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-   -   CHCAGO | Thompson Center redevelopment | Jahn's MASTERPIECE will be saved!!!!!!!!!!! (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=249335)

Gedung Tinngi Dec 16, 2021 7:18 AM

Super excited the building will stay. Absolutely fantastic!

Truly am eager to see renderings for the proposed interior renovations. Especially how the "dome" of the atrium is articulated. I'ma little concerned we don't see any visuals from a more elevated perspective.

Also, the color choice - Hoping this doesn't end up looking like a larger version of the old Crate and Barrel building. Just please don't over sanitize the textural and visual splendor.

Also, it appears the Beast might be taken away. ?.?.?



Quote:

Originally Posted by galleyfox (Post 9477425)


galleyfox Dec 16, 2021 9:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toasty Joe (Post 9478116)
130 N Franklin - like this site - would be a great spot for a non-blue glass supertall to break up "the wall"



This site sits on top of our two busiest train lines and, if tall enough, would boast amazing panoramic views of our skyline, lake, sunsets, and basically another city's worth of buildings rise in West Loop. It could be the One Vanderbilt of Chicago. I'm sure a well-thought mixed use scheme could've done very well here also.

I'm not the biggest fan of the building to begin with, but appreciate its postmodern campiness as a relic of its time. Unfortunately looks like that will be renovated.

Patience is a virtue. One of the things that makes Chicago architecture so notable is not so much that individual buildings are the greatest of the era, but that there are multiple styles spanning decades coexisting in close proximity.

I’m no fan of the Thompson Center, and I think the adulation for it is overwrought, but it’s hardly a blight on the neighborhood. The average office building, especially a government office building, will generate more traffic than the tallest condominium, so it’s not like the space is being misappropriated.

The prospect of a One Vanderbilt design is not so thrilling that any of us should lament a Thompson Center renovation. If in the year 2100, vanity offices are back in vogue, no problem, there will still be prime locations in the Loop available.

chicubs111 Dec 16, 2021 1:35 PM

Not sure where all this talk about other lots in the loop for supertalls just laying around... this is one of the last major large sites in the core loop along with 130 north franklin. So the fact you can get a supertall in this area is pretty much close to finished. This location would of been perfect for something mixed use with the theatre district around the corner. Could of have been a building to really energize the loop in a way block 37 was supposed to...now we get a sterile office building that does none of that. Also regarding floor plate size ..the trend now is switching in office buildings from the massive floor plates to somewhat smaller since the hybrid work environment seems to be taking hold. Companies don't need the same amount of space of everyone on the same floor. The rise of more boutique taller (higher floor heights) and somewhat thinner office buildings will become a new trend taking hold.

galleyfox Dec 16, 2021 4:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicubs111 (Post 9478217)
Not sure where all this talk about other lots in the loop for supertalls just laying around... this is one of the last major large sites in the core loop along with 130 north franklin. So the fact you can get a supertall in this area is pretty much close to finished. This location would of been perfect for something mixed use with the theatre district around the corner. Could of have been a building to really energize the loop in a way block 37 was supposed to...now we get a sterile office building that does none of that. Also regarding floor plate size ..the trend now is switching in office buildings from the massive floor plates to somewhat smaller since the hybrid work environment seems to be taking hold. Companies don't need the same amount of space of everyone on the same floor. The rise of more boutique taller (higher floor heights) and somewhat thinner office buildings will become a new trend taking hold.

There is simply no demand for such a tower in the Loop right now. And the Thompson Center can always be redeveloped a few generations in the future.

Why the rush?

A single mixed-use building isn’t going to dramatically move the needle from what’s already there. Adding a Cheesecake Factory at the bottom isn’t going to change that.

Lakeshore East and South Loop have thousands of units and are still sleepy neighborhoods. The Thompson Center already generates as much foot traffic as is reasonable for even a very large office.

If you want to create more nightlife, then converting some of the retail along State St to dining and entertainment will be far more bang for the buck.

Gedung Tinngi Dec 16, 2021 4:37 PM

"Just wait 20 years, someone will try to replace the blue panels, and it won't be allowed."

– Helmut Jahn, interviewed by Richard Lacayo in "Battle of Starship Chicago" Time Magazine, Feb. 4, 1985.

Mr Downtown Dec 16, 2021 4:46 PM

It's a perfect example of what we preservationists call "the 40-year pox." After 40 years, every architectural movement and its exemplar buildings are viewed as hideously ugly.

After 60 years, people wail "why didn't they save and restore that incredible building?"

Chicago_Forever Dec 16, 2021 4:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicubs111 (Post 9478217)
Not sure where all this talk about other lots in the loop for supertalls just laying around... this is one of the last major large sites in the core loop along with 130 north franklin. So the fact you can get a supertall in this area is pretty much close to finished. This location would of been perfect for something mixed use with the theatre district around the corner. Could of have been a building to really energize the loop in a way block 37 was supposed to...now we get a sterile office building that does none of that. Also regarding floor plate size ..the trend now is switching in office buildings from the massive floor plates to somewhat smaller since the hybrid work environment seems to be taking hold. Companies don't need the same amount of space of everyone on the same floor. The rise of more boutique taller (higher floor heights) and somewhat thinner office buildings will become a new trend taking hold.

You're obviously not familiar with the Loop. Yes, 130 Franklin is the only open lot left but there are over half dozen (huge) parking garages circling the Loop that I'd rather see make way for a supertall than the JTC. I do hope Reschke take advantage of the allowable FAR and build the supertall Jahn envisioned as part of the reimagining of the JTC in the future. I mean, this is the same guy that proposed the Fordham/Chicago Spire and the original Walsdorf Astoria so there's hope, I'd like to think.

chicubs111 Dec 16, 2021 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago_Forever (Post 9478455)
You're obviously not familiar with the Loop. Yes, 130 Franklin is the only open lot left but there are over half dozen (huge) parking garages circling the Loop that I'd rather see make way for a supertall than the JTC. I do hope Reschke take advantage of the allowable FAR and build the supertall Jahn envisioned as part of the reimagining of the JTC in the future. I mean, this is the same guy that proposed the Fordham/Chicago Spire and the original Walsdorf Astoria so there's hope, I'd like to think.

Please tell what parking garages are the size of a full block like Thompson center in the central loop? A supertall in the loop is gonna need a very large lot considering since Chicago doesn't do tall and thin... there are maybe 2 lots . Outside the loop fringes and south loop are not what im talking about.

thegoatman Dec 16, 2021 5:39 PM

Can someone tell me what's so special about this building. The way people are reacting you would think this is the Hagia Sophia or something. I mean it's a piece of decent architecture, but nothing mind blowing. I don't walk past it and think "damn this is amazing".

They're literally just renovating it and adding more glass. Literally looks the same in the renderings.

Someone help me see the light.

Steely Dan Dec 16, 2021 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegoatman (Post 9478528)
The way people are reacting you would think this is the Hagia Sophia Chicago's version of The Pantheon.

yes.

ski_steve Dec 16, 2021 6:03 PM

Glad this is being saved, too bad about losing the colored panels. I see this ultimately ending in one of two ways. 1- Torn down in ~20 years because it lost its historical significance. 2- Restored to original/current condition.

Chicago_Forever Dec 16, 2021 6:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicubs111 (Post 9478502)
Please tell what parking garages are the size of a full block like Thompson center in the central loop? A supertall in the loop is gonna need a very large lot considering since Chicago doesn't do tall and thin... there are maybe 2 lots . Outside the loop fringes and south loop are not what im talking about.

The idea that you need a full city block to build a supertall is yours and yours only. No one is saying Chicago is going to be building pencil thin Supertalls but it doesn't have to. The Sears Tower is not even on a full city block. Also, just immediately north and west of 181 W Madison are two hulking parking garages that can each easily support a supertall. As a matter of fact, I believe the site to the west is where the 2000ft Miglin-Beitler Sky Needle was proposed back in the 90s. Then you have the large garage directly east of Sears and another farther south. There's at least 2-3 more of these huge garages circling the Loop. Also, while not technically the Loop, there's still that huge lot (2 lots?) in the West Loop, north of Presidential Towers that's begging for a supertall.

Oh, and you yourself a few posts ago said the new trend will be smaller floor plates and higher ceilings heights. If this does indeed become the new trend, and with these garages being the only real opportunities for redevelopment in the loop, and with cost of land in the central loop likely to be more expansive in the future, I can't imagine every one of these garages will be torn down to be replaced with 50 storey boxes.

Kngkyle Dec 16, 2021 7:00 PM

Can someone fix the thread title? It's gone on long enough.....

MAC123 Dec 16, 2021 7:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicubs111 (Post 9478502)
A supertall in the loop is gonna need a very large lot considering since Chicago doesn't do tall and thin...

