James R. Thompson Center

Connecting people to community resources and destinations through transit infrastructure becomes the central welcome to the city.

Facing the threat of demolition, the James R. Thompson Center competition sought solutions to save the iconic Chicago landmark.

LJC’s concept imagines the building as the Gateway for two primary audiences, Chicago residents and tourists. Connecting people through a re-imagined CTA station, Terminal Pavilion, and an express train line to O’Hare and Midway – the Thompson Center becomes positioned as the central welcome to the city.

Opening the ground floor reveals an open-air market and new pavilion that houses a year-round public plaza, subterranean access to the terminal level, and a public pedway system. The community program is connected by new year-round green space bridges that provide internal and external views. Each bridge bands community programs together on shared floors. The new high-performance enclosure system minimizes the atrium, provides comfort and transparency for users, and reduces the overall load on the MEP systems, decreasing operation costs.


James R. Thompson Center


Chicago, IL


905,000 SF


  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture