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

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.


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