300 North | LaSalle Pickard Chilton | Chicago, Illinois
“The test of a great building is in the marketplace. The Marketplace recognizes the value of quality architecture and endorses it in the sales price it is able to achieve.” — Jon Pickard, Principal, Pickard Chilton
By Beth Broome
Building high in the Windy City is not a charge to be taken lightly. New Haven–based Pickard Chilton has risen to the challenge with this 1.3 million-square-foot, 60-story tower on the north bank of the Chicago River that emphatically states its presence.
In devising the scheme, the architects worked closely with Chicago developer Hines and anticipated anchor tenant, the international law firm of Kirkland & Ellis (K&E), which previously occupied Edward Durell Stone and Perkins and Will’s Aon Center. With a new home for K&E, the team hoped to create a visible identity as well as a high-performance transparent building that connected with the waterfront, attracted talent, and enabled K&E to use less square footage more efficiently while maximizing perimeter offices.
“The design of 300 North LaSalle was instrumental in securing the anchor tenant K&E,” says Hines vice president Jim Walsh. “The building needed to create an image of quality. Pickard Chilton’s selection of materials, from the curtain wall’s stainless steel to material choices in the lobby and the public plazas, as well as their detail in the overall design, achieved that goal.” This and flexible, efficient floor plans were also instrumental in attracting tenants for the 25,000-square-foot rentable floor plates. “In many cases,” points out Walsh, “these tenants will be paying more per square foot but taking less square footage.”
To maximize daylighting and views, the team raised the ceilings to about 10 feet and employed floor-to-ceiling low-E glass (with stainless steel shade fins). And to achieve LEED Gold CS certification and an Energy Star rating, they diverted 98 percent of demolition and construction waste and specified a green roof and condenser water supplied by the river, among other things.
“The building opened 90 percent leased in a tough leasing market and quickly leased to over 96 percent,” says Walsh. As a further testament to the building’s success, Hines sold it in 2010 for a record $655 million — at $503 per square foot, the highest price ever paid for a downtown Chicago office building, claim the architects. “You can achieve your business objectives by simply doing a box,” says Pickard Chilton principal Jon Pickard. “However, 300 North LaSalle transcends that. It contributes to the city at many levels — it has a dignity that goes beyond a bottom-line commercial focus and a refinement that is consistent with the history of Chicago.”
Architect: Pickard Chilton
980 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510
203.786.8600 T / 203.786.8610 F
Completion Date: May 2009
Total construction cost: $480 million
Gross square footage: 1.3 million sq.ft.
Owner: KBS Real Estate Investment Trust, Newport Beach, California
Developer: Hines, Chicago, Illinois
980 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510
203.786.8600 T / 203.786.8610 F
Personnel in architect’s firm who should receive special credit:
Jon Pickard FAIA, RIBA; William D Chilton FAIA, RIBA; Anthony Markese AIA, RIBA, LEED AP
Benjamin Simmons, David Brown, Charisse Bennett, Christopher Lee, Deborah Lukan AIA, Jonathan Stitelman, William Traill, Maxwell Worrell
Architect of Record:
Kendall/Heaton Associates Inc.
3050 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 1000
Houston TX 77056
Structural Engineer :
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, WA 98101-2699
1102 Douglas on the Mall
Omaha, NE 68102
600 W Fulton St # 7
Chicago, IL 60661-1259
Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc.
307 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 601
Chicago, IL 60601
Quentin Thomas Associates, Inc.
Two Hillcrest Avenue
Douglaston, NY 11363
Cerami & Associates
404 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
834 Inman Village Parkway NE, Suite 230
Atlanta, GA 30307
5177 Richmond Avenue, Suite 640
Houston, TX 77056
908 Town and Country Blvd., Suite 120
Houston, TX 77024
Hollingsworth Architects LLC
740 South Federal Street, Suite 1209
Chicago, IL 60605
Curtain Wall Consultant:
8070 Park Lane, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75231
Clark Construction Group LLC
3400 Patterson Street NW
Washington, DC 20015
222 Valley Place
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
400 North Peoria
CAD system, project management, or other software used: AutoCAD (Base design/modeling and production software); 3D Studio Max (Rendering software); Primavera (File/Submittal management software); Adobe CS (Illustrator, Photoshop,InDesign).
Steel Frame w/ Concrete Core
Metal Panels: Formawall (Penthouse Walls) Permasteelisa (Curtain Wall Metal Panels)
Metal/glass curtain wall: Permasteelisa
Precast concrete: Gate Precast Company
Built-up roofing: American Hydrotech
Wood doors: Lambton Door Co.
Fire-control doors, security grilles: Cornell (Insulated Coiling Doors)
Special doors): Hydrarol (High Speed Roll Up Doors)
Exit devices: Sargent
Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong (Public Areas & Back of House) & USG (Parking Garage)
Suspension grid: Armstrong (Public Areas & Back of House) & USG (Parking Garage)
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: MARC Woodworking, Inc.
Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams
Floor and wall tile: American Olean
Resilient flooring: Armstrong
Interior ambient lighting: Columbia
Downlights: Lite Frame
Architects: Pickard Chilton
Location: Chicago, USA
Civil engineer: Epstein
Acoustics: Cerami & Associates
Lightning: Quentin Thomas Associates, Inc.
Landscaping: Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc.
Structural engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Alan Karchmer
Located on the north bank of the Chicago River, the project respects and enhances the tradition of inspiring skyscrapers in the city of Chicago – the birthplace of the skyscraper. The 60-story, 1.3 million gsf project is comprised of office, retail, restaurant, amenity and public spaces as well as below-grade parking. The project is also the new world class home for an international law firm that has been a prominent citizen in Chicago since 1908. At over 783 feet, the project is among the tallest skyscrapers in Chicago.
Reestablishing a pedestrian connection to the city, the project features a half acre waterfront public garden with direct access to the river and views of the city. The thoughtful placement of the tower’s rectangular form on the northern limit of its site maximizes the southern exposure of the public garden while it minimizes solar gain on the narrower east and west facades. An asset for this area of Chicago, this public space enhances the streetscape at the base of the LaSalle Street Bridge and cascades to the river with a fine dining restaurant, landscaped terraces seating and a waterfront café.
The tower’s design accommodates efficiency and flexibility in interior planning and its floor-to-ceiling glass provides abundant natural light and dramatic views. The transparency and luminosity of its façade create a lighter, delicate silhouette. The tenant’s desire for a modern image anchored in the past informed the design that recalls the Chicago Miesian tradition as well as art deco stepped skyscrapers. The elegant, three-story lobby features a decorative screen of cherry wood and ornamental stainless steel, set off by a floor of golden limestone. The tower culminates with a luminous, articulated stainless steel crown which acts as a beacon along the Chicago River.