111 South Wacker Building
by: chicago designslinger
[111 South Wacker Building (2005) James Goettsch, Lohan Caprile Goettsch, architects /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
Architects Lohan Caprile & Goettsch's sleek high-rise filling the corner at Wacker and Monroe Street in downtown Chicago will someday be as identifiable as early 21st century as the building it replaced was considered iconic mid-20th century. Once the site of Perkins & Will's 1963 U.S. Gypsum Building, renowned for its notched corners and 45 degree angle, the building was the first modern skyscraper to be demolished in the city of Chicago. Abandoned and asbestos filled, the structure was torn down in the early 90s and the corner lot sat vacant until the new tower rose in its place in 2005.
[111 South Wacker Building, 111 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
Led by architect Jim Goettsch, the new 53-story building was designed to utilize the foundations of the old 18-story structure, and in an ingenious move Goettsch and his team incorporated a multi-level above ground parking garage into the lobby design. The garage ramp courses through the main entry level highlighted by a very dramatic ring of recessed lighting wrapped in stainless steel.
[111 South Wacker Building, Chicago /Images & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
And if you look closely behind the glass curtain wall as the building sweeps down to street level, you'll notice a V sitting on top of a ground floor post. That's where the architects and engineers solved the problem of carrying the weight of the new super-structure down and into the existing foundations below on 8 slender, stainless steel wrapped columns. An elegant marriage of engineering ingenuity and great design.