You're mistaken. "Chicago" or more specifically, the developers building these buildings, will do tall and thin. And they'll do bulky and fat. And they'll do anything in between, as long as it fits the site and the current conditions they find themselves in.

left of center Dec 16, 2021 7:32 PM

Any way to add this thread to the Chicago Projects and Construction board? I keep forgetting about it because it isn't on my SSP "landing page" :)

the urban politician Dec 16, 2021 8:22 PM

Glad that the State is going this route. :tup:

chicubs111 Dec 16, 2021 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago_Forever (Post 9478652)
The idea that you need a full city block to build a supertall is yours and yours only. No one is saying Chicago is going to be building pencil thin Supertalls but it doesn't have to. The Sears Tower is not even on a full city block. Also, just immediately north and west of 181 W Madison are two hulking parking garages that can each easily support a supertall. As a matter of fact, I believe the site to the west is where the 2000ft Miglin-Beitler Sky Needle was proposed back in the 90s. Then you have the large garage directly east of Sears and another farther south. There's at least 2-3 more of these huge garages circling the Loop. Also, while not technically the Loop, there's still that huge lot (2 lots?) in the West Loop, north of Presidential Towers that's begging for a supertall.

Oh, and you yourself a few posts ago said the new trend will be smaller floor plates and higher ceilings heights. If this does indeed become the new trend, and with these garages being the only real opportunities for redevelopment in the loop, and with cost of land in the central loop likely to be more expansive in the future, I can't imagine every one of these garages will be torn down to be replaced with 50 storey boxes.

Yea sears takes a full block..doesn't mean the physical building will completely fill the whole block just need a sizeable lot more than half a block. Skyneedle was a super thin office building proposal for its height and it was at the spot of 181 west madison, dont know if that small of floor plate would work even with this hybrid work environment... The trend will be hopefully taller on average though but a supertall straight office building will be tough to come by at those locations you mentioned from a tenant and economics standpoint... The Thompson center was unique location being near theatre district, close state street, and riverwalk separate's its from those other mentioned spots for a mixed use super tall. It could of been the catalyst for that night life/dining/theatre hub you spoke about to liven up that area even more.

ardecila Dec 16, 2021 8:50 PM

You're making a lot of assumptions in one post.
-IF office demand returns after Covid
-IF corporations will pay top dollar to be in the central Loop again after 2 decades of momentum pushing north or west
-IF corporations continue to value large floorplates
etc etc.

There's no reason to reject a viable plan for an albatross building because something bigger might come down the road sometime in the future if all the planets align. What are we supposed to do in the meantime, tear it down and live with an empty block for the next decade like Block 37 on a hunch? Sorry CTA riders, here are some rickety wooden staircases for you to use for the next decade. Sorry Pedway users, we just took out half the network. I promise, the sacrifice will be worth it when we have another 1000'+ building that you can look at from the planetarium!

The state literally threw open the door to any and all developers to submit proposals and only 2 serious proposals came out of it. I much prefer to trust the judgment of professional developers over this kind of wishful thinking. I haven't seen the details of Bob Dunn's proposal, we can debate the merits of that plan versus Reschke's but we can't debate a wild hypothetical.

sentinel Dec 16, 2021 9:22 PM

Wait, why is the selling price so low?

Mr Downtown Dec 17, 2021 12:38 AM

Some of you are new around here, so here’s my periodic reminder to fanboys that skyscrapers have to make economic sense. In the US, we don’t build them to stroke potentates’ egos. We build them to make the maximum profit for investors, many of whom are real go-for-broke wild-eyed gamblers like New York Life Insurance and California Public Employees Retirement System.

There’s an obvious tradeoff between height and elevatoring requirements. The higher you go, the more elevators you need—and the more floorplate they occupy. A supertall on a 6000-sq-ft building site will give you four corner offices on each floor and not much more. But you'll have to ask $80/ft because the building was so damned expensive to build and run.

Less obvious are two other tradeoffs: cost of construction (taller buildings require specialized concrete and other things) and time to occupancy. A developer doesn’t want a construction loan hanging over them for several years; they want to get a couple of big anchor tenants signed, build a building, and have them paying rent within two years. Though you can get an occupancy permit for part of the building while construction continues above, there are limits.

