The 62 floor eco tower of residential condominium building, 340 on the Park was designed by architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz in Chicago, United States. The Chicago’s first Silver LEED, 340 on the Park stands out as a major achievement in energy and environmentally conscious design due of its size, height and use. At the time of its design inception, spring of 2003, there were no other buildings like it to review as models. The developer, Related Midwest, the architect, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, and the contractor, Bovis Lend Lease, were nonetheless committed to creating a building that would reach a LEED certified rating and maintain a modern, transparent design.
The building design required a collaborative effort to achieve all of its goals. The aesthetic components of the building sought to maximize the views and to interrelate with the surrounding area. The different facades each relate to the view they are facing, ensuring optimal views to the surrounding Grant Park, Lake Michigan and Chicago skyline. The striking prow point sidesteps existing views of nearby structures and creates 360º views around the site for the residents of 340 on the Park.
The individual residential units have been designed to maximize natural daylight and views of the surrounding area. Residents may also enjoy a breathtaking view from the winter garden located on the 25th floor. This fully–accessible amenities level utilizes an entire floor and includes a 2-story landscaped interior winter garden with a common outdoor terrace and two gas grills. The floor also includes Wi-Fi access, a fitness room in the sky, 25-yard lap-pool, whirlpool, locker rooms, sauna and lounge with television. A functional clubroom, for informal gathering, can also be reserved for entertaining and includes a warming pantry for caterers.
A productive and healthy indoor environment is also provided for residents. The ventilation system and unit design and construction minimize transfer of odor from one unit to another. Throughout construction, many measures were taken to ensure better air quality in the completed building. The ventilation system, duct materials, air handling units and fan coil systems were all rigorously protected from dust to prevent dust inside the completed building. The project site was kept clean throughout the process so there was no standing water and the trash was disposed of regularly in all areas of the construction site. Upon completion, the air filters were all replaced.
The entire building design features innovative approaches to an energy efficient design; however, this was not an easy feat for the project team. Because the building is a residential condominium tower, certain standard approaches to energy conscious design did not turn out to be viable options – solar energy, wind driven turbines, and other resources typically considered standard in LEED design. The result is a building that looks effortless and elegant and stands as a model for the next generation of energy and environmentally conscious buildings.