Envisioning a new entry experience at One South Wacker
One South Wacker occupies a bustling corner in Chicago’s downtown “Loop” business district. Completed in 1982 at the peak of the post-modern movement, the 40-story trapezoidal structure is clad in a simple, standard grid of highly reflective and opaque pieces of black, silver and copper glass in an over-sized wainscot motif. Despite a prominent Madison Street and Wacker Drive location, the building no longer retains its market prominence with nearly 20 percent vacancy and minimal street-level presence. LJC proposes transforming the building by reorienting the entry from a small portal on Wacker to a three-story, lineal lobby along Madison that creates a dialog with its northern neighbor across the street. A two-story, free-form copper screen flows from the façade through the lobby, which works both to draw pedestrians into the building and its amenities and to augment the property’s corner presence, re-establishing its stature in the city. The addition of a street-facing café and third-floor restaurant terrace form a collection of spaces that further blur the line between interior and exterior environments and invite passersby to experience a renewed One South Wacker.