The “sweet spot” for all these factors coming together for maximum profitability is roughly 50 floors for office buildings in downtown Chicago, and around 35-40 floors for residential. Manhattan can go taller, at least for residential, because of more rich people but mostly because of overseas investor-owners who may never visit the site but see condos there as a no-lose place to park their money. Chicago doesn't enjoy that reputation.

F1 Tommy Dec 17, 2021 1:14 AM

Pritzker continues to surprise me, this is a great save . He has done alot to help Illinois even if I don't like the guys politics. Better than the last one for sure.

Busy Bee Dec 17, 2021 1:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago_Forever (Post 9478652)
The idea that you need a full city block to build a supertall is yours and yours only. No one is saying Chicago is going to be building pencil thin Supertalls but it doesn't have to. The Sears Tower is not even on a full city block. Also, just immediately north and west of 181 W Madison are two hulking parking garages that can each easily support a supertall. As a matter of fact, I believe the site to the west is where the 2000ft Miglin-Beitler Sky Needle was proposed back in the 90s. Then you have the large garage directly east of Sears and another farther south. There's at least 2-3 more of these huge garages circling the Loop. Also, while not technically the Loop, there's still that huge lot (2 lots?) in the West Loop, north of Presidential Towers that's begging for a supertall.

Oh, and you yourself a few posts ago said the new trend will be smaller floor plates and higher ceilings heights. If this does indeed become the new trend, and with these garages being the only real opportunities for redevelopment in the loop, and with cost of land in the central loop likely to be more expansive in the future, I can't imagine every one of these garages will be torn down to be replaced with 50 storey boxes.



Besides the Renaissance Hotel at 1 Wacker which is a preposterously underutilized lot, two of my favorite possible 1,000'+ tower sites are the garage at Wabash and Randolph and Harold Washington College one block north, which is just a horrible irredeemable building begging to be turned to dust.

gandalf612 Dec 17, 2021 5:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sentinel (Post 9478865)
Wait, why is the selling price so low?

Because it's an incredibly difficult project to get right. Due to Jahn complete incompetence it will cost them $280 million just to fix his idiotic mistakes and make the building habitable. For reference, Trump Tower cost $850 million to build. So literally a third of the cost of a supernal to not gain any more leasable space. But tearing it down would also be incredibly complex and expensive because you'd have to buy out the master lease on the food court, AND keep the busiest, multilevel CTA station running during demolition and construction of whatever you'd want to build there.

DePaul Bunyan Dec 17, 2021 6:15 AM

This is unfortunate and a wasted opportunity. The site is the most transit-friendly in the city and is begging for a supertall. Plus the state has counted the sale of the property towards the budget for the last couple of years. Buildings are meant for people to live and work, not admired by urbanists and architecture hipsters. It should have never been built and the state should have gotten out from under this albatross a long time ago. Now they're going to get roped into contributing towards the redevelopment of a flawed design. Illinois is bordering on insolvency. Vanity projects won't help.

gandalf612 Dec 17, 2021 7:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toasty Joe (Post 9479340)
pretty sure he designed double glazing and other features to better withstand the elements/ test of time, the developer just cheaped out? but yeah this building never seemed to want to be the most practical.

The glazing I'll give you but pretty his original design still had an enclosed atrium which still would've required heating and cooling 12 floors worth (or however tall this PoS is) of air

Kenmore Dec 17, 2021 11:30 AM

nice get a win once in a while

harryc Dec 17, 2021 12:00 PM

https://live.staticflickr.com/7861/3...20e90c3d_b.jpg

Always loved the truck elevators -


My hope is that the transit tie in, and existing public space with it's history of use will be leveraged in any new development, not eliminated.


https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_...100_W_Randolph

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9479165)
Besides the Renaissance Hotel at 1 Wacker which is a preposterously underutilized lot, two of my favorite possible 1,000'+ tower sites are the garage at Wabash and Randolph and Harold Washington College one block north, which is just a horrible irredeemable building begging to be turned to dust.

You are too kind - that hotel is an active eye sore. Original plans had been to build a twin to the Quaker (ABA) building next door. Now that RPM has effectively cut the river walk on the N side of the river......

harryc Dec 17, 2021 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gandalf612 (Post 9479368)
The glazing I'll give you but pretty his original design still had an enclosed atrium which still would've required heating and cooling 12 floors worth (or however tall this PoS is) of air

It's a trade off - a few PUBLIC places with this kind of spectacular space help balance the omnipresent profit driven design that most of us work and live in.

