320 E North Water Street - A Vertical City in Streeterville

FORM GENERATION DIAGRAMS
VIEW FROM UPPER WACKER DRIVE + BUILDING MECHANICAL AND PROGRAMMATIC SECTIONS
RIVERWALK AT DAWN
LOBBY ATRIUM
STREET LEVEL PLAN
CLOUD ATRIUM + RESIDENTIAL PENTHOUSE FLOOR
AMENITY FLOOR + OFFICE FLOOR
BUILDING SKIN AND MECHANICAL DIAGRAMS
MODEL PHOTOS
MODEL PHOTO
VIEW FROM CHICAGO RIVER MOUTH
RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY ATRIUM + VIEW FROM CHICAGO RIVER

Primary Authors

  • Rakan W. Ayyoub
  • John P. Harmon
  • Brian D. Cruse

Institution

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Professors

  • Lee W. Waldrep (Instructor/Administrator Undergraduate Student Services)
  • Molly G. Helgesen (Admissions and Records Officer)

Dean

  • Peter Mortensen

Assignment

The history of Chicago is deeply entwined with its river and lakefront. Without these prolific bodies of water, the city would simply not exist. Over the years, the metropolis has seen a number of projects along the waterfront that have attempted to capture the essence of the river and Chicago's maritime past. On the southwest corner of Columbus and North Water Street lies one of the last remaining buildable sites along the Chicago River. The project that will occupy this site is therefore tasked with the creation of an architecture that not only celebrates this age old relationship between the city and the water, but also serves the context of the specific site. The program of the proposed high rise will be divided between office space, residential space, and retail which are 50%, 30%, and 20% of the program, respectively. Space must also be allocated for parking underground or in the tower itself. The tower must effectively respond to the environmental conditions on the site, but also must provide solutions to the various social problems that arise due to living in the environment of a high rise. The project must also explore the concept of sustainability and how it can be employed in the development of a skyscraper.

Project Statement

The last undeveloped site along the Chicago River in the downtown area lies at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and North Water Street. The proposed tower for the site will include retail/commercial, parking, condominiums and apartments, and office floors. Civic and retail functions, vital to creating a sense of community, and parking will be located in the podium. The program contains both large volumes as well as many smaller spaces, which need to be ordered and organized into a single comprehensive tower. Many of the programmatic functions will share common support spaces while others must be strictly segregated based on pragmatic necessity. Designers must appropriately respond to the different environmental and climatic features of the site including wind patterns, sun patterns, and rainfall. The routing of public circulation will be critical to the proper functioning of the building. Consequently, research into core layouts, elevator strategies, escalators, as well as public transit is required. In addition to this, designers are tasked with understanding and creating spaces that improve the social problems associated with residing in a high rise. The design must also provide for an adequate fire-resistant and universally accessible building.

Project Description

The project begins by first responding to its immediate surroundings. Thus, it starts by rotating the extrusion of a simple box on site. This move maximizes the surface area of the building in the direction of the lakefront, allowing for optimal views for building occupants. The rotation also minimizes building surface area in the direction of the most prominent winds. Finally, it creates a direct connection between the intersection of North Water Street and Columbus Avenue with the riverfront. The form is then sculpted into an aerodynamic shape resembling a jet wing that allows the most prominent southwestern winds to easily flow around its exterior. This volume is then twisted to open up more desired and unobstructed views at the base towards the riverfront. Terraces are created within the resulting form to provide amenity floors and green space, in addition to breaking up the volume into five distinct neighborhoods. This architectural feature also offers an aesthetic connection with existing buildings in the area such as Trump Tower and Aqua Tower. The project moves to respond to the riverfront by wrapping the volume in a skin resembling a sail preparing to cast off into the river and lake beyond. On the southwest fa├žade of the high rise, the double skin is angled to directly funnel wind inside of it, providing fresh air to residents and employees as well as powering energy generating turbines on all the mechanical floors.

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FORM GENERATION DIAGRAMS