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  • December 8th, 2015
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As Seen in Skyrise Cities

When we last checked in with Chicago’s 150 North Riverside, cladding installation had just begun. Photos captured by City Ambassador harryc in November showed a newly secured strip of glass on the tower’s east face.
As the 53-storey building continues to climb, harryc returned to the site, but ventured inside this time for an exclusive look at the future office spaces.

Developed by Riverside Investment & Development Company, the site is bounded by Lake Street, Randolph Street, and the Chicago River. The unique structural design by Goettsch Partners only occupies a quarter of the site, with dedicated public park space on the majority of the remaining land as mandated by the City of Chicago.

The project is being constructed atop active rail routes serving Metra and Amtrak. As it rises, the building expands outward from the narrow concrete core, creating cantilevered sections on the west and east sides of the structure. The structural steel transfers the perimeter loads into the concrete core. Rock caissons drilled into the ground are belled out into the limestone over 100 feet down, providing additional support for the tower above.

The building’s lower level will house amenity spaces, including a restaurant and conference rooms. A 1.5-acre riverfront promenade will sit at ground level opposite a bar, dining venue, and parking garage. Additional green space is planned for the second floor and a fitness centre will occupy the fifth floor. A green roof will also grace the top of the skyscraper.

In total, the building will host 1.2 million square feet of office space. Making the journey up the building with Joachim Schuessler from Goettsch Partners, we get to see what the freshly-installed curtain wall glass looks like from the other side. Though the exterior appears highly reflective, its transparency from the interior maximizes floor-to-ceiling views.

Traversing the lower levels of the building, we get a closer look at the bevelled steel which stretches outwards across four floors. The expanding aerial floor plate allows for a small footprint on the ground.

Up on the 18th floor, the unique positioning of 150 North Riverside, which offers views down the three corridors of the Chicago River, comes into focus. Southern views offer a clear lookout down the river as the Willis Tower stands tall in the background.

In the panorama below, we see the massive Merchandise Mart, which was the largest building in the world upon completion in 1930. Beyond that, the 100 storeys of the John Hancock Center make an imposing mark on the skyline.

Ceiling heights of 9.5 feet are standard within the building, rising even higher to 12 feet on selected floors. The project is seeking LEED Gold certification.

Back on the ground, we get another look at the undulating fins affixed to the glazing that will give the building a wavy texture reminiscent of the neighbouring river. At the time of the tour, steel was progressing on the 27th floor, indicating that about half of the structure is yet to come. Targeting a completion date of November 2016, the ambitious project will add state-of-the-art offices and public space to Chicago’s bustling downtown core.

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