The atrium (pre-pandemic) always had something going on, city/state ceremonies and presentations were common, and the food court heavily used. This is where the dance people would do their stuff when the weather got too cold for the Daley plaza.

ardecila Dec 17, 2021 3:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryc (Post 9479397)
It's a trade off - a few PUBLIC places with this kind of spectacular space help balance the omnipresent profit driven design that most of us work and live in.

The atrium (pre-pandemic) always had something going on, city/state ceremonies and presentations were common, and the food court heavily used. This is where the dance people would do their stuff when the weather got too cold for the Daley plaza.

And also plenty of protests and civic actions. When you talk about "the public square", this is the closest physical translation of that in Chicago. All races and ethnicities are welcomed, all political persuasions, anyone can come and speak their piece. These spaces are especially important when most Americans see the world through the lens of Facebook and Twitter. Real life physical spaces don't have fake news or clickbait.

Making the atrium open-air may reduce the operating costs of the building and improve warm-season comfort for the office workers, but it will remove the enclosure that makes the Thompson Center such an effective year-round gathering space for Chicagoans. Now the atrium will just be another frigid plaza like Daley Plaza or Federal Plaza, which are fine spaces but mostly lifeless in winter.

I hope at the very least that Jahn will do the microclimate analysis and energy modeling that's always been promised, so the atrium can remain cool and ventilated in warmer months, otherwise it could be an unpleasant space year-round. All those plants will just increase humidity so good passive ventilation is key.

r18tdi Dec 17, 2021 3:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9479165)
Besides the Renaissance Hotel at 1 Wacker which is a preposterously underutilized lot, two of my favorite possible 1,000'+ tower sites are the garage at Wabash and Randolph and Harold Washington College one block north, which is just a horrible irredeemable building begging to be turned to dust.

Agreed. I also think the POS building at 201 N. Clark would be a good opportunity for a slender 900-footer. I forget, but wasn't there a skyscraper proposal for that corner 5 or 6 years ago?

Tom In Chicago Dec 17, 2021 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gandalf612 (Post 9479327)
Because it's an incredibly difficult project to get right. Due to Jahn complete incompetence it will cost them $280 million just to fix his idiotic mistakes and make the building habitable.

I'm trying to figure out what this means. . . can you please elaborate on what Jahn did that was incompetent?

. . .

r18tdi Dec 17, 2021 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago (Post 9479612)
I'm trying to figure out what this means. . . can you please elaborate on what Jahn did that was incompetent?

Don't feed the troll...

rlw777 Dec 17, 2021 7:54 PM

Really happy they found a way to save this postmodern icon.

gandalf612 Dec 17, 2021 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago (Post 9479612)
I'm trying to figure out what this means. . . can you please elaborate on what Jahn did that was incompetent?

. . .

Personally I consider designing a public building that's horribly inefficient and completely unsustainable incompetent. Feel free to disagree lmao

Via Chicago Dec 18, 2021 6:08 PM

most of the issues the building experienced are due to the fact that the state value engineered Jahns design and didnt use the proper glazing on the panels, right? and in general, they didnt keep up on maintenance.

also, there are lots of designs that are "inefficient" that are considered landmarks in architecture. the definition of sustainable/efficient changes over time. is Union Station's Great Hall an efficient design? well, no. im sure the modern addition with drop ceilings and narrow corridors and no grand spaces is more efficient to heat/cool. you tell me which youd rather have preserved.

mark0 Dec 18, 2021 8:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DePaul Bunyan (Post 9479351)
This is unfortunate and a wasted opportunity. The site is the most transit-friendly in the city and is begging for a supertall. Plus the state has counted the sale of the property towards the budget for the last couple of years. Buildings are meant for people to live and work, not admired by urbanists and architecture hipsters. It should have never been built and the state should have gotten out from under this albatross a long time ago. Now they're going to get roped into contributing towards the redevelopment of a flawed design. Illinois is bordering on insolvency. Vanity projects won't help.

I respectfully disagree at this site. The building steps back from the city and it's low profile allows vistas and relief from the skyscraper canyon. Chicago's varying heights of it's skyscrapers and plazas and river canyon give it a unique feel. You get skyscraper canyons like in Manhattan but you also get expansive vistas and can see past buildings for blocks. I think it's site planning is literally perfect.

