What’s also changed is the requirement for higher levels of security after 9/11. At the CME Centre, as with most office buildings, this had meant implementing security checks and installing controlled turnstile access to elevators.
“This had actually sabotaged the whole circulation flow of the building – especially if you wanted to go between the building’s two office towers.”
Some movements even required exiting the building and then re-entering to complete a journey.
The initial impetus was to make the building continuously accessible on the inside for the 10,000 people who entered and exited it every work day.
“That led to our design for a sinuous curving storefront on the street side, made from 7.6m x 1.22m glass panels, all supported by glass fins. This pushes out beyond the original lobby footprint adding about 280m² of new space.
“The expanse of glass also improves the interior-exterior connectivity, and reduces the separation between commuters and the building’s services.”
To retain the solid, sturdy essence of the building, the original concrete columns were left exposed and complemented with a terrazzo floor.
“Countering that, we designed a wall system that folded into the ceiling. The 9300m² of tough Krion panels were prefabricated in Spain – accurate to 1.6mm – then shipped and assembled on site.”
Slots between the panels contain the concealed sprinkler system, lighting, security and other services.
With the addition of seating and a reception/security desk designed like a major artpiece, the revamped lobby not only provides the building with a highly attractive and light-filled community space, it also visually and physically engages with the 100,000’s of pedestrians that pass by on the way to and from nearby commuter railway stations.
CME Center, Chicago
Lend Lease Construction
Mechanical and electrical engineer
TNG from Roschmann Group
Otis and Schindler
Epoxy Terrazzo and Terroxy by John Caretti & Co, Krez Group
Krueck + Sexton Architects
Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects
Wall and ceiling panels
Krion from Porcelanosa
George Sexton Associates, Titan, Litelab, Tempo
Kendall McCaugherty @ Hall+Merrick
21 Sep, 2019