates (Structural Engineer) Bud Spiewak/Cosentini Associates (MEP Engineer) Ted Wolff/Wolff Landscape Architecture (Landscape Architect)


Riverside Investment & Development, Anthony Scacco


Tom Rossiter Nick Ulivieri Lester Ali James Florio Riverside Investment & Development


The developer sought to provide a premier office tower, similar to others nearby, that would compete for the market’s top tenants. The building would need to be efficient and flexible, with column-free floor plates; integrate state-of-the-art building systems and technology; and offer the latest tenant amenities, including on-site fitness and conference centers, as well as an upscale restaurant and other food and beverage outlets. The building would also require a distinctive architectural character—one befitting the quality level of the top tenants it wanted to attract—while also taking advantage of the riverfront site’s prominence and unique attributes.


The 150 North Riverside site is located prominently at the confluence of the three branches of the Chicago River and less than one block away from one of Chicago's busiest commuter train stations. With exposed railroad tracks on the west side of the site and the city requirement for a riverwalk on the east side, the remaining area on which to build was considered impossibly narrow, and the site sat vacant for decades. As Chicago’s business core continued to shift closer to the commuter train stations to the west and new towers were built on most of the viable office sites over time, the developer saw an opportunity to reconsider the approach to this prime parcel.


Utilizing a unique core-supported structure with a minimal footprint at grade, the design resolves the site challenges and provides a 54-story Class A office tower with efficient, 45-foot-deep column-free floor plates. Tenants and visitors enter through a dramatic, 90-foot-high, light-filled lobby enclosed by a glass-fin wall hung from the structure above. The lobby features a 150-foot-long curated multimedia wall that showcases the work of digital artists across 89 LED blades. The site-specific installation provides a focal point for the space while also addressing the transition between the opaque wall over the parking deck and the start of the glass-fin wall. Occupying just a fraction of its two-acre site, the tower is located at the northeast corner, keeping its distance from the adjacent condo building and positioning itself directly on the river’s edge. The building’s core-supported design results in the 752-foot tower resting atop a base that is merely 39 feet wide, creating an aspect ratio of nearly 20:1—one of the thinnest structures for a high-rise building ever. This narrow building footprint allows for more than 75% of the site to become a landscaped public park, plaza and riverwalk that, together, help repair the urban fabric and provide an enhanced pedestrian experience. Additional building amenity spaces include a restaurant, bar, fitness center and conference center—all with water views. Certified LEED Gold, the project addresses many sustainable initiatives as it connects and revitalizes a critical downtown parcel, adding a distinctive office tower and active new urban spaces for the city.

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