Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Designs a Cutting-Edge Mixed-Use Space in Chicago
Offering amenities galore, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s 800 Fulton Market in Chicago is gaining traction with pandemic-weary companies, including John Deere, that are returning to the office. Originally conceived as a point of differentiation in a competitive market, the 500,000-square-foot tower’s laser-sharp focus on health and wellness took on even more relevance when it became one of the first new mixed-use buildings to open in the Windy City amidst the pandemic.
In addition to offering a fitness center, bike storage, and cutting-edge technologies that monitor air quality and occupancy, the 19-story brick, glass, and steel structure boasts large, light-filled spaces with tall exposed concrete ceilings, operable windows, and access to landscaped terraces. “There’s a stronger connection to nature, and the air quality is great,” SOM consulting partner Brian Lee says.
In deference to the neighborhood’s low-key character, the building’s upper floors gradually step back from a brick-clad three-story base, creating tiered elevations not visible from the sidewalk. There’s nothing modest, however, about the series of exposed structural steel X-bracing crisscrossing a soaring bank of windows on the south-facing elevation. Designed to expand and contract with changes in temperature, “It’s a beautiful piece of engineering,” Lee says.
The firm’s engineers proved equally invaluable in realizing the steel-supported mezzanine that cantilevers over the three-story lobby. A spot to mingle, it also fosters a sense of intimacy in the lounge below it, where tailored furnishings are grouped in various configurations atop a graphic white marble inlay in the dark terrazzo flooring, all bordered by greenery-filled steel planters. “It’s like an urban living room,” SOM senior associate principal Julie Michiels says. “Collaboration has always been our secret sauce and these elements are a testament to that.”
The UAE’s Permanent Mission to the UN Flagship by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Takes Home a Best of Year Award
In 2014, SOM won a competition to design a new flagship home for the UAE’s Permanent Mission to the UN. The brief called for an aspirational design requiring architectural diplomacy: elegance without ostentation and an…
Valerio Dewalt Train Marries the Industrial With the Natural for a Bike Park and Educational Center in Chicago
2021 Best of Year Award Winner for Environmental Impact. Valerio Dewalt Train overhauled marshes in Chicago to create Big Marsh, a new bike park that covers almost 300 acres with walking and cycling trails plus a 9,300-s…
Phillip K. Smith’s Site-Specific Sculpture Mirrors Life
With the help of SOM, the site-specific sculpture, Santa Monica Linear, in Los Angeles by Phillip K. Smith III quite literally mirrors life.
This Design Duo’s Home/Office in New Delhi Exudes Warmth
The founders of DeMuro Das imbue their New Delhi home and office with a cross cultural aesthetic that reflects a traditional meets modern vibe.
Bold Hues Set the Stage for This Bakery by Day, Club by Night
Bold colors play within Pastry Club Woda, a modern-day concept in a historic building that offers visitors a pastry shop by day and club by night.
6 Must-See Urban Dwellings Around the Globe
These carefully considered urban dwellings prove great design happens at every scale. See this collection of city homes from New York to Dublin.