Tombstoner Dec 18, 2021 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gandalf612 (Post 9480333)
Personally I consider designing a public building that's horribly inefficient and completely unsustainable incompetent. Feel free to disagree lmao

As Via Chicago suggests, most would argue that he did not design a building that was inefficient or unsustainable; the unsustainable inefficiencies came in when the builder chose to use single-pane glass rather than the double-paned insulated glass Jahn intended.

galleyfox Dec 19, 2021 5:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9479524)

Making the atrium open-air may reduce the operating costs of the building and improve warm-season comfort for the office workers, but it will remove the enclosure that makes the Thompson Center such an effective year-round gathering space for Chicagoans. Now the atrium will just be another frigid plaza like Daley Plaza or Federal Plaza, which are fine spaces but mostly lifeless in winter.


Quote:

The new design enhances the original concept by opening up to the ground level access to the atrium when weather allows with large multilevel operable doors. The atrium will contain the main lobby for building occupants while also being used for year-round dining, office activities, public events, and cultural programs.
https://www.jahn-us.com/news/thompson-20

nomarandlee Dec 19, 2021 5:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by galleyfox (Post 9481348)

Quote:
The new design enhances the original concept by opening up to the ground level access to the atrium when weather allows with large multilevel operable doors . The atrium will contain the main lobby for building occupants while also being used for year-round dining, office activities, public events, and cultural programs.
https://www.jahn-us.com/news/thompson-20"


Perfect. This was exactly the route I hope that they would go. It could up looking clunky if essentially have large door bays, but hopefully, on anything but the coldest days they will be open anyway.

ardecila Dec 20, 2021 2:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 9481356)
Quote:
The new design enhances the original concept by opening up to the ground level access to the atrium when weather allows with large multilevel operable doors . The atrium will contain the main lobby for building occupants while also being used for year-round dining, office activities, public events, and cultural programs.
https://www.jahn-us.com/news/thompson-20"


Perfect. This was exactly the route I hope that they would go. It could up looking clunky if essentially have large door bays, but hopefully, on anything but the coldest days they will be open anyway.

Awesome. With the openings closed and vestibules on the doors, they can probably keep it decently warm with passive heating features (greenhouse effect) but I'm sure some heating/artificial ventilation will be needed to supplement.

I watched a short Helmut Jahn documentary last night (filmed before his death). He was okay with replacing the building envelope/curtain wall of the JRTC and he acknowledged that all the colored panels were a product of the 80s and maybe not fitting for today. I think he would have been fine with this proposed renovation - hell, he probably worked on aspects of it before his death although it falls to his colleagues to finish the design and execute.

nomarandlee Dec 20, 2021 3:43 PM

I was only a young lady at the time the JRTC opened but I remember absolutely loving the teal/salmon panels. It brought in a nice needed color palette to the Loop. It looked very Miami, but somehow I didn't think it look south Florida tacky.

I don't know if it is because of the maintenance or if the design has not aged as well as hoped, it would be interesting to see if they did a faithful replacement of the panels if it would look as cool as I remember them. Still, in another 25-50 years it is not like the paneling could not be changed if the mood/tastes change again.

Who knows, maybe this more conventional version will look stellar and most everyone will be happy with it.

Via Chicago Dec 20, 2021 4:10 PM

the colors really sun faded and have taken on a ton of grime thats never been washed off. and decades of salt has absolutely chewed away at the base of the exterior. im sure if it looked sparkling new and glossy lot of the complaints wouldnt be quite as negative.

Rizzo Dec 20, 2021 4:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 9481887)
the colors really sun faded and have taken on a ton of grime thats never been washed off. and decades of salt has absolutely chewed away at the base of the exterior. im sure if it looked sparkling new and glossy lot of the complaints wouldnt be quite as negative.

This is true, but to point out there’s a discipline in architecture that is only sometimes taught in school and professionally to assume the client won’t be maintaining the building. No clear glass canopies, or ledges for birds, or smooth metal panels. At the opposite, there’s this thought that a maintenance crew will be out there power washing the facades every couple of years. It rarely happens. I’m personally biased toward masonry and stone facades that patina rather than stain or all glass systems that demand to be cleaned by tenants. The Thompson center has a ton of glass spandrel panels with projected mullions. It’s just wrong. It shouldn’t have been done. And just look at the Joffrey ballet building. Same issue, though more a failure in material than maintenance.

I like the overall design concept of the Thompson center with its shape and atrium. But the original facade system is terrible. It is to not be repeated or restored, fortunately for the right reasons. I’m glad it’s being taken down and redone.

