Washington/Wabash by Exp Global: 2016 Best of Year Winner for On the Boards: Mixed
Jeweler’s Row is about to get a new gem. This spring, the Chicago Transit Authority will unveil a replacement station serving riders who previously used two century-old elevated stops. Reminiscent of diamonds, faceted glass panels will cast patterns of light and shadow. Symbolic of movement, meanwhile, are the pair of skeletal steel canopies that ripple above the terra-cotta facades of the neighborhood’s historic storefronts. “The structure is certainly muscular, like the old stations, but much softer, more transparent and fluid, in contrast to the rigid geometry of the city,” vice president and principal design architect Thomas Hoepf says.
Don’t dismiss his $75 million sparkler as mere eye candy, however. Infrastructure upgrades such as wider platforms will help accommodate an estimated 4 million riders annually. And since the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program provided all the funding for the project, its eco credentials are appropriately impressive. New structural steel includes recycled content, paint and adhesives are low-VOC, and light fixtures are nothing but LED as far as the eye can see. The canopies’ contours also deliver an unintended bonus: They discourage pigeons from roosting.
Project Team: Jef Jakalski; Mindy Viamontes; Kristen Armstrong; Charles Braucher; Casey Johnson; John Stryker; Alzira Maldonado Protsishin; Tom Denney; Samantha Serpico; Junill Wui; Horeya Czaplewski; Omar Ortega; Joe Murphy; Shankar Nair; Steve Citko; Nate Gonner; Daniel Lally; Steven Offringa; Aram Ebben; Siva Haran.