Located in 235 Van Buren, Chicago, United States was designed by Perkins+Will. Its architecture is divided into two masses as a response to two site conditions; the first condition, to the north, is the densely infilled context of the Chicago “Loop.” The second condition, to the south, is an open space created by a freeway and major traffic interchange which contains a small park. The articulation of the masses is distinctly different to respond to these conditions. The southern glass façade and random balconies provide a backdrop to the open space created by the traffic interchange. A ribbon of concrete frames this wall, undulating to define penthouse units and providing a large-scale gesture to the expressway and the city. The random balconies express the individuality of the units, provide a kinetic image from the freeway and help shade the south facing glass.
To make them more affordable, most of the 714 units are designed with borrowed-light bedrooms behind living spaces with ten-foot ceilings to form a loft-like living arrangement.