Via Chicago Dec 20, 2021 5:18 PM

thats a really good point and fair criticism. im with you in that anything that can be designed to "age gracefully" with the minimal amount of upkeep is far preferable to something trendy, high maintenance, and thats going to look like crap in 20 years.

left of center Dec 21, 2021 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 9481356)
Quote:
The new design enhances the original concept by opening up to the ground level access to the atrium when weather allows with large multilevel operable doors . The atrium will contain the main lobby for building occupants while also being used for year-round dining, office activities, public events, and cultural programs.
https://www.jahn-us.com/news/thompson-20"


Perfect. This was exactly the route I hope that they would go. It could up looking clunky if essentially have large door bays, but hopefully, on anything but the coldest days they will be open anyway.

Yeah this should keep the space fairly warm (or at least warmer than the outside temperature) in the winter, but I wonder how they plan to keep the temperatures cool in the summer, which was the biggest problem overall with the Thompson Center IIRC. The offices will now be able to remain cool due to the new curtain wall installation between them and the lobby, but the lobby itself will still have that problem. The same greenhouse effect that will help keep the lobby warm in the winter will be a problem in the summer. I wonder if they can add exhaust vents or openable windows on the glass roof in order to create a cooling draft, with cooler outside air entering from the open vestibules on the main level and the warmer air escaping from the roof?

Rizzo Dec 21, 2021 7:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 9483030)
Yeah this should keep the space fairly warm (or at least warmer than the outside temperature) in the winter, but I wonder how they plan to keep the temperatures cool in the summer, which was the biggest problem overall with the Thompson Center IIRC. The offices will now be able to remain cool due to the new curtain wall installation between them and the lobby, but the lobby itself will still have that problem. The same greenhouse effect that will help keep the lobby warm in the winter will be a problem in the summer. I wonder if they can add exhaust vents or openable windows on the glass roof in order to create a cooling draft, with cooler outside air entering from the open vestibules on the main level and the warmer air escaping from the roof?

Just like a greenhouse, you would have open or operable vents at the roof to circulate air up and out through the top of the building. Similar principle of those double glazed facades with empty plenums to move air warmed by the sun out of the building. The alternative is highly reflective glass, but vast expanses of glass always make well conditioned spaces futile. That’s why the outdoor atrium makes sense

dropdeaded209 Dec 24, 2021 11:06 AM

I guess this is as good a place as any to put this:

Helmut Jahn: In a Flash

My 20-minute documentary on Jahn, comprised of unused footage from my 2016 interview with Helmut for what became Starship Chicago, and new footage shot this fall across three continents showcasing his life's work.

We had the world premiere in Chicago on December 1 as part of a retrospective of my work--Helmut's family was in attendance, giving me the chance to meet many of them for the first time.

It was a very emotional experience, and I am pleased to share the film with all of you here.

TR Devlin Dec 24, 2021 4:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dropdeaded209 (Post 9485741)
I guess this is as good a place as any to put this:

Helmut Jahn: In a Flash

My 20-minute documentary on Jahn, comprised of unused footage from my 2016 interview with Helmut for what became Starship Chicago, and new footage shot this fall across three continents showcasing his life's work.

We had the world premiere in Chicago on December 1 as part of a retrospective of my work--Helmut's family was in attendance, giving me the chance to meet many of them for the first time.

It was a very emotional experience, and I am pleased to share the film with all of you here.

Thank you very much for all you've done and are doing to save this building.

SIGSEGV Dec 25, 2021 5:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dropdeaded209 (Post 9485741)
I guess this is as good a place as any to put this:

Helmut Jahn: In a Flash

My 20-minute documentary on Jahn, comprised of unused footage from my 2016 interview with Helmut for what became Starship Chicago, and new footage shot this fall across three continents showcasing his life's work.

We had the world premiere in Chicago on December 1 as part of a retrospective of my work--Helmut's family was in attendance, giving me the chance to meet many of them for the first time.

It was a very emotional experience, and I am pleased to share the film with all of you here.

Thank you for sharing this, I found it interesting and insightful. I'm glad you were able to premiere this with his family.

LouisVanDerWright Dec 25, 2021 6:11 AM

Also shout out to AJ LaTrace, former editor of Curbed Chicago, who founded the Thompson Center Historical Society and played a huge part in getting this on the National Register.

Lots of people involved in this good work, only so many of them were out there day to day giving tours of the building and hustling to raise awareness like he was.

Huge thanks to everyone involved!


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