River Point-2017 Global Awards for Excellence Finalist

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Developer: Hines
Designer: Pickard Chilton
Site Size: 2.55 Acre

River Point is a recently completed 52-story, 1.08 million square foot office tower located in Chicago’s West Loop at Lake Street and the Chicago River. The Pickard Chilton design features a striking convex form that provides panoramic city views with efficient, column-free floor plates and floor-to-ceiling glass. A graceful parabolic arch frames the sloped red travertine lobby wall and reflects the river for passers-by. Pre-certified LEED CS-Gold (applying for Platinum status), River Point incorporates many sustainable design features including low-flow water fixtures, 50% green roof, and native landscaping. Building tenants have access to a club-quality fitness center, tenant lounge and state-of-the-art conference center. Amenities will include a fast casual cafe as well as a 3-level, 15,000 square foot Gibsons fine dining restaurant. The building’s dramatic three-story lobby opens onto an expansive 1.5 acre riverside public plaza and newly created Riverwalk, the latest addition to Chicago’s unique riverfront.

River Point was constructed adjacent to and over active rail tracks which required approximately three years of negotiations and design reviews with Amtrak. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) elevated tracks located at the south perimeter of the site and the Blue Line running 60 feet below the site required additional approvals. The tower’s location on the Chicago River waterfront added another degree of complexity, requiring permits and approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District among others.

Detail of tower crown looking east to Lake © Nick Ulivieri Photography
Detail of tower crown looking east to Lake
© Nick Ulivieri Photography
View of west facade looking east from ‘L’ © Harry R. Carmichael
View of west facade looking east from ‘L’
© Harry R. Carmichael
Dusk view of podium transition to plaza © Nick Ulivieri Photography
Dusk view of podium transition to plaza
© Nick Ulivieri Photography
View south of upper lobby overlooking plaza and rivers © Tom Rossiter
View south of upper lobby overlooking
plaza and rivers
© Tom Rossiter

Construction of River Point brought approximately 2,000 construction jobs to the city. When fully occupied, approximately 3,500 people will be working in the building. At 1.5 acres, the publicly-accessible park provides the largest riverfront green space in downtown Chicago. The 560 feet of new Riverwalk replaces a crumbling, inaccessible stretch of river bank and compliments and connects to new sections of Riverwalk recently completed by the City. Designed by renowned landscape architect The Office of James Burnett, the park and Riverwalk feature extensive seating, native landscaping, and a variety of trees creating an urban oasis for the office tenants as well as the many new residents of the booming West Loop neighborhood.

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