120 North LaSalle / Chicago, Illinois/ 1988‑1991
Size: 576,900 sq ft / 53,600 sq m
Height: 40 floors; 501 ft / 153 m
Status: Completed 1991
Recognition: AIA Chicago Chapter Award; Development of the Year ‑ Chicago Sun Times Estate; New Chicago Architecture; Structural Engineering Association of Illinois; IIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Built Environment; AIA Chicago Architecture Award
The form and spatial strategy of this iconic tower were generated by its narrow site on La Salle Street, one of the city’s most densely defined urban corridors. A curved bay extends over the sidewalk, reinforcing the transition to the narrower part of the La Salle Street canyon that occurs one block south of the building. At the ground level, a loggia with a large mosaic mural by Roger Brown depicting Icarus and Daedalus brings the public realm into the site. A projecting trellis extends through Court Place to the entrances at La Salle and Wells Streets, enhancing the pedestrian experience of this well-traveled mid-block link to City Hall. A separate entrance from the loggia connects to the pedway below and parking facilities above.
The mid-block site forced a rethinking of the approach to the design of an office structure. The inherent asymmetry of the site led to a structure that is asymmetrical in plan and elevation. All fixed elements are contained in a compact side-core with adjacent unobstructed office space of maximum flexibility. The elegant asymmetry and vibrant entrance loggia of 120 North La Salle bring a rich addition to Chicago’s historic La Salle Street corridor.