The site for 150 North Riverside is a sliver of land that sat vacant for decades. Wedged between the Chicago River to the east, active Amtrak rail 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 developer saw an opportunity to purchase the parcel and structure a unique acquisition of two adjacent parcels of largely air rights above the rail lines. This combined three-parcel site set the framework for the design team to create 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 wide 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 water views.
Designed for LEED Gold certification, the project addresses several sustainable initiatives as it connects and revitalizes a critical downtown parcel, adding a distinct office tower and active new urban spaces for the city.