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  • June 23rd, 2016
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As Seen in Loop North News

23-Jun-16 – One building is not even open yet, the other has been open for less than a month, but the state’s structural engineers wasted no time honoring two Loop buildings for engineering excellence.

Structural Engineers Association of Illinois has declared LondonHouse Chicago, the 452-room hotel built from the 93-year-old London Guarantee Building on East Wacker Drive, Best Renovation/Retrofit Project.

The judges called it a “creative use of a hybrid lateral system to support a 22-story building on a small footprint in between a landmark building and Mather Tower.”

The hotel is located on floors 3-22 of the former London Guarantee Building and all 22 floors of the Modernist glass tower next to it. Designed by Goettsch Partners, it was built in space that was once a parking lot between London Guarantee Building and Mather Tower.

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TGRWA, LLC, was the structural engineering firm behind the renovation that started in 2014.
(Left) More recently, a “LondonHouse” sign has been installed at the top of the hotel.

LondonHouse officially opened on June 1, less than two months after it was sold to a German company for $315 million.

Oxford Capital Group, LLC, based in Chicago, announced on April 17 it had sold LondonHouse to Union Investment Real Estate but will continue managing the hotel. Oxford and its investment partner, Angelo, Gordon & Company of New York, will still own 28,000 square feet of retail space on the first two floors of the older building.

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(Above) 150 North Riverside from Franklin Street Bridge last December.

150 North Riverside ‘Most Innovative’

Winning Jurors’ Favorite/Most Innovative was 150 North Riverside. The judges called it a “bold design on narrow foundation.”

Its structural engineering firm is Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

The 54-story office tower is being constructed on the west bank of the Chicago River, just south of Lake Street, and will open early next year.

It is at least 80 percent leased. One of the latest deals was announced in April. Four Corners Tavern Group and restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff said they have leased 9,000 square feet at 150 North Riverside and will open their third restaurant together there.

The infrastructure of the new Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier, engineered by Thornton Tomasetti, won an “award of merit.”

Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards is an annual design competition. The awards dinner was held June 11 on the 99th floor of Willis Tower. The five judges represented academia, architecture, government, structural engineering, and media.

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