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  • December 22nd, 2015
  • News

As Seen in Curbed Chicago

Construction is moving along at 150 North Riverside with the 54-story office tower now shooting skyward as iron workers have hit their stride on framing the office floors.

Meanwhile, at the lower end of the tower, cladding is underway on the complex floors imbedded into the structural load transfer where the tower form narrows to its concrete core. The unique form is derived from the constraints of a site wedged between the river bank and active railroad tracks feeding the north concourse of Union Station. The project, being developed by John O’Donnell’s Riverside Development Company, had a number of design concepts looked at before settling on the solution proposed by Goettsch Partners architect Joachim Schuessler, where only the core of the building and a pair of very large steel columns at either end of the structure touch the ground and tie into the surgically drilled caisson foundation descending into the bedrock, located more than 100 feet below the street.

Only one-third of the site is in fact owned by Riverside Development at ground level, and this is where the tower footprint is located. The western two-thirds of the site meanwhile is being constructed entirely on air-rights above the railroad tracks controlled by Amtrak and Metra, where the concrete deck was laid earlier this year and will support a one level parking garage topped with a publicly accessible green roof. The deck is supported by concrete walls standing on mini-piles, small pipe-like cylinders reaching into the ground forming a narrow foundation slipped between the railroads tracks.

The lobby will then front onto the green space to the west of the tower’s core, while the east side will largely be devoted to a new stretch of riverwalk connecting Lake Street to Randolph Street at the bridge level. Just below the riverwalk will be commercial space, which is now being built-out for what is expected to be a white tablecloth restaurant. The office floors not only extend east and west of the core to create the tuning-fork like shape of the tower, but also cantilever 15 feet on the north and south ends as well, which should make for some dramatic conference room views.

As the exterior facade climbs up the tower, it will soon cover up the entire display of structural acrobatics on all sides of the building. However, as these interior photos show, the lower floors which will include a fitness center within the diagonal truss, will still provide a glimpse as to how the next tallest building west of the river was